Cardinals rookie third baseman David Freese is off to an incredible start this season and is on a short list of early favorites for the National League’s Rookie of the Year award. I’m under the belief that either Braves outfielder Jason Heyward or St. Louis lefty Jaime Garica would take the cake if the prize was awarded today.
Freese hit what could be his first road block on Saturday, when he suffered a right ankle sprain in an inter-division game against the Brewers. The news comes to us via B.J. Rains of Fox Sports Midwest. Freese was replaced at third base by Aaron Miles, who rejoined the Cardinals this week after about 14 months away from the club. Miles may get his first start of 2010 on Sunday with Felipe Lopez nursing a bruised finger.
Freese, a native St. Louisan, is batting .316 with a .385 on-base percentage and 32 RBI in only 52 games this season. He’s considered “day-to-day,” at least for now.
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.