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Brewers Notes: Megill, Uribe, Quero, Mitchell

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Brewers right-hander Trevor Megill was placed on the 7-day concussion list this morning, the team announced. Right-hander J.B. Bukauskas is up from Triple-A Nashville to take his spot on the roster. The injury occurred in bizarre and frightening fashion, per Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (X link) Megill contracted food poisoning last weekend and in the aftermath felt light-headed, fainted and wound up suffering a concussion when his 6’8″ frame dropped to the ground.

It’s another tough loss for a Milwaukee bullpen that’s without closer Devin Williams for at least the next couple months. Megill, 30, was an unheralded acquisition by the Brewers last offseason who’s tossed 36 2/3 innings with a 3.44 ERA with a massive 35% strikeout rate against a solid 8.3% walk rate. With Williams sidelined, Megill, Joel Payamps and young flamethrower Abner Uribe were slated for significant late-inning work in first-year skipper Pat Murphy’s bullpen.

The Brewers didn’t provide a timetable for Megill’s return, which is plenty understandable given the nature of his injury. Concussions are difficult to predict, and the severity can vary greatly. Even ostensibly minor concussions can have lingering effects that impact a player for extended periods of time.

In Bukauskas, the Brewers will turn a bullpen spot over to a 27-year-old former top prospect whom they acquired off waivers early in the 2023 season. He pitched six shutout innings for Milwaukee last year but carries a 5.92 ERA in a tiny sample of 24 1/3 big league innings. Rough as that may look, Bukauskas also logged a 2.92 ERA, 26.8% strikeout rate and 6.4% walk rate in 37 Triple-A frames for the Brewers last year, and he fanned 16 of his 41 spring opponents (39%) en route to a 3.72 ERA. There’s plenty of uncertainty in the final few spots of the Brewer bullpen, so it stands to reason that with a strong first impression, Bukauskas could potentially carve out a role for himself. He’s controllable for another five seasons if he’s able to do so.

Megill’s injury will only further open the door for the 23-year-old Uribe to establish himself as a viable high-leverage option. He’s 3-for-3 in save opportunities on the young season and, dating back to last year’s MLB debut, carries a 1.87 ERA and 29.9% strikeout rate in 33 2/3 innings. Command is an issue for Uribe, who’s walked 15.3% of his opponents, plunked a hitter and unleashed six wild pitches in his young career. However, he’s also averaged 99.4 mph on his blazing sinker and induced grounders at a hearty 53.4% clip, showing clear late-inning promise.

The Journal-Sentinel’s Todd Rosiak spoke to Uribe and his teammates about the impressive young righty’s rise to meaningful late-inning work. “I live for it,” Uribe said of pitching in adrenaline-charged scenarios like the save situations he’s encountered thus far. Murphy tells Rosiak he’s been impressed with the right-hander’s demeanor despite his youth, noting that Uribe “has learned so far and really kept his emotions under control and focused on his task.”

Payamps has picked up one save in the Brewers’ first four wins of the year as well, but it seems Uribe will be the preferred option for ninth-inning work while Williams and Megill mend. Presumably, when Williams is able to return, Uribe will slide back down into a setup role. It’s always possible the command struggles will flare up and lead to a particularly rough patch, but at least this far in his young career, Uribe looks the part of a legitimate late-inning arm who can stick at the MLB level. If that’s indeed the case, Milwaukee can control him all the way through the 2029 season and he won’t be arb-eligible until after the 2026 campaign.

Elsewhere in the organization, the Brew Crew is still in the early stages of navigating a shoulder injury for touted catching prospect Jeferson Quero. The 21-year-old suffered the injury in Nashville’s season opener, and GM Matt Arnold this week announced that Quero has been diagnosed with a subluxation in his right shoulder (link via Adam McCalvy of MLB.com). He’s had one MRI and is receiving a second opinion to determine the severity of the issue and get a clear sense of his rehab plan. The Brewers haven’t announced a timetable for his return or whether surgery might be required.

Quero is widely regarded not only as one of the Brewers’ best prospects but the best prospects in all of baseball, landing on top-100 lists at The Athletic (No. 12), ESPN (No. 32), Baseball America (No. 33), MLB.com (No. 35), Baseball Prospectus (No. 38) and FanGraphs (No. 40). The Athletic’s Keith Law calls Quero a likely plus defender behind the plate with the potential for 20-homer power during his prime years.

Quero spent the 2023 season as one of the youngest players in Double-A but more than held his own against older, more advanced competition. In 381 plate appearances, he slashed .262/.339/.440 (107 wRC+) with an impressive 10% walk rate against a lower-than-average 17.8% strikeout rate.

In better injury news, McCalvy tweets that outfielder Garrett Mitchell is on a timeline of four to six weeks to return from the fractured finger in his left hand, which is thus far healing as expected. The 25-year-old has gotten brief looks in the outfield in each of the past two seasons, posting a combined .278/.343/.452 slash (119 wRC+) with five homers and nine steals. It’s very strong production, but those numbers are also propped up by a wildly unsustainable .441 average on balls in play and mask a more ominous 38.3% strikeout rate. It’s only 141 plate appearances, but Mitchell will eventually need to significantly cut back on the strikeouts if he’s to carve out a long-term role in Milwaukee’s outfield.





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