MIAMI -- The Brewers may have made the bulk of their September callups already, but manager Ron Roenicke didn't rule out the possibility of seeing a more familiar face toward the end of the season.
According to Roenicke, shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who underwent surgery to repair a torn right ACL on May 17, is ahead of schedule in his recovery. Gonzalez has been with the team while it's playing the Marlins in Miami, and Roenicke said the shortstop has been working in the batting cages, fielding ground balls and running, though not at full speed.
"That would be a question mark," Roenicke said of a possible return for Gonzalez this year. "He's ahead of schedule, so I don't want to say no. He's probably got an appointment in a couple weeks, and if the doctor says he's ready to go, then we'll have to rethink what we're doing."
While it's uncertain if Gonzalez will see the field again this season, first baseman Mat Gamel's status is clearer. Gamel is also recovering from a torn right ACL.
"Mat will not be ready," Roenicke said. "Physically he won't be ready [to return]."
Bianchi producing in third stint with Brewers
MIAMI -- The third time has been a charm for Jeff Bianchi.
After two brief stints with the Brewers earlier in the season -- seven games from July 13-25 and again on Aug. 13 -- Bianchi has started to find a groove in his latest opportunity with the big league club. Since being recalled on Aug. 25, when he picked up his first career hit, Bianchi is batting .349 (8-for-23) with eight RBIs.
"After I got that first hit, I think I really just settled down a little bit," Bianchi said. "I'm getting a little more comfortable."
While Bianchi has been able to settle in at the plate this time around, he has also surprised manager Ron Roenicke with his power. Bianchi has hit three home runs in his last six games, including a three-run shot in Tuesday's 8-4 win at Marlins Park, which has earned a reputation for being a pitcher's park in its inaugural season.
"The three he's hit, he's really crushed," Roenicke said. "I didn't know much about him, and you look at numbers in the Minor Leagues and you don't really see something that shows you he's going to hit balls that hard. They're hit.
"He's a good hitter. He hit over .300; he's been hitting over .300 at Double-A also. He's a good hitter."
Bianchi's performance has likely earned him more playing time at shortstop, where he has split time with Jean Segura, during the final month of the season.
"Originally, we certainly wanted to play Segura," Roenicke said. "We wanted to see what he could do. I think we've seen quite a bit of him now. I think Bianchi is doing well enough that we'll probably play him a little bit more than we have, but they'll both play."
Thornburg could see time in Brewers' bullpen
MIAMI -- Ideally, the Brewers would like to use September callup Tyler Thornburg in the starting rotation, but don't be surprised if the righty makes a relief appearance before that.
Manager Ron Roenicke wants to work Thornburg into the rotation, possibly implementing a six-man staff, but he said finding a spot to work Thornburg into could be difficult over the next week and a half.
The Brewers have off-days on Sept. 13 and 17, which could make it tricky to add an extra pitcher to the rotation before the second off-day. If that's the case, and Milwaukee can't find a start for Thornburg before then, the righty will likely see some work out of the bullpen.
"If we have him in the bullpen, it's just because we need to have him in a game so he's not too far removed from being in an actual competition," Roenicke said.
Thornburg started for Triple-A Nashville on Sunday, working 3 2/3 innings, and he threw a bullpen session on Tuesday at Marlins Park.
"We're going to go a little bit with him and probably not have him out of the bullpen," Roenicke said. "But if it goes beyond eight days or some time, just to give it a number, then we need to have him maybe actually be in our bullpen to figure it out."
Morris, Burgos win Brewers' Minors awards
MIAMI -- Brewers prospects Hunter Morris and Hiram Burgos were rewarded for their seasons on Wednesday, as the two were named recipients of the 2012 Robin Yount Performance Awards, given to Milwaukee's top Minor League player and pitcher.
Morris, who was drafted by Milwaukee in the fourth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, earned the club's Minor League Player of the Year honor just two days after he was named the MVP of the Double-A Southern League. In 136 games with Huntsville, he hit .303 with 28 home runs and 113 RBIs. He had a .357 on-base percentage and a .920 OPS as he became the first Stars player to earn league MVP honors since Brewers first baseman Corey Hart in 2003.
Morris led the Southern League in homers, RBIs, hits (158), slugging percentage (.563), total bases (294) and extra-base hits (74) as he made a run at the Triple Crown. He was second in the league in doubles (40) -- tying the Huntsville single-season record -- third in runs (77) and fourth in batting average.
He also led all qualifying Southern League first basemen with a .995 fielding percentage, committing just six errors on the year.
Burgos, the Brewers' sixth-round selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, was named the Minor League Pitcher of the Year after he went 10-4 with a 1.95 ERA in 28 games, including 27 starts, between Huntsville, Class A Brevard and Triple-A Nashville. He recorded 153 strikeouts and issued just 49 walks in 171 innings, while holding opponents to a .210 average.
The Brewers took an extra step to try to make righty Wily Peralta that much more comfortable in his first career start Wednesday. Milwaukee started Martin Maldonado behind the plate. Maldonado has experience catching Peralta in the Minors.
"The mental part of your first start in the big leagues is important," Roenicke said. "Any time you can be more familiar with what's going on, it's going to help. Maldy and him, they've been together, and I think that's the right way to do it, to get him more comfortable."
Righty Josh Stinson, who was called up from Double-A Hunstville on Tuesday, was available out of the bullpen Wednesday, Roenicke said.
Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.