Kyle Lohse left his start against the Cubs on Wednesday after he aggravated a right ankle sprain and Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that the Brewers will skip his next turn in the rotation in order to give him some rest.
Lohse originally injured the ankle on August 2 against the Cardinals. He has made two starts since, but the discomfort has lingered. With scheduled off-days next Monday and Thursday, the Brewers have the luxury of giving him a break without having to add another starter. Matt Garza is also sidelined right now with a rib cage strain and just resumed playing catch yesterday. Fortunately, Mike Fiers has filled in brilliantly by allowing one run in 14 innings over his first two starts. He struck out 14 batters Thursday against the Cubs.
Lohse, 35, has posted a 3.49 ERA and 114/34 K/BB ratio over 159 2/3 innings this season. The Brewers came back to beat the Dodgers 6-3 last night and currently sit at 68-55 on the year, two games ahead of the Cardinals and 3 1/2 games ahead of the Pirates in the National League Central.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.