The Milwaukee Brewers still have a job to do on Saturday, but you’ll just have to forgive them if suddenly their six-game losing streak doesn’t seem quite as bad as if might have a day ago.
The Brewers excused shortstop Jean Segura from the team for what is being called an open-ended period after Segura learned shortly after Friday’s loss to the St. Louis Cardinals that his 9-month-old son, Janniel, had died suddenly in the Dominican Republic.
Utilityman Elian Herrera was recalled from Triple-A Nashville to take Segura’s spot on the 25-man roster and Jeff Bianchi will start at shortstop Saturday. Segura was placed on the bereavement list, where a player can be kept for a minimum of three games and a maximum of seven.
But those were secondary concerns.
“He’ll just have to make a decision where he’s at and what he feels like. It’s different with everybody. Some guys might feel like, ‘Hey, I need to get back and I need to play,’ and some other guys just can’t do it.”
Segura, 24, is in his second full season in the major leagues after being acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in the July 2012 trade that sent pitcher Zach Greinke west.
Carlos Gomez was the only Brewer player who spoke to reporters on Saturday.
“If it was my kids, I would probably stay home. I’m not coming back,” Gomez said. “I don’t know how he’s going to react to coming back. If he’s coming back, we’re going to take care of him and help him to relax and enjoy life again.
“I have two kids and this broke my heart.”
Neither Roenicke nor Gomez had details about the circumstances behind the infant’s death. Segura returned home to the Dominican Saturday morning.
A team that is in a battle for first place this weekend with the Cardinals and has lost six straight and 10 out of 11 has other things on its mind today.
“This is a day we feel like everybody wanted to stay home,” Gomez said. “But it’s a job. We have to finish. Come here for him and play hard and get a ‘W’ today.”
Sometimes real life has a way of providing context when things get tough between the white lines.
“This is a game we’re playing,” Roenicke said. “It’s certainly not as important as life, but we know it’s important to a lot of people in the community. These guys get that. They’ll be OK.”
Here’s one very sincere wish that Jean Segura can be OK, too, after an incomprehensible loss.