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.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that starter Shelby Miller has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Miller will get a second opinion on his elbow on Tuesday, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Pitcher Silvino Bracho has been called up from Triple-A Reno to take Miller’s spot on the roster.
Miller, 26, left Sunday’s start with what was described at the time as forearm tightness. Through his first four starts, Miller is carrying a 4.09 ERA with a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.
Bracho, 24, has pitched quite well in 6 2/3 innings of relief at Reno. He’s given up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk (intentional) with 12 strikeouts.
Archie Bradley figures to take Miller’s spot in the starting rotation as Bracho will work middle relief.
And John Lackey is livid.
The Brewers’ first baseman homered in each of his first two plate appearances against Reds starter Amir Garrett on Monday evening, helping his team to a 6-1 lead after two frames. The first was a solo blast in the first inning, and the second was a two-run shot to the opposite field in the second inning.
According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, Thames has tied the Brewers’ record for home runs in April with 10. Carlos Lee also hit 10 homers in April 2006.
Seven of Thames’ 10 home runs have come against the Reds. Including his first two at-bats on Monday night, Thames is hitting .379/.474/.924 with 17 RBI along with the 10 dingers. Not too shabby from a guy the Brewers signed to a three-year, $16 million contract during the offseason.
Lackey and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio both recently implied Thames is using performance-enhancing drugs, but Thames was tested immediately after last Monday’s game against the Cubs.