The Milwaukee Brewers have activated outfielder Garrett Mitchell from the 60 day injured list ahead of Thursday's game, marking his long awaited return from early season shoulder surgery. He'll be getting the start in centerfield today.
Back in April, Mitchell tore his labrum on an awkward slide into third base in Seattle. It was believed his 2023 season was over just as it was getting started. Mitchell was hitting .259 with three homers, including a walk-off, with a .772 OPS through 16 games as the Crew's starting centerfielder.
His injury created an offensive vacuum in the outfield. Joey Wiemer moved from right field over to center, but struggled at the plate and Sal Frelick injured his thumb on the same April night in Triple-A, and he wasn't able to make his MLB debut until July.
Mitchell aggressively rehabbed his way back, making it on a rehab assignment in Triple-A before their season ended, getting in 35 plate appearances over eight games with the Nashville Sounds. The Sounds' season ended on Sunday and the Brewers have finally activated Mitchell for the final weekend of the regular season.
In order to clear a roster spot to activate Garrett Mitchell, the Brewers designated infielder/outfielder Brian Anderson for assignment.
Mitchell isn't expected to have a large role through the final few games and into the postseason as the Brewers will still want to be careful with their prized young outfielder. The role he'll have is still slated to be larger than the one Brian Anderson would have on this team going forward.
Brian Anderson had an ill-timed back injury in July and by the time he returned, he didn't have a job to come back to and has been mostly riding the bench over the past month and a half. On Wednesday, Anderson got his first start since August 22nd. He put together a multi-hit game, but that wasn't enough to keep his job.
The DFA of Anderson has been expected for some time and frankly overdue. Anderson wasn't even bad, he played solid defense and was not awful at the plate. But it was quite clear he wasn't in the Brewers plans. Andruw Monasterio took over most of third base and the addition of Josh Donaldson also took away any chance of Anderson playing the hot corner. In right field, Mark Canha and Sal Frelick helped shore up that spot, and the hot hitting of Tyrone Taylor has made Anderson a player with no place to go.
Activating Mitchell will be great news for the Brewers. Mitchell provides a spark every time he steps on the field. His blazing speed, excellent defense, and high ceiling bat have made him a productive member of this team. He's an electric player and the Brewers will need that electricity heading into October.