The Milwaukee Brewers have gotten some solid production lately out of a player that was mostly just a depth signing this winter.
When the Milwaukee Brewers called up Cory Spangenberg from Triple-A on August 24th, expectations weren’t very high. Sure, Spangenberg had a solid season in San Antonio, hitting .309 with 14 home runs, an .876 OPS, and 28 stolen bases, but Tyler Saladino was also having a good year in Triple-A and did nothing at the big league level.
When he came up, he was simply a backup option in the infield behind a group that consisted of Mike Moustakas, Orlando Arcia, and Keston Hiura, figuring to get some pinch hit opportunities here and there along with some pinch running.
But Hiura is on the IL with a hamstring injury, Moustakas hasn’t been able to swing a bat with a wrist injury, and Arcia just went on paternity leave after the birth of his twin daughters. Spangenberg has found himself getting a lot of playing time lately, and he’s making the most of it.
Cory Spangenberg making impressions
As soon as Hiura went down with the hamstring injury, Milwaukee Brewers fans were very concerned about getting equivalent production to replace him. Spangenberg has done a solid job of it however.
Through 47 plate appearances, Spangenberg is hitting .261 with four of his 12 hits going for extra bases. While he isn’t quite near Hiura’s .301 average with a .941 OPS, it’s way better than what the Brewers have gotten out of the other backup middle infielders, Saladino and Hernan Perez. Plus, Spangenberg has an eight-game hitting streak going. In just 14 games, Baseball Reference has Spangenberg at 0.3 WAR, which is an improvement upon the team’s other options.
Plus, Spangenberg has been fantastic defensively. He’s made some great plays already, has a strong arm, and has already been worth two defensive runs saved at second base. It’s that kind of defense the Brewers have frankly been lacking at second base with Keston Hiura there.
With his solid defense and solid offense, Spangenberg has been a shot in the arm for this Brewers team that has been bitten hard by the injury bug, especially in their infield. For this series against Miami, the entire infield is going to be secondary guys except for Eric Thames. Hiura, Moose, and Arcia all won’t start in that series.
In September, each team needs a role player to step up and have a positive impact at crucial points in games. This year, it looks like Cory Spangenberg is that guy. They need him to continue to produce until their top options are healthy.
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Although expectations weren’t high for Spangenberg, he has definitely exceeded them and then some. He’s been a solid addition to this roster and he’ll continue to see plenty of playing time.