The Brewers have activated outfielder Christian Yelich from the COVID-19 injury list, manager Craig Counsell told reporters (including Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Yelich isn’t starting today’s game but is available off the bench, Counsell said.
Unfortunately for the Brewers, right-hander Adrian Houser was officially placed on the COVID list today, as was expected after the righty’s positive test yesterday. Houser now joins Josh Hader, Eric Lauer, Keston Hiura, Jandel Gustave, Hunter Strickland, and Jake Cousins as Milwaukee players on the COVID list, as the club continues to deal with an outbreak within the clubhouse. Yelich tested positive for the virus and was placed on the COVID-IL on July 27, so he’ll return after a pretty minimal stint, even if he isn’t immediately getting back into regular duty for the Brewers.
Between this absence and two stints on the regular injured list due to back problems, Yelich has appeared in only 67 games this season, and hit a modest .235/.382/.367 in 275 plate appearances. While still above-average (104 OPS+, 108 wRC+) production, it certainly isn’t what was expected from the former NL MVP, even if the Brewers have surged into first place in the NL Central with only average hitting numbers overall. A return to form from Yelich could be the spark Milwaukee needs to cement itself as a World Series contender, though the first order of business is simply to get everyone recovered from the COVID outbreak.