MILWAUKEE — After holding out for a week in hope his stiff back would loosen up, the Brewers placed Christian Yelich on their already-brimming 10-day injured list on Saturday.
The team did not immediately announce a corresponding move.
The decision represented a setback, since manager Craig Counsell had cited positive progress for Yelich the day before. Yelich, who hasn’t played since coming out of last weekend’s series finale at St. Louis, was at American Family Field on the team’s off-day Thursday to resume baseball activities, and he took more batting practice on Friday before the Brewers hosted the Pirates. On Friday, Counsell sounded optimistic, pointing out that Yelich had always avoided the IL when his occasionally balky back acted up in his first three seasons with the Brewers.
A day later, however, the outlook had changed. The Brewers have the ability to backdate the IL assignment to Monday, so the earliest Yelich could return is Friday at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. But he will miss the Brewers’ series next week in San Diego.
“We ramped it up [Friday] but we didn’t go forward today,” Counsell said Saturday afternoon. “That was a sign that we just needed to slow down. So, we’ll do that, take a couple more days without baseball activities and see where that leads us.”
Is there worry this could lead to a long-term absence?
“No. We’re not anticipating that,” Counsell said.
Yelich joined second baseman Kolten Wong (oblique) and Lorenzo Cain (quadriceps) on the IL, leaving the Brewers without a trio of former Gold Glove Award winners and lineup mainstays.
The Brewers remain hopeful about Wong, who was out on the field taking ground balls and running the bases on Saturday afternoon. Wong is eligible to come off the IL on Tuesday in the middle of the Padres series but is expected to need a couple of days beyond that, Counsell said.