The Brewers announced they’ve activated reliever Hunter Strickland from the COVID-19 injured list. Left-hander Blaine Hardy, who was selected as a COVID replacement last week, has been removed from the 40-man roster and returned to Triple-A Nashville.
Because Hardy came up as a COVID replacement, he needn’t be passed through waivers to return to the minor leagues. The 34-year-old made one big league appearance since being selected on July 31, allowing three runs in an inning of work against the Pirates. That marked Hardy’s first big league action since 2019, as the longtime Tiger missed the entire 2020 season recovering from a Tommy John surgery. He’ll head back to Nashville, where he’s worked to a 3.50 ERA with nearly average strikeout and walk rates (22.4% and 8.9%, respectively) over 46 1/3 innings.
Reliever Jake Cousins — who landed on the COVID-19 IL ten days ago after testing positive at the same time as Strickland — is expected to be activated tomorrow, according to Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (Twitter link). Milwaukee has a vacancy on the 40-man roster to accommodate Cousins’ forthcoming reinstatement. The Brew Crew are still without Keston Hiura, Adrian Houser, Josh Hader, Eric Lauer and Jandel Gustave because of their subsequent positive tests.