Brewers notes: Logan Schafer has hamstring issue

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Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Sunday, April 20, 2014

PITTSBURGH—When Elian Herrera was inserted in place of Khris Davis in the seventh inning Friday as a defensive replacement, it became apparent something wasn't right with Logan Schafer.

As it turns out, Schafer has been dealing with a hamstring issue that cropped up while he was stretching in the on-deck circle prior to a pinch-hitting appearance in the seventh inning Thursday. Schafer felt a pop but stayed in for his at-bat, and he eventually struck out on a bunt attempt.

Herrera served in a backup capacity Saturady night against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park, with the Brewers hopeful Schafer will be ready to go by the teams' series finale on Sunday.

“It's a lot better today than it was yesterday,” Schafer said. “I've never had any problems with my hammy or anything. It was a little weird. I'm just getting treatment and staying on top of it.”

If Schafer isn't ready to go by Sunday, the Brewers will have some roster juggling to do.

With Lyle Overbay due back from his three-day paternity leave, Herrera must be returned to Class AAA Nashville. If Schafer is deemed unable to go, the Brewers would likely place Schafer on the 15-day disabled list and have to go through the procedure of officially sending Herrera out and then putting him back on the 25-man roster.

“It's going to have to get a lot better by tomorrow and then we'll make a decision with what we need to do,” manager Ron Roenicke said of Schafer's hamstring.

Schafer, who is hiting .214 with two runs batted in over 10 games, hasn't had hamstring issues before.

“Never,” he said. “That's the thing—I'm in great shape (and) I feel like I'll be able to recover quickly. I feel like, who knows, tomorrow I might be fine. You never know. We'll see what happens. We're day to day with it and I can't wait to get back out there.”

Hamstrings were a troublesome injury for the Brewers last season, with a number of players missing time due to various strains and tears. Rickie Weeks' was the most serious, necessitating surgery last August.

“(Strength and conditioning specialist) Josh Seligman has done everything he could,” said Roenicke. “Stretching, he's changed some things to try to get to where our hamstrings are better. I don't know. Just freak things.”

Herrera, meanwhile, would provide Roenicke with another versatile player on the bench should he wind up sticking around.

A switch-hitter, he was hitting .250 at Nashville while playing center, third base and second base. As it turned out, he also made a terrific tumbling catch of a sinking liner to rob Gaby Sanchez of a hit in the eighth inning Friday.

“Elian can play,” said Schafer. “I played against him a lot coming up, and he's a damn good player everywhere. That was a great play. It was a hell of a jump and a hell of a play. Big catch.”

Gomez regains focus

Carlos Gomez admittedly wasn't himself for much of Friday's game.

His wife, Gerandy, had contacted him upset about a medical situation involving the couple's newborn son, Yadiel. By the fifth inning, the situation had been resolved for the time being after being explained more clearly to her.

“It's not bad. A lot of babies are born like that,” said Gomez, who revealed it was an issue with his son's hips. “It's not something that's going to affect him in the future. But yesterday, it was a tough time because my wife was thinking and crying and I can't do nothing because I'm here.

“When kids have something, you get upset. The only thing I do is work and family. The only things I love are my belief in God, my family and my work. Those are the only things that make me happy.

“When something is wrong with that, it drives me crazy.”

Gomez struck out swinging to start the game, then broke his bat as he smashed it into the ground in anger. He struck out twice more and made an error in center field, but also crushed a 435-foot home run to center and drove in another run with a single.

“Before the game, I watched him and I knew something was different with him,” Roenicke said. “I can see that. He hasn't been doing that stuff. All of a sudden it comes out and it's like, 'Wow.' It's because he's so darn talented. But he was distracted.”

Roenicke also understands how those kinds of things affect players, though.

“You're not just dealing with guys on the field,” he said. “What they have off the field is what they come to the ballpark with. Some guys can really separate it well and some guys don't. When you're talking about your little baby and you hear some news that's pretty upsetting, I understand why you get upset about it.”

Interesting timing: The Brewers seriously considered trading for first baseman Ike Davis in the off-season to fill their first-base vacancy, but ultimately determined the New York Mets' asking price of Tyler Thornburg was too high.

Just prior to Friday's game, the Pirates announced they'd traded for Davis, and he was in the starting lineup already Saturday against the Brewers.

“How about that?” said Roenicke. “It's a good opportunity for him. I don't know what the Mets were doing over there, how much Ike was going to play, but he was a guy Doug (Melvin) talked to me quite a bit about.”

Davis doubled in his first at-bat in the second inning, and scored the Pirates' first run.

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