Garrett Mitchell injury: Brewers' center fielder to open 2024 season on Injured List with fractured left hand

The Milwaukee Brewers will be without one of their most dynamic players to start the regular season. Center fielder Garrett Mitchell has a fracture in his left hand and will open the season on the injured list, manager Pat Murphy announced Monday (per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Mitchell suffered the injury when he was jammed on a swing over the weekend.

Mitchell, the No. 20 pick in the 2020 draft, is a career .278/.343/.452 hitter with five home runs and nine stolen bases over 47 big league games. Shoulder surgery limited Mitchell to only 19 games last season — 16 before surgery and three after — and now the hand injury will sideline him to open the 2024 season. He’ll see a specialist to determine a timetable for his return.

The Brewers are loaded with outfielders, so much so that Sal Frelick was expected to spend at least some time at third base this year. Mitchell’s injury figures to push Frelick back into the outfield full-time with Joey Ortiz, who came over in the Corbin Burnes trade, taking over at third base. Murphy’s regular lineup could look like this:

  1. CF Sal Frelick
  2. C William Contreras
  3. LF Christian Yelich
  4. 1B Rhys Hoskins
  5. SS Willy Adames
  6. DH Gary Sánchez
  7. RF Jackson Chourio
  8. 2B Brice Turang
  9. 3B Joey Ortiz

Frelick played plenty of right field last year and Chourio came up through the minors as a center fielder, though Chourio has played right field primarily in the final days of spring training, and is likely to begin the season there. Either way, with Frelick or Chourio, the Brewers will have a strong defender in center. Joey Wiemer, another strong defender, is ticketed for Triple-A.

In addition to Mitchell, the Brewers will also be without closer Devin Williams (stress fractures in his back) and lefty Wade Miley (shoulder soreness). Williams is expected to miss at least three months. Stalwart Brandon Woodruff will miss the season following shoulder surgery as well.

Milwaukee went 92-70 and won the NL Central for the second time in three years last season, though they were quickly swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Wild Card Series. Longtime manager Craig Counsell joined the division rival Chicago Cubs in the offseason.

The Brewers will be in New York to face the Mets on Opening Day this Thursday.

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