SAN FRANCISCO -- As expected, the Brewers placed first baseman Mat Gamel on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a torn ACL in his right knee and summoned utility man Brooks Conrad from Triple-A.

What wasn't expected was the corresponding move to free a 40-man roster spot for Conrad. The Brewers released Zach Braddock, the 24-year-old, talented but troubled left-handed reliever once considered a key piece of the club's bullpen puzzle, perhaps even a future closer.

Braddock has not pitched since Spring Training because of personal issues that Brewers officials say they cannot disclose. Last year, Braddock spent time on the disabled list to get treatment for a sleep disorder, then missed most of the second half with that and other undisclosed matters.

After missing the cut with the Brewers this spring, he had been on the inactive list at Triple-A Nashville but was not with the team.

"We needed the roster spot, and we felt with Zach that a change of scenery was the best situation. We had to make some decisions," general manager Doug Melvin said. "This gives him an opportunity to hook on with somebody else."

Melvin said the Brewers had discussions with Braddock's agent, Jeff Berry, before placing Braddock on release waivers. Berry declined to discuss Braddock's status.

"He's got a good arm," Melvin said. "Someone might claim him. They might not. Sometimes it gets to a point where you decide, 'Is he going to be a part of your ballclub?' We didn't think he would be a part of our ballclub for the present or the foreseeable future. We didn't see that happening. When you make decisions on players, that's what you look at."

Conrad is a switch-hitter who will probably play mostly off the bench but could start against left-handed pitchers, starting with Saturday against the Giants' Madison Bumgarner. For now, Travis Ishikawa stands to be the regular starter at first base in Gamel's extended absence.

Gamel will need surgery for his torn ACL, but for now the joint is too swollen to set a schedule. Gamel will visit Dr. William Raasch again Wednesday, according to assistant general manager Gord Ash.

Gomez out with hamstring injury

SAN FRANCISCO -- With Ryan Braun on the bench resting a sore Achilles, the injury bug bit another Brewers outfielder Friday night.

Carlos Gomez left the Brewers' 6-4 win over the Giants in the fourth inning after tweaking his left hamstring. He was hurt sprinting down the first-base line on a flyout, and after the game, manager Ron Roenicke characterized the injury as troubling.

"We'll wait and see how he is [Saturday] and then make a decision on what we need to do," Roenicke said. "It looks like it's more than a day, but I don't think it's real bad."

Asked whether he expected Gomez to need a stint on the 15-day disabled list, Roenicke said, "That's what we'll decide [Saturday]."

Braun is also questionable for Saturday. The Brewers and Giants play an afternoon game at 3:05 p.m. CT.

Braun sits out with sore Achilles

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun had improved in the two days since exiting a game in San Diego with a tight right Achilles, but not enough to make it into the starting lineup Friday night against the Giants.

Braun did not take part in batting practice on the field but did some work in the batting cages, manager Ron Roenicke said. Braun was also expected to try some limited running drills to see if he could pinch-hit.

"It's still just tight in the Achilles, and we'll try to give it another day," Roenicke said.

Roenicke could not say whether Braun would be available to start Saturday's afternoon game.

Weeks slides down from leadoff spot

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Brewers have dropped All-Star second baseman Rickie Weeks from the leadoff hole amid his slow start to the 2012 season.

Weeks, who had led off 24 of the Brewers' first 25 games, batted second for Friday's series opener against the Giants.

"We may leave Rickie there for a little while," manager Ron Roenicke said. "I talked to Rickie today, and we'll try to do some things to get the offense going a little bit."

Weeks entered the night with a .172 batting average overall, including .178 as the leadoff hitter, worst in the Majors for a one-hole hitter with at least 50 at-bats in that spot.

But he was tied for fourth in the National League with 17 walks, boosting Weeks' on-base percentage to .308, 16th of the 27 players with at least 50 leadoff at-bats.

Roenicke had previously expressed a reluctance to hit Weeks second, arguing that his style, when right, was not conducive to moving runners along and bunting. That outlook has changed.

"I think that he'll get pitched a little differently there," Roenicke said. "And if we start to have the leadoff guy get on and Rickie starts hitting, he'll be able to drive him in.

"You know, I'd toyed with this back-and-forth for a while. We talked about it last year some, whether you have that guy who plays small ball leading off and then you have the guy who can drive the ball batting second. There's pros and cons to both."

Roenicke plans to bat his center fielder at leadoff for the immediate future. Carlos Gomez, Nyjer Morgan and Norichika Aoki have been sharing that job.

Last call

Right-handers Chad Thompson and Mark Williams combined to pitch a no-hitter for Class A Wisconsin at Clinton (Iowa) on Friday night. Thompson, Milwaukee's 27th-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, walked three batters and struck out six in five innings. Williams handled the final four innings with one walk and three strikeouts, including a pair of whiffs to end the game.