5/25/2014 5:53 P.M. ET
Brewers pleased to see McGehee flourishing
By Christina De Nicola / Special to MLB.com
MIAMI -- A handful of Brewers found a familiar face in the Marlins' dugout during this weekend's series.
Casey McGehee, who played for Milwaukee from 2009-11, is Miami's starting third baseman. He entered Sunday ranked eighth in the National League with 30 RBIs in the cleanup spot and second in the Majors with a .431 average with runners in scoring position.
The 31-year-old experienced the ups and downs of baseball -- not just in the big leagues -- with the Brewers.
McGehee's breakout season came in 2010, when he hit .285 with 23 homers and 104 RBIs batting behind Prince Fielder. The following year, when the club captured a pennant for the first time since 1982, he struggled with a .223 clip, 13 dingers and 67 RBIs.
"At the same time, even my down year we were able to go to the postseason," McGehee said. "Even though I didn't have the year I wanted to personally, it was still good. It was an experience I'll never forget about being a part of."
After another tough season in 2012, with the Pirates and the Yankees, McGehee signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, with whom he revitalized his career. In 144 games, he blasted 28 home runs and 93 RBIs.
Ryan Braun kept tabs while his former teammate played in Japan.
"He was such a good dude; we loved having him over here," Braun said. "Great guy, great player, great teammate. His family was a lot of fun to be around. I'm really happy for him. All of us over here are really happy for him."
McGehee's production in Japan caught the Brewers' attention. Manager Ron Roenicke and the organization discussed the possibility of bringing him back, but the Marlins signed him early in the offseason.
"The year we had him there in '11, he really got in a mental state to where he had lost his confidence," Roenicke said. "You can't come off the year he had before and all of a sudden lose your skills. I knew it was a mental thing with him. I was glad to see he went over to Japan, and I think for a lot for reasons. For one, they do throw a lot of offspeed pitches, which I think would help Casey. And the other to try to get back his confidence."
Flurry of roster moves follow Nelson's spot start
MIAMI -- The Brewers purchased the contract of infielder Irving Falu on Sunday while optioning right-hander Jimmy Nelson to Triple-A Nashville following Sunday's 7-1 victory over the Marlins, which Nelson started and won.
Falu, who is not on the 40-man roster, signed a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training over the offseason. He hit .361 over 24 Cactus League games. In 38 games with the Sounds, he was hitting .288 with 14 runs, four doubles, a homer and eight RBIs.
The 30-year-old had a .337 average with six doubles, a triple and seven RBIs in 25 big league games from 2012-13 with the Royals, though just one of those appearances was made last season.
There was an open spot on the roster after Milwaukee outrighted infielder Jeff Bianchi on Saturday to make room for Nelson's spot start.
Nelson earned his first Major League win on Sunday in place of Yovani Gallardo, who is nursing a left ankle sprain. Gallardo will return to the rotation on Wednesday to face the Orioles, pushing back righty Marco Estrada's start to Friday.
"That'll work out well," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We talked about with him -- 'Yo,' I want you to pitch whenever you're ready.
"Wednesday he should have no issues at all," Roenicke added. "He's good today."
Wooten making most of latest big league stint
MIAMI -- When the Brewers made right-handed reliever Rob Wooten the final cut during Spring Training, they told him to stay ready because he could get called up soon.
Over his first three appearances -- all scoreless -- with Triple-A Nashville, Wooten collected three saves with four strikeouts and no baserunners.
Two weeks into the season, the 28-year-old replaced righty Brandon Kintzler in the Milwaukee bullpen when Kintzler went on the disabled list.
"I went down to Triple-A and wanted to get off to a great start there so when they had to decide on somebody to bring up I wanted to make sure it was me," Wooten said. "You try to take anything you can use in a positive way or for motivation. I knew when that happened I would be here at some point."
In four Major League outings, Wooten gave up four runs on six hits over 4 1/3 innings. His stint lasted eight days before he was sent back down to the Sounds. Another two scoreless outings later (he did allow two unearned runs), he returned to the big leagues May 1.
Entering Sunday's finale in Miami, Wooten had 10 straight scoreless appearances covering 9 1/3 innings, including a perfect frame on Friday against the Marlins. During that span, he had eight strikeouts, three walks and a hit batter.
Wooten credits his success to last season's experience -- he finished 3-1 with a 3.90 ERA in 27 games. His added confidence can be attributed to the trust of manager Ron Roenicke, who is not afraid to insert him in the later innings.
"You're always making adjustments throughout the year, but my gameplan is to continue to throw strikes," Wooten said. "Stick to my strengths and get them to hit the ball on the ground and let the defense work. It's worked out pretty well."
Few easy answers as gaffes cost Crew a run
MIAMI -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke replayed video of Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Marlins in an effort to make sense of a game-changing moment in the sixth inning.
With runners at first and second and two outs, Carlos Gomez tried going first to third on a Mark Reynolds single to left. Instead of throwing home, where he knew he had no play, Christian Yelich went to third, where Casey McGehee tagged out Gomez.
Ryan Braun, who was the lead runner at second, did not cross home plate before that happened, meaning the run did not count and a 1-0 score remained in Miami's favor.
"If you watch the replays, we were a long way's off from scoring that run," Roenicke said. "I didn't know. I never know. If I'm watching Carlos, I'm not paying attention to Braun at home. I saw the replays on it. Brauny's not going to score. If he goes 100 percent, it's probably going to be a little closer at home plate, but he was quite a way's away."
Roenicke used his challenge on the play, prompting a review of 40 seconds. Home-plate umpire Brian O'Nora confirmed the call.
In Roenicke's analysis, a few factors went into the play's result: Yelich made a good throw from shallow left. Roenicke then wondered whether Braun had slowed down because the on-deck batter held up his hands to stop him from sliding. Replays show Braun didn't, and he even ran into O'Nora.
"I watched it all, and in fact there was a still shot that showed Carlos being tagged and Brauny six to eight feet away from home," Roenicke said. "It was easy. I didn't know that at the time. I was a little surprised, but it makes sense when you only have a throw from short left field to third base. That play's going to happen way quicker than getting that ball all the way to home. You're talking an extra 10 feet or something. To make that play at third so close, that guy's probably not going to score if you're trying to make it from left field."
Roenicke said he knew how tough such a play it could be for both the runner and third-base coach.
If a player is coming full speed, he is most likely staring at third rather than the coach's instructions. Roenicke was not even certain whether Gomez could have been able to stop had he seen Ed Sedar.
"If you think you're going to be safe, you want to go," Roenicke said. "I know when I was coaching third base that play happens, and when you think that this guy may not score, there's a time when you step straight up and you tell that guy to stop. You don't even let him get to third. As he's coming to third, you try to flip back and forth and you put up your hands and tell him to stop."
Following the game, Gomez said he would not have done anything differently on the play. He takes pride in his aggressiveness on the basepaths.
"I make the decision to go to third because that's how you make things happen," Gomez said. "They got me this time. I wish it can happen again. I'll go again. That's how we play the game."
Christina De Nicola is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.