MILWAUKEE -- All-Star closer Corey Knebel was back in the Brewers' bullpen Wednesday, and lefty Boone Logan is on the way.The Brewers activated Knebel from the disabled list for Wednesday's game against the Indians amid a series of roster moves that also saw utility man Tyler Saladino called up from
MILWAUKEE -- All-Star closer Corey Knebel was back in the Brewers' bullpen Wednesday, and lefty Boone Logan is on the way.
The Brewers activated Knebel from the disabled list for Wednesday's game against the Indians amid a series of roster moves that also saw utility man Tyler Saladino called up from Triple-A and pitcher Wade Miley (right oblique) and infielder Nick Franklin (right quad) placed on the 10-day DL.
Logan, meanwhile, has completed his rehab from a left triceps injury, and he was traveling to Denver, where he will be activated from the DL on Thursday or Friday as the Crew begins a long road trip.
Knebel and Logan will join a Brewers bullpen that has been terrific in their absence, ranking second among Major League relief corps with a 2.56 ERA and fourth with 137 1/3 innings entering Knebel's return to action Wednesday. He received a rude welcome from Indians leadoff man Francisco Lindor, who led off the seventh inning by crushing a Knebel fastball for a 424-foot home run, but Knebel bounced back to retire the next three hitters on groundouts while topping out at 97.3 mph.
Of the Brewers' relief work in his absence, Knebel said, "That was awesome to see. The bullpen took the bull by the horns and did their job."
Now Knebel, who logged a 1.78 ERA and 39 saves in a National League-leading 76 appearances last season, gets to do his job for the first time since collapsing on the mound after throwing a pitch against the Cubs on April 5. An MRI scan the next day confirmed a strained left hamstring, and while the diagnosis could have been worse, the Brewers were prepared to be without their most valuable reliever in 2017 until late May or early June.
"This probably exceeded my expectations in terms of how fast he could get back here," general manager David Stearns said.
Said Knebel: "It feels good on my part, and I know the trainers, they're excited too. Everything has been progressing well and I feel great, so I'm ready to go."
The Brewers will ease Knebel back into action, manager Craig Counsell said, with the aim of "getting Corey to the back of the game."
"We'll get him there. Not right away," Counsell said. "I do think it frees Josh [Hader] and the rest of the guys to be utilized in a lot of different ways. … The big thing is we're not going to get stuck on, 'This is how it has to be.' The job is still going to be to continue to get outs. But the way I'm seeing it right now, it will be best if we can get Corey to the back of the game."
In Knebel's absence, Counsell employed a true "closer-by-committee" approach, with Hader, Jacob Barnes, Jeremy Jeffress and Matt Albers all logging saves.
Does Knebel expect to reclaim closer duties?
"I don't care if I do or not," Knebel said. "Watching what Hader, [Jeffress], Barnes, everybody has been doing, it doesn't matter where I'm going to be. We're all going to do our job. That's what I like about this club."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.