Davies, Braun set to give Brewers a boost

May 23rd, 2018

MILWAUKEE -- Four days after the Brewers reinstated Opening Day starter Chase Anderson from the 10-day disabled list, it's ' turn.

Davies will return from a right shoulder injury for his first start since April 29, and the Brewers will also reinstate outfielder/first baseman (back) from the DL when the team opens a four-game series against the Mets on Thursday at Miller Park.

The Brewers cleared roster spots after Wednesday's 9-2 win over the D-backs by optioning pitcher and first baseman back to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

For Davies, it was a longer absence than expected; he originally hoped to be back after the minimum 10 days, but persisting irritation in his rotator cuff required more patience. 

"It's nice, No. 1, for everyone to start getting healthy," said Davies. "But also for us to be playing so well in the absence [of injured players]. It's nice that you can come back and there's not as much pressure. It's not, 'OK, now that we're healthy, we have to really start going.' You can just step in and continue."

The Brewers are 15-6 since Davies' last start after a 9-2 win in Wednesday's series finale against the D-backs.

Davies developed discomfort in his shoulder during the final inning of his last start against the Cubs. It was described as a precautionary move at the time, but he had to cut short a bullpen session one week later and opted for a more cautious approach to avoid the sort of setback he endured in a similar scenario during his time in Baltimore's Minor League system.

In a Minor League rehabilitation start on Saturday for Class A Wisconsin, Davies threw 56 pitches and struck out nine batters in 4 2/3 scoreless innings. He experienced no issues with his shoulder.

"I'm glad the way we did it," Davies said. "You don't want to push it, and then not only push my DL time longer, but hurt the team by taking a roster spot or taking a start and maybe coming out early. It was good the team had some continuity [during his time off].

"Everything feels great now. Strength is there, range is there. Probably the first go-around will be a little bit shorter, since I only threw 56 pitches. If they need me longer, I'm ready to go."

Braun, meanwhile, will return after a minimum 10-day DL stint for mid-back stiffness. With first baseman swinging a hot bat, it remains to be seen whether Braun will return to his usual position in the three-hole on days that both Aguilar and Braun are in the lineup.

But Braun was healthy enough by Wednesday afternoon to return to active duty.

"He's been trending like he's been ready to go since Monday, really," manager Craig Counsell said.

Last call

• Center fielder was out of Wednesday's lineup after a physical game on Tuesday night included a minor collision with the outfield wall on 's first-inning double. But it was just a routine day off, the club said.

• Minor League infielder Jake Gatewood, Milwaukee's No. 18 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, tallied four hits at Double-A Biloxi on Tuesday night, and he was hitting .324 (24-for-74) with 10 runs, eight doubles, two homers and 13 RBIs in his first 20 games in May. Compare that to a .167 (14-for-84) average in 23 games in April.