Brewers GM admits Zack Greinke will definitely be traded

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Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has dropped some very strong hints that he’ll be trading Zack Greinke before Tuesday’s deadline, but now he’s left zero doubt.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today spoke to Melvin today and reports that he “will definitely be traded.”

Melvin said previously that the Brewers would deal Greinke if they couldn’t work out a long-term contract extension before the July 31 deadline and admitted to Nightengale that they haven’t negotiated since spring training because Greinke wants to test the market as a free agent:

I don’t think Zack is about the money personally. You get a young guy that’s [28], and in my conversations with him, you get a chance to be a free agent one time. You’ve got to look at that opportunity. He’s been in a small market here. A small market in Kansas City. He’s always said he enjoyed in, but he wants to take a look at everything out there.

There’s always been speculation that Greinke wouldn’t have interest in playing for a big-market team because of his social anxiety issues, but it’s not as if the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers will be the only teams willing to offer him a ton of money as a free agent.

Melvin described Greinke as “like a son to me” and praised his presence in the Brewers’ clubhouse, saying “it’s been a great experience having him for a year and a half.” And during that year-and-a-half Greinke is 25-9 with a 3.67 ERA and 323 strikeouts in 295 innings.

Nightengale lists the Rangers, Angels, Braves, and White Sox as the primary suitors for Greinke, but as Melvin said: “There are a lot of teams that have shown interest. … There are so many good things about him, it’s going to be difficult when we trade him.”

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.

Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.

The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

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Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.

The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.

He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.