Two days after he was reinstated by manager Ned Yost, Turnbow was ousted again Monday. Francisco Cordero, who has pitched in all three games since the Brewers acquired him from Texas, will step in as the stopper.
"They talked to me today, and it's understandable," said Turnbow, the All-Star closer who has been unable to finish off six of his last seven save opportunities and twice has been removed from the role. "Right now, it's too risky with me back there."
It's been a roller coaster for Turnbow for more than a month. He had 23 saves by June 27 and was ticketed for the All-Star Game, but has converted just one save since and is 0-4 with four blown saves and a 24.00 ERA in his last nine outings.
"I feel personally responsible for our record right now," Turnbow said. "If I had pitched better, we'd be doing better as a team. I've got to accept it and deal with it.
After notching save No. 24 on Saturday, Turnbow entered a save situation Sunday, but surrendered a home run and a pair of walks, leaving the Brewers with a 4-3 lead. The Brewers called on Cordero, who finished off the Reds for his first National League save.
"I don't like doing it," Yost said of his ninth-inning flip-flops. "But at this time of year, we've got to go with our best option, and right now, the way Frankie is going and the way Derrick is going, [Cordero] is our best option."
Cordero racked up 111 career saves entering 2006, but was ousted as Texas' closer after suffering five blown saves in April. He never got the job back, and was traded to Milwaukee along with outfielder Kevin Mench and a pair of Minor Leaguers for Carlos Lee and Nelson Cruz early Friday.
"I feel good about it, getting my first [save] chance as a Brewer," Cordero said after Sunday's win. "But I want Turnbow to get back on track. He's a good pitcher, a good closer, and everybody knows that. I'm not going to get tired of saying that. Everybody goes through a tough stretch."
Yost tabbed the 31-year-old Cordero despite the fact he has pitched four of the last five days. The skipper admitted a "six- or seven-run lead" would be a huge boost on Monday.
Turnbow will temporarily move to middle relief, leaving Yost to "match up" for the eighth inning with left-hander Brian Shouse and right-handers Dan Kolb, Matt Wise and even Rick Helling.
"I just have to get back to going in there and not worrying about everything -- not being afraid to fail," Turnbow said. "I need to get away from everything.
"I'm still holding strong. I'm going to turn this thing around."
Confidence boost: Some in the Brewers' clubhouse believe that Cordero's addition was an immediate plus for Turnbow. Both are of similar stature, both throw power fastballs (Turnbow's at 96-98 mph, Cordero at 94-96) with sliders and changeups.
"We have a lot of the same pitches, at about the same speed, so I get a pretty good read on what he's doing out there," Turnbow said. "It definitely gives me confidence. If one guy pitches well out of the bullpen, another guy wants to pitch well, too. We all feed off each other."
Is there such a thing as two pitchers being too similar?
"Not with them. That's a plus the whole way," pitching coach Mike Maddux said. "You're talking about totally different deliveries, maybe a little different action on the ball, too. The only think in common is the radar board."
Lined up: Yost said he considered using Bill Hall as the cleanup hitter in Lee's absence, but has settled instead on Mench, who has five RBIs in his first two games as a Brewer. Hall has been hitting seventh.
"Mench puts the ball in play. Billy still strikes out too much," Yost said. "We're trying to increase our offense, and you do that by putting the ball in play. Billy has great slugging percentage numbers, great power numbers, but his strikeouts are very high.
"There's going to come a day when Billy's going to put the ball in play consistently because he's still learning. He has a chance to be a real good hitter."
Last call: Catcher Damian Miller returned to action after missing two games with a bruised left foot. ... Second baseman Rickie Weeks (sore right wrist) traveled with the team on its six-game road trip, but third baseman Corey Koskie (post-concussion syndrome) did not. Weeks eventually will need surgery to repair a tendon, but if the soreness subsides, the team believes he can play out the season. ... Right-hander Jose Capellan (strained right shoulder) played catch on the field Monday afternoon, and Yost expects Capellan to return when his disabled list stint expires Aug. 9.
On deck: Right-hander Dave Bush will make his first start since July 22 when the Brewers and Rockies continue a three-game series at Coors Field on Tuesday at 8:05 p.m. CT. Bush has appeared twice in relief between starts (0-1, 16.88 ERA), but has produced 12 quality starts this year. He will face Rockies right-hander Josh Fogg.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less