Eric Thames is back in the big leagues, and he has been crushing the baseball, hitting a blistering .408 with a majors-high-tying seven home runs this season.
But not everyone is feeling warm and fuzzy about the Milwaukee Brewers slugger’s comeback story, in which he revived his career in the Korean Baseball Organization, then came back to the U.S. this year.
Chicago Cubs right-hander John Lackey and pitching coach Chris Bosio weighed in on Thames this past week, and they both slyly insinuated that he could be receiving some help in the form of performance-enhancing drugs, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Cwik.
Lackey spoke to the media following the Cubs’ 6-3 loss to the Brewers on Monday, and his comments on Thames, who doubled and homered off him, are interesting, to say the least.
“You watch film on recent stuff and try to figure out a way, you know, to get him out,” Lackey said, per Cwik. “But I mean, really even the homer hit the other way, I mean, you don’t see that happen here very often. That’s kinda one of those things that makes you scratch your head.”
Lackey winked at the reporters as he said the words “scratch your head,” which can be seen in The Chicago Tribune’s video of the interview.
Bosio then went on a local radio show Tuesday and took the implications to another level.
“You start thinking about Ken Griffey Jr., Manny Ramirez when he went to the Dodgers, Barry Bonds,” Bosio said. “You’re talking about some of the greatest players to ever play this game. So, yeah, it’s probably a ‘head-scratcher’ because nobody knows who this guy is. And when he was here before, his body has changed. But, like I said, I’ll leave that to everyone else and we’re just gonna try to worry about how to pitch him better and get him out.”
It certainly seems like the Cubs have an issue with Thames, who has a career high of 12 homers in a season. Or maybe they’re just upset that they’ll have to face him another 10 times this season.
Thumbnail photo via Caylor Arnold/USA TODAY Sports Images