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Brewers Notes: Urias, Adames, Woodruff, Lauer, Bush

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MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy relayed a series of significant updates regarding injured Brewers players this morning. Most encouragingly, the Brewers expect to welcome both infielder Luis Urias and shortstop Willy Adames back from the injured list this week.

Urias, who suffered a hamstring strain on Opening Day and hasn’t played since, is expected to rejoin the club on Tuesday as they begin a homestand against the Orioles. Acquired in the trade that sent Trent Grisham to San Diego prior to the 2020 season, Urias has been a key piece of the club’s infield picture for several seasons now, particularly since his offensive breakout in 2021. Since the beginning of the 2021 season, Urias has slashed a solid .243/.339/.424 (111 wRC+) with a 20.6% strikeout rate and a 10.8% walk rate in 1,046 trips to the plate.

Adames, meanwhile, has been on the 7-day concussion IL since getting struck with a foul ball in the dugout last week. McCalvy notes that the current plan is for Adames to play DH for High-A Wisconsin today before moving on to Triple-A Nashville. After two games in Nashville, Adames figures to be activated from the injured list on Thursday.

After the Brewers acquired Adames partway through the 2021 season, the then-25-year-old shortstop raked for the club in 99 games for the rest of the season, with a .285/.366/.521 slash line that was 36% better than league average by measure of wRC+. Adames followed up that performance in 2022 with a solid 109 wRC+ in 139 games, but struggled prior to his placement on the IL this season, slashing a below-average .205/.292/.384 in 51 games.

Still, the Brewers figure to be bolstered significantly by the return of their two most reliable infielders. Andruw Monasterio, Owen Miller, and Brian Anderson have all produced solid results in the infield while Urias and Adames have been on the shelf. Assuming the Brewers look to keep all three of them on the active roster even after the duo returns this week, it’s possible the club will look toward the likes of Brice Turang, Mike Brosseau, and Abraham Toro when clearing space for Adames and Urias on the active roster. Each of those three infielders (as well as both Monasterio and Miller) are optionable, leaving Milwaukee with plenty of options as they look to make roster decisions in the coming days.

While the updates on Adames and Urias are encouraging, the same unfortunately cannot be said regarding ace right-hander Brandon Woodruff. The 30-year-old righty made just two starts this season before going on the injured list with a subscapular strain in his right shoulder, which came with an initial timeline that figured to see him return later this month. McCalvy notes that Woodruff’s timetable for return has been pushed back, however, as the righty has yet to progress to throwing off a mound, leaving the Brewers to target a return around the All Star break for their ace.

The setback for Woodruff is a tough blow to the Brewers, who have since lost Wade Miley and Eric Lauer from their rotation to injuries (in addition to Aaron Ashby, who has yet to pitch this season after undergoing shoulder surgery). What’s more, Woodruff’s co-ace Corbin Burnes has had a somewhat pedestrian season to this point by his lofty standards, posting a 3.75 ERA (113 ERA+) and a 4.59 FIP across twelve starts while striking out 22.8% of batters faced.

Speaking of Lauer, the left-hander and reliever Matt Bush are both expected to head to Triple-A for rehab assignments on Tuesday. Lauer struggled mightily in nine appearances (eight starts) this season prior to going on the IL due to an impingement in his non-throwing shoulder, with a 5.48 ERA and a 6.73 FIP in 42 2/3 innings of work. Bush also struggled in nine games prior to hitting the IL with tendinitis in his right rotator cuff allowing seven runs on four homers and six walks in just 7 2/3 innings of work.



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