Brewers lefty Wade Miley departed last night’s game in the second inning after throwing just 22 pitches. It was later announced that he has a left lat strain and will be placed on the 15-day injured list, per Adam McCalvy of MLB.com (Twitter links).
At this point, it’s not known who will take Miley’s roster spot or how long he’ll be out of action, with the southpaw undoubtedly set for further testing in the days to come. But even a mild lat strain usually requires about two to three weeks of recovery time, meaning Miley will likely be looking at more than a minimum stint on the injured list.
Miley was off to a solid start to the year, proceeding in his low-strikeout ways, succeeding by inducing soft contact. Through eight starts, he has a 3.67 ERA despite a modest 14% strikeout rate. But his 5.3% walk rate is excellent and Statcast pegs his average exit velocity in the 73rd percentile among qualified pitchers and his hard hit rate in the 76th.
Losing Miley for a few weeks will present a challenge to a Milwaukee club that is already dealing with a few other injuries to its rotation. Brandon Woodruff has a subscapular strain and isn’t expected back before late June, Jason Alexander has a shoulder strain of his own and is on the 60-day IL, while Aaron Ashby had shoulder surgery and may not be able to pitch this year at all.
That will leave the Brewers with Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta, Eric Lauer and Adrian Houser in the four rotation spots and a question mark for the final slot. It’s possible that they recall Colin Rea, who had been with the club in recent weeks until Houser returned from his groin strain. Rea has a 5.52 ERA in 31 innings this year over six starts and one relief appearance. He was only optioned a few days ago but would be eligible to return quicker than the standard 15-day minimum if he’s the corresponding move for Miley going on the injured list. Janson Junk is also on the 40-man roster and has a 3.86 ERA in Triple-A this year. He was called up to make a spot start in April but allowed four earned runs on seven hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings.
Non-roster options would include Robert Gasser, who is one of the club’s top pitching prospects and is at the Triple-A level, but he has a 5.17 ERA there this year. Thomas Pannone is with the club on a minor league deal, having started the year in the Triple-A bullpen but getting stretched out recently. He has a 2.04 ERA through 17 2/3 innings there. Either of these two or any other non-roster option would require a corresponding move to get them onto the 40-man.