Grieving Segura to rejoin Brewers, but return to action unknown
Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Jean Segura will rejoin the team in Washington, D.C. on Friday when they begin a three-game series with the Nationals, but it remains unclear when he will be activated from the bereavement list.
The Brewers placed shortstop Jeff Bianchi on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a strained right elbow, freeing a roster spot for Segura if he is able to play Friday.
"I don’t have any advice other than we are here to help and his teammates are," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. "He told (manager) Ron (Roenicke) he’s ready to go. I think we want to sit down and see him and talk to him before that.
"We’re all rooting for Jean to get back out there."
Segura left the team last Saturday to return home to the Dominican Republic following the tragic death of his 9-month-old son Janniel. The Brewers are allowing members of Segura’s family to accompany him on the trip to Washington to ensure he has a support group on the road.
As for how much Segura plays when he returns, that is still up in the air.
"I think because every individual is different, I don’t think you can just come up with a plan," Roenicke said. "I didn’t know Seggy would be back with us this soon.
"I know he told me that he felt like he needed to do it to take his mind off it, and get back to something that he enjoys, so that’s why he plans to play in Washington."
With Bianchi on the disabled list, Elian Herrera will be the backup at shortstop for the time being. Herrera is inexperienced at the big-league level at the position, but he performed well in his first start at shortstop last Sunday.
There’s a chance Segura is unable to play every day for the time being, something Roenicke plans to evaluate on a daily basis.
"I think I’ll be able to get a pretty good feel of where he is. He’ll pretty much tell me where he is and what he needs to do," Roenicke said. "I don’t know if this will be an on-again, off-again kind of thing with him. Some days he may come in and he’s not there to play.
"So, we’ll see how that goes. You talk about a blueprint; I just can’t imagine what you can do other than have a conversation with him every day to see how he’s doing."
Roster moves: The Brewers made a few minor roster moves Thursday, including bringing infielder Irving Falu back to the organization by claiming him off waivers from the San Diego Padres.
Falu was claimed off waivers by San Diego from Milwaukee on June 26 and went 3 for 20 (.150 batting average) in 11 games for the Padres.
The 31-year-old will return to Triple-A Nashville, where he began his season. Falu hit .306 with a home run and 10 RBI in 43 games for the Sounds but was 0 for 10 in his lone stint with the Brewers before he was designated for assignment.
To clear room on the 40-man roster for Falu, the Brewers designated right-hander Kevin Shackelford for assignment. Shackelford was added to the 40-man roster in November after pitching in the Arizona Fall League but has struggled in Double-A this season.
Shackelford has a 6.35 ERA for Double-A Huntsville in 28 1/3 innings after posting a 0.92 ERA in 20 appearances for the Stars in 2013. The 25-year-old went to Class-A Advanced Brevard County earlier in 2014 but struggled again upon returning to Double-A.
"Velocity’s down a little bit, but he went back to A-ball and pitched well," 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 also announced the signing of right-hander Manny Barreda to a minor-league contract Thursday. Barreda was 4-1 with a 3.40 ERA in 30 relief appearances for the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees this season.
New York’s 12th-round pick in the 2007 draft, Barreda was recently released by the Yankees.
Further adding to their minor-league depth, the Brewers signed catcher Hector Gimenez to a minor-league deal. Gimenez, who will report to Double-A Huntsville, played 26 games for the Chicago White Sox in 2013, hitting .191 with two home runs and 10 RBI.
Gimenez has played 37 big-league games over parts of four different seasons and is now in his third different organization this year.
Special guests: Two members of the Wounded Warrior Project, a service organization for wounded veterans of the military and armed forces, will accompany the Brewers to DC this weekend.
Invited by Melvin, Shane Krutchen of Oshkosh, Wis., and Brian Schultz of Wisconsin Dells, Wis., will spend the entire weekend with the team, including flying on the team charter and having full uniforms waiting in their lockers.
"I thought it would be a good experience for a couple of Wounded Warriors," Melvin said. "Some of the most exciting years of your life are between 18 to 30. We have a couple of Wounded Warriors from Wisconsin who gave up some of the most important years of their life to fight and serve for their country.
"(This is) to give them an opportunity to have an experience that will stay with them for what they did for our country in the prime years of their life."
Krutchen and Schultz began their weekend at Miller Park on Thursday for the team’s voluntary workout.
"Walking into the locker room, it was like I was a 5-year-old kid getting candy for the first time," Krutchen said. "I was sweating because I was so nervous."