Some positional battles in Brewers camp are closer to being resolved after General Manager Matt Arnold shared some updates today. Per Arnold, the team has informed first baseman/designated hitter Keston Hiura and outfielder Tyler Naquin that they will not make the Opening Day roster.
The Brewers have informed out-of-options Keston Hiura and nonroster OF Tyler Naquin that they won’t make the team.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) March 24, 2023
Hiura’s 115 wRC+ in 2022 was his best since his rookie season, but his alarming strikeout rate and lack of a positional home put him on the roster bubble entering camp. In 35 plate appearances this spring, Hiura showed no signs of progress, slashing .156/.229/.219 with 15 strikeouts.
Naquin seemed to have a path to a roster spot after Tyrone Taylor went down with a sprained elbow, but like Hiura, he failed to impress in Cactus League action. In 29 plate appearances, the veteran has slashed .207/.294/.276.
With Naquin no longer in the mix, one of Joey Wiemer and Sal Frelick are likely to get a crack in right field to start the season.
Hiura is out of minor-league options. Arnold said the club will search for a trade in the coming days. If nothing comes together, they’ll designate him for assignment. Should Hiura clear waivers, the Brewers are open to keeping him in the organization in the minor leagues.
Because Naquin is on a minor-league contract, he can either opt out of his deal or choose to report to Triple-A Nashville.
Additional roster updates may be coming later today. Luke Voit’s rescheduled opt-out date is today, meaning the Brewers must inform him whether he has made their 40-man roster. If they do not add him, he can elect free agency.
Like Hiura, Voit was scratched from Milwaukee’s lineup this afternoon. The Brewers did not announce a reason for Voit’s removal. A move may become official within a few hours.