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Cain delivers gems despite knee issues

Williams called up from Biloxi for stretch run; injury updates
@cdenicola13
September 10, 2019

MIAMI -- Though Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain continues to deal with a bruised left knee, he looked more like himself in Monday's 8-3 win over the Marlins, particularly on two impressive four-star defensive plays. Cain, who also collected three hits in the series opener, said the discomfort bothers his

MIAMI -- Though Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain continues to deal with a bruised left knee, he looked more like himself in Monday's 8-3 win over the Marlins, particularly on two impressive four-star defensive plays.

Cain, who also collected three hits in the series opener, said the discomfort bothers his running in general. Trying to accelerate to his top speed has been tough of late, though you couldn't tell based on the ground he covered at spacious Marlins Park.

"Definitely moving better," Cain said on Tuesday prior to Milwaukee's 4-3 win over Miami, in which they learned Christian Yelich would miss the rest of the season with a fractured kneecap. "Still painful to run, but as a whole, [I] felt like I'm moving a lot better than I did three or four days ago. Not giving out on me right now. That's always good. It was a good day yesterday. [It's a] little sore today, but I've been getting treatment and hopefully I have another good night running."

In the first inning, Cain robbed Neil Walker of extra bases in the left-center-field gap after he covered 102 feet in 5.2 seconds. His jump was 4.9 feet better than the MLB average on similar plays, and his sprint speed reached 29.2 feet per second (30 is elite).

In the eighth inning, Cain covered 66 feet in 4.0 seconds, with a jump 4 1/2 feet better than MLB average on a play with a 45 percent catch probability. Cain ranks first in the Majors with 11 four-star plays in 2019.

"He made a couple [of] catches that were outstanding, really, and didn't show any signs of a sore knee," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Really all night to me, he didn't show any signs. That's really the first game we'd seen in a while without any signs of it. He came back feeling good today. He's back in there. I think in a park like this, he can make such an impact on a game defensively."

Prospect back in Majors

The Brewers recalled right-handed reliever Devin Williams from Double-A Biloxi prior to Tuesday night's game, the first day he was eligible to return to the Brewers after being optioned. There are now 14 relievers on the active roster.

Williams, who was part of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in July, made his Major League debut on Aug. 7. He appeared in eight games, allowing seven runs (four earned) on 14 hits with five walks and eight strikeouts over nine innings before being sent down again. Three of Williams' eight outings were scoreless.

"Can't really get behind up here," Williams said of what he learned from his first stint. "You've got to attack every hitter. When you get behind, that's when you get in trouble. That's how every level is. More of that."

Ranked as Milwaukee's No. 14 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Williams posted a 2.36 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP while striking out 76 batters across 53 1/3 regular-season innings for Biloxi.

The 24-year-old Williams pitched twice in Biloxi's series win over Pensacola to advance to the Southern League Championship Series, which began on Tuesday. Now he is involved in a Major League postseason chase.

"It's exciting," Williams said. "I just went down and played in the playoffs for the first time. That was my first experience with that. I'm sure it'll be even crazier up here."

Injury updates

• According to Counsell, there is a "good chance" Mike Moustakas (bone bruise in left hand) will be in Wednesday night's lineup. He was also available to play in Tuesday night's game.

• Right-hander Brandon Woodruff (left oblique strain) will throw a live batting practice session on Wednesday.

• Manny Pina (concussion protocol) will not return during the series against the Marlins. Whether he comes back this weekend in St. Louis has yet to be determined.

• Orlando Arcia (birth of twins) will fly to Miami on Wednesday night, but he won't be available until Thursday afternoon's series finale.

Christina De Nicola is a reporter and game producer for MLB.com based in Miami. Follow her on Twitter @CDeNicola13.