Milwaukee Brewers Bring Back Rymer Liriano on Minors Deal
By David Gasper
The Milwaukee Brewers announced some minor league signings ahead of the start of the second half on Friday. One of those names should be pretty familiar to Brewers fans.
When the Brewers acquired Rymer Liriano from the Padres back in the winter of 2016, it was hailed as a great move by new GM David Stearns. Liriano was a former top prospect who needed a change of scenery and the Brewers outfield jobs were open for the taking at the time.
Liriano was earning a spot on the roster in spring training prior to the 2016 season, when disaster struck. Liriano was hit in the face with a pitch and ended up missing the entire season as a result of his injuries. The White Sox claimed him off waivers after the season and just like that, his promising Brewers career was over.
Having been released by the Los Angeles Angels, Liriano was back on the open market once again. And even though there isn’t much room in the Milwaukee Brewers big league outfield right now, David Stearns brought back a player that wasn’t given a fair shake in Milwaukee.
He got to play in 21 games for the White Sox a year ago, and finished with a .220/.304/.341 slash line, which isn’t great. But his high OBP shows that he can still draw walks very well.
This season, Liriano was in Triple-A for the Angels, and he’s posted a .268/.343/.523 line with 16 homers and 48 RBIs. Those are pretty good numbers, and considering that he’s been assigned to Colorado Springs, they figure to go up.
The 27 year old is no longer a top prospect and the Brewers aren’t banking on him reaching that lofty ceiling he once had. But he’s a nice, cheap option to add to the depth at Triple-A while their current outfielders, Brett Phillips and Keon Broxton, are up in Milwaukee covering for injuries.
Did they sign anyone else?
The Milwaukee Brewers also signed utilityman Richie Shaffer. He was released by the Indians earlier this year and it’s not hard to see why. He was posting a .164 batting average with Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate.
But last year, even though Shaffer’s averages weren’t that great(.227/.338/.464 slash line), he knocked 30 long balls in Triple-A in 2017. He’s got incredible power, but he doesn’t make contact enough to make full use of it. Shaffer also struck out nearly 35% of the time in 2017. His profile sounds a lot like Keon Broxton’s.
Both Shaffer and Liriano will head to Triple-A Colorado Springs. David Stearns never stops adding to his depth and these two are former big league players that are still young at 27 years old and have a shot of making a career.
Next: Is Corey Ray the next Keon Broxton?
The Milwaukee Brewers will make bigger moves that impact the major league club ahead of the Trade Deadline at the end of the month. But these are nice small moves that improve the depth of the organization.