Just when you think it can’t get any worse on the injury front for the Milwaukee Brewers, the hits keep on coming.
The latest one came in the form of the announcement from the team that left-handed starting pitcher Aaron Ashby would be heading to injured list. That’s particularly troubling since Brandon Woodruff is still a handful of days from working his way back from injury and Freddy Peralta still won’t be back any time soon himself.
Ashby will need at least his next start on Tuesday covered and we already know of a couple options that won’t work. Top pitching prospect Ethan Small can’t go because he just pitched for Triple-A Nashville on Sunday. Meanwhile surprise contributor Jason Alexander, another Triple-A starter, is still being pressed into starting duty by the Brewers.
So, who gets the starting nod in Ashby’s place?
Here are three options to cover Aaron Ashby’s start for the Brewers on Tuesday.
1. RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez
This would be the easiest solution for the Brewers. Claimed off of waivers from the Twins on June 14th, the Brewers subsequently added Chi Chi Gonzalez to the 26-man roster the very next day. Because of that, no roster move would need to be made if Milwaukee went with him to cover Ashby’s start.
Gonzalez had a decent enough start to his career with the Colorado Rockies in 2015, starting in 10 of his 14 outings and putting up a 3.90 ERA with a 1.209 WHIP. Things have been rocky ever since, however, as he hasn’t had an ERA lower than 5.29 in any of his five seasons since. This year, he gave up six earned runs over seven innings for Minnesota before they parted ways.
Gonzalez hasn’t pitched in a game since being claimed by the Brewers so he is as fresh as can be right now. Even if he gets roughed up a little bit, manager Craig Counsell could end up instead using him as an opener while turning the outing into a de facto “bullpen game.”
2. RHP Josh Lindblom
If the Brewers want familiarity, then perhaps old friend Josh Lindblom is the answer. The veteran righty was designated for assignment by the team last year even though his contract still went through this season. He ended up accepting the assignment and headed down to Triple-A.
Lindblom has been largely solid for the Sounds in 2022, starting in 11 of 12 appearances and putting up a 3.88 ERA and a 1.229 WHIP. He actually had his ERA below 3.00 prior to this month but got roughed up in a couple of his June appearances. His most recent outing, though, saw him give up just a run on four hits and a walk over six innings.
Since Lindblom is no longer on the 40-man roster, a corresponding move would have to be made. So, the question here would be whether the Brewers would want to remove someone else from the 40-man just to bring up Lindblom and then potentially be taking him right back off the roster shortly thereafter.
3. RHP Caleb Boushley
Perhaps the Brewers would want to go with a pitcher with a little more future potential and would also be a fun story. If that’s the case, then look no further than the pride of Hortonville, WI: Caleb Boushley.
Boushley, a 33rd round pick by the San Diego Padres in the 2017 draft, was claimed from them by the Brewers in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft last winter. He has been pitching down in Nashville all season and has been one of their best starters.
In 13 games, Boushley has a 3.06 ERA, a 1.118 WHIP, and has held hitters to just a .215 batting average. It would certainly be an off the radar move, but then so was the addition of Alexander and look how that has turned out.
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It won’t be long before we know who gets the nod for tomorrow’s contest, but however it is, just add their name to the roster carousel created by another season full of injuries.