MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff have taken two more hits with John Axford now out for the season with elbow problems and Eric Lauer joining the team’s growing list of COVID-19 injuries.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell has said Oxford have suffered significant elbow damage and are reviewing their options after injury foiled the 38-year-old’s attempt to return.
âHe was climbing a high hill,â Counsell said. “What he was doing was really hard to do. He went really far down the hill and then the last part ended up being too hard.”
The former Brewers’ closest pulled out just one of five batters he faced on Monday before leaving with elbow pain in his first major league appearance since 2018.
Axford played for the Brewers from 2009 to 2013 and still holds the franchise’s single-season save record with 46 in 2011. He started this season with the Toronto Blue Jays broadcast team, but signed. a contract with the minor leagues after pitching well for Team Canada. in an Olympic qualification.
The NL Central Brewers acquired Axford on Monday and used him in the ninth inning of a 6-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was then that Oxford’s elbow started to give him trouble.
Lauer started Monday’s game and pitched five clean innings to continue his strong season. He has allowed just five runs in his last 31 innings, but now has to be absent for at least 10 days due to his positive test.
Counsell said Lauer is not showing any symptoms.
Lauer joins closest to all-star Josh Hader, relievers Jake Cousins, Jandel Gustave and Hunter Strickland, outfielder Christian Yelich and first baseman Keston Hiura on the COVID-19 injured list. Gustave is there because of the contact tracing. The others tested positive.
Yelich could return in time for this weekend’s series with the San Francisco Giants.
“I’m looking forward to the day when we can get these guys back for sure,” said Counsell.
The Brewers added right-hander Sal Romano to the active roster after claiming him on waivers from the New York Yankees.