The Milwaukee Brewers will enter Tuesday night’s game against the San Diego Padres with a 26-16 record on the season, good for first place in the National League Central. The Brewers have grown accustomed to winning this season, yet they continue to suffer losses off the field as it pertains to their health.
Ahead of Tuesday’s contest, the Brewers placed starting outfielder Hunter Renfroe on the injured list with a strained right hamstring. (Utility player Mark Mathias was recalled from Triple-A Nashville in a corresponding move.) Renfroe joins shortstop Willy Adames (sprained ankle), starter Freddy Peralta (strained lat), and reliever Jandel Gustave (hamstring) as Brewers who have been placed on the shelf within the past 10 days.
The Brewers obtained Renfroe over the offseason in a trade with the Boston Red Sox, and he’s served as one of their most productive hitters. In 39 games this season, he’s batted .266/.303/.503 (126 OPS+) with nine home runs (tied for the team lead) and seven additional extra-base hits.
An MRI has since revealed that Renfroe’s hamstring is a low-grade strain, suggesting he’ll miss 10 to 14 days.
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With Renfroe unavailable for the time being, the Brewers figure to start an outfield that includes Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, and Tyrone Taylor. Manager Craig Counsell could also give Andrew McCutchen, normally the team’s designated hitter, run on the grass. (McCutchen, it ought to be noted, only recently returned from his own stint on the injured list.)
The Brewers will conclude their series with the Padres on Wednesday before jetting off to St. Louis for a pivotal four-game series against the Cardinals, their fiercest opponents in the NL Central. The Cardinals entered Tuesday trailing the Brewers by two games, meaning that control of the division should be on the line this weekend.