It’s been a rough few days for Milwaukee Brewers fans. Many are still attempting to process the puzzling group of moves the team made around the trade deadline. Those moves were followed by two late-inning losses to the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday and Thursday.
Now Brewers fans get to take another hit and this newest one comes in the form of an injury to one of its starting position players, catcher Omar Narvaez.
On Thursday, the Brewers placed catcher Omar Narvaez on the IL and called up Mario Feliciano from Triple-A Nashville.
The backstop transaction was announced by the team on Thursday morning prior to their series finally against the Pirates that afternoon.
Narvaez started Wednesday night’s game for the Brewers and started off by going 1-for-3 and scoring a run in the top of the 2nd inning. But in the top of the 8th, he would be pulled from the game as Victor Caratini replaced him as a pinch hitter.
After the game, it was noted by MLB.com Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy that Narvaez had suffered a quad injury and would be reevaluated the following day. Apparently, that evaluation revealed that an IL stint was necessary.
Also per McCalvy, Brewers manager Craig Counsell stated after the move that it was unclear how long Narvaez has been out. The team has had a few different players suffer quad injuries over the last couple seasons including Luis Urias earlier this year and both Willy Adames and Lorenzo Cain last year. All spent varying amounts of time on the IL working their way back.
Narvaez had started off the season as one of the team’s better hitters while many position players were working their way through early-season slumps. The catcher had since cooled down and was slashing .237/.324/.363 with four homers and 18 RBIs through 60 games and a 95 OPS+ that was a bit below his career average of 103.
In his place, the Brewers recall catcher Mario Feliciano from Triple-A Nashville. That move became necessary since the team had just designated fellow catcher Pedro Severino for assignment the previous day, leaving Caratini as the only catcher on the roster.
Feliciano, a 2nd round pick in 2016, was for a while a top 10 prospect in the Brewers system per MLB Pipeline. An injury that caused him to lose a bunch of time in 2021 plus poor performance for most of that season had made him fall in the rankings since, though, as Pipeline currently has him as their No. 21 ranked Milwaukee prospect.
However, 2022 has seen him look much more like a future Brewers contributor. In 58 games, he has slashed .288/.346/.382 for the Sounds. Feliciano has seen his power diminish as he has just three homers compared to his 2019 Carolina League MVP season in which he bashed 19 in 116 games but getting hits and getting on base is still a valuable trait to have.
Feliciano will look to build upon the single game of MLB experience that he has for his career. Some may remember that in that game, a May matchup against the Dodgers, Feliciano walked as a pinch hitter in the 11th inning and later scored the tying run. One at bat later, the Crew walked off as winners.
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Both the Brewers and their fans seem to be in a bit of a funk right now. Hopefully Feliciano can be a small part of turning things around and winning some games, something we could all use at the moment.