With all the injuries the Brew Crew have faced this season, we still have shown the drive to go on. We sit at 28-32, four games behind first in the NL Central and have two series with the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins, that we should hopefully win. Injuries do not kill a season, but they can hamper it considerably, especially when a few big names on your team are out. Fortunately enough, Marco Estrada looks like he might be the first Brewer to come back. As I discussed in my previous article, we must keep Michael Fiers as a starter and have Marco Estrada help the bullpen settle down. It’s no surprise our bullpen has been unreliable this season and with the idea of breaking even and going higher in the division, that is an issue that must be settled quickly. However, Ron Roenicke believes Marco Estrada benefits the team more as a starter so he is expected to return to the starting rotation when healthy.
Marco Estrada is expected to begin his rehab assignment sometime this week. For those of you who forgot, or simply did not know, Estrada injured his right quad in a game with the San Francisco Giants on May 23. Estrada is expected to make a start this Saturday for one of the Brewers’ A teams and perhaps one after that before returning. Roenicke had mentioned that if Estrada was not ready by at least next week, that Michael Fiers would continue to pitch in his place. However if Estrada is ready sooner than later, Roenicke announced that Saturday would be Fiers final start. Before his injury, Estrada was 0-3 on the season with a 4.50 ERA and 34 strikeouts.
Another great relief is that Jonathan Lucroy’s surgery on his broken hand went well. As of yesterday, Lucroy said himself that he plans on getting his cast off in about a week and a half. Lucroy had been providing much of the Brewers’ offense batting .345 with five home runs, 30 RBIs and an on base percentage of .387. The assured mid to late June return for Lucroy looks a bit out of the question, so expect a early/mid July return. For a catcher, breaking a hand is pretty much one of the most devastating (even though it’s temporary) injuries they can ever have. Of course, Lucroy’s accident was a freak accident in which some fans rudely blamed his wife. Nobody at Reviewing the Brew blames his wife, nor should we (because come on, that’s a tad ridiculous), as freak accidents do happen. Lucroy himself spoke out against the threats she was getting. Regardless, having Lucroy back in the line-up at some point this season will be great. Let’s just hope he can continue in his production.
The last big injury was that of Travis Ishikawa’s oblique. While he wasn’t the constant first baseman, Ishikawa is a body that we do miss in the line-up. Before going on the DL, Ishikawa was batting .250 with four home runs and 14 RBIs, with an OBP of .319. While those numbers don’t seem that high, it’s because he didn’t play everyday. In his past 10 games before his injury, Ishikawa drove in seven runs and scored five runs. His offensive production helped the Brewers as they went 6-4 in his last 10 games. Ron Roenicke has been putting Taylor Green at first a lot more, even experimenting with Corey Hart as well, but when Ishikawa returns, I would hope he would see more playing time. Ishikawa has been playing with this oblique problem the entire year, so for him to actually aggravate it to a point where it would stop him was to be expected. However, he has been on the DL since May 28, so expect him back sometime by the end of June.
Until next time, go Brew Crew!