Happy to be back, Perez ready to help Crew

Happy to be back, Perez ready to help Crew

CHICAGO -- Hernan Perez showed up to a cold and cloudy Wrigley Field on Thursday to take the place of injured Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett, but the conditions were still better than some of the snow Perez encountered in Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Perez has gotten used to the cold, but that hasn't cooled his bat. He was hitting .339 with one home run and 11 RBIs with Colorado Springs, continuing a level of production he showed late last season and through most of Spring Training.

"I think the spring was a great spring for me," Perez said. "I played in Venezuela winter ball all year, and that helped me a lot. I brought that in to Triple-A and kept doing what I was doing in Spring Training."

Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Perez will likely split time with Yadiel Rivera and Colin Walsh in the Brewers' infield as Gennett recovers from his right oblique injury.

"Obviously, those guys will pick up the slack," Counsell said.

In his first 31 Major League games last season, Perez hit .038 in 48 at-bats. In his final 81 games, the infielder hit .284 and became a useful utility option for the Brewers. Despite his contributions, Perez still didn't make the 40-man roster out of Spring Training.

"That hurt me a lot, but it's baseball," Perez said.

Perez said he understood the organization's decision, but that didn't cause him to lose confidence. He kept hitting well, and in only a matter of weeks, he got the break he was hoping for.

"I was ready for this," Perez said. "I was hoping I would be here soon because I did well in Spring Training, I was doing a great job in Triple-A. So I'm happy to be here."

Cody Stavenhagen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.