Woodruff, who was slated to start Wednesday’s series finale against the D-backs, said he felt tight at the end of his last start against the Cardinals and felt as though he was “running out of gas.” Manager Craig Counsell did not announce a replacement starter for Wednesday, but all signs point toward Junk, who has thrown in two games and allowed one run over 10 innings with Nashville this season.
“Getting off the mound, I just didn't feel like I can go out and be effective on [Wednesday],” Woodruff said. “It's not fair to put myself in that situation, not fair for the team.”
The good news is that Woodruff and Counsell feel confident that the 30-year-old righty will make a quick recovery.
“My hope is that in about a week I should be fine. It shouldn't require the full 15 days,” Woodruff said.
Woodruff’s presence in the starting rotation is critical to the Brewers' success, especially with ace Corbin Burnes still trying to get past his early season struggles. Woodruff has yet to allow a run over a combined two starts and 11 1/3 innings this season.
But as much as Woodruff wanted to keep contributing to Milwaukee's success, he felt like it was in the team’s best interest to nurse the injury early in the season.
“Coming into this week, I wasn’t expecting to miss any time. Then, just from playing catch and [the] throwing program, I just wasn't able to recover the way I wanted to. Being so early, there's not any sense in pushing something right now and then it leads to something big where you miss a big chunk of the season. I was very hesitant to really honestly say something, but I knew if I didn’t I would go out there and I would do more damage.”
This isn’t the first time Woodruff’s been on the injured list. Last season, Woodruff exited his May 27 start early with a right ankle sprain and was out for close to a month before making his return.
Woodruff admitted that he wasn’t in a good spot mentally during that time, but he was able to grow and learn while he was on the shelf. It makes this shorter stint much easier to withstand.
“You can't help it. I'm in such a better spot than I was at this time last year when I went down,” Woodruff said. “You just have to deal with it. It sucks. I'd rather be out on the baseball field pitching and playing for this team because we're playing good baseball and it's fun and I want to be out there, but it's just part of it.
“It's nothing major, I gotta take care of it now instead of dealing with it in August and September.”