Zack Greinke was ejected from yesterday’s game after throwing just four pitches when first base umpire Sam Holbrook tossed him for slamming the ball to the ground when he couldn’t beat Jose Altuve to the bag on a fielding play.
Holbrook apparently thought Greinke was showing him up, but it was pretty apparent to just about everyone else that Greinke was actually just showing anger at himself for not getting the out. Greinke could be seen saying “I’m mad at myself” over and over again following the ejection, and just for good measure the trigger-happy Holbrook compounded his mistake by also ejecting Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.
Milwaukee went on to lose the game, but at least Greinke will be able to make another start before the All-Star break. He’ll take the mound this afternoon against the Astros for the first-half finale, bumping scheduled starter Marco Estrada into the bullpen.
And guess who’s behind the plate calling balls and strikes today? Sam Holbrook.
The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that outfielder Dexter Fowler has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left forearm. Outfielder Harrison Bader was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take Fowler’s spot on the roster.
It’s not clear when Fowler suffered the injury, but he went 0-for-12 since a three-hit performance last Friday. He’s hitting .241/.333/.452 with 14 home runs and 37 RBI in 333 plate appearances this season.
Bader, 23, is the Cardinals’ No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. This season, with Memphis, Bader hit .297/.354/.517 with 19 home runs and 48 RBI in 381 PA.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.