MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez is out of the lineup Tuesday, but the prognosis on his sprained left shoulder was positive.
Gomez was injured making a leaping catch at the wall in Sunday’s loss to Atlanta but was feeling much better prior to Tuesday’s game against Chicago.
Team physician Dr. William Raasch examined Gomez on Monday and again saw no reason to take an MRI. Gomez said he would be available to pinch-run and play defense Tuesday and take batting practice Wednesday.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was less ambitious than Gomez, hoping to have his center fielder back for this weekend’s series in Pittsburgh.
“I’m real pleased, he’s real pleased,” Roenicke said of Gomez’s progress. “I saw him moving around and doing some exercises. I don’t know about this series, but hopefully the next one he’ll be ready.”
Gomez admitted to feeling lucky the injury isn’t worse, as the impact on the wall could have left him much more severely injured. He credited a special undershirt he wears to preventing more serious injury. The shirt, which almost acts like another layer of skin, may have prevented the shoulder from popping out further, causing more damage.
“I feel really good,” Gomez said. “It’s not scary. Everybody can relax because it’s not a dangerous injury.
“That play should be easy. I jumped because I expected the wall to be closer to me. If it was closer, nothing happens and it’s a normal catch. When I jump and the wall isn’t even close, I stay in the air for a long time. I felt the warning track, that’s when I jumped.”
The aggressive style in which Gomez plays center field naturally will lead to an increased risk of injury. Though he’s now hurt his shoulder a couple of times, Gomez doesn’t plan to change his style of play at all.
“I try to save runs for my pitchers,” Gomez said. “It’s not fun if I’m pitching and my outfielders or my position players don’t try to do their best. I would be real upset. That’s why they protect me. When all my pitchers see me try to catch every ball, when I need it, they are going to be there.”
Estrada suffers setback: The news wasn’t as positive on right-hander Marco Estrada, as he suffered a setback during Sunday’s rehab start with Single-A Wisconsin.
Estrada has been taken off his rehab assignment and will have to go through the entire process of throwing multiple bullpens before he’s able to head out and pitch again.
“It’s got to be a lot better before he goes out and does this again,” Roenicke said. “It’s hard to tell but I would say we have to back off on his bullpens until that leg clears and then we will start the bullpens up again.”
The left hamstring felt fine during the first two innings, but it tightened up before the third inning. Estrada then tried to shorten up his delivery and couldn’t locate the ball. He gave up six runs in the third inning before being removed.
“What I’ve been feeling in bullpens is what I felt the first two innings,” Estrada said. “It was just a little here and there, but I could deal with it. The third, it was just (not good).”
Estrada plans to let the hamstring rest for a couple of days before figuring out what the next step in his recovery is. The Brewers were hoping everything would go well and Estrada could start this weekend when they need a fifth starter, but that’s off the table right now.
Roenicke said he’s comfortable giving right-hander Donovan Hand another spot start, but doesn’t want to continue having guys make emergency starts from the bullpen. It’s more likely the team will call up a starter from the minor leagues if Estrada is out an extended period of time.
“I’m going to need a little bit more time, but I’m not sure how much,” Estrada said. “The difference from yesterday to today was much better already. The only way I’m going to feel it is getting off the mound. That’s the test. The only way I’m going to know how it feels again is getting back on the mound.
“Hopefully it won’t take too much longer because I’m tired of being on the DL.”