Asked yesterday about Brewers owner Mark Attanasio giving him a vote of confidence following the team’s poor start, manager Ken Macha showed a rare bit of emotion while scolding reporters:
Sunday was an exceptional day and to have any negative questions in this meeting today is poppycock. Because we had a tough game on Friday, a game where we battled back on Saturday against a team that’s leading its division in the American League, at their ballpark, had a blown save, played extra innings and had everybody on the staff come in and volunteer to pitch innings, then come back and beat them Sunday.
That’s an incredible win. We should come home on a high and be positive and ready to turn this thing around. If we continue the negative thoughts and negativism, it’s not going to come around. All of the Brewers’ fans should be positive. I know my staff, myself, we’re positive. We have some things happening in our bullpen now. We’re going to try to correct the difficulties we’ve had. It should be a positive mood right now.
Macha then told the reporter who asked the question: “That was your last question of the day.”
All the “negativism” comes from the Brewers having the league’s second-worst record and losing 11 of the past 13 games, so I’m amused by the notion that reporters shouldn’t ask “negative” questions about a 17-27 team just because they beat the Twins on Sunday after losing to them on both Friday and Saturday. Imagine that same logic being applied to reporters covering anything but sports.
With that said, I do admire Macha for his use of “poppycock.”
The Mets announced on Monday that starter Zack Wheeler has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a stress reaction in his right arm. Pitcher Tyler Pill has been recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas.
Wheeler, 27, has a 5.21 ERA with an 81/40 K/BB ratio in 86 1/3 innings this season. He joins a long list of injured Mets, including rotation mates Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Tommy Milone, and Robert Gsellman. It’s not clear at the moment how long Wheeler will be out.
Pill, 27, has spent most of his season with Las Vegas, with which he has a 3.47 ERA over 13 starts. He has made three starts and two relief appearances in the majors this season as well.
Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the Royals are acquiring pitchers Brandon Maurer, Ryan Buchter, and Trevor Cahill from the Padres in exchange for Matt Strahm, Travis Wood, and Esteury Ruiz. Jon Heyman has confirmed the deal.
Maurer, 27, has saved 20 games for the Padres this year despite a 5.72 ERA. He carries with him a 38/8 K/BB ratio in 39 1/3 innings. The right-hander is arbitration-eligible going into the next two seasons and can become a free agent after the 2019 season.
Buchter, 30, owns a 3.05 ERA with a 47/18 K/BB ratio in 38 1/3 innings of relief work this season with the Padres. He’ll be under team control through 2021.
Cahill, 29, has posted a 3.69 ERA with a 72/24 K/BB ratio in 61 innings across 11 starts. He can become a free agent after the season.
Strahm, 25, put up a 5.45 ERA with a 37/22 K/BB ratio in 34 2/3 innings. He underwent season-ending knee surgery on July 7 and will miss the rest of the season.
Wood, 30, has a 6.91 ERA with a 29/20 K/BB ratio in 41 2/3 innings. Given his experience out of both the starting rotation and the bullpen, he can pitch in a swingman role. The lefty is under contract next year for $6.5 million. Wood has a mutual option for 2019 worth $8 million with a $1 million buyout.
Ruiz, 18, signed with the Royals as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in July 2015. This season, in rookie ball, he hit .419/.440/.779 in 91 plate appearances. Ruiz has played both second base and shortstop.