Milwaukee Brewers: Should Jesus Aguilar start at first base?
Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar is on absolute tear. Eric Thames is still at least a month away from a return. Should Aguilar continue to start every day even when Thames comes back?
Jesus Aguilar has seen the majority of the playing time at first base since Eric Thames and Ryan Braun hit the DL. He’s made the most of the opportunity. Aguilar has blasted six homers and driven in 12 runs already in May. He’s slugging over .600, and his OBP sits over .360. Aguilar has even homered in three straight games. Has he earned a full-time job even when Thames and Braun are ready to come back?
How does the first base situation look now?
Thames is still out until late June, and Braun has five more days until he’s eligible to return. Ji-man Choi is also up with the Major League team to add depth to the Milwaukee Brewers bench. The first base job, for now, is almost entirely Aguilar’s.
How do Aguilar’s splits look this year?
Aguilar posted a .244/.311/.494 slash line against right-handed pitching. Thames absolutely slaughtered righties last year. This year? It’s a different story for Aguilar. Heading into Sunday, Aguilar has posted a .324/.372/.581 slash line against right-handed pitching. He’s also continued to hit left-handers at an impressive rate.
What happens when Thames returns?
That depends on how Thames hits when he comes back. The Milwaukee Brewers will likely continue to send the left-handed Thames out against righties, and the right-handed Aguilar seeing more time against lefties. However, if Thames struggles, the Brewers won’t allow him to rack up plate appearances without driving in runs.
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Aguilar’s continued success is awesome for the Milwaukee Brewers. It doesn’t matter who starts at first base, as long as they produce at the plate. We saw a solid April from Thames, and now we’re seeing a solid May from Aguilar. That could flip again when Thames returns, or Braun could get an extended run at first base when he returns. Choi could also work his way into the lineup. The Brewers have options, but Aguilar deserves to play as long as he handles his defensive responsibilities and produces at the plate. So far, he’s lived up to his end of the deal.