Corey Knebel hasn’t looked quite right for most of this season as he tries to work his way back from Tommy John surgery, and now we may know why.
Knebel is landing on the Injured List with a strained hamstring that, according to Adam McCalvy, Craig Counsell says may have led to some bad habits on the mound — or vice versa.
Mark Mathias will be returning to the big league roster to take his spot.
RHP Corey Knebel has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained left hamstring. INF/OF Mark Mathias has been recalled from the Aternate Training Site. pic.twitter.com/yBZPbW9qpr— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) August 20, 2020
Couple of things on this: Knebel says his arm feels great, per Counsell, but feels he has slipped into some bad habits either because of the hamstring or that caused the strain. He will stay with the team through this trip, then pitch some in Appleton when ready. https://t.co/2PeNTLYxX1— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) August 20, 2020
Knebel’s had a rough go of it in his first 9 games back from surgery. While he’s struck out 7 in 6.2 innings, his velocity has been down, and he’s been getting hit around. He’s allowed 7 runs on 11 hits over those 6.2 innings, including 4 home runs. He’s only averaging about 94 mph on his fastball, down from an average of 97 pre-surgery. He’s also seen his average velocity drop on his curveball by nearly 4 mph, down to 78.4 — which wouldn’t be a huge deal if he wasn’t leaving it in the zone so much.
Once he’s able to pitch, he’ll likely be given plenty of time to figure out whatever’s been ailing him in Appleton. At this point, a stay on the Injured List and a rehab assigment may keep him off the big league roster for much of the remainer of the season.
Mathias was sent back to the Alternate Training Site in Appleton earlier this month after going 5-for-16 — all singles with no walks — during his first bit of playing time. With Ben Gamel struggling, he may see some more time in the corner outfield spots.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs