After leaving last night’s game early with an apparent hamstring injury, the Milwaukee Brewers said that further testing would be required to understand the extent of Omar Narvaez’s ailment. Apparently things did not go terribly well as the club moved Narvaez to the Injured List in advance of tonight’s game against Los Angeles, and called up top prospect Mario Feliciano to replace him.
C Omar Narváez placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained left hamstring.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) May 1, 2021
C Mario Feliciano recalled from the Alternate Training Site. pic.twitter.com/mozdH4aNd5
According to manager Craig Counsell, Narvaez is expected to miss at least two weeks with his hamstring strain. The club is excited about the opportunity for Feliciano, but are acknowledging the possibility of him being in a bit over his head:
Craig Counsell on Feliciano coming up with 14 plate appearances this side of A-ball: "This is going to be a short-term stint for Mario but it's going to be a great experience for him. It's a good way to kind of 'open up' for Mario."— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) May 1, 2021
The Brewers are “prepared” to go with Feliciano on the roster until Manny Pina returns to action; Pina is eligible to come off the IL this upcoming Friday and should be ready either on that day or shortly after. In the meantime, Luke Maile will be the starter behind the plate. Maile has previously played in parts of five MLB seasons with the Rays and Blue Jays, hitting .198/.252/.304 in 657 plate appearances from 2015-19.
Narvaez will be a particularly tough loss for the Brewers to weather at this current juncture, as he’s been just about the only consistent hitter available all season long; he’s hit .368/.443/.529 with three home runs for a 168 OPS+, tops among qualified members of the Menomonee Valley Nine. He’s also rated extremely well behind the plate and framing pitches, working to prove that last season’s defensive improvements weren’t a short-season anomaly. Now, he’s the 15th player current on the Injured List for the Brewers.
Feliciano, 22, has only three games of experience at the Double-A level but is ranked as the team’s #5 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft out of high school and was the Carolina League MVP in 2019 when he hit .273/.324/.477 with 19 home runs in 482 plate appearances and is projected to develop into a player with an average hit tool but above-average power coupled with a plus arm behind the plate.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference