After long wait, Bianchi back in action

After long wait, Bianchi back in action

After long wait, Bianchi back in action
PITTSBURGH -- Infielder Jeff Bianchi returned from what amounted to a three-day vacation on Saturday and found himself in the Brewers' starting lineup.

Bianchi, who started Saturday at shortstop and logged his first two Major League hits, had been with the team since Wednesday, when he traveled from Triple-A Nashville to Milwaukee and expected to be in action for the Brewers against the Cubs at Miller Park. But assistant general manager Gord Ash called to explain a complication -- the Brewers could not promote Bianchi just yet.

That's because Bianchi had been with the Brewers a week earlier, a two-day stint while pitcher Mark Rogers was on paternity leave. Once he returned to Nashville, the rules demand Bianchi spend at least 10 days in the Minor Leagues. He was not eligible for the Brewers until Saturday.

So Bianchi traveled with the team on Thursday evening to Pittsburgh and spent Friday touring the city with his wife, Nicole, while the Brewers began a three-game series against the Pirates. They rode up the famous Duquesne Incline, then enjoyed a tour on one of the boats that regularly passes by PNC Park during Pirates games.

"Very rare, but we got to spend some time together," he said. "I had a few days off, so I feel good, ready to go. The batteries are recharged."

Bianchi has been going with the flow all season. Plucked off waivers from the Cubs over the winter, he began the season at Double-A Huntsville, was promoted to Nashville after 19 games and has played three different stints with the Brewers.

He started his Major League career with no hits in 15 at-bats before hitting a single in the eighth inning on Saturday and another in the ninth, but batted .325 with a .379 on-base percentage in 92 Minor League games. Bianchi could be a Brewers utility option in 2013.

"As a utility man, I think he does a really nice job," manager Ron Roenicke said.