FRIDAY: Thames underwent surgery and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks, the club announced.
WEDNESDAY, 2:51pm: Milwaukee GM David Stearns tells reporters that Thames will likely require surgery, though that determination is not yet finalized (Twitter link via Adam McCalvy of MLB.com). The team still expects to have Thames back in the fold for a “significant” portion of the 2018 campaign, Stearns further adds.
2:39pm: The Brewers announced Wednesday that first baseman/outfielder Eric Thames has been placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. Right-hander Brandon Woodruff has been recalled from Triple-A to fill Thames’ spot on the roster.
Milwaukee didn’t provide a timeline for Thames’ absence, though this type of injury has cost players anywhere from six to eight weeks in the past and typically requires surgical repair. Yadier Molina (twice), Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Dustin Pedroia are among the notable names to have experienced a UCL tear in the thumb over the past few seasons.
Thames, 31, was off to a terrific start in Milwaukee, hitting a robust .250/.351/.625 with seven homers and three doubles through his first 74 plate appearances of the season. He sustained the injury when making a diving stab at first base in the eighth inning of last night’s game, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
The loss of a slugger hitting as well as Thames has been to open the season stings for the Brewers, of course, though Milwaukee has a considerable amount of corner depth to help soften the blow. Many fans and pundits, myself included, were surprised to see the Brewers hang onto all of their outfielders and first baseman Jesus Aguilar after adding both Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich this offseason. But, their decision to do so could now allow the Brewers to shift Ryan Braun to first base more often while deploying a strong outfield mix of Yelich, Cain and Domingo Santana. Aguilar, too, seems likely to see some increased reps at first base with Thames out for what could be an absence of two months.