Marco Estrada has served up an MLB-high 23 homers in 14 starts for the Brewers this season, putting him on pace to break the all-time record of 50 homers allowed by Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven.
And yet manager Ron Roenicke gave him a vote of confidence yesterday, telling Adam McCalvy of MLB.com that he hasn’t talked to general manager Doug Melvin about replacing Estrada in the rotation despite the presence of top prospect Jimmy Nelson at Triple-A.
Nelson has been dominant in the minors, posting a 1.51 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 78 innings, but Roenicke noted that Estrada’s next turn in the rotation comes up at Coors Field against the Rockies and that’s not necessarily a good spot to insert a young pitcher just promoted from Triple-A.
Still, between Estrada’s long-ball struggles and Nelson’s mid-90s-throwing upside the first-place Brewers appear very close to making a rotation switch.
The Dodgers announced on Thursday that the club activated pitcher Grant Dayton from the 10-day disabled list and designated pitcher Sergio Romo for assignment.
Dayton, 29, went on the disabled list earlier this month with neck stiffness. He’ll resume with a 3.63 ERA and a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 1/3 innings.
Romo, 34, signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Dodgers in February. It didn’t really work out, as the right-hander posted a 6.12 ERA with a 31/12 K/BB ratio in 25 innings. His peripherals are still decent, so it wouldn’t be surprising if a team in need of a bullpen arm makes a deal with the Dodgers within the week.
MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that Royals pitcher Nate Karns underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome on Wednesday. He’s expected to be ready for spring training next year. Karns went on the disabled list in May with an elbow injury and didn’t make much progress.
The Royals acquired Karns from the Mariners in January in exchange for outfielder Jarrod Dyson. Over eight starts and one relief appearance, the 29-year-old right-hander compiled a 4.17 ERA and a 51/13 K/BB ratio in 45 1/3 innings.
Karns will enter his first of three years of arbitration eligibility after the season, so he’ll be under the Royals’ control through 2020.