06/15/12 12:56 AM ET
Axford finds command, but results not there
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
Hart dealing with swelling in right knee
KANSAS CITY -- Erstwhile Brewers right fielder Corey Hart has been getting treatment for some swelling in his surgically repaired right knee, perhaps a side effect of his recent move back to first base.At least, that's the team's best guess. The precise cause of Hart's issue is unknown, assistant general manager Gord Ash said. "I think it's because he's doing so much diving at first base," manager Ron Roenicke said. "He dives and then he gets down to block balls, and I think he's just pounding the knee. It's not hurting, though there's a bit of swelling there." Hart had surgery in Spring Training for tears to the meniscus in his knee. He recovered in time to be the Brewers' Opening Day right fielder. He has impressed his coaches with a smooth transition back to first base, his original position but one Hart had not manned regularly since 2002. He made the move after the Brewers lost both Mat Gamel (season-ending knee surgery) and Travis Ishikawa (left rib-cage strain) to the disabled list. "I love what he's doing there," Roenicke said. "His target's great. He doesn't mind getting down on the ground. If he has to get down there and block it, he gets down; if he has to five for a ball, he dives. I like what he does."
Brewers extend affiliation with rookie Helena
KANSAS CITY -- The Brewers on Thursday extended their player development contract with their advanced rookie league affiliate in Helena, Mont., a two-year deal through 2014, and are nearing a similar agreement with advanced Class A Brevard County.The Brewers' other Class A club, the nearby Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, already have a PDC in place through 2016. But PDCs at Triple-A Nashville and Double-A Huntsville are set to expire in September, and assistant general manager Gord Ash indicated that the Brewers would monitor stadium developments in both cities before committing to extensions. There is more momentum in Nashville, where city officials last year identified three potential sites for a new ballpark. "They have been working hard at it in Nashville," Ash said. The Helena Brewers have been a Milwaukee affiliate since 2003, after a previous relationship from 1985-2000. Current Brewers Ryan Braun, Mat Gamel and Jonathan Lucroy all began their professional baseball careers in Helena. "This has been a partnership that has lasted a very long time, and in our business that is a strong sign that you have a positive, respectful and mutually beneficial relationship," president and general manager Paul Fetz said in a statement released by the Brewers. "As our parent club, Milwaukee has always strived to send us their best ambassadors and we appreciate it." Helena's 2012 season begins Monday against Great Falls, the rookie affiliate of the White Sox.
Catcher George Kottaras is back to 100 percent for the first time since he strained his left hamstring during the Brewers' May 25-27 series in Arizona, and started a second straight game on Thursday. Martin Maldonado had been making the majority of starts since Jonathan Lucroy fractured his right hand."I feel that we can put [Kottaras] out there more often when the matchups are good or we want a little more offense, even though 'Maldy' has gotten some big hits for us," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We're just trying to get a little deeper in our lineup." Former Brewers All-Star Ben Sheets threw for scouts from at least four teams in Monroe. La., on Wednesday, according to MLBTradeRumors.com. Scouts from the Phillies, Braves, Yankees, and Angels were in attendance, according to the site. Sheets, a former first-round Draft pick of Milwaukee who was 86-83 with a 3.72 ERA for some way-below .500 teams from 2001-08, last pitched in the Majors for Oakland in 2010 before elbow injuries derailed him.
Outfielder Nyjer Morgan and second baseman Rickie Weeks visited the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum with a Fox Sports Wisconsin camera crew on Thursday, and were treated to a surprise when Hall of Famer Lou Brock walked in."I was in awe, man. I locked up," Morgan said. "I knew who he was, and I forgot his name. Me being a speedy guy, that's basically one of my all-time favorites right there."