Brewers News

Milwaukee Brewers: How serious are Christian Yelich’s back issues?

Matthew Dewoskin
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 20: Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers high fives teammates after scoring against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on July 20, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 20: Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers high fives teammates after scoring against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on July 20, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Christian Yelich sat out his second straight game on Wednesday night with back issues. How serious is his back problem, and what could that mean for the Milwaukee Brewers?

The good news from Wednesday night was that Lorenzo Cain was able to come in off the bench to play the field and swing a bat. The bad news was that Christian Yelich was a late scratch for the Milwaukee Brewers. He was expected to start, but manager Craig Counsell elected to keep him out of the lineup before the first pitch. Ryan Braun started the game in right field, while Trent Grisham started in left.

What’s going on with Yelich’s back?

Well, he’s suffered through back spasms and stiffness for most of the season. He’s still managed to bash 39 homers, steal 23 bases, and be every bit the MVP he was last year, but his back hasn’t been fully healthy for the majority of the season. The Milwaukee Brewers haven’t specified the exact injury that Yelich is currently suffering, but he was said to ‘feel something in his back‘ on Monday. If he’s feeling it much longer, he could end up needing a trip to the Injured List.

Is his swing causing the issue?

According to recent reports, no. It’s running that’s causing Yelich’s back issues now. His swing does generate a lot of torque on his back, but the strain that launching from standing to running is where Yelich is feeling it the most.

What would a trip to the IL mean

Yelich has been in a two-man race for the 2019 National League MVP with Cody Bellinger. 10 days on the shelf could easily swing the award to Bellinger.

However, the bigger concern is what Yelich means to the Milwaukee Brewers. While the 2019 season has seen Keston Hiura, Mike Moustakas, and Yasmani Grandal step up, Yelich has been carrying the team for the majority of the 2019 season. He’s the key to the Brewers offense, and losing him for an extended period could be absolutely devastating to any playoff chances.

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The Milwaukee Brewers have to hope that two days off plus an off day on Thursday is enough to get Yelich healthy enough to feature in the upcoming series in Milwaukee against the Texas Rangers. A healthy Yelich is absolutely necessary for the Brewers to stay in the hunt for the playoffs.

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