BREWERS SHORT HOPS
Ex-Met Kirk Nieuwenhuis has found a home in center field with Milwaukee, working in a platoon with Ramon Flores. Nieuwenhuis began the season on the bench, but moved into a regular role after Keon Broxton opened the season 0-for-16 and was demoted to Triple-A Colorado Springs. The Brewers claimed Nieuwenhuis off waivers Dec. 23, when the Mets needed to free a 40-man roster spot for the signing of Alejandro De Aza. Nieuwenhuis is hitting .278 with two homers and 14 RBIs in 79 at-bats. He has 25 strikeouts and 15 walks. Nieuwenhuis isn’t the only ex-Met with Milwaukee. Reliever Carlos Torres landed there after opting out of a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves near the end of spring training. Chris Capuano, who played for the Brewers from 2004 through 2010, is back with Milwaukee as a reliever.
Right fielder Domingo Santana was scratched from Thursday’s series finale against the Chicago Cubs with right-shoulder soreness. The issue also kept Santana out of the lineup for six games during Milwaukee’s May 5-11 road trip.
Ryan Braun, who returned to left field this season after two years in right field, has missed the past two games with lower-back stiffness. Braun (.364/.429/.576) underwent back surgery during the offseason. He was slowed last weekend by a right-wrist issue. Since Aug. 12 of last season, Braun has hit an MLB-leading .353 (89-for-252) with 13 homers and 49 RBIs in 68 games. He began a five-year, $105 million extension this season that was signed in April 2011.
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy (.304, 6 HR, 16 RBIs) could be an attractive trade chip, especially since he is not eligible for free agency until after the 2017 season. The Brewers hold a modest $5.25 million option on Lucroy for next season from an extension signed back in March 2012.
Opening Day starter Peralta's 7.30 ERA and 1.99 WHIP both rank worst in the majors among qualifiers, but manager Craig Counsell is sticking with Peralta in the rotation for now. Peralta has only two quality starts in eight appearances this season. He is coming off an outing against the San Diego Padres in which he allowed six runs on eight hits and three walks in 4⅔ innings, including homers to Wil Myers and Matt Kemp. The Brewers are lacking options to bump Peralta since Taylor Jungmann and Jorge Lopez are underperforming with Colorado Springs. Jungmann began the season 0-4 with a 9.15 ERA in five starts with the Brewers. He has an 14.85 ERA in four Pacific Coast League starts since a demotion, including getting rocked for six runs while recording only one out against the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate Thursday night. Lopez has a 6.14 ERA in seven starts with Colorado Springs. Matt Garza (right lat) has missed the opening two months of the season but is due to begin throwing bullpen sessions.
Chase Anderson took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning Tuesday before surrendering a leadoff double to the Cubs’ Ben Zobrist. Anderson had lost his previous five starts, while posting an 8.88 ERA during that stretch. He was acquired with Aaron Hill from the Arizona Diamondbacks in January for Jean Segura.
When the July 29 deal that would have sent Carlos Gomez to the Mets for Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores fell through, Milwaukee officials rebounded by trading Gomez with Mike Fiers to the Houston Astros. The return: Santana, Adrian Houser, Josh Hader and Brett Phillips. Hader has a 0.89 ERA through eight starts with Biloxi this season, while Houser has a 7.18 ERA through seven starts with that Double-A club. Phillips, an outfielder, is hitting .254 with six homers and 26 RBIs through 130 at-bats with Biloxi. Neither player the Mets planned to send to the Brewers for Gomez is currently active. Wilmer Flores is on the DL with a mild left hamstring strain, while Wheeler is estimated to return July 1 from Tommy John surgery.
David Stearns assumed the role of general manager Sept. 21, succeeding Doug Melvin. He has been charged with rebuilding to compete in a division that includes recent powerhouses Chicago, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.
METS SHORT HOPS
Matz makes his first start since May 9. He skipped his scheduled outing last weekend in Denver and received a cortisone injection Monday because of recent left forearm soreness.
Reliever Jim Henderson pitched for the Brewers from 2012 through 2014. He recorded 28 saves in the second of those three seasons.
Syndergaard tossed seven scoreless innings to outduel Washington’s Max Scherzer on Tuesday. The Mets have scored a total of one run in Syndergaard’s two losses this season.
Yoenis Cespedes produced his 30th homer in the 92nd game as a Met. That was by far the quickest to that threshold. Runner-up Dave Kingman took 111 games as a Met to reach 30 homers.
Jeurys Familia is 13-for-13 in save conversions.