The Milwaukee Brewers have struggled to score runs all season long and currently rank 22nd in baseball with an average of 3.53 runs per game, the main culprit for their tepid 8-9 start. The lineup has been without Christian Yelich since April 4th, however, as he’s been nursing his sore oblique. After nearly two weeks of missed action, Yelich is ready to return to active duty today:
Just talked with Christian Yelich. Said needed to get thru couple days of full workouts without any discomfort to be sure oblique was ok. Finally got there today.— Tom (@Haudricourt) April 17, 2018
Yelich won’t be in the starting lineup right away tonight as Ryan Braun is slated to start in left field, so he will be available off the bench for his first game back. Now that Yelich is healthy and Braun and Eric Thames are back in the lineup, the offense is at full strength once again. They had been playing a bit shorthanded over the last handful of days while carrying eight relievers and with several players stuck in day-to-day purgatory, leading some to wonder if they are making the best possible use of the 10-day DL. Yelich was off to a .385/.407/.577 start with a homer and two doubles through his first 26 plate appearances and should be a shot in the arm for Craig Counsell’s squad.
To make room for Yelich, Jorge Lopez was optioned back to AAA Colorado Springs. He was originally summoned from the minors back on April 11th when Milwaukee was in need of a fresh bullpen arm, but didn’t find his way into a game until yesterday’s blowout against Cincinnati. He gobbled up the final three innings, allowing one run with two hits, three walks, and two punchouts. Lopez also added a two-run double that broke up the shutout, his first hit in the big leagues. He was disappointed to hear the news of his departure, but given how Milwaukee has cycled through arms so far this season it seems quite likely that Lopez will back in the majors before too long.
Jorge Lopez admitted it was tough to get sent down after 3 solid innings and first hit, an RBI double, last night. But was pleased it helped save other bullpen arms.— Tom (@Haudricourt) April 17, 2018
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs