07/29/12 8:35 PM ET
Nagging left wrist soreness sidelines Aramis
By Adam McCalvy and Jeremy Warnemuende / MLB.com
Crew finalizes Kottaras trade, adding reliever
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers received right-handed reliever Fautino De Los Santos from the A's on Sunday to complete a trade that sent catcher George Kottaras to Oakland.Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash had been seeking a Major League landing spot for Kottaras since the Brewers designated him for assignment on Thursday, opting to keep the young Martin Maldonado as the backup catcher instead. "My time in Milwaukee was memorable," Kottaras told fans via his Twitter account. "Great city. Great fans. Made a lot of friends. Gonna miss it."
De Los Santos, 26, was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the team shifted right-hander Shaun Marcum to the 60-day disabled list.De Los Santos, 26, has a 4.21 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings for the A's over the past two seasons, including 34 appearances in 2011 and six this year. Big league opponents batted only .220 against him last season but were 7-for-17 in very limited duty this April. De Los Santos had been at Triple-A Sacramento since then, pitching to a 7.25 ERA and a .320 opponents' average in 28 games. He had been pitching well in July before allowing three hits, a walk and three earned runs on Tuesday at Salt Lake City. He has not pitched since then.
"He's got big velocity and has struggled at times with his command, but in a deal like this, it is a chance to get an upside arm," Ash said. "[The A's] had expressed interest [in Kottaras] and we gave them a couple of names, and this was one we agreed on. Our scouts saw him and liked his arm; I know he hasn't had great results this year, but there's some upside."
De Los Santos will be out of options beginning next year.
Thornburg optioned by Crew to be stretched out
MILWAUKEE -- Although Brewers pitcher Tyler Thornburg was optioned to Triple-A Nashville after Sunday's 11-10 loss to the Nationals in 11 innings, the 23-year-old right-hander can take solace in the fact he likely won't be there for long."We want to get this guy back starting and get him back in a routine where we feel like we can push him forward," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "And we'll probably see him later on somewhere starting for us, whether it's September or whether it's before that. But we want to get him back pitching like we know he can in a role that may suit him a little bit better." The Brewers did not immediately make a corresponding move, but Roenicke confirmed that the club would call up a reliever before Monday's series opener against the Astros. Thornburg, who has started 14 games in the Minor Leagues this season, made three appearances with the Brewers out of the bullpen this month, allowing two runs in four innings. In two appearances as a starter for the Crew, Thornburg surrendered seven runs across 10 innings. The righty abruptly left his last relief outing, on Thursday, with a tired arm after appearing in back-to-back games for the first time this season. Seen as a future starter by the organization, Thornburg can benefit most from a return to that role, Roenicke said, so that the Brewers can get a better look at him later in the season. Thornburg, who said he has thrown every day since Thursday without any issues, had no arguments with the decision. "It's always difficult to leave here," Thornburg said. "But I haven't been able to get some innings in, and in order to be a starter, I've got to go back down and work my pitch count back up and hopefully be back soon."
Aoki adjusting to MLB's trade culture
MILWAUKEE -- As a veteran of professional baseball in Japan, Brewers outfielder Norichika Aoki has had many new experiences during his first season in the United States. The latest came on Friday, when Aoki saw teammate Zack Greinke get traded away to the Angels.In Major League Baseball, in-season trades involving star players are common and happen every season. That's not so in Japan, where Aoki said teams tend to hold onto their best players for longer. "It is very interesting," Aoki said. "It's just a different way of seeing how things work. There are cultural differences, and that leads to different things. Over here, you trade someone who's going to be a free agent. In Japan, it might be like, 'Why are you trading him away?' There's still kind of a negative aspect to trading. In America, it's more of teams want you; that's why they take you. In Japan -- it's not so much anymore, but it's still there -- teams don't want you, and that's why you're getting traded." Aoki named a number of factors that make trades such as the one between the Brewers and Angels uncommon in his home country. Players can't test free agency until after their eighth year in Nippon Professional Baseball, which is Japan's major league consisting of just 12 teams -- another reason Aoki said trades aren't as frequent. Also, as opposed to the deep farm systems of Major League clubs, organizations in Japan have just one Minor League team, limiting the number of prospects who can be dealt. As a whole, Aoki, who didn't hesitate to ask questions when discussing the differences in the way front offices work in the two countries, said he prefers MLB's way of doing things. But that doesn't mean he's used to it. "Right now, it feels weird that players are getting traded from our clubhouse, and I'm not going to see them every day anymore," Aoki said. Although it's new for him, Aoki handled questions regarding the team's attitude following the Greinke trade like someone who's gone through it before, saying the Brewers "have to stay positive and just go out there every day and give it our best." After being presented with the idea that his name could one day come up in trade rumors, Aoki, who was batting .280 with 21 RBIs entering Sunday, said that's not something he's interested in. "I still have the thinking I had in Japan," Aoki said. "And for me currently, I just want to be able to play for the Brewers and succeed with the Brewers. But that thinking could change as I gain more experience and just get used to the system over here."
Roenicke hoped Marcum was back on track Sunday in his recovery from a mysterious right elbow issue. Marcum, out since mid-June with what has only been called "tightness" in his elbow, threw another bullpen session on Sunday morning, two days after he was unable to get loose in a similar session. With his move to the 60-day DL, Marcum is now eligible to return to active duty beginning Aug. 14.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.