Baseball

Brewers' Hoffman begins season on DL

Milwaukee Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday because of a strained right oblique muscle.

Milwaukee Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday because of a strained right oblique muscle.

The move is retroactive to March 27.

Hoffman, baseball's all-time saves leader, has pitched sparingly over the past three weeks.

"We met with him this morning," Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said. "He is feeling much better and has shown much improvement.

"He has the normal 'day-after' soreness. We did this because we didn't want him to feel he is in a hurry-up mode [to start the season]."

Hoffman, 41, signed Jan.13 with Milwaukee for $6 million US with an additional $1.5 million US in performance incentives.

He was expected to re-sign with the San Diego Padres, for whom he had pitched since 1993, but they withdrew a two-year, $8-million US contract offer on Nov. 14, 2008.

The Brewers, who clinched the National League wild card last season, pursued Hoffman when incumbent closer Salomon Torres retired.

Milwaukee was eliminated in the NL Division Series by the eventual World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Pitching for the Brewers will be a big adjustment for Hoffman because he has made all but 28 of his 930 relief appearances in a Padres uniform.

San Diego acquired him from the Florida Marlins, with Jose Martinez and Andres Berumen, for Gary Sheffield and Rich Rodriquez on June 24, 1993.

A record 554 saves

Hoffman is 49-53 lifetime with a 2.76 earned-run average and a major-league record 554 saves — 552 of them with San Diego.

The right-hander has posted a record 13 seasons of 30 or more saves, including nine seasons with 40 or more.

Moreover, he has shown exceptional control with 1,055 strikeouts and just 274 walks in 988 career innings.

Hoffman pitched 48 times last season, posting a 3-6 mark with a 3.77 ERA and 30 saves.

He had 46 strikeouts and nine walks in 45 1/3 innings.

With files from the Associated Press