Gio Gonzalez
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Gio González lands on 10-day injured list with ‘dead’ arm

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Brewers starter Gio González has been shifted to the 10-day injured list after experiencing fatigue in his left arm, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to Wednesday and will allow Milwaukee to reinstate González as soon as June 8.

According to comments given by manager Craig Counsell, the 33-year-old southpaw isn’t experiencing pain in his arm, just a “not right” feeling that gave him some concern. It’s unclear whether or not he’ll need more than the minimum 10 days on the IL at this point, but it’s understandable that the Brewers would prefer to take precautionary measures before the injury worsens.

González got off to something of a delayed start in 2019 after inking a major-league deal with the Brewers at the end of April. So far this season, he’s 2-1 in six starts with a respectable 3.19 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, and 7.5 SO/9 across 31 innings. He helped propel the Brewers to a 5-4 win over the Twins in his most recent outing, scattering a season-high four runs, a walk, and seven strikeouts over just 4 2/3 innings.

In González’s absence, the Brewers will reinstate catcher Manny Piña from the 10-day IL (hamstring strain) and send right-hander Zach Davies to the mound for their series finale against the Pirates on Sunday. If all goes well, they should be able to wrap up the lefty’s 10-day stint by next Saturday; which, coincidentally, is the first day they’ll need a fifth starter to round out the rotation.

Astros defend barring reporter from clubhouse

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As we wrote about this morning, last night the Houston Astros, at the request of Justin Verlander, barred Detroit Free Press reporter Anthony Fenech from the clubhouse during Verlander’s media availability following the Tigers-Astros game. After Verlander was done talking to the press in the scrum setting — and after a call was placed to Major League Baseball about the matter — Fenech was allowed in.

As we noted, this was done in violation of agreements to which Major League Baseball, the Houston Astros and the Baseball Writers Association of America are parties. The agreements are meant to ensure full access to BBWAA-accredited reporters as long as they have not violated the terms of their credentials.  In no case do the clubs — and certainly not the players — have the right to bar access to BBWAA-accredited reporters. Indeed, the whole point of the BBWAA is to ensure such access and to ensure that teams cannot bar them simply because they are unhappy with their coverage or what have you.

This morning Verlander tweeted, obliquely, about “unethical behavior” on the part of Fenech that led to his request to the Astros to bar him. As we noted at the time, such an allegation — however interesting it might be — is of no consequence to the admission or barring of a reporter. If Fenech has acted unethically it’s a matter between him and his employer and, potentially, between him and the BBWAA. At the very least, if Verlander has a specific concern, it would be incumbent upon him or the Astros to take the matter up with either the Free Press or the BBWAA.

In light of all of this, it’s hard to make a case for Verlander’s request and the Astros’ honoring it. A few moments ago, however, the Astros released as statement on the matter which, basically, says, “so what?”

Which is to say, the Astros have made a decades-long agreement between the BBWAA and MLB regarding reporter access optional, because a player does not like a reporter who is covering him.  Someone without the power to alter the BBWAA-MLB relationship has just done so unilaterally. And they have done so in such a way that any player, should they decide they don’t like a reporter, will now presumably rely on as precedent. And, it should be noted, in doing so they gave at least some tacit credence to Verlander’s thus far unsubstantiated and unspecified allegations of unethical behavior on the part of Fenech.

It’s your move, Major League Baseball and BBWAA. Whatcha gonna do about it?