Jeffress exits debut with shoulder weakness

Brewers right-hander scheduled to take several days off

March 7th, 2019

PHOENIX --  says he is not hurt. But the radar gun readings indicated that he was not right, either. 

Jeffress’ spring debut, which had already been delayed a few days, was cut short after three pitches in Wednesday's 5-4 win over the D-backs at American Family Fields of Phoenix because of what Jeffress characterized as weakness in his right shoulder.

“I don’t feel 100 percent with my body,” Jeffress said. 

Jeffress faced an 0-2 count against D-backs third baseman Eduardo Escobar in the fourth inning when catcher Manny Pina and third baseman Travis Shaw visited the mound. They were joined by head athletic trainer Scott Barringer and manager Craig Counsell, who had an extended conversation with Jeffress before the right-hander reluctantly walked off the mound. 

“There’s no pain there. He asked, ‘Why are you guys out here?’” Counsell said. “I said, 'The fastball is 83 or 84 [mph].' He wasn’t aware of anything, and he wasn’t aware of anything happening, really. Nothing significant. He did want to stay in, yeah. ...

“We’re going to take a couple days off from throwing and try to work on some strengthening. He’s fought it a little bit this spring. He turned the corner and reported feeling pretty good. He’s just not there, obviously. Take a little time to strengthen it and see where we’re at.”

Jeffress said he was not aware of any additional tests scheduled. 

“It was uncomfortable for them, the coaching staff, so they just wanted to take precautions and get me out of there, get me right,” Jeffress said. “We’ve still got a little bit of time. I understand you cannot be heroes in this game. It takes all 25 guys. I’ll just try to make sure I can get back and help us win.” 

Asked whether he has experienced anything like this before, Jeffress said, “I was 20-something. Body’s changing, so that means you’ve got to make sure everything is healthy and strong. I just kind of let it slip a little bit. Just going to evaluate it tomorrow and get it stronger day by day.” 

The last of Milwaukee’s late-inning relief trio of Jeffress, Josh Hader and Corey Knebel to get into a Cactus League game, Jeffress is coming off a career year in which he pitched a team-high 73 times in the regular season with a 1.29 ERA. He was not as effective in the postseason, however, allowing six earned runs and 16 hits in eight innings.