* Chico Harlan of the Washington Post speculates that Nationals manager Manny Acta’s job is in danger after general manager Mike Rizzo tip-toed around the issue yesterday.
I’m an Acta fan because he’s engaging and interested in sabermetrics,
but he’s also 145-227 (.390) as Nationals skipper and the team has lost
15 of 17 games on the way to an MLB-worst 13-36 record.
* Jeremy Bonderman made his third minor-league rehab start last night at Triple-A,
totaling five strikeouts and zero walks over eight shutout innings.
However, his fastball was clocked at 88-90 miles per hour compared to
Bonderman’s pre-injury average of 92-94 mph.
* Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports
that “there is almost zero chance” of the Yankees re-signing impending
free agent Hideki Matsui “even if he were to finish with a strong
season.” Matsui is hitting .263/.347/.487 in 44 games and turns 35
years old next week.
* The poor Gatorade machine that Carlos Zambrano went berserk on last week has been designated for assignment by the Cubs.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that starter Shelby Miller has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Miller will get a second opinion on his elbow on Tuesday, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Pitcher Silvino Bracho has been called up from Triple-A Reno to take Miller’s spot on the roster.
Miller, 26, left Sunday’s start with what was described at the time as forearm tightness. Through his first four starts, Miller is carrying a 4.09 ERA with a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.
Bracho, 24, has pitched quite well in 6 2/3 innings of relief at Reno. He’s given up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk (intentional) with 12 strikeouts.
Archie Bradley figures to take Miller’s spot in the starting rotation as Bracho will work middle relief.
And John Lackey is livid.
The Brewers’ first baseman homered in each of his first two plate appearances against Reds starter Amir Garrett on Monday evening, helping his team to a 6-1 lead after two frames. The first was a solo blast in the first inning, and the second was a two-run shot to the opposite field in the second inning.
According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, Thames has tied the Brewers’ record for home runs in April with 10. Carlos Lee also hit 10 homers in April 2006.
Seven of Thames’ 10 home runs have come against the Reds. Including his first two at-bats on Monday night, Thames is hitting .379/.474/.924 with 17 RBI along with the 10 dingers. Not too shabby from a guy the Brewers signed to a three-year, $16 million contract during the offseason.
Lackey and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio both recently implied Thames is using performance-enhancing drugs, but Thames was tested immediately after last Monday’s game against the Cubs.