The Brewers have placed Christian Yelich and Jace Peterson on the COVID-related injury list, president of baseball operations David Stearns told MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy (Twitter links). Yelich has tested positive for COVID-19 while Peterson is on the list due to contact tracing. Stearns noted that Yelich had already been fully vaccinated and is exhibiting mild symptoms, though the outfielder is expected to be back after the mandatory 10-day quarantine period.
To fill the two open roster spots, Lorenzo Cain is being activated off the 10-day injured list and Pablo Reyes was called up from Triple-A. Cain was expected to return from the IL today, following an absence of almost two months while recovering from a hamstring strain.
The most important news is that Yelich is feeling relatively good following his positive test, though the former NL MVP will now be sidelined for the third time this season. Yelich had two earlier IL placements due to back problems, costing him close to five weeks’ worth of action. This nagging back issue has bothered Yelich for a few years, contributing to his below-average performance since the start of the 2020 season. After his last 522 plate appearances, Yelich has hit .221/.370/.397 — a far cry from his .327/.415/.631 slash line over 1231 PA in 2018-19.
The Brewers are known to be looking for hitting help prior to the trade deadline, and losing Yelich will only add to the team’s search. Peterson has also been a good addition to the roster over 50 games 161 PA this season, hitting .244/.373/.397 (good for a 109 OPS+ and 113 wRC+) after signing a minor league deal with Milwaukee this past winter.
It isn’t known what Cain will be able to provide after his second IL trip of the season, and the veteran has mostly been an offensive non-factor since the start of the 2019 season. Cain has hit only .256/.327/.369 over his last 762 PA, as he has been hampered by multiple injuries and also elected to sit out much of the 2020 season.