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Pittsburgh - In what can only be called a very unusual lineup, third baseman Bill Hall is starting in left field tonight for the Brewers against Pittsburgh.
The usual left fielder, Ryan Braun, isn't even with the team. He remained in Milwaukee to have an MRI today, which was negative for structural damage. Braun sat out Saturday and Sunday with stiffness in his upper back, which he thought was related to the intercostal problem he had earlier in the year.
Braun is listed as "day to day" and is en route to joining the team here. Undergoing an MRI cannot be a good sign. He already had one MRI in spring training when he was bothered by that intercostal tightness. Now, you have to wonder if Braun will be plagued by this stuff all season.
We haven't had our pre-game chat with manager Ken Macha yet but he obviously wants right-handed bats in the lineup against Pirates lefty Paul Maholm. Casey McGehee, a right-handed hitter, is starting at third base. The two reserve outfielders, Brad Nelson and Chris Duffy, are left-handed hitters.
Hall has never played left field in the majors. He did play in center two years ago for the Brewers but was moved back to third last year after Mike Cameron was signed.
Hall said he was just told 10 minutes ago by Macha that he'd be playing left field.
"I said, 'Why not? Let's go,'" said Hall.
Left field is the big field here at PNC Park, but Hall said, "I'm going to let 'Cam' handle that gap," referring to centerfielder Mike Cameron.
Hall also said he'd be using one of Cameron's gloves.
"I'm using a Gold Glove caliber outfield glove," he said. "I hope I don't disappoint him."
Making the move a bit odd is the fact that Hall has been fantastic at third base this season, committing just one error and making a series of sensational plays.
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