MILWAUKEE — The way Brewers center fielder Garrett Mitchell has been feeling the past few days, he expected an MRI of his injured left shoulder to reveal good news. But Mitchell and the ball club got the opposite.
Mitchell, injured in a dive into third base in Tuesday’s extra inning victory at Seattle, has significant damage to the labrum of his non-throwing shoulder and faces likely season-ending surgery. First, he will get a second opinion on Monday in Los Angeles from Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who could complete the repair as early as Tuesday.
“With what I felt and what I found out, (these are) kind of two different things,” Mitchell said. “I don’t feel so bad, but from what I’ve heard it’s obviously not good. Right now, I don’t really know how exactly I feel yet, but I’m just trying to stay positive.
While the surgery would “definitely jeopardize the rest of the season,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said, Mitchell wasn’t ready to shut the door on playing during a postseason spurt, or during the post-season itself if the team went that far. The 24-year-old started the season as Milwaukee’s No. 4 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, before leaving prospect status the same day he was successful twice in a win over the Mets. Mitchell was slashing .259 / .307 / .466 in 62 plate appearances.
It was a stroke of luck that knocked him out. Mitchell started the 10th inning of Tuesday’s Brewers-Mariners game as a runner at second base and took third on a bouncer at first. Seattle’s Ty France made a quick throw on the third, and Mitchell dodged the tag by diving in front of the bag with his left arm outstretched, then dashing back to safety with his right.
In the process, he felt his left shoulder briefly pop out of his socket. Mitchell underwent range-of-motion and strength tests at the end of the half-inning and returned to center field, but felt the sensation again when he caught a fly ball and threw it at the end of the 10th. At that point, he quit the game.
“Obviously it’s a freak accident,” Mitchell said. “There is nothing I could have done to change what happened. If I had to redo this game 100 times, I would do it exactly the same way. The number of times I’ve had to dive into a bag is more times than I can count in my career, so I wouldn’t change what I did. It’s unfortunate that it happened like that, but I wouldn’t have changed what I did.
Asked what lies ahead, Counsell said: “You just have to get through rehab, get better, push yourself through a tough summer when these things happen, and then he’ll be back to normal and good to go.
The Brewers’ No. 3 prospect and rookie Joey Wiemer made their second straight start in center field on Friday and are expected to carry most of the load there in the short term. Blake Perkins, called up Wednesday when Mitchell landed on the 10-day disabled list, is also considered a more than capable outfielder at center.
Future options include Tyrone Taylor, who has been sidelined since the start of spring training with a right elbow injury but is in his first week of games in extended spring camp . If all goes well, he would move on to Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday.
“It’s the start of spring training for him, and there’s an injury, so we have to let him play and let him get in shape where he can come here and play and has the number of bats to his liking. active,” says Counsell. “There isn’t a number, but he won’t play two games in Nashville.”
Another minor league option is Brewers No. 2 prospect Sal Frelick, but he got his left thumb stuck in a slip the same night Mitchell went down. Triple-A Nashville placed Frelick on the seven-day IL and he was in Milwaukee Thursday to be checked out and get an MRI himself. Mitchell and Frelick passed each other on their way to their dates.
Frelick’s results were still pending Friday afternoon.
“Joey played all three positions; he spends a lot of time in center field,” Mitchell said. “He will be fine. The organization, all the fans, everyone should be happy, excited for him. He will do a good job. »