Garrett Mitchell’s return to the big leagues is official.
The Brewers activated the center fielder from the 60-day injured list on Thursday, capping a comeback from a labrum tear that originally appeared likely to end his 2023 season.
In a corresponding move, the club designated Brian Anderson for assignment.
OF Garrett Mitchell reinstated from the 60-day injured list.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 28, 2023
INF/OF Brian Anderson designated for assignment. pic.twitter.com/q8EFo7KAvO
The 25-year-old Mitchell debuted with the Brewers in August 2022 and began this season as the team’s starting center fielder. He slashed .259/.306/.466 in 16 games before tearing his left labrum on an awkward slide into third base against the Seattle Mariners on April 18.
Mitchell underwent surgery to repair the shoulder on May 4. The Brewers initially stated that the injury would likely end Mitchell’s season but did not rule out a return for a potential postseason run.
Mitchell recovered ahead of schedule and started a rehab assignment with the Nashville Sounds on September 15. He now returns to the active roster ahead of the final series of the regular season.
Craig Counsell said earlier this week that Mitchell’s role would be limited if he returned to the active roster. He may function primarily as a defensive replacement and pinch runner late in games, but he is starting tonight against the Cardinals and may get another start this weekend with the division title already clinched.
Anderson signed a one-year deal with the Brewers in January after the Miami Marlins non-tendered him.
Injuries to Tyrone Taylor and Luis Urias created regular playing time for Anderson to open the season. He started hot, slashing .280/.364/.533 with five home runs through his first 22 games. That production quickly cratered, as Anderson has since slashed .210/.293/.317, including a .206/.282/.288 line since May 28.
Anderson hit the injured list with a back strain on July 16 and returned on August 3. The emergence of Andruw Monasterio, Taylor’s return to form, and the signing of Josh Donaldson eliminated much of his playing time. He appeared in just 11 games (six starts) after his return.
In an odd turn of events, Anderson became a seemingly forgotten man on the roster for nearly three weeks. He did not appear in a game between August 22 and September 11 despite being active on the Brewers’ bench.
Anderson started Wednesday night’s game after the Brewers clinched the division the night before, recording two hits in three at-bats. It was his first start since August 22.
Anderson finishes his Brewers career with a .226/.310/.368 line (85 wRC+).