Brewers' Salome Struggles To Focus After Child's Birth





MILWAUKEE—The development of catcher Angel Salome went off the tracks again when he left Triple-A Nashville for the birth of a baby and did not return as expected.

Assistant general manager Gord Ash said Salome, 23, informed club officials he did not feel mentally prepared to return to action. So the Brewers assigned him to the organization's training facility in Phoenix.

"We hope it will not be an extended stay," Ash said. "We're going to put him in touch with professional consultants through the club to get him the help that he needs."

A fifth-round pick in 2004 from New York's Washington High, Salome saw limited action in spring camp before being assigned to Nashville for a second season. In five games with the Sounds, he went 4-for-12 (.333) with a home run.

Salome left the Sounds when wife Johanica seemed ready to have a baby. That proved to be a false alarm, so he returned to Nashville only to head back home to New York a few days later for the baby's birth, which again took longer than expected.

The revelation that Salome was "struggling mentally" took the Brewers a bit by surprise.

"He was fine in major league camp, had a good attitude, worked hard," Ash said. "He was a little sluggish in minor league camp (after being reassigned), but (Nashville manager) Don Money said he wasn't a problem at all.

"It's a tough situation. No. 1 is the human element. You want to make sure he's OK as an individual. Then, we'll worry about the baseball part of it.

"Hopefully, he can get past this and get back on track. The tools are still there."

It wasn't the first hiccup in Salome's development. In 2007, he missed the first month at high Class A Brevard County while recovering from a broken ankle. Later that year he drew a 50-game suspension for failing a test for a performance-enhancing substance.

Salome battled finger and back injuries last year at Nashville and finished the year at .286/.334/.413 with six homers in 283 at-bats.

MICROBREWS

• Catcher Jonathan Lucroy earned a promotion to Nashville, where in his first 10 games he went 12-for-40 (.300) with three doubles. He left Double-A Huntsville with a Southern League-leading .452 average.

• Huntsville outfielder Lorenzo Cain had a blazing start derailed by a trip to the disabled list for a groin injury. He was batting .380/.450/.479 in 71 at-bats at the time of the setback.