Milwaukee Brewers starter Marco Estrada was in line to return to the rotation after making one more start with Class-A Wisconsin. Instead, he won't be throwing much at all, as his hamstring problem flared up once more during the outing. Kevin Massoth of MLB.com reported that Estrada left Sunday's start after 2 2/3 innings, giving up six runs in the third, when he also felt his hamstring tighten. Manager Ron Roenicke said that Estrada wouldn't be throwing any bullpen sessions until his hamstring was almost healed.
"Marco had a setback, so he's off the rehab assignment," Roenicke said. "We've got to get this thing where it's -- I don't know if it'll be 100 percent, but it's got to be a lot better before he goes out and does this again. I would say that we've got to back off a lot on his bullpens until that leg clears, and then we start the bullpens up again."
Estrada seemed unsure of how long he would need to recover, but it's clear that the hamstring pain was something he was dealing with even before the third:
"I'm going to need a little bit more time, but I'm not sure how much," Estrada said. "What I've been feeling in bullpens is what I felt the first two innings. It was just a little here and there, but I could deal with it. The third, it was just [not good]...The only way I'm going to know how it feels again is getting back on the mound."
Milwaukee has already lost Alfredo Figaro to the DL this week, with Johnny Hellweg set to start Friday in his place. Roenicke indicated that Donovan Hand, who made his major league starting debut last week, would get another start in Estrada's absence. The Brewers' starters have a 4.98 ERA in 2013, worst in the National League and second-worst in MLB. The 66 home runs they have given up, also an NL-leading mark, haven't helped.
The Brewers might be wise to ease off on Estrada's activity until the hamstring is fully healed, given this setback. It has been three weeks since he went on the DL after leaving his June 4th start with the strain. Outfielders Matt Kemp and Giancarlo Stanton are among the players who have missed extensive periods of time this season with hamstring problems. Kemp went on the DL a week before Estrada and has just been activated.
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