UPDATE: It’s official. Greinke will make his Brewers debut Wednesday against the Braves, reports Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
9:30 AM: Brewers fans, the wait is almost over.
According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Zack Greinke allowed two runs over five innings last night with Triple-A Nashville in what was expected to be his final minor league rehab start.
Greinke scattered seven hits — including a home run — while striking out seven and walking just one. He threw 50 out of 75 pitches for strikes. Greinke finishes his rehab stint with a 3.37 ERA and 13/2 K/BB ratio over three starts between High-A Brevard County and Triple-A Nashville.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke wouldn’t say when Greinke will make his debut, but if he’s kept on a five-day schedule, he lines up to face the Braves on Wednesday.
The Brewers enter play Saturday at 13-12, trailing the first-place Cardinals by 1 1/2 games in the NL Central. Meanwhile, their starters are sixth in the National League with a 3.67 ERA. I think most Brewers fans would have signed up for that a month ago.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.