Marco Estrada’s first-inning double yesterday extended the Brewers’ lead to 6-0, but the Milwaukee starter couldn’t stick around to benefit from the run support because he suffered a quadriceps injury on the play and immediately exited the game.
Estrada has been diagnosed with a strained quadriceps–not a hip injury, as initially reported–and general manager Doug Melvin said during a radio interview this morning that the team expects him to miss at least 3-4 starts.
Estrada is only in the rotation to begin with because of Chris Narveson’s season-ending shoulder surgery, so the Brewers are thin on starter reinforcements and it’s unclear yet who’ll take his spot. If they opt against promoting a prospect from the minors moving Manny Parra from the bullpen to the rotation could be the plan.
Through five starts Estrada had a 4.97 ERA and 25/4 K/BB ratio in 29 innings.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.