MILWAUKEE -- Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez took advantage of his manager's open door policy on Tuesday to discuss his quietest start to a season in a nearly a decade.Ramirez, who signed a three-year contract in December, entered Milwaukee's nine-game homestand with four hits and no home runs in 35 at-bats.
The power drought is his longest to start a season since 2003, when Ramirez, playing for the Pirates, homered off the Mets' David Cone in his 47th at-bat of the year."It's a slow start for him. He's not happy where he is [statistically]," manager Ron Roenicke said. "He came in and talked to me today. He wants to do something to help contribute to this team winning, and he feels that he isn't doing that right now. "But I still like where he is, as far as in the lineup. I think he's a guy that we're going to need to do his thing this year. If we don't have him, we don't have a good, solid fourth hitter, it's hard to get things done offensively."
Brewers playing without reinstated Gonzalez
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers played one man short on Tuesday against the Dodgers, as shortstop Alex Gonzalez was reinstated from the paternity list but remained at home to care for his wife and newborn son.Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said doctors decided to keep Johanna Gonzalez and her son in the hospital for one extra night, but that the matter was "nothing serious." Johanna gave birth on Sunday, several days earlier than expected, to a son named Alex David. He is the couple's third child. Infielder Eric Farris had filled in for the Brewers on Saturday and Sunday, but Major League Baseball's rules only allow a player to remain on the paternity list for a maximum of three days, so Farris was optioned back to Triple-A Nashville on Monday and Gonzalez was reinstated to the Brewers' active roster. That combination of moves left Milwaukee with no backup infielders on Tuesday. Cesar Izturis made a third straight start at shortstop, and his emergency backup was center fielder Carlos Gomez, who grew up playing shortstop in the Dominican Republic and still takes grounders there before every game. "That is my passion," Gomez told MLB.com in 2010. "Some day, I am going to play one game in the big leagues at shortstop."
Prospect Thornburg flirts with perfection
MILWAUKEE -- One of the Brewers' top pitching prospects flirted with perfection on Monday night.Right-hander Tyler Thornburg, No. 4 on MLB.com's list of the Brewers' Top 20 prospects, worked to within five outs of a perfect game in Double-A Huntsville's 5-2 win over Tennessee. His bid was spoiled when the Smokies' Michael Burgess chopped a ground-ball single past second baseman Scooter Gennett. "As it got into the fifth and sixth and seventh, they started swinging early, so it was hard to figure out what pitches to throw in what counts, because they were swinging at pretty much everything," Thornburg told MiLB.com. "[A perfect game] is one of those things you notice early on, but you really don't start thinking about it until you get past the fifth or sixth. "I loved it, though. It's always fun when something like that's going on. The adrenaline helps you out late in the ballgame, and overall it's great." Thornburg, a 5-foot-11 righty whose delivery compares to San Francisco's Tim Lincecum, improved to 1-0 with a 0.98 ERA in three starts. He has 24 strikeouts and three walks in his first 18 1/3 innings. Gennett, Milwaukee's No. 6 prospect, went 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBIs in support of Thornburg's gem. Thornburg was trying to match a feat achieved by current Brewers reliever Manny Parra, who pitched a perfect game for Triple-A Nashville on June 25, 2007.
Brewers' picks set for First-Year Player Draft
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers own three of the first 38 selections in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, two of them compensatory picks for the loss of free agent Prince Fielder.Major League Baseball released the final, official Draft order on Tuesday morning. The Brewers will have back-to-back picks in the first round -- No. 27 overall from the Tigers, who signed Fielder in January to a $214 million contract; and No. 28 overall, by virtue of the Brewers' own 2011 record. Milwaukee also gets a "sandwich pick" between the first and second rounds, at No. 38 overall, for Fielder's departure. The Brewers qualified for compensation because they offered arbitration to Fielder, who was a Type A free agent under the now-defunct Elias rankings system. The Brewers' second-round pick is No. 92 overall, and they get every 30th selection after that, through 40 rounds. The 2012 Draft will run three days, from June 4-6. Day 1 coverage includes the first round and the first compensation round, and will air live on MLB Network and MLB.com beginning at 6 p.m. CT. Baseball's Draft will change in 2013 thanks to the game's new collective bargaining agreement, which does away with the Elias rankings and will lead to far fewer compensatory picks. Under the new system, a team seeking Draft compensation must offer a free agent a guaranteed, one-year contract equal to the average salary of the 125 highest-paid players in MLB, an amount believed to be about $12 million. If a player turns down such an offer and signs elsewhere, his former team gets his new team's first-round Draft pick. In another significant change, free agents must have been with their team the entire previous season to qualify as compensation-eligible. Of the Brewers' pending free agents, right-hander Zack Greinke is the most likely to reap Draft compensation, should he depart.