Doug Melvin says that Ken Macha isn't going anywhere

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Ken Macha headshot.jpgI’ve taken a few shots at Ken Macha in the past couple of days, mostly because teams that (a) are expected to contend; (b) lose nine games in a row; and (c) have an able and experienced bench coach like Willie Randolph hanging around tend to fire their managers.

But that’s not the case says Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin:

“I don’t see any reason. I
see reasons to work together and try to get some wins . . .Everybody wants to fire everybody, but I talk to Mark everyday and Ken
every day. You go about and do your business, and all
you’ve got to do is continue to work hard.”

I’m not going to call that a dreaded vote of confidence because of the “I don’t see any reason” line. That could later make Melvin’s judgment look poor in the event Macha is fired.  A true dreaded vote of confidence would be more passively-stated, in which Macha’s good qualities were listed, the situation generally but vaguely addressed, but no personal endorsement took place.

So I’ll lay off Macha now. This wasn’t the dreaded vote of confidence. This was a legitimate vote of confidence.

At least I think so.

Cardinals place Dexter Fowler on the disabled list

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The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that outfielder Dexter Fowler has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left forearm. Outfielder Harrison Bader was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take Fowler’s spot on the roster.

It’s not clear when Fowler suffered the injury, but he went 0-for-12 since a three-hit performance last Friday. He’s hitting .241/.333/.452 with 14 home runs and 37 RBI in 333 plate appearances this season.

Bader, 23, is the Cardinals’ No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. This season, with Memphis, Bader hit .297/.354/.517 with 19 home runs and 48 RBI in 381 PA.

Dodgers, Cubs could be interested in Justin Verlander

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.

The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.

Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.

We wait see.