Shaw's absence gives Walker Brewers debut

Suter placed on DL; Blazek DFA'd to make room for newly acquired infielder

Shaw's absence gives Walker Brewers debut

MILWAUKEE -- With Travis Shaw banged up, the Brewers' newest infielder showed up just in time Sunday.

Neil Walker, acquired in a Saturday night trade with the Mets, arrived at Miller Park just after 10:30 a.m. CT and went straight to work, singling in his first two Brewers at-bats and scoring a run in Milwaukee's 7-4 win over the Reds. . He manned third base and hit cleanup in the finale in place of the club's RBI leader, Shaw, who absorbed a pair of foul tips to his right foot and right knee during Saturday's extra-innings win over Cincinnati. Shaw was available Sunday, but only in an emergency.

Shaw's X-rays were negative, but he was still hurting. The second glancing blow, just below his knee, was the most troublesome, according to Brewers manager Craig Counsell.

"He's struggling around today, limping around," Counsell said. "The wheels were in motion for [the Walker trade] a couple days ago, really, [but] for today, it works out pretty well."

Counsell was "pretty optimistic" Shaw will be back in action Tuesday against his favorite opponent. He is 10-for-13 lifetime against scheduled Pirates starter Ivan Nova with two doubles, three home runs and eight RBIs.

That's the kind of left-handed pop the Brewers hope to get from Walker, a switch-hitter who has been most productive against right-handed pitchers. Walker owns an .800 OPS in his career against right-handers, and 112 of his 126 career homers have come hitting left-handed.

Stearns on Walker's presence

"I think when we've been at our best, we've been a balanced lineup against right-handed pitching," Counsell said. "I think Neil's a guy that provides a little more thunder against right-handed pitching, a little more versatility. I think largely he'll play a lot of second base. There's some first base in there and there's third base in there. With the rest of the guys, it's more depth to protect us from various bumps and bruises and things like that."

That's exactly what Walker provided on Sunday. His first-inning single produced a 1-0 lead when Reds right fielder Jesse Winker bobbled the baseball for a run-scoring error. Walker later scored on a double by Manny Pina, as the Brewers built a 3-0 lead.

"More than anything, I was excited to get here, and I was excited when I talked to [Counsell] last night," Walker said. "He told me I was going to be in the lineup, and I was excited about that. It is easier in my opinion to get thrown in the fire and see how it goes."

Walker on Brewers debut

Suter to DL

To clear space for Walker on the 25-man and 40-man rosters, the Brewers placed left-hander Brent Suter on the 10-day disabled list with what Counsell characterized as a "mild" left rotator cuff strain, and right-hander Michael Blazek was designated for assignment.

Suter has been dealing with discomfort for some time, helping to explain the change from his first five starts in place of the injured Chase Anderson (2-0, 1.50 ERA, 25 strikeouts vs. five walks) to his three starts in August (0-1, 8.16 ERA, 12 strikeouts vs. seven walks).

Suter fans Hamilton

"It's just kind of progressively getting a little bit worse," Counsell said. "Frankly, the velocity had started to go down a bit. I know with Brent we don't talk about velocity, but it still matters. When you're at your best and it starts to creep down, that matters. I don't think that it's serious, but I think he needs some time to recover a little bit here."

With three off-days in the next 11 days, the Brewers should be able to easily cover Suter's absence. They are skipping rookie Brandon Woodruff's turn in the rotation and going with Zach Davies and Jimmy Nelson in a two-game series against the Pirates on Tuesday and Wednesday. And Anderson, who made a second Minor League rehabilitation start on Sunday, is on track to rejoin the rotation as early as the middle of next week.

Last call

• After starting for Class A Wisconsin in his first rehab start, Anderson was moved to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Sunday. He's tentatively scheduled to make two starts for the Sky Sox.

Isan Diaz, the Brewers' No. 6 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, hit the disabled list at Class A Advanced Carolina with a bruised right hand.

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.