MILWAUKEE — After having his most recent turn in the rotation skipped due to a injured right ankle, right-hander Kyle Lohse will start for the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday in San Diego against the Padres.
Lohse threw a bullpen session Friday afternoon and reported no issues from an ankle injury that caused him to be pulled in the third inning in Chicago on Aug. 13.
"Went good," Lohse said of his bullpen session. "I was able to throw everything that I needed to. Back to pretty much normal. Was able to get the push and balance that I needed that I wasn’t able to get. I was just adjusting pitch to pitch, compensating with my upper body. It’s all good."
As durable as they come, Lohse missed just one start in 2013 when he was battling elbow soreness in May. The 35-year-old has only been on the disabled list three times in his career, with two of them directly related to a rare condition in his right forearm which required surgery in 2010.
Taking the ball every five days is something Lohse takes pride in and works hard to be able to maintain in his 14th year in the big leagues.
"You do all that work in between starts and in the offseason to maintain that strength and durability," Lohse said. "Some of it is genetic too, I’m sure, but my mechanics are clean and don’t put too much stress (on his arm). I’m out there pitching not throwing. I think that helps too."
Lohse had the right ankle injury first pop up on him while pitching in St. Louis on Aug. 2. while retrieving a second-inning throwing error from left fielder Gerardo Parra. Unable to push off on his right ankle, Lohse allowed nine runs (seven earned) in four innings.
He was able to gut out six innings and allow just one run in a victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers six days later but aggravated the injury while checking a swing in his start at Wrigley Field against the Cubs.
If Lohse pitches every five games the rest of the way, he’ll finish with 32 starts for the second consecutive season.
"I just know this next one coming up is a big one," Lohse said. "Every one after that is going to be big. That’s what you want. You want to be out there answering the bell."
A pair of off days allowed the Brewers to skip Lohse’s turn without needing a replacement, as Jimmy Nelson and Mike Fiers will each be bumped back a day and will pitch the final two games of the Padres series.
Garza moving along: Brewers right-hander Matt Garza has a bullpen session tentatively scheduled for Sunday as he begins his road back to the rotation from a strained left oblique.
If all goes well Sunday, Garza would throw another bullpen session before going out for a rehab outing in the minor leagues. As of now, the right-hander is on track to return to Milwaukee sometime during the first week of September.
"We’re getting back there," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Garza, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 5.
Whenever Garza does return, the Brewers will have a decision to make as to who to send to the bullpen from the rotation. The two candidates are Fiers and Nelson, though both are currently pitching well at the back end of Milwaukee’s rotation.