When you’ve lost eight straight and two of your young starters are sucking eggs, you gotta do something. Today the Braves did, sending Kris Medlen down to triple-A Gwinnett and calling up outfielder Jose Constanza.
Now, Medlen is not one of the ones who has been sucking eggs. Indeed, he’s been just fine in a relief role. His demotion is to stretch him out so that he may convert to starting duties, which he’s never done full-time, though he has seen some swingman duties. The egg-sucker-in-chief is Mike Minor. Randall Delgado hasn’t been tearing it up either. Julio Teheran is another starter possibility apart from Medlen.
As for Constanza, oy, here we go again. Last year a couple of fluky weeks by him led manager Fredi Gonzalez to bench Jason Heyward for long stretches. Heyward has hit only .205 for the month of May, so I would not be at all shocked if we see a ton of Constanza time going forward.
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.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports that the Giants have promoted top infield prospect Christian Arroyo from Triple-A Sacramento. MLB Pipeline rated Arroyo as the Giants’ No. 2 prospect behind pitcher Tyler Beede and the team’s best position player prospect.
Arroyo, 21, was selected in the first round (25th overall) of the 2013 draft. He started the year at Triple-A for the first time and he hit an astounding .446/.478/.692 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 69 plate appearances to start the season.
The Giants, 6-13, are looking to regain their balance after unexpectedly losing ace Madison Bumgarner, who sustained injuries riding a dirt bike on an off-day. Arroyo will likely play third base regularly over Eduardo Nunez.