Chris Capuano is expected to make his next scheduled start, on Aug. 19. (Morry Gash/AP)
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' weekend pitching picture finally came into focus an hour before their series opener against the Marlins, but it came with a double dose of bad news.
Left-hander Chris Capuano, originally slated to start on Friday, was scratched with tenderness in his left elbow and replaced by right-hander Wes Obermueller, who learned of the assignment about an hour and a half before he threw his first pitch.
"I did everything as if I was going out to the bullpen," said Obermueller, who carried a 3-6 record into the start. "I threw a little lighter, just in case. But that's it. I honestly didn't know it would be me."
Capuano saw a team doctor and, according to a Brewers spokesperson, was scratched as a precaution. Reports earlier this week indicated tenderness in his forearm, not the elbow. The 25-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery on May 17, 2002.
Capuano's next scheduled start is on Aug. 19 -- his 26th birthday -- against the Cubs.
"We'll have him ready for that last game against the Cubs," said manager Ned Yost.
The team also officially scratched right-hander Matt Wise from his scheduled Saturday start and will go with rookie left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, who was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday night.
Wise was forced out of a Wednesday-night tuneup after six pitches when he felt a sharp pain in his right biceps. He underwent an MRI at St. Michael Hospital on Friday morning and was diagnosed with a minor strain.
"It won't fall off -- hopefully," joked Wise, who also had reconstructive surgery on his elbow, in March 2003. "Hopefully, it's a day-to-day thing."
De La Rosa, acquired along with Capuano and four others in the December 2003 trade that sent slugger Richie Sexson to Arizona, was 3-5 with a 5.21 ERA in the minors this season. But he was 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his last three starts, including a 10-strikeout performance in his last trip to the mound, on Aug. 7.
He spent a month on the disabled list, from May 22 to June 21, with left shoulder tendinitis.
Trent Durrington / 3B
Weight: 195 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
Eye on Athens: The opening ceremonies of the Olympics were held on Friday night, and Brewers utilityman Trent Durrington has high hopes for the Australian national baseball team. Durrington, one of three natives of Australia to play for the Brewers, thinks his countrymen have a chance to win a medal.
"It's huge for Australia," he said. "If they can have a good showing, it would help funding, you know? The more money you have, the better parks you have, and the more kids start playing. All that starts in the Olympics."
Australian organizers contacted Brewers general manager Doug Melvin to see if Durrington would be available to play. Melvin gave his approval but Durrington, who was at Triple-A at the time, declined.
"I got a little hit, and it was pretty apparent I had a shot to get called up," he said. "The reason you go to the Olympics is to help the Australian team, but the reason I'm here is to be in the Major Leagues. It was a chance to be in the Olympics against a chance to be in the Major Leagues, and it was a no-brainer."
Durrington played in pre-Olympic tournaments in Italy and Taiwan for Team Australia, as well as in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Sydney back in January.
His prediction for the three medal-winning clubs? Cuba, Japan and Australia.
Former Brewers Dave Nilsson and Graeme Lloyd play for Team Australia.
Kinney claimed: The Kansas City Royals on Thursday claimed pitcher Matt Kinney off waivers. The Brewers had designated Kinney for assignment earlier in the week, and Melvin had been exploring trade options.
"In the end we didn't like the names that were coming back, so we took the money," said Melvin, referring to the $20,000 it cost Kansas City to make the claim. "Now we can look at all the waiver guys and maybe get somebody back who was better than who was offered [for Kinney]."
Back on top: Center fielder Scott Podsednik was back in the leadoff spot on Friday, a day after Yost benched him for a base-running mistake in Wednesday's loss at Atlanta. Earlier in the week, Yost had tried batting the slumping Podsednik eighth in the order.
"You can't really maximize his abilities in the eight-hole," said Yost. "I thought we would put him back in the one-hole and let him get on track there."
Yost called Podsednik's bad play, when he was doubled off second base to end the game, "an isolated mistake."
Bad combination: The Brewers entered Friday's game with 902 strikeouts and a .220 batting average with runners in scoring position, both last in the Major Leagues. The prolonged hitting woes have contributed to the team's second-half swoon.
"There are still some good signs, but we're not as patient at the plate as I'd like to see," said Melvin. "It's a fine line between being aggressive and talking walks. You've got a little guy on one shoulder saying, 'Be aggressive!' and another little guy saying, 'Take walks!' It's tough for teams like ours to go through a 162-game season."
Promotion coming: Melvin said that he expected right-hander Jeff Housman to replace De La Rosa at Triple-A Indianapolis. Housman, who turned 23 on Aug. 4, was originally a 33rd-round draft pick in 2002. He was 5-8 with a 3.13 ERA in 23 games, 20 starts, for Double-A Huntsville, and was the Southern League's pitcher of the week in early July.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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