Rickie Weeks won’t have to worry about more benchings

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Three weeks ago the Brewers called up Scooter Gennett and gave him regular playing time at second base in place of the slumping Rickie Weeks.

Gennett started 10 times in a 16-game stretch beginning on June 3, but along the way Weeks caught fire. Weeks is hitting .435 with five homers and a 1.370 OPS this month, making it impossible to continue benching him, and so the Brewers have demoted Gennett back to Triple-A.

I guess if you frame the whole thing as the Brewers wanting to motivate Weeks then calling up Gennett worked perfectly. If you instead frame it as the Brewers thinking Gennett actually gave them a better chance to win than Weeks did, then that wasn’t quite as perfect.

Shohei Ohtani medically cleared to begin throwing progression

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The Angels released a medical update on P/DH Shohei Ohtani Thursday evening. Ohtani was reevaluated by Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan Jobe Institute. The right-hander’s sprained UCL showed improved healing and, as a result, he has been cleared to begin a throwing progression.

Ohtani, 24, was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow after his June 6 start against the Royals and hasn’t pitched since, though he has been in the lineup as a hitter since July 3. It was initially believed he would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Then the thought was that Ohtani wouldn’t pitch again for the rest of the season, but this update suggests a possibility he could return to the mound before the season is over.

In nine starts, Ohtani put together a 3.10 ERA with a 61/20 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings. As a hitter, he batted .283/.365/.522 with seven home runs and 22 RBI in 157 plate appearances.