Travis Shaw and Mike Moustakas have found new homes for the 2020 season, and the Milwaukee Brewers have added Jedd Gyorko and Eric Sogard to fill the void. What will a Gyorko/Sogard platoon look like?
Between Travis Shaw getting released and Mike Moustakas getting a four-year deal from the Cincinnati Reds, the Milwaukee Brewers will need to have a much different look at third base in 2020. The majority of the at-bats and innings at third base will go to Eric Sogard and Jedd Gyorko, but how will the Brewers handle the platoon?
Who starts against right-handers?
In 2019, Sogard saw the majority of his at-bats come against right-handed pitchers, and he managed a .795 OPS against. In 322 plate appearances against righties, Sogard hit seven of his 13 homers, stole six of his eight bases, and created 28 of his 40 RBIs.
Gyorko was on the injured list for most of 2019 with wrist, calf, and back issues. He also got lost in the shuffle in the Los Angeles Dodgers infield when he did come back, and only managed 60 plate appearances against righties in 2019. He his slash line was an anemic .200/.267/.309. However, for his career, Gyorko has a .236/.297/.408 slash line in over 2,000 plate appearances against right-handers.
Sogard should get the majority of the playing time, but Gyorko is also capable of starting against right-handed pitching.
Who stars against left-handers?
For his career, Gyroko owns a .267/.341/.455 slash line in 790 plate appearances against left-handed pitching. Sogard managed an .854 OPS against lefties in 2019, but has a .658 OPS against left-handers for his career. Sogard didn’t see much playing time in 2018, but he did manage a .745 slash line against lefties in 2017 with the Brewers.
The Brewers will likely want Gyorko’s power in the lineup against lefties, but Sogard has improved against southpaws since he broke into the league in 2010. Gyorko should see the majority of playing time against lefties, but Sogard can step in when needed.
What about Ryon Healy?
The Brewers also have Ryon Healy in the mix at third base, but the signing of Gyorko pretty much eliminates the need for Healy to play at third base in 2020. Healy is by far the roughest of the three on defense, and probably won’t see much playing time at the hot corner unless there’s a few injuries to the infield.
The Brewers have figured out third base without breaking the bank, but they also haven’t spent much this year. Gyorko completely rules out any hope of a Josh Donaldson signing, so the hope is that GM David Stearns spends the money he has left adding a few capable arms to the pitching staff.