The Shoulder Injury
Tuesday, April 18th in Seattle may have ended in a 6-5 victory in extra innings thanks to the baserunning prowess of young upstart Garrett Mitchell, but he and the Brewers lost his left shoulder to injury, likely ending his season. Mitchell suffered the injury sliding into third on a hard hit ball in the infield. Mitchell was tended to by the medical staff but remained in the game. Mitchell scored and then went back into center to start the bottom of the 10th. After catching a fly ball around his waist (as he was unable to raise his arm or shoulder), the medical staff tended to him once more, where he was then substituted.
Garrett Mitchell slides safely into third base against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, April 18th for a Milwaukee Brewers victory in 11 innings. Mitchell was hurt on the slide, though remained in the game. Mitchell is now likely out for the season. (Video courtesy mlb.com)
In the immediate days that followed, Mitchell said in interviews he felt fine, though his results from the MRI showed otherwise. Significant damage was confirmed in a second opinion, with surgery fast approaching for the rookie. Mitchell was highly touted for his potential to help the team, and his vacancy leaves an everyday roster spot for a starting outfielder wide open. What can we expect the Brewers to do to cover the injury for the year?
Brewers CF Garrett Mitchell’s second opinion confirmed that he’ll need shoulder surgery. It will happen next week. Timetable TBD but he’s probably out for the year.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 25, 2023
The Road to Recovery
While Mitchell heals from surgery and works towards a full return in 2024 (or a heroic end of season return!), the Brewers will have to find someone to fill his spot, and will generally have some major implications for the entire roster for the remainder of the season.
Joey Wiemer Will Not See AAA This Season
After an injury to Tyrone Taylor created the opening for Wiemer to be called up and make the Opening Day roster, Wiemer has immediately made his contributions felt, especially on defense. His cannon of an arm has proven a major asset between his time in right and center field, and his speed has helped him to catch up to tough-to-reach balls in play and on the basepaths alike.
While his bat has been streaky so far, its a well known trait of his from his prospect years. Wiemer is currently slashing a meager .206/.299/.309, but he is coming off of a massive adjustment made by pitchers, who started throwing Wiemer nearly exclusive breaking pitches. It is far too early into the season to make a significant judgement, and he should be given the proper time to play everyday and develop at the plate.
Not a home run robbery, but still a heck of a leaping catch for Joey Wiemer on the center field warning track. He's been excellent in center field. pic.twitter.com/gZyYbyKHC0
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 23, 2023
Tyrone Taylor Will Have a Job When He Returns AND Remains a Brewer Throughout 2023
Taylor’s aforementioned injury left it a two-man race between Wiemer and the now-injured #2 prospect Sal Frelick for the Opening Day roster spot. With Mitchell’s injury, this basically reverses the situation from Opening Day, with Taylor as the prime candidate to slot in once he returns. Had Mitchell not been injured, it is easy to imagine that the general surplus the Brewers have in young talented outfielders would have forced the hand of the front office to deal away Taylor by the trade deadline. Now, Taylor stands to be the mid-season acquisition via attrition rather than by trade, though GM Matt Arnold and co. will surely be busy at the deadline regardless.
Brice Turang Will Have The Spotlight All for Himself
Of all the prospects the Brewers have to be excited about, Turang may perhaps be the least talked about of them all. Between Mitchell making his debut in 2022, Wiemer’s arm, and Jackson Chourio and Sal Frelick both being rated higher in prospect status than Turang, he has been somewhat overlooked for the tools he possesses. With the injury to Luis Urias, similar to Wiemer’s situation re: Tyrone Taylor, Brice Turang is poised to capitalize on the playing time and develop as a big leaguer. If Turang keeps contributing as he has defensively, and improves his slash line (currently .224/.278/.328) even modestly, he will reach or surpass how Urias has performed over the past few years.
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