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Garza cuts bullpen session short

Righty still feeling effects of collision with Aguilar
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MILWAUKEE -- Still sore from a collision with big Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar, right-hander Matt Garza cut short his bullpen session Tuesday and will not pitch on Thursday against the Giants at Miller Park.

One option to take Garza's turn is right-hander Paolo Espino, who was scratched from a Triple-A start on Monday, but is not hurt. The Brewers may have bumped back Espino, pending the outcome of Garza's mound session.

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MILWAUKEE -- Still sore from a collision with big Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar, right-hander Matt Garza cut short his bullpen session Tuesday and will not pitch on Thursday against the Giants at Miller Park.

One option to take Garza's turn is right-hander Paolo Espino, who was scratched from a Triple-A start on Monday, but is not hurt. The Brewers may have bumped back Espino, pending the outcome of Garza's mound session.

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"I'm fine, it was just still tight," said Garza, who was spun around by a collision with the 6-foot-3, 250-pound Aguilar after both converged at first base against the Dodgers. "I can't get to some spots in my bullpen. That concerned me. Not heavily, I'm just not accustomed to not being able to get to those spots.

"It just wasn't comfortable. Most of me wants to just push through it, but the better in me says not to. Don't make matters worse. I just had to tell [manager Craig Counsell] I couldn't finish off my bullpen."

Garza, 2-2 with a 3.83 ERA after eight starts, ended the session after 25 pitches with tightness in his shoulder and neck.

Counsell opted not to spell out the Brewers' Plan B. Because the disabled list changed from 15 days to 10 days this season, one option available to the Brewers is placing Garza on the DL retroactive to Sunday in order to call up a pitcher, and have him miss only one start. In that scenario, Garza could return as early as June 14 in St. Louis, the day after a doubleheader.

If the choice to take Garza's place is Espino, it would be the 30-year-old right-hander's second Major League start. He made his debut on May 19 at Wrigley Field and pitched capably against the Cubs, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits in four innings before being replaced by a pinch-hitter when a scoring opportunity emerged in the fifth.

Espino, who pitched 1,304 innings in 291 games over 11 seasons in the Minors before the callup, including parts of eight seasons at Triple-A, called the opportunity "pure excitement."

He is 4-1 with a 3.26 ERA in nine starts for Colorado Springs this season.

Progress for Braun

Ryan Braun is back to taking batting practice on the field with the Brewers, but has not done any running on the field and is not close to returning from the DL for a left calf strain.

"We're not up to 100 percent on the treadmill yet," Counsell said. "The next step is on the field, agility running. We're not there yet."

The good news is that Braun's right elbow injury has healed, Counsell said.

Last call

Braun and Garza helped Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity kick off its building season Tuesday in the Washington Park Neighborhood. Milwaukee's Habitat chapter will serve 35 families this season with the construction and rehab of homes in the area.

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.

Milwaukee Brewers, Matt Garza