Riske hurt; Swindle on his way up

The Brewers placed reliever David Riske on the 15-day disabled list today with a tight right elbow and called-up lefty R.J. Swindle, who will join the team in time for the start of a three-game series against the Mets at new Citi Field.

What stood out to me about the Brewers’ announcement was that Riske traveled with the team to New York this afternoon but will fly across the country on Monday to visit Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles for a second opinion. I haven’t covered too many pitchers over the years who traveled to see the renowned Yocum and ended up with nothing more serious than tightness in his elbow. Eric Gagne saw him earlier this spring, but he had “some pathology” in his shoulder, as Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash explained it. In other words, there was more going on in the joint than inflammation.

Riske had surgery last fall to remove a bone spur from his elbow but said this spring, even while allowing at least one run in nine of his 11 Spring Training games, that he felt physically fine. He’s in the second season of a three-year contract that once again illustrates the risks associated with awarding multi-year deals to pitchers.

Hopefully, rest and rehab will be enough. Riske could be a very key member of the bullpen this season if he gets healthy.  

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