Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston reports that the Tigers have begun making a push for Red Sox infielder Mike Lowell.
The Tigers lost starting third baseman Brandon Inge to a fractured left hand on Tuesday and Magglio Ordonez to a fractured ankle on Saturday night. Lowell, despite his fair share of injury concerns, will bring some much-needed pop to the Detroit lineup. The 36-year-old hit .290/.337/.474 with 17 home runs last season and has collected two home runs in limited action this year.
Detroit is trying to keep pace with the White Sox and Twins in the American League Central. As of Sunday morning, Chicago has a 2.5 game lead and the Twins are a half-game up on the Tigers.
For now, Lowell remains on the disabled list. He will need to be activated before a deal can be struck, but the Red Sox were probably close to bringing him back anyway. After all, he went 4-for-4 with two RBI in a rehab game Saturday at Triple-A Pawtucket. Sunday may be his last day in the minor leagues.
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.