PITTSBURGH -- Brewers shortstop Jean Segura, whose hot start last season carried him to the All-Star Game in New York, knows it is too early to start sweating the numbers he carried into Thursday's series opener at PNC Park.
Here are those numbers anyway: Through his first 13 games last year, Segura had four extra base hits and a .367/.404/.510 slash line, thanks in part to a .415 average on balls in play. Through his first 13 games this year, Segura has two extra-base hits, including a hustle double in the Brewers' just-completed series against the Cardinals, and was slashing .241/.281/.315 while hitting only .285 on balls in play.
It's a small sample, for sure, but one statistic stands out: A whopping 77.3 percent of Segura's balls in play through Wednesday were ground balls -- the highest percentage among Major League regulars -- and he batted .118 (5-for-34) on those grounders.
"I feel it, too," Segura said with a shrug and a laugh. "But it's OK. I'm going to come back. I'm not worried about it. I know the numbers are going to come, and every player is different in each year of his career. I just need a couple hits. It's not like I'm 0-for-20, 0-for-30. Just a few games of struggle is normal. It's OK.
"It's just taking some time in my second season here. We're working on it. I wish it wasn't taking so long to get where we want to be."
Might it be taking longer because Segura, for the first time in years, did not play winter ball in the Dominican Republic? The Brewers exercised their right to block his participation because Segura was coming off the most grueling year of his baseball life, and had faded significantly after the All-Star break
"I don't know," he said. "I don't want to tell you yes, but I don't want to tell you no, either. So I don't know.
"The only way you figure it out is by playing. I mean, I think with my speed and getting smarter in this game, I know what I need to do. I know what it takes to get to where I was at the beginning of last year, but it takes some time. We've only played  games and we have more than five months to go."
Overbay leaves team for birth of son
PITTSBURGH -- The Brewers placed backup first baseman Lyle Overbay on the paternity list Thursday morning while he hustled back to Milwaukee, arriving just in time to be by wife Sarah's side as she gave birth to the couple's fifth child.
Eddie Christian Overbay was born about a week and a half ahead of schedule, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. The Overbays now have four sons and a daughter in the family.
"He texted me this morning and didn't go into detail, but she was ready," Roenicke said.
Major League rules allow for three days of paternity leave, but if all continues to go well on the home front Overbay might return a day early, in time for Saturday's game against the Pirates. In the meantime, the Brewers promoted utility man Elian Herrera from Triple-A Nashville to take Overbay's place.
Herrera can play all over the field, including shortstop and center field. If the Brewers need a backup for first baseman Mark Reynolds while Overbay is out, Roenicke said he could use catchers Martin Maldonado and Jonathan Lucroy or infielder Jeff Bianchi.
"We're covered there," Roenicke said.
Lepay makes FS Wisconsin TV debut
PITTSBURGH -- Matt Lepay has called seven Rose Bowls and two Final Fours as the statewide radio voice of the Wisconsin Badgers for the last 26 years, his latest basketball national semifinal not two weeks ago. Yet he was a nervous rookie before his first Major League Baseball broadcast on Thursday.
"If I told you anything else, I would be lying," Lepay said as the Brewers prepared for batting practice Thursday. "I am a nervous dude.'"
Lepay is the newest member of the FS Wisconsin television team, and is teaming with veteran color analyst Bill Schroeder during the Brewers-Pirates series this week while regular play-by-play man Brian Anderson works the NBA playoffs for TBS.
Lepay has very little experience calling baseball, and was clear with Brewers officials about that as they conducted their search. As a budding broadcaster in southwest Ohio, he called some American Legion games for a local station, and later broadcast a Class A Madison Muskies game as a favor to that team's general manager.
"I told them, 'I did it, but you'll have to take my word for it, because I have no idea where the cassette tape is,'" Lepay said.
The Brewers and FS Wisconsin announced the addition of Lepay in January, and the plan called for some practice broadcasts during Spring Training following the Badgers' basketball season. But Frank Kaminsky & Co. had other plans, beating American, Oregon, Baylor and Arizona to earn a date in the Final Four against Kentucky.
Each time, Lepay had to push back his trip to Maryvale Baseball Park. In the end, the Badgers' run extended into the Brewers' regular season. So how did Lepay brush up on baseball?
"It's hard to explain, but guys who do what I do -- at least I think this is the case -- can sit at home, watch the game, and in my mind, I'll call it," he said. "The At-Bat app became my very good friend. Even toward the end of the [Badgers'] regular season, I could be in a hotel in Lincoln, Neb. or you name it after my Badger work was done, and I'd be watching Brewers [Spring Training] games on my phone or my iPad. That was how I did it."
It will be a significant adjustment from the pace of football and basketball.
"The pace will be different, the fact it is TV will be different, but I'm trying not to make it more than it is," Lepay said. "Baseball is my first love, but it's one thing for it to be your first love, and another to be the guy calling the game."