The Milwaukee Brewers have placed RHP Michael Blazek on the 15 day disabled list with a right hand fracture, retroactive to yesterday. The 26 year old long reliever told reporters he fracture was discovered recently while he was playing long toss and he noticed that his hand had begun to swell. The injury was determined to be a fracture of the fourth metacarpal, and Blazek will not require surgery. Blazek made sure to add that despite giving up a walk off home run in his last appearance on Wednesday against the Cubs, he did not punch a wall in frustration. He could not offer a specific answer as to what happened, saying that he couldn’t think of a time where the injury could have occurred. There has not yet been a timetable set for his return, and manager Craig Counsell has said it’s “doubtful” that he pitches again this season.
Losing Blazek is a significant detriment to the Brewers’ bullpen. Though the long reliever struggled a bit of late, he posted a stellar 2015 campaign overall: in 55.2 innings pitched (45 appearances), Blazek posted a 2.43 ERA with 47 strikeouts, 18 walks, and a 1.042 WHIP. He allowed just three home runs all season, all coming since August 1st. Blazek generated ground balls at a 47.4% rate and was the beneficiary of a low .242 BABIP despite giving up a higher than average 29.5% hard hit rate. Deserved Run Average pegged Blazek as an even stronger performer than his ERA, giving him a 2.29 mark. His DRA_PWARP of 1.56 ranked 55th among all pitchers in baseball this season. The timing of the mysterious injury could be rather unfortunate for Blazek, who might have been a candidate to make some starts down the stretch. Tyler Cravy has struggled in the rotation since replacing Kyle Lohse.
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To replace Blazek on the 25 man roster, the Brewers have recalled RHP David Goforth from AAA Colorado Springs. Goforth has spent some time already at the major league level this season, having pitched 4.1 innings across six appearances for the Brewers this season. He has allowed two runs, walked two, and struck out five hitters in that time. He has turned in what appears to be a successful campaign in AAA to this point: 47.0 innings pitched, 2.68 ERA, 34 strikeouts and a 58.2% ground ball rate. He has walked an alarming 13.6% of hitters he has faced while pitching for Colorado Springs, posting just a 1.26 strikeout to walk ratio. His 4.43 FIP makes his efforts look a lot more pedestrian. Goforth is ranked as the Brewers 25th top prospect according to MLB Pipeline.