Brewers News

Milwaukee Brewers: Keston Hiura Recalled Amid Roster Shakeup

Matt Carroll
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 01: Keston Hiura #18 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts after hitting the game tying home run in the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 1, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 01: Keston Hiura #18 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts after hitting the game tying home run in the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 1, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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This is the moment Milwaukee Brewers fans have been waiting for and it has finally arrived….again. The team’s top prospect is heading back to the big leagues.

This is certainly welcome news for Milwaukee Brewers fans who had to watch the team’s top prospect get sent back to the minor leagues after performing very well during his initial call up. He also happens to come at a time where the offense could use him.

Though the starting pitching garners a lot of the finger-pointing for Milwaukee’s recent struggles, the offense could use an injection of life as well. In the 17 games while Hiura was with the Brewers, the team scored 5.94 runs per game. Since then, they’ve dropped to 4.52, which includes scoring just three runs per game over their series loss to the lowly Mariners.

How has Hiura held up since being sent down?

Upon his return to San Antonio, Hiura picked up right where he left off, terrorizing Triple-A pitching. In 20 games, Hiura hit .321 with eight home runs, 20 RBI, and 21 runs scored. Two of those dingers were of the grand slam variety.

One of the things that Hiura could have improved upon in between major league stints was his propensity to strike out. That didn’t really happen as was reflected in his K/BB ratio. In those 20 games, Hiura struck out 24 times compared to just eight walks. But considering the overall offensive production, that is probably an aspect of his game that the Brewers will just choose to live with.

Shaw, on the other hand, was not able to put things together. In 17 games since being reinstated from the injured list, Shaw hit just .167 with two home runs and five RBI. He struck out 19 times and had 10 walks. His OPS was a whopping .635, though that is actually higher than his OPS of .568 on the year.

Related Story. It's Time To Send Travis Shaw Down. light

Now Shaw will have to figure things out with the Missions. If he does, it would be a familiar sounding tune for the Brewers. Both Orlando Arcia and former Brewer Domingo Santana were optioned to AAA after struggling at the beginning of 2018. Both returned at the end of the year and were big contributors to Milwaukee’s playoff run.

Saladino joining Hiura with the Crew?

It turned out the Brewers weren’t done shaking up the roster. After news broke about Hiura, word came out that he would likely be joined by one of his Missions teammates, Tyler Saladino.

Saladino has had a pretty good season in his own right with San Antonio. In 67 games, he is hitting .288 with 14 home runs, 57 RBI, 43 runs scored, and a .943 OPS. Saladino has played every infield position and both corner outfield spots so far this year with San Antonio, which is good considering the corresponding move that’s apparently taking place.

Making Roster Room For Saladino

That move may come as a bit of a surprise as Hernan Perez has the versatility that manager Craig Counsell and GM David Stearns love and has always been such a welcome presence in the Brewers clubhouse. But Perez is another player who never quite caught fire this year offensively.

Though he started off alright, Perez has dipped since the beginning of the year. Through 59 games, Perez has a slash line of .235/.277/.383 with just five home runs and 11 RBIs. With that comes a staggering ratio of 42 strikeouts to just nine walks. The hope will be that Saladino can improve on those numbers while providing just as good, if not better, defensive versatility.

The Milwaukee Brewers will end Thursday just a game behind the Cubs for first in the division and in a tie for the top Wild Card spot in the National League, so it’s not time to panic yet. But it can’t be denied that the Crew is in a bit of a funk right now so if Hiura and Saladino can help jump start the offense, then perhaps Milwaukee can go on the type of run that fans have been waiting for.

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We’ll see if Perez can clear waivers without getting claimed by another team, but he provided a lot of leadership in that clubhouse.

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