MILWAUKEE -- Brewers All-Stars Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks aren't concerned about the State Farm Home Run Derby having any lasting effects on their swings.
Weeks is a first-time participant in the Derby, and manager Ron Roenicke has already asked the second baseman if the Derby would hurt his stroke. The manager was satisfied with what he heard from Weeks, who said he doesn't plan to tweak his swing.
"We do it all the time in BP, and it's just one of those things where, you know, you have to have confidence in yourself," Weeks said. "Some people have different swings, of course, and might have to create more lift or something like that, and that might mess them up, possibly."
Roenicke said that Weeks' unusual approach to batting practice, in which he chops grounders the first round and goes for power the next, allows him to "turn it on and off when he wants to."
Roenicke wasn't as concerned about Fielder, who won the Derby in 2009 and is second in the National League this season with 22 home runs.
"I swing hard kind of anyway, so I don't think it really affects my swing as much," Fielder said. "I might swing a little too hard, but it's not too far off from my regular swing, so it's not too big of a deal."
Asked if he's a believer in the Home Run Derby curse, Roenicke laughed before offering his answer.
"I don't know, and I don't want to know," Roenicke said.
MRI sheds light on Braun's injury status
MILWAUKEE -- An MRI scan on Wednesday provided some clarity regarding Ryan Braun's left leg injury and some peace of mind for the Brewers slugger, who said he will not start next week's All-Star Game unless he can first get on the field this weekend against the Reds.Asked whether he'll meet that deadline, Braun said, "I honestly don't know." "If I don't play in these games, I won't play in the All-Star Game. That's not fair," Braun said. "The priority is to [the Brewers] -- to being healthy and staying healthy for the second half." Braun, the National League's leading vote-getter, is in line to make his fourth consecutive All-Star Game start. Braun said his MRI revealed inflammation of a tendon behind the left knee, which is why Braun has felt the injury both in his calf and his hamstring. It would be faster to heal, he said, if one of the larger muscles were the source of the discomfort. "More than anything, it's nice to just know what we're dealing with," Braun said. "[We just wanted to] [m]ake sure there's nothing torn, there's nothing serious, that we're not doing any long-term damage. We have an idea of how to attack it." Braun was hurt breaking out of the batter's box in Minnesota on Saturday and was examined on Wednesday by the Brewers' head physician, Dr. William Raasch. Manager Ron Roenicke said Braun would likely not play Thursday's series opener against the Reds, but could start as early as Friday night. Braun originally expected to play against the D-backs on Tuesday, but he tried taking batting practice that day and was deemed a no-go. "I think he put a lot of effort in to see if he could go, so he feels it a little bit more," Roenicke said. "But I think also the reason he feels it is he really didn't do anything the two days after [he was injured]. Any time when you start up again, even BP, then it's probably going to be a little bit sore."
Roenicke wants to keep Weeks in leadoff spot
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was not motivated to drop All-Star second baseman Rickie Weeks into a run-producing position in the batting order on Wednesday, when three-hole hitter Ryan Braun missed a fourth consecutive start with a left calf strain.Corey Hart batted third once again, and this time it was Mark Kotsay in the five-hole. Weeks is third on the team with 15 home runs, but he remained in his usual leadoff spot. Speedster Nyjer Morgan, who has made 254 of his 333 Major League starts as a leadoff hitter, batted second. "Right now, I don't want to do that," Roenicke said. "Rickie is doing too well in that leadoff spot to mess with him. If I can keep him there, I'm going to try to keep him there. If it gets so bad that we have to do things ... [but] it's not going to. Braun is going to be back here [soon]."
On Wednesday, the Brewers wore their retro 1980s-style uniforms that are usually reserved for the first Friday of each month. "Change things up, I guess," said manager Ron Roenicke, whose club has lost seven of its past eight games.
Roenicke and pitching coach Rick Kranitz are still discussing plans for the starting rotation after the All-Star break. If they keep the starters in order, all five would have three extra days of rest. If they're jumbled, some could work on more regular rest and some with a long layoff.
The Brewers will host their second free block party of 2011 on Saturday at Tippecanoe Park, 1411 E. Warnimont Ave. in Milwaukee, from 11:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m. The club no longer posts an advance list of participants, but at least eight players will sign autographs. For details about the autograph process, visit Brewers.com/blockparty.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Audrey Snyder is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.