Brewers News

Brewers Roster: Looming Decisions on Vogelbach and Shaw

Jun 22, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Daniel Vogelbach (20) reacts after injuring himself against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the sixth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 22, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Daniel Vogelbach (20) reacts after injuring himself against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the sixth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /
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Back in June the Milwaukee Brewers lost both Daniel Vogelbach and Travis Shaw within a few weeks of one another due to injury. Vogelbach hurt his hamstring while Shaw dislocated his left shoulder. Fast forward a few months and we now have a situation where both players will be eligible to return to the Brewers within a few days from one another.

During their absences, the team has continued to win. A big reason for their success has been from their mid season acquisitions Willy Adames and Rowdy Tellez who have provided a lot of offensive production and clutch moments. Eduardo Escobar was also acquired at the trade deadline and has been playing well.

With Tellez being a first baseman and Escobar being most comfortable at third base, what does this mean for Vogelbach and Shaw’s futures as Brewers?

More than likely, there will not be room on the Milwaukee Brewers roster for both Travis Shaw and Daniel Vogelbach.

Both players are currently on minor league rehab assignments, but those stints can only last 20 days. Shaw’s 20 days are up on August 15th and Vogelbach’s August 17th.

Prior to his shoulder injury, Shaw was struggling. He started the year off hot but cooled down drastically afterwards.  Although he has the ability to play either first or third base, there really is not room on the roster for a player who is hitting below the Mendoza line and is not a reliable option against left handed pitchers.

On the other hand, Vogelbach was having a respectable season prior to his injury. His .216 batting average, .323 on base percentage, and .709 OPS is not anything eye popping, but he was giving solid at bats and seeing a lot of pitches. He additionally was not as unplayable at first base than we expected. In fact, according to fangraphs, both Vogelbach and Tellez are both similarly below average defenders at the position.

The Brewers hands are rather tied in terms of what they can do with both players once their rehab assignment have concluded. Shaw, if not activated to the 26 man roster, would have to be designated for assignment. If he clears waivers, he can be outrighted to Triple-A. However, he is a veteran and can decline the outright assignment.

Vogelbach is also out of options and would have to be designated for assignment if not kept on the active 26 man roster. However, he does not have enough service time to reject an outright assignment should he clear waivers.

Barring any new injuries, it is hard to imagine either one of these players being activated to the big league ball club. They both contributed to the teams success early on in the season, but due to new additions and the depth of this team, there does not appear to be room for them anymore.

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Shaw would be a free agent at the end of the year anyways, while Vogelbach still has several seasons of team control if the Brewers could somehow keep him around, but there still might not be a role for him here anyways.

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