The Milwaukee Brewers are at a crossroads of sorts at shortstop. Should they stay the course with Orlando Arcia or give top prospect Luis Urias a shot?
There’s a non-zero chance that shortstop Luis Urias is the best acquisition of the Milwaukee Brewers off season.
Urias is still only 22 years old, but he accrued enough service time that he’s no longer considered a rookie. Is there any chance Urias breaks Spring Training on the active roster, or is he bound for a few more months in Triple-A?
How has Urias performed so far?
Urias has only played 83 games in the Majors over two seasons, and owns a .221/.318/.331 slash line.
His BABIP is only .271. If that ever gets up in the .300’s or .290’s, he could post an on-base percentage over .360.
Urias is known for patience at the plate, but he can also handle the defensive side of the game as well. Urias is not as good in the field as Orlando Arcia, but he’s managed 0.2 WAR in only has 83 games in the Majors. That’s the same as Arcia’s career WAR in 479 games.
What has to happen for Urias to make the Opening Day roster?
The only way Urias makes the Opening Day roster is if there’s an injury to Arcia, or Arcia has the worst Spring in recorded history.
Arcia does have one option remaining, so the Brewers can send him back to the Minors without exposing him to waivers. However, he would have to struggle at the plate and in the field to Travis Shaw-like levels for the Brewers to choose the nuclear option.
Is 2020 Arcia’s last chance in Milwaukee?
The Brewers acquired an option that’s younger and cheaper than Arcia. Unless he breaks out at the plate like the team has projected, he’ll be playing elsewhere in 2021.
The acquisition of Urias should put Arcia on notice. He’s not being backed up by guys like Tyler Saladino or Hernan Perez any more. The Brewers have a true alternative at shortstop for the first time in Arcia’s career. The team has watched him struggle at the plate for the past two years.
It’s hard to envision a scenario in which the Brewers allow Arcia to rack up another 500 plate appearances with sub-par production at the plate. If he struggles in 2020, the team will have a bus ticket to San Antonio with his name on it, and he probably won’t return in 2021.