MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers rookie center fielder Garrett Mitchell is at risk of missing the rest of the season after an MRI revealed significant damage to his left shoulder.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell said that Mitchell is getting a second opinion. If Mitchell has to undergo surgery, Counsell said that would “definitely put the rest of the season in jeopardy.”
“It’s kind of a tough pill to swallow,” Mitchell said Friday before the Brewers’ game against the Boston Red Sox. “You’re never expecting to hear news like that. Just trying to stay positive about it.”
Mitchell said he will visit Los Angeles Dodgers head team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache for a consultation. Mitchell remains hopeful he can return later this season, even if he has to undergo surgery.
“If he thinks surgery is the right call, that probably would be on Tuesday,” Mitchell said. “From there, it’s just rehab and see how it goes. Obviously with how the team’s doing, if they make a playoff push, playoff run, hopefully I can try to get back at the end at some point if I can.”
Mitchell was batting .259 with a .307 on-base percentage, .466 slugging percentage, three homers, six RBIs and one steal in 16 games this season. The 2020 first-round pick from UCLA had batted .312 with a .373 on-base percentage, two homers and nine RBIs in 28 games last year after getting promoted late in the season.
The 24-year-old Mitchell hurt his left shoulder while sliding into third base in the top of the 10th inning of the Brewers’ 6-5, 11-inning victory at Seattle on Wednesday.
“Obviously, it’s a freak accident,” Mitchell said. “There’s nothing I could’ve done to change what happened. If I had to redo that play 100 times, I would do it the exact same way. The amount of times I’ve had to dive into a bag is more times than I can count in my career, so I wouldn’t change what I did. It’s unfortunate it happened that way, but I wouldn’t have changed what I did.”
Mitchell stayed in the game for the bottom half of the 10th when the shoulder appeared to bother the right-handed Michell on a throw to the plate. He left the game after that.
“The throw from the outfield wasn’t comfortable, but I don’t think that’s really the reason as to why,” Mitchell said. “I know when I dove into third, I felt my shoulder kind of separate as I was trying to hold on to the bag. That’s where the most pain was. I wouldn’t have changed (the throw) either. I Did everything I could. I didn’t want to get taken out of the game. That was definitely a last resort.”
Mitchell’s injury is particularly worrisome for the Brewers because of their lack of healthy and proven center fielders.
Tyrone Taylor, who made 75 starts for the Brewers in center last season, hasn’t played yet this year due to an injured right elbow. Taylor is scheduled to begin a rehabilitation assignment with the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate in Nashville on Tuesday.
“This is the start of spring training for him, and there’s an injury, so we have to let him play and let him get into playing shape where he’s able to come here and play and has the number of at bats under his belt,” Counsell said.
Center fielder Sal Frelick is one of the Brewers’ top prospects, but he’s on the injured list at Nashville with a sprained left thumb.
Joey Wiemer, a rookie with experience playing every position in the outfield, started at center on Friday. The Brewers also have Blake Perkins, who was promoted from Nashville when Mitchell went on the injured list.