The Milwaukee Brewers have struggled all year getting consistent offense from their catcher and shortstop positions. What should they do for the rest of the year in order to improve on this?
Orlando Arcia continues to struggle offensively, batting just over .200 with an OBP of .238 and an OPS of .503. Because of his struggles, he was sent to the minors a few weeks ago but was quickly recalled when Tyler Saladino went on the disabled list.
The bottom of the Milwaukee Brewers order has not provided any type of offensive production and Arcia is one of the reasons for this lack of production. At this point he needs to be sent back down to the minors for an extended period of time in order to work on his hitting, similar to what the Twins recently did with their 2017 All-Star Miguel Sano.
I don’t see a situation where the Brewers are going to make a high impact trade for a shortstop like Manny Machado. Until Arcia can improve his approach at the plate, the Brewers need to look at some internal options. I recommend a platoon situation where the recently acquired Brad Miller and Hernan Perez handle the shortstop position. When Saladino is able to return, he can be put into the platoon mix as well. That may leave Eric Sogard as the odd man out.
Brad Miller has shown, when given the opportunity, that he has some pop in his bat. In 2016, he hit 30 home runs and had over 80 RBI’s. In 2016, he stole 13 bases and this year for the Tampa Bay Rays, he hit 5 home runs and batted .256 with an OBP of .322. Throughout his career, he has been able to get on base even when his average hasn’t been very high.
Hernan Perez got the start at shortstop on Sunday and went 2-for-4. He has shown over the past few years that he can contribute offensively and play several positions effectively. He’s currently hitting .273 with four home runs with an OPS over .700.
Manny Pina is another bottom of the order Brewer hitter who has struggled to produce offensively. He is hitting a lowly .212 with a .275 OBP and an OPS of .615. Last year, at the age of 30, he had a breakout year, but this year, he has had a rough time offensively.
Several weeks ago, 38 year old catcher Erik Kratz was acquired by the Brewers. He has hit well since he joined the team, but his career stats indicate that he is headed for a big fall as he continues to get more at-bats. Jett Bandy, another option for the Brewers at catcher, was designated for assignment due to lack of production and doesn’t seem to be in the Brewers short term plans.
The Brewers need to explore trade options for an experienced catcher who can hit. Wilson Ramos seems like a player that might fit the Brewers’ need. He is 30 years old and is the starting catcher for the Rays. The Rays are five games under .500 and in rebuilding mode. Ramos is also an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season. They might be willing to part with him for a lower level prospect. Ramos is hitting over .280 this year with 8 home runs. He has an OBP of .329 and an OPS of .767. Throughout his career he has been known as a catcher that can hit.
In order to get some much needed offensive production from the catcher and shortstop position, it’s time for the Milwaukee Brewers to look for alternatives.