The Brewers may hold the most interesting chips on the market for relievers, Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron writes. That includes not only Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith, each of whom have served as the club’s closer in recent years, but also 27-year-old righty Tyler Thornburg, who owns a 2.45 ERA with 12.3 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9 on the year. In fact, Cameron argues that Thornburg is the pick of the litter from the Milwaukee pen, documenting the advances in his offerings this year. Entering his first season of arbitration in the offseason to come, Thornburg won’t be an easy asset to acquire, but he could make for an interesting target over the next two weeks.
Here’s more from the NL Central:
- The Reds are expressing optimism over the most recent surgery for catcher Devin Mesoraco, as MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon writes. Manager Bryan Price called it “preventative surgery,” with team and player taking advantage of his absence the rest of the way to do the work on his right hip that was previously performed on his left. Notably, Cincinnati expects that Mesoraco will be ready for catching drills in early 2017, and there’s clearly hope that he’ll be able to return to his duties behind the plate. Team medical director Dr. Timothy Kremcheck also discussed the procedure, as C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. There’s plenty of detail on the issue to digest, but the net of it seems to be that Mesoraco had begun to experience some signs of trouble and this proved a good time to get out ahead of the matter.
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington says that he’s working hard to upgrade the club’s pitching staff, as Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. He didn’t specify whether the rotation or the pen was the priority, and suggested that a move wasn’t a foregone conclusion, but it’s easy to imagine the club looking into opportunities in both areas. “We’re doing due diligence on all fronts, but the pitching is what seems to need the most help at this point unless we’re willing to go with what we’ve got internally,” said Huntington. Biertempfel takes a closer look at how the Bucs’ pitching is shaping up heading out of the break.
- The Cardinals will no longer give high-leverage innings to deposed closer Trevor Rosenthal, ESPN.com’s Mark Saxon reports (Twitter link). St. Louis skipper Mike Matheny says he’ll lean on Jonathan Broxton in the seventh inning for the time being. The Cards have long been said to be seeking pen reinforcements, with Rosenthal’s continued struggles heightening the need.