Brewers first baseman Eric Thames spent the previous three seasons of his career in Korea playing with the NC Dinos. Once a major league washout, Thames resuscitated his career, smashing 37, 47, and 40 home runs in consecutive seasons in the KBO. That was enough to entice the Brewers to offer him a three-year, $16 million contract.
Thames has showed that the power he found overseas is no fluke. He homered in each of his last four games — including two against the Reds on Saturday — entering Monday’s game against the Cubs. He made it five straight when he hit a homer to the opposite field in the third inning off of John Lackey. According to Baseball Reference, Thames is the first hitter since Brian Dozier last September 2-6 to hit a homer in five consecutive games. He’s the first Brewer to do so since Jeromy Burnitz (August 1-5) in 1997.
Coming into Monday’s game, Thames was hitting .368/.455/.921 with six home runs, 11 RBI, and 12 runs scored in 44 plate appearances. Pretty good. He’s now the major league leader with seven round-trippers.
The Rangers have placed struggling closer Sam Dyson on the 10-day disabled list with a hand contusion and recalled reliever Keone Kela from Triple-A Round Rock, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports.
Dyson, 28, has had an awful start to the 2017 season, blowing three saves with an 0-3 record and a 27.00 ERA in 4 1/3 innings. It’s not clear when Dyson suffered his hand injury. It could just be a cover for the Rangers to give Dyson a mental and physical break without having him take up a valuable roster spot.
Kela, 24, did not make the Rangers’ Opening Day roster primarily due to a clubhouse incident. The right-hander underwent surgery last April to remove a bone spur in his right elbow. He finished the year with an ugly 6.09 ERA but did put up a 45/17 K/BB ratio in 34 innings.
Matt Bush will close games for now, Sullivan adds.
Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien will undergo surgery on his right wrist on Tuesday, MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports. The surgery will repair a fracture of the scaphoid bone. The team does not yet have a timetable for Semien’s return, but he will be reevaluated in six weeks.
Semien played through discomfort with his right wrist during spring training and the start of the regular season. He hit a paltry .171/.370/.229 in 46 plate appearances.
Adam Rosales started on Sunday for the A’s in place of Semien and he’ll figure to get the lion’s share of playing time at shortstop while Semien is out.