06/03/11 11:44 PM ET
Braun gets another day to rest shoulder
By David Villavicencio / Special to MLB.com
The three-time All-Star is putting up another excellent season, entering Friday batting .306 with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs. But Braun has been dealing with nagging pain in his left shoulder since Spring Training.
"It's just a little tightness in the shoulder that ends up traveling up the shoulder and into the neck, because you're kind of compensating for it," manager Ron Roenicke said. "A couple days off can get rid of it."
Coming off an off-day, Roenicke decided to give his star left fielder Friday night off, hoping to get his shoulder back to form.
"I kind of wanted him to take off Wednesday, and he wanted to play against the Reds, so we talked about today," Roenicke said. "We want to give him two days off back-to-back on the shoulder, and hopefully that gets him back to normal."
Braun got into the game Friday in the ninth inning, hitting his first career pinch-hit homer -- a two-run shot off Marlins closer Leo Nunez -- to give the Crew a 6-5 win.
Lefty Braddock to return to Brewers' bullpen
MIAMI -- The Brewers have gone without a left-hander in the bullpen since May 17, but that will all change Saturday.
Zach Braddock will be reinstated from the disabled list and rejoin Milwaukee's bullpen prior to Saturday night's game against the Marlins. Right-hander Mike McClendon will be optioned to Triple-A Nashville to make room for Braddock.
The 23-year-old Braddock was placed on the 15-day DL on May 3 with a sleep disorder. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Wisconsin on May 12, and continued last Sunday with Triple-A Nashville. He was 0-1 with a 2.79 ERA over 9 2/3 innings prior to his trip to the DL.
Braddock's reinstatement could have come as soon as Friday, but the Brewers elected to wait until after the series opener against the Marlins to make the move.
McClendon and right-hander Tim Dillard appeared to be the two favorites to be optioned to make room for Braddock. The decision came down to getting one of the two more opportunities to pitch.
"They're both multi-inning guys," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We're not pitching [McClendon] very much. It has been six days since we pitched him, and we want him to get more work. We don't feel like we're going to go through the rest of the season with the same bullpen. It was just about getting [McClendon] throwing again and seeing how Dillard does."
McClendon was 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA over 13 2/3 innings before he was optioned to Triple-A. Dillard had no record and a 4.50 ERA over just four innings, but Milwaukee's manager wants to see some more from him after an encouraging outing against the Reds in the Brewers' last series.
"I want to see Dillard a little bit more," Roenicke said. "I saw the inning he threw the other day against Cincinnati and I want to see more of him."
Brewers look for answers to road woes
MIAMI -- The Brewers have not had much success away from Miller Park this season and few can explain why.
Already 1-2 on their current road trip, Milwaukee opened a four-game series against the Marlins on Friday with a National League-worst .321 winning percentage on the road.
"I really can't explain it," manager Ron Roenicke said. "I think teams from year to year have years when they're OK on the road and some years they're not. The club I was with the last 11 years [the Angels], some years we were great on the road and others we were terrible. I don't know why that happens."
Roenicke is not the only member of the Brewers struggling to make sense of why the team can be so good at home (21-7) and so bad on the road (9-19). Outfielder Mark Kotsay thinks it may have to do with playing in parks that are less hitter-friendly.
"Our ballpark favors offense," Kotsay said. "Sometimes when you go out and the elements change, it can become more of a mental thing than a physical thing. That could be a contributing factor, but we really haven't played well on the road for whatever reason. I really can't give an exact answer why."
In his sixth year with the club, Craig Counsell thinks it is a combination of things that are causing the Brewers to struggle on the road.
"There's not just one reason," Counsell said. "We're not scoring enough runs, and they're scoring too many runs. That's just the way the season's gone so far. We've run into some good pitchers on the road. You can't explain it. If we could explain it, we'd fix it. I don't think it's because we're not good enough. We just haven't played well on the road so far. We've hit our hot streaks at home and our cold streaks on the road. I think that happens to a lot of teams."
Several Brewers are confident the team will turn things around eventually, but outfielder Nyjer Morgan believes the key to success on the road is self-confidence.
"We've just got to believe in ourselves," Morgan said. "If we keep doing what we're doing, I think we'll be fine. We're a confident group, and I think we can't really worry about the road woes. Everybody knows about it, but it's one of those things that we can't feed into what everyone is saying about it. We've just got to believe in each other and go from there."
Morgan puts issues with Marlins in the past
MIAMI -- Many baseball fans remember the bench-clearing incident centered around Nyjer Morgan last September.
Then with the Nationals, Morgan rushed Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad after a pitch was thrown behind him, and madness ensued. The outfielder looked more like a professional wrestler than professional baseball player that night, but the 30-year-old Brewer has put last season's incident behind him.
"It's been past," Morgan said. "I wore one in Spring Training when I was still with the Nationals from [Ricky] Nolasco. To me, it's over with. Maybe to them it's not, but I'm just worried about going out there and getting on base to help us win games."
An emotional player, Morgan has used that fire to provide a spark at the top of the Brewers' lineup. Manager Ron Roenicke embraces Morgan's emotions and thinks they can be beneficial to both the player and the ballclub.
"If it's channeled in the right way, it's actually good," Roenicke said. "He's got energy on the bench and on the field. If you get rid of all that emotion, I don't know if he still has that energy."
The Brewers center fielder does not know what kind of reception he will get from the South Florida crowd this weekend, and neither does his manager. Both are hopeful that nothing will come up when Morgan steps on the field against the Marlins.
"I don't really know," Roenicke said. "I talked to Nyjer a little bit about it, and he's treating it like no big deal. Hopefully there won't be anything."
Even though it is just his first year managing him, Roenicke sees a more mature Morgan this season than he has observed from a distance in the past. Milwaukee's manager thinks there will be less incidents and outbursts from the speedy outfielder as he continues to mature.
"He knows what he should be doing and he knows when he does something wrong," Roenicke said. "When you have that personality and a lot of emotion, things are going to happen. I think he's going to get better at those things as times go on, but they don't just totally disappear. It takes a while."
Brewers reliever Takashi Saito threw a 30-pitch bullpen session prior to Friday's game against the Marlins that went well. He will throw a light bullpen Saturday and pitch to hitters on Monday. If all goes well, he could go on a rehab assignment after that.
An announcement about the status of left-hander Zach Braddock is expected following Friday's game. Braddock has been on the disabled list since May 3 with a sleep disorder.
Manager Ron Roenicke said former Brewer Jeremy Reed, who was traded to the Twins on Thursday, was moved to give him an opportunity to get back to the big leagues. "I talked with Doug [Melvin, general manager] about it, and it does give him an opportunity to get back," Roenicke said. "Doug's great about that. If you're in Triple-A and a veteran guy, and another team wants you and you have a chance to go to the big leagues, he'd like to do that for guys."
David Villavicencio is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.