Results tagged ‘ David Riske ’

Looper, Gagne, Gwynn, Salome on injury report

Brewers skipper Ken Macha came armed with a note for his Thursday morning meeting with reporters because there were so many injuries to update. Among them:

- The team’s medical staff is encouraged by Braden Looper’s recovery from a tight oblique muscle, and he might be kept off the mound for seven days instead of 10-14. Macha also noted that Looper has been able to participate in plyometric throwing exercises since he tweaked the muscle, meaning he will not have to start from scratch when he gets back on the mound. Perhaps he’ll be in the rotation on Opening Day, after all.

“It’s going to be small steps every day and there won’t be any giants jumps forward,” Macha said.

- Reliever Eric Gagne was sent out for an MRI exam Thursday on his sore right shoulder. Gagne’s Minor League contract includes a March 26 out date on which he can elect free agency if he’s not placed on the roster, and Macha conceded that it will be tough to evaluate Gagne in that tight timeframe.

When a reporter commented that his injury will make it difficult for Gagne to make the team, Macha responded, “That’s an excellent observation. … Talking to Eric, he wants to play. How they figure this all out, they will start to develop a path once they read the MRI and see what’s going on.”

- Outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr., who had an MRI scan on Monday, received a cortisone shot Thursday morning for his right shoulder injury and will be shut down for three days. It’s another setback for Gwynn, who is way behind in the race for reserve outfield spots, but at least it comes at a good time. Gwynn will travel home to San Diego, where his wife, Alyse, will give birth to the couple’s second child.

“He got a shot, and hopefully that will clear [the shoulder inflammation] up,” Macha said. “If it doesn’t, then how they read that MRI was going to determine how they go on after that.”

- Catcher Angel Salome, who has served as a designated hitter in Cactus League games but has yet to play defense, is sidelined by tightness in the middle of his back. Salome departed Maryvale Baseball Park early Thursday after seeing Raasch, presumably for an x-ray and additional off-site tests.

- Third baseman Mat Gamel is making steady progress in his return from a sore right shoulder. He played catch with head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger on Thursday and remains about seven days away from full activity. Gamel served as the designated hitter in Thursday’s exhibition against the Australian national team.

- Reliever David Riske threw 40 pitches of live batting practice on Thursday, and it could be his final hurdle before appearing in a game. Riske and Gagne are the only pitchers in big league camp yet to pitch in a game.

Injury updates galore

Lots of injury news today, and much of it is not very promising:

- Both assistant GM Gord Ash and manager Ken Macha raised the possibility that Braden Looper’s oblique injury will force the right-hander to the disabled list for the start of the season. The team plans to shut him down for two weeks, meaning Looper will have to start from scratch about a month after the start of camp.

- Eric Gagne developed shoulder soreness late last week, throwing a wrench into his chances of making the club. He can opt out of his Minor League contract if he’s not placed on the 40-man roster by that date, but he has to pitch before the Brewers can make a decision.

“The date is his call,” Ash said. “If he wants to depart, he can. If he doesn’t want to depart, he doesn’t have to. Clearly, and I spoke to him this morning, he’s running out of time.”

- Tony Gwynn Jr.’s shoulder injury might be more serious than originally thought, though Ash declined to offer details until head doctor William Raasch reads the results of Monday’s MRI scan. Raasch will be back in camp on Thursday and will also examine Gagne.

- The Brewers are encouraged by Bill Hall’s recovery from a slight left calf tear, but he will not play in a Cactus League game until late next week at the earliest. Hall took part in some running drills on Tuesday.

- Reliever David Riske, who underwent surgery last fall to remove a bone spur, is scheduled for another live batting practice session on Thursday and then should be ready to appear in games.

- Third base prospect Mat Gamel returned to camp this week after going home for the birth of his first child, but he continues to rehab a sore throwing shoulder. Gamel was to appear as a pinch-hitter against the Rockies on Tuesday and will also get at-bats in a Minor League intra-squad game on Wednesday.
  

Spring surprise: Gagne back with the Brewers

I had just left Maryvale Baseball Park for the day when Brewers spokesman Mike Vassallo texted a shocker: Eric Gagne is re-joining the Brewers.

He won’t exactly make the $10 million he pocketed last season, and general manager Doug Melvin made it clear Gagne received no guarantees he’ll get a job. Gagne agreed to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to big league camp and an out clause that will allow him back to free agency if he doesn’t get a 40-man roster spot before the end of Spring Training.

“He’s got to win a job,” Melvin said. “He came to me at the end of the season and told me he felt he didn’t earn his [salary], that he didn’t pitch the way he wanted to pitch for what he was being paid. He said he felt indebted to us to come back in and give it another shot for us.

“I didn’t expect that, and I respect the fact that he stood up and said, ‘I didn’t pitch well.’ He came to me and said, ‘I’m sorry I disappointed you.’ But he pitched well at the end of the year and that’s what counted, so I give him a lot of credit for that.”

Gagne joins a crowded bullpen. Trevor Hoffman is the closer and Carlos Villanueva, David Riske and Seth McClung and at least one left-hander from Mitch Stetter or R.J. Swindle are ticketed for what will probably be a seven-man relief corps. Assuming only one lefty makes the cut, it would leave only two more spots for a field of competitors led by 40-man roster members Todd Coffey, Jorge Julio, Mark DiFelice and Rule 5 pick Eduardo Morlan.

Melvin said Gagne’s decision to sign had nothing to do with the team’s decision to cancel a trip by top pro scout Dick Groch to see free agent reliever Chad Cordero throw in California on Wednesday. Cordero’s camp informed clubs that he will only be throwing at about 80 percent of total effort, so the Brewers instead will send their local scouts.

The Brewers are not interested in former St. Louis reliever Jason Isringhausen, another right-handed former closer who, like Gagne, could be open to a Minor League deal. So it appears that the team feels it has enough competitors already in camp to put together a quality bullpen.
 

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