MILWAUKEE -- Since being recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Sept. 7, shortstop Luis Cruz has pinch-hit twice for the Brewers, once in Houston and again in San Francisco.
Cruz has yet to start a game for the Brewers, and though he started nearly 40 games in two years with the Pirates, his manager did not wish to start him against contenders like the Giants and Reds.
After playing in 129 games for the Sounds this year, sitting and watching from the bench is a new role for Cruz.
"I'm just working hard to see whenever they find a chance for me and let me play, that's the only thing I can do," Cruz said. "You want to play and help the team win, but the manager is the manager. He's the one that sets the lineup, and he's got to pick the guys that he thinks are going to help win games."
With their official elimination from the playoff race on Sunday, though, the Brewers aren't going anywhere, regardless of how many games they win. Add in the fact that they need to go 12-0 the rest of the way to finish at .500, and the need for winning games would not seem too high.
Learning what they can about September callups like Cruz, however, would seem like a priority. According to Macha, that's likely to come in the next two series against the Marlins and Mets, both of whom are also on the outside looking in at the contenders.
"I had thrown a crazy idea out there this morning, I don't know if I've got the nerve to do that," Macha said without giving any additional details. "It's a little further out of the box than playing Luis Cruz."
Joining Cruz in watching from the dugout has been Mat Gamel, who also started one game at third base with Prince Fielder out of the lineup.
Any out-of-the-ordinary lineup against the Marlins would likely include Gamel as well, though what defensive position he would play is uncertain. Before Wednesday's game, Macha had good things to say about Gamel's outfield abilities.
"He was running them down in the outfield," Macha said. "He was outstanding in right field. Watching him run balls down today, he was pretty good."