MILWAUKEE -- Prince Fielder made only one guarantee after selecting the National League's field for next week's State Farm All-Star Home Run Derby."I guarantee I'll swing hard," he joked. Fielder always swings hard, and he'll be swinging for the fences at Chase Field on July 11 along with Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, Matt Holliday of the Cardinals and Brewers teammate Rickie Weeks. Fielder won the event in 2009 in St. Louis. That NL foursome will compete against 2010 Derby champion David Ortiz's American League team. The Red Sox slugger also picked a teammate, Adrian Gonzalez, plus Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays and Robinson Cano of the Yankees. "I wish I could invite everybody I knew," Fielder said. "That was the only part that was tough."
He especially wanted someone from the Arizona Diamondbacks, whose home ballpark, Chase Field, will host All-Star week, and considered outfielder Justin Upton. But Fielder couldn't pass on Kemp, who is having an MVP-caliber season, or Holliday, a two-time Derby veteran, or Weeks, his best friend in baseball."He's a teammate of mine, this is his first All-Star Game, and I'm really excited for him," Fielder said. "I want him to show people how far he can hit it." The Derby, Fielder said, "is kind of intense. It's not as easygoing as you might think it is. You get serious, because of course you want to win." The winning captain will get $150,000 for the charity of his choice, plus a $100,000 donation in his name to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. What did it mean to Weeks to have two Brewers in the field for the first time? "We hit homers, I guess," Weeks said. "It's just for the fans to see that we're a small-market team, but we have guys that can play. It's one of those things where you know, show the world something and have fun out there."
Braun misses third straight game
MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun is getting close to taking the field but his strained left calf still isn't at 100 percent.
Braun was out on the field during Tuesday's pregame activities, but manager Ron Roenicke said he's still concerned about the slugger re-injuring himself when he runs out of the box, and did not put Braun in the starting lineup. Not wanting Braun to try and leg out a hit in a pinch-hitting situation is something Roenicke has thought long and hard about.
"Whether it's tomorrow or it's the next day, I don't know," the manager said of Braun's availability.
Whenever the All-Star left fielder takes the field, he will have a chance to extend his career-high 22-game hit streak. Braun said on Monday he didn't want to speculate when he'd be available, and said the staff is monitoring his progression on a day-by-day basis.
Utility man Josh Wilson took Braun's spot in left field on Tuesday, while Corey Hart continued batting in the third spot.
Loe, bullpen look to bounce back
MILWAUKEE -- Kameron Loe has heard the boos directed at the Brewers' bullpen while jogging off the field and heading toward the dugout.
The bullpen is trying to clear their minds from back-to-back losses after surrendering late-game leads on Sunday and Monday. Getting back on track after allowing seven earned runs during seven innings of work on Sunday and Monday remains at the forefront of the pen's discussions.
"It's been a little rough lately," Loe said. "I've had a couple bad outings in a row, gave up a run in both of them in some key situations. You know, it doesn't feel good, but I just got to come back to the ballpark, work hard the next day." Loe said part of his struggles stem from a mechanical issue. He didn't want to go into detail about the issue other than saying he's working on correcting it with the coaches.
"I've been letting a couple of balls up, and they've been getting hit a little bit harder than normal. Instead of getting the ground balls, there's been more line drives."
Manager Ron Roenicke was quick to come to Loe's defense. He said because of the arms he has in the bullpen and pitchers needing rest, he can't always throw the sinker baller against right-handed hitters like he would like. Roenicke still believes the ideal set up is with Loe in an eighth-inning role, even as reliever Takashi Saito is regaining his health.
Roenicke said Saito's limited use this season, after dealing with injuries throughout almost the entire first half of the season, validates the decision to keep Loe in his usual role for now.
"I don't think the blame should all be on him," the manager said. "Plus, if we do our job early in the game he's not in there in a one-run game or whatever. We're winning 6-1 he shouldn't even be in there to be honest with you. We should have a five-run lead and I should have whoever in there."
The Brewers debuted a hotline this week to answer the most common question on Miller Park game days: Is the roof open? The answer is now available by calling 1-800-774-8587. Brewers Senior Director of Stadium Operations Bob Hallas will update the status of the roof on the hotline by noon CT for a night game and by 10 a.m. for a day game. As weather changes, Hallas will keep the hotline updated with new information. ... Two Brewers Minor Leaguers were named pitchers of the week in their respective leagues: Double-A Huntsville's Michael Fiers in the Southern League, and advanced Class A Brevard County's Tyler Thornburg in the Florida State League. Thornburg was a quick study, striking out 10 batters in six scoreless innings Friday in his second start since a promotion from Class A Wisconsin.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Audrey Snyder in an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.