The Brewers have announced that Jacob Barnes has been placed on the DL with right elbow soreness here. Michael Blazek is coming back from Colorado Springs to take Barnes' spot on the 25 man roster.
We can only hope that Barnes elbow issues are minor, but it can be a red flag that ends up with surgery, even Tommy John surgery. I know that's getting ahead of myself, but as a Brewer fan I tend to react this way. Here's what he said about the injury, for what it's worth:
Good news on Jacob Barnes: Says he believes his elbow inpingement to be "minor." #Brewers— Curt Hogg (@CyrtHogg) July 27, 2016
Barnes is 0-1 this season since coming up from Colorado Springs. He has worked 17 innings with a WHIP of 1.24, only walking 4 and striking out 18. His ERA is 3.71 and he carries an xFIP of 2.90. With only one homer allowed, and a plus fastball, he was showing considerable promise as an important part of the Brewers' bullpen.
Blazek has not pitched well this year, and spent time on the DL himself this year. He went on the DL on June 1st and was actually replaced then by Barnes. Blazek also suffered from elbow pain. He describes it here, as reported in an article by Curtis Hogg on mlb.com:
".I saw my [velocity] was a little down [on Saturday], so I tried to amp up on a fastball, but it just felt like something kind of extends a little too hard," Blazek said. "They described it as a couple of bones just colliding. It's gone down the last couple of days, but the smartest thing to do is just kind of rest it a little bit more before I get back out there and do something worse to it."
Blazek did not pitch well after his return and was sent down to Colorado Springs. For the Brewers he has pitched 30.2 innings with a 5.87 ERA and 5.70 xFIP.. He has a WHIP of 1.89 and has allowed 5 homers for the Brewers. His slider has been less sharp and poorly controlled.
Blazek did not show much improvement for Colorado Springs, throwing 8.1 innings with an ERA of 4.32, a WHIP of 1.56 with 3 walks and 8 strikeouts. He hasn't allowed any homeruns, though.
Having Blazek in the pen instead of Barnes gives the Brewers one fewer reliable arm, and with the trade deadline approaching that lack of depth might become even more important. It is unlikely that major-league ready relievers will come in return for any pieces traded, so look for recent acquisition Rob Scahill or Tyler Cravy to come up if needed.