5/24/2014 8:48 P.M. ET
Nelson's 2014 debut expected to be spot start
By Christina De Nicola / Special to MLB.com
MIAMI -- Right-hander Jimmy Nelson was checking in at his New Orleans hotel prior to his Triple-A start on Friday when he got the call.
With Brewers righty Yovani Gallardo still nursing a sprained left ankle, the club decided to go with a spot starter for Sunday's finale in Miami at Marlins Park.
In comes Nelson, who will make his 2014 debut. Because Gallardo is not headed to the disabled list, this will likely be Nelson's lone appearance before being sent back down.
"I think if you're him and they asked you if you know you want to come up for one day and go back down, what do you want to do? There's no question," manager Ron Roenicke said. "You come up, and he's trying to prove to us what he can do. He was disappointed in the start he had for us last year. He's trying to show us something."
Last season, Nelson earned a September callup. In four appearances, he posted a 0.90 ERA in 10 innings with eight strikeouts and five walks. On Sept. 28, in his only start, he allowed a run on one hit while striking out four and walking three in five frames.
Over nine starts for Triple-A Nashville this year, Nelson was 5-1 with a 1.71 ERA. He recorded a quality start in each of those outings but has not pitched since last Sunday.
Nelson, rated the top prospect in the organization by MLB.com, has been working on improving his command since his Major League debut. In 58 Minor League innings, he had 58 strikeouts and just 17 walks.
"Mentally trick myself into three balls is a walk," Nelson said. "Stay out of those two-ball counts. If I do, recollect my thoughts and throw a quality strike. Steadily getting better; my changeup's been getting better every year the last few years. Been able to command both my fastballs both sides of the plate. That's a big thing. That opens up the other stuff."
The 24-year-old has seen improvement every season since he was selected in the second round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. He has learned from both on-field experience and veteran players around him.
"I'm just trying to think about tomorrow really," Nelson said. "I'm not really trying to focus on if it's one or multiple [starts]. Just take care of the start tomorrow."
Brewers outright Bianchi to open spot for Nelson
MIAMI -- The Brewers outrighted infielder Jeff Bianchi following Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Marlins to make room on the 25-man roster for right-hander Jimmy Nelson.
Nelson will be officially recalled from Triple-A Nashville to make the spot start on Sunday in place of Yovani Gallardo.
Bianchi was put on waivers Wednesday and cleared through. He has the right to refuse the move and elect free agency because it is the second time it has been done.
Bianchi was batting .125 with four RBIs in 21 games (11 starts) after being named to his first Opening Day roster.
"I understand it. I was here, and I didn't get the job done," Bianchi said. "Go down there, get my swing right, get things right and hope to be back soon. ... I have to talk to my agent, talk to my wife. See what my options are."
Manager Ron Roenicke said he and the organization spoke to Bianchi's agent and expressed "how much we want him here."
The 27-year-old made his Major League debut July 13, 2012, with the Brewers. Over parts of three seasons, he has hit .214 with four homers and 38 RBIs.
"It's always good to hear that they like what you did and how you play the game," Bianchi said. "Now it's just a matter of doing it. This is where I came up for the first time. I love the organization. Would love to be back, but at the same time I have to do what's best for me and my family."
Braun back in lineup, but in No. 2 spot
MIAMI -- When Brewers manager Ron Roenicke filled out Saturday's lineup -- so unique it had not been done before this season -- he did not even think twice about the decision.
A game after the offense scored its most runs since April 9, Roenicke kept the order intact but plugged Ryan Braun back in.
Braun, who continues to battle tightness in his right side, found himself in the second spot rather than his usual third spot. Entering Saturday he had just 27 career plate appearances as the two-hole hitter. It was his first start anywhere in the batting order but third since he batted second against the Mets on Sept. 30, 2010. Braun sat out Friday night's game because of the discomfort.
"We had a conversation yesterday about where he's at physically, what other guys are doing, namely [Carlos Gomez] and [Jonathan Lucroy], and where the fit was for everybody," Roenicke said.
Lucroy went 2-for-5 with a double and a run on Friday, putting him at 13-for-31 (.419) with three RBIs on the road stretch. Gomez, who batted cleanup for the first time this season, recorded a career-high three doubles while going 4-for-5 with two RBIs on Friday.
Mark Reynolds blasted a pair of two-run homers in the fifth slot for his 20th multihomer game.
"I actually really liked the lineup when I wrote it down today," Roenicke said. "Lyle [Overbay] hitting eighth in your lineup -- you're pretty good."
Gomez initially thought he was not playing when he saw Friday's lineup because he was not in the leadoff spot. Now he likes the idea of batting in the middle of the order, something he would like to do often in the future.
"It's a good sensation," Gomez said after the game. "You go to the plate with a different feeling. This [lineup] played good [Friday]."
Segura commands basepaths at leadoff spot
MIAMI -- The first inning of Friday night's 9-5 victory over the Marlins represented what the Brewers hope their offense can return to.
Jean Segura led off with a single before stealing second and advancing to third on catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia's throwing error. Segura then scored on Scooter Gennett's sacrifice fly two pitches later.
"We haven't been able to do those lately, and I think that's why you've seen a pretty stagnant offense from us," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We just haven't scored many runs. … I'd much rather have guys getting on base. We can move them over whether it's a steal, a bunt, or whatever and try to make sure we're scoring all those runs."
Segura is 5-for-9 with four runs, two stolen bases and a walk in his past two games entering Saturday while batting leadoff for the first time this season.
After earning his first All-Star selection in 2013, Segura got off to a slow start with a .244 average, 11 runs and five RBIs in 24 March/April games. Entering Saturday, he was batting .295 with 12 runs and seven RBIs in 21 games this May.
Entering Saturday's games, the 24-year-old was tied for seventh in the National League with 10 stolen bases, but he had been caught six times. As a club, Milwaukee ranked fifth in the NL with 30 steals.
"For me, I've been struggling to start the season, and it's good to get hits," Segura said. "As a leadoff hitter it's pretty good. I feel comfortable. They trust me, and that's the best part.
"When you get on base leading off the game you get more opportunities with the guys behind you to drive you in. Get in a good position to score runs, because I have the ability to steal second, steal third. That's part of my game -- running, stealing, hitting the ball on the ground. If it's part of your game, why not do it?"
Christina De Nicola is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.