Kolten Wong has been a sparkplug atop the starting lineup during his first season with the Milwaukee Brewers, and has been enjoying the finest offensive performance of his career.
When he’s been healthy, that is.
Wong left Thursday’s game against the Pirates early with a reaggravation of his previous calf injury, and Craig Counsell told reporters after the contest that another trip to the Injured List was under consideration. That move was made official on Friday afternoon, as Wong was placed back on the IL amid a series of roster moves:
2B Kolten Wong placed on the 10-day injured list with left calf tightness.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) July 2, 2021
INF/OF Pablo Reyes and LHP Hoby Milner recalled from Triple-A Nashville.
RHP Alec Bettinger optioned to Triple-A Nashville. pic.twitter.com/bXp1nXIujk
Kolten has so far batted .291/.346/.485 and cranked seven home runs for a 125 OPS+ as a member of the Cream City Nine, but he has appeared in only 53 of the team’s 82 games this season while battling a spate of injuries. First it was an oblique issue that required two separate stints on the Injured List, and now it’s a calf problem that kept him out of the lineup for several days and now has forced him back on the shelf. The way the schedule works out, Wong won’t be back until at least after the All-Star break.
In his stead, Pablo Reyes returns to the big league yet again. He’s made starts at third base, shortstop, and second base for the Brewers this year and has made some spectacular defensive plays, but hasn’t provided much value at the plate as he’s hit .224/.240/.265 with just two extra-base hits and one walk in 50 plate appearances. He’s been markedly better in Triple-A, where he’s slashed .311/.407/.533 in 54 plate appearances.
A move also took place in the bullpen, where Alec Bettinger was swapped out for a fresh arm in Hoby Milner. Bettinger appeared in yesterday’s game and cleaned up the final inning, allowing a run on two hits, which actually lowered his ERA to 13.50 in 10.0 MLB innings this season. The lefty Milner returns for another stint with the big league club; he’s appeared in nine games this season and authored a stellar 14:1 K/BB ratio in 10.2 innings, but he’s also yielded three homers and a 5.91 ERA in that small sample. With the Triple-A Sounds, Milner has yet to allow a run across 11.1 innings with 18 punchouts versus zero walks.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference