MRI: Dreaded oblique strain for Suppan
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, an ailment 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 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 on Tuesday night.
A club spokesperson said Suppan would be re-evaluated 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 the Nationals 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 post-game 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.