Orlando Arcia continues to struggle at the plate for the Milwaukee Brewers, and after his 0-for-2 last night his slash stands at .201/.234/.259 through 197 plate appearances. There are 220 players in the majors who have got to the plate at least 190 teams this season, including Arcia; among that group, only Kole Calhoun (18 wRC+) and Chris Davis (28 wRC+) have been worse offensive players than Arcia (30 wRC+) in 2018. So today the Milwaukee Brewers have made a move which could help address the shortcomings at the six and around the infield in general:
The Brewers acquired Brad Miller in a minor trade 13 days ago, after he had been designated for assignment by the Tampa Bay Rays. The 28 year old was having a solid offensive season for Tampa Bay, slashing .256/.322/.429 with five home runs in 174 plate appearances for a 108 wRC+. He came up in the minors as a shortstop but had been playing mostly first base and DH for the Rays in 2018, so the Brewers optioned him down to AAA Colorado Springs to get re-acquainted with the rest of the infield positions. He started one game at second base and six at shortstop for the Sky Sox, and though the stat sheet says he committed three errors, Brewers’ brass was reportedly pleased with the reports they received.
They didn’t pick Miller up because he’s a slick defender anyways, although his AAA slash of .185/.258/.296 with a homer in 31 plate appearances wasn’t exactly inspired. A short sample size of AAA plate appearances shouldn’t dampen any optimism, however, as Miller is a solid .240/.314/.410 hitter (100 wRC+) with 73 long balls across 2,425 MLB plate appearances. The left-handed batter showed 30-dinger power two seasons ago while playing shortstop everyday for the Rays. Miller will make his team debut today with a start at the keystone while Hernan Perez plays shortstop:
If you would’ve told me at the beginning of the year that Domingo Santana would get optioned to the minors this season, I would’ve laughed at you. But considering how things have gone lately for the 25 year old outfielder, it shouldn’t come as much surprise that he’s heading to the minors. Santana was arguably the team’s best offensive player last season, slashing .278/.371/.505 with 30 home runs in 151 games for a 126 wRC+. The Brewers must not have been convinced of that success, however, as they spent all winter (unsuccessfully) trying to deal Domingo and went out and added two star-caliber players to the outfield mix. Santana was still able to find regular at-bats until the last few weeks, when his mysterious power outage and the return of Eric Thames from a lengthy DL stint finally forced him to the bench. Santana is hitting a paltry .249/.313/.354 this season with three home runs in 211 plate appearances, and has gone to bat only 24 times so far in the entire month of June. He’ll now get more regular playing time in an offense-boosting environment in Colorado Springs that will hopefully help him get his bat back on track.
In the meantime, this move likely means more regular work for Ryan Braun and Eric Thames in the outfield while Jesus Aguilar continues to receive the bulk of the playing time at first base. Perez could also conceivably see more time in the outfield, though he has received an increased amount of action in the middle infield of late as his bat has begun to heat up.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs