Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy returns from DL

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The Brewers on Monday reinstated catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the disabled list and designated outfielder Jeremy Reed for assignment.

Lucroy took over as the Brewers’ starting catcher after Gregg Zaun got hurt last season and hit .253/.300/.329 with four homers in 277 at-bats.   He missed the entire exhibition season and the first week and the half of the regular season with a broken finger sustained in spring drills.

Before Lucroy got hurt, one of the Brewers’ questions this season was whether incumbent George Kottaras or journeyman Wil Nieves would function as his backup.  Even after getting a longer look at both than anticipated, the Brewers still weren’t willing to make that call Monday, dropping outfielder Jeremy Reed instead.   Reed hadn’t started a game this season and was 0-for-7 off the bench.

So, until Corey Hart comes off the disabled list, probably in about a week, the Brewers will go with three catchers.  Kottaras started five games to Nieves’ four while Lucroy was out, if that’s any indication of how the team is leaning.

53-year-old Rafael Palmeiro homers in independent league ball

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It was announced earlier this month that 53-year-old Rafael Palmeiro signed a contract with the Cleburne Railroaders of the independent American Association, joining his son, former minor leaguer Patrick Palmeiro. The four-time All-Star went 0-for-8 to begin his stint with the club before launching a solo homer in the fifth inning last night. Check it out below.

If we’re being technical here, that was his first home run since July 30, 2005. He hit the homer off 28-year-old Trey McNutt, former prospect with the Cubs and Padres. Palmeiro made his major league debut in 1986, three years before McNutt was born.

Palmeiro told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic last December that he was thinking about a comeback, but he understandably didn’t garner any serious consideration from MLB teams. This comeback attempt might not lead anywhere, but hey, he gets to show that he can still mash while hitting in the same lineup with his son. Palmeiro did that once before with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters in 2015, though it was just a one-game thing. As for the Railroaders, the national media attention can only help them.

Palmeiro is one of just six players in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, but he’s been a disgraced figure in the game since a failed drug test for performance-enhancing drugs in 2005. He dropped off the Hall of Fame ballot in 2014.