Milwaukee Brewers Grades: Luis Sardinas
Early this year, the Milwaukee Brewers announced a trade that shook up Brewers Nation. The Texas Rangers sent Marcos Diplan, Corey Knebel, and Luis Sardinas to the Brewers for Yovani Gallardo.
To many, Gallardo was the stud pitcher that never quite lived up to his potential. True, Gallardo was an All-Star in 2010 and won 72 games during the five year period from 2009-13, but never became that 18-20 game winner that many of us thought he would turn out to be.
Even so, it was a big trade, and as we looked at the return, we started to feel better.
Diplan has lots of promise and flashed it at Rookie League Helena, striking out nearly ten batters per nine innings, albeit with a wee bit of wildness (3.8 BB/9) thrown in.
Knebel performed well with the big club, appearing in 48 contests, many of them in high leverage situations. According to our staff grades, he had a solid season and could become the Brewers closer of the future.
That leaves us with the third party of the trade, Luis Sardinas.
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The 22-y-o Venezuelan was selected at age 16 by Texas in the 2009 Amateur free agent draft. He made it to the big leagues for the first time in 2014 and had 125 plate appearances with the Rangers, slashing .261/.303/.313.
He began the 2015 campaign at AAA Colorado Springs, but was promoted to Milwaukee when Jean Segura went on the 15-day DL.
The switch-hitting middle infielder started off well, going 7-for-18 in his first five games for the Brewers, but then struggled to a 7-for-39 (.179) finish for the month of May. He went 5-for-40 the rest of the way to end the season, logging a slash of .196/.240/.216 in 105 plate appearances.
Sardinas, after averaging 16 steals per season in his six years in the minors, did not attempt to pilfer a base for the Brewers. That leads one to wonder if he somehow lost the speed to steal a base, or is just waiting to get that base-stealing knack back in the majors.
He can play three positions well in the infield (3B, SS, 2B) and appears to be adept at each. As Yadiel Rivera seems to be equal at the same positions, it will likely lead to a healthy competition next spring in Arizona for a utility infielder that will advance north with the big club.
The Brewers have a glut of talent in the middle infield spots–only time will tell how it will shake out with potential trades and advancement of players in the minors.
Sardinas should be right in the middle of the mix, and the problem of too many talented players in the middle of the infield is a good one for the Brewers to have.