Milwaukee Brewers reliever Corey Knebel has been demoted to the minors, the latest turn in a difficult season for the former All-Star closer.
The Brewers had not announced a demotion as of Friday morning, but a list of transactions on the team’s official website indicates that Knebel was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
The Brewers made the move Thursday, one day after manager Craig Counsell admitted that the team is “searching for answers” to Knebel’s recent struggles.
“Corey is struggling right now, for sure,” Counsell said, according to MLB.com. “It’s a difficult one, because the velocity has almost been better for a big chunk of this season, which makes it even more odd in trying to diagnose this.”
Knebel, 26, is 2-3 with a 5.08 ERA and 14 saves in 41 appearances this season. The right-hander was removed from the closer role earlier this month and has a 7.36 ERA over his past 19 games dating to July 4.
The Brewers are expected to activate reliever Joakim Soria from the 10-day disabled list to fill Knebel’s roster spot. Soria had 16 saves earlier this season with the White Sox and could see save opportunities with the Brewers, who also have used Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress in save situations over the past two weeks.
Knebel was an All-Star for the Brewers last season, when he posted a 1.78 ERA and had 39 saves while striking out 126 batters in just 76 innings.