3:08 pm: Narváez is expected to miss about two weeks, manager Craig Counsell told reporters (including Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).
2:02 pm: The Brewers announced they’ve placed catcher Omar Narváez on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain. Fellow backstop Mario Feliciano is up from the alternate training site to take his place on the roster.
Narváez left last night’s game in the seventh inning with hamstring tightness, and testing this morning revealed the strain. His loss will be another blow to a Milwaukee offense that has already been one of the league’s worst. Brewers’ hitters have managed just a .215/.297/.368 cumulative slash, which ranks twenty-eighth in park-adjusted offense (ahead of only the Rockies and Tigers).
While the team hasn’t hit much, Narváez has been on a tear. The 29-year-old is raking at a .368/.443/.529 clip through 79 plate appearances. Obviously, that level of production wasn’t sustainable, but Narváez has rather incredibly slashed his strikeout rate from 31% during a dreadful 2020 campaign to 12.7% over this season’s first month. That suggests he might’ve again found the form that made him a quality offensive player with the White Sox and Mariners from 2018-19.
Narváez has rated as an above-average pitch framer since moving to Milwaukee and has cut down six of thirteen attempted base stealers in the early going. He’s also guided a pitching staff that has more than offset the club’s offensive issues, with the Brewers sporting an NL Central-leading 16-10 record. With Narváez joining Manny Piña on the IL, Milwaukee is set to lean primarily on the light-hitting Luke Maile behind the dish.
Maile will be backed up by Feliciano, who’s in line to make his MLB debut. The 22-year-old is one of the sport’s more promising catching prospects but will be forced to make quite a leap to the game’s highest level. Feliciano spent most of the 2019 minor-league season at High-A, where he hit a strong .273/.324/.477. Other than three Double-A games to close out that year, Feliciano has no high minors experience. He and Maile are the only healthy catchers remaining on Milwaukee’s 40-man roster.