Milwaukee Brewers: Kirk Nieuwenhuis called up?
Good news, Brewers fans! Reliever Wily Peralta was DFA’ed. The team called up, journeyman Kirk Nieuwenhuis? This can’t be right. The Milwaukee Brewers have a bunch of prospect ready to contend for a job at the Major League level. What gives?
Why Was Nieuwenhuis Call Up?
Well…the Milwaukee Brewers wanted a late inning defensive replacement? It can’t be for his bat. Kirk Nieuwenhuis has a .221/.338/.344 slash line in his age 29 season…in Triple-A….playing half his games in Colorado Springs. He has some proficiency with his glove and had a 13-homer season as recently as 2016. He is also one of the few lefties on the 40-man roster. Perhaps Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell wanted a left-handed bat to come off the bench? He might be better off asking Hernan Perez to learn how to be a switch-hitter than going with Nieuwenhuis.
Who Should Have Been Called Up?
Anyone else? Literally, anyone else. Keon Broxton went down recently. All he’s done in five games with Colorado Springs is slash .368/.500/.474. Kyle Wren has also gone out of his way to prove everything he can at the Triple-A level. Wren owns a .302/.383/.418 slash line in 95 games with Colorado Springs this year. Surely he’s a better option that Nieuwenhuis at this point in his career.
Brett Phillips is also back at the Triple-A level, but the Milwaukee Brewers clearly wanted an outfielder capable of coming off the bench in a pinch-hit role or as a defensive replacement. Phillips could fill such a role, but he’s far better off playing every day in a regular role with the Sky Sox.
Wren makes more sense as an extra outfielder. He can come off the bench to pinch-run, fill-in on the defensive side, or work a long at-bat. The problem is that Wren isn’t on the Brewers’ 40-man roster. The Brewers need to add him to the 40-man to active him. That means taking someone else off. Why Adrian Houser is still on the 40-man is a head-scratcher, but GMs don’t like changing the 40-man roster unless they absolutely have to.
Could There Be A Deal Imminent?
There may be a trade about to happen, but the addition of Nieuwenhuis doesn’t signal that anyone is on the move. The Milwaukee Brewers are unlikely to start selling pieces off their Major League roster, and none of the every day players will be included in a deal for an upgrade.
Next: Why Was Brett Phillips Sent Down?
It’s very clear why Wily Peralta was DFA’ed, but the reasons that surround Nieuwenhuis’ call from Triple-A are still murky. We’ll probably know more after the trade deadline. For now, we’ll have to handle a roster that has Kirk Nieuwenhuis on it again.