HOUSTON -- Recently-signed outfielder Frank Catalanotto and injured reliever David Riske are each moving a step closer to getting back to the big leagues.
First, Catalanotto. He was assigned to the Brewers Double-A affiliate in Huntsville, Ala. and is set to debut there on Thursday, general manager Doug Melvin said. Catalanotto will play for at least a week as an outfielder and designated hitter before Brewers officials determine if he can help the big league club.
"He still has got to perform," Melvin said, echoing what he said on May 12. "There are no promises."
The left-handed-hitting Catalanotto was released by the Rangers at the end of Spring Training and inked a Minor League deal with Milwaukee on May 12. He had been working out at the team's baseball facility in Phoenix.
If the Brewers indeed promote Catalanotto, he would likely replace either Hernan Iribarren or Mat Gamel on the 25-man roster. Both are left-handed hitters.
Replacing Catalanotto at extended spring training was Riske, who has been sidelined since the first week of the season by a right elbow injury, but is ready to pitch in a game on Friday. Riske could pitch again as soon as Sunday if all goes well, but manager Ken Macha said he remains a ways away from the Majors.
"I think that's all up in the air," Macha said when asked about a timeline for Riske. "His situation the way it is, he could have just gone out and gotten surgery and been out for the whole year, or he could have tried to rehab it. That's what he's doing. We'll see, step by step, how things go."
Riske underwent surgery last September for a bone spur in his elbow, but the current problem is related to laxity in his ulnar collateral ligament.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.