MIL@ATL: Thornburg hit by grounder, recovers for out

NEW YORK -- Tyler Thornburg was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with what the Brewers called a sore right elbow, but his ulnar collateral ligament is fine and he won't need Tommy John surgery.

"It's not that," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "That came out real clean."

What is wrong, though, remains to be seen. The right-hander is back in Milwaukee, and head team physician William Raasch reviewed Thornburg's MRI. The club is holding off on an official diagnosis until Thornburg can see a radiologist Tuesday or Wednesday.

"He doesn't want to say what it is yet," Roenicke said.

This season is Thornburg's first as a full-time reliever. In 29 2/3 innings across 27 appearances, he owns a 4.25 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. Thornburg is also striking out nearly a batter per inning but walking an average of 6.4 per nine innings, both above his career averages.

According to brooksbaseball.net, his fastball has been around 94 mph -- about 2 mph faster than it was when he started for Milwaukee last September. A small velocity jump is standard when a pitcher converts to strictly relieving.

Right-hander Mike Fiers was called up to replace Thornburg, but he has not pitched as of Tuesday.

Segura slides down to eighth in lineup

MIL@PIT: Segura plates Gennett with infield single

NEW YORK -- With the reveal of the Brewers' lineup Tuesday came a surprise: Scooter Gennett batting leadoff in place of Jean Segura, who occupied the No. 8 hole.

Segura is fresh off a 1-for-12 series against the Pirates, and he's batting .182 in June entering the team's opener against the Mets on Tuesday. His on-base percentage is down to .286 -- barely higher than Gennett's average (.283).

"Just trying to get [Segura] back to relaxing and getting on base again, and Scooter, his on-base is a little better [.323]," manager Ron Roenicke said. "I've been kicking it around for a while. We've talked about getting [Carlos] Gomez back to the leadoff spot sometime, and that may come. I don't know. We'll see how this goes."

Roenicke later reiterated that Gomez's return to the top of the lineup was probable somewhere down the line, but for now he doesn't want to completely re-work what has been very productive.

The lineup in its current form is a little more than a half-month old, and was a product of Aramis Ramirez landing on the disabled list. In the last 16 contests -- since Gomez moved to the cleanup role -- the Brewers are averaging 5.9 runs per game. Before the change, the average was 3.8.

"We were thinking about turning the whole thing around and doing kind of getting back to where I thought they may end up," Roenicke said. "But we're still swinging the bat well enough that I want to keep most of it the same, and this is a pretty easy change."

Gennett is hitting .381 (8-for-21) in six games this month. In a small sample size -- five games -- he is a .364 (8-for-22) hitter out of the leadoff spot.

Segura, meanwhile, will try to figure things out at the bottom.

"[The weekend] was a tough series for me," Segura said. "[I have to] make a little adjustment. I think it's my approach. I'm trying to get better, get a pitch to hit."

Brewers begin stretch of 20 straight games

"They know it's an important time," Ron Roenicke said.

NEW YORK -- If Monday's off-day felt a little sweeter than normal for the Brewers, it might be because they don't have another for three weeks. Tuesday's matchup against the Mets marked the first of 20 games in 20 days for Milwaukee, a stretch that will bring them to June 30.

"I think the guys, they understand what it is," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We have enough veterans here that will go out every day and know how to get prepared. They know it's an important time. It's a lot of road games also -- it's not just a long stretch.

"I think now, guys are still feeling good physically. We got the guys back that were on the DL earlier. We're OK right now."

The Brewers have had a remarkably even schedule so far -- 32 games at home, 32 on the road entering Tuesday -- and that will continue during this stretch as they split the rest of the month 10 home, 10 away.

"Hopefully that road feeling -- that we're going out there and we can win at any ballpark -- hopefully that stays," Roenicke said.

Of the six series, though, only one is against a team currently toward the top of its division's standings. That will be a three-game set at home against the Nationals -- currently tied for first in the National League East -- June 23-25.

With the busy schedule comes an increased importance of balancing the workload assigned to each player, specifically the pitchers. Righty Mike Fiers, called up over the weekend from Triple-A Nashville, could be one of the guys who benefits from that balance.

For now, he is at or toward the bottom of the bullpen depth chart. But if the team finds itself leaning on the relief corps more than it would like, Fiers might find himself with more significant innings.

"Once you start using guys, his role changes," Roenicke said. "There's a couple of guys down that night and he slides into their role. Tonight he would be the long man. If it could change tomorrow or the next day depending who's used tonight."