ST. LOUIS -- Unfortunately for the Brewers, Gabe Kapler does not reserve his all-out style of play for game time.
Kapler, off to one of the more surprising starts of any Major Leaguer, bruised his shoulder making a leaping catch during batting practice Tuesday and was scratched from the starting lineup against the Cardinals. Gabe Gross took over in center field, batting second, and went 0-for-4 in a 6-1 Brewers loss.
"My shoulder kind of stuck into the wall," said Kapler. "It gave me a jar. I'm not going to make any predictions, just see how it feels [Wednesday]."
With Tony Gwynn Jr. on the disabled list, Gross had been starting in center field when the Brewers faced right-handed starting pitchers. Righty Braden Looper started Tuesday for St. Louis, but given Kapler's success of late, Brewers manager Ned Yost opted to scrap the platoon.
So much for that.
Kapler came out of retirement to sign with Milwaukee and has been a revelation for the Brewers, who have used three players in center field while Mike Cameron serves a 25-game suspension to start the season. Kapler had homered in the previous two games and is batting .423 with four home runs and a team-high 11 RBIs.
If he's out beyond Tuesday's game, the Brewers would be woefully short on outfielders. Gwynn (hamstring) ran the bases during a workout on Monday's off-day but is not eligible to return from the DL until Saturday. The other backup outfielder on the roster, Hernan Iribarren, is regarded as a bat off the bench and would only be used defensively in an emergency.
With his hitless night Tuesday, Gross' batting average dropped to .091 (2-for-22).
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.