Brewers' starting pitching depth takes another hit as DL Hall is lost to a sprained knee

ST. LOUIS – DL Hall won't take his next turn in the Milwaukee Brewers rotation, manager Pat Murphy said Sunday morning.

But the decision is medically based rather than performance based.

Murphy divulged the left-hander sprained his left knee fielding a bunt in the second inning of a 12-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Saturday. Hall was put on the 15-day injured list Sunday and the Brewers recalled left-handed reliever Jared Koenig from Class AAA Nashville.

Hall didn't reveal the knee injury until a postgame discussion with Murphy, and a subsequent examination revealed the severity.

"Maybe you guys saw it, on the bunt yesterday in the second inning," Murphy said. "The bottom line is, if you watch the video, you'll see him his knee flip out and his velocity tick down even more after that. And so, in talking to him about his outing, he mentioned that he just didn't want to make excuses.

"We had to check it out and he's got damage on both sides like, medial collateral (ligament). They don't know how serious, but obviously serious enough to not go forward right now."

DL Hall was placed on the injured list Sunday with a sprained left knee.
DL Hall was placed on the injured list Sunday with a sprained left knee.

Hall is 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA and WHIP of 2.27 through four starts, a performance almost nobody expected from the big-time prospect acquired from the Baltimore Orioles in the Corbin Burnes trade.

But at the very least, he was taking the ball every fifth day – something that can't be taken for granted on a team that's already seen eight different pitchers start a game only 20 games into the season.

"I'm waiting for you guys to come up with the percentage of the likelihood of this many pitchers going down," Murphy joked.

Now, Milwaukee's depth, which took an additional hit when the team traded right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez to Boston for cash Thursday, will be challenged even further.

The most likely candidate to take Hall's next scheduled turn in Pittsburgh on Thursday would be long reliever Bryse Wilson, who's been valuable out of the Brewers' bullpen the past couple seasons due to his versatility.

Left-handed prospect Robert Gasser, who had been sidelined with a bone spur in his elbow, is also nearing a return to pitching for Nashville and could be another candidate to keep an eye on depending on how he feels and performs upon his return.

No doubt, the Brewers also are scouring the possibilities externally with an eye on a potential veteran pickup. They did acquire right-hander Corbin Martin off waivers April 14. He has 10 starts among his 17 major-league appearances.

Possibilities on the 40-man roster are Janson Junk, Aaron Ashby and Tobias Myers.

"One of the things (the front office) has done is find guys, somehow," Murphy said. "And these kids end up being pretty good. I think that they're going to be pushed to their limit because we're banged up.

"There's so many that we were counting on to start the season. Some of them are on the mend, so hopefully we get some of them back."

Koenig pitched in consecutive games for the Brewers last Tuesday and Wednesday and then was optioned to Nashville.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Brewers starting pitcher DL Hall on injured list with sprained knee