CINCINNATI -- The Brewers' most valuable utility man emerged from an X-ray Sunday with only a bruise, and while Hernán Pérez was still a bit hobbled from the foul ball that struck his left foot and forced him to exit Saturday's win over the Reds, he was available for pinch-hitting
CINCINNATI -- The Brewers' most valuable utility man emerged from an X-ray Sunday with only a bruise, and while Hernán Pérez was still a bit hobbled from the foul ball that struck his left foot and forced him to exit Saturday's win over the Reds, he was available for pinch-hitting duty in the series finale against the Reds.
"A lot better," Perez said. "I can walk normally. Yesterday, no."
That was good news for the Brewers, because while Perez's .261/.284/.408 slash line does not draw attention, he has become an important element of manager Craig Counsell's roster. Perez has made double-digit starts on both the infield (21 at third base, 10 in right field), and also appeared at first base, second base, shortstop and left field.
He'd never started in the outfield this season, but was needed there after regular right fielder Domingo Santana hit the disabled list for the second time. Santana is sidelined for at least another two weeks.
"Through circumstances, obviously with Domingo getting hurt, when you consider a guy an infielder/outfielder, it's valuable on a National League roster, [especially when] you're carrying four guys on your bench," said Counsell, who has played a bat short for most of the season in favor of an extra reliever.
"It's something that he's kind of added to his 'package' as a player," Counsell said. "It's a good thing, for sure."
Perez has also added a bit of power. His batting practice produced more fence-clearing line drives during the second half of last season, Counsell said, and Perez followed the season by hitting in the Venezuelan Winter League. The Brewers re-signed him to a Minor League deal over the winter.
"He didn't hit a lot of home runs in the Minor Leagues, but his youth -- because he got to the big leagues at such a young age -- I think he does have developing power," Counsell said.
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.