The Milwaukee Brewers have no way of knowing if their extensive use of their bullpen deep into October last season contributed in any way to the injuries that will land workhorses Jeremy Jeffress and Corey Knebel on the injured list to begin the 2019 season.
For one thing, the injuries are completely different, and one was pre-existing.
Jeremy Jeffress experienced shoulder weakness in the middle of camp and was shut down, placed on a strengthening program and recently progressed to throwing bullpen sessions with the hope of returning to action before the end of April.
The immediate future is more uncertain for Corey Knebel, who suffered an issue with the ulnar collateral ligament in is elbow recently and currently is gathering medical opinions to decide a course of action. Knebel had been pitching with a slight tear in the UCL since 2015 but aggravated it during camp and could face Tommy John surgery, which would sideline him for a year.
Jeffress and Knebel were big parts of a bullpen that led the way to the NL Central crown and pushed the Brewers within a game of the World Series. Knebel pitched 25 times after Sept. 1, including nine postseason appearances, and Jeffress added eight outings in October to his workload after a career-high 73 during the regular season.