Yelich (back), Shaw (ankle) both day to day

April 11th, 2021

Early-season hot streaks came to a screeching halt for Christian Yelich and Travis Shaw when both Brewers hitters departed Sunday’s 9-3 win over the Cardinals, but the club was hopeful that neither will be sidelined long.

Yelich left the game with lower back soreness in the second inning, while Shaw departed in the fifth, an inning after he fouled a pitch off his right shin and ankle. Both were deemed day to day.

“We’ll see how they’re doing [Monday],” manager Craig Counsell said. “We’re not ruling them out, we’ll just see how they’re doing when they get to the field.”

The Brewers' next off-day is Thursday. They host the Cubs at American Family Field from Monday-Wednesday.

Yelich has started each of the Brewers’ first nine games and has reached safely in eight of them, including on Sunday, when he singled in the second inning and later scored on Shaw’s three-run home run as Milwaukee built a 7-0 lead.

But as the Brewers took the field in the bottom of the second, Jackie Bradley Jr. took Yelich’s spot in left field. It marked Bradley’s first appearance at that position since Oct. 1, 2015, with the Red Sox.

Yelich, 29, has had recurring back stiffness or soreness in recent seasons, including all four of his years with the Brewers. He has been swinging the bat a lot of late; Yelich has multiple hits in two of the team’s past four games and is slashing .333/.459/.367 this year, although he's still seeking his first home run.

The Brewers added Bradley to an outfield that already included Yelich in left field, Lorenzo Cain in center and Avisaíl García in right with instances like this in mind, especially given Yelich’s history of minor back trouble and Cain’s comeback from electing not to play most of 2020. But the timing of Sunday’s departure was suboptimal, as it came a day after Milwaukee placed one of its other regular left-handed hitters, second baseman Kolten Wong, on the 10-day injured list with a strained oblique. The team is hopeful that Wong won’t miss much more than the minimum time.

“[Yelich] seemed in good spirits after the game, so I don’t think it’ll be super serious,” Shaw said. “Shouldn’t be anything we have to worry about.”

Shaw has been productive in the field and at the plate for the Brewers, including his 449-foot home run on Sunday. In his subsequent at-bat in the fourth, Shaw fouled a pitch off his right shin and ankle before stinging a line-drive out to center field. He played defense in the bottom of that inning, but he departed in the fifth.

“A little sore, but I should be good to go [Monday], as long as it doesn’t blow up on the plane,” Shaw said. “Got my ankle pretty good. But overall, it’s not terrible.”

After winning a job with the Brewers as a non-roster invitee, Shaw is slashing .308/.357/.577 in his first 26 at-bats back with Milwaukee, which hopes for a return to the form Shaw showed when he hit more than 30 home runs in back-to-back seasons in 2017 and '18.

Shaw's long homer on Sunday was part of another breakout day for the Brewers' offense. After scoring 20 runs over their first seven games, they have scored nine apiece in each of the past two. 

“Offensively, we’ve finally picked it up a little bit to back the pitching,” Shaw said, “but they’ve been lights-out from the beginning, and I don’t see any reason why it’s going to change. Our starters have been incredible. As long as everything stays like that, we’re going to be in pretty much every game every single day.”