The Brewers don’t yet have a timetable for Travis Shaw’s recovery from a dislocated left shoulder, but the dominos started to fall for filling his place on Thursday morning.
Milwaukee placed Shaw on the 10-day injured list following an awkward landing on his non-throwing arm that pulled his left shoulder out of place. Brewers manager Craig Counsell said during his pregame media session that Shaw had only just finished imaging, so the club will have to wait at least until it returns to Milwaukee before it can come up with a recovery plan.
As far as Shaw’s response to the injury, Counsell said, the disappointment is pretty clear.
“It’s a freak thing. It’s an accident. It’s a bad injury, a weird injury you get from playing hard, but there’s nothing you can do about it,” he said. “You’re disappointed, you’re frustrated, obviously, but then you set your mind to getting better.”
To plug the holes for Thursday’s series finale against the Reds, Luis Urías earned the start at third base. Though Counsell said Wednesday night that Urías would take the bulk of time at third once second baseman Kolten Wong returned from a left oblique strain, he ended up not waiting to make the move that was expected to come in Shaw’s absence.
Meanwhile, Jace Peterson got the nod to start at second for the first time since April 21. Peterson has already moved between Milwaukee and Triple-A Nashville multiple times this season, and was even designated for assignment at the end of May. However, since Peterson can play multiple positions, Counsell likes him as a stop-gap option around the field until the team’s injured starters return.
At the very least, he can help fill the “left-handed hitter” role while Shaw is on the shelf.
“I think the question was asked the other day if we’re too left-handed,” Counsell said. "I don’t think you can ever be too left-handed, because a majority of pitchers are right-handed. So I think left-handed bats are valuable, and the fact that Jace is left-handed is valuable. His versatility is valuable.
“There’s definitely a spot for him, and with Travis’ injury, it’s obviously going to be a little bit bigger role than we anticipated."
“Last year I didn’t pitch great, but I felt like I gave us chances to win more times than not. Lately, it’s been more of a battle,” he said Wednesday. “I need to do a better job of doing my part. I’ve got to figure it out.”
It didn’t help that he wasn’t getting a ton of luck in the game, either. Two of the five hits he allowed had expected batting averages of .250 or less, and Cincinnati right fielder Nick Castellanos reached on Anderson’s throwing error on a chopper with an expected average of just .220.
Counsell said Anderson’s removal after the third inning was more strategic, as he brought in a pinch hitter for Anderson with two men on and down four runs in the top of the fourth. That early pull stopped any chance Anderson had at turning his day around.
“[Wednesday] was a day we made a strategic decision,” Counsell said. “He had the ability to go out there for more innings, so I am comfortable with that. The ball’s going to be in play with Brett. We know that. The last two times, we just haven’t put our gloves on the ball. There are going to be games like that from Brett.”
With Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta leading the charge at the top of the rotation, the Brewers have a shot to win at least three out of every five games. When Adrian Houser pitches like he has in his last two starts, he also gives Milwaukee a good chance to win.
If the Brewers can get something similar from Anderson consistently, it’ll go a long way toward helping create a complete rotation.
“We’re not going to see Brett working [deep] into games like Brandon or Corbin, probably, but I do think he has the ability to do what you ask a fourth or fifth starter to do -- get you into the sixth inning occasionally,” Counsell said. “I definitely think he’s capable of doing that.”