Here’s a streak that might hold up all year: Alex Gonzalez left Saturday’s game with a right knee injury, making it the fourth straight game in which a Brewers starter has gotten hurt.
Tuesday: Mat Gamel (torn ACL – out for the season)
Wednesday: Ryan Braun (Achilles’ tendon – returned Saturday)
Friday: Carlos Gomez (hamstring – expected to go on DL)
Saturday: Gonzalez (knee)
Gonzalez was injured on a successful steal of second base in the second inning and was replaced by Cesar Izturis. He’ll undergo an MRI on the knee and could land on the DL with Gomez on Sunday.
Shortstop has been a big problem in the Milwaukee organization since J.J. Hardy was traded. Izturis can still pick it pretty well, but he hasn’t had an extra-base hit since 2010 (truly, he hasn’t). Behind him is the defensively challenged Brooks Conrad, so the Brewers almost certainly will need to make a move for a shortstop if Gonzalez is going to miss more than a couple of days. Calling up Edwin Maysonet from Triple-A is the likely choice.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.