Brewers left-hander Gio Gonzalez, out since June 1 with a dead arm, is finally progressing toward a return. He’ll start a rehab assignment at the High-A level on Wednesday, Sophia Minnaert of Fox Sports Wisconsin reports.
Gonzalez threw a bullpen session of 40-plus pitches Saturday without incident – a notable step for someone who suffered a setback during a bullpen on June 26. The hope prior to then was that Gonzalez would come back before the All-Star break. It’s now unclear how long he’ll take to ramp up before rejoining the Brewers, but his return will be a timely one with the club fighting for a playoff spot and in need of starting help.
Despite the holes in their pitching staff, the reigning National League Central champion Brewers are 47-43, in possession of a wild-card spot and a half-game back of the Cubs in a wide-open division. The Brewers are in playoff position thanks in part to Gonzalez, who looked like a quality bargain pickup before going on the IL.
After signing a $2MM deal with the Brewers in late April, the former Athletic and National began the season with a 3.19 ERA/3.24 FIP, 7.55 K/9 against 2.61 BB/9, and a 45.5 percent groundball rate over 31 innings and six starts. There’s a case Gonzalez has been the Brewers’ second- or third-best starter this season on a per-inning basis, trailing the emergent Brandon Woodruff and perhaps Zach Davies.