Preview: Brewers vs. Braves
MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee’s Brent Suter will not start as scheduled Saturday when the Brewers continue their four-game series with the Atlanta Braves at Miller Park.
The left-hander was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday with a strained left forearm, an issue he first reported after his last outing when he gave up five runs over five innings against the Reds on Monday.
Suter worked with the team’s medical staff over the last week but the issue didn’t resolve itself as they had hoped, so the decision was made to give the 28-year-old a break.
“We saw the doc and he was like, ‘Let’s just skip a start,'” Suter said. “It’s disappointing, for sure, but I’ll try to come back stronger. Our team is gelling so well right now that you want to be a part of it.”
Though forearm strains are often a precursor to significantly more serious issues, manager Craig Counsell was confident that the move was more precautionary than anything else and that Suter’s absence would be brief.
“You’re always cautious when a pitcher has a forearm injury, but at this point it’s a minor injury,” Counsell said. “I think it’s important we don’t let it become something big. That’s why we’re putting him on the DL.”
In 18 appearances this season, including a pair of relief outings, Suter is 8-5 with a 4.53 ERA. He allowed nine runs over his last two starts but was on a roll before that, going 6-1 with a 3.12 ERA in seven starts from May 18 to June 21.
“I was trying my best not to miss a start all year,” Suter said. “That was my No. 1 goal coming into the season, so it’s disappointing that way. But I’ve got to listen to the docs. They know what they’re talking about.”
With Suter out, the Brewers plan to recall right-hander Aaron Wilkerson from Triple-A Colorado Springs Saturday morning and send him to the mound Saturday afternoon.
Wilkerson, 29, reported to spring training with a chance at cracking Milwaukee’s Opening Day rotation but was optioned to Colorado Springs, where he was 2-2 with a 2.08 ERA in eight appearances, including seven starts, after opening the season on the disabled list.
Wilkerson was called up last weekend and worked three innings of relief against the Reds on Sunday, giving up five runs and taking the loss in his only major league appearance of the season. He was sent back to Colorado Springs the next day when the team promoted infielder Nate Orf.
“He’s on line and he’s ready to go,” Counsell said of Wilkerson, who will be starting in the big leagues for the first time since since the 2017 season finale, when he held the Cardinals to a run on two hits over seven innings, striking out five.
While Wilkerson gets his first start of the year, Braves right-hander Anibal Sanchez takes the ball for the 10th time in what’s been a pleasantly surprising season.
The veteran right-hander brings a 3-2 record and sparking 2.89 ERA into the contest and went 2-2 with a 2.48 mark in five June starts. His last outing in June was cut short by a sore calf, but he took his next turn on schedule, allowing three runs over six innings against the Yankees on Monday.
“Every day that I come here, I feel a blessing,” Sanchez told the Atlanta Journal Constitution before that outing. “I feel blessed to be here because I know how tough the offseason was for most of the players my age. I signed with the Twins, got released, got an opportunity here with another team that I liked. To be able to be in that position right now, with a team whose expectation was different than where we are right now.
“Now, for me, every outing is a challenge. I want to pitch for the team. I want to win for the team. I want to keep the team in first place. I want to be able to be healthy the rest of the season and help the team the most that I can and make the playoffs.”
Sanchez is 2-2 with a 6.37 ERA in eight career starts against the Brewers, but he has not faced them since 2015.
Prior to their loss Friday night, the Braves were the only team in baseball to lose no more than three games in a row this season. Their four-game losing streak is the longest since dropping six in a row September 25-30 of last season.