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Jean Segura leaves Brewers after death of 9-month-old son

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew
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The Milwaukee Brewers are going through their toughest stretch of the season, having lost 10 of their last 11 games. But none of that matters on Saturday. Not following the news that shortstop Jean Segura's 9-month-old son, Janniel, died on Friday in the Dominican Republic.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke made the heart-wrenching announcement prior to Milwaukee's game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, but was unable to offer many specific details

"He was sick," Roenicke said of Segura's son. "(Segura) was on the phone yesterday before the game, and they thought he was OK and getting better. I don't really know much more than that.

"I don't know if it's been (going on) a while. Saying that, it may have been a couple days. I don't really know."

Roenicke says Segura has been placed on the bereavement list and is already traveling back home to be with his family. The team will give him as much time as he needs to grieve and come to grips with an unspeakable and unexpected tragedy. 

"Seggy's mom and uncle are here," an emotional Roenicke said. "We got word at the end of the game through his mom to one of the wives, and then the wife to her husband, and then to Seggy."

"So, obviously it's tough on him. He didn't learn about it until after the game was over and one of the players came over and told him."

Segura, 24, is in his second season as the Brewers' starting shortstop. He debuted with the Los Angeles Angels on July 24, 2012, but was traded three days later in the deal that brought Zack Greinke to the Angels. He's a .270/.307/.376 career hitter with 16 home runs, but he's mostly known for his defense, at least to baseball fans. To his teammates, he's much more than that, which is why they're taking the news just as hard as he is.

One man who understands the anguish Segura and his family are going through right now will be in the opposing dugout on Saturday. Cardinals reliever Pat Neshek lost his son, Gehrig, just 23 hours after birth in 2012. Though rivals on the field that are aiming for the same prize, he'll undoubtedly take the field with a heavy heart today as his thoughts lie with Segura.

In fact, the thoughts of the entire baseball world are with Segura right now. But as Roenicke noted, the game does go on, albeit in a renewed perspective. 

"This is a game we're playing, and it's certainly not as important as life. But we know it's important to a lot of people in the community, and these guys get that. They'll be OK today."

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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