Brewers SS Segura makes progress in bid to be ready by Opening Day
MILWAUKEE — While a final decision has yet to be made, Jean Segura has taken a significant step in being ready for Opening Day.
Segura, who hasn’t played since March 18 with a sore right shoulder, made throws to first base while fielding groundballs at shortstop prior to Saturday afternoon’s 7-2 exhibition victory over Kansas City at Miller Park.
Watched closely by manager Ron Roenicke and head athletic trainer Dan Wright, Segura reported no discomfort after making roughly 10 to 15 throws.
With the roster deadline looming at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday, the Brewers plan to hold off on officially saying Segura will be in the Opening Day lineup before he throws again and sees team physician Dr. William Raasch on Sunday morning.
"I’m definitely more positive, and he is, too," Roenicke said. "He feels good. He looks happy about it. I think he was pleased with what happened today. "The medical side wants to make sure we are doing the right thing, but Seggy feels like he can do it."
Segura would likely slot in the second spot of Milwaukee’s lineup with Carlos Gomez hitting in the leadoff spot. Knowing they have their All-Star shortstop in the mix from the start makes a big difference for the Brewers.
"You know what he can do out there," Roenicke said. "Some of it he probably needs to be smart during ballgames, if he has a relay throw or he’s back in the hole. Just don’t get crazy with it. The normal play should be fine. Who knows how many of those other plays come up during the ballgame."
The Brewers could backdate a disabled list stint 10 days since Segura hasn’t played since March 18, meaning he would only miss the first five days and four games of the season. Milwaukee plays its second series of the year in Boston, and Segura could serve as the designated hitter if the shoulder flares up again.
Estrada finishes strong: Marco Estrada continued his strong spring Saturday by tossing five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out four.
Estrada, who will start Milwaukee’s fourth game of the season Friday in Boston, ended the exhibition season with 17 consecutive scoreless innings in big-league games. He pitched last Sunday in a Class-A game and allowed one run on three hits over six innings.
"It’s a good feeling," Estrada said. "It’s a good way to go into the season. Now I just have to transfer it over to the season and do it when it matters. Not to say spring doesn’t matter, but it is more of that you are working on stuff. Now you move on to the season and hopefully it carries over."
The right-hander went 4-0 with a 2.16 ERA in six spring-training starts, striking out 15 and walking just two batters in 25 innings. Estrada had the inside track at making Milwaukee’s rotation coming into camp, but his strong spring only strengthened his hold on a spot among the five starters.
"I like to see a guy in his position still come in as if he’s earning a job," Roenicke said. "He certainly did that this spring. We feel great going into the season with him."
Estrada didn’t run into much trouble against the Royals on Saturday with the exception of the second inning. He allowed a leadoff single to Billy Butler and a two-out double to Mike Moustakas before striking out Lorenzo Cain to work out of trouble.
Four of the five innings Estrada worked were perfect, including setting down 10 in a row to end his outing.
"I wanted to come out and finish the way I did today," Estrada said. "It just makes you feel even better. It’s a little confidence-booster. I’m ready to get things started."
Leaving an impression: Michael Ratterree isn’t going to play in the big leagues this season, but the minor-league outfielder made the most of his one at-bat at Miller Park.
Milwaukee’s 10th-round pick in the 2013 draft out of Rice, Ratterree hit a solo home run to dead center off Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie in the seventh inning Saturday.
"It was amazing," Ratterree said. "I just feel lucky enough to be up here with the team. I was lucky enough to get an at-bat. I just squared it up, and I guessed it carried over."
Ratterree was the Pioneer League’s most valuable player after hitting .314 with 12 home runs and 58 RBI for Helena in rookie ball last season. He’s headed to play for Single-A Wisconsin to begin 2014.
The Brewers told him earlier this week that he would be coming to Miller Park for the two exhibition games.
"It feels unreal for me," Ratterree said. "I was lucky to be able to watch these guys prepare, watch how they play. It’s just a great experience for me. It gives me some confidence going into the season."
Gomez welcomes child: Brewers centerfielder Carlos Gomez wasn’t with the team Saturday as his wife, Gerandy, gave birth to the couple’s third child. Gomez posted a picture of his wife and their newborn son, Yadiel, saying both the mother and baby were doing well.
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