Jimmy Nelson was optioned back to AAA following today's game, as was the plan. Back on Friday, when we found out Nelson might be joining the big league club for a spot start, I suggested a roster move that might make sense:
If Nelson were to only be joining the team for one day, it would make sense to send down someone like Elian Herrera, and then option out Nelson the following day for a different position player. Herrera has not played in the infield for the big league club yet this year. If his versatility is limited to the 3 outfield spots, why not keep him down and call up someone like Caleb Gindl, who can play the corners and at least has a bigger bat? The club is clearly covered in center with Logan Schafer, and Herrera has not exactly been stellar defensively on the corners.
The Brewers proceeded to make a roster move that made not so much sense. They outrighted infielder Jeff Bianchi and called up infielder Irving Falu:
So, to review complete move, RHP Jimmy Nelson optioned to Nashville and INF Irving Falu purchased from that club, added to 40-man roster.— Tom (@Haudricourt) May 25, 2014
Falu is a 30-year old switch hitter who is hitting .288/.349/.341 at Nashville. He has not been the primary starter at shortstop but has played 14 games there.
It's no news that the Brewers have a fairly dysfunctional bench. The main issue stems from the fact the Brewer bench always contains a 2nd basemen who can only play 2nd base. Because neither Weeks or Gennett can play short, there has to be someone on the roster who is at least capable of stepping in if there's an injury or give Segura a day off from time to time. That's non-negotiable. And whether that guy is Falu, Bianchi, Hector Gomez, or even Elian Herrera, one of them has to be on the squad. Bianchi has not been hitting in limited time, and I'm fine with giving Falu a shot.
But now that they swapped out shortstops, why is Elian Herrera still on the team? The bench is extremely devoid of bats, and it's not like the supposed defensive versatility of Herrera is worth much of anything at this point. If he were capable of playing shortstop, there would be no need for the Bianchi/Falu type and the Brewers could add a pinch-hit bat and backup corner outfielder like Caleb Gindl. But clearly Roenicke barely trusts Herrera on the infield, and he has had his share of miscues in the outfield.
Herrera and Falu should be an either/or situation. With the addition of Falu, Herrera is basically a pinch-hitter, backup corner outfielder, and backup to the backup at third base and center field. Let's get someone on the major league roster who can provide some pop off the bench in late innings.