MILWAUKEE — As things stand right now, Brewers ace Zack Greinke is scheduled to pitch against the Nationals on Sunday in the finale of this four-game series. But with the Brewers being fairly open about their desire to move Greinke before the trade deadline it does not appear likely that Greinke will make that start.
Even Nationals manager Davey Johnson isn’t expecting it.
“I’d be real surprised,” Johnson said. “I know in the past if a ballclub’s intent on making a move, you’re not going to pitch him two days before the deadline.”
The Brewers added right-hander Jim Henderson to their bullpen before Thursday’s game, giving them eight relievers and, much like the Nationals, a short bench. Johnson viewed that addition as an indication that the Brewers are preparing to move a pitcher.
The Brewers bullpen was also worn thin during a three-game series in Philadelphia in which the Brewers were swept. They’ve lost six straight but Greinke is 9-3 with a 3.59 ERA this season.
“(Preparing to trade Greinke) is probably one of the reason they’ve got eight pitchers in the bullpen,” Johnson said. “Although we have eight — but we’re not making a move. A club would probably like to put him right in their rotation and you don’t want to do anything to hurt him. Valuable trade chip.”
The Nationals will throw Edwin Jackson, Ross Detwiler, Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez in the four-game series. Zimmermann will be making his the first major league start of his career in his home state of Wisconsin.