MILWAUKEE -- After enduring personal tragedy, Brewers shortstop Jean Segura has told team officials that he is ready to get back to work.
Segura traveled with members of his family on Thursday to Washington D.C., where he will meet the Brewers to begin the second half of the season on Friday, one week after Segura's 9-month-old son, Janniel, passed away suddenly in the Dominican Republic.
Segura learned that terrible news in the immediate aftermath of a loss to the Cardinals last Friday and traveled home to the Dominican the following morning. According to teammate Aramis Ramirez, who has been a mentor since Segura's August 2012 debut with the Brewers, a funeral service was held Monday.
"I talked to him last night and he sounded good," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Thursday. "We'll sit down with him [Friday] and talk to him and make sure everything is good before we really activate him."
If he wishes, Segura will be in the Brewers' starting lineup. The Brewers plan to place infielder Jeff Bianchi on the 15-day disabled list with a sore right elbow to clear space for Segura's return from the bereavement list.
Roenicke and the Brewers have no blueprint for handling a player in this situation. Director of psychological services Matt Krug, who travels with the team to assist players with on- and off-field concerns, will play a prominent role.
One of Roenicke's challenges, he said, will be keeping tabs on Segura's mindset without constantly dredging up difficult memories.
"Every individual is different, so I don't think you can just come up with a plan," Roenicke said. "I didn't know if 'Seggy' would be back with us this soon. I know he's told me he felt like he needed to do it to take his mind off it. He wanted to get back doing something he enjoys, so that's why he's here and why he plans to play in Washington."
Segura's mother and uncle are among the family members who will be at his side on this brief Brewers road trip.
Segura will also be surrounded by support in the Brewers' clubhouse.
"We're just trying to support him as best we can," catcher Jonathan Lucroy said at the All-Star Game. "It's a really bad, tough situation that I would never wish on anybody. Brutal, man. There's nothing, really, you can do about it. Just when he comes back, take him in and support him as best we can. There's nothing you can do or say that will fix it. Nothing."
Said general manager Doug Melvin: "I think we sort of take young players for granted in our game. You have a young player,  years of age, playing at the high level that these players play in front of big crowds of 40,000, and they're away from their families and the traveling they have of 162 games in 180 days. To have that happen, what happened to Jean, it's very tough for the team, too, but mostly for Jean and his family. I don't have any advice other than we're here to help; his teammates are and the organization is. He told Ron that he's ready to go."
Melvin mum on Trade Deadline plan
MILWAUKEE -- If Brewers general manager Doug Melvin plans to be active ahead of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, he was not willing to share that information publicly on Thursday.
That came as no surprise. General managers typically do not like to stand in front of microphones and lament their team's weaknesses.
"If you can add, you add," Melvin said, "but I like our team. We had one bad stretch, and that came near the end of the [first half]. Winning Sunday's game was very big. It gave everybody the feeling that that's how we played earlier on in the year. It's going to be a tough division; you've got four teams over .500. I think it's the toughest division in baseball."
The Brewers lost 11 of their final 13 games before the All-Star break, but beat the Cardinals Sunday to hold onto first place in the National League Central. The top four teams are within 3 1/2 games of each other as the second half begins.
In a chat with reporters on Thursday, Melvin addressed two areas of perceived susceptibility: A bullpen that has been stretched by injuries to right-handers Jim Henderson and Tyler Thornburg, and first base, where the Brewers have platooned Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay and are next-to-last in the NL with a .662 OPS. "If we can get [Henderson and Thornburg] back, they'll be a boost to our bullpen," Melvin said. "But we don't have a timetable. Jim is closer than Tyler at this point."
On first base, Melvin cited the lack of availability at the position. He praised Overbay for his clutch hitting and both players for their quality defense. He also pointed out that, overall, the Brewers are second in the NL in runs scored.
Melvin insisted he will not get caught up in Trade Deadline drama.
"Look at the Trade Deadline, and it's no different than the offseason," Melvin said. "There's a lot of acquisitions you can make in the offseason, and all it does is make you look better on paper. It doesn't make you necessarily a better ballclub. You still have to play well as a team.
"That's the way I look at the Trade Deadline. You can go out and acquire a relief pitcher, and he may pitch eight innings for the month."
Melvin also argued that midseason trades don't always work. For every deal like the Brewers bringing in CC Sabathia in 2008, there's a Zack Greinke to the Angels in 2012 or Matt Garza to the Rangers in 2013. Those latter two teams paid significant prices, but did not reach the postseason.
"We're out there, we're going to have our ears open and we're open to anything that can improve our club," Melvin said. "But we still have to play well as a team, and not think that one acquisition makes a difference. Not many times does that acquisition make the difference without the team still continuing to play well."
Infielder Falu rejoins Brewers' organization
MILWAUKEE -- Irving Falu's season took another twist Thursday, when he was re-claimed by the Milwaukee Brewers off waivers. The infielder had been claimed from Milwaukee by the Padres on June 26, and after just 11 games with San Diego, he'll be headed back to the Brewers' Triple-A affiliate in Nashville.
Falu began his career in the Kansas City organization and spent a decade developing with the Royals before being released last November. He signed a Minor League contract with the Brewers in December and played in 11 games for Milwaukee -- going 0-for-10 at the plate -- before being claimed off waivers by the Padres.
Falu played in 11 games for San Diego and batted .150 (3-for-20) before winding up back on waivers. The 31-year-old played second base exclusively for San Diego, but he's played at shortstop and third base for the Brewers this year. Falu, for his career, has batted .277 (33-for-119) in the Majors.
To make room for him on a full 40-man roster, the Brewers designated 25-year-old right-hander Kevin Shackelford for assignment. He participated in the Arizona Fall League last year and had just been added to Milwaukee's 40-man roster in November, but has not pitched well this year at Double-A Huntsville.
"Velocity's down a little bit, but he went back to A-ball and pitched well," general manager Doug Melvin said. "He's struggled a little bit at Double-A, but he's still going to be fine. We're just running into a roster crunch right now. He's still got a good arm and we still like him."
• The Brewers finalized a Minor League agreement on Thursday with right-hander Manny Barreda, according to agent Josh Kusnick. A hard-throwing 25-year-old who had been released by the Yankees, Barreda owned a 3.40 ERA in 30 appearances this season at Double-A Trenton, with 58 strikeouts in 50 1/3 innings. He had been in New York's big league Spring Training camp each of the last two years.
• Crews were working Thursday to rebuild the pitcher's mound at Miller Park, which had been removed for a soccer game on Wednesday that drew more than 30,000 fans. The infield dirt was also being dredged and re-leveled.