Phillips recalled to take Yelich's spot

The Brewers replaced injured outfielder Christian Yelich's left-handed bat with that of Brett Phillips, who was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs in time for the team's series opener against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Monday.

Phillips will be available off the bench Monday night. Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Phillips, a left-handed batter, will most likely start Tuesday against Cardinals righty Carlos Martinez.

There was no need for a corresponding move, because Milwaukee had already optioned reliever Adrian Houser back to Double-A Biloxi following Sunday's 3-0 loss to the Cubs.

"We had an off-day yesterday," Phillips said. "Rick Sweet, our manager, called and with Yelich going on the DL, he said it might be a short stint. But it's something. I'm super blessed to be back in the big leagues."

How long Phillips sticks with the team remains to be seen. Partly by choice and partly because of key injuries to Yelich and closer Corey Knebel that necessitate time on the disabled list, the Brewers have an extremely fluid roster at the moment. Monday marked the fourth straight day that a player was summoned from the Minor Leagues.

Another callup is likely on Tuesday night or Wednesday, when Milwaukee needs a starting pitcher for the series finale against St. Louis. He would work in place of Brandon Woodruff, who was optioned to Triple-A on Saturday because the Brewers needed a fresh reliever.

"You have to prepare yourself to be out of your suitcase so to speak," Counsell said. "And know that you're going to have a little bit of a strained schedule for the season. That's the boat some of these guys are in. In one sense it's challenging from their perspective, but it's also the big leagues and it's also something that when you have a lot of young players with options, you hope you can put together a strong roster every day, and some games it's helpful."

Phillips, Milwaukee's No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline and one of only two 80-grade arms on Top 30 Prospect lists across baseball (Shohei Ohtani is the other), was 1-for-7 with a triple and seven walks to begin the Minor League season. Phillips had a .143 batting average and a .571 on-base percentage through his first four games for the SkySox.

After an outstanding showing in the Major Leagues last September while the Brewers were in the postseason hunt (.934 OPS after Sept. 12), Phillips was the odd man out after Milwaukee added outfielders Yelich and Lorenzo Cain, and he was one of the team's final cuts in Spring Training.

"I know what's expected of me," Phillips said. "Obviously, the atmosphere, last year coming up and getting those first-year flaws and butterflies out of the way was big, so coming up this year I know what to expect."

Also optioned to Triple-A at the end of Spring Training was outfielder Keon Broxton, who had a four-hit game as part of Colorado Springs' Opening Day doubleheader and owned a 1.115 OPS in his first 16 Minor League plate appearances. Broxton, though, is a right-handed hitter, and the Brewers' outfield sans Yelich consists of all righties: Ryan Braun, Cain and Domingo Santana.

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