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Braun, Yelich injuries test Brewers outfield depth

Cain on 10-day DL, still recovering from groin injury
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

CINCINNATI -- Remember when the Brewers had too many outfielders? 

The Brewers are pushing the limit of how many day-to-day injuries one team can navigate at one time, said GM David Stearns, even as manager Craig Counsell suggested otherwise. Outfielders Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun were sidelined with stiff lower backs, with Yelich's seeming the more serious of the two. And those day-to-day issues were on top of Lorenzo Cain's absence, while he recovers on the 10-day disabled list from a groin injury.

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CINCINNATI -- Remember when the Brewers had too many outfielders? 

The Brewers are pushing the limit of how many day-to-day injuries one team can navigate at one time, said GM David Stearns, even as manager Craig Counsell suggested otherwise. Outfielders Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun were sidelined with stiff lower backs, with Yelich's seeming the more serious of the two. And those day-to-day issues were on top of Lorenzo Cain's absence, while he recovers on the 10-day disabled list from a groin injury.

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"We're probably at about that limit right now." Stearns said when asked about the line between managing bumps and bruises, and requiring reinforcements. "I don't know that we can withstand another day-to-day situation and still function with our current roster. We are OK right now, as long as this does not linger past a couple more days. If it does, then we will have to make a move."

Counsell fielded a lineup Saturday with Eric Thames, Keon Broxton and utility man Hernan Perez in the outfield from left to right, on a sweltering day at Great American Ball Park.

Eric Sogard, primarily a middle infielder, was probably the first backup outfield option on the bench. Jonathan Villar and Brad Miller also were options in a pinch.

"I'm perfectly comfortable with where we're at," Counsell said. "We're carrying five bench position players; most teams are carrying four. In a lot of scenarios, you'll have a guy down for a day. It's not as dire as you guys are making it sound."

Counsell said "definitely, we'll stay away" from Yelich on Saturday. Braun's status was more nebulous. The 34-year-old was getting treatment all afternoon, and was not available to the media.

"We can manage for the moment," Stearns said. "We understand that these are things teams go through over the course of a year, when you're dealing with injuries or discomforts that can linger for 3-4 days, and we have to make decisions as to whether that's worthy of a DL placement. At this point, we're hopeful we can avoid a DL."

Cain was making progress, meanwhile, in his rehab. He could be cleared to take batting practice on the field as soon as Monday, Counsell said. Cain is eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday.

Davies' status unclear
Right-hander Zach Davies was back in Milwaukee on Saturday, a day after his rehab start at Class A Advanced Wisconsin was cut short by lower back discomfort.

Davies was supposed to throw 80 pitches in what might have been his final step before returning to the Brewers from a right shoulder injury. Instead, he threw 48 pitches and surrendered six earned runs on 10 hits before alerting medical officials to back trouble.

"At this point," Stearns said, "we don't really know how much of a setback this is. [Davies] felt some tightness during his outing. He wisely mentioned it, so we took him out of the game. He's going to be re-evaluated over the next couple of days, and I think our goal would be by early next week, to have a plan of attack going forward. We don't have a firm grasp on it right now."

There's a chance that the discomfort will simply subside, Stearns said. If it doesn't, the team will order more tests. Either way, will Davies require at least one more rehab start?

"That's certainly a possibility, now," Stearns said. "But we'll want to see what this turns out to be."

Torres-Costa promoted
From the low-A level to Triple-A Colorado Springs in two years, former 35th-round Draft pick Quintin Torres-Costa continues to be a fast riser in Milwaukee's Minor League system. The 23-year-old left-handed reliever was promoted to the SkySox this week.

Torres-Costa, whose funky delivery has been compared to Josh Hader's, pitched in the Arizona Fall League last year and posted a 1.16 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 31 innings over in 21 games for Double-A Biloxi before Friday's promotion.

"[Torres-Costa]'s an exciting guy for us. He deserves the promotion" Stearns said. "We're looking forward to see what he can do against some advanced competition in a hitter-friendly environment."

"If you're in Double-A and performing, you're on the radar." Counsell said. "[Torres-Costa]'s had a really nice season. He's left-handed, he's got a little different arm slot. It's easy to be interested in that."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Ryan Braun, Christian Yelich