LoCain wants to return by All-Star break

Notes: Newest Brewers reliever Cousins related to a Packers rival QB

June 22nd, 2021

PHOENIX -- Three long weeks since going down with the latest in a series of leg injuries, is finally getting his legs back under him.

Cain did some running on the field for the first time on Monday and plans to begin hitting in the cage on Tuesday as he takes the next step in his comeback from a strained right hamstring that landed him on the injured list on June 1. That followed an earlier stint on the IL for a left quad strain in April, which followed a right quad strain in Spring Training.

For Cain, it’s been a tough comeback from sitting out the bulk of the shortened 2020 season, but he has his heart set on being back in action for the Brewers before the All-Star break.

“For me, that’s the plan. I want to be back before the All-Star break,” he said. “That’s where my goal is set right now. I have to talk to the trainers and they’re going to keep me from myself. You know how I am. I plan on being back out there before the All-Star break, but at the same time I’m trying to be more understanding about what’s going on in the clubhouse as well. We’ll see what happens. Hopefully it’s quick and I’m back out there soon and I don’t miss any more time this year.”

Cain conceded he has a lot of steps in front of him before he plays in a game again.

He also conceded that patience is not his strong suit in these matters.

“That’s always been the thing with me. It’s always been tough to hold back,” Cain said. “I want to be out there playing. I want to be out there grinding with the boys every day. Even missing this amount of time, I’m definitely struggling with it. I want to be out there basically now.

“They’re continuing to hold me back from myself, but at the same time, it’s the smart thing to do, the smart move to make. I might have to go on a rehab assignment. Most likely. Where, I don’t know yet. Hopefully it’s a rehab assignment very soon and hopefully I’m back out there very soon.”

Family first
Jake Cousins, the latest reliever promoted to the Majors by the Brewers on Monday, grew up in Chicago and is a fraternal cousin of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Now he’s poised to make his Major League debut for a team that plays in the home state of the Green Bay Packers.

So, where do his NFL loyalties lie?

“I mean, you have to root for the family, right?” Cousins said. “So I’ll root for Kirk. As long as he’s with the Vikings, I’ll be a Vikings fan, a Kirk fan.”

Jake Cousins got to see a lot of his cousin’s games when Kirk quarterbacked in Washington and Jake was pitching at Penn. But it’s been tougher in the past couple of years, as Jake hooked on with the Brewers' organization in 2019 and has been pitching in Milwaukee’s Minor League system and on loan to some independent teams. When he makes his Brewers debut, he will be the 49th player to appear for them this season, two shy of the franchise record.

“You think about the possibility, but you don’t want to expect it,” Jake Cousins said. “I’m just trying to be where my feet are.”

First pitch hacking
The Rockies kept feeding Kolten Wong first pitches down the middle, and Wong kept swinging in Sunday’s win at Coors Field.

Wong swung at every first pitch he saw and started the day with a single, a two-run homer and an RBI single in what became a 7-6 Brewers win. He fouled off the first pitch in his fourth at-bat before flying out to right field on the second pitch. Then he flied out to center field on the first pitch in his fifth at-bat.

"The first three at-bats, the balls were right down the middle, so I was like, 'Hey, if this is how it's going to go, I'm going to continue to swing. I'm not going to stop. If they're going to throw me strikes, why not keep going?'” Wong said. “It worked out well for the first three, then I kind of suffered the last two."

What happened?

"I think I got in my own head towards the end,” Wong said. “I was like, 'Man, I can't keep swinging at the first pitch. They're going to pitch a ball eventually.' But literally, every first pitch was pretty much down the middle.”