The Milwaukee Brewers might be without second baseman Kolten Wong for a little while, depending on the severity of his oblique injury.
To set the stage, the long-time Cardinal was returning to Busch Stadium yesterday for the first time, felt the love from the fans, and even got visibly emotional in his first at bat:
Was looking for video of this earlier: Kolten Wong batting with tears in his eyes in his return to St. Louis. Don’t know that I’ve ever seen something like it. pic.twitter.com/NJnvK0B4Dw
— Drew Silva (@drewsilv) April 9, 2021
I’m sure there was a whole lot going through his head there, with the fans surrounding him in a standing ovation, and his former teammates all looking on as he batted.
But against that emotional backdrop, a really crummy thing happened later, as Wong felt his side grab at him while facing Adam Wainwright in the middle innings, and then late in the game he could barely swing:
Kolten Wong: "In that at-bat against Miller, I could barely even swing the bat."
He felt it on a swing against Wainwright, then tried to play through it.
— Will Sammon (@WillSammon) April 9, 2021
Unfortunately, Wong had been dealing with a nagging side issue for a while, and whatever happened yesterday might send him to the Injured List. Obliques are tricky, given the extremely rotational nature of the sport. For some guys it’s a nothing, and it sits you down a day or two. For others – like Rowan Wick – it keeps you out for months at a time, and constantly threatens to pop back up.
Wong was signed to be a stud defender in the Brewers’ otherwise meh defensive infield, and his absence would certainly be felt. Keston Hiura would have to go back to second base, where he has rated quite poorly in his young career. And taking Hiura’s spot at first base could be old friend Dan Vogelbach, who is described as a designated hitter for a reason.
The Cubs and Brewers kick off their next series Monday night in Milwaukee, so there is an immediate impact to the Cubs here, even outside of divisional considerations.