The Brewers will have to attempt to win the NL Central without relievers Tyler Thornburg and Jim Henderson. MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that both are done for the season: Thornburg with a right elbow injury, and Henderson with a right shoulder injury. McCalvy adds that Thornburg had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow, and that Henderson may need to undergo surgery on his shoulder.
Per McCalvy, neither player suffered a setback; they simply weren’t making any progress coming back from their injuries.
Thornburg put up mediocre numbers before landing on the disabled list in June, compiling a 4.25 ERA and a 28/21 K/BB ratio in 29 2/3 innings. Henderson was worse, posting a 7.15 ERA with a 17/4 K/BB ratio in 11 1/3 innings prior to being put on the DL in early May.
The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.
The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.
Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.