'Starts on running' causing Yelich's back pain

Counsell hopeful to have his All-Star outfielder back for Rangers series

August 8th, 2019

PITTSBURGH -- The Brewers were hopeful would come back from his off-day Tuesday feeling better, but they scratched him from Wednesday’s lineup as his back pain persisted into their series finale with the Pirates.

“Christian, frankly, came in today just not as good as we were hoping,” manager Craig Counsell said.

Yelich has dealt with back spasms and stiffness throughout the season, forcing him to miss time in late April and early May, as well as this year’s Home Run Derby, which he’d originally agreed to participate in. The Brewers are listing him as day to day, and Counsell is hopeful he’ll be good to go to begin a homestand Friday against the Rangers.

“You’ve got to listen to your body, and that’s what he’s trying to do,” Counsell said. “If these things pop up, one or two days is what we’re trying to keep it to and not have it be injured list situations. So that’s how we’ve got to do it, and that’s where we’re at with it.”

Though Yelich’s swing creates a lot of torque, allowing him to produce an astounding .705 slugging percentage, the back pain hasn’t stemmed as much from that.

“We’re not getting it from the swings,” Counsell said. “It’s more so the starts on running that’s been causing it.”

Yelich can run well, too. Though his fielding metrics are fairly average, he leads the Brewers in sprint speed at 28.6 feet per second.

Another speedy Brewer was out of the lineup Wednesday. , who exited Tuesday’s game, was held back from playing the field to begin Wednesday’s game, though he did come through with a pinch-hit two-run single in the sixth inning of Milwaukee's 8-3 win. He also took over in center field in the bottom of the inning.

Worth noting

(right lat strain) has played catch, Counsell said. The Brewers starter has been on the injured list since July 25, and he’s been recovering at home while the team was on the road trip.

• The Brewers announced that they plan to open the gates at Miller Park two hours before Sunday’s scheduled first pitch (1:10 p.m. CT). Large crowds are expected, helped by the bobblehead giveaway.