Yovani Gallardo's name has been thrown around like loose debris amid the annual gusts of trade winds.
The Brewers right-hander, who has been linked to a number of teams, will nonetheless take the hill for Milwaukee in Thursday's opener of a four-game set at Chase Field in Arizona, against a D-backs team that has clearly been established as a potential suitor for his services.
"It definitely is different [seeing the rumors]," Gallardo said. "The way I look at it is, that's how this game is. The only thing that changes is the names that are being brought up."
Gallardo stressed that he is trying to maintain a clear mind.
"The minute you start thinking about other things, like -- 'Am I going to be here next week? Am I going to be here in two days?' -- it's one of those things that [distracts you]," Gallardo said. "It's a little bit different. I wouldn't say that it's tough. The only thing I can do is go out there and pitch. There's certain things that you really can't control. It's out of my hands."
Gallardo (7-8, 4.85 ERA) has struggled after a string of three straight mid-June starts in which he did not allow an earned run. In his last three starts, he has posted a 10.38 ERA over 13 innings, allowing 23 hits and nine walks.
The 27-year-old fared a bit better his last time out, as he limited the Mets to four runs in six innings for his seventh win.
"The thing is, I've been feeling good," Gallardo said. "When I get into trouble, the ball has been up in the zone. That's really the main thing, even in that last start against the Mets. … I've been feeling good for three or four starts now, and that's a good start. Now you just have to get everything working together -- mechanics, release point, rhythm."
Gallardo will be opposed by D-backs southpaw Wade Miley (5-7, 4.06 ERA), who had his best start of the season on Saturday, when he held the Rockies to one run in eight innings for the win.
Brewers: Outfielders expected back for series opener
Ryan Braun and Norichika Aoki are expected to return to the starting lineup on Thursday. Both players sat out Wednesday's 6-2 loss to the Reds. Aoki, who was scratched from the lineup before Tuesday's game, is battling a stiff left elbow. Manager Ron Roenicke is easing Braun back into the lineup as he returns from an inflamed nerve in his right hand, which caused him to miss 22 games.
D-backs: Chavez to bench duty
Eric Chavez was a late scratch from Tuesday's lineup and never thought about playing on Wednesday. The 35-year-old third baseman is dealing with stiffness in his right hip and is available off the bench.
"It's OK, but we're just so close to the All-Star break," said Chavez, who is having a renaissance year with a .303 average and .876 OPS. "So I'm going to try to be careful."
Martin Prado got the start at third on Wednesday.
• The D-backs swept a three-game set in Milwaukee in early April.