Notes: Jenkins' future still up in air
He would have liked to say 'so long' if he's not returning
MILWAUKEE -- If the Brewers do not intend to exercise his $9 million club option for 2008, Geoff Jenkins would like to know now so he could say good-bye to the fans who have (mostly) cheered him for 10 years.But club policy says that's not going to happen. "Any players with options, you wait until the date you have to make a decision," general manager Doug Melvin said, explaining that the ballclub needs to keep its options open. "It's just club policy to wait until the appropriate time." That was disappointing news to Jenkins, the Brewers' first-round Draft pick in 1995 who broke into the big leagues in 1998 and this season moved into second place on the franchise's all-time home run list. Jenkins has hit 21 homers this season and 212 as a Brewer, second only to Robin Yount's 251. Considering the cost, it seems unlikely that Milwaukee would exercise Jenkins' option unless a decision to do so preceded a trade to another club. The Brewers must make their decision in the days following the World Series. Jenkins was not ready to concede the end of his run with the Brewers. "Maybe they don't know," he said Saturday before putting the Brewers on the board with a second-inning RBI triple. "We just have to wait and see. It's a situation where the ball is not in my court; it's not a mutual option. "You owe it to the team to stay focused on the games at hand and our goal, which was to win the division. Now, obviously, things had changed. There's only a couple days left, and if that's something that they're going to do, as far as not having me back, it would be nice to tell me and the fans in order to say good-bye that way. "In that respect, it would be nice to hear to get a nice send-off for all the hard work." Jenkins entered Saturday's game batting .256 with 21 homers and 63 RBIs while starting mostly against right-handed pitchers. September is typically his best month, and the Brewers could have used a hot streak since they were competing for a postseason spot for the first time in 15 years, but Jenkins instead cooled. He was hitting .230 in September with seven RBIs entering the final weekend. On Saturday morning, the day after the team was formally eliminated from postseason contention, manager Ned Yost was not in a mood to discus Jenkins' contributions to the franchise. "We've still got a game to play!" Yost said. "I don't know what you guys want from me. Why just pick a 10-year vet? Why don't I say something about everybody? They have all played hard. They all play their butts off." He later conceded, saying, "Everybody was equal in their disappointment. But Jenks definitely had a lot more invested than other guys. That makes it tougher." Back to business: Brewers coaches will meet Monday with Melvin and the team's baseball staff for their annual evaluation of players. Melvin expects to travel to Atlanta the week after next to do his one-on-one evaluations with Yost. Yost is under contract for one more season with a club option for 2009, and earlier in the week principal owner Mark Attanasio said the manager will be back for 2008. Melvin wouldn't say whether any members of the coaching staff are under contract past this season. "That stays in-house," Melvin said. Sheets shut down: With the division out of reach, the Brewers shut down right-hander Ben Sheets after another injury-plagued season. Sheets was unable to make his last two starts because of a strained left hamstring, but was one batter away from pitching in relief during the seventh inning Friday night. "It would have been fun to help," Sheets said. Sheets went 12-5 with a 3.82 ERA this season but was limited to 24 starts this season and suffered groin and finger injuries in addition to the hamstring. He is heading into the final season of a four-year contract. Instead of heading to the bullpen on Saturday, Sheets watched from the dugout. "No need to push it now," Yost said. Last call: Yost and Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa cleared the air on a telephone call Saturday morning, days after a tense Brewers-Cardinals series at Miller Park. Yost refused to talk about the discussion. "That's filed under 'nobody's business but mine and his,'" Yost said. ... Left-hander Manny Parra and third baseman Taylor Green were honored on the field Saturday as the Brewers' Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year. Parra will battle for a roster spot with the Brewers next spring. ... Third baseman Ryan Braun entered Saturday with a .634 slugging percentage, the highest in history for a rookie with at least 400 at-bats. The previous mark belonged to Mark McGwire, who slugged .618 in 1987 with Oakland. On deck: Jeff Suppan will start Sunday's final game of the season for the Brewers. Right-hander Brett Tomko will start for San Diego. First pitch is 1:05 p.m. CT.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.