Notes: Hall wants more playing time
Last year's team MVP forced to bench as Yost shuffles lineup
PITTSBURGH -- Bill Hall's bid to repeat his Brewers MVP season ended a while ago. Now he finds himself in a fight for playing time.Hall was not in manager Ned Yost's starting lineup on Tuesday against Pirates right-hander Bryan Bullington, sitting on the bench for the sixth time in the team's last eight games. "I'm one of the leaders on this team, so I want to be out there," Hall said. "I want to play every game because I feel like I can do something to help this team win, whether that is making a big play in the outfield or getting a big hit. "Obviously, everybody wants to play. But whatever happens, happens. I've always been here for the team. I just want to do whatever is right for the team." Yost has instead been spreading outfield starts among Gabe Gross, Corey Hart, Geoff Jenkins and Kevin Mench. Gross and Hart have been among the team's hottest hitters over the last three weeks. "I think Billy understands the fact that you can win a game late just as easily as you can starting a game," Yost said. "He's willing to do whatever it takes to help this team win. There's no room for selfishness at this time of year. There's just not. Billy has done a great job of just being there, supporting everybody and doing what he can do any given day to help this team win. That's all that matters." Hall was batting .350 (7-for-20) over his last nine games, but in the bigger picture had struggled since suffering an ankle injury here at PNC Park in the first week of July. Since coming off the disabled list on July 25, Hall was hitting .233 with four home runs in 129 at-bats. "I don't think about that," Hall said. "I'm not blaming my season on my ankle. I was starting to swing the bat better at that time, but I'm not blaming my season on my ankle. I know I am going to do something before the end of the season that matters." Overall this season, he is batting .259 with 13 homers and 58 RBIs, a dropoff from last year when he hit .270 with 35 home runs and 85 RBIs and won team MVP honors. Trade: The Brewers traded Minor League right-hander Dennis Sarfate to the Houston Astros on Tuesday for cash. Sarfate failed to win a spot in the Brewers bullpen during Spring Training and the team used his last Minor League option to send him to Triple-A Nashville, where he was 2-7 with a 4.52 ERA in 44 relief outings and one start. Sarfate, who was designated for assignment last week to make room on the 40-man roster for September call-ups, will have to win a job next spring with the Astros or the team will risk losing him on the waiver wire. Huntsville advances: The Double-A Huntsville Stars recovered from a 5-1 deficit for an 8-7 win over Tennessee on Monday in the decisive fifth game of an opening-round playoff series. Huntsville advanced to the Southern League Championship Series and will play Montgomery, a Devil Rays affiliate, beginning Wednesday night. It's a rematch of last year's championship series, which Montgomery won. "Last year, they beat us," said Hernan Iribarren, who sparked Monday's comeback with a two-run home run. "We're going for payback." Sam Narron is scheduled to start the series opener for Huntsville and Corey Thurman gets Game 2. Thurman, who was in Major League camp with the Brewers this year, combined with two relievers on a no-hitter last week. Jonathan Mayo penned a series preview for MiLB.com. The Brewers' Triple-A affiliate in Nashville was eliminated over the weekend and rookie Pioneer League affiliate in Helena, Mont. was eliminated on Monday night. But Class A Brevard County and West Virginia were both still alive entering Tuesday night. Last call: Left-hander Brian Shouse pitched Monday night and then traveled to Peoria, Ill., where his wife, Trish, was induced into labor. The couple already has two daughters. ... In this week's edition of Sports Illustrated, big leaguers were asked to name their favorite and least favorite road trips, and Milwaukee and Detroit each tied for the least favorite stops with 13 percent of the vote. Milwaukee got 31 percent of the vote from players under age 24. Maybe it has something to do with the Brewers' .634 (45-26) winning percentage at home, best in the National League. ... After visiting with the team's athletic trainers on Monday, outfield callup Tony Gwynn Jr.'s status remained the same. "It's day-to-day," an irritated Yost said. "He's got a pulled hamstring that's getting better and it's day-to-day. I could pinch-hit him, but for him to pinch-run or play the outfield? No, not right now." ... Yost altered his pitching rotation so Ben Sheets will start on Friday on regular rest. Jeff Suppan was pushed back a day and will start Saturday on two extra days of rest. On deck: Right-hander Dave Bush is scheduled to start Wednesday's series finale against the Pirates and left-hander Tom Gorzelanny at 11:35 a.m. CT.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.