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09/08/08 8:48 PM ET
Riske may be fighting a sore arm
Brewers reliever struggles with inconsistent outings
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- A sore arm could be contributing to reliever David Riske's inconsistent outings, two club officials said Monday. Riske surrendered four runs in the Brewers' blowout loss to the Padres on Sunday and has surrendered seven runs on eight hits and four walks in his last four outings, spanning just 1 2/3 innings. "He might be having some discomfort," general manager Doug Melvin said. Asked if Riske was simply fighting mechanics or not feeling 100 percent healthy, manager Ned Yost said, "I think it's probably a little of both. He's battling through some things. He's doing everything he can." Yost has had to shuffle bullpen roles with Riske and Eric Gagne (two blown saves in his last three outings) both in the middle of slumps. Right-handers Guillermo Mota (0.55 ERA over his last 17 appearances) and Carlos Villanueva (1.93 ERA over his last 30 appearances) and left-hander Brian Shouse will have more prominent roles over the final 19 games of the regular season. The Brewers do have reinforcements with Sept. 1 callups. Melvin said that Tim Dillard, Mark DiFelice or Mitch Stetter could be options for the postseason roster -- assuming the Brewers get that far -- if Riske or Gagne needs to go on the disabled list. Riske was on the disabled list from May 15-June 19 with elbow and shoulder soreness. Gagne was on the DL from May 23-June 30 with rotator cuff tendinitis. Brewers bullpen coach Bill Castro said Riske has given no indications of a sore arm. Riske pitched only once between July 31 and Aug. 13, partly because of an illness, and Castro said the right-hander hasn't been the same since. "That threw him off a little bit. He hasn't found a rhythm again," Castro said. "He's rushing a little bit right now. When he's down and away with his fastball, he's really good. He's too 'down the middle' right now."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.