Results tagged ‘ Jeff Suppan ’

Cardinals sign Suppan

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals have picked-up right-hander Jeff Suppan, who was released by the Brewers on Monday. Suppan will earn a prorated portion of the Major League minimum, with the Brewers on the hook for the rest of his what’s left on his $12.5 million salary for 2010. 

Suppan, according to the report, will join the team on Phoenix this weekend. The Brewers and Cardinals meet again for a four-game series from July 1-4 in St. Louis. 
Update at 2:50 p.m. CT — Suppan’s agent, Scott Leventhal, confirms the deal, though Cards GM John Mozeliak cautions that nothing is official. Still, it looks like Suppan will be a Cardinal again.
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Suppan issues a statement

The following is a statement from RHP Jeff Suppan, who was released by the Brewers today:   
“I want to thank Mark Attanasio and Doug Melvin for all they have done for my family and me, especially how they handled this situation.  I’ve played with a number of organizations, and the Brewers are one of the classiest.
                
“When I signed in 2007, I was committed to winning, and to this day I still am.  Nobody is more disappointed than I am with how things have turned out.  I enjoyed my time here in Milwaukee as both a player and a member of the community.  As such, I will continue my involvement with Brewers Charities for the remainder of the 2010 season.  My commitment to this cause and the people it serves is unwavering.
“I wish the Brewers organization, its fans and especially my teammates all the best.”
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Melvin on Suppan release

suppan.JPGI’m fresh off a flight home from St. Louis and playing a bit of catch-up on the news that Jeff Suppan was released today while owed more than $10 million by the Brewers. General manager Doug Melvin was kind enough to step away from Draft prep to do a conference call with the beat reporters, and here is some of what he said:

“I contacted him and talked to him briefly. … I had a nice conversation with him and he handled it like a pro. He is a professional and I can’t say enough things from that perspective, what Jeff provided to our team and our community when we first signed him. The time came where some of the younger guys, like [Zach] Braddock and [John] Axford and Kameron Loe were coming in and even Jeff said, ‘These guys are pretty good.’ He admitted that. He’s obviously disappointed — no one wants to lose his job — but I wished him the best.”
Melvin was asked first what all of you have been wondering: Does he regret giving Suppan that four-year, $42 million contract in the first place?
His response was passionate.
“It’s a fair question. Have any of you done your homework to determine who the free agent players were that year?” he asked reporters before answering himself. “We could have signed Jason Schmidt. He signed for three years and $47 million. Barry Zito was seven years and $126 [million]. Gil Meche was five years and $55 [million]. Miguel Batista, three years and $25 [million]. Jason Marquis, three and $25 [million]. Vicente Padilla, two and $20 [million]. Ted Lilly, at four years and $40 [million], was probably the pitcher who performed the best out of that group. 
“That was the free agent class of pitchers that particular year. Jeff and Ted Lilly were both in the playoffs. I won’t forget that when we brought him in here, we wanted someone that would start, be professional, you hoped he would win a lot of games. In that regard, he was professional about the way he went about things. He pitched until the last year of the contract. 
“When you enter into free agent contracts, guys, it’s one of the riskiest things to do. I know in the off-season, media, fans, myself included, we all get excited about the free agent people who are out there. But there are not a lot of free agent contracts with pitchers where you get the full [value]. 
“I guess when I look at it, when you get involved with free agency it’s all a learning experience. It cotninues to be a learning experience no matter how many years you’re in the game. Free agent contracts with pitching is not really the way you want to go. There’s not many where you get the full performance equaling the contract. I’ll never forget that Jeff did contribute. He and Dave Bush went 9-0 in the month of August in 2008. We don’t win and get to the playoffs if they don’t perform that month.”
On the timing of the move:
“Once we felt a little more comfortable with the development of Axford and Braddock, knowing Kameron Loe came up here and performed, knowing Marco Estrada is another guy we could go to. We had to make sure from a depth standpoint that we were comfortable with this. Then you have [Chris] Capuano coming back, David Riske coming back [this week]. Look at how many guys we’ve called up over the past few weeks. …
“None of this is easy, but the timing of it made sense now after finding out that these guys could pitch. … And, the fact that we didn’t see Jeff returning to the rotation.”
Melvin said he mentioned during his chat with Suppan the resurgence of right-hander Carlos Silva with the Cubs. The Mariners dumped Silva last winter with two years left in his four-year, $48 million deal and Silva lowered his ERA to 2.93 with seven innings of one-run ball in Pittsburgh on Monday. 
“I said, ‘Jeff, don’t get discouraged. You should go out there and continue to pitch,’” Melvin said. “Dontrelle Willis pitched seven shutout innings the other day for Arizona. Sometimes you perform at a certain level with one club and it can change.”
On the reasons, in Melvin’s view and the view of his scouts, for Suppan’s drop in production:
“I don’t think he was as aggressive as he was earlier on, when we got him,” Melvin said. “This game is a lot of confidence. If you have your confidence going well, then you perform better. … Jeff’s stuff is not going to get a lot different than it is now. Sometimes you gain your confidence and pitch a couple of good games. You always hoped for that.”
More to come…
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Loe on his way up

The Brewers are poised to make another move to bolster their pitching staff. Triple-A Nashville right-hander Kameron Loe will make his way to Miami on Tuesday to join a club in the middle of a pitching makeover. 
Loe was to supposed to start for Nashville on Tuesday night but he is expected instead to be in a Brewers uniform at Sun Life Stadium, where Milwaukee began a four-game series against the Marlins on Monday with a 13-5 loss. The Brewers will have to make a corresponding move or moves to clear space on both the 40-man and 25-man rosters, and could wait until Loe is on-site to do so. 
The Brewers were facing a deadline of sorts this week with Loe, 28, whose Minor League contract included an “out” clause that would have allowed the player to elect free agency if not on the big league roster by June 5. 
“I’m excited to be back in the big leagues,” said Loe, who last pitched in the Majors with Texas in 2008. “I was really focused on my next start so I had not been giving much thought to what might happen. But I’m ready for it.” 
Loe made 107 appearances including 47 starts for the Rangers from 2004-2008 and was 19-23 with a 4.77 ERA. He was 4-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 10 starts for Nashville. 
He was not told whether he would be used as a starter or a reliever by the Brewers, who have had trouble in both areas. 
“They just told me I’m coming up and I said, ‘Thank you,’” Loe said. “That was about it.” 
Loe would be the latest of a series of roster moves this month to remake a slumping staff. Pitchers John Axford, Marco Estrada, Zach Braddock and Chris Capuano have all been promoted since May 15, and the club announced Monday that Capuano would start Thursday’s series finale against the Marlins. 
The Brewers already have 13 pitchers on the active roster so a pitcher will almost certainly be sent out to make room for Loe. One option is veteran right-hander Jeff Suppan, who is earning $12.5 million in the final year of his contract but has been working lone relief. Suppan surrendered three hits and two runs, only one of which was earned, in Monday’s loss and both general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ken Macha declined to answer questions during the day about his status on the team. 
Suppan’s ERA this season is 7.28.  
“He’s given us what he’s got,” Macha said after the game. “Sometimes it’s been OK and sometimes it hasn’t.” 
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Suppan surprised, but 'just wants to contribute'

Jeff Suppan, who will move to the Brewers bullpen in favor of left-hander Chris Narveson, spoke to reporters a few minutes ago about moving to the bullpen. Here’s what he had to say:
“I like to go back to the basics, and my best fastball down and away is [the same] whether I’m a starter or in the bullpen,” Suppan said. “So I’m going to work on that. I’ve worked very hard since Spring Training on my mechanics and getting right, and I’m starting to see a lot of benefits to that. But the results haven’t been there, so I’m going to do whatever I can to help the team. … 
“Baseball is a humbling game, and you can’t have too big of an ego because anything can happen. I’ve always tried to be a humble guy. That’s always been the way I’ve lived my life. Whatever way I can help the team, I just want to contribute to wins. If it’s out of the bullpen or in the rotation, whatever.”
Did the decision surprise him?
“I was surprised a little bit, but ultimately I don’t concern myself with it,” Suppan said. “I just need to continue to work on what I need to work on to go out and pitch, and that’s pitch selection and pitch location. My two games I started, I had a lot of missed pitches but I threw a lot of good pitches. The missed pitches were down the middle and that doesn’t lead to good results. It was a situation where they told me today, after two starts, and I’ll go to the bullpen and help out any way I can.”
Did he think two starts was enough of a measuring stick?
“Well, it’s really not up to me. It’s not my decision,” he said. “They have their reasons and they have their thoughts, and I respect that. I’m just a player. I have a locker and they have the big offices. They make the decisions.”
Suppan was asked one final, straightforward question: He he been disappointed with his results so far?
“There’s many different ways you can look at results,” Suppan said. “I feel that I’ve made a lot of good pitches in my two games, and my bad pitches, they cost me runs. I feel that from where I started at to where I am now, I’ve made a lot of improvements. Obviously, you want to go out and get a quality start and get a ‘W.’”
Narveson will take Suppan’s spot in the starting rotation beginning Wednesday against the Pirates. 
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Suppan headed to bullpen, Narveson to start

It took three weeks, but lefty Chris Narveson will finally get his shot as the Brewers’ fifth starter, manager Ken Macha announced before Sunday’s game.

Narveson is slated to start Wednesday’s series finale against the Pirates.
Macha also announced veteran right-hander Jeff Suppan — and his $12.5 million contract — will move to the bullpen.
“I talked to Jeff today and… he was extremely professional about the whole thing,” Macha said. “He said he’d help the club any way that he could.”
“I was surprised a little bit, but ultimately I don’t concern myself with it,” Suppan said. “I just need to continue to work on what I need to work on to go out and pitch, and that’s pitch selection and pitch location. My two games I started, I had a lot of missed pitches but I threw a lot of good pitches. The missed pitches were down the middle and that doesn’t lead to good results. It was a situation where they told me today, after two starts, and I’ll go to the bullpen and help out any way I can.”
Did he think two starts was enough of a measuring stick?
“Well, it’s really not up to me. It’s not my decision,” Suppan said. “They have their reasons and they have their thoughts, and I respect that. I’m just a player. I have a locker and they have the big offices. They make the decisions.”
Narveson earned the spot because of his performance in September 2009 and Spring Training this season, Macha said. Of the three candidates for the fifth starter role — Narveson, Suppan and lefty Manny Parra — Narveson had the best Spring Training by far.  
During the spring, he pitched 13 innings over five games and did not allow a run on 10 hits. Suppan and Parra each finished with an ERA of more than 5.00. 
Narveson has struggled a bit out of the bullpen, including Saturday’s game in which he allowed three runs to score in the eighth on two hits and two walks. In the ninth, however, he came back and retired the side in order.
After Suppan managed only 9 1/3 innings over his first two outings — forcing the bullpen to pitch 8 2/3 in those games — Macha and the Brewers are hoping Narveson can give them more innings and quality starts.
“That kind of stuff hampers you,” Macha said. “When you get a lot of innings out of your bullpen, that has a residual effect, as it did yesterday.”
–Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter

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Suppan's rotation spot under review

After only two starts, veteran right-hander Jeff Suppan’s spot in the Brewers’ starting rotation is already under review.
Manager Ken Macha on Saturday wouldn’t commit to whether Suppan would remain in the rotation to start Wednesday’s game against the Pirates. If the team makes a change, Suppan and his $12.5 million salary would probably move to the bullpen.
“There’s been some discussion,” Macha said. 
But as the conversation with reporters continued, Macha cautioned against assuming that a change was in the works, saying, “We’re making a lot of assumptions that something is going to happen.”
Suppan surrendered 10 hits and five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Cubs on Friday night. In two starts this season, he has been touched for 16 hits and nine earned runs in 9 1/3 innings. He’s in the final season of a four-year contract. 
If Suppan is removed from the rotation he would be replaced by either left-hander Manny Parra or Chris Narveson. Both competed for the fifth starter’s spot during Spring Training but were passed over in favor of Suppan, who began the season on the disabled list with neck pain before an April 15 season debut against the Cubs. 
Narveson didn’t allow a run in any of his Spring Training starts and Macha had particular praise on Saturday for Parra, who followed Suppan on Friday night with two scoreless innings. Parra walked one and threw a wild pitch but notched four strikeouts and didn’t allow a hit. 
“I thought he threw the ball extremely well,” Macha said. “Good velocity, command was pretty good. It’s nice having that coming out of the bullpen. … I like the way Manny’s been throwing out of the bullpen. He did give up a couple of sharp hits in Washington, but besides that he’s been [effective].”
The Brewers would probably like to reach a decision by Sunday, when Suppan would throw his usual between-starts bullpen session.  Considering the dollars involved, any decision would presumably include the highest levels of team management. 
Suppan is not the only Milwaukee starter off to a somewhat tough start; entering his Saturday start against the Cubs, left-hander Doug Davis had yet to pitch past the fifth inning in any of his three outings. And the Brewers are not the only team mulling early-season changes; the Cubs just this week moved Opening Day starter Carlos Zambrano and his $91 million contract to the bullpen. Zambrano warmed up on Friday night in the Miller Park bullpen but didn’t pitch, and he was available behind starter Ted Lilly on Saturday. 
“Every team enters the season with a certain plan, OK? And as the season goes on, things work their way out,” Macha said. “So [the Cubs] are trying to work it out. … Things work their way out, trust me. It’s just not our club. Other teams have problems, too, and try to utilize their assets to they can fill-in shortcomings in certain areas.”
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Suppan debuts; Gerut gets first start

The Brewers need a win today to avoid a Cubs sweep. Here’s the lineup:
Rickie Weeks  2B
Jim Edmonds  CF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Jody Gerut  RF
Gregg Zaun  C
Alcides Escobar  SS 
Jeff Suppan  RHP
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Melvin: Sending down Stetter was 'tough call'

In something of a surprise move, the Brewers will option left-handed relief specialist Mitch Stetter to Triple-A Nashville on Thursday so Jeff Suppan can return from the disabled list to start against the Cubs. 
Stetter was one of three left-handers in the bullpen but the others — Chris Narveson and Manny Parra — are starting pitchers who were beat out by Suppan in the race for the fifth starter’s spot. Stetter was the team’s top late-inning option against left-handed hitters, coming off a 2009 season in which he made 71 appearances and limited lefties to a .178 batting average. 
The club’s decision was complicated by the fact that so few Brewers players have Minor League options. Narveson and Parra are both out, so the Brewers would risk losing either player on waivers if they tried to send them down. Likewise, fifth outfielder Jody Gerut and backup infielder Joe Inglett are out of options.
The only relievers with options were Stetter and right-hander Carlos Villanueva. 
“There were only two choices,” said general manager Doug Melvin, who informed Stetter of the move following Wednesday’s 7-6 loss to the Cubs. “Nothing against Mitch, it’s not that he hasn’t done the job, but we feel that Carlos can give us some more innings. 
“It was a tough call. We went back and forth on it. Obviously, we’re taking a little bit of a chance.” 
The Brewers are set to wrap-up their series with the Cubs on Thursday behind Suppan, who began the year on the 15-day DL with a neck injury. Then it’s off to Washington for a three-game series. The Nationals’ most dangerous left-handed hitter is slugger Adam Dunn. 
Stetter had made two appearances this season and retired both hitters he faced.
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Suppan named fifth starter

The Brewers made a long-discussed, much-dissected decision on Wednesday morning and anointed veteran right-hander Jeff Suppan their fifth starter. 

He has to get off the disabled list first. Suppan, who opened the season on the 15-day DL with a neck injury, is scheduled to make a rehabilitation appearance for Class A Wisconsin on Friday night. If he gets through that outing without a setback, Suppan will slide into the big league rotation to start against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday. 
Suppan gets the gig over left-handed competitors Chris Narveson and Manny Parra. Macha conceded that Narveson had the best spring of that trio, working 13 shutout innings over four Cactus League starts and one relief appearance. 
Suppan got the nod because of his Major League track record. Macha discounted the notion that Suppan’s $12.5 million guaranteed salary entered into the decision. 
“I don’t think if he was in the bullpen … [the salary] would matter,” said Macha. “He was going to be one of the 12 pitchers.”
The fact that Suppan has been a starter his whole career did figure into the decision, Macha said. So did the fact that Suppan has pitched parts of the past 15 seasons in the Major Leagues, compiling a 135-135 record and a 4.68 ERA. Parra is 21-20 in parts of three seasons with a 5.17 ERA. Narveson is 2-0 with a 3.99 ERA in 26 Major League games, just five of them starts. 
Still, Narveson had a case to start. Before his solid spring, he won the Brewers’ pitcher of the month honors for September/October 2009 by going 1-0 with a 2.73 ERA in four starts and five relief appearances. 
“But then if you take a look at, really, his entire Minor League career, those aren’t numbers that would support you saying, ‘This guy is going to be our starter,’” Macha said. “So how big a window are you looking at? September and Spring Training? 
“Before it’s all said and done, all three guys may get an opportunity to get out there [as a starter].”
Macha made that final point several times. 
“We could have a number of No. 5 starters over the course of the year,” Macha said. “Right now, we’re going in this direction. Production will be a big part of it. We’re lucky to have Manny Parra and Chris Narveson in the bullpen, and if it warrants that somebody gets injured or there is non-production, we have somebody to step in.”
That comment seemed to indicate that the Brewers would hold onto Narveson and Parra — both of whom are out of Minor League options — when Suppan is activated from the DL, and that somebody else, perhaps right-handed reliever Carlos Villanueva — who has options — would be the odd man out. But Macha declined to talk about the team’s pending roster decision. 
Suppan, meanwhile, was preparing for the 100 mile drive north to Grand Chute, Wis., home of the Brewers’ Midwest League affiliate. He also made a rehab start there last season. 
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