The Brewers expressed interest in Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez last summer, though talks didn’t go anywhere, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports. The left-handed Vazquez would have teamed with Brewers southpaw Josh Hader and righty Jeremy Jeffress to form a nigh-unhittable relief trio on paper, perhaps one that could have pushed the club over the top in the National League. He remains a Pirate, though, and the Vazquez-less Brewers fell to the Dodgers in a seven-game NLCS last year. Milwaukee may call its division rival again this year about Vazquez (if the Brewers haven’t already), but it’ll continue to be incredibly difficult for anyone to pry him out of Pittsburgh.
- Rehabbing Athletics lefty Jesus Luzardo threw five innings and 66 pitches at the Triple-A level Thursday. He’ll extend to six innings and 90 pitches Tuesday, according to Martin Gallegos of MLB.com. The highly touted 21-year-old prospect hasn’t gotten to debut in the majors yet because of a shoulder strain he suffered late in the spring, but the hope is he’ll burst on the scene next month to bolster the playoff-contending A’s rotation. The club needs Luzardo’s assistance, having lost ace Frankie Montas to an 80-game performance-enhancing drug suspension a week ago.
- At 6 1/2 games back of a wild-card spot, the White Sox may be closer to playoff position than expected this season. However, general manager Rick Hahn unsurprisingly isn’t going to mortgage the future for short-term pitching help prior to the deadline, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score writes. Asked Friday about adding an established starter in the next month, Hahn said: “”I wouldn’t say you can count on additions at the deadline that will be short-term fixes. Our focus going to remain long term.” Hahn admitted Chicago “would like to add controllable starting pitching,” but he quickly noted that’s a goal for every team in the game. Below-average starting pitching has prevented the White Sox from making a more serious playoff push this year. While Lucas Giolito has been tremendous, the team hasn’t gotten respectable production from any of its other starters.
- Injured Padres reliever Aaron Loup will return in “late August, early September if things go well,” manager Andy Green said Friday (via AJ Cassavell of MLB.com). It’s clear this will go down as a mostly lost season for Loup, whom the Padres signed to a one-year, $1.2MM contract entering the campaign. The 31-year-old lefty has been on the injured list since April 9 because of a forearm strain. Loup was effective in a small sample of work before then, throwing 3 1/3 scoreless innings of two-hit ball with five strikeouts against one walk.