For the second time in a week the Brewers have lost an everyday player to a torn ACL.
First baseman Mat Gamel will miss the remainder of the season after blowing out his knee on May 2 and now shortstop Alex Gonzalez has been diagnosed with a torn ACL suffered Saturday.
Season-ending surgery is likely, but the Brewers announced that Gonzalez will rest for a week before making an official decision. As a 35-year-old whose hitting isn’t good enough to keep him in the majors if his range and athleticism decline Gonzalez could be facing the end of his career.
Cesar Izturis will take over as Milwaukee’s starting shortstop and like Gonzalez his value is almost all dependent on defense, as the 32-year-old hasn’t topped a .650 OPS since 2004 and missed most of last season with elbow and groin injuries.
And at some point soon the Brewers will probably be in the market for a first baseman and a shortstop.
The Pirates are officially shutting down Chris Archer for the season, GM Neal Huntington revealed Sunday. It’s more of a formality than anything else, but, as the Pirates are currently out of postseason contention, there seems to be no point in forcing the right-hander to accelerate his recovery from right shoulder inflammation.
Archer, 30, sustained the injury in late August and was initially projected to return sometime during September. He’s been throwing from flat ground over the last several weeks, but there had been no indication that he was ready to resume starting duties for the club. He’ll end his 2019 run with a 3-9 record in 23 starts and a 5.19 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 10.8 SO/9, and 0.7 fWAR across 119 2/3 innings pitched; not his worst performance to date, but a considerable step down from the sub-5.00 ERA and 2.6 fWAR he posted with the Rays and Pirates in 2018.
With two weeks left in the regular season, the Pirates will soon wrap up their fourth consecutive non-contending campaign. Following Saturday’s brutal 14-1 loss to the Cubs, they were mathematically eliminated from postseason qualification. They last reached the playoffs in 2015, though it’s been six years since they advanced past the wild card tiebreaker and 27 years since they advanced past the Division Series.