Early season Brewers starting pitcher finally inching his way closer to return

The lefty went three innings in his most recent rehab start on Saturday night.
Apr 6, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;  Milwaukee Brewers pitcher DL Hall (37) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher DL Hall (37) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports / Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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The Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff had a consistent look to it for the past few years, featuring a "Big 3" plus supporting cast. However, things looked quite a bit different to begin the 2024 regular season.

Gone are the days of Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff (for now) supporting now ace Freddy Peralta in the rotation. Instead, to start the year, he was joined by second-year starter Colin Rea, free agent signee Jakob Junis, and the man who effectively replaced Burnes via trade, DL Hall.

Though no one expected him to exactly replace the production of a former NL Cy Young winner, Hall had big expectations among the fanbase being part of the return in a trade for such a highly-regarded player. Indeed, he did end up earning a spot in the rotation to begin 2024 to show whether he would even slightly be able to make up for the loss.

Hall's first couple starts were okay, giving up two and three runs over four and 5.1 innings, respectively. He would give up nine runs across seven innings in his next two starts combined, though, before being placed on the injured list on April 21st with a left knee sprain.

Hall would end up on a rehab assignment about a month later, but in his second start would suffer a setback as he tweaked his injured knee. A couple of medical opinions later, he would be back out on the mound as he restarted his quest to return from injury.

Now with a handful of additional rehab starts under his belt, Brewers pitcher DL Hall is inching his way closer to a return from injury.

Hall resumed his rehab assignment three weeks after the day he suffered his setback and has it has so far been smooth sailing ever since. He now has five rehab starts under his belt with them getting increasingly longer in duration.

His most recent start on Saturday night for Triple-A Nashville saw him go three innings and giving up one run on five hits and a walk while striking out four. It took him 62 pitches to get through his outing and 42 of those went for strikes.

When Hall originally was getting close to a rehab assignment, manager Pat Murphy had stated that the plan was to get him multiple one-inning outings and then determine whether they would continue to do so and bring him back to the ball club as a reliever or start stretching him out to again be a starter. The state of the pitching staff has changed a bit since then, though.

Back then, the starting rotation had possible depth options in rookies Robert Gasser and Carlos Rodriguez. But the former is now out for the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery and the latter had a rough three-start MLB debut and is now back at Triple-A. The Brewers have since resorted to signing former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, who has had a rough last 3+ years in the majors.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee bullpen has been mostly stable lately, though they did suffer a blow recently as do-it-all reliever Jared Koenig was placed on the IL. That loss may be soon offset as the time has a chance to get elite closer Devin Williams back from the IL earlier than expected.

So it makes sense that Hall has been getting stretched out as a starter down in Nashville. Whether he actually comes back to the rotation upon his return remains to be seen, but knowing that he is getting closer to that return is a positive sign either way.

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