Brewers call up top prospect Segura for Crew debut
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WAUKEE -- It didn't take long for Jean Segura to see his first Major League action as a Brewer.
Ten days after being traded to Milwaukee as part of the deal that sent Zack Greinke to the Angels, the 22-year-old shortstop was called up from Double-A Huntsville and inserted into the starting lineup on Monday against the Reds.
Batting eighth, Segura went 0-for-4 in the Brewers' 6-3 victory, although he advanced Martin Maldonado to third -- from where he eventually scored Milwaukee's first run -- with a flyout to right in the fifth inning, and he lined out sharply to right field in the sixth. He also corralled a couple of grounders, including his first putout in the first inning to get it out of the way quickly.
"That's probably not an easy guy to face his first night, said manager Ron Roenicke of Reds starter Bronson Arroyo. "Certainly the guys that seem to get him are guys that understand what he's going to do and have seen him a while. That's a tough guy for Segura's first game to see."
Monday's game wasn't Segura's Major League debut, as he went 0-for-3 in his only appearance with the Angels on July 24. But after getting that first game out of the way, he had his eyes focused on the future.
"I don't want to talk too much about the Angels; that's the past," said Segura. "I'm here now. This is my hometown. I'm going to be here a long time, and I'm glad to be here."
Segura wasn't the only one happy that he was in the Brewers' clubhouse and on the lineup card on Monday. Manager Ron Roenicke smiled when talking about having the chance to see Segura -- now Milwaukee's top prospect, according to MLB.com -- after hearing rave reviews from the Angels' organization.
Despite the hype, Roenicke wasn't expecting to have Segura in Milwaukee until September callups, but that changed when now-former Brewers infielder Cesar Izturis was claimed off waivers by the Nationals. Roenicke took no issue with the decision.
"He's got power to all fields [and] really drives the ball well the opposite way," Roenicke said of Segura. "He's got good speed, so he'll have good range at short, he's got a fantastic arm and he steals a lot of bases, so he does a lot of things. I'm looking forward to seeing him. I love seeing guys that are young and have tremendous tools."
In eight games for Huntsville, Segura showed off his full range of abilities, batting .433 (13-for-30) with four RBIs and four stolen bases. Also the Angels' No. 1 prospect before the trade, Segura batted .294 with seven homers, 40 RBIs and 33 stolen bases in 94 games with Double-A Arkansas.
Shortstop has been a question mark for the Brewers since Alex Gonzalez went down with a season-ending knee injury in May. Roenicke has used a platoon at the position for much of the season, and Segura will join Cody Ransom as the team's two primary shortstops.
Roenicke wouldn't commit quite yet to Segura being the shortstop of the future for the Brewers, but he said the 2012 Texas League All-Star will have the chance to show he's capable.
"If he's doing really well, he's going to be out there a lot," Roenicke said. "We plan to play him a lot anyway. But I think the better he does, the more comfortable he's going to be and confident, and that's what it's all about when a young guy comes up is, how do you get him confident in what he's doing? And some guys you throw out there and you see what happens, and he's certainly going to get that opportunity."
When asked about the notion that he projects to be more of a second baseman, Segura said he'd prefer to stay at short, and he thinks that's where he belongs. At the same time, like most rookies, Segura said he plans on being ready for whatever the Brewers throw at him.
"To be successful, you have to work hard," Segura said. "And at this level, it's the big leagues, some things go faster, and when you're a rookie, you have to work hard to be successful in every position they put you at."