09/11/06 6:19 PM ET
Notes: Brewers round up reinforcements
Club gives Gwynn a go; Villanueva, Anderson get call
By George Von Benko / Special to MLB.com
The two outfielders restore some depth to a group that is missing Laynce Nix, who will have toe surgery at some point this week and is finished for the year, and Gabe Gross, who is trying to recover from a left hamstring strain.
It's another chance for the team to see what Gwynn, who could compete for a big-league job next spring depending on how the team answers its many outfield questions this offseason, can do. At Nashville, Gwynn batted .300 in 112 games with four home runs and 42 RBIs. He also swiped 29 bases. It's his second stint this season with the Brewers. He was up with the big club from July 15 through Aug. 8 and appeared in 14 games, hitting .400 (4-for-10).
Gwynn is thrilled to be back.
"Especially after getting a little taste early in the season and then finishing up strong," said the outfielder. "It's definitely a good feeling to get invited back."
"Gwynn and Anderson are both kids that did a nice job down there," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "Being short a little bit in the outfield, we bring two left-handed bats back up. We'll probably get a pretty extensive look at Gwynn and mix Anderson in whenever we can. Gwynn will play a bunch."
Anderson spent most of the season with Double-A Huntsville, where he appeared in 108 games, hitting .289 with six home runs and 43 RBIs. He also had 18 stolen bases. In 16 games at Nashville, he hit .333 with one homer, nine RBIs and three steals.
Villanueva started the year with fairly pedestrian numbers at Double-A, but then did well in an emergency callup to Milwaukee when the team was desperate for an arm to fill in for injured Ben Sheets and Tomo Ohka. With the Brewers, he was 0-1 with a 4.61 ERA in six appearances. Villanueva was sent to Triple-A on July 5 and he dominated. He posted a 7-1 record with a 2.71 ERA in 11 appearances (nine starts).
"Villanueva went down and did a great job in Triple A," said Yost. "He pitched really well. We want to get a look at him up here. He is working himself into consideration for maybe making this staff next year. Right now he'll work out of the bullpen. We may look down the road to see if he will make a start or two -- that's to be determined."
Brewers remember 9/11: There was a somber mood in the Brewers clubhouse before Monday's game as the television replayed the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Yost was a member of the Atlanta Braves coaching staff at the time as the Braves faced the New York Mets at Shea Stadium in the first game after the tragedy.
"It was pretty special going there right afterwards," Yost recalled. "We all made trips down to Ground Zero and got to see it firsthand [almost] nine days after it all happened. It was still smoking down there and you could still smell the burning and the gas fumes. It was a real eye-opening experience. ... It's something I'll never forget.
"Last night you think about it and you think about the way the world's changed from that point on. Like I said, it was definitely an eye-opening experience."
The tragedy hits close to home for Brewers reliever Dennis Sarfate. He grew up in Brooklyn and lost a cousin, 30-year-old Vincent Cangelosi, who was on the 105th floor of Tower 1, the South tower of the World Trade Center.
"I can't believe five years ago it happened," said Sarfate. "It seems a lot closer than that. It's a sad day -- nothing can explain what people go through."
Sarfate's aunt Michelle and uncle Vinny Cangelosi live with the haunting memory of that fateful day every day.
"On holiday's it's rough on them," he said. "We're constantly talking -- they're great people. [On] Wednesday, they will be here and see me for the first time in the big leagues."
Miller time: Catcher Damian Miller returned to the Brewers lineup on Monday night in Pittsburgh. He missed the final two games of the weekend series against Houston after getting beaned on the helmet Friday night by a fastball from Roy Oswalt.
"I'm feeling OK," Miller reported. "[There are] really no ill effects from it. The left side of my head's kind of sore and I'd just hate to get hit there again. I'm feeling OK and I feel like I'm ready to play [Monday night]."
Miller remembered being hit in the head by a Todd Jones fastball several years ago and said it gets your attention.
"It's an eye opener -- or [an] eye closer," said Miller. "Fortunately, it was an eye opener for me and it's really more scary than anything. It could have been a lot worse than it was. It's one of those things that happens in baseball. Obviously, he wasn't trying to hit me and it was an unfortunate incident that fortunately only kept me out a couple of days and not the rest of the season."
On deck: The Brewers face the Pirates in Game 2 of a three-game series Tuesday night. Lefty Chris Capuano (11-10, 3.49 ERA) will be on the hill for the Brewers. The Pirates will counter with right-hander Shawn Chacon (1-2, 6.33 ERA).
George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.