Milwaukee Brewers face brutal hit to already thin rotation as Joe Ross exits early

Joe Ross left Monday's game after just one inning
Pittsburgh Pirates v Milwaukee Brewers
Pittsburgh Pirates v Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages

The Milwaukee Brewers cannot catch a break. Already thin on their pitching depth with the injuries to Brandon Woodruff, Wade Miley, Jakob Junis and a roster of guys from the bullpen, the Brewers dealt with the early exit on Monday due to back tightness reported by Sophia Minnaert on the Bally Sports broadcast.

The Milwaukee Brewers officially announced that Joe Ross left the game with a low back strain.

Ross left the game after just one inning in which he gave up a walk and a single but got an inning ending double play on a lineout by Jesus Sanchez. Ross threw just 15 pitches.

Jared Koenig came on in relief of Joe Ross to give Pat Murphy a bridge to the bullpen where they could see the debut of Bradley Blalock, freshly called up from the AA Biloxi Shuckers.

The injury is unfortunate as Joe Ross was starting to build some solid momentum as a starter after missing the last two seasons following his second Tommy John surgery. Thankfully Ross' injury isn't related to his previous elbow issues, lending hope to a potentially short timeline on recovery for Ross.

Ross had pitched pretty well over his last three games against the Pirates, Royals and Cubs. He has 16 innings pitched and allowed six earned runs with 12 strikeouts and just three walks.

The Milwaukee Brewers pitching depth is already being tested

The injury to Joe Ross comes at a bad time for the Brewers who are already starting Bryse Wilson in games despite him spending 2023 and the beginning of 2024 in the bullpen.

The Brewers have also already had major league debuts by Tobias Myers and Robert Gasser. Robert Gasser is almost a guarantee to be a fixture of the Brewers starting rotation for the foreseeable future and has dazzled in his first two appearances. Gasser has thrown 11 innings and allowed just one run on eight hits (all singles) with six strikeouts and one walk.

Should Joe Ross hit the injured list, Tobias Myers is likely a call up to replace him. Myers has made four starts for the Brewers this year, two good and two bad. However, his most recent start was a solid one, four innings of one run ball against the St. Louis Cardinals with six strikeouts but four walks.

DL Hall is also a candidate to help the starting rotation after pitching a rehab appearance with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Sunday and then heading to Nashville to continue rehabbing there. Hall may not be ready to step in for Ross' next turn in the rotation but as far as the rest of 2024 is concerned, Hall will be a factor.

Other options include Aaron Ashby who is struggling a bit in AAA and Jacob Misiorowski, the hard throwing phenom also in AA where Bradley Blalock was brought up from.

Bradley Blalock was already on the Milwaukee Brewers 40-man roster, making him an understandable call up. Blalock has been starting games for the Shuckers in Biloxi. Blalock has made seven starts and pitched 35.2 innings to a 2.27 ERA with 29 strikeouts and just seven walks. If Blalock can hit the ground running for the Brewers it would be very beneficial to a team dealing with injury after injury, mostly to pitchers.

Thankfully the Brewers have gotten some positive injury news on some other players like Garrett Mitchell, DL Hall and Devin Williams.

Hopefully Joe Ross won't be missing extended time, forcing the Brewers into already tough decisions about how to bolster the starting rotation and bullpen.