Some good news on the Zack Greinke front.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this morning that Greinke played catch yesterday for the first time since being shut down with a fractured rib earlier this month. Specifically, Roenicke said that Greinke “felt great” and “the pain is gone.”
It’s nice to hear he’s making progress, but Greinke will essentially have to start from scratch with his throwing program. As such, Roenicke said last weekend that it’s unlikely he’ll be ready to return by April 16, a date which was previously considered the best-case scenario. Now they’d probably be thrilled to have him back by the end of April.
With Greinke sidelined, the Brewers are expected to decide between Marco Estrada or the newly-acquired Sergio Mitre to fill the void in their starting rotation. The club won’t need a fifth starter for the first time until April 6 against the Braves.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base when he returns from the disabled list. Cabrera has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a sprained left thumb, but he’s expected to be activated on Friday.
Cabrera, 31, last played second base in 2014 with the Nationals. He has played shortstop exclusively as a Met the last two seasons. Jose Reyes would continue to play shortstop if the Mets were to go through with the position change. Cabrera would displace T.J. Rivera, who has been playing second base in place of the injured Neil Walker.
In 196 plate appearances this season, Cabrera is hitting .244/.321/.392 with six home runs and 20 RBI. He has made 11 defensive errors, which is tied for the third-most among shortstops behind Tim Anderson (16) and Dansby Swanson (12).
Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.
Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.
Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.