Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I can't decide if this is good news or bad news...

Jeff Suppan has an oblique strain

No one out there is happy with the fact that Jeff Suppan is in our rotation and at more millions than I care to go research right now. I certainly don't wish him ill, but if this is what it takes to be rid of that albatross, I'm not sure I can be upset.

That being said, we can't find someone to replace Dave Bush - what the hell will we do for another starter? Clearly, we can't NOT have someone, but at this point, if we have to trade important prospects or guys from the roster just to get someone to help us finish the season, it's going to suck.

Two weeks ago we were seriously talking about trading for Roy Halladay and making a serious push for the playoffs and here we are looking to just push-pull-or-drag ourselves to game 162.

You have to feel a little for Ken Macha.

Sure, today's choice of Villanueva was baffling, but he's been put in a ridiculous situation. Our starting rotation was questionable since before Spring Training and since then we've lost the most solid pitcher we had in Dave Bush and there aren't any other options for the Brewers that Macha has not tried.

What else is he supposed to do?

An MRI shows Suppan has oblique strain
Righty to be reevaluated on Thursday by club physician

By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com

07/28/09 9:54 PM ET

MILWAUKEE -- A physical ailment may be behind Brewers starter Jeff Suppan's recent struggles, after all.

A day after the right-hander proclaimed himself healthy, an MRI scan on Tuesday afternoon revealed a left-oblique strain, a rib cage ailment similar to the ones that struck both Braden Looper and Trevor Hoffman in Spring Training and caused prolonged absences.

Suppan hasn't won a start since June 12 and the Brewers are 2-6 in his outings since then. But losing him would be another significant blow to a struggling starting rotation already missing right-hander Dave Bush, who is on the disabled list with a right triceps injury. Two others -- Seth McClung and Mike Burns -- were ineffective in their starts and removed from the rotation. Another fill-in -- Carlos Villanueva -- was tagged for five runs in four innings against the Nationals on Tuesday night.

A club spokesperson said Suppan would be reevaluated on Thursday by head team physician William Raasch. Suppan's next scheduled start is Saturday against the Padres in San Diego.

Suppan was charged with 10 runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings of a blowout loss to Washington on Monday and insisted afterward that he was physically fine. That outing came on the heels of a 3 1/3-inning start in Pittsburgh, in which Suppan surrendered five runs on seven hits.

He missed some time last July with irritation in his right elbow and was asked on Monday night whether any physical ailments were behind his recent slump.

"Health-wise had nothing to with [it]," Suppan said. "I wasn't making pitches, I think that's what it comes down to. You have to make pitches and I think offensively we did a good job tonight. I put us in a hole and really didn't do a good job."

With Suppan's status in limbo and Bush still a few weeks away, general manager Doug Melvin continued to look for sensible deals ahead of Friday's nonwaiver Trade Deadline.

Melvin made a rare postgame visit to the Brewers clubhouse on Monday night to once again discuss available arms with manager Ken Macha. Melvin told coaches to "keep our chins up as much as we can," Macha said.

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