Despite being just one game back of the also slumping Cubs, it is no surprise that the Brewers have been a dumpster fire as of late. Today they took the bull by the horns and made some moves that may jump-start the team back into their winning ways. The Brewers announced that they will be calling up Keston Hiura and Tyler Saladino and designating for assignment utilityman Hernan Perez and optioned Travis Shaw to Triple AAA. Here are my thoughts.
This was an obvious move to bring Hiura up. He was a spark to the team a few weeks ago when he came up and hit 5 home runs in 17 games. Since being sent down he hit .321/.406/.655 with 8 bombs. He never let his foot off the pedal. He has clearly proven to be a contributor and, while his plate discipline is not great, it is worth giving him an opportunity to make an impact on the major league roster. Heck, today in the MLB most power hitters have poor plate discipline. While there was a fuss about him being sent down when Shaw came off the Injured List in early June, I think it was a good decision by the Brewers. Shaw put up back to back seasons of 3.5+ WAR. He was deserving of another opportunity to break out of his slump while Keston could use some more time to work on his plate discipline and defense (yes, I’m pulling the age-old defense line). Shaw came into the season having two options remaining and was entering his first of three arbitration-eligible years.
The other half of the move is the Hernan Perez, Tyler Saladino swap. Perez has been with the Brewers since 2015 and served all over the field including garbage time pitching. This season Perez was hitting just .235/.277/.383 in 160 plate appearances. Saladino, on the other hand, has been doing well in Triple-A sporting a .288/.375/.568 line. He and Perez are pretty much the same player in terms of versatility. If a team claims Perez off waivers, they will be responsible for the $1.15 million remaining on his salary.
This is a good time for the Brewers to make these moves. The team has lost 10 of their last 15 games. This move may jump-start the lineup as they can maybe find more offensive production in Hiura and Saladino. While these are productive moves, this does not address the struggles on the other side of the ball. Look for the team to be making pitching moves as the trade deadline looms. It’s only a matter of time considering the starters own the MLB WORST ERA in June (6.81).