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Brewers’ Woodruff says he won’t pitch this season as he targets 2025 return from shoulder surgery

 The Associated Press  |    Mar 24th, 2024 11:56am EDT

PHOENIX (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Brandon Woodruff says he won’t pitch this season while he recovers from surgery to his throwing shoulder.

When Woodruff underwent the surgery in October, the Brewers said the two-time All-Star was expected to miss most, if not all, of the season. Woodruff told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he won’t pitch this year and is targeting a return in 2025.

“Honestly, I’m going be the strongest I’ll ever be at any point in my career because I’m going (to) have a year and just basically get my body ready for pitching,” Woodruff told the newspaper.

Woodruff, 31, went 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 11 starts last year despite missing four months with a subscapularis strain in his shoulder. He hurt the shoulder again late in the season, preventing him from playing in the Brewers’ NL Wild Card series loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Because Woodruff was only under team control through the 2024 season and was expected to be injured for much of that year, the Brewers didn’t tender him a contract in November, making him a free agent.

Woodruff rejoined the Brewers in February on a backloaded $17.5 million, two-year contract that includes a mutual option for the 2026 season.

Under terms of his new contract, Woodruff will receive $2.5 million this year and $5 million in 2025. The deal includes a $20 million mutual option for 2026 with a $10 million buyout, half payable on Jan. 15, 2026, and the remainder on July 15, 2026.

Woodruff has spent his entire career in Milwaukee and owns a 46-26 record with a 3.10 ERA and 788 strikeouts in 680 1/3 innings.

His unavailability this season means the defending NL Central champions won’t have either of the two players who have headed their starting rotation for the last few seasons. The Brewers traded 2021 Cy Young Award winner and three-time All-Star Corbin Burnes to the Baltimore Orioles in a deal that brought them left-hander DL Hall and infielder Joey Ortiz.

Freddy Peralta, a 2021 All-Star, will be the Brewers’ starting pitcher for their season opener Thursday against the New York Mets. Peralta, 27, went 12-10 with a 3.86 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 165 2/3 innings last season.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb