7/28/2014 8:04 P.M. ET
Kranitz garners thanks from Maddux
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
ST. PETERSBURG -- -- Brewers pitching coach Rick Kranitz was honored to hear that his name was part of Greg Maddux's Hall of Fame induction speech on Sunday. Maddux thanked Kranitz for helping him develop a changeup.
"It's nice that he took the time to mention that, because it happened so long ago," Kranitz said. "Every time I've seen him, he would always mention something. It's nice to know you helped somebody along the way."
Both were rookies when they met, Kranitz in his first coaching assignment at Pikeville in the Rookie Appalachian League, and Maddux an 18-year-old who had just been drafted by the Cubs in the second round.
Personality-wise, Maddux was the same prankster he is today, Kranitz said. In terms of pitching, he was much different.
"He threw very hard," Kranitz said. "We didn't use radar guns back then, but it was hard. It was four-seam and a nasty curveball, and he just threw balls by guys -- until he got tired. Then, when he got tired, that's when he would start giving up some hits. But he was always very competitive."
The changeup became a big pitch for Maddux. From 2002 through the end of his career, he threw it more than 23 percent of the time.
Melvin, aides prep for Trade Deadline
ST. PETERSBURG -- Doug Melvin needed some extra chairs in the visiting general manager's suite at Tropicana Field on Monday.
With the non-waiver Trade Deadline looming at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday, Melvin led a larger-than-usual group of Brewers officials on the team's first trip to the Tampa Bay region since 2005. Among those in attendance were assistant GM Gord Ash, special assistant Craig Counsell, senior director of baseball operations Tom Flanagan, pro scouting director Zack Minasian and director of video scouting and baseball research Karl Mueller.
When the rest of the team departs Thursday for St. Louis, Melvin and Minasian will stay behind through Thursday's Trade Deadline before seeing the Advanced Class A Brevard County club play three games in nearby Bradenton, Fla., Friday-Sunday.
"I'm listening, taking phone calls, looking at the rumors, putting fires out, whatever," said Melvin, who didn't throw any cold water on one hot rumor circulating Monday -- that he had contacted the Rays to put his "foot in the water" on ace left-hander David Price.
• Second baseman Scooter Gennett returned to the lineup Monday after missing five starts with a strained right quadriceps. His start was just in time to play in front of dozens of family and friends who made the short drive from Sarasota, Fla., where Gennett attended high school.