11:20am: Manager Craig Counsell tells Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that Gennett has a “mild” strain of his oblique (Twitter link). Counsell’s early expectation is that Gennett will be out three weeks, which would be on the low end of the typical recovery time frame for oblique strains.
10:36am: The Brewers announced this morning that second baseman Scooter Gennett has been placed on the disabled list due to right oblique tightness. In his place, the club has selected the contract of infielder Hernan Perez from Triple-A Colorado Springs and transferred Matt Garza to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
Gennett, 25, has been one of Milwaukee’s more productive hitters thus far, batting .258/.361/.516 with four homers through 18 games (72 plate appearances). There’s no timeline on his return just yet, though an oblique issue could conceivably sideline him for up to a month, depending on the severity of the issue. Jarrod Dyson recently missed six weeks with a Grade II oblique strain, though the club has labeled Gennett’s injury simply as “oblique tightness” for the time being.
Perez, also 25, was hitting .339/.364/.484 in one of the best hitters’ environments in the minor leagues, but he doesn’t have that type of track record in the Majors, where he has posted a collective .235/.251/.307 batting line in 351 trips to the plate. He’ll combine with Yadiel Rivera and Rule 5 pickup Colin Walsh to cover Gennett’s time at second base.
Garza’s transfer to the 60-day disabled list confirms that he won’t return to the club within his initial timeline of four to six weeks. The veteran right-hander hit the disabled list with a strained lat muscle earlier this month and has yet to pitch for the Brewers in 2016. Garza is in the third season of a four-year, $50MM contract with Milwaukee which also contains a complex fifth-year option that is largely dependent on the health of his right arm. (The $5MM club option turns into a $13MM vesting option if Garza throws 110 games over the course of the contract’s first four seasons but also shrinks to just a $1MM option if he spends more than 130 days of a season on the disabled list.) The Brewers owe Garza approximately $23.36MM over the remainder of that contract through the end of the 2017 season. He’s earning $12.5MM this year and will earn the same in 2017. At this point, his best-case scenario for a return would be early June. While Milwaukee may have had some hope of Garza pitching well for the first half of the season in order to emerge as a viable trade chip, he won’t have much time to build up value before this season’s Aug. 1 trade deadline rolls around.