Before Tuesday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Milwaukee Brewers announced that starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff would be placed on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation. Replacing Woodruff on the roster is RHP Janson Junk, who was acquired over the winter for Hunter Renfroe.
Through two starts on the season, Woodruff was lights out, recording a 0.79 ERA in 11.1 innings and striking out 12 batters in starts against the Cardinals and Cubs. Woodruff missed most of June last season with a right ankle sprain.
Co-Ace Brandon Woodruff was placed on the 15-Day Injured List Tuesday Evening with right shoulder inflammation. The Brewers have called up RHP Janson Junk to replace him.
Anytime the shoulder is mentioned there is cause for concern; however, Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the Brewers are hoping this will be a minimum stay and that Woodruff was simply not recovering from his start against the Cardinals as well as he had hoped.
Woodruff was placed on the IL retrocative to April 8th, which will keep him off the mound through the current West Coast road trip and he will also at least miss the series at home against Boston. With injuries this early in the season, it seems better to be cautious than to push it and risk a more severe injury.
Woodruff's replacement Janson Junk has made six starts in his Major League career spanning two seasons with the Angels. In those starts, he has a 4.94 ERA in 23.2 IP, striking out 20 and walking five. Junk is expected to start Wednesday's series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
When acquired, Junk featured a four-pitch mix featuring a four-seamer, slider, curveball and change-up. Junk is not necessarily a sexy name, but he was acquired for this exact situation: to provide pitching depth when a starter goes down.
So far in the short 2023 season, Junk has made two appearances in Triple-A Nashville, pitching 10 innings and allowing one run, striking out seven and walking two, and recording a 10.7% whiff rate against the Louisville Bats and Memphis Cardinals.
It's time to see what Janson Junk has, and if Matt Arnold did in fact bolster the organization's pitching depth when he traded Hunter Renfroe to the Angels. Ideally, though, we get to see what Junk has for just a couple starts before Milwaukee's co-ace returns to the team healthy.