Brewers Monday: Carlos Gomez nearing return to field

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez continues to make progress in his recovery from a sprained right knee and should return to the field sometime this week.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke is hoping to get Gomez back in some capacity in the next few days with his return to the lineup coming a short time after that.

“He’s doing really well,” Roenicke said “He’s ahead of schedule, what they had planned anyway. He ran some today — he ran really well. He basically went straight line and backwards. He hit in the cage and the hitting is fine.”

Gomez was injured Thursday crashing into the center field wall while catching a line drive off the bat of Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips. An MRI revealed no structural damage, but Gomez was on crutches and moving slowly Friday.

By Sunday, the All-Star center fielder was moving about the clubhouse well and was able to play catch on the field.

The 27-year-old is hitting .288 with 18 home runs, 55 RBI and 30 stolen bases for Milwaukee this season.

Wooten’s absence: Brewers reliever Rob Wooten recently realized one of his dreams by making the big leagues and now he’s about to realize another.

Wooten is set to leave the team Wednesday morning to head to North Carolina for the birth of his first child. Katie Wooten is scheduled to be induced Wednesday, but the couple doesn’t know the sex of their baby.

The mystery was Wooten’s wife idea, but that hasn’t stopped him from picking out the color clothes his newborn will wear.

“You know my baby is going to be in Carolina blue,” Wooten, who played college baseball at North Carolina, said. “It doesn’t matter if it is a boy or a girl. It doesn’t have a choice.”

The Brewers are unsure if they will place Wooten on the paternity list, which allows them to fill Wooten’s roster spot for up to three days. Players who have been recently sent down to the minor leagues usually have to wait 10 days before coming back up unless there is an injury, but the paternity list is another exemption from the rule. 
That means Milwaukee could call up Alfredo Figaro or Donovan Hand, but Roenicke says the team will wait to see the exact timing of Wooten’s leave. 

Wooten was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on July 25 and has pitched well in 11 appearances out of the bullpen with the Brewers. Thee 11 scoreless innings he tossed to start his big league career is second in club history to Mike Adams’ run of 13 scoreless innings in 2004.

His whirlwind stretch will continue Wednesday when he becomes a father for the first time.

“I know that will be one of the best days of my life,” Wooten said. “That’s what everybody here has told me. All the fathers in here have told me what to expect and to enjoy it. They said the first moment you hold it you will be changed forever.”

Sheets’ new job: Former Brewers right-hander Ben Sheets has made the jump into the coaching world, as he’s been hired as a volunteer assistant baseball coach at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.

Sheets, 35, pitched at Louisiana-Monroe from 1997-99 and was the conference player and pitcher of the year in his final season with the Warhawks.

The four-time All-Star with the Brewers retired after making nine starts for Atlanta last season. Sheets pitched eight seasons in Milwaukee with a 86-83 record and a 3.72 ERA in 221 starts.

Louisiana-Monroe finished in last place in the Sun Belt conference last season with an 18-36 overall record and a 7-23 conference record.

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