Choate, 32, suffered the injury last week when he accidentally struck prospect Matt LaPorta's helmet during a rundown drill. He underwent an MRI scan on Tuesday that revealed a fracture of the fourth metacarpal, a diagnosis that was confirmed this week by local hand specialist Don Sheridan, who fitted Choate with a splint.
The Brewers placed Choate on the disabled list and sent him home to Tampa, Fla. He will return to Phoenix on April 1 for further evaluation and a possible rehab in extended Spring Training.
Manager Ned Yost said that entering camp, Choate's chances were "as good as anybody's" to make the team. But that would have meant keeping two side-arming left-handers: Choate and Brian Shouse.
"The numbers might have stacked up against him a little bit, but I did like him," Yost said of Choate. "I like his deception, his funkiness, if you will, from the left side. I thought he mixed in well with Shouse and [Mitch] Stetter. I thought we had three nice choices."
Choate did not allow a run in four one-inning Spring Training appearances. He surrendered three hits.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.