The Milwaukee Brewers’ much-ballyhooed starting rotation was already taking on a little bit of water after Brandon Woodruff went on the shelf with a sub-scap strain in his shoulder. If there was a silver lining, though, it’s that Milwaukee boasted two other aces in Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta to help keep the team afloat.
Corbin Burnes is coming out of the game with Brewers athletic trainer Dave Yeager.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 18, 2023
Burnes was sailing through the first five innings of his start against the Seattle Mariners on Monday night. But after getting Julio Rodriguez to fly out to center to start the sixth, he immediately looked to the dugout and signaled for a trainer. The righty tried to stay in the game but was eventually forced to leave, walking off the mound while appearing to grab his chest.
The team has diagnosed Burnes (for now, at least) with a pectoral strain:
Corbin Burnes has a left pec strain. The early read is that it’s minor, but the Brewers will watch closely over the next few days. As of now, Burnes could make his next start, Craig Counsell said.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 18, 2023
It’s somewhat of a relief that team and player believe the injury to be relatively minor, and that Craig Counsell is already talking about Burnes making his next start. Of course, Woodruff said the same thing about his injury and will now be out for at least several weeks, so it’s probably too early to relax for Brewers fans or Burnes’ fantasy owners. If the righty were forced to miss a start (or more), the team could turn to Janson Junk in Triple-A, who’s already been called up to make one spot start earlier this year.
Burnes had gotten off to a slow start in 2023, posting a 5.19 ERA over his first three starts. His loss is still a major one for a Brewers team largely built around its pitching — the 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner has been one of the very best starters in baseball since breaking out during the pandemic-shortened season in 2020, with a 2.82 ERA and 11.4 K/9 over the last three years.
Should Burnes wind up missing time, fantasy owners may look at someone like Taj Bradley of the Tampa Bay Rays, Anthony DeSclafani of the San Francisco Giants or Brad Keller of the Kansas City Royals on the waiver wire as a temporary replacement. Here’s hoping it doesn’t come to that, though.