Posted on June 1, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine

Milwaukee Brewers Zach Davies

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The Milwaukee Brewers may sit atop the NL Central, but they continue to battle injuries to their pitching staff. Zach Davies is once again being sidelined with an injury. Davies was placed on the 10-day DL Friday because of an inflamed rotator cuff It’s his second trip to the DL this season for a shoulder problem.

Davies was previously placed on the DL in early May. He was on the shelf for three weeks before coming back. But after two rather lackluster starts, Davies is heading right back to the DL with no timetable for his return.

“Everything hasn’t felt great the last couple games starting back,” Davies said earlier this week. “But you’re at the top level, you’ve got to find some time.”

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In his first start back from the DL, Davies lasted just four innings. He gave up four runs on six hits and took the loss against the Mets. He started again this past Tuesday against the Cardinals and continued to struggle. Davies allowed five runs on eight hits over five innings, once again taking the loss while complaining of shoulder soreness.

Heading into the season, the Brewers expected Davies to help lead their rotation. He went 17-9 with a 3.90 ERA last season, supplanting himself as a key part of Milwaukee’s pitching staff. However, Davies got off to a rough start, posting a 6.75 ERA over his first three starts. He appeared to turn things around toward the end of April. But that was before his first stint on the DL.

After his start against the Cardinals, Brewers manager Craig Counsell acknowledged that Davies hasn’t been himself in his last two starts. But he also said he didn’t think his struggles were related to his shoulder. Nevertheless, the Brewers will give him more time to rest his shoulder in hopes that he’ll be able to get back on track later this season. But how much time he’ll be on the DL this time around is unclear at the moment.

In the meantime, the Brewers are poised to carry on with a four-man rotation. With several off days coming up, Milwaukee won’t need a fifth starter until June 12. Davies would be eligible to come off the DL by then. But it seems unlikely the Brewers would rush him back that quickly.

The Brewers are also without starters Jimmy Nelson and Wade Miley, who are also on the DL. Miley won’t return until after the all-star break while Nelson is slowly working his way back from offseason surgery and shouldn’t be expected to return anytime soon.

Despite the injuries to their rotation, the Brewers began Friday with a fairly comfortable four-game lead atop the NL Central. Milwaukee’s rotation has been middle of the pack at best this year, in part because Davies hasn’t been himself. Fortunately for the Brewers, the team’s bullpen is the best in the National League, helping to make up for a lackluster rotation. However, the Brewers may need more out of their rotation if they expect to hold their lead in the division. Davies continuing to struggle amidst shoulder problems certainly doesn’t help.

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