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Brewers Righty Starter Suffers Back Injury in Loss to Marlins

Just when it seemed like things were starting to turn around for the Milwaukee Brewers’ injury-riddled starting rotation, reality once again reared its ugly head as right-hander Joe Ross was forced to leave Milwaukee’s 3-2 loss to the Miami Marlins Monday night after just one inning because of back trouble. Ross said his back had been bothering him for the last few days but he was trying to avoid missing a start or becoming the latest Brewers pitcher to land on the IL. He got through the first inning needing just 15 pitches, but felt worse after charging to cover first on an inning-ending double play.

“We were kind of working through it, doing some stuff to try and make it feel better,” Ross said. “Then I just think the slope of the mound was making it a little bit worse.

“My arm felt fine. I think (my back) was just getting a little aggravated there in the first inning. I let them know I wasn’t feeling great but I could try to keep going, but they decided it was probably best to shut it down.”

The initial diagnosis was a lower back strain, which manager Pat Murphy said could result in an IL stint.

“He said he wasn’t feeling great,” Murphy said, ‘I can go back out there if you want me to, but I’m not feeling great. I’m not sure I can extend.’ So we thought it was in the best interest to get him out of there.”

Joe Ross Suffers Back Injury in Brewers Loss

Comeback Trail

Monday marked the ninth start of the season for Ross, who signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract in December after sitting out the last two years while recovering from his second Tommy John surgery. The rust was evident his first few times out, as Ross posted a 5.40 ERA over his first five starts. Howver, he’d been showing signs of settling in and had a 3.38 ERA over his last three outings.

“Definitely frustrating,” Ross said. “I’ll see what I can do tomorrow and see if I can start feeling better and we can figure something out.

“We’ll see what happens.”

Who’s Next?

Deep depth was supposed to help Milwaukee overcome the loss of former Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes, who was traded to the Baltimore Orioles just before spring training, and Brandon Woodruff, who’s out for the year after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery.

But not even two months into the season, Milwaukee has lost three of the five members of its Opening Day rotation. Along with Ross, the Brewers are without right-handers Jakob Junis (neck) and DL Hall (knee). Hall just began a rehab assignment and should be back soon. They also lost Wade Miley for the season after the veteran left-hander suffered a torn UCL that required Tommy John surgery.

The rash of injuries has led to Milwaukee moving Bryse Wilson into a starting role after the right-handed opened the season in the bullpen, while right-hander Tobias Myers and left-hander Robert Gasser both got to make their big-league debuts when the Brewers needed to fill holes in their rotation.

In all, Milwaukee has used 10 different starters this season — and 23 pitchers in all.


Photo Credit: © Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports


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