The trio of hurlers visited Chase Field prior to the Crew’s series opener against the D-backs, and manager Craig Counsell said all three continue to make positive strides in their rehab work.
“They’ve been working hard. They’re not seeing big league games so just being around their teammates and being at a big league game is a little bit of a change up for them that they appreciate, and that they like,” Counsell said. “It’s good for us to get to see them.”
Knebel is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April, while Suter (Tommy John in 2018) and Wahl (torn right ACL) have also not pitched this year. Counsell believes Suter and Wahl will pitch later this season, although whether either makes it to the big leagues will be determined later.
“[Bobby] and Brent are really on a pretty close timetable, you can hopefully be a little more aggressive with Bobby because it’s not his arm, but we’ve got to make sure the knee is healed,” Counsell said. “We’ve got to make sure that we’re cautious with that as he ramps up to 100-percent intensity. …
“They’ve got a lot of work to do still, they’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Gonzalez ready for return
Left-hander Gio Gonzalez is coming off the injured list to start vs. the D-backs on Saturday, and the veteran feels good as his return nears. Gonzalez has been on the IL with left shoulder fatigue/irritation since June 1.
Gonzalez made two rehab starts, the second of which came Monday for Triple-A San Antonio. He allowed one run in 4 2/3 innings against Nashville and, most importantly, he came out of the outing encouraged by his health.
“It was just to see how I felt in my shoulder, and it was positive,” Gonzalez said. “The next day I felt fine throwing catch, just continued to do the same routines I’ve been doing, stretching as much as I can with the training staff and continued my workouts with the strength coaches.”
Smyly opts out of Minor League deal
According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, left-hander Drew Smyly opted out of his Minor League contract with the Brewers on Thursday and elected to become a free agent. The veteran southpaw made three starts at Triple-A, going 1-0 with a 4.97 ERA.
In his last start for San Antonio on Tuesday, Smyly gave up four runs on four hits with eight strikeouts and three walks in 3 2/3 innings.
After going 1-5 with an 8.42 ERA in 13 games (nine starts) for the Rangers earlier this season, Smyly signed a Minors deal with the Crew on July 1.