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Brewers tab former infielder Craig Counsell as new manager

Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell gives pointers during batting practice. (Associated Press)
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell gives pointers during batting practice. (Associated Press)

Former Milwaukee infielder Craig Counsell was hired Monday to manage the Brewers, about 12 hours after the team fired Ron Roenicke.

A major league-worst 7-18, the Brewers lost 40 of their final 56 games under Roenicke. The skid included a late-season collapse last year, after they led the N.L. Central for nearly five months, and a 2-13 start this season.

Counsell, a 44-year-old Milwaukee-area native, spent the final five seasons of his 16-year big-league career with the Brewers, retiring after the 2011 season. He has no previous managing or coaching experience.

“It’s an honor, and it’s humbling, but I feel like this is what I was meant to do,” Counsell said. “I think I’ll be better at this than I was at playing.”

Counsell was given a contract through the 2017 season.

“He played the game with a chip on his shoulder and he played the game to win,” general manager Doug Melvin said during a news conference. “He has a real edge for preparation.”

A two-time World Series champion, Counsell scored the winning run for Florida in the 11th inning of Game 7 of the 1997 World Series and was MVP of the 2001 NLCS for Arizona.

Counsell became a special assistant to Melvin in 2012 and also was a part-time broadcaster for Milwaukee last season.

MLB, union change rule

Major League Baseball and the players’ association have agreed to change the rule that has kept first-round pick Trea Turner from joining his new team after a trade, though it will affect only future drafts.

Selected by the Padres 13th overall last June, Turner was sent to Washington in a three-team, 11-player deal Dec. 19 that brought center fielder Wil Myers from Tampa Bay to San Diego. But Turner can’t report to the Nationals until mid-June.

According to Major League Rule 3(b)(6), a draft pick cannot be traded until one year after he signs his initial contract. So Turner remains with the Padres, who cannot trade him to Washington until June 13.

Under the new rule, players selected in this June’s draft can be traded starting the day after the final game of the World Series.

Clearing the bases

Josh Hamilton played in extended spring training for the Texas Rangers, his first game of any kind since last October, striking out once and hitting three grounders to first base. … Washington outfielder Reed Johnson faces an uncertain future this season after having surgery on his left ankle. … Colorado closer Adam Ottavino is concerned he will need Tommy John surgery on his right elbow after a MRI revealed a partial ulnar collateral ligament tear. He will visit Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday for an evaluation and could have the operation “right then and there,” the pitcher said. … Toronto hitting coach Brook Jacoby has been suspended 14 games for his postgame conduct toward the umpires following an April 29 game at Boston. The Blue Jays intend to appeal.… The Dodgers called up lefty reliever Daniel Coulombe from Triple-A Oklahoma City.


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