Brewers place ace Corbin Burnes on IL with undisclosed injury

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The Milwaukee Brewers have placed starting pitcher Corbin Burnes on the injured list. The team provided no further details. They also placed right-handed pitcher Zack Godley on the injured list, and specified him going on the “10-day injured list” with a right index finger contusion. There were no days or an injury attached to Burnes, which means his IL stint is likely COVID-related. 

Further adding to the case there is that Brewers manager Craig Counsell was asked about Burnes before the game and said he couldn’t discuss it. Teams aren’t allowed to discuss COVID-related issues on players without permission, so this all lines up. 

If this is COVID-related, it’s possible Burnes takes his next turn in the rotation (Sunday), since there’s no minimum injured-list stint for cases relating to COVID. Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez, for example, was on the injured list for one day earlier this season and was activated and back in the lineup the very next day. 

Burnes, 26, has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season and even looping back to include last season, when he finished sixth in NL Cy Young voting in a crowded field. So far this year, he has a 1.53 ERA, 0.55 WHIP and 49 strikeouts without a walk in 29 1/3 innings. He’s already set the record for most strikeouts without a walk to start the season among starting pitchers and he’s two off the record (Kenley Jansen, 2017) for any pitcher

If Burnes does have to miss his next start, the Brewers are in a bit of a mess. Starters Brett Anderson and Godley are on the injured list with long reliever and possible spot-starter Josh Lindblom joining them. Eric Lauer has been plugged into the rotation behind Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta and Adrian Houser. Perhaps they’d do something like use lefty Brent Suter — who can get length — as the opener for a bullpen game? 

For now, the Brewers will hope Burnes is good to go pretty quickly. 

The Brewers head to Thursday night’s series opener against the Dodgers at 14-10, holding a 1 1/2 game lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central. 

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