MILWAUKEE -- Brewers right-hander Dave Bush entered the week with 13 quality starts, just as many as Texas' Cliff Lee, considered the best available pitcher on the summer trade market before he was dealt from Seattle to Texas.Bush had one more quality start than Dan Haren, who has already been traded, and Ted Lilly, who is a staple of rumors. And like Lee and Lilly, Bush is a free agent at the end of the season. Yet Bush, 30, is generating almost no trade buzz. "I get a kick out of teams talking about all of these other pitchers, and [Bush] has more quality starts than all of them," general manager Doug Melvin said. "He's pitched as well or better than some of these names I hear on the trade front. "His name never comes up. That's fine. That's Dave Bush. He always goes under the radar." Bush, earning $4.2 million this season in his final year of arbitration, is 5-8 with a respectable 4.21 ERA and has met the definition of a "quality start" -- six or more innings, three or fewer earned runs -- in 13 of his 20 starts. For comparison, Milwaukee ace Yovani Gallardo has been "quality" in 12 of his 19 starts, or 63 percent. Bush's rate is slightly better, at 65 percent. Melvin noted that Bush's ERA has ballooned because of the four starts out of 20 in which he allowed more than three earned runs. In those four games, Bush is 0-3 with a 14.79 ERA. In his other 17 starts, he's 5-5 with a 2.77 ERA. Bush last pitched on Saturday and beat the Nationals. It was a nice rebound from his loss in Pittsburgh on July 20 in which he allowed 10 runs -- five earned -- in only four innings.
Hawkins' impending return causes dilemma
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers are facing a tough roster decision in the coming days with reliever LaTroy Hawkins ready to return from a Minor League rehabilitation assignment.Hawkins threw 21 of his 28 pitches for strikes in two scoreless innings for Triple-A Nashville on Monday. He allowed two hits in his fourth appearance for the Sounds and could be back at Miller Park for a visit with Brewers' doctors as early as Tuesday. Hawkins has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 9 with right shoulder weakness. He would join a bullpen on a hot streak. In the team's past 14 games entering Monday, Brewers relievers combined to go 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA (43 2/3 innings, 11 earned runs). The only relievers who could be optioned to the Minor Leagues are right-handers John Axford -- the team's closer at the moment -- Carlos Villanueva and left-hander Zach Braddock. Braddock was off limits for the team's recently completed series against the Nationals at the request of the team's medical staff. But he was available to pitch on Monday, manager Ken Macha said.
Three Minor Leaguers suspended
MILWAUKEE -- Three players with the Brewers' Dominican Summer League team were suspended 50 games after testing positive for performance-enhancing substances in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.The players are third baseman Allixon Cequea and outfielder Erickson Salaya, both of whom tested positive for metabolites of Nandrolone, and pitcher Leonard Lorenzo, who tested positive for a metabolite of Boldenone. All three suspensions are effective immediately. The suspensions are a first for Brewers' new facility in the Dominican Republic, where players undergo extensive education about the league's drug policy and the dangers of using non-approved supplements.
Brewers right fielder Corey Hart was unavailable for the third straight game Monday because of a swollen right wrist. He played catch and told reporters he wasn't sure when he would be able to start again. Manager Ken Macha is hoping for improvement by Thursday at the latest, so Hart could start against Reds left-hander Travis Wood. ... The Brewers promoted former first-round Draft pick Jeremy Jeffress to Double-A Huntsville, where he replaced injured right-hander Mike Fiers. Huntsville is Jeffress' third stop since he was reinstated from a 100-game drug suspension. He did not allow a run or a hit in five appearances at Class A Wisconsin, then allowed six runs on 10 hits over 10 innings for advanced Class A Brevard County. Jeffress did record 14 strikeouts vs. seven walks at Brevard County.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.