Shoulder injury sidelines Kapler Print
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Wednesday, 16 April 2008 12:59
MLB Headline News

 ST. LOUIS (AP) -Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Gabe Kapler missed his second straight start on Wednesday, a day after bruising his right shoulder leaping at the wall for a batting practice fly ball.
Manager Ned Yost had no problem with Kapler getting hurt before the game. Yost applauded the effort of the 32-year-old Kapler, one of the early season surprise success stories after being out of baseball for a year. Kapler was batting .423 with four home runs and 11 RBIs.
``What makes Gabe so good is he doesn't differentiate between the game and practice,'' Yost said. ``So when he's in the outfield, he shags batting practice balls like it were a game.
``That's how you stay on top of your game.''
Yost was watching when Kapler went to the wall, leaped and caught his shoulder on it as the rest of his body kept going up. But he didn't see the end of the play, which led to Kapler being scratched from the lineup.
Gabe Gross, who had been platooning with Kapler in center field, started for the second straight game on Wednesday. Before the injury, Yost had scrapped the platoon arrangement.
Yost said Kapler was ``a little better,'' but didn't know if he could use him off the bench.
The situation left the Brewers short in the outfield, with Tony Gwynn (hamstring) due to come off the 15-day disabled list on Saturday and Mike Cameron serving a 25-game suspension to start the season after testing positive for a banned stimulant.
Kapler agreed with Yost's assessment but was guarded, and suggested talking to Yost or a trainer for further information.
``I'm not telling you I don't have those conversations with the trainer or manager,'' Kapler said. ``But that's not a question that I would prefer to answer. It's not my decision to make.''
Ryan Braun, the NL rookie of the year last season, was back in the lineup after one day to clear his head of an early 3-for-25 slump. Braun had three homers and nine RBIs, but with a .226 batting average.
Yost said it was tough for Braun to watch a 6-1 loss to the Cardinals but that a day to regroup would be beneficial.
``Every time there was a pinch-hit situation I'd turn and there'd be Braunie with his bat and his helmet, 'Do you need me, do you need me?' Yost said. ``'Not right here, son, go sit down and I'll let you know.'''
Prince Fielder also has had a disappointing start after leading the major leagues with 50 home runs last year. Fielder was batting .222 with no homers and six RBIs.
``They're going to play through it, you just hope that it doesn't last too long,'' Yost said. ``When you have years like both of them had last year, your tendency especially when you're young is to come back the next year and even do better and you force it a little bit instead of letting it happen.''
Yost said both players can stop worrying about matching or exceeding their numbers from last year, and just to focus on taking good at-bats and helping the Brewers win. He was impressed with Fielder's patience while drawing a career-best four walks on Tuesday.
``He could have very easily not taken four walks and taken an 0-for-4,'' Yost said. ``If you're not going to throw strikes to the guy, you have to have the discipline to take your walk and then as a team you rely on the guy behind you to make them pay for that.''
 

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