6:47PM: In positive news, “nothing major” was revealed by Sanchez’s MRI, Brewers manager Craig Counsell told reporters (including MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy). For now, the plan is to re-evaluate Sanchez after a rest period.
2:50PM: The Brewers announced a batch of roster moves today, with four-right handed pitchers involved. Trevor Gott and Jandel Gustave were each reinstated from the 15-day injured list. To create room for those two on the active roster, Peter Strzelecki was optioned to Triple-A Nashville and Miguel Sanchez was placed on the 15-day IL, retroactive to June 22, with right UCL discomfort.
The club hasn’t provided a timeline for Sanchez, but the wording of the announcement is certainly ominous. The ulnar collateral ligament is the part of the elbow that, when damaged, requires Tommy John surgery. If Sanchez is experiencing discomfort in that area, it certainly raises the possibility that he will need such a procedure. Although, to be clear, no announcement of next steps has been made as of yet.
First selected to the big league team in June of last year, he has since thrown 39 1/3 innings out of the bullpen for Milwaukee, with a 4.12 ERA. He hasn’t had a tremendous amount of strikeouts or grounders in that time, but seems to have overcome a 12.4% walk rate by getting infield pop-ups at a 21.6% clip, much better than the MLB average, which is usually just under 10%. His strikeout numbers are more impressive in the minors, however, as he’s struck out 107 of 436 batters faced over four Triple-A seasons. That amounts to a 24.5% rate. The 28-year-old’s career will now be placed on hold while he will surely undergo further testing to figure out how to proceed.
The Milwaukee bullpen has dealt with its share of injuries, as Sanchez joins Jake Cousins, Luis Perdomo and Justin Topa as the relievers on the IL. The return of Gott and Gustave will surely help bolster the squad, though. The bullpen has outsized importance at the moment due to the injuries to the rotation, as Freddy Peralta, Brandon Woodruff and Aaron Ashby are all sidelined as well. With so many arms out of action, each healthy hurler becomes that much more important. The Brewers and Cardinals are deadlocked at the top of the NL Central at the moment, with each club sporting a 40-33 record coming into today.