Notes: Shoulder sends Ohka to DL

Notes: Shoulder sends Ohka to DL

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers placed Tomo Ohka on the disabled list on Wednesday with a shoulder injury that will sideline the right-hander for at least a month.

According to the team's medical staff, Ohka has a partial undersurface tear of the rotator cuff and a "capsular injury" that was revealed by an MRI scan on Wednesday afternoon.

"It's tough," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. "He's a veteran, experienced guy. Every time he goes out there, you have a chance to win a ballgame, and he takes you pretty deep into games. There's no substitute for that type of experience."

For now, no surgery is scheduled, though Melvin added: "I guess it's always a possibility if he doesn't get better. We'll look on it in two weeks."

Is Ohka's season in jeopardy?

"We'll tell you better in two weeks," Melvin said.

Ohka said he felt tightness behind his throwing shoulder during the fourth inning of his start on Monday against the Astros at Miller Park. The problem began to manifest in the fifth, when Ohka suddenly walked a pair of batters, and he left the game after finishing that frame.

In his first six starts, Ohka was 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA.

Ohka and the Brewers avoided a salary arbitration hearing in February by agreeing to a one-year, $4.53 million contract for 2006. He is eligible for free agency after the season.

Who's next: The Brewers did not announce a corresponding roster move because club officials wanted to mull their options, though Melvin did indicate that the club would stick with a 13-man pitching staff.

Ohka's next scheduled start was on Saturday in Los Angeles. The leading contenders to fill that spot are 25-year-old right-hander Ben Hendrickson, who is already with the club but threw 78 pitches in relief on Tuesday night, and 22-year-old left-hander Dana Eveland, who is scheduled to start on Thursday for Triple-A Nashville.

The problem of losing Ohka is compounded by Rick Helling's continued absence with an elbow injury. The Brewers re-signed Helling last winter for just this circumstance, but the veteran has been on the DL since early April with a sprained ligament.

"That's why you have a farm system and why we have guys like Eveland down there pitching," Melvin said. "He may be a candidate, but we want to look at this and see what's best for the long haul."

Eveland's poor performance in Spring Training cost him a shot at the fifth spot in the Brewers rotation, but he has been fantastic at Nashville, going 2-0 with a 0.74 ERA in four starts. Eveland struck out 24 batters versus three walks in 24 innings.

Circus in town: The media horde that descended on Miller Park got quite a pregame show when Giants slugger Barry Bonds was struck in the face by a baseball while standing behind the batting cage.

Bonds stayed in the lineup, leaving open the possibility for more excitement. Bonds was a career .371 hitter against Milwaukee entering play, with a home run every 7.5 at-bats -- his best rate of any National League opponent -- and a .544 on-base percentage. Over the past three seasons while the Brewers have been managed by Ned Yost, Bonds is a .444 hitter against Milwaukee with four homers in 27 at-bats and a whopping .643 on-base percentage.

Bonds hit career home runs Nos. 660 and 661 against the Brewers, tying and passing his godfather, Willie Mays, on the home run list, in 2004. Yost seems to have his pitchers challenge Bonds more than most.

"I just feel that the game should be played a certain way," Yost said. "You're smart about the way you pitch to certain hitters -- he's not the only one in the league that we pitch like that to.

"It just seems like every time we've intentionally walked a guy like him or Albert Pujols, he's come around to score anyway. So we might as well play the percentages and make him hit his way on. We're not afraid to do that. A game's a game, and there is something to be said for competition, matching up your best against their best. I love that part."

On deck: Left-hander Doug Davis (1-2, 6.39 ERA) bounced back in his last start, and he will look to continue the positive trend when he faces right-hander Brad Hennessey (2-0, 2.79 ERA) and the Giants on Thursday at 12:05 p.m. CT. After two poor starts, Davis held the Cubs in check last weekend over 6 1/3 innings for his first win this season.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.