Macha against continued use of maple bats
Manager believes threat of injury too high to overlook
MILWAUKEE -- As a player, Brewers manager Ken Macha used ash bats. While he sees the competitive benefits of maple bats, he does not see that as reason enough to overlook their dangerous nature.
"Get rid of the maple bats. Absolutely, 100 percent," Macha said. "What's going to really happen is one's going to go in the stands. ... There's people in the stands, they're not paying attention to anything. They're talking to the guy three seats down, not even going to move to get out of the way."
Macha was asked about the maple bats in light of a chest injury suffered Sunday by Cubs rookie Tyler Colvin, who was struck by a portion of Wellington Castillo's shattered bat. Colvin was in stable condition shortly after the game, but is expected to miss the rest of the 2010 season.
While he believes maple bats should be eliminated from use, that doesn't mean Macha is unaware of the reason behind the players' preference.
"That wood is absolutely harder," Macha said of the maple bats. "You'd hit with these ash bats and if you hit the ball on a seam, you could see a dent with the seam on the bat. But with the maple, it's so hard guys will use the thing and you will see no dents in the bat at all.
"When you've got two objects striking into each other, the amount of energy that goes in the opposite direction after they hit is not being absorbed by the compression of that bat, so the ball's going further. I understand that point."
But the potential for the type of injury suffered by Colvin, Macha said, is reason enough to eliminate the bats, regardless of the difference in performance between the hard maple wood and softer ash.
Rogers unavailable ahead of first start Friday
MILWAUKEE -- Though they would have liked to get him another relief appearance, Brewers pitching prospect Mark Rogers' next appearance will be his Friday start.
Rogers threw a side session in the bullpen Sunday, and is scheduled for another Tuesday in preparation for his first career start. As a result, he's unavailable out of the bullpen this week.
"I was kind of hoping to get him in one more game," manager Ken Macha said. "But [pitching coach] Rick [Peterson] said that he felt that [Rogers] could benefit more from doing two sides days than getting an inning in."
Rogers is scheduled to start Friday in the Brewers' second of four games against the Marlins. If everything goes according to plan with that start, Rogers could start a second time on the road against the Mets or Reds.
Gomez earns another start in center field
MILWAUKEE -- With the impact he had on the Brewers' recent road trip, Carlos Gomez earned yet another start in center field on Monday against the Reds.
Gomez got the day off Sunday in San Francisco in favor of rookie Lorenzo Cain, who had been the Brewers' starting center fielder for much of August and early September. On Monday, though, manager Ken Macha went back to Gomez for his sixth start in seven games.
"I didn't want to forget about Cain, but Gomez has been impacting the games," Macha said. "So I just put Cain in there yesterday and get Gomez back in there today. ... He basically won the game in Houston the last day and then had a tremendous impact on one of the games in San Francisco that we won.
"So he's earned the playing time."
Gomez batted .400 on the road trip, collecting eight hits in 20 at-bats along with four stolen bases and a pair of RBIs. With Cain struggling, Macha gave Gomez as many starts in those six games as he had in the club's previous 40 contests.
As for his other right-handed center fielder, Macha opted not to give any evaluation of Cain.
"You can take either sample size on both sides of the line of demarcation and try to determine what is going to be relevant on down the line," Macha said. "So let's hold off on drawing a conclusion.
"I'm not going to make the statement that the league has figured him out."
Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.