Right-hander Jorge Lopez will make his Major League debut tonight when he starts for the Brewers, and MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy has the story on how Lopez has already dealt with serious adversity on his path to the Show. Lopez’s two-year-old son, Mikael, has spent much of his life in hospitals since being born prematurely, and doctors still don’t have a clear diagnosis for young Mikael’s health issues. There has been some recent progress, however, and the family’s medical bills will be partly alleviated by the $40K Lopez will earn for his two-week stint in the bigs. Lopez was Milwaukee’s second-round draft pick in 2011 and the 22-year-old posted a 2.26 ERA, 2.63 K/BB rate and 8.6 K/9 over 143 1/3 innings at Double-A Biloxi this season.
Here’s some more news from the NL Central…
- The Reds are considering keeping Bryan Price as manager for 2016, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports. Price has long been on the hot seat given the Reds’ rough season and a profanity-laden tirade to reporters back in April, though he may keep his job since the Reds were hampered by injuries and trade deadline deals that saw Johnny Cueto, Marlon Byrd and Mike Leake leave town. Changes could be made to the coaching staff, however, with pitching coach Jeff Pico in particular a candidate to be replaced. Rosenthal wonders if Price’s future employment could hinge in part on how he reacts if asked to replace some coaches. No decision will be made on any managerial or coaching changes until after Cincinnati’s season is over.
- The Cubs’ on-field success and added revenues from attendance and TV ratings doesn’t necessarily mean the team’s payroll will greatly rise, chairman Tom Ricketts told reporters (including CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney) yesterday. “Theo [Epstein] will have some resources this offseason,” Ricketts said. “But I don’t know how (much). And I’m not sure he’ll find something he wants to do with ‘em. It’s up to him….Obviously, winning helps the payroll analysis, (but) it’s not about payroll anymore. The fact is, the correlation between the dollars you spend and the wins you get on the field is going down every single year. So in order to have sustainable success, you can’t count on money. You have to count on young talent. You’ve seen what we’ve done. We’ve gone out and built the best facilities in baseball. We’ve scouted well. We’ve drafted well. I think we’re developing well.“
- In another piece from Mooney, he notes that Kris Bryant’s versatility could be a great help to the Cubs in their offseason plans. The rookie played at four positions (first, third, center field and right field) on Monday night and he’s also played six games in left field this season. Bryant has an above-average UZR/150 at every position he’s played, though obviously the sample sizes are too limited (except for his 1177 1/3 innings at third base) to declare that he can adequately handle any of these spots around the field. Still, Mooney opines that Bryant could potentially handle a position like center field on a short-term basis for a year if the Cubs need a bridge between Dexter Fowler and a prospect like Albert Almora.