The Brewers announced that outfielder Garrett Mitchell has been activated from the 60-day injured list. In the corresponding move, third baseman/outfielder Brian Anderson was designated for assignment.
Mitchell’s official return to the active roster has been expected for a couple of days, after he rejoined the Brewers upon the completion of the Triple-A season. The outfielder played in only 16 games in April before undergoing shoulder surgery, leaving some doubt to whether or not Mitchell would even make it back before the end of the 2023 campaign. Fortunately, Mitchell was able to start a Triple-A rehab assignment earlier this month, and played in eight games in the minors.
The 25-year-old figures to get a bit more time to ramp up over the Brewers’ last few games of the regular season, as Milwaukee has locked up the NL Central title and the third seed in the NL bracket. This gives the Brew Crew some extra time to rest some regulars and figures out who might make the cut for the playoff roster before the start of the Wild Card Series on October 3.
The 20th overall pick of the 2020 draft, Mitchell made his MLB debut last season and was expected to see regular action this year, even beginning 2023 as Milwaukee’s Opening Day center fielder. Mitchell naturally still figures into the Brewers’ future plans, and what might’ve been an entirely lost season for the younger can be salvaged if he can play a role in any postseason success. Mitchell likely won’t be line for regular duty ahead of Blake Perkins or Sal Frelick in center field, but he could contribute off the bench as defensive or pinch-running depth. With Mitchell as an additional outfield option, the Brewers could use then use Mark Canha more regularly at first base or DH rather than in the outfield corners.
While Anderson’s DFA doesn’t technically rule him out of contention for the postseason roster if he clears waivers and is then eventually re-added to the 40-man roster, the writing has seemed to be on the wall that Anderson isn’t in the Brewers’ plans. His start in yesterday’s game marked his first time in the lineup since August 22, and he has played in only 11 games total since returning from a 10-day IL stint on August 3.
The Marlins non-tendered Anderson last offseason after a pair of injury-riddled down years, and the Brewers signed him to a one-year, $3.5MM deal in the hopes of a bounce-back. The experiment seemed to be working great in the first few weeks of the season, but Anderson quickly faded after that hot start, and he has a .226/.310/.368 slash line and nine home runs over 361 plate appearances while seeing a lot of action at third base and in right field.
Andruw Monasterio essentially took over the starting third base job after the All-Star break, though his own struggles led the Brewers to make the low-cost signing of Josh Donaldson on a minor league deal. Donaldson hasn’t been overly impressive since joining the active roster, though his .191/.296/.447 slash line in 54 PA in a Brewers uniform is at least better than the .659 OPS he posted in 120 PA with the Yankees. With Anderson now likely out of the picture, the Brewers look to be using Donaldson as their chief third base option for the postseason, with Monasterio perhaps acting as a utility infielder backing up Donaldson, shortstop Willy Adames, and second baseman Brice Turang. Canha, Carlos Santana, and Rowdy Tellez are the first base/DH options.