The Brewers placed utilityman Jace Peterson on the 10-day injured list due to a left elbow sprain. The placement is retroactive to July 20. Jake McGee (who signed a big league contract with Milwaukee yesterday) will take Peterson’s spot on the active roster.
It looks as though Peterson will be out until at least late August, as manager Craig Counsell told Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter links) and other reporters, that even that substantial timeline could be “optimistic.” Peterson has been battling a UCL-related injury for the last few weeks, and recently received a PRP injection to help the treatment. While the utilityman is hopeful he might be back by mid-August, he told Hogg and other reporters that he could very well miss more time.
Now in his third year in Milwaukee, Peterson hasn’t exactly been a roster fixture, as the Brewers non-tendered him after the 2020 campaign and outrighted him off their 40-man roster in May 2021. However, Peterson did get tendered this past winter (agreeing to a $1.825MM deal just prior to the lockout) and he has responded with his best season yet with the Brew Crew.
Peterson was already pretty solid in 2020-21, hitting .240/.355/.365 with eight home runs over 120 games and 363 plate appearances. This year, Peterson has gone a step further with a .252/.325/.439 slash line and eight homers over 241 PA in 80 games, which translate to solidly above-average (112 wRC+, 115 OPS+) offensive production.
The 32-year-old has been even more valuable due to both his quality baserunning (21/23 in stolen base chances as a Brewer) and his ability to play all over the diamond. Aside from catcher and center fielder, Peterson has seen action at every other position during his two-plus seasons in Milwaukee, including two innings of mop-up pitching work. Peterson’s usage has varied based on the team’s needs — in 2021, he saw most of his action at second base in place of the injured Kolten Wong, while this season has seen Peterson mostly play third base due to injuries to Luis Urias and Willy Adames (the latter of which saw Urias utilized at shortstop).
Peterson is also a left-handed hitter, and thus he has gotten into the lineup when opponents have had a tough righty on the mound. The Brewers’ current bench alignment is full of right-handed bats apart from switch-hitting backup catcher Victor Caratini, so with Peterson facing an extended absence, Milwaukee could certainly target lefty bats at the deadline. The club tends to favor multi-position players anyway, so it seems likely that the Brewers were already exploring how to add more versatile depth to their bench for the playoff race.