The Brewers pulled a card out of the Cubs’ playbook on Sunday and demoted high-priced starter Jeff Suppan to the bullpen, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Anthony Witrado. The Cubs, of course, did the same thing last week with Carlos Zambrano.
Suppan posted a depressing 8.68 ERA and 2.04 WHIP in his first two starts of the season — both against the division rival Cubs — and manager Ken Macha decided this weekend that he’d seen enough. The 35-year-old right-hander is earning $12.75 million this season, his last guaranteed year in Milwaukee. He was awful this spring and probably shouldn’t have landed a spot in the rotation out of camp, but Brewers GM Doug Melvin isn’t worried about the stigma that goes with paying so much to a middle reliever.
“The investment part of it, I think people make too much of
that,” Melvin said. “People say he’s making more money so he gets more
of a chance. I think you give him a chance because the guy’s started 30
games 11 years in a row. That’s what you give the chance to. It’s got
nothing to do with the money.”
Left-hander Chris Narveson was promoted to the rotation in Suppan’s place. We’ll see how he fares Wednesday against the Pirates.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.
The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.
Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.