Christian Yelich left the Brewers’ game against St. Louis on April 11 in the bottom of the second inning with back soreness. He sat out the next several games before the Brewers put him on the injured list retroactive to April 14. The thought at the time was that he would likely not be out too long. Yesterday, however, he did not come off the injured list, which was his first day eligible to be off. Then this came out.
Counsell said Yelich "has hit a plateau." Is going back to Milwaukee for MRI.— Tom (@Haudricourt) April 24, 2021
Luckily, Billy McKinney, Jace Peterson, and Tyrone Taylor have filled in admirably while Yelich and Lorenzo Cain have been absent. Yet this is news is going to frighten most in Brewers’ Nation. Manager Craig Counsell, indicated there is a lot of uncertainty around Yelich’s back stiffness, and the hope is that the MRI might provide more clarity.
Counsell said the primary goal of MRI on Yelich is "to get more information." Said Yelich is not feeling good enough to play, so this is the next step. You either find something or rule it out. Then you proceed with that information.— Tom (@Haudricourt) April 24, 2021
Counsell on holding Garcia out of lineup today: " He just didn't improve (with back stiffness) to the point where putting him in the lineup was more of a risk than a reward. Not a reward, but the right thing to do. We gave him another day so we're not looking at something worse."— Tom (@Haudricourt) April 24, 2021
More from #Brewers manager Craig Counsell on Christian Yelich: "It's frustrating for Christian. He's frustrated. We're trying to rule everything out and get as many answers as we can."— Tom (@Haudricourt) April 24, 2021
Counsell on scheduling MRI for Yelich: "Hopefully this adds a piece of information that lets us progress. Christian's not feeling good enough to go full bore. That's what's happening right now so that's why we're doing this."— Tom (@Haudricourt) April 24, 2021
Yelich’s back has been an issue for him for some time now, but this time it seems that things could be more problematic. The hope is that it is not. On to some better news, there are indications that LoCain could be close to a return. He is at least practicing in the field.
Counsell said Cain will do lots of baseball activity on field.— Tom (@Haudricourt) April 24, 2021
While Yelich, Cain, and Garcia are working towards getting back on the field, the Brewers made a move before today’s game to add some active depth to their outfield. After relieving injured starter Brett Anderson in yesterday’s game, apparently Josh Lindblom has come up lame himself. He’s been placed on the IL with a “right knee effusion” and taking his place on the active roster is Corey Ray, who will finally get the chance to make his long awaited MLB debut.
RHP Josh Lindblom has been placed the 10-day injured list with right knee effusion.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) April 24, 2021
OF Corey Ray (#3) has been recalled from the Alternate Training Site and would be making his MLB debut.
Ray is from Chicago.
Ray, now 26, was thought to be a likely fast-riser to the big leagues when he was chosen at #5 overall by the Brewers in 2016. But contact issues have slowed his ascent up the ladder and made it difficult for him to consistently tap into his tools, and overall he owns a career .235/.311/.406 slash line across 376 minor league games. He’s hit 47 home runs and stolen 77 bases while looking like he should be able to stick in center field, but has whiffed at a 29.8% rate across all levels.
As for who will replace Anderson in the rotation now that long reliever/spot starter Lindblom is also on the shelf, that is to be determined. The Brewers will need another starter on Wednesday; it could be a bullpen day led by Brent Suter or Drew Rasmussen, or possible Alternate Training Site arms include Eric Lauer, Patrick Weigel, Alec Bettinger, Jordan Zimmerman, Zack Godley, or Zack Brown, among other, younger candidates.