Well, we knew this was only a matter of time.
Today catcher Jonathan Lucroy will officially be back as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. But that will only be one change to the team that has seen a multitude of them over a disappointing 2012 season.
With Lucroy’s move back to the Majors, he brings with him Nashville Sounds closer Jim Henderson. The pair will be replacing back-up catcher George Kottaras – who was designated for assignment – and shortstop Jeff Bianchi who was optioned back to the Nashville AAA club.
It will be quite a relief for Brewers fans to see Jonathan Lucroy back in the Brewers Blue. The 25 year-old catcher went 7-19 in his six games of rehab with both the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and the Nashville Sounds, scoring four runs and driving in three. As a Brewer this season, Lucroy still leads the team with a .345 average in 43 games. Having one more consistent bat is about all the team can hope for at this point.
As for Kottaras, he started out in a blistering fashion with a lot of power off the bench, but has cooled significantly now with a batting average of just .209. In 58 games, he has hit three home runs and driven in 12, while boasting an OBP of .409. His DFA was move many Brewers fans saw coming, with the surprising performance of fellow back-up Martin Maldonado and the continued news of improvement coming off of Lucroy’s broken hand. Trade rumors have been quietly stirring over Kottaras for the better part of a week now, with some sources pointing to the Washington Nationals as a possible landing place for the 28 year-old. Time will tell where George winds up, but his days in Milwaukee as a Brewer are most certainly over.
It wasn’t any question that Brewers infielder Jeff Bianchi would be heading back to Nashville at some point this year. in 12 at-bats, the 25 year-old Pennslyvania native could not register a single hit, mustering only three strikeouts to break up the zeroes on his stat line. He was brought up as a stop-gap at shortstop, and because of his hitting prowess in the AAA Pacific Coast League. Neither of those things turned out be ready for the National League, and the struggling, oft-injured infielder will return to Nashville and await his next opportunity.
I’d like to take this moment to wish George Kottaras well in his future as a Major Leaguer – and thank him for the memories he’s given us over the last few seasons. Good luck and we wish you well (unless you’re playing the Brewers of course).
As for the rest of the Brewers, you can let out a sigh of relief – Lucroy is back, and with him, hopefully some sense of stability.