Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun may be generating trade buzz with his huge offensive numbers, but he’s also now dealing with a new malady, as MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports. While back issues have limited early, with prior wrist and thumb problems also posing some long-term concern, Braun has most recently been limited by a stiff neck. He’s now missed the starting lineup in eight of fourteen games, though GM David Stearns says that the organization expects to manage the injury (and his lingering back trouble) without the need for a DL stint. The general manager acknowledged a “level of interest” in the slugger from other organizations, but also said that the team “fully anticipate[s] Ryan is going to be a Brewer for a very long time.”
Here’s more from the National League:
- The Mets are expected to activate just-acquired first baseman James Loney for action on Tuesday, manager Terry Collins told reporters including Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter link). Acquired yesterday from the Padres, the veteran is expected to help fill in for injured first baseman Lucas Duda.
- Padres righty James Shields addressed the recent trade chatter surrounding him, as Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes. The veteran hurler says that he’s used to the rumors. “I don’t really think about that kind of thing too much, to be honest with you,” said Shields. “I’ve been in the game long enough to where these things get thrown out there. I think my name gets thrown out there every single year. I don’t really put too much emphasis on it.”
- A prospective deal that would send Shields from the Padres to the White Sox would make sense for both organizations, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports opines. While Shields certainly doesn’t profile as an top-of-the-line starter any longer, Rosenthal says he’d unquestionably help the pitching-needy South Siders.
- Rosenthal notes that other Padres arms, including southpaw Drew Pomeranz, have drawn interest as well. Pomeranz had his worst outing of the season today, though he still managed to set down nine hitters via strikeout in just five innings of work. The 27-year-old is an interesting player to watch, as he comes with two more years of cheap control and has turned in the most promising work of his career thus far for the Pads.
- Meanwhile, the Padres learned that they will be without right-handed starter Cesar Vargas for a stretch, Lin also reports. Elbow soreness is the culprit, and it remains unknown how long he’ll miss. Vargas had been a nice surprise in the early going, though he was hit hard yesterday as his elbow flared up. The Friars are expected to bring back fellow righty Colin Rea to step into Vargas’s rotation spot. He had been optioned in order to limit his innings and maintain his availability for the rest of the season.