After undergoing an MRI, Brandon Woodruff has been diagnosed with a mild Grade 2 subscapular strain, as Woodruff and Brewers manager Craig Counsell told reporters (including Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Surgery won’t be required, but Woodruff indicated that he is facing a lengthy stint on the injured list.
“If this was something that happened midseason, All-Star break, right before or after that time, I would probably end up being done, to be honest, for the season,” Woodruff said. Counsell said that a more definitive timeline and rehab plan won’t be determined until Woodruff is examined by team doctors, which will happen when the Brewers return to Milwaukee after the conclusion of their series in Seattle on April 19.
“I’m not going to rush this, I’m not going to come back too early just for the sake of coming back early,” Woodruff said. “That’s just not going to do anybody any good. I’m going to take my time, I’m going to listen to my body and trust the rehab process and just go through that, and hopefully come back at whatever point that is throughout the season and then try to finish up strong.”
Woodruff’s placement on the 15-day IL was retroactive to April 8, and a move to the 60-day IL would also begin on that day, as shifting to the 60-day injured list doesn’t count as a new placement. The Brewers aren’t going to move Woodruff to the 60-day IL until they know for sure about his recovery timeline or until they need a 40-man roster spot, but it certainly seems like such a move will eventually be necessary if Woodruff is facing a longer absence.
As Counsell simply put it, the Brewers “don’t have coverage for Brandon Woodruff,” referring to the righty’s status as one of baseball’s better pitchers of the last few seasons. Woodruff is a two-time All-Star who also finished fifth in NL Cy Young Award voting in 2021, and the pairing of Woodruff and Corbin Burnes (who won the Cy in 2021) has given Milwaukee an outstanding one-two punch at the top of the rotation.
Though the Brew Crew are much deeper in pitching than most teams, Woodruff’s shoulder strain will further stretch that depth, as Milwaukee has had to deal with multiple injuries. Adrian Houser has yet to pitch this season due to a groin injury, though Houser has started a rehab assignment and could be back in relatively short order. However, Jason Alexander will be out until at least the end of May while recovering from a shoulder problem of his own, and Aaron Ashby’s season is in jeopardy after undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery.
Burnes, Freddy Peralta, Eric Lauer, and Wade Miley comprise the top four in the rotation, and Counsell said that Colin Rea will continue in the fifth spot for the time being. Janson Junk, Bryse Wilson, and (when he’s back) Houser are also starting options.
The Brewers are off to an impressive 10-4 start this season, and certainly have hopes of making a return to the playoffs after a disappointing 2022 campaign. Continuing that success will be more difficult without Woodruff for an extended period of time, but if the Brewers can stay in the race, it should quiet at least some of the speculation that any of Woodruff, Burnes, or Willy Adames (all free agents after the 2024 season) could be traded in order to save payroll space and reload on young talent. Woodruff’s injury would now almost surely take him off the table as a potential trade candidate this summer, and Burnes or Adames might only be moved if Milwaukee was out of the running by the deadline. Last year’s Josh Hader trade is a sign that the Brewers are willing to move prominent talent even while still contending for a playoff berth, but it’s difficult to imagine the team making a similar deal this year given how clubhouse morale was so heavily impacted by the Hader swap.
Manfred should adjust the pitch clock to 10 seconds!
The take, and it appears to have some merit, at least in a the small sample size we have thus far, is that older pitchers are getting shelled because the innings are going so much faster they no longer have at least 5-7 minutes to catch their breath while their team is at bat. They’ve also shaved down the time between innings so that’s a contributing factor too their under performance and maybe injury.
@Smacky, that is unequivocally false. 9 of 10 ERA leaders for starting pitchers are older veterans. You people who try and pass assumptions as fact really need to consider we live in an information age….
So unequivocally I said “appears to have some merit… in a small sample size.” The only unequivocal thing is you appear to have a bit of an anger issue you could benefit from working through with a professional.
What u said is unequivocally false based off statistics to date this season. Statistics are compiled and a matter of fact. The assumptions, whining, and attempts at villafying the new rules are getting real old very quickly. They re here now as I’d the season, it is time to enjoy the game and topics of substance. Have a good evening.
The correct answer is 11.43 seconds.
Who knew MLBTR writers had access to the Brewers clubhouse last year and can accurately report on such nebulous concepts as player morale.
Why don’t you point us to the exact quote that was mentioned
Nice attempt at a burn but several players and the Brewers manager spoke about how the Hader trade negatively effected team morale.
Is players and the team manager openly speaking to reporters and posting things on twitter not enough access for you?
“I don’t think we should shy away from anybody’s reaction to losing a really important player for the franchise, for losing a really good friend for a lot of people, for losing a great person” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That hurts. It doesn’t feel good. And I think when 7:10 (p.m.) hits tonight and the game starts, you have a job to do.”
There’s no indication that his injury was caused by rushing throws due to the pitch clock. Personally, I love it. Don’t fix what ain’t broken.
His HR off Clayton Chokeshaw is one of the great moments in baseball history.
Hall of Famer, who’s made nearly $300 million playing a game, living rent free in a troll’s head… and the troll thinks he’s the clever one
That sucks. Best of luck to a noble competitor.
This one belongs to the Reds
Guess they can only get something for Byrnes and Adames now.
Feel bad for Brewers fans, been through what’s coming for them.
This flat sux for a Brewer fan. Constant killjoy for promising teams. That’s at least 6 more games lost on the season outlook. Houser can’t return soon enough….maybe. I can see the pitching become such a concern that the team has their mini rebuild and trades the healthy assets before the deadline. The bullpen going to be dead-armed by the end of May having to pick up shorter starts.
I am constantly told by Brewers TV that they have quality arms in the minors. So with the opportunity let’s see who is to become the next star to shine. You can get away with just one bad inning each game I am told.
I really was hoping Ethan Small could get the ball the last year or so over guys like Costanza and Junk. Let the guy fail multiple times before we call him a AAAA nobody please.
Milwaukee will trade for a starting pitcher. Not exactly rocket surgery here.