The Milwaukee Brewers made a pair of roster moves in advance of the start of tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. One of the transactions was expected, as the club announced yesterday that Zack Godley would be placed on the Injured List and Eric Lauer would be recalled to take made the game one start. The other move, however, comes as quite a surprise as the Brewers are now down one of their co-aces:
RHP Corbin Burnes placed on the injured list.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) April 29, 2021
RHP Zack Godley placed on the 10-day injured list with a right index finger contusion.
RHP Alec Bettinger and LHP Eric Lauer recalled from the Alternate Training Site. pic.twitter.com/F5PRErpGH3
Corbin Burnes, of course, is on course as an emerging superstar after finishing 6th in Cy Young balloting last year and getting off to an historic start this season. In five starts this year, Burnes has worked 29.1 innings pitched with a 1.53 ERA, 16 hits allowed, 49 strikeouts, and zero (0) walks. His 49 strikeouts without a walk to start the season is the best such stretch by a starting pitcher, ever. He leads the league with a 0.545 WHIP and 0.50 FIP, but will now miss an undetermined amount of time.
As noted by Adam McCalvy, the Brewers did not designate an injury for Burnes, nor was it stated that he was placed on the 10-day IL as Godley was. That suggests that perhaps Burnes’ absence is COVID-19 related, which is something that the team cannot publicly reveal unless authorized by the player. The Brewers held a team vaccination event at the beginning of April where players who were willing received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but did not specify which players actually received the shot.
Alec Bettinger, 25, receives his first call-up to the big leagues to takes Burnes’ place on the roster. A 10th-round draft pick and senior sign out of Virginia in 2017, Bettinger has outperformed expectations and become a legitimate prospect by adding increased velocity along with a deceptive delivery and four-pitch offering. He was added to Milwaukee’s 40-man roster this past offseason and currently rates as Milwaukee’s #23 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. During his most recent full season in Double-A Biloxi in 2019, Bettinger posted a 3.44 ERA along with a 157:35 K/BB ratio in 146.1 innings pitched.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference