ST. LOUIS -- Still unable to pitch because of a bruised right thumb, Brewers reliever Todd Coffey was sent home to Milwaukee late Friday for further tests to determine whether he is a candidate for the 15-day disabled list.

Coffey hurt his thumb in a May 29 at-bat against the Mets at Miller Park, and he had hoped to miss only a few games, but reported continued discomfort in the joint and was unable to properly throw his pitches, particularly his slider. He saw a specialist while the team was in Florida, and this weekend was to be examined in Milwaukee by the Brewers' head physician, Dr. William Raasch.

"He got jammed hitting, and it's been tender," said Brewers head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger, who was given the OK to speak to reporters by manager Ken Macha. "It has incrementally improved, but not to where he can 'go.' So we felt he had to go see our physician. We wanted to have Dr. Raasch give us his interpretation of that. ...

"If you're a hitter, you just pad your glove up, you pad your bat up. If you're a pitcher, you can't do anything."

Macha trying to find ways to spark Fielder

ST. LOUIS -- Brewers manager Ken Macha is trying to find ways to help Prince Fielder get out of his production drought. He wonders if a lineup change might do the trick.

Fielder and Ryan Braun will probably flip spots in the batting order on Sunday against the Cardinals' Jaime Garcia. If they do, it would be the fourth time this season that Fielder batted third and Braun fourth against a left-handed starter. Macha is considering making that flip a bit more permanent, and spoke about it Saturday morning with bench coach Willie Randolph.

"I think other teams have been effective in taking Prince out of the equation," Macha said. "I'm trying to figure how we're going to get him back into the equation."

In the Brewers' past 13 games prior to Saturday, Fielder had been walked a whopping 18 times in 59 plate appearances. He had a .525 on-base percentage in that span, but only scored eight times, with three solo home runs and no other RBIs.

Fielder entered Saturday on pace for 27 homers and 62 RBIs. Last season, he belted 46 homers with 141 RBIs.

"If you look at the Twins series [from May 21-23], they walked him almost every time," Macha said. "We went down to Florida [on this trip] and they walked him almost every time. [On Friday] night, I think he got himself out once, maybe twice."

A lineup flip, Macha said, "might be worth a try."

Braun and Fielder have been resistant to such a change in the past. In early 2008, when then-manager Ned Yost started the season with Fielder in the three-hole and Braun hitting fourth, they asked for a change. But it was the players who approached Macha last month in Pittsburgh with the idea of trying a flip against left-handed starters.

Macha pointed out that the Cardinals recently tried a similar switch with first baseman Albert Pujols and then-slumping left fielder Matt Holliday.

"It created a little bit of a flap," Macha said with a smile. "Maybe we need to try something a little different."

Gomez wishes Samuel well in Baltimore

ST. LOUIS -- Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez offered congratulations this week to Juan Samuel, named Friday as the new manager of the Orioles. Samuel was Gomez's manager at Double-A Binghamton, a Mets affiliate, in 2006.

"I got lucky in the Minor Leagues that all of my managers used to be real good runners and hitters," Gomez said. "My first manager in the rookie league was Brett Butler. Then the other year in rookie ball was Mookie Wilson. In low [Class] A, I had Gene Richards. Then Double-A with Juan Samuel.

"I learned a lot [from Samuel]," Gomez said. "He's a good man. We almost made the playoffs and missed by only one game, and he had a good association with the players. He was an active guy. He fit in, like he was one of you. He was always pumping me up, always teaching me, saying, 'Be ready, you're going to be in The Show soon.' He made me feel good.

"The last time I played against the Orioles, I went to him and said, 'Hey, when are you finally going to be a big league manager?' I'm happy for him. He's a good man."

Worth noting

Brewers outfield prospect Logan Schafer, slowed since Spring Training by a groin injury, was finally active for Class A Brevard County on Saturday, and another outfielder Brendan Katin, who was on a home run binge before suffering a knee injury, was activated from the disabled list at Triple-A Nashville. Katin had surgery on May 6 to repair torn cartilage. ... The Brewers sent catcher Angel Salome from Double-A Huntsville down to Brevard County. Salome had recently been re-activated after missing time to deal with personal issues, and club official was not immediately available to explain the demotion. Neither was Salome's agent, Bobby Barad. ... A day after he made a series of spectacular defensive plays, shortstop Alcides Escobar was on the Brewers' bench Saturday. He was 2-for-15 on the road trip entering the game, and Craig Counsell started at shortstop instead against Cardinals rookie right-hander Adam Ottavino. "I think [Escobar] has been OK," manager Ken Macha said. "He's putting some balls in play, hitting the ball to right field a little more. I think the next step would be him having a little confidence to get a little deeper in the count, maybe getting a few more walks. That takes a while." Macha pointed to Cardinals sophomore Colby Rasmus, who entered Saturday with a 15 percent walk rate (29 walks in 193 plate appearances). Last year as a rookie, Rasmus walked only 6.9 percent of the time. ... Brewers bench coach Willie Randolph rejoined the team Saturday. He had missed the rest of the road trip after his father passed away in South Carolina. ... Utility man Joe Inglett told Macha that his injured left ankle was at about "80 percent" on Saturday. Macha said he would stop pinch-running for Inglett when he reaches base.