7/23/2014 6:31 P.M. ET
Jeffress impresses with power stuff in return
By Adam McCalvy and Caitlin Swieca / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Starting things off with a 97-mph fastball and wrapping up by hitting triple digits on the radar gun, Jeremy Jeffress made quite a first impression in his second chance with the Brewers.
Jeffress pitched a perfect ninth inning in Wednesday's 5-1 win over the Reds, finishing off the Brewers' sweep of their division rivals in impressive fashion. Of the 15 pitches he threw, 11 were strikes and 12 were fastballs that registered between 97 and 100 mph.
The right-hander retired Jay Bruce, Devin Mesoraco and Skip Schumaker with three groundouts.
"Felt amazing, I can tell you that," Jeffress said after his return to the Miller Park mound. "[There were] nerves a little bit, but to be honest, I felt very comfortable. Once I got that first pitch out of the way, it was great."
Jeffress, Milwaukee's 2006 first-round Draft pick who was traded to Kansas City in the Zack Greinke deal, re-signed with the Brewers earlier this season. He was promoted from Triple-A Nashville on Monday to boost a struggling bullpen. The righty was able to showcase his power arm immediately with Nashville, and his new manager took notice.
"That's some nice stuff there," Brewers skipper Ron Roenicke said. "Power arm. It's got movement on it. Strikes. You couldn't impress more than he did in that inning.
"Everything was down low. Got a couple breaking balls up, one he threw down nice. It looks like an easy delivery, and man, that ball comes out and it's not straight. It's got movement on it."
The Brewers have depended on lefties Will Smith and Zach Duke in high-leverage situations but have struggled to find a right-handed power arm to complement closer Francisco Rodriguez. Roenicke suggested that he may start putting Jeffress into closer games if the matchups and situation dictate it.
Jeffress can certainly be pleased with the early impression he left on his teammates in his first Brewers appearance since 2010.
"Man, that's a breath of fresh air right there," said Mark Reynolds, who hit a pair of home runs. "He's always had the stuff, but to come in and throw strikes, that's huge for him. I'm sure he felt good being back out there. To see a guy throwing 98, 100 mph late in the game is welcomed by any team. Hopefully, he figured it out down in the Minor Leagues, and he can be a big addition to our club."
Aramis reaches 2,000-game milestone
MILWAUKEE -- Before playing the 2,000th game of his Major League career on Wednesday, Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez said definitively for the first time that he intends to keep going.
"I'm going to go for 2,500," said Ramirez. "So we'll see what happens. I'm only 36, I'll be OK."
In past discussions, Ramirez always said he would make a decision after the season. But something changed this season, one in which the 17-year veteran made the National League All-Star team for the third time.
"Yeah, I'm playing past this year, for sure," Ramirez said. "I don't know how much longer, but I have a few more years. I talked to my family and stuff, and I'll see where I'm at after the season, but I feel good now. Not production -- health. My body is telling me I can keep playing, so I'm going to do it."
Most games PLAYED by active MAJOR LEAGUERS
Ramirez is the 16th active Major Leaguer to top 2,000 games played, a list led by Yankees star Derek Jeter that includes only one other primary third baseman: Adrian Beltre of the Rangers.
A much younger Brewer pondered the magnitude of 2,000 games.
"That sounds like a ridiculous amount of games," said 24-year-old second baseman Scooter Gennett, who has played in 158. "That's a feat in itself, playing that many years and being pretty healthy all the way through. He's something special."
"And playing third base, too," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke added. "Sometimes you go to first and then you DH. So he's still out there playing."
Ramirez is in the final guaranteed season of a three-year contract that includes a $14 million mutual option. If that option is declined, the Brewers owe Ramirez a $4 million buyout. With no notable third-base prospects at the upper levels of the Minor Leagues, Milwaukee would probably have to fill the position from outside the organization if Ramirez departs after this season.
"That I don't think about," Ramirez said. "I don't really like to talk contracts during the season. They haven't approached me about anything, either, so we'll see what happens. I don't know [about an extension]. We'll see.
"I like it here. That's the reason I came here. No regrets. I've had a great three years here. It's a great place to play baseball. Great stadium; we have a roof and don't have to worry about conditions. Good team; we just missed the playoffs my first year here, and this year we're in the pennant race. We have a good team. It was the right choice for myself."
Ramirez played game No. 2,000 very near the spot he played No. 1. He was a 19-year-old Pittsburgh Pirates prospect when he debuted at County Stadium on May 26, 1998, with a second-inning flyout against Brewers left-hander Scott Karl. Ramirez went 0-for-3 that day and the Brewers won, 3-2, with a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
"It's been worth it," Ramirez said of the years that have followed. "I have fun. I achieved my goal of being a Major League player for a long time. All I have left to do is win. Hopefully, I do it this year."
Gennett day to day with tightness in right quad
MILWAUKEE -- As expected, Scooter Gennett was out of the Brewers' lineup for Wednesday's matchup against Cincinnati, and manager Ron Roenicke said the second baseman is not likely to return for a few days.
"To be honest, I really don't know [how long it will be]," Roenicke said. "He feels a little better today than I thought what was happening last night, so [team doctor William] Raasch is going to see him a little later on, and we'll probably get a better idea."
Gennett exited Tuesday night's game in the fifth inning when he aggravated a right quad injury that he first felt last Saturday in Washington. Gennett can't pinpoint a specific play where the original injury happened, but on Tuesday night, it flared up when he was trying to beat out a grounder to first base.
Gennett is officially day to day with right quad tightness, but Roenicke indicated that his platoon partner, Rickie Weeks, was likely to be manning second base for the next few days. Gennett was unavailable for Wednesday's finale against the Reds.
Gennett said he felt better on Wednesday but that he was happy to have the day off to nurse the injury.
"Like anything else, when it's sore and doesn't feel good, that's when you're prone to something serious happening," Gennett said. "You're preventing something serious from happening, if that means a day or two, I'm fine with that."
In a sure indication that Gennett might be sidelined a few days, Roenicke actually altered his lineup Wednesday to account for his absence, moving Jonathan Lucroy to the No. 2 spot normally occupied by Gennett.
"If I knew it was just one day and it was the platoon system, I would just leave it as is because [Weeks] can hit at either second or fifth," Roenicke said. "I'm not sold on 'Luc' hitting fifth. I'd like him up earlier to get him up there more often. He's been our most consistent guy."
Brewers draw competitive balance pick for '15 Draft
MILWAUKEE -- For the second straight year, the Brewers will have a pick in Competitive Balance Round A of the First-Year Player Draft.
The Brewers received the fourth pick of Round A for the 2015 Draft -- which takes place after the first round of the Draft -- in Wednesday's lottery. That is the highest competitive balance pick the Brewers have received, though they've had a pick in all three Drafts since the rounds were introduced.
In the 2014 Draft, the Brewers had the seventh and final pick of Competitive Balance Round A and used it to select slugging high school shortstop Jacob Gatewood with the 41st overall pick. The team eventually signed Gatewood for a bonus of $1.83 million.
After Wednesday's announcement, the Brewers' staff seemed thrilled to receive the extra selection.
"We follow it real close," said Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid. "Our scout Steffan Wilson has attended every year and passed along the results before made public.
"Obviously, every player we put in our system is of great importance to us for our future, and we need to be patient with the results, especially with young players. The more we can continue to add high upside type talent, I like our chances to continue to compete as we look ahead."
Introduced when the current Collective Bargaining Agreement began in December 2011, the Competitive Balance Lottery gives teams that have either one of the 10 smallest markets or 10 smallest revenue pools one of six additional choices after each of the first and second rounds. Additionally, any other clubs that receive revenue-sharing funds are eligible for the supplemental second-round selections.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Caitlin Swieca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.