Brewers' Murphy returns from heart attack

Lindblom gets nod for Sunday; Crew completes trade with Phillies

September 19th, 2020

MILWAUKEE -- One of the Brewers’ biggest personalities is back.

Bench coach Pat Murphy -- manager Craig Counsell’s college coach turned right-hand man -- rejoined the Brewers on Friday for the start of their final regular-season series at home, just shy of seven weeks after he suffered a heart attack during a team workout at Miller Park on Aug. 1. Murphy had been recovering at home in Arizona and is well enough to begin easing back into his regular duties.

“He will not be in the dugout tonight, but he’s back with us for the rest of the year,” said Counsell, who will do his best to prevent Murphy from doing too much, too soon. “It’s great. I’m glad he’s healthy enough to be back, that’s No. 1. And then, No. 2 is that he’s a jolt of energy and we’re all glad to see him. He looks great.”

Murphy and Counsell go all the way back to 1989, when Murphy was the baseball coach at Notre Dame and Counsell was a skinny infielder out of Whitefish Bay, Wis. Murphy joined Counsell’s coaching staff in 2016, after the Padres let Murphy go, and the men have been connected ever since, including regularly via FaceTime as Murphy recovered.

After not missing a pitch during his absence, Murphy didn’t miss a beat when he stepped through the clubhouse doors again Friday. Known for his acerbic wit, Murphy says he introduced himself to Brewers newcomer Daniel Vogelbach by asking, “How did I have a heart attack and you haven’t had a heart attack?”

“That was my first line to him,” Murphy said with a big smile. “It’s like, ‘Who is this guy?’”

Murphy wore a T-shirt with the words. “Three up, three down” to a meeting of the team’s hitters’, whose struggles this season have been well-documented, and told the room, “I thought this was our new offensive philosophy.”

Murphy, 61, will travel with the team on its road trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis, which the Brewers hope is followed by a berth in the postseason.

“It’s all about the connection between people,” Murphy said. “I was just telling the guys, this is the part you’re going to miss. You can shoo away this season for a number of reasons, it being so difficult and everybody having to make huge adjustments. But the part you take for granted sometimes until you don’t have it is the connection, the being together.

“That’s what it’s about. That’s why I do it.”

Lindblom to start Sunday
Counsell said right-hander would be reinstated from the bereavement list to start Sunday against the Royals at Miller Park, which bumps scheduled starter to the next series in Cincinnati.

Lindblom has been away from the team due to an undisclosed personal matter. He last pitched Monday in Game 1 of the Brewers’ doubleheader against the Cardinals, returning from a stint in the bullpen to pitch five scoreless innings with three hits, six strikeouts and, most notably, no walks in his finest start in the big leagues.

With Lindblom added to the Royals series, it appears the Brewers will start , and in that order at the Reds from Monday-Wednesday.

Brewers, Phillies complete trade
The Brewers formally acquired a trio of young right-handers from the Phillies on Friday to complete the Aug. 31 trade that sent veteran reliever David Phelps to Philadelphia. Those pitchers, whose names were reported at the time but not confirmed by the club, are 20-year-old Brandon Ramey and 19-year-olds Juan Geraldo and Israel Puello.

None were ranked among the Phillies’ Top 30 prospects by MLB Pipeline, but the Brewers are hoping the deal delivers future yields the likes of current Milwaukee right-hander Freddy Peralta, who was one of three teenagers acquired by the Mariners for Adam Lind in December 2015.

“I understand where that comp comes from,” Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “We traded Adam Lind for three young pitchers, and here we traded another player for three young pitchers. These pitchers, despite their age, may have a little more track record than some of the pitchers we traded for in the Lind deal. There was a little more information about these pitchers available to us. ... All three pitchers at a very young age have thrown strikes and missed bats. They do it in little different ways, but they do it in ways that we think are sustainable as they move through the ranks of the Minor Leagues. It’s pretty exciting for us.”

Last call
• The Brewers released right-hander Jake Faria, acquired last year at the Trade Deadline from the Rays for first baseman Jesús Aguilar. The 27-year-old Faria pitched nine times for the Brewers last season with an 11.42 ERA and was outrighted from the 40-man roster. He spent the summer in Milwaukee’s 60-man Player Pool but was never called up to Milwaukee.

• Right-hander Trey Supak (Milwaukee’s No. 16 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline) and utility man Ronny Rodriguez cleared waivers and remained in the Brewers' organization after they were designated for assignment earlier in the week. But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Todd Rosiak reported that neither player was sent back to the alternate training site, meaning their 2020 season is over. Supak spent one day in the big leagues with the Brewers but didn’t pitch.

• The Brewers returned Eric Lauer to the alternate training site after he served as the 29th man for Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Cardinals.