Notes: Yost to work during break
Skipper to meet with braintrust in Detroit at All-Star Game
ATLANTA -- It will be a working All-Star break for Brewers manager Ned Yost.
He expects his duties as an honorary National League coach to be light, but Yost also expects to meet with Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, general manager Doug Melvin and assistant GM Gord Ash in Detroit to assess the team's first half.
"We'll sit back and re-evaluate it, look at it," Yost said. "I'll get a chance to meet with Doug, he'll be in Detroit. We'll sit and look to see if there's an area that we can improve, or two.
"There's not going to be any major changes. It will be little minor tweaks. Nothing major's going to happen."
Aren't all personnel changes considered major?
"Not necessarily," Yost said.
The Brewers' biggest problem during their up-and-down first half was clutch hitting. Going into Sunday's first-half finale against the Braves, the Brewers ranked 15th of 16 National League teams with a .255 batting average including a Major League-worst .241 average with runners in scoring position.
Yost continues to publicly support hitting coach Butch Wynegar. And he did not seem warm to a midseason switch like the Detroit Tigers pulled off, swapping the duties of bench coach Kirk Gibson and hitting coach Bruce Fields. Yost has never been on a staff that tried such a swap.
"I don't plan on being on one, either," he said.
"Spend a day with Butch and tell me he doesn't prepare those hitters," Yost said. "You know how hard he works.
"We sat here [Friday] at 1:30 p.m. and had an hour-and-a-half meeting, going over every player on [Atlanta's] team. And then we have a players' meeting. It comes to the point where the players have to do it. It's that cut and dried. They have to take their preparation and get the job done. We can't do it for them. We can just set it up for them."
What now? The Brewers' biggest problem in the first half was easy to identify -- a general lack of clutch hitting. They'll tackle the tougher part in the second half -- trying to figure out a way to fix it.
"You can't practice clutch hitting," said center fielder Brady Clark. "You can say, 'Runner on third, one out, bottom of the ninth,' in the [batting] cage but it's not exactly the same. I don't know how you can work on it."
Good games help, like Saturday's, when the Brewers scored nine runs on 12 hits. They went 4-for-11 (.364) with runners in scoring position, pitcher Ben Sheets executed two sacrifice bunts and the team scored three of its runs on sacrifice flies.
"I think it's execution as a whole," Clark said of the Brewers' inconsistency. "Getting bunts down, moving runners over, those types of little things. We have to do those little things to take us to the next level."
Rotation set: After some discussion with pitching coach Mike Maddux, Yost set his pitching rotation for the start of the second half. It will be Doug Davis in Thursday's series opener against Washington at Miller Park, followed by Ben Sheets, Chris Capuano and Tomo Ohka against the Nationals, and Victor Santos on July 18 at St. Louis.
He set it up that way to minimize the effect of the three-day All-Star break on his top pitchers' routines. Davis, Sheets and Capuano will all pitch on five days' rest; Ohka and Santos will pitch on 10 days' rest. Yost said Santos could benefit from the extra time because he has a split fingernail on his right hand.
After the break: Brewers Charities is hosting the second annual Picnic at Miller Park on Thursday with Yost and all Brewers players and coaches. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and information is available by calling (414) 902-4488 or e-mailing email@example.com. ... On Saturday, all fans will get a Rollie Fingers bobblehead doll courtesy of Badger Mutual Insurance. Five hundred of the dolls feature Fingers in the Brewers' old powder blue uniforms, and 100 lucky fans will find their doll autographed. ... Also on Saturday, Clark will conduct an autograph session at the Brewers FanZone at Miller Park from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. CT. The Fan Zone retail store is open year-round, and is located on Miller Park's main concourse, in the left field corner adjacent to T.G.I Friday's Front Row Sports Grill. Fans can enter through the Hot Corner on Saturday to access the FanZone.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.