Butler replaces injured DiFelice

Mark DiFelice may avoid another shoulder surgery, but he couldn’t avoid a season-ending trip to the disabled list.

The team placed DiFelice on the 60-day DL with the strained right shoulder he suffered on Sunday in Arizona and purchased the contract of another right-hander, Josh Butler, a bright spot in the Brewers’ thin stable of pitching prospects.

Butler, 24, would have been added to the 40-man roster this winter, anyway, because the Brewers would not have risked exposing him to the Rule 5 Draft. Now he’ll get a brief taste of the big leagues before reporting next month to the Arizona Fall League.

In 24 games this season for three Milwaukee afiliates, including 23 starts, Butler was 9-3 with a 2.97 ERA. He missed about a month in the middle of the season with a rib-cage injury but was at his best for Double-A Huntsville, where the 6-foot-5 Californian went 2-1 with a 2.85 ERA and 33 strikeouts versus 13 walks in eight starts.

The Brewers acquired Butler last April in a trade that sent outfield Gabe Gross to the Rays. He will wear No. 62 beginning Tuesday night, when the Brewers and Cubs continue a four-game series. 

DiFelice meanwhile, is done for the year after posting a 3.66 ERA in 59 games. He tweaked his surgically-repaired shoulder on a Ball 4 offering to D-backs pitcher Max Scherzer on Sunday and worried that he had re-torn his labrum, an injury that sent DiFelice to the surgeon’s table following the 2001 season and might have been career-threatening had he suffered it again. An MRI scan on Monday in Milwaukee revealed only “wear and tear,” DiFelice said Monday at Wrigley Field.

With less than three weeks left in the season, Brewers officials apparently determined that DiFelice would not have enough time to return.

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