SAN FRANCISCO -- Jake Gatewood, the Brewers' No. 14 prospect in MLB Pipeline's updated rankings unveiled this week, has a torn ACL in his left knee and will undergo season-ending surgery.
Gatewood was injured running to first base in Double-A Biloxi's game at Jackson on Tuesday night. He traveled to Milwaukee for an MRI scan and a visit with Brewers head physician Dr. William Raasch, who made the diagnosis. He's the second premium Brewers prospect to go down with a torn ACL, joining infielder and No. 11 prospect Mauricio Dubon.
After undergoing some "prehab" at the Brewers' training facility in Phoenix, Gatewood will undergo surgery in the next week or two. The Brewers hope he is close to baseball activity by the start of Spring Training, but will know more after the surgery, according to farm director Tom Flanagan.
Gatewood was a rising prospect in the MLB Pipeline rankings on the strength of his career-high 19 home runs, one behind teammate Corey Ray for the Southern League lead as of Friday afternoon.
The biggest jump in the rankings went to Biloxi teammate Zack Brown, who also went down with an injury this week. Brown sprained his left ankle trying to avoid a comebacker on Sunday and is expected to be sidelined four to six weeks, putting him in danger of missing the rest of the Double-A season. Brown is 9-0 with a 2.34 ERA in 111 2/3 innings this season.
Infielder Keston Hiura remained No. 1 on the Brewers' list, followed by right-handers Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta, both of whom are currently in the Major Leagues and moving toward graduating from prospect rankings.
Shortstop Brice Turang, the Brewers' top pick in this year's Draft, entered the list at No. 5. Other 2018 Draft picks who made the cut were outfielder Joe Gray Jr. (No. 9), left-hander Aaron Ashby (No. 23) and outfielder Micah Bello (No. 25).
Soria joins the fray
Veteran right-hander Joakim Soria, acquired Thursday in a trade with the White Sox, reported for duty on Friday and said he was open to whatever role the Brewers have in store, just as manager Craig Counsell suggested he may be more flexible with how he deploys closer Corey Knebel.
Knebel has fallen short this season of the high standard he set as an All-Star in 2017, struggling at times to command his curveball. The results are reflected in his ERA (1.78 last year/4.08 through Thursday), FIP (2.53/4.28) and strikeout rate (40.8 percent/33.1 percent).
"I'd like to get Corey out on the mound more, and if we're going to pitch him more, it's not just going to be in closing situations," Counsell said. "We need Corey to pitch well, whatever inning that is. … One of the ways to get Corey going a little bit is to be sure we get him out on the mound and not have a lot of space between his appearances."
This is the third time since 2014 that Soria has been traded in July to a team with hopes of contending. He got a look at the Brewers at Guaranteed Rate Field in early June, when the White Sox won two of three from the Brewers.
Asked about leaving a closer role in Chicago for an uncertain role with Milwaukee, Soria said, "I want to win. I came to the Brewers organization to help them in any way possible to win a championship, whatever inning it is."
The Brewers optioned reliever Jacob Barnes to Triple-A Colorado Springs to clear a spot on the 25-man roster for Soria.
• The Brewers delayed activating another reliever, Matt Albers, from the 10-day disabled list on Friday, but he remains healthy and ready to go. Counsell cited other roster considerations -- probably a reference to outfielder Lorenzo Cain's bumps and bruises suffered in Thursday's series-opening win, when Cain jammed his right wrist sliding into second base and tweaked his left knee on a swing.
The Brewers opted to leave Cain out of the lineup Friday. Keon Broxton, who has options and was a candidate to be sent down when Albers returns from the DL, started in Cain's place.
"Wrist is good. Knee is good. I'm just not playing," Cain said before adding playfully, "I told them I could play and I'm not playing. They do that a lot. They don't listen to me anymore, so I don't fight them anymore."
• After getting good news from an MRI scan of his tight lower back a day earlier, the Brewers announced Friday that right-hander Zach Davies was ready to resume a Minor League rehab appearance. Davies pitched for Class A Wisconsin at Peoria, Ill., retiring all seven batters he faced on 30 pitches, 21 strikes. He struck out four.