The Brewers placed right-handers Corbin Burnes and Zack Godley on the injured list Thursday, the team announced. Manager Craig Counsell was unable to discuss why Burnes went on the IL, which suggests the hurler tested positive for COVID-19, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. Meanwhile, Godley landed on the 10-day IL with a right index finger contusion. Milwaukee recalled righty Alec Bettinger and lefty Eric Lauer in corresponding moves.
While it’s unclear how much time Burnes will miss, the Brewers can ill afford to go without him for long. The flamethrowing 26-year-old broke through as one of the game’s premier starters last season and has continued to roll in 2021. Burnes has pitched to 1.53 ERA with even more impressive fielding-independent numbers (0.50 FIP, 1.18 xFIP, 1.24 SIERA), and he has somehow managed to avoid walking anyone over the first 29 1/3 innings of his season. Not only that, but Burnes has fanned a whopping 49 hitters – putting him two strikeouts away from tying Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen’s 51:0 K:BB ratio for the all-time record to begin a season.
The loss of Godley is much less troubling for the Brewers, though it does further subtract from their starting depth. Milwaukee, which is also without injured starter Brett Anderson, selected Godley’s contract before its game against the Marlins on Wednesday. Godley threw just three innings of three-run ball in a 6-2 loss before exiting with his injury.
Lauer, who made 54 starts between San Diego and Milwaukee from 2018-20, will slot into the Brewers’ rotation for the time being. Although Lauer faced a daunting opponent, the Dodgers, on Thursday, he rose to the occasion with five shutout innings in a 2-1 victory.