3/28/2014 8:30 P.M. ET
Roster decision on Segura looms for Brewers
By JR Radcliffe / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- The deadline for the Brewers to submit their 25-man roster for the start of the regular season arrives at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday, and the question left on the table is whether or not starting shortstop Jean Segura will be on it.
Segura, who is still nursing an aching right shoulder, remained out of the lineup on Friday when the Brewers began the first of two final exhibition games at Miller Park against the Kansas City Royals. Both player and manager Ron Roenicke said there was improvement, but no decision was made as to Segura's status for Opening Day on Monday.
"[I'm] making a lot of progress, so we'll see," Segura said. "Getting better. Feels good, feels much better."
Segura hasn't played with the parent club since March 18, though his volume of at-bats in Minor League games has exceeded what he could have expected to see with Milwaukee in Cactus League play. He'll take another batch of swings on Saturday when starting pitcher Wily Peralta tosses a simulated game prior to the Brewers' afternoon game vs. the Royals.
"[Segura] threw [across the diamond] better today, but there's still a little bit there," Roenicke said. "Hopefully it continues to improve every day. He said there's definitely improvement, which is encouraging."
Rules would permit the club to backdate Segura's 15-day disabled list stint to March 21, which would allow him to play in regular season games five days into the season. Elian Herrera, who has officially been optioned to Triple-A but remains with the club for the weekend, would be the likeliest candidate to take Segura's spot on the roster in the short term.
"The good thing is if [Jeff] Bianchi is the one who's in there [at shortstop], which as of right now would be right, he's played great this spring," Roenicke said. "If he can continue to do that, hopefully we're not missing that much with Siggy out."
Brewers, Braun making trial run at Miller Park
MILWAUKEE -- The advantages to playing two final spring games at Miller Park were many, notably an opportunity for the squad to get used to a new grass surface and a chance for outfielder Ryan Braun to acclimate to right field in a Major League venue.
Braun has looked at ease in his new spot after switching from left field.
"I'm a little surprised in Arizona, as tough as it is to play here, that he really hasn't had any miscues," manager Ron Roenicke said. "I know we've got that cutout thing at Miller Park, and that's a difficult little thing to maneuver around because the ball slices back over and to that area, and will be a home run. Trying to navigate around the curve, that will be a little difficult."
Though not dramatically noticeable, the outfield warning track was also trimmed.
One thing Roenicke will not have at his disposal on Friday is replay. The game is not being televised, but Roenicke did participate in a final conference call on Friday with Joe Garagiola, Jr., the senior vice president of standards and on-field operations for Major League Baseball. The session served as a final Q&A on replay prior to its regular-season rollout.
"I feel good going into the season, knowing everything that I've seen that has come up in Spring Training," Roenicke said, nodding toward the access tunnel leading into the home dugout. "There's a blue phone there and the red phone in the other room. It will ring and Jerry [Narron, bench coach] will signal to me [when a replay is needed]."
• With left-hander Jason Vargas starting for the Royals on Friday, right-handed batters Rickie Weeks and Mark Reynolds got the nod at second and first base, respectively. Roenicke intended to use lefties Scooter Gennett and Lyle Overbay in those spots on Saturday against Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura.
"Then Opening Day, I have a decision to make," Roenicke said. "I think I know how I'm going to do it, but they're still very difficult."
• Reliever Francisco Rodriguez, who was sidelined for a time in Spring Training after stepping on a cactus, is among those scheduled to see action on the hill on Saturday.
• Kansas City will use the designated hitter for the two exhibition games at Miller Park, while the Brewers will operate by standard National League rules.
JR Radcliffe is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.