The Milwaukee Brewers’ roster carousel kept turning this week, starting with the demotion of Keston Hiura back to the minors yesterday, his second such stint at Triple-A this year. At the time, no corresponding roster move had been annoucned.
Today, Brewers fans got the answer to the question of who would replace Hiura on the 26-man roster. It turned out that it would result in one of this year’s previous DFA’s returning to the 40-man roster as well.
Jace Peterson, who was signed to a minor league contract in the offseason and added to the 40-man when Kolten Wong made his first appearance on the IL, had previously been designated for assignment back on May 24th, ironically on the same day that Hiura had been recalled from his first stint in the minors.
Peterson isn’t even the first player who was DFA’d by the Brewers only to return to the roster later in 2021. That honor goes to Jacob Nottingham, who was DFA’d on April 28th, claimed by the Mariners, and traded back to the Brewers four days later. He was since DFA’d again by Milwaukee and actually one more time by Seattle today.
The return of Jace Peterson can provide a little extra needed stability for the Brewers at the corner infield spots.
With Hiura down in Nashville, Peterson will not only add a little depth at first base in tandem with Daniel Vogelbach, but also at third, where production has been light with Travis Shaw mostly handling the workload.
But hopefully he will provide a little more offense this go around. In his earlier stretch with the Brewers, Peterson was just 5 for 24 in his limited action over 10 games. Two of those hits did go for home runs, but he also struck out 32.1% of the time.
Things looked a little better after he accepted an assignment with Triple-A Nashville. Through 17 games, Peterson was batting .236 with a .926 OPS and five home runs. In his last seven games, he was batting .294 with a 1.015 OPS.
In 2020, Peterson had an odd knack for combining a high strikeout rate (32.8%) with a surprising ability to also get on base (.393 OBP, 24.6% walk rate). That on base ability hadn’t shown it self again to start 2021, but if it comes back, it would be another boost to an offense that has been finally showing signs of life again in June.
The arrival of Peterson probably won’t completely turn things around at either corner infield spot, but the added depth certainly won’t hurt. We’ll see how long he sticks around on the 40-man roster this time around.