MILWAUKEE -- Yovani Gallardo's hamstring injury landed him on the 15-day disabled list and opened an opportunity for right-handed pitching prospect Tyler Thornburg.
Thornburg, who will take Gallardo's rotation spot starting Monday in San Francisco, has been used as a starter and reliever the past two seasons, bouncing back-and-forth from the Brewers and Triple-A Nashville, but his future role remains up in the air.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said a few starts in a row is a chance for Thornburg to prove he belongs in the future starting rotation plans.
"Absolutely," Roenicke said. "But we'll see with him. He's got enough stuff to do it; it's just command and confidence. So we'll see what he can do out there."
Thornburg entered the season as the Brewers' top prospect but he struggled mightily in 15 starts with Nashville, pitching to a 0-9 record and 5.79 ERA. Oddly enough, he has pitched well in six relief appearances and one start with the Brewers, holding a 2.22 ERA in 24 1/3 innings.
Thornburg started the nightcap of Tuesday's doubleheader in Chicago and turned in the best start of his young career, tossing six scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out six.
"I think it's a case of not trying to do too much, honestly," Thornburg said. "I try not to think about wanting to get in the rotation. I pretty much try to concentrate on each outing and doing the best I can when I'm out there. But I'm definitely pleased with this opportunity."
Thornburg said he talked to veteran right-hander Kyle Lohse about the mental aspect of pitching, which helped him simplify his approach.
"Pretty much staying under control," said Thornburg of the topic of his conversation with Lohse. "Concentrate on making your pitch, don't worry about the hitter. Whether you need to locate a fastball down and away, you're going to locate a fastball down and away. You're not worrying about trying to beat his bat. You're not trying to blow it by him or anything like that. You're trying to make your pitch and everything past that is chance."
Roenicke said he will reevaluate the rotation after Gallardo and Marco Estrada return from the DL. Estrada made a rehab start with Nashville on Friday, which Roenicke said was to last 45-50 pitches.
Yount honored by Brewers, reflects on PEDs
MILWAUKEE -- Robin Yount was on hand at Miller Park on Friday as the Brewers commemorated the 20th anniversary of his retirement prior to their series opener against the Nationals.
Yount -- who played for Milwaukee for the entirety of his 20-year career -- spoke to media prior to the ceremony and weighed in on his playing days, his brief coaching career, and the state of PED's in Major League Baseball in the wake of Ryan Braun's suspension.
Three years ago, Yount famously stated that he did not know what he would have done if steroids had been readily available during his playing days.
"There was an argument where you had to do it prior to drug testing to keep up," Yount said Friday. "I'd like to believe those days are gone."
Yount had this to say about Braun's recent 65-game suspension: "In Ryan's case, I don't know all the facts. Obviously this is a bump in the road for baseball, but I hope that it maybe will put an end to all of this once and for all. I hope that the guys testing the system realize maybe they can't beat it, and let everybody go out there on an even playing field."
Yount shied away from commenting directly about Braun's situation, but he did say how it affected the Brewers organization as a whole.
"Let's face it, an organization without your star player gets hurt in a lot of ways," Yount said. "If these guys would realize there's more to this than themselves … they're playing for their teams, they're hurting their teammates, they're hurting the fans they play for -- let's face it, they're paying your salary.
"It's just not necessary anymore. That's the point I'm trying to make. With drug testing in place -- again I'm no expert on it -- but I would certainly like to believe it's a good enough program that you can't get away with it, so nobody has to worry about it anymore."
Yount was joined by former teammates and fellow Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers and Hank Aaron on the field for his pregame ceremony, and he stressed that baseball will be better off with the sport's new drug policy.
"It's very important to baseball that we get rid of this," Yount said. "It's not what we want to focus on as an industry. We want to focus on the game itself. This will pass, there's no player bigger than the game. It's not our brightest moment, but hopefully, like I said just a second ago, this will make the guys aware that they're not going to beat the system."
Segura returns to lineup to face Nationals
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers All-Star shortstop Jean Segura was back hitting third in the lineup Friday after missing two straight games followed by the off-day Thursday.
Segura had been in a 3-for-23 skid and had been hit on the forearm by a pitch against the Rockies over the weekend before going 2-for-4 in Tuesday's doubleheader opener against the Cubs. He sat out the second game in a move that manager Ron Roenicke said was preplanned.
Segura did pinch-hit in Tuesday's nightcap and singled before scoring the game's winning run in the ninth inning.
"Just wanted to keep it fresh and come back here and continue to work," Segura said. "Just a couple days to get rest."
Segura said he agreed with Roenicke's move to sit him prior to the off-day Thursday, but said numerous nagging injuries have not affected his timing.
"No, just needed a little more rest," he said.
Already missing Ryan Braun due to a suspension and Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart out with injuries, Roenicke was just happy to pencil Segura's name into his lineup card Friday.
"Yeah, any time we have him out there, it's a good thing," Roenicke said.
Kevin Massoth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.