TODAY: The Brewers are hopeful that Yelich may be able to return to the roster before the end of the week, per Jon Morosi of the MLB Network (via Twitter). That would be a pretty sizable pickup for the Brewers, who sit atop the NL Central despite numerous injuries on the offensive side of the ball.
APRIL 25: Yelich’s MRI didn’t reveal any structural damage, Counsell told Tom Haudricourt (Twitter link) and other reporters. The MRI “was to rule out anything and get another piece of information. We ruled out anything significant,” Counsell said.
APRIL 24: Christian Yelich hasn’t played since April 11 due to a lower back strain that eventually led to an injured list placement on April 17. Since that placement was backdated to April 14, Yelich was eligible to be activated today, though Brewers manager Craig Counsell said yesterday that Yelich wouldn’t make an immediate return.
Counsell’s latest update today is a little more concerning, as the skipper told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter links) and other reporters that Yelich would receive an MRI on his ailing back. Yelich has “hit a plateau” in his recovery process, as Counsell put it, and the MRI will allow all parties “to get more information” on the outfielder’s condition.
Yelich has been dealing with lingering back issues for a few years, including a minor bout of soreness during Spring Training that caused him to miss a few Cactus League games. The fact that Yelich’s back is still bothering him after close to two weeks is certainly cause for further examination, and the hope is that the MRI won’t reveal a more longer-term problem.
Plagued by minor injuries and just a lack of timing in 2020, even the “off-year” version of Yelich was still good enough to contribute a 111 OPS+/113 wRC+ and a .205/.356/.430 slash line over 247 plate appearances last season. While not back to his MVP-level form of the 2018-19 seasons, Yelich was showing some improvement (though a lack of power) over 2020’s numbers in his first few games this year, hitting .333/.459/.367 over his first 37 PA.
Avisail Garcia also isn’t playing today due to a sore back, adding to the Brewers’ injury woes in the outfield with Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, Derek Fisher, and utilitymen Jace Peterson and Tim Lopes all on the 10-day IL. Jackie Bradley Jr. is the only regular left for Milwaukee, with Billy McKinney and Tyrone Taylor picking up the slack for their sidelined teammates.