It’s common for rehabbing major leaguers to spoil the fellas in the minor league clubhouses that they visit. Whether it’s a meal, a new recliner or a flat-screen television, the big leaguers throw down some cash and the underpaid farm hands live in luxury for a moment.
Kyle Lohse underwent surgery on his right forearm in late May and is making a final minor league rehab start on Thursday night at the Cardinals’ Double-A affiliate in Springfield, Missouri.
B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest is on hand for the rehab outing and passes along word that Lohse bought the Double-A clubhouse a ping-pong table at the request of Springfield’s regulars.
The 31-year-old right-hander signed a four-year, $41 million contract with the Cardinals after a solid 2008 season, so it’s no skin off his back. He will rejoin the big-league rotation next week if all goes well on Thursday evening. Lohse had a 5.89 ERA and 1.71 WHIP in nine starts before landing on the disabled list.
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.