Why put Grandal at first?
Grandal’s biggest flaw by far is his blocking, and it has been a problem so far this season. Other than his pitch framing, which is excellent and has been a help to the pitching staff, his defensive game is nothing to write home about.
Pina on the other hand has a rocket for an arm, a quick pop time when throwing runners out, and is very good at blocking.
Having Pina in there for defense is a plus, and late in games, particularly late in the season and potentially in the playoffs, you could see Pina come in to make sure no crucial defensive mistakes are made, it would allow Pina to make an impact on the game without leaving a hole in the lineup.
Right now though, a solution needs to be had at first base, and I think a lineup that has Pina catching and one of Thames/Aguilar at first needs to be avoided. Pina can be a capable hitter, but his defensive ability along with allowing Grandal to be in the lineup every day could allow the Milwaukee Brewers to put up with him getting more at bats.
Whatever Counsell decides to do, I don’t anticipate that he can continue to roll out Aguilar and Thames for much longer given the continued struggles they’ve been having.
If one of them goes on a home run binge, great, that’s what they were supposed to be doing, but the numbers being put up from the position now are not good enough for this team, and there are multiple ways to go about fixing it.
For the Milwaukee Brewers, having production out of the first base position is crucial, and they just haven’t gotten it so far.