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Brewers activate Hunter Renfroe, designate Chi Chi Gonzalez for assignment

The club gets its right fielder back while Gonzalez’s time as a Brewer comes to an end

St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

The Brewers regained one of their best bats ahead of a two-game series against the Minnesota Twins, activating right fielder Hunter Renfroe from the injured list on Tuesday.

Right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez was designated for assignment in a corresponding move.

Renfroe missed just shy of three weeks with a left calf strain, his second trip to the injured list in two months.

The 30-year-old has posted a 116 wRC+ and hit 13 home runs in 54 games this season. His return should be a boon to a Brewers lineup that has struggled since a 19-run outburst on July 1 against the Pirates.

The Brewers claimed Gonzalez in mid-June while Brandon Woodruff as a handful of middle relievers were sidelined by injuries. His job was to eat some innings until those arms returned to health. If he struggled, the club could easily cut him loose.

That’s more or less how Gonzalez’s stint with Milwaukee played out. An injury to Aaron Ashby forced Gonzalez to make two spot starts, and he allowed three runs in four innings in each of those outings. He then made relief appearances in two losses this month, working three scoreless innings on July 2 and allowing a two-run home run to Daniel Vogelbach in two-thirds of an inning on Sunday.

Perhaps the Brewers also saw potential upside in Gonzalez thanks to an improved slider, but he failed to show enough in four outings to stick around. He’ll likely clear waivers and hit free agency.