ST. LOUIS -- The Brewers thought they had a nice, tidy transaction on Tuesday when they optioned right-hander Marco Estrada to Triple-A Nashville to clear a 25-man roster spot for Kameron Loe. Not so fast.
Estrada complained of right shoulder fatigue after the move, so the transaction was voided, and he was instead placed on the 15-day, Major League disabled list. Baseball rules bar teams from optioning injured players to the Minors, so Estrada will continue to earn his Major League salary while he is on the DL.
He had pitched in three straight games before he was optioned out, including a Memorial Day outing in which Estrada was charged with four earned runs after a close call at the plate -- which would have ended a scoreless inning -- went against him. Brewers manager Ken Macha was surprised to learn that Estrada was complaining of a shoulder ailment.
"Extremely," Macha said. "He was never, never in the training room or on the treatment list, ever. I asked him every day if he was fine and he said, 'Absolutely.' I don't think his velocity was affected; he was still throwing 91 [mph]. It's not like we looked out there and the guy is throwing 88. ...
"You guys have been around me for a year and a half. I don't pitch anybody if they say they are hurt."
In other moves:
Right-hander Claudio Vargas cleared waivers and was granted his unconditional release. Vargas, who posted a 7.32 ERA in 17 games this season, was designated for assignment last week to clear 40-man and 25-man roster spots for Chris Capuano.
Third baseman Mat Gamel reached the end of a rehabilitation assignment, so he was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list and optioned to Nashville. He was already there, continuing his work back from a torn muscle behind his right shoulder. With Friday's move, Gamel is back on Milwaukee's 40-man roster, which is again full.