Injuries keep biting Brewers veterans. The latest to go down is catcher Gregg Zaun, who suffered a strained right shoulder in Thursday’s win over the Pirates and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday.
Zaun is expected to be replaced before an Interleague Series against the Twins by Triple-A Nashville’s Jonathan Lucroy, a 23-year-old considered Milwaukee’s top catching prospect in lieu of Angel Salome’s recent personal problems. Unlike Salome, Lucroy is not on the Brewers’ full 40-man roster, so a corresponding move will be necessary to free him a spot.
Zaun, meanwhile, will travel back to Milwaukee to see Brewers doctors.
“They’re going to send me home to have it looked at and we’ll figure out what’s what when we get there,” Zaun said.
Zaun’s shoulder has not been right since a home plate collision with Washington’s Ian Desmond in mid-April. He developed what he described as a “knot” in the joint which led to some embarrassing throwing problems in an April 26 game against the Pirates, but had overcome the injury with regular treatment.
He tweaked the shoulder on a swinging strike in the second inning on Thursday, a few pitches before Zaun was struck on the left hand by a pitch that also struck the handle of his bat. A few pitches after that, Zaun managed to hit a run-scoring groundout that brought the team to within a run of the Pirates at 3-2 in an eventual 4-3 win. Zaun was replaced the next half-inning by George Kottaras, who figures to see regular duty behind the plate in Zaun’s absence.
Adding Lucroy to the 40-man roster could complicate the other addition being mulled by Brewers officials, who were poised Thursday to add left-handed relief prospect Zach Braddock to a big league bullpen undergoing a facelift in recent days. Braddock is also not on the 40-man roster.
The Brewers will likely make the moves official by midday Friday.