Travis Shaw got off to a roaring start to the 2021 season. He collected15 RBIs in the first 16 games and 19 overall in the month of April. However, May was not as kind for he had just seven RBIs and many Brewers fans were questioning whether or not it was time for him to go or not.
Nine days into June and a night after delivering a clutch two out two RBI double to help the Brewers win their fifth straight game, Travis Shaw sustained a dislocated shoulder. He was immediately removed from the game and will now miss an extended period of time as he recovers.
Following the injury, the looming question for the Brewers now is who receives the majority of the playing time at third base? Let’s take a look at some in-house candidates.
1) Luis Urias
Since acquiring Willy Adames to play shortstop, Luis Urias has been hitting very well. His stats from May 21 to present show a .277 batting average, .890 OPS, three home runs, and seven RBI’s. It’s fair to say that the pressure to produce was lifted off of Urias with this trade.
When Kolton Wong went on the IL for the second time this season with an oblique injury, Urias was placed at second base to fill in. With Shaw now out and Urias’s strong throwing arm, it would seem likely that he will get an extended look at the position, but then someone else will have to fill in at second base.
Should the Brewers opt to keep Urias at second in the meantime, then some other options gain viability.
2) Zach Green
Zach Green has been the talk of the Nashville Sounds for weeks now. Fans having been asking for Green to be promoted and his nine home runs and 27 RBIs have been a big reason why. The underrated aspect of Green’s game is that while he is primarily a third basemen, he does have the versatility to play first base as well.
While Green is not currently on the 40 man roster, now would be the perfect time to add him. Production at third base is a big need for this ballclub and Green could provide that spark. Having him get some consistent playing time in June, well before the trade deadline, would be very beneficial to see if the Brewers can solve this issue in-house before making a trade at the deadline.
3) Pablo Reyes/Jace Peterson
Reyes and Peterson are both currently on the Brewers active roster. Neither has logged a ton of MLB at bats this season, but each player comes with a different skill set. Reyes is a good contact hitter and possesses great speed. Peterson excels at working the count and getting on via the free pass.
It would be rather unlikely that either on of these players steps up to claim the everyday third base role while Shaw mends his injury, but this is baseball and anything can happen. The ceiling for both players is a utility infielder but in a shortened stint they might provide enough production to get by. Reyes is a righty hitter while Peterson is a lefty, so they could work a platoon between them to plug the hole.
David Stearns likes to build his rosters based on depth, which sets the Crew up nicely to weather this injury to Travis Shaw. While it is nerve racking that we don’t know who it will be, odds are it will be one of the players listed above.
None of these options seem particularly great for taking the Brewers the rest of the season, with the possible exception of Urias once Wong comes back from the IL.