4:17pm: Yelich and Cain are indeed in Monday’s lineup, the Brewers announced. The team optioned Taylor and infielder Keston Hiura to its alternate site in corresponding moves. Taylor’s one of the odd men out despite a fantastic .323/.400/.581 line with a pair of homers in 35 trips to the plate. Hiura has endured an awful start, though, with a .152/.247/.266 mark, 32 strikeouts and one HR over 89 PA. So far, it has been the second consecutive adverse season for Hiura, who burst on the scene as a rookie in 2019 but hasn’t come close to replicating his output from then.
Hiura has gotten the lion’s share of playing time at first base this year for Milwaukee, which has also utilized Daniel Vogelbach at the position. Vogelbach and McKinney will now split time there. Manager Craig Counsell expressed optimism that Hiura “can be our primary first baseman,” though he admitted the Brewers “need more offense” from that spot, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel relays.
4:03pm: Brewers outfielders Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain will return from the 10-day injured list Monday as the first-place club begins a series against the Phillies, Robert Murray of FanSided reports.
This will be the first action since April 11 for Yelich, who has been down with a back ailment. The Brewers were optimistic Yelich wouldn’t be out for long, evidenced by the fact that they didn’t place him on the IL until April 17 (retroactive to the 14th). Now that the former MVP is coming back from a three-week absence, he’ll try to build on the highly productive .333/.459/.367 line he logged in 37 plate appearances to start the season. However, the two-time 30-plus-home run hitter hasn’t left the yard yet in 2021.
The Brewers received very strong numbers from the left field combination of Tyrone Taylor and Billy McKinney during Yelich’s absence. The same hasn’t been true in center, where Jackie Bradley Jr. has struggled in his first year with the Brewers. Bradley divided his time between center and right to open the year, but he has played the former spot almost every day since Cain went on the IL on April 14 with a strained left quad. As is the case with Bradley, Cain has come out of the gates slowly in 2021. He batted an underwhelming .154/.214/.423 in 28 PA prior to his trip to the IL.