With Ryan Braun being placed on the 10-Day DL with middle back tightness, the Milwaukee Brewers had to make a corresponding move. They chose to recall first baseman Ji-Man Choi.
The Milwaukee Brewers just cannot catch a break when it comes to injuries. Ryan Braun is hitting the DL for the second time already this season. It’s retroactive to May 14, but the Crew still needed to replace the roster spot. They chose the left-handed Ji-Man Choi.
The move makes sense. With Thames already on the DL with his thumb injury, Jesus Aguilar was the only first baseman on their roster. Choi can also play outfield, meaning he will perfectly fit the mold of what Ryan Braun was trying to be for the Crew.
It makes even more sense thinking about the series ahead. The Minnesota Twins have slated three right handed pitchers (Kyle Gibson, Fernando Romero, Jake Odorizzi). Plus, as the games will be played at Target Field, the DH will be a factor.
You may remember Choi from earlier in the season. In the twelfth inning on Opening Day against the Padres, his pinch-hit double led to him scoring the winning run on Orlando Arcia’s single. Unfortunately, the Milwaukee Brewers have a wealth of Major League talent in both the outfield and at first base.
Although he got a hit in his only Major League at bat for the Crew, the Brewers needed more bullpen arms. He was sent down in order to add Dan Jennings to the roster, which was only the beginning in a season already filled with multiple roster moves.
Last night, Choi went 2-for-2 before he was removed from the game with the Sky Sox. In that moment, it became pretty clear that he was going to be recalled.
With Colorado Springs, Ji-Man Choi boasts an average of .295 and a wRC+ of 139, which is above average. Since he came into the league, he has been a part of the Mariners organization, the Angels, and the Yankees. He played 54 games with the Angels in 2016 and batted .170.
In his six major league appearances with the Yankees last season, he batted .267 in 18 plate appearances. He turns 27 Saturday. As noted by Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel above, he received an early birthday present.
It’s likely he won’t get a ton of opportunities unless Braun’s injury sidelines him for longer than expected, but expect Ji-Man Choi to take advantage of every single at bat he is given.