The Brewers placed right-hander J.B. Bukauskas on the 15-day injured list due to a cervical strain (or whiplash), with the placement retroactive to May 17. Colin Rea has been called up to take Bukauskas’ spot on the active roster.
It would seem as if Rea is Milwaukee’s choice to replace Wade Miley in the rotation, as Miley will miss the next 6-8 weeks due to a posterior serratus strain. Rea has already made six starts (out of seven total appearances) for the Brew Crew this season, and the results haven’t been stellar, with a 5.52 ERA and a lot of below-average secondary metrics over 31 innings. Rea’s old problems with the long ball have again surfaced, as he has allowed six homers over those 31 frames of work.
Even if Rea isn’t an ideal rotation replacement, the Brewers don’t really have many other options, with injuries to Miley, Brandon Woodruff, Jason Alexander, and Aaron Ashby depleting the team’s once-enviable starting depth. The starting five now consists of Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta, Eric Lauer, Adrian Houser, and Rea — still a decent group overall, though obviously far from ideal for a Brewers team that has traditionally relied on its pitching.
Bukauskas was claimed off waivers from the Mariners in April and the Brewers selected his contract to the MLB roster on Tuesday. Unfortunately, he’ll now head to the IL before officially making his Brewers debut, with something of an unusual injury that doesn’t have a strict timeline. Bukauskas might only miss the minimum 15 days, or he could face a longer absence if his neck issue continues to linger.
The 15th overall pick of the 2017 draft, Bukauskas’ career has been hampered by injuries, and he has shown only 236 1/3 total innings in the majors and minor over six pro seasons (naturally with the canceled 2020 minor league season also playing a role). At the big league level, Bukauskas tossed 17 1/3 innings with the Diamondbacks in 2021, and then one inning of work with the Mariners this season.