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Hiura returns from IL, but still needs reps

Moustakas back in starting lineup after hand injury; Woodruff throws live BP session
@cdenicola13
September 11, 2019

MIAMI -- A day after losing Christian Yelich for the season, the Brewers welcomed back two key members of their roster on Wednesday. Milwaukee reinstated rookie second baseman Keston Hiura (Grade 2 left hamstring strain) from the 10-day injured list, though manager Craig Counsell called the activation more of a

MIAMI -- A day after losing Christian Yelich for the season, the Brewers welcomed back two key members of their roster on Wednesday.

Milwaukee reinstated rookie second baseman Keston Hiura (Grade 2 left hamstring strain) from the 10-day injured list, though manager Craig Counsell called the activation more of a formality. Veteran Mike Moustakas (bone bruise in left hand) also joined the starting lineup Wednesday at third base and batted third in the order, notching a multihomer effort in the Brewers' 7-5 win.

"He's going to do some tests today, so I wouldn't expect to see him in the game at all," Counsell said of Hiura. "But there's no hurt in activating him at this point. We're targeting him for some at-bats this weekend and getting some more game action, some field action, on the homestand. Friday marks the two-week mark, and that was kind of the original prognosis. We're still in that area with him."

The 23-year-old second baseman, who credited a cortisone shot for speeding up the healing process, has been able to swing, take ground balls and run a little bit. Hiura was batting .301/.369/.571 with 16 homers and 43 RBIs at the time of his injury.

"Injuries happen, whether it's beginning of the season or late in the season. Just part of the game," said Hiura, who won the National League Rookie of the Month Award for July. "You want to be on the field as much as you can, especially at this point in time when it's coming down to the wire. The Wild Card [race] is real close and all that. At the same time, you don't want to be on the field where not being able to give 100 percent, not being able to give it all or ultimately hurting yourself more, especially with a hamstring injury. You definitely want to be patient with that and be able to be confident when you're running. I wish I could be on the field, but at the same time, I'm doing everything I can to be healthy."

Both Hiura and Moustakas took batting practice on the field on Monday and Tuesday, which signified big steps in their recovery processes.

Moustakas had started just once since Aug. 26, when he sustained the hand injury. He appeared in four contests off the bench, going hitless in six plate appearances, with an intentional walk in Tuesday's 4-3 win.

"It's been getting better the last couple of days," said Moustakas, who turned 31 on Wednesday. "I've been trying to manage the pain a little bit, just so I could be able to come back these last couple weeks and produce at a high level. There's really no point in going out there and not being able to contribute at 50 or 60 percent, especially right now. I've been feeling a lot better lately, and batting practice has been going good and the training staff's been doing a great job of getting me ready to play. Ready to go now."

Woodruff faces batters
Right-hander Brandon Woodruff (left oblique strain) threw 40 pitches, including 10 warmups, during live batting practice on Wednesday afternoon on the Marlins Park mound.

Woodruff worked his entire arsenal -- four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, curveball, slider and changeup -- while facing teammates Jacob Nottingham, Hiura and Tyrone Taylor. Pitching out of both the windup and stretch, he also simulated the middle of an inning.

Sidelined since July 22, Woodruff said how he responds to Wednesday's workload will help determine the next course of action.

"Everything checked out pretty good, so just looking forward to seeing the next day and trying to take a step from there," Woodruff said. "I have to see how I feel the next day as far as recovery goes. As far as today and getting off the mound seeing hitters, I felt good. I felt like I was throwing a lot of strikes, a lot of quality strikes, so that was a good sign for me."

A day of rememberance
The Brewers joined the rest of Major League Baseball in remembering the events of Sept. 11, 2001, as part of Major League Baseball’s ongoing effort to honor those whose lives were affected or lost on that day.

On-field personnel wore caps with a patch on the right side, a silhouetted batter ribbon that read "We Shall Never Forget." All royalties from the sales of the caps are being donated to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, the Pentagon Memorial Fund and the Flight 93 National Memorial.

MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association also contributed to the "Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund," which serves those affected by the events. Nearly 500 academic scholarships totaling $11 million have been awarded through the MLB-MLBPA fund since its inception.

Christina De Nicola is a reporter and game producer for MLB.com based in Miami. Follow her on Twitter @CDeNicola13.