The Brewers spent much of the winter mulling a trade for Ike Davis. On Saturday, they will have to face him.
The Pirates acquired Davis in a trade with the Mets on Friday evening, and he'll be in the starting lineup Saturday against Milwaukee right-hander Matt Garza.
"Well, he'll definitely be a participant over at first base," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "The guy is not far removed from being a run producer at the Major League level. There have been conversations on and off that went away, [but] they obviously stirred back up and we look at him as a very good acquisition for us.
"Part of our plan is we go out and acquire guys who have had success and aren't maybe in the best places right now. Sometimes a change of scenery, sometimes a different environment can help things play out. He's well-spoken of by a few of his former teammates that I've reached out to. He's going to be a good fit here."
Davis has never faced Garza in his career.
The Pirates got the first baseman in exchange for Minor League right-handed pitcher Zack Thornton and a player to be named. That it took a young pitcher to pry Davis from New York came as no surprise, since the Mets had asked the Brewers for right-hander Tyler Thornburg during the Winter Meetings in December.
Brewers GM Doug Melvin and Mets GM Sandy Alderson spoke off and on about Davis for months before the Brewers decided to keep Thornburg and acquire help in free agency. After missing out on Corey Hart and James Loney, Melvin inked Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay to Minor League contracts, and both veterans made the team out of Spring Training.
Davis was hitting .208 (5-for-24) with a double, a home run, five RBIs and four runs scored in 12 games this year for the Mets before Friday's trade.
Brewers: Sigh of relief for Gomez
Center fielder Carlos Gomez had a poor start to Friday's game against the Pirates, snapping his bat on the ground after a first-inning strikeout, striking out again in the third and then bobbling a ground ball single in the bottom of that inning. He atoned with a booming home run in the fifth, but explained after the game that his mind was elsewhere.
Gomez's newborn son, Yadiel, had a medical emergency in Milwaukee. Gomez found out just before the game, and word did not reach him until the fifth inning that everything was OK.
"It's nothing bad, but mentally, I'm not here," Gomez said. "Everything is good right now. I see a text message from my wife saying everything is fine. So I will be better tomorrow."
Pirates: All eyes on Rodriguez
The Pirates have some concern about Saturday starter Wandy Rodriguez, whose velocity this season has been a couple of ticks off his usual 92-93 mph. In his most recent start, a wild, home run-filled, rain-interrupted game against the Reds, Rodriguez surrendered three homers in five innings, each with a man on base. He has allowed six home runs in 16 innings so far.
Rodriguez missed the final four months of last season with arthritis in his forearm.
"If you look at his body of work that he has and how much time he's been down from competitive work, it's almost like 10 months," Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage said. "He's going through some rough patches, he's making some good pitches, but he's also getting burned on some pitches that are left up in the zone. He's well aware of it. We've been working on it in the bullpen.
"This is going to be a process that we're going to dive into and continue to do so every day, and we'll get him back to where he is going to be competitive again."
• Brewers manager Ron Roenicke revealed that backup outfielder Logan Schafer was unavailable for Friday's game because of a "hamstring problem," and said he would have more information about the matter on Saturday. With Schafer out, utility man Elian Herrera entered the game as a defensive replacement and made a terrific diving catch in the eighth inning.
• Herrera just joined the Brewers on Thursday when Overbay was placed on the paternity list to be by his wife's side for the birth of their son. As it stood Friday night, Overbay was not expected back until Sunday's game, but that could change, Roenicke said.
• The Pirates had won eight of their previous 11 games against the Brewers at PNC Park before losing Friday.