Christian Yelich scratched with back spasms

Shaw departs for rehab assignment; Pina (hamstring) progresses

May 22nd, 2019

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers scratched from the starting lineup on Tuesday after he experienced back spasms, marking the second time in the past three weeks that MLB’s home run leader has been sidelined by a back issue.

Yelich missed part of seven games in late April and early May with low back stiffness, though the early sense Tuesday was that this latest ailment was less serious.

“It’s day to day,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said after the Brewers' 3-0 loss to the Reds. “We’ll see how he is when he comes in [Wednesday] and evaluate it then. Nothing more to report, really. That’s kind of what we’re dealing with. [It flared up] just before batting practice. He was fine coming in and he was in the lineup. It just tightened up on him.” 

Depending on the severity of the spasms, the schedule may dictate a cautious approach. Coming off an off-day Monday, the Brewers opened a two-game series against the Reds that concludes with a noon CT start on Wednesday, followed by another off-day on Thursday.

Despite his down time, Yelich entered Tuesday the MLB leader with 19 home runs and ranked second in runs scored (40), stolen bases (nine) and total bases (115). He also ranked second in on-base percentage (.440) and slugging percentage (.732).

Shaw departs for rehab assignment

Injured third baseman Travis Shaw took early batting practice on Tuesday before catching a flight to San Antonio, where he is scheduled to begin a Minor League rehab assignment on Wednesday that doubles as an opportunity for Shaw to swing his way out of a season-long slump. Shaw was hitting .163/.266/.281 before spraining his right wrist last week during a game in Philadelphia.

Shaw’s injury opened a spot for top Brewers prospect Keston Hiura, who made his first career start at Miller Park on Tuesday. With Hiura holding down second base, the Brewers will give Shaw the time he needs to resume squaring-up baseballs.

“Whatever it takes, it takes,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It’d rather not look at as a [certain] day, but, ‘Let’s get you feeling good.’”

What does Shaw expect for a timeline?

“I have a target date in my mind, but we’ll see how these next 4-5 games go,” Shaw said. “I don’t envision this being a long time down there, but we have some time that I can go down there and play some games and get my work in and kind of figure it out from there.

“I’ll play every day. The plan is Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and maybe Sunday. My BP was good. I feel better than where I was two weeks ago.”

Progress for Pina

The other Brewers position player on the 10-day injured list, Manny Pina, participated in a throwing drill on Tuesday and expects to do some jogging and hitting on Wednesday as his strained right hamstring continues to improve. While Pina reported progress in the past few days, Counsell said the catcher would remain on the IL through the end of this homestand.