MILWAUKEE -- Second baseman Kolten Wong, a bright spot this season in what has been an underperforming Brewers lineup, landed back on the 10-day injured list Friday with a recurrence of a strained left oblique. This time, the absence could be a bit longer.
Wong exited Thursday’s 7-4 win over the D-backs with the injury following a swinging strikeout in the third inning. The Brewers recalled utility man Pablo Reyes from Triple-A Nashville to take Wong’s spot on the active roster. The primary second baseman figures to be Luis Urías, who has bounced around since the Brewers moved him off shortstop last month.
Wong spent two weeks on the injured list earlier this season with a left oblique strain, which he suffered on a swinging strikeout in a game in St. Louis. Wong went on the 10-day IL on April 10, was reinstated on April 23 and had been a regular in the starting lineup since.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell said it would be several days before club medical officials have a handle on how long Wong might be sidelined this time.
“It’s a little too early [to know], but also, we’ll probably just take our time and make sure to take care of it,” Wong said. “Last one, we pushed through a little bit and I was able to play a decent amount. But, you know, after this -- you’ve got the All-Star break coming up, and then the second half. I want to be ready for all these times coming up and make sure I can be ready for the second-half push, at least."
Wong is slashing .280/.343/.441 this season, and he's second on the team to catcher Omar Narváez with 1.3 fWAR.
The timing is not ideal. The Brewers placed another of their best defenders and top-of-the-order hitters, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, on the injured list Tuesday with a strained right quadriceps.
“I came to this organization to help it win, wanted to go to the playoffs. I want to do whatever I can to put us in that situation,” said Wong, who signed a two-year free-agent deal with Milwaukee in February. “Not being on the field is obviously tough, but that's part of the game. We're all human, we get hurt. You just try to figure out how to get it right, and hopefully to take care of it so it doesn't come back again.
The discomfort, Wong said, “is right when I'm about to start my swing, that little crunch that initially kind of gets your swing going. Last night I went to do that on that strikeout. And as soon as I started my swing, everything just kind of turned off and the swing just kind of went into cruise control, and I knew something was up. You know, I just didn't have that explosive, quick-twitch feel that it usually has. I woke up this morning, and it was still somewhat painful and just uncomfortable to move."
The immediate next steps? Rest and patience.
“We're just going to take it day by day and hope that we can just get rid of this thing once and for all,” Wong said.