Milwaukee Brewers star left fielder Ryan Braun has hit the 10-day DL with a combination of a forearm strain and a left calf strain. So which top prospect got the call? Which toolsy outfielder will get a cup of coffee in his absence? Who can Brewers fans get excited about? Eric Sogard?
Journeyman / Eyewear enthusiast / Face of MLB Eric Sogard got the call from Colorado Springs. In 24 games with the Sky Sox, Sogard absolutely tore the cover off the ball with a .330/.421/.516 slashline. Sogard will slide into an infield utility role, while the uber-versatile Hernan Perez will handle the majority of the work in left field.
Based on comments from Brewers manager Craig Counsell and Braun himself, he’s very likely to return right after his 10-day DL stint ends on 5/22. It makes zero sense to bring up a top prospect for a week. The Brewers also have several players on the Major League roster that get lost in the shuffle. Hernan Perez has received more playing time recently, but Jesus Aguilar still can’t find at bats beyond the occasional pinch-hit or getaway day lineup.
Sogard knows how to come off the bench and contribute, and he won’t be taking away at bats from anyone.
Should Brewers fans be disappointed that they didn’t get a look at Lewis Brinson or Brett Phillips? Sure. It’s been a long wait to see the best that the Milwaukee Brewers have stashed in the Minor Leagues. Is this the wrong move? Absolutely not.
Brinson’s ceiling is sky high, but he also owns a BB% of 7.5% and a K% of 23.4% at Triple-A. Strikeouts could be an issue for the top prospect, and it’s better for him to work on his issues in Colorado Springs than come up too early and get buried on the bench, even for a few days.
While Brett Phillips has a .295/.385/.547 slashline with the Sky Sox, he also owns a 32.1% K%. He strikes out at least once in every three at bats in Triple-A.
Brinson and Phillips will be up this year, but it’s clear that the team would like to see them both come up and stay up for good. Bringing them up, sending them down, and forcing young players to shuttle between Milwaukee and Colorado Springs is not how a culture of winning is developed, and it’s not best for the long term success of the team.