McClung tweets his frustration
After sitting idle for an eighth consecutive game on Wednesday night, right-hander Seth McClung wondered aloud about his future with the Brewers.
McClung last month set up an account on Twitter — @73_MC — and has used it to communicate with fans during a busy month. McClung returned Sept. 19 from about seven weeks on the disabled list with a sprained elbow, but before appearing in Thursday’s series finale at Coors Field he had only pitched once since being activated.
On Wednesday night, he tweeted: “U know that saying, the writing is on the wall? I think I can make out more than just letters concerning me.”
McClung, who is arbitration-eligible after the season, was asked on Thursday morning to clarify. He was hesitant to take his feelings to the media.
“It can be interpreted any way you want,” McClung said of his tweet. “I’m not complaining, I’m not trying to make trouble. I’m just frustrated. I don’t mean to talk about it in the media, but I’m honest with myself and it’s hard to watch situations come up in which I’ve performed exceedingly well in the past, and get passed over. Now we’re going on nine days since I’ve pitched last. I’m not saying I’m better than anybody else, I just think it’s my turn. Beyond that, I really don’t want to talk about it in the media.”
The Brewers avoided McClung last winter when the sides agreed to a one-year, $1.6625 million contract. He is 3-3 with a 4.99 ERA this season in 40 appearances, including two starts. He was having an excellent season in relief — 3.25 ERA in 28 games — until the Brewers moved him into the starting rotation on June 27 after Dave Bush was injured and Manny Parra was sent to the Minors.
McClung finally appeared again on Thursday and escaped a bases-loaded jam in relief of Parra, then worked a scoreless fourth inning to lower his ERA below 5.00. Brewers manager Ken Macha agrees that McClung is completely healthy but said other relievers have simply moved ahead of him on the depth chart including Chris Smith, who pitched in relief on Wednesday.
“I don’t know what my spot is here,” McClung said. “I’ve had a good run here and I’ve enjoyed it. The way things are shaking up, I don’t know if they have plans for me. I love being here, but that’s not my decision. I would love to be here five, six more years.”
The Brewers may need McClung again this weekend in St. Louis because Dave Bush is skipping his final start to rest his tired right arm. Carlos Villanueva was more likely to be used in a spot start than McClung.