Brewers’ right-hander Matt Garza will return to the rotation on Monday, the team announced on Friday. Garza was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained groin in late March and appears to have made a full recovery after pitching through two outings with Triple-A Colorado Springs and Single-A Wisconsin. The move will bump left-hander Tommy Milone to the bullpen, and MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the club will still need to make a 25-man roster move before Garza’s debut.
Garza, 33, will need to prove he’s more than just healthy, however. The veteran righty is coming off of a turbulent 2016 season, during which he put up a 4.51 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.2 K/9 over 101 2/3 innings in Milwaukee. While those numbers improved on the career lows he experienced during 2015, including a 5.63 ERA and 0.6 fWAR, they’ve done nothing to dig Garza out of the back of the rotation.
Milone, meanwhile, has had a rough start to the 2017 season. He’s looking at a 5.63 ERA over 16 innings, including one relief appearance and three starts, and has yet to pitch deeper than the fifth inning in any single start this year. His reassignment to the bullpen comes on the heels of fellow left-hander Brett Suter’s promotion to the ‘pen after the club designated outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis on Friday.
The Brewers are slated to start Garza against the Reds, who will come to town for a three-game series on Monday at 7:40 ET.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.
Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.
Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Phillies are making third baseman Maikel Franco “more than available” in trade discussions.
Franco, 24, is having an abysmal season after showing promise in 2015 and ’16. Through 289 plate appearances, he’s hitting .221/.280/.365 with nine home runs and 37 RBI. His hitting has tanked and his already below-average defense hasn’t shown any improvement.
It’s a bit surprising that the Phillies would be so eager to move Franco with his value about as low as it can go. Franco is also under control of the rebuilding Phillies through the 2021 season, so the team doesn’t have to rush into moving him. He will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season.
Furthermore, the Phillies don’t have an immediate replacement for Franco at third base. Andres Blanco would likely get everyday starts at the hot corner in the short-term, but as far as prospects go, there are no third baseman banging down the door. If the Phillies were to trade Franco, it would likely have to be in return for a young, talented third baseman who will be under team control for several more years.