Stearns: Braun 'on track' for imminent return

Outfielder eligible for reinstatement Sunday; Sogard showing versatility

Stearns: Braun 'on track' for imminent return

CHICAGO -- All signs are pointing toward a timely return from the disabled list for Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun, who has been hitting and throwing in recent days while recovering from right elbow and left calf injuries.

Braun is eligible for reinstatement from the 10-day DL beginning Sunday, though a scheduled off-day Monday, the wet weather this weekend at Wrigley Field and the most important factor -- Braun's health -- may push a roster move into next week. The Brewers are home at climate-controlled Miller Park beginning Tuesday against Toronto.

"We'll continue to monitor it over the next few days," general manager David Stearns said. "Weather, of course, can play into this a little bit. But everything is on track."

Said manager Craig Counsell: "He's been taking BP on the field, he's throwing every day, running. We're making progress. Everything continues to look to be on the short end of this 10 days. I won't say it's going to be for sure on Sunday yet, but it will be close."

So-versatile

Ten and one-third innings in Spring Training -- that was the extent of Eric Sogard's outfield experience before Friday, when he made his first professional appearance in the outfield as the Brewers' starter in left.

"I learned a lot out there," Sogard joked of his spring crash course. "I've always taken pride in that part of my game, being versatile. It's kind of paying off now."

Sogard's 4-for-4 day

Sogard forced his way into regular duty by going 10-for-17 during the Brewers' four-game series in San Diego, making him the first Brewers player to collect at least 10 hits in his first 17 at-bats of a season since Robin Yount started 11-for-17 in 1986.

Brewers sign Cuban prospect

Stearns said he could not comment on a report from MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez that the Brewers were nearing a $925,000 agreement with 17-year-old Cuban Ernesto Martínez Jr., a 6-foot-6 first baseman and outfielder on the international market. Martinez, who played for France in a World Baseball Classic qualifier, would have to pass a physical and Major League Baseball's standard age investigation before his contract is official.

Martinez's bonus will fall into the 2016-17 signing period, which ends June 15. The Brewers acquired $885,300 of extra funds in the April trade that sent relief pitcher Damien Magnifico to the Orioles.

Last call

• The Brewers' primary play-by-play man, Brian Anderson, returned to the booth Friday after spending recent weeks working the NBA playoffs for Turner Sports, but he was saddened to be without his usual broadcast partner. Color analyst Bill Schroeder left the team temporarily following the death of his mother, Carol Ann. Former Brewers pitcher Jerry Augustine filled in.

• Brewers assistant farm director Eduardo Brizuela became a father Thursday morning when his wife, Yelixa, gave birth to a baby boy in Phoenix. David Gael Brizuela was apparently eager to get called up to the Majors, since dad had to pull into the parking lot of the Phoenician Resort and call 911 before the couple could get to the hospital.

But mom and baby were both healthy and well, reported Brizuela's younger brother, Carlos, who works in the club's media relations department as the Brewers' Spanish-language translator.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.