Jeff Suppan close to rejoining Brewers' rotation

Leave a comment

When the Brewers placed Jeff Suppan on the disabled list last week there was some speculation that the move was made in part to delay a decision on whether or not to add the 35-year-old right-hander to the rotation.
However, today’s news that he’s slated to come off the shelf following just one minor-league rehab outing suggests otherwise. Suppan is scheduled to start Friday at Single-A, and if all goes well with his neck injury could be activated for a start as soon as next Wednesday against the Cubs.
Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Suppan will rejoin the rotation while both Manny Parra and Chris Narveson remain in the bullpen, with the 36-year-old’s $12.5 million salary no doubt playing a factor even if the Brewers don’t want to admit it.
“We could have a number of No. 5 starters over the course of the year,” manager Ken Macha said. “Right now, we’re going in this direction. Production will be a big part of it. You could make a case for all three guys.”
Suppan went 7-12 with a 5.29 ERA in 30 starts last season, giving up 200 hits and 74 walks in 161.2 innings for the second-most baserunners per nine innings of any pitcher with 25 or more starts. Of course, the only guy to allow more baserunners per nine innings was Parra, so it’s a lesser-of-two-evils situation for Macha and the Brewers.

Once again, Cy Young votes from the Tampa Bay chapter were interesting

Elsa/Getty Images
7 Comments

In 2016, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello narrowly and controversially eked ahead of then-Tigers starter Justin Verlander in Cy Young Award balloting, winning on points 137 to 132. Verlander was not included at all in the top-five of two ballots, both coincidentally belonging to writers from the Tampa Bay chapter, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain and Fred Goodall of the Associated Press. Verlander had more first-place votes than Porcello, but being left out of the top-five on two ballots was the difference maker.

In the aftermath, Verlander’s then-fiancée Kate Upton fired off some angry tweets, as did Justin’s brother Ben.

Verlander was again in the running for the 2018 AL Cy Young Award. He again finished in second place, this time behind Blake Snell of the Rays. Snell had 17 first-place votes and 169 total points to Verlander’s 13 and 154. There weren’t any ballots that made a big difference like in 2016, but there were two odd ballots from the Tampa Bay chapter again.

If a chapter doesn’t have enough eligible voters, a voter from another chapter is chosen to represent that city. This year, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News was a replacement voter along with Mark Didtler, a freelancer for the Associated Press. Both writers voted for Snell in first place, reasonably. But neither writer put Verlander second, less reasonably, putting Corey Kluber there instead. Madden actually had Verlander fourth behind Athletics reliever Blake Treinen. Didtler had Treinen in fifth place. Two other writers had Verlander in third place: George A. King III of the New York Post and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The other 26 had Verlander in first or second place.

Voting Kluber ahead of Verlander doesn’t make any sense, especially we finally live in a world where a pitcher’s win-loss record isn’t valued highly. Kluber had 20 wins to Verlander’s 16 and pitched one more inning. In every other area, Verlander was better. ERA? Verlander led 2.52 to 2.89. Strikeouts? Verlander led 290 to 222. Strikeout rate? Verlander led 34.8% to 26.4%. Opponent batting average? Verlander led .198 to .222. FIP and xFIP? Verlander led both 2.78 and 3.03 to 3.12 and 3.08, respectively. And while Treinen had an excellent year, Verlander pitched 134 more innings, which is significant.

Upton had another tweet for the occasion: