The Diamondbacks are about to get… older.
According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, Arizona is close to agreement on a one-year contract with infielder Geoff Blum.
The veteran Blum posted a poor .267/.321/.356 batting line, two home runs and 22 RBI in 202 at-bats for the Astros this year and they rewarded that effort by declining his $1.65 million mutual option at the end of the regular season.
He played first base, second base, third base and shortstop, but he lacks the range to truly be considered versatile.
The good news for D’Backs fans is that Blum will come cheap — cheaper than the $1.65 million that he would have made in Houston — and likely represents a slight offensive upgrade over the utility infielders that populated Arizona’s 25-man roster throughout 2010.
Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers expressed a desire earlier this month to bring in a few veteran bats. He moved quickly to satisfy that goal.
UPDATE: Gilbert now says that the deal is for two years and could be announced as soon as Friday. Without knowing the financial details, it’s safe to say that new D’Backs GM Kevin Towers is not off to a good start.
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.