If everything goes according to plan, we will have the luxury of watching Brewers baseball again later in July. As of right now, all Brewers’ players are healthy and ready to go. Obviously that can change once intrasquad workouts begin in earnest, but no Brewers’ player fell off a dirt bike, almost cut a finger off while opening a gift, or broke an ankle in an encounter with a wild boar while baseball was shut down.
Coming out of Spring Training, however, it did look like four players would miss time or potentially be hampered by injury coming into the season. All indications are Corey Knebel, Eric Lauer, Luis Urias, and Ryan Braun are healthy. Per CBSSports.com, these four players are the only reported injuries and all are slated to be ready for July 23. The only real concern might be Knebel.
Knebel elected to have Tommy John surgery in 2019 and has been on the path to recovery ever since. If he is able to recover and ultimately perform like he did 2018, the Brewers will have their other top-end bullpen arm to couple with Josh Hader for 2020. Responding to a question on Twitter about the health of Corey Knebel, Adam McCalvy stated,
As of late last week, the Brewers had a full, healthy complement of players. Knebel, however, does need to face some hitters to make sure he’s all the way back from missing last year due to Tommy John surgery. But I would anticipate him being on the Opening Day roster.
The two new Brewers that came to Milwaukee in the Trent Grishom/Zach Davies trade with San Diego, Eric Lauer and Luis Urias, were in jeopardy of missing the start of the regular season in March. Both are ready to go for the new July start date.
Pitching well in a couple of Spring Training starts, Lauer went down with shoulder issues. Lauer is competing for a spot in the starting rotation. At the very least, a healthy Lauer enhances the Brewers’ pitching depth and adds a solid left-handed arm with greater potential to the mix.
Luis Urias was supposed to challenge Orlando Arcia for the shortstop position. With Arcia’s strong Spring and Urias’ injury, it looked like Arcia might have the upper hand going into the season. Both players are likely on equal footing now if not a slight edge going to Urias to take over the position. Urias fractured a hamate bone playing winter ball. His ultimate return was thought to be around Opening Day anyway. Now he has had more time to heal and hopefully should be ready to hit at a level his scouting grades purported for him (MLB Pipeline 70 hit tool).
Ryan Braun was a fourth player that appeared on the CBSSports.com injury report. If you remember he tweaked a shoulder in Spring Training.
At the time of the reports, Braun was expected to debut at some point during Spring Training. Now that is a moot point. Braun should be ready to go for the shortened 2020 season.
As we enter the month of July and look forward to the beginning of MLB baseball, the Brewers look well positioned from an injury standpoint. Let’s hope that everyone remains healthy, and the Brewers contend in 2020.