The Milwaukee Brewers have found themselves in a positional logjam and outfielder Domingo Santana is the one most negatively affected by it.
Domingo Santana hasn’t been in the starting lineup in the past two series for the Milwaukee Brewers. His pinch hit appearances are few and far between. The player that knocked 30 home runs last year in a breakout season, has been effectively benched.
There’s nothing Santana has done to really deserve this benching, other than the fact that he has not been hitting as well in his opportunities. Santana has a .251/.316/.358 slash line with only three home runs and 17 RBIs. He hasn’t hit a home run since May 21st, making it a month since his last long ball.
Santana has started only 4 games in the month of June and has been stuck as a reserve outfielder this year. Obviously, acquiring Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain play a big part in that, but even Eric Thames has been getting starts in right field in situations you would normally see Santana in.
Why not send him down?
Domingo Santana does have a minor league option remaining. They might as well use it. Santana is struggling at the plate, and sitting him on the bench with his at-bats being few and far between is not going to help him and it only lowers his trade value. He needs to get regular playing time, and regular at bats if he’s going to work his way through his struggles at the plate.
Similar to Orlando Arcia, the Milwaukee Brewers want Santana to work through his struggles at the big league level. However, the Brewers have better options in the outfield they can go with in order to keep a winning lineup. At shortstop, there really aren’t too many options right now.
Since there’s no path to playing time for Santana, why not put him in the minor leagues? They have too many corner players on the 25 man roster and not enough spots in the lineup. Jesus Aguilar and Eric Thames are at first, while Thames, Ryan Braun, and Christian Yelich can play all the corner outfield spots.
The Brewers enjoy having this much big league depth, but it’s been rough on Domingo Santana. He’s going to continue to struggle unless he can get some regular playing time. He won’t get that playing time unless an injury occurs.
Sending Santana down to the minors is what’s best for him and the team. Watching him toil on the bench only eats at his confidence and success on the field, and it drops his trade value lower than it already is.