Cain hobbled, but back atop Milwaukee lineup

A look at injury progress reports; Hall returns, retires as a Brewer

September 6th, 2019

MILWAUKEE -- was back atop the Brewers’ lineup for Thursday’s opener of a critical four-game series against the Cubs, but he was less than 100 percent. Perhaps, significantly less.

Cain played through what Brewers manager Craig Counsell has called a bruised left knee for weeks before club officials decided last weekend it was time for a break. Thursday marked Cain’s first start in five games for a Brewers team that was still missing third baseman (left hand) and second baseman (left hamstring). Cain went 2-for-4 with a run scored in the Brewers' 10-5 loss.

“Same,” said Cain when asked the status of his knee. “But I’m good enough to play. So I’m going to go out there and see what I have tonight.”

“Hopefully, he's going to run around a lot because he's on base a lot and making a lot of plays,” Counsell said, “and then we'll just see how it responds. That's the place we're at, and we'll go from there. The rest helps, for sure. We'll see where he's at. … We'd like him in there every day, but if we have to give him some rest, I think we can work around that. There will be some days we need him in there.”

Reluctantly, Cain admitted the injury has slowed him, and he’s been told that will “most likely” be the case the rest of the season. When he was asked whether the injury is actually something that could require an offseason fix -- as in surgery -- Cain said, “We’ll talk.”

“It’s affecting me running, but hitting and everything else is fine,” he said. “As far as getting to top speed like I want to, it’s definitely affecting me. But I’ll be ready to go. … Right now, they told me I need rest to get better, and I don’t really have time for rest.”

As for some other notable banged-up Brewers:

• Moustakas, who was unable to make it all the way through his first game back from a bruised left hand on Monday against the Astros, received an anti-inflammatory injection on Wednesday's off-day. He remained day to day, but the Brewers are “struggling” to get Moustakas past the pain.

“This one, because of where it's at, it's more than just a bone bruise or a bruise to some tissue. There are some other things being affected,” Counsell said. “The tendons in his hand are being affected, and it's just not healing as quickly as we'd like.”

• Hiura, sidelined since Saturday, reported some positive news, saying his hamstring is feeling strong. He has been limited to work in the pool, however. It’s not until he resumes running that the Brewers will have a handle on whether their original two-week prognosis is possible.

• Right-hander (left oblique) threw a third bullpen session on Thursday and told Fox Sports Wisconsin’s Sophia Minnaert that he felt healthy but needs more work to be sharp. The best-case scenario, Counsell said, is getting Woodruff back for the final two weeks of the regular season. For both Woodruff and Hiura, that means the next homestand.

“We’ve been hit by some tough injuries at a really important stretch of the season,” Counsell said. “But since Keston's injury, we've had some guys step up -- maybe not the guys replacing him, but the guys around him -- which is what has to happen when guys get injured That's how you win games.”

Hall returns, retires as a Brewer

was ahead of his time, literally and figuratively. He was the first of the Brewers’ mid-2000s wave of home-grown hitters to make it to the Major Leagues, arriving amid a 106-loss season in 2002. And he bounced from position to position for the Brewers from year to year, including a 35-homer season at shortstop in 2006. In today’s game, Hall’s defensive versatility might have been a bit more heralded.

Hall, who played parts of 12 seasons in the Brewers organization, including eight in the Major Leagues, has not played in affiliated ball since 2013. But he didn’t file retirement paperwork until Thursday, when he returned to Miller Park to begin a four-game stint doing pre- and postgame work for Fox Sports Wisconsin.

“I wanted to come home, and this is home,” Hall said. “I was drafted here, had my best baseball memories here. Had a lot of awesome teammates. The fans were unbelievable. I was a baby when I was drafted, from Mississippi, and to be able to come back and retire here, I call it the beginning and the end.”