Jonathan Lucroy on track to begin minor league rehab assignment Thursday

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Jonathan Lucroy was off to a surprising start before suffering a fracture in his right hand almost two months ago. But he’s inching closer to rejoining the Brewers’ lineup.

According to Brewers’ media relations director Mike Vassallo, Lucroy is tentatively scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday with Class A Wisconsin.

Lucroy began taking batting practice in the cage over the weekend and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that he was blocking balls in the dirt before tonight’s game against the Cardinals. It’s possible he could return by the end of the month if all goes well.

Lucroy was well on his way to a career year prior to the injury, batting .345/.387/.583 with five home runs, 30 RBI and a .969 OPS through 43 games. Martin Maldonado has played well during his absence, so it’s possible the Brewers could shop George Kottaras to contenders leading up to the trade deadline.

Rubby De La Rosa to undergo a second Tommy John Surgery

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This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.

De La Rosa has had elbow  issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.

I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.

He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.

Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal to be examined for arm tightness

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Cardinal closer Trevor Rosenthal was taken out of last night’s game against the Red Sox after he gave up a big homer and a walk. He velocity was down as well, and Mike Mathney said after the game that he didn’t look right. Now the Cardinals are going to take a closer look at him, and he’ll be examined today for what is being described as “tightness” in his right arm.

Rosenthal is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/20 in 47.2 innings. He has 11 saves after regaining the closer’s job from Seung Hwan Oh. Now some combination of Oh, Tyler Lyons, and John Brebbia will fill in for Rosenthal to the extent he needs to miss time.