MILWAUKEE (AP) — All-Star pitcher Brandon Woodruff could miss up to six weeks with a left oblique strain, Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Monday.
The right-hander allowed four runs in three innings against Arizona on Sunday before exiting after throwing two pitches in the fourth.
He underwent an MRI and was placed on the 10-day injured list Monday. Right-handed reliever Burch Smith was recalled from Triple-A San Antonio.
“Less than 24 hours out, we’re looking at six weeks. That’s probably our best guess,” Counsell said. “Kind of what we expected. Obviously, that’s significant and he’s going to miss some time. He’ll do his best and we’ll do our best to get him back as fast as we can.”
Woodruff (11-3, 3.75 ERA) has been the most effective starter for the Brewers, who entered Monday’s game at 53-48 and are two games behind the Cubs in the Central Division. Milwaukee is 16-4 in games he started.
Woodruff’s 11 victories are tied for second in the N.L. He leads the Brewers in victories, innings pitched (117 2/3), and strikeouts (136). Woodruff also was hitting .267 with four doubles and four RBI and was used a pinch-hitter five times.
“That’s it right there,” Counsell said. “He’s pitched well enough for us to be 16-4. It’s obviously a really good record and it’s because he’s pitched well and swung the bat well. So we’re going to miss that for sure. But this is the big leagues and there’s injuries we have to recover from and thrive from them.”
Counsell did not name a replacement for Woodruff in the rotation.
“We’ve got to fill in around him,” Counsell said. “That’s what we’re going to have to do. I think we can and I think we’ll look at all ways we can do that. With both who we’ve got personnel-wise and the schedule does allow us to do some things and we’ll try to take advantage of that.”
“But most importantly, we’ve got to fill in around that,” Counsell said. “There’s going to be innings we need to get from somebody else. Obviously, Woody was delivering some pretty good innings, so it’s up to both pitching-wise and defensively to fill in around him.”