Milwaukee Brewers: Pina to IL, Nottingham time?
Milwaukee Brewers catcher Manny Pina hasn’t played much this year, but he still managed to tweak his hamstring. He’s heading to the IL for a while, but who should get the call?
Manny Pina is expected to hit the Injured List with a hamstring issue after leaving Wednesday’s game in the fourth inning. The Milwaukee Brewers will have to call up a catcher from Triple-A, but who is the best option? They have Jacob Nottingham and David Freitas on the 40-man roster, and both are options to fill in for the injured Pina, but who do they call up?
What’s the case for Nottingham?
Nottingham has been in the Milwaukee Brewers organization seemingly forever, but he’s only just turned 24. He came to the Brewers in the Khris Davis trade in 2016, and has worked his way up the organizational depth chart since.
He made 50 appearances in Triple-A last year before earning and end of the year call up. He might have started the year in the Majors if the Brewers didn’t acquire starter Yasmani Grandal.
Nottingham has made 26 appearances for the San Antonio Missions, and owns a .247/.351/.395 slash line. He’s bashed two homers, and driven in 10 runs. He’s played 20 games behind the dish and six at first base this year.
How about Freitas?
Freitas is a 30-year old journeyman who was recently acquired from the Seattle Mariners Minor League pitcher, Sal Biasi. The Brewers needed an extra catcher to round out their Triple-A roster, and the Mariners made Freitas available.
The Milwaukee Brewers are Freitas’ seventh organization since getting drafted in 2010. He’s racked up 43 games in the Majors over parts of three visits to baseball’s highest level. He owns a .236/.295/.343 slash line in 179 plate appearances in the Majors, but he’s currently slashing .390/.439/.492 with the Missions.
Who gets the call?
Nottingham has been around the team for years, and has familiarity with most of the Milwaukee Brewers pitchers. While his bat isn’t as hot as Freitas, he’s a capable hitter and can handle filling in for Pina as the team’s backup for a few weeks.
Freitas may have a spot on the 40-man roster, but he’s essentially organizational depth at this point in his career. Nottingham hasn’t broken out the way it was expected when he was acquired, but his knowledge of the current roster should give him the edge over Freitas. Calling up Nottingham makes the most sense at this point, even if he’s going to be limited to spot starts and pinch-hitting duties behind Grandal.