04/13/12 11:58 PM ET
Club glad to leave Chicago for warmer Atlanta
By Guy Curtright / Special to MLB.com
The temperature was in the 70s on Friday before the series opener with the Braves, and it's expected to reach the 80s on Sunday for the finale of the three-game set.
"I'll take it any day," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of the warmth.
The Atlanta weather is in contrast to the Cubs series, when two of the games were played with the temperature in the 40s.
"In Chicago, that was cold," Roenicke said. "One night was really bad."
The temperature was 40 degrees at game time on Tuesday and dropped from there. With the wind, it felt even worse.
Gonzalez liked Atlanta, happy in Milwaukee
ATLANTA -- Alex Gonzalez hoped to return to the Braves. Instead, the veteran shortstop was in a Milwaukee uniform for Atlanta's home opener Friday night at Turner Field.
"I waited and waited, but there was no offer," Gonzalez said. "So I had to look elsewhere. The Brewers had a place for me. You have to go where you are wanted."
Gonzalez was 2-for-4 with his second home run in the 10-8 loss to the Braves, but will miss the rest of the three-game series to be with his wife for the birth of their third child in Weston, Fla.
With Gonzalez on paternity leave, the Brewers will call up Eric Farris from Triple-A Nashville to back up shortstop Cesar Izturis.
With promising young shortstops Tyler Pastornicky and Andrelton Simmons in the pipeline, the Braves weren't interested in bringing Gonzalez back as anything except a stopgap.
The Brewers, though, wanted to upgrade at shortstop and gave the 35-year-old Gonzalez, who made $2.5 million last year with the Braves, a $3.5 million one-year deal with a vesting option for 2013.
"I liked Atlanta. Good teammates, good fans, good team," said Gonzalez, who hit a solo shot off Jair Jurrens in the second inning Friday. "But I'm happy. I'm glad to be with the Brewers. We have a playoff team. I'm excited about the season."
Gonzalez had a down year at the plate last season and got off to a slow start this year. But he is an upgrade defensively over Yuniesky Betancourt despite an uncharacteristic three early errors.
"We really like what we've seen," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "When you come in and see him just three games [in a series], you don't appreciate him as much as when you see him every day. He can really field."
With Wolf starting, Kottaras back behind plate
ATLANTA -- George Kottaras was in the Brewers' starting lineup for the second time in three games Friday night, but that had nothing to do with the catcher's two-run homer on Wednesday against the Cubs.
Kottaras always catches Randy Wolf, the starter in the series opener against the Braves at Turner Field.
"It's always good to get in there, but I know what the situation is," said Kottaras, who hit a solo shot off Braves starter Jair Jurrjens in the second inning. "I've caught Randy for a couple of years now."
Kottaras, batting .444, entered the series 3-for-8 with two homers and five RBIs after going 2-for-4 on Wednesday and hit his third homer and drew two walks against the Braves in the 10-8 loss He hit a three-run pinch-hit homer in the season opener last Friday against the Cardinals.
Kottaras and regular catcher Jonathan Lucroy were a combined 8-for-22 in Milwaukee's first seven games, with three homers and eight RBIs.
The series opener against the Braves marked the 50th anniversary of Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker's debut as a Major League player in 1962, when it was also a Friday the 13th. The light-hitting catcher came up as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of the Milwaukee Braves' 6-3 loss in Los Angeles and was retired by the Dodgers' Don Drysdale. It was just the fourth game at Dodger Stadium.
Brewers pitching prospect Mark Rogers was reinstated from the restricted list after serving his 25-game suspension for testing positive last season for a banned stimulant in the Minors. The right-hander is in extended Spring Training and will report to Triple-A Nashville soon. Rogers, a former first-round Draft choice who made it to the Majors in 2010, attributed the failed test to a tainted supplement.
Guy Curtright is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.