PHOENIX -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was once a bench player himself, and can understand the frustration Craig Counsell must be feeling. Counsell's slump extended to 0-for-33 with a groundout Tuesday night, the Brewers' longest such streak since Counsell's own 0-for-34 in 2004.Roenicke disputed the notion that Counsell's slump is tied to the fact that he turns 41 in August. "I don't think, all of a sudden, between 38, 39, 40, 41, if you keep yourself in shape, there's a huge difference there," Roenicke said. "I think that some years, things go well and the mental confidence allows you to roll with it. "I'm sure he's tired of what's going on offensively. He's still really helping us out defensively and can still have a big at-bat for us." Counsell delivered a game-winning sacrifice fly on July 10 amid his drought. "When you don't have the physical tools that you did when you were younger, you need to have that confidence," Roenicke said. "The physical tools don't go downhill that fast. The mental part comes into play, and he has to get that back. It may just take one base hit."
Brewers have plan to monitor Braun's leg
PHOENIX -- Don't panic if Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun makes some early exits in the coming days. It's all part of a new plan to help him shake a pesky left leg injury.Braun was back in Milwaukee's starting lineup Tuesday, three days after leaving a game in Colorado with a recurrence of stiffness in his left hamstring and calf. He hit a two-run home run in the first inning, then exited after batting in the fifth. "We're trying to get him back to where we don't have any setbacks," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We have a plan for him. I don't really want to say what that is, but there is a plan for what we're going to do with him. If we put him out there for nine innings every single game we've got a chance to set him back. We really don't want to do that." Braun asked his way into Tuesday's lineup after an encouraging round of batting practice and baserunning on Monday. His schedule beyond Tuesday was either to be determined or top secret. Roenicke declined to provide details of the plan, believing it would aid the Brewers' opposition. "It may be on and off and on," Roenicke said. "We're talking about which is the best way to do it, and, really, [one factor will be] how he feels after coming out of today. ... "I don't want to keep having this thing be an issue. If we have to rest him more time, we'll rest him more time. I would like, when he goes out there, that he can run hard down the line, he can run hard for a ball in the outfield." Braun has grown weary of talking about his injury. "I'm done talking about it," he said with a smile. "It's obviously been frustrating. The goal is to play as close as possible to 100 percent and stay there for the rest of the year. It's been a frustrating process, a unique process. First time I've been through it, and I'm kind of over it. It's not fun."
Draft pick Ramirez off to hot start as pro
PHOENIX -- It did not take Nick Ramirez long to pick up his first piece of professional hardware.The 21-year-old first baseman, selected by Milwaukee in the fourth round of last month's First-Year Player Draft out of Cal State-Fullerton, was named Pioneer League Player of the Week for July 11-17 after batting .517 (15-for-29) with four doubles, three home runs, nine RBIs and 10 runs scored for rookie-level Helena. In his first 18 games as a pro, Ramirez led the Pioneer League with a .383 batting average, ranked second with a .654 slugging percentage and third with 21 RBIs. He had scored a run in eight straight games through Monday. "He has the ingredients to be a good hitter at the higher levels," said Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid, who declined to predict when Ramirez would reach the next level. "It's early in his career, so where he'll wind up just yet, we'll wait and see. We just want to see him get at-bats and continue to acclimate himself to the pro game offensively and defensively." Ramirez was signed by Brewers area scout Josh Belovsky.
Tickets are on sale for the eighth annual "Evening With Hank Aaron," an event that raises funds for Aaron's Chasing the Dream Foundation. All proceeds from the event, set for Aug. 11 from 5-8 p.m. CT at Miller Park, are administered locally to help children in the Milwaukee area. Tickets are $300 for a single seat or $1,000 for a table of four, and include dinner, a silent auction, a professional photo with Aaron and a special gift bearing Aaron's autograph. The event is limited to 200 guests and has sold out in previous years. For information, contact Meredith Malone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOXSports.com says the Royals and Brewers remain in touch about Kansas City infielder Wilson Betemit, but had not made substantial progress in trade talks. Betemit, 29, who would presumably replace slumping Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee, is hitting .281 with a .341 on-base percentage in 57 games and has lost playing time to prospect Mike Moustakas. He's a free agent after the season unlikely to qualify for Type A or B status.