It appears there may be a full-blown COVID outbreak in the Brewers’ bullpen.
The team announced this afternoon that Josh Hader is headed to the injured list due to COVID-19, joining Hunter Strickland, Jake Cousins and Jandel Gustave, who were sent to the IL on Saturday.
LHP Josh Hader placed on the injured list (COVID-19). RHP John Axford added to the active roster. INF/OF Jace Peterson reinstated from the injured list. INF/OF Pablo Reyes optioned to Triple-A Nashville. pic.twitter.com/cnjWSl1EHf— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) August 2, 2021
It’s just the latest case in what’s been a long week for the Brewers when it comes to being reminded that the virus is still an obstacle, and the most notable since Christian Yelich’s positive test less than a week ago.
If there’s good news with this latest update from the team, it’s that Jace Peterson presumably did not test positive after being put on the IL as a close contact following the Yelich diagnosis.
Hader appeared in Sunday’s series finale in Atlanta. As of this post, it has not yet been reported if Hader is experiencing any symptoms. It’s also unclear whether Hader had been vaccinated.
Corbin Burnes landed on the Injured List due to COVID in late April, but returned to the active roster on May 13.
With Hader out of the mix for the next couple weeks, it will be interesting to see how Craig Counsell handles save situations, should they arise. Devin Williams could shift to the 9th inning, or someone like Brad Boxberger could take over the nominal closer role.
John Axford was added to the big league roster with Hader’s IL move, but it would not be fair to expect him to pitch in high-leverage situations in his first big league action in years.