Joe Kelly is back off the disabled list and ready to rejoin the Cardinals’ rotation tonight against the Brewers after missing the past two-plus months with a hamstring injury that was supposed to involve a much speedier recovery.
Kelly made three minor-league rehab starts at Triple-A, throwing 10.1 innings with a 2.61 ERA, but he also had more walks (6) than strikeouts (4) and failed to make it out of the fifth inning in any of the outings. He maxed out at 72 pitches in his most recent Triple-A start, so Kelly may be on a somewhat limited pitch count tonight.
St. Louis’ rotation has been wrecked by injuries and Kelly had a 0.59 ERA in three starts before being shut down, giving him a 2.83 ERA in 34 career starts in addition to his bullpen work.
On Wednesday, the Brewers placed first baseman Eric Thames on the 10-day disabled list with a torn UCL in his left thumb. In a corresponding roster move, the Brewers recalled pitcher Brandon Woodruff from Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Thames, 31, exited Tuesday’s game against the Royals before the bottom of the ninth inning. After the game, manager Craig Counsell expressed concern about his thumb. As MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports, Brewers GM David Stearns says that surgery is likely but not definite, but that he expects Thames to be back for a “significant” portion of the 2018 season.
Thames was hitting quite well for the Brewers, owning a .250/.351/.625 triple-slash line along with seven home runs and 13 RBI in 74 plate appearances. Jesus Aguilar should handle first base while Thames is out. Ryan Braun could also see some action at first base.