When the Brewers announced that Brandon Woodruff would be making his first big league start and Jett Bandy would have to go on the DL with a fractured rib, we had a feeling these moves were coming, but the team made it official this morning -- Woodruff and catcher Andrew Susac will be joining the Brewers in Tampa, while Lewis Brinson is being sent back to Triple-A.
RHP Brandon Woodruff has been recalled Triple-A @skysox (MLB debut tonight). OF Lewis Brinson has been optioned.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) August 4, 2017
C Jett Bandy (rib fracture) has been placed on the 10-day disabled list. C Andrew Susac has been recalled from Triple-A @skysox.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) August 4, 2017
Brinson has had a slow start to his big league career, hitting .106/.236/.277 in 21 games. He's been ridiculously unlucky, though, with a BABIP of .106 despite 33% of balls he's put into play being considered hit hard (average is about 30%). Since returning to the big league roster on July 26th, he still managed to put up an .800 OPS despite the tough luck, hitting his first two career home runs and drawing 4 walks in 20 plate appearances. However, the team decided they would rather play Keon Broxton every day. He'll go back to Colorado Springs to play every day, despite not having much left to prove there, having hit .345/.417/.569 with 10 home runs in 68 games.
Bandy lands on the DL in a different case of bad luck. After being sent down to Colorado Springs earlier this year, Bandy had a chance to prove himself again when Stephen Vogt landed on the shelf with a knee injury. Bandy went 4-for-17 with 2 walks in 20 plate appearances since his return, but was hit with a pitch on Sunday and tried to play through it before the pain eventually got to be too much.
Taking Bandy's place behind Manny Pina for the time being will be Andrew Susac, who the Brewers acquired at last year's trade deadline in the Will Smith deal. Pegged by some as the Brewers' catcher of the future, Susac has struggled through a nightmare of a 2017 season, fighting injuries for much of the year and being largely disappointing when he's been on the field, hitting .205./307/.404 despite Colorado Springs' hitter-friendly environment. If there's a positive, it's that batting average/OBP split showing he's still maintained a good eye at the plate. He gets the call by virtue of already being on the 40-man roster.
Woodruff will finally (hopefully) step on a big league mound for the first time in his career tonight. He was supposed to start the first game of a doubleheader in St. Louis in June before hurting his hamstring during pre-game warm-ups -- reportedly the first time he's ever been hurt. Woodruff was the organization's pitcher of the year in 2016, but Colorado Springs' altitude has wreaked havoc on his ERA, despite similar strikeout numbers to last season. The Brewers haven't indicated if Woodruff is here to stay in the rotation, or if this will be another spot start.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs