Ashby (shoulder) aiming for mid-May return

February 21st, 2023

PHOENIX -- Aaron Ashby, the Brewers’ high-upside left-hander, is playing it safe with a left shoulder injury with an eye on helping in the Majors by the middle of May.

In his first comments since the Brewers announced the 24-year-old would be significantly behind the other pitchers in camp, Ashby detailed his diagnosis and what led to a platelet-rich plasma injection earlier this month.

“I was here all offseason working out and started doing this weighted-ball program,” Ashby said at American Family Fields of Phoenix, the Brewers’ year-round training facility. “I didn’t feel great and then started playing catch about a week and a half later and never quite got where I wanted to be. It never really felt great and so it was a process of rehabbing and throwing, which helped in 2019 when I had a shoulder impingement. It just never got to where we needed it to be. It got time to make a decision, so we went with a PRP injection. It’s about a six-week rehab process to start throwing again, and just the building up process and how long that takes.”

He said the shot was about three weeks ago.

“It’s a shoulder impingement, labral tear. That sounds really bad but everyone has these; it’s just kind of how it affects you,” Ashby said. “And in my throwing motion, it doesn’t feel great. It’s a really small tear. Then it’s the rehab process and retraining that muscle and working the proper way.”

Ashby signed a five-year contract with the Brewers last July while going 2-10 with a 4.44 ERA and 126 strikeouts in 107 1/3 innings. He missed two weeks in June and July with left forearm inflammation and then missed about a month in August and September with left shoulder inflammation.

“I just think this gives him a chance to kind of step back just a little bit. Just get everything really right,” Brewers pitching coach Chris Hook said. “I told him I can't imagine having an impact player like him come in whenever he comes back. I mean, the shot in the arm that Ashby is gonna give us, I think I'm looking at this as a positive.”

Said Ashby: “Obviously I would like to be pitching April 1 when the season starts. There’s disappointment that comes along with it. The organization and Hooky have been great and super-supportive and are trying to keep the spirits up. It’ll be exciting once I start throwing and kind of get off the mound and I see the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s part of this process, just trying to keep your spirits up and stay as positive as you can.”