MILWAUKEE — After back-to-back four strikeout games, Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Juan Francisco got Tuesday off in an attempt to clear his mind.
Francisco is 1-for-17 with 13 strikeouts on the current homestand and was visually frustrated Monday night. While Francisco is a high strikeout and big power player, he has recently been missing pitches he usually drives.
Former Astros outfielder Rick Ankiel set the major-league record for consecutive plate appearances and at-bats with a strikeout at 10 in April, leaving Francisco just two strikeouts away from tying the mark.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke is hopeful a day off or two will get Francisco back into the groove he was in on the recent road trip.
“I’ll just kind of watch how today goes,” Roenicke said. “I talked to him earlier and he’s fine. It gets to you after a while, and I think it got to him the last couple of days. If I thnk he just needs one day I’ll get him back in there tomorrow, and I’ll try to look at matchups too and see if I can help him that way.”
One of the players the Brewers are evaluating heavily down the stretch, Francisco has shown to be an intriguing offensive player. At just 26 years old, Francisco has big power potential, but also is a low batting average hitter capable of piling up the strikeouts.
His 18 home runs — five came with Atlanta — are tied for the most on the team and he leads the National League in home runs since June 25.
“He was doing really well,” Roenicke said. “(He was) having some good at-bats and walking a couple times. Then he has those two days. Those are hard.”
Gomez closer: Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez took batting practice on the field Tuesday for the first time since spraining his right knee last Thursday.
Roenicke planned to talk to the team’s trainers after batting practice to see if Gomez was available Tuesday in some role.
Gomez appeared to have no issues taking batting practice and was moving around well. Roenicke was hopeful to have him available to pinch hit either Tuesday or Wednesday with his return to the starting lineup coming later in the week.
Plans for Wooten: As reliever Rob Wooten prepares to leave the team Wednesday morning for the birth of his first child, Roenicke and general manager Doug Melvin discussed whether to place the rookie right-hander on the paternity list.
If Wooten goes on the paternity list Wednesday, he won’t be eligible to pitch until Saturday in Cincinnati. The Brewers could then bring up somebody from Triple-A to fill his roster spot for the three days.
“We talked about when he was going, how long he was going to be gone,” Roenicke said. “He’ll let me know what we are going to do.”
With the off day Thursday, the Brewers could pitch a man short Wednesday and hope Wooten is ready to return Friday.
“I don’t know yet,” Roenicke said when asked if that was an option. “That was part of the conversation with Doug.”