The Brewers made a bit of a surprise move this afternoon, placing starting pitcher Matt Garza on the 15-day DL with right shoulder tendinitis, retroactive to July 3. As a corresponding move, they recalled reliever Corey Knebel from Triple-A Colorado Springs.
This is the first we have heard of any shoulder issues for Garza, as there hasn't been any word of him pitching through anything. It is possible that Garza has been pitching with these for a few weeks, which could explain his recent results. In his last four starts, he has posted a 7.88 ERA in 24 innings pitched, allowing six home runs and posting a 12:4 K/BB ratio. We will have to wait for more information from the Brewers on the injury to get an idea of how long Garza will be out.
Length of injury will be important in regards to Garza's contract status. In his original contract, a provision was included for a $1 million option in 2018 if he spends more than 130 days on the DL over the four years of his contract. He had accumulated about a month's worth of time on the DL last year, so this will add at least another 15 days to that. That time will grow if he is out for an extended period of time.
The injury also creates a hole in the Brewers rotation, but it's one that can be filled easily enough. Tyler Cravy will shift from the bullpen back to the rotation to take Garza's spot tomorrow. Cravy pitched in one game in relief for the Brewers, allowing a run on three hits in two innings on Friday. In his one start on June 2, he allowed a run in seven innings, striking out six and walking two. The Brewers only needed to fill one start in the rotation prior to the All-Star Break, so it's possible this will be a short stay in the rotation for Cravy. He could stay in the rotation if Garza is out beyond the minimum 15 days, but with Wily Peralta targeting a late July return, he probably won't be needed for more than a few starts.
Corey Knebel will return to the Brewers as part of the move sending Garza to the DL. He had been returned to Triple-A on July 3 as part of a move to get some fresh bullpen arms up. Under normal circumstances, Knebel would have had to remain in the minors for at least 10 days before being recalled, but the requirement does not apply to call-ups due to injury. He had not pitched for the Sky Sox during his three days back with the team. Knebel has posted a 2.95 ERA and 4.12 FIP in 21.1 IP for the Brewers so far this season.