After just one game played in his return, the Milwaukee Brewers have placed Christian Yelich back on the Injured List as he continues to struggle with issues relating to his lower back.
OF Christian Yelich placed on the 10-day injured list with a lower back strain.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) May 4, 2021
OF Tyrone Taylor recalled from Triple-A Nashville. pic.twitter.com/36KZNgoIvP
Yelich’s mysterious back ailment continues to befuddle management and the front office, with Craig Counsell telling reporters before last night’s game against Philadelphia “[l]ast night told us that he’s not going to be able to do this on a daily basis. And so we need to stop and completely resolve this...At this point, we don’t have an answer.” The Brewers plan to spend the next several days exploring different possibilities regarding the problem, as Counsell says the player “doesn’t feel good” and “[t]here’s something else we haven’t diagnosed.”
The issue is obviously bothersome and concerning to 29 year old Yelich, as well, who has seven more years remaining on his long-term contract after 2021. “I felt good enough to try it,” Yelich told reporters after the news broke, “but you don’t really know until you’re in a Major League game.” He added “[t]ightness, pain, restriction not having the same mobility. Back stuff kind of controls your entire body.” Yelich is hitting .353/.463/.382 in 10 games and 41 plate appearances on the season, even recording a pair of base hits in his brief return to the field against Philadelphia.
Yelich’s continued absence and unknown timeline could open up significant opportunity for Tyrone Taylor, who was recalled and started in last night’s game. The 27 year old former top prospect has done nothing but hit the ball hard during his stints at the big league level over the past three seasons, including a .303/.410/.545 slash with a pair of home runs so far in 39 plate appearances. Lorenzo Cain, Avisail Garcia, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. are all on the active roster as well, and Derek Fisher just began a rehab assignment and could be up at the big league level within the next few weeks. Billy McKinney also remains present, though his offense has fallen off a bit lately and he’s now a part of the rotation at first base with Daniel Vogelbach after Keston Hiura was sent to the minor leagues.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference