Yesterday's Brewers opener was kind of a disaster--unless you're really pulling for the highest draft pick possible in which case it was fine. But honestly, the Brewers were within striking distance until they had to drag out the dregs of their bullpen. And the thing about that is, a few of those guys wouldn't be on the team if it weren't for the massive amount of injuries that swept through camp right at the end of spring training.
All told the Brewers started the season with 7 players on the disabled list. The only injury that didn't become known right towards the end of ST was Rymer Liriano. In addition to him relievers Will Smith, Corey Knebel, Sean Nolin, Yhonathan Barrios (more on him later), and Zach Jones are on the disabled list. Well now we can add one of the Brewers starting rotation members to the myriad of injury victims.
RHP Matt Garza (right lat strain) has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, retro to 4/2. RHP Tyler Cravy recalled from Triple-A @skysox.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) April 5, 2016
Kyle had the news earlier this morning that Garza was going to miss his first start on Wednesday. Now we know the injury will cause him to miss more time than that. He went on the disabled list last season with a similar injury and only needed the minimum 15 days before returning. If that's the case again he could return on the 17th. That's a Sunday game in Pittsburgh. But to be clear, it's possible he could miss much more time. I believe Wily Peralta had a similar injury last year as well and spent two months.
This Garza news, while unfortunate, actual comes as something of a pleasant surprise. He was scheduled to visit the team doctor today after experiencing right shoulder tightness. The moment I hear shoulder in relation to a pitcher I panic a little bit. Tommy John surgery (elbow) gets all the headlines. But major shoulder injuries for pitchers are the worst case scenarios.
Tyler Cravy will be given the firs shot at taking Garza's spot. Last year Cravy appearing 14 games, 7 of which were starts, logging 42.2 innings with an 18.1 K%, 11.4 BB%, .278 BAA, 1.62 WHIP, 5.70 ERA, and 4.70 FIP. It was his first exposure to the majors though, and it's not uncommon to see pitchers struggle under those circumstances. His walk rate in the minors, for example, was usually quite good.
In other news, Yhonathan Barrios also visited with a doctor today. Unfortunately this visit was to undergo shoulder surgery. Rotator cuff surgery to be precise.
Brewers reliever Yhonathan Barrios is undergoing rotator cuff surgery today with Dr. Andrews.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 5, 2016
Yhonathan Barrios posted this to Instagram before entering surgery: pic.twitter.com/kAtIUYprEN— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 5, 2016
Like I wrote above, shoulder surgery is the worst case scenario for pitchers. It's not a "simple" ligament replacement like TJ surgery. There is a lot going on in a shoulder and it's pretty much impossible to repair it to it's original condition. So when pitchers return to throwing, it feels different and they have to learn how to work with it. But that and recovery in general takes a very long time. It's very probable we don't see Barrios pitch at all this year. But we'll have to wait official word until we have a good idea how long he'll be out.
Join me in sending best wishes to all three of these pitchers.
UPDATE: Matt Garza told reporters today that he was told it would take 4-6 weeks to rehab his injury:
Matt Garza says he was told 4-6 weeks to rehab from his lat strain. He hit the Brewers' disabled list today.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 5, 2016