The Milwaukee Brewers will host the Chicago White Sox in their belated home opener Monday after a four-day break.
The St. Louis Cardinals suffered a COVID-19 outbreak late last week, forcing the postponement of their weekend series with the Brewers at Miller Park. So the Brewers haven’t played since Wednesday, when they wrapped up a 3-3 road trip with a 3-0 victory at Pittsburgh.
“We’ll do the best we can with it,” Brewers reliever Brent Suter told reporters. “It’s already a bit of adversity. We’re trying to stay physically and mentally locked in, as best we can. It’s a challenge but I think we’re up for it.”
Meanwhile, the White Sox have won four straight games — by the combined score of 27-9 — after starting their season 1-4.
“Pitchers have to be very careful when they are pitching against us,” first baseman Jose Abreu told MLB.com, through an interpreter. “From 1 to 9, we can do damage. It’s definitely a good feeling. It’s definitely a good thing to be part of this lineup and to have other guys who can contribute.”
The Brewers are expected to start Brett Anderson, who would be making his 2020 debut and who is 1-1 with a 4.21 ERA in six career starts against the White Sox.
The White Sox will start left-hander Carlos Rodon (0-1, 12.27 ERA), who delivered an uneven performance in his return from Tommy John surgery. He allowed five earned runs over 3 2/3 innings against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday in his first game since May 1, 2019.
Rodon was a bit tentative early on against the Indians.
“The big thing was just continue to attack,” White Sox catcher James McCann said after that game. “First live game against an opponent, he got into a better attack mode as the game went on. Even in the inning he got pulled, he attacked the strike zone and used all three of his pitches.”
This will be Rodon’s first appearance against the Brewers. He is 4-6 with a 5.78 ERA in 12 interleague games.
The Brewers must adjust to the loss of outfielders Ryan Braun, who went on the 10-day injured list with an infected finger, and Lorenzo Cain, who opted out of the season.
“We were going to have a really good season out of (Cain), so we will miss that,” Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “We will miss the energy. We’re also looking forward to getting him back for what we hope will be a full and complete season in 2021.”
Fourth outfielder Ben Gamel will become the regular center fielder and outfielder Keon Broxton could rejoin the club as a defensive specialist.
“This provides a really nice opportunity for Ben Gamel, a guy who has swung the bat well,” Stearns said. “He came back from the hiatus in a really good spot with his swing and he’s going to get a longer look and a bigger opportunity now.”
The White Sox have also had to shuffle their lineup. With Tim Anderson on the 10-day injured list with a strained right groin muscle, Leury Garcia has been playing shortstop. But Danny Mendick started there Sunday with Garcia dealing with a family issue.
Outfielder Nomar Mazara, who is on the 10-day IL for an unspecified issue, could return to the White Sox this week. The team put reliever Kelvin Herrera on waivers Sunday.
–Field Level Media