Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress landed unexpectedly on the 10-day injured list Sunday with a left hip injury that he said has been bothering him over the past week.
The Brewers called up fellow right-hander Ray Black to replace Jeffress, who reported discomfort the morning after a 2 1/3-innings outing against the Nationals on Aug. 17. He has pitched twice since then and felt discomfort after leaving the mound each time.
“It’s not something I feel as I’m pitching. It’s the next day; stiffness and kind of tight. It just hasn’t gotten better,” Jeffress said. “After I pitched twice, I feel like it hasn’t gotten better, so I told the trainers I wanted to nip it in the bud and get ready for the most important part of the season, which is the back half of September.”
Is he hopeful of a minimum 10-day stint?
“I can’t predict the future,” Jeffress said. “I know if I keep throwing on it and not treating it, it’s going to get worse. I feel like, ‘Give me the time I need and get it back right.’
“I’m getting old for sure. It’s just part of pitching, man. Part of being an athlete. Wear and tear is part of the season. All the intensity that I’m using in my body, using different muscles throughout the season because you tweak your mechanics and stuff like that.”
It has been a trying season for Jeffress, who a year ago was as valuable, if not moreso, than left-handed relief ace Josh Hader. Whether it was a toll from a career-high 73 appearances during the 2018 regular season plus eight more during Jeffress’ tumultuous postseason, or the impact of the tightly-wound baseballs which have affected a number of pitchers who use split-fingered fastballs, or simply the ups and downs associated with relief pitchers, he has not been the same pitcher in ‘19.