Tellez has been bothered by the knee problem for a while, manager Craig Counsell told media last night after Tellez was removed during the second inning of Milwaukee’s 3-0 win over the Indians. Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns told reporters (including Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) today that the team felt the IL was necessary for Tellez even as the team awaits the results of an MRI.
With only three weeks remaining in the regular season, Tellez and the Brewers are certainly hopeful that the slugger’s knee will be ready to go for the postseason. Tellez has become the Brew Crew’s everyday first baseman in the second half of the season, and while he has been rather streaky over his three-plus months in Milwaukee, Tellez has been good enough to stabilize a shaky first base situation.
Since being acquired in a trade from the Blue Jays on July 6, Tellez has hit .270/.329/.474 with seven home runs over 167 plate appearances, good for a 112 OPS+. That would be a significant bat to lose for the playoffs if Tellez’s injury proves serious enough to sideline him into October, though that scenario might not yet be a consideration, at least until Tellez’s MRI results are known.
Daniel Vogelbach can step in as another slugging left-handed first base bat while Tellez is out of action, though Vogelbach’s inconsistency was one of the reasons the Brewers acquired Tellez to shore up first base. Utilityman Jace Peterson and infielder Eduardo Escobar are also options, with the switch-hitting Escobar likely to get some looks at first base when a left-handed pitcher is on the mound.