Cotts credits mechanics for recent success
Lefty reliever among Brewers rumored to be available in trade
MILWAUKEE -- A new name joined a long list of Brewers churning through the trade rumor mill this week, when a national writer suggested left-hander Neal Cotts has been drawing some interest from contending teams as Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin eyes a selloff.
Cotts, 35 and earning $3 million on a one-year deal, would fetch a modest return in a trade. But he stands out as one of the Brewers' few tradeable pieces performing well. Cotts credits a mechanical adjustment for helping him put together a streak in which he has been unscored upon in 12 of his last 13 appearances, including a six-up, six-down outing in Friday's 10-4 win over the Twins.
For the season, he's held left-handers to a .191 average (9-for-47).
"I think I ironed out a little mechanically," Cotts said. "It was maybe just slowing down a little bit. My alignment toward the plate has been a little bit better. I fought that a little bit early, and I think my velocity was down a bit because of that. I felt great early, my arm felt good, but stuff wasn't coming out like it should.
"It was just kind of a thought thing. It wasn't like an overhaul."
Asked about hearing his name in trade rumors, Cotts referred to his 2014 season in Texas. "There were quite a few names brought up around the whole team, from [Adrian] Beltre on down," Cotts said. "I think you just go and do what you need to do," he said. "[If you're traded], you go where you're told. You have to look at this as a business.
"I love being here. We have a great clubhouse. I know we haven't performed how we wanted to, but in terms of friends and teammates, this is a place I'm going to remember."
One of those teammates, outfielder Gerardo Parra, joined Cotts on Friday afternoon in a penalty-kick shootout aimed at generating interest in a July 14 soccer match at Miller Park between Atlas F.C. and Newcastle F.C. Ticketing information is at brewers.com/soccer.
It's the second year that the Brewers have hosted a friendly during Major League Baseball's All-Star break.
Parra won the event, so Cotts will make a $5,000 donation to the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Fund in Parra's name.