Brewers owner gives general manager Doug Melvin a vote of confidence

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Despite back-to-back losing seasons Brewers owner Mark Attanasio gave general manager Doug Melvin a strong vote of confidence yesterday, saying: “He’s the guy next year.”
Attanasio admitted to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Melvin had “a tough season” but added that “in my six seasons here this was his first tough season” while noting the GM “still has two years on his contract.”
However, the owner stopped short of giving the same vote of confidence to manager Ken Macha, saying instead that “Doug is still doing his work” in evaluating Macha and “Doug and I will meet and have an end-of-the-season assessment and go from there.”
His reluctance to include Macha in the vote-of-confidence mix is noteworthy because earlier this week Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported that Macha is likely to be fired “unless there’s a last-hour change of heart on the part of the Brewers.”
Macha was hired to replace Ned Yost, who Melvin fired with a dozen games remaining in a 2008 season that saw the Brewers win 90 games and make the playoffs for the first time since 1982.

Rays acquire Adeiny Hechavarria from the Marlins

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The Rays have acquired shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from the Marlins, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. The Marlins will receive minor league outfielder Braxton Lee and pitcher Ethan Clark. The Rays are expected to assume the remainder of Hechavarria’s $4.35 million salary for the 2017 season.

Hechavarria, 28, has only played in 20 games this season due to an oblique injury. He has mustered a meager .277/.288/.385 triple-slash line with four extra-base hits and six RBI across 67 plate appearances. He still plays decent defense, though, so that may be enough for him to take the everyday shortstop job in Tampa.

Lee, 23, was selected by the Rays in the 12th round of the 2014 draft. This season with Double-A Montgomery, his second stint there, Lee hit .318/.387/.391 over 296 PA.

Clark, 22, was taken in the 15th round of the 2015 draft by the Rays. In his first stint at Single-A in Bowling Green, Clark has a 3.11 ERA with a 50/18 K/BB ratio in 55 innings of work.

Nats players are fed up with their bullpen issues

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Tom Boswell of the Washington Post does frequent Q&As with readers and today he had quite the A to one of their Qs.

The question was about the Nats’ bullpen, which is obviously a glaring weakness on an otherwise excellent team. Following a long answer talking about the approach to bullpen construction, he dropped this:

On Friday, yet ANOTHER National simply walked up to me and said, “When the hell are they going to get this done? What are they waiting for? Waiting is just doing more damage.”

He didn’t even have to say what subject he was talking about or whom “they” were but it’s the bullpen and the Lerners.

A team has a problem when all a reporter has to do is say, “How’s it going?” and an established part of the team blasts the owners for not understanding what’s happening in their own dugout/clubhouse.

The Nats have a bit of a history venting to the Post’s reporters in ways a lot of players don’t vent, but that’s usually when things are going bad overall. These days, things are going pretty good for the Nats, the bum bullpen notwithstanding. I guess one weakness on an otherwise good team is annoying as hell.

But I guess now that they’re getting K-Rod, all of that will end.