Brewers Friday: Decision yet to be made on Segura’s status for Opening Day
MILWAUKEE — Jean Segura’s sore right shoulder is feeling better, but the Milwaukee Brewers shortstop’s status for Opening Day is still up in the air.
Segura, who hasn’t played since March 18, did some light throwing and took groundballs prior to Friday’s exhibition game against Kansas City at Miller Park.
"There’s still a little bit there," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "So, we’ll go in tomorrow and hopefully it continues to improve every day. He said there’s definitely improvement every day, which is encouraging, and hopefully enough to where he can go Monday."
The Brewers have to have their 25-man roster settled by Sunday afternoon, and Roenicke said a decision might not be made until then. Infielders Elian Herrera and Irving Falu are with the team for the two weekend exhibition games, and one of them would likely just stay if Segura needs to open up on the disabled list.
"I don’t know yet," Segura said. "I feel much better. We’ll see." Segura has been able to load up on at-bats in minor-league games in Arizona and will hit Sunday when Wily Peralta throws a simulated game at Miller Park. The shoulder hasn’t impacted Segura’s ability to swing the bat, making it easier to jump back into the lineup.
"He’s gotten a lot the last few days, probably more than if he was playing," Roenicke said. "Just being able to go the minor-league side and get multi at-bats, that’s good. So I think with the at-bats that he’ll get Sunday, if he’s ready to go, that part I think he’ll be OK."
If Segura is unable to start on Opening Day, Jeff Bianchi would likely get the nod over whomever is added to the roster. The Brewers are only currently covered by Bianchi behind Segura at shortstop.
Up in the air: While he says he has an idea as to what he wants to do, Roenicke has yet to decide who will start at second base and first base for the Brewers on Opening Day.
Rickie Weeks and Mark Reynolds started Friday against the Royals with left-hander Jason Vargas pitching for Kansas City. Scooter Gennett and Lyle Overbay are likely to be in the lineup Saturday with the Royals starting right-hander Yordano Ventura.
"I know what I want to do now, but the next couple of days could change that," Roenicke said. "It gets hard when you are dealing with some people — there’s four guys and I’m fine with any four of them out there. We’ll see how it goes."
Roenicke did say Carlos Gomez will likely be Milwaukee’s leadoff hitter on Opening Day, a spot in the lineup he has rarely hit in with the Brewers. Gomez has hit leadoff 120 times in his career but just 17 times in his four seasons in Milwaukee, including just once in 2013.
The Brewers tried a variety of different players in the top spot during spring training, as the position in the batting order with the trade of Norichika Aoki to Kansas City.
"That’s what we’re planning on, unless something happens these two games and maybe he comes in and has a conversation," Roenicke said. "But I like what I’ve seen so far and I think he likes it, so we’ll plan to do that."
Ultimate showdown: With both the Royals and Brewers crowded around a table behind home plate, translators Kosuke Inaji and Jay Hsu squared off in an arm-wrestling match before Kansas City took batting practice Friday.
Inaji spent three seasons with the Brewers as the translator for Japanese reliever Takashi Saito and then Aoki and is now with the Royals. Hsu is the interpreter for Brewers rookie reliever Wei-Chung Wang.
The match was officiated by Brewers hall of fame broadcaster Bob Uecker and was ended quickly by Injaji to the delight of members of both teams.
Odds and ends: Roenicke participated in a conference call with Major League Baseball senior vice president of standards and on-field operations Joe Garagiola Jr. on Friday to go over the final details of the new instant replay protocol.
Replay won’t be available Friday and Saturday because the games aren’t being televised.
"I think that was good," Roenicke said of the conference call. "I feel good going into the season knowing everything I’ve seen come up in spring training."
Roenicke was glad to have two exhibition games at Miller Park this weekend to get players used to the conditions of the ballpark during a night game and a day game. The biggest benefit of the trial runs might be Ryan Braun, as he gets used to playing right field for the first time.
"He played very well in a very difficult place to play the outfield," Roenicke said of Braun’s spring training defensively. "Had a lot of balls hit to him — not the real challenging ones — but every one he made the play pretty easy. So I’m hoping here he adjusts to the lights a little bit and different background. But he’s looked really good out there."
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