6/29/2014 7:54 P.M. ET
Bianchi callup gives Brewers five-man bench
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers filled the only vacancy on their 40-man roster and bulked up the bench Sunday by calling back utility man Jeff Bianchi, who jumped right into the starting lineup in place of banged-up shortstop Jean Segura.
Right-handed reliever Alfredo Figaro was optioned to Triple-A Nashville to make room, restoring the Brewers' active roster to a more standard seven-man bullpen and five-man bench.
When you're off the roster, "it makes it that much harder to get back, because now they have to make a spot for you," said Bianchi, who had been outrighted to Nashville on May 24. "I'm really grateful and thankful for this opportunity. When you go through waivers and get taken off the roster, you just don't know in this game if you're going to get back. It can depend on injuries, how well you do. So it's good to be back."
The Brewers originally planned to bring Bianchi back later in the week, but they changed the plan when Segura experienced cramping in his left leg Saturday. Bianchi was pulled from Nashville's starting lineup about an hour before the first pitch of that team's night game.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke far prefers the new alignment to carrying eight relievers and only four bench players.
"Hopefully, this starting pitching continues and we'll be able to do this after the break," he said.
Gomez, Segura expected back in lineup vs. Toronto
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez was feeling better than expected the morning after his outfield collision on Saturday and deemed himself available to play, but he began the finale against the Brewers on the bench out of caution.
Shortstop Jean Segura, meanwhile, sat out because of cramping in his left quad.
The decisions were partially informed by the promotion of utility man Jeff Bianchi -- giving the Brewers an extra position player on the roster who could start in place of Segura on Sunday -- and also by the fact Monday is an open date on the schedule. By giving Gomez a day to clear his head and Segura a day to rest his legs, manager Ron Roenicke was actually giving both players two days.
"We're doing OK" as far as player availability, Roenicke said. "'Seggy' is out, but I think he can pinch-hit. I don't know about the running part. We're going to check him out. Gomez is actually pretty good, and we were going back and forth on whether to play him or not. I asked him how he was doing, and we decided off today would help with the one tomorrow.
"Both of those guys, I'm hoping will be fine in Toronto [when a two-game Interleague series begins Tuesday]."
Following a 10-4 loss to the Rockies on Sunday, Roenicke expressed more confidence in getting Gomez back than Segura.
Gomez exited Saturday's win over the Rockies after colliding in right-center field with Ryan Braun, and he also banged his head in Friday night's game. He passed a concussion test Saturday night but was experiencing a bit of a headache Sunday morning and some pain near his left ear.
"In the moment yesterday I feel scary, because I had tingling in all my body, and I feel, I'm conscious, but it was scary," Gomez said. "I went through the concussion test and everything, it's fine. I can still remember the three words."
During the test, a subject is told to remember three words. After some physical checks, he is told to repeat them. Gomez was still able to remember his on Sunday morning: "Tree, book and pants."
"I'm available for everything today, pinch-hit, defense, running," he said. "It's like a regular off-day."
Assuming Gomez returns Tuesday, he would have two games to make a final push for All-Star Game votes. In the most recent National League balloting update, Gomez ranked third among outfielders with just shy of 2.5 million votes, about 279,000 more votes than fourth-ranked Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins. That gap was important because the top three vote-getters will be named starters.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15, on FOX.
Braun on center field: 'I think I could do it'
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers third-baseman-turned-left-fielder-turned-right-fielder Ryan Braun could not remember playing center field at any level before manning the position for the final three innings of Saturday's 7-4 win over the Rockies. He took over there after his collision with Carlos Gomez led to Gomez's leaving the game.
"If it was high school or college or anything, I would definitely remember," Braun said. "Sometimes in batting practice I'll get out there. I think it's the easiest place to read the ball off the bat, but there is obviously significantly more ground to cover. I think I could do it."
Braun was barely tested. Only one ball was hit his way -- DJ LeMahieu's two-run single, which Braun fielded and wisely decided to throw to the cutoff man instead of going home.
"I had no chance to get the guy [out at home] in that situation," Braun said. "As an outfielder, you always want to throw the ball, but you need to recognize when you shouldn't try to throw that guy out, and keep the back runner from taking the extra base. You try to control your emotions in the outfield."
Braun was back in right field Sunday.
Earlier in Saturday's game, Braun's wife, Larisa Fraser-Braun, did an interview with FS Wisconsin that gave Brewers fans their first indication that the couple are expecting their first child. Braun typically declines to discuss matters in his personal life and cited that preference when asked about the news on Sunday.
Fraser-Braun did her interview to promote a Brewers Wives Auction on MLB.com that features gift baskets individualized for players and coaches. Bidding closes after Sunday.