Brewers scratch Greinke from start
After Zack Greinke's three straight starts apparently left him feeling fatigued and out of his routine, the Milwaukee Brewers are skipping his scheduled start Wednesday and will sit him down until next week.
''We probably put too much on him, thinking he'd be fine, and he wasn't,'' Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said before Monday night's game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Greinke, a potential trade target for contending teams with the deadline approaching at the end of this month, was ejected in the first inning of a July 7 start in Houston. He pitched again the next day, then started Milwaukee's first game after the All-Star break. He gave up 10 runs in eight-plus innings during those three starts.
Roenicke acknowledged he was second-guessing himself for having Greinke pitch all three games, which the second-year manager said wore the right-hander down and disrupted his routine. Roenicke said Greinke was feeling some soreness as well, but nothing particularly concerning.
''I can't say no soreness, because a pitcher always has soreness the day after — always,'' Roenicke said.
Roenicke didn't think the soreness was a sign that Greinke might be injured.
''Not to where it would be a concern,'' Roenicke said.
Greinke spoke to reporters before Monday's game but was hesitant to discuss the decision.
''I don't really have much to say about it,'' Greinke said. ''Just going with whatever they say, and hopefully come back pitching good, whenever I pitch next. I don't know when he said that is.''
The 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner has been the subject of trade speculation for weeks, and Roenicke acknowledged that he and general manager Doug Melvin did consider Greinke's potential trade value before deciding to sit him down.
''I need to think about it some,'' Roenicke said. ''I certainly talked to Doug about this, just to make sure that we're not doing something that is going to hurt whatever goes on. He's the GM, he's the one that makes all the moves, and he should know. If I'm going to bump a starter, I always call him. I didn't do anything different than I normally do. It's just, this is the right way to let him know, and this is the right way to let them know.''
Tyler Thornburg will start in Greinke's place against St. Louis on Wednesday. Greinke is likely to start the July 24th game at Philadelphia.
''Pretty much, we talked about it, and I said I just was going to go with whatever he said, so there's no mixed words,'' Greinke said. ''And that's about it.''
Asked if he was on board with Roenicke's decision, Greinke said he was ''fine'' with it.
''Just going with whatever he says,'' Greinke said. ''I don't know why you've got to ask me, I say the same exact words as came out of his mouth, is coming out of mine.''
The Brewers came into Monday's game fourth in the NL Central, and may need to go on a hot streak to convince management not to become sellers before the July 31 trade deadline. Having Greinke miss critical series against St. Louis at home and Cincinnati on the road — Roenicke considered simply pushing Greinke's scheduled start back a few days but opted not to — makes climbing back into contention even more difficult.
''I want to pitch every day, but obviously, that's not possible,'' Greinke said.