Mitchell (fractured bone in left hand) out at least a month

March 26th, 2024

PHOENIX -- For the second time in as many seasons, will deal with a season-shortening injury.

Mitchell was diagnosed with a fractured bone in his left hand Monday, manager Pat Murphy said, and is expected to miss at least a month, perhaps two.

Mitchell, the likely starting center fielder and a top leadoff candidate, suffered the injury during batting practice last weekend and was given an X-ray that confirmed the injury Monday. He is to see Phoenix hand specialist Dr. Don Sheridan for a second opinion.

“I would think 4-to-6 or 6-to-8 [weeks], unless it’s displaced,” Murphy said of a timetable for Mitchell’s recovery.

Mitchell missed five months of the 2023 season after suffering a torn labrum in his left shoulder while attempting to avoid a tag in a game against Seattle on April 18. He returned Sept. 28 and played three games.

The injury opens a spot on the 26-man roster as the Brewers prepare for Opening Day on Thursday with the first game of a three-game series against the New York Mets.

“You can think of a lot of options,” Murphy said. “We could move Sal [Frelick] to just full-time outfield, then we have plenty. You could bring another infielder. You could bring [Eric] Haase.”

Frelick was expected to play third base and outfield this season. Haase hit his fifth homer of the spring during Monday’s 10-1 win over the Rockies, although the Brewers seem likely to replace Mitchell with an infielder or outfielder.

Joey Wiemer, who was optioned to Triple-A on Thursday, also is a candidate, Murphy said.

“Not going to think about it,” Murphy said. “Not going to worry about what we don’t have. Worry about what we do have. Somebody will step up. I feel bad for the players. It does seem like we’re short-handed, but I believe in the group. That’s all there is to it.

“We’re going to play hard and compete. It’s a super bunch of guys. Be careful, they might just believe themselves into contention.”

Mitchell, who was held out of the last two games as a precaution, was slashing .319/.385/.426 in 52 spring plate appearances. He had two doubles, a homer, two stolen bases and eight RBIs.

The Brewers suffered another major injury earlier in spring, when closer Devin Williams was diagnosed with two stress fractures in his back.

He is expected to miss about 12 weeks. Wade Miley and Taylor Clarke also will open the season on the injured list, although Miley is expected to rejoin the rotation in mid-April.