HOUSTON -- Barring a setback, the Brewers should get pitchers Marco Estrada and Chris Narveson back from the disabled list during the team's next homestand.
Estrada, sidelined by a strained left hamstring, threw a 45-pitch side session at Miller Park on Monday and, if he receives clearance from head team physician William Raasch in a visit scheduled for Wednesday, will pitch at Class A Wisconsin on Thursday night when the Timber Rattlers begin the second half at home against Cedar Rapids. Estrada will probably need only one start before returning to the Brewers' starting rotation, manager Ron Roenicke said.
Narveson who has been out since early April with a sprained finger on his pitching hand, has already sufficiently built his pitch count, but the Brewers would like to see him have more success before returning. Narveson pitched to an 8.31 ERA and a 1.692 WHIP in his first four Triple-A starts.
"If we're going to take him here, we need to see [better results]," said Roenicke, who could not guarantee that Narveson would join the starting rotation.
"I don't want to definitely say that," Roenicke said. "We'll see what happens."
Another rehabbing pitcher, right-hander Hiram Burgos (shoulder) , allowed two runs on five hits in four innings on Tuesday at advanced Class A Brevard County, in his second rehab start. He will pitch once more on that assignment, but it was unclear whether the Brewers would bring him back to the big leagues or option him back to Triple-A once he's healthy.
The Brewers are currently operating with four starting pitchers and will need a fifth on Saturday against the Braves, but are planning to use a reliever like Tom Gorzelanny or Donovan Hand for a spot start in that game, assuming the bullpen isn't taxed in the days prior.
"It's certainly simpler," Roenicke said. "If we bring somebody up, we've got to make a move, we've got to send somebody out. That's what we're trying to avoid doing."
Injured Braun visits hand specialist
HOUSTON -- Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun was in Phoenix on Tuesday to see Dr. Don Sheridan, the hand specialist who has worked on a number of players over the years including second baseman Rickie Weeks.
Assistant general manager Gord Ash said the trip represented "a due diligence second opinion" on the injury that sent Braun to the disabled list for the first time in his career, and was not a reflection of any new development.
Braun had been playing through an inflamed nerve between his right thumb and forefinger for several weeks, hitting with diminished power. When skipping the Brewers' three-game series in Miami did not cure the problem, the club opted to put Braun on the DL.
Ash said Braun was expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday. He is eligible for reinstatement from the DL on June 25.
Segura bidding to join elite All-Star company
HOUSTON -- Not since Robin Yount was the reigning American League MVP in 1983 has a Brewers shortstop started the All-Star Game. Jean Segura has a chance, though he insists he has not thought about it.
"I don't see anything about it," he said. "I just play my game and don't think about that. I don't know anything about the All-Star Game."
He ranked third in the most recent fan balloting results released by Major League Baseball, but the leading vote-getter, Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies, is on the disabled list with a broken right rib and is sure to miss the event.
Tulowitzki's lead was so great (2,443,772 total votes, versus 1,293,476 votes for the Giants' Brandon Crawford, 1,188,317 votes for Segura and 905,976 for the Cardinals' Pete Kozma) that it is possible Tulowitzki will win the fan ballot and the All-Star starter, by rule, will go to the top vote-getter on the players' ballot. That is the same mechanism that made Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun a starting outfielder last year when the Dodgers' Matt Kemp was injured.
Brewers players have yet to cast their votes. Segura has a strong case, ranking second to Tulowitzki among NL shortstops in batting average (.330), home runs (10), runs scored (40), OPS (.890) and wins above replacement (3.1 using Baseball-Reference.com's measure). When he stole second base in the first inning of Tuesday's game, it made Segura the only player in the Majors with at least 10 home runs and 20 steals.
Only three shortstops have represented the Brewers at an All-Star Game: Yount in 1980, '82 and '83, Jose Hernandez in 2002 and J.J. Hardy in 2007.
Brewers formally announce 22 Draft signings
HOUSTON -- The Brewers formally announced on Monday's off-day that they had signed their top five selections in the First-Year Player Draft, then announced 17 more deals on Tuesday, all of which had already been reported elsewhere.
Among the done deals were top pick Devin Williams, a right-hander who signed a contract with a $1.35 million signing bonus on Sunday.
Most notable about the Brewers' announcements were that they formalized players' Minor League assignments. Williams, infielder Tucker Neuhaus (competitive balance Round B), right-hander Josh Uhen (fifth round) and center fielder Brandon Diaz (eighth round) were among those headed to the Arizona Rookie League to begin their professional careers.
Among those headed to advanced rookie-level Helena of the Pioneer League were right-handers Barrett Astin (third round) and Taylor Williams, first baseman Garrett Cooper (sixth round) and center fielder Omar Garcia (seventh round).
The Draft section of Brewers.com lists only signings formally announced by the team.
• Brewers radio man Joe Block pointed out an interesting bit of history: The Brewers and Astros are the only teams to face each other in Interleague Play as members of each league. The American League Brewers took two of three games from the National League Astros in 1997, and now the NL Brewers are visiting the AL Astros this week.