The Brewers have another player returning soon and for once it’s not one of the many players who have spent time on the injured list coming back.
Catcher Pedro Severino, who was signed by the Crew last offseason before getting hit with an 80-game suspension right before Opening Day, is finally eligible to return tomorrow. Per Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, Milwaukee seems likely to activate him ahead of Sunday’s game.
The Brewers are in a bit of a tricky spot with Severino’s activation as McCalvy stated that fellow catcher Victor Caratini, who was acquired after the suspension, isn’t going anywhere and there’s no obvious other player to remove from the roster in his place. So, who ends up getting the boot when he makes his 2022 26-man roster debut tomorrow?
Here are three options to open up a roster spot when Pedro Severino returns to the Brewers.
1. 1B Keston Hiura
Though he has never played a game there in his major league career, the Brewers had Severino get some work in at first base at Double-A and Triple-A in preparation for his return. If that plan transfers to the majors, it could be at Keston Hiura‘s expense.
Fans have been waiting for Hiura to get going again ever since his breakout rookie season in 2019. He’s still not hitting particularly well with a .217 average in 37 games this season, but his on base percentage has been better at .331 and he has a decent .755 OPS that jumps all the way to 1.057 against right-handed pitching.
Hiura has been awful against lefties this year, though, hitting a paltry .151 with a .445 OPS and perhaps that’s an area where Severino can help. Fans might not like it, but it’s a roster move that would make a lot of sense.
2. UTIL Mike Brosseau
The Brewers traded for utility man Mike Brosseau this offseason hoping to coax out the successful 2020 version as opposed to the 2021 version that struggled. So far, the plan seems to be working.
Brosseau has played in 34 games for Milwaukee in 2022 while spending some time in Triple-A and also some time on the injured list. In those 34 games, he is slashing an impressive .289/.379/.487 and leads the team with a 142 OPS+.
That would be quite the production to send down to the minors and would leave the team thin in terms of backing up quite a few different positions, thus this move seems more unlikely. But considering Brosseau isn’t a primary starter at any position there’s a non-zero chance it happens.
3. RHP Jason Alexander
Another option for Milwaukee could be for them to do a pitcher-position player swap. Once the Brewers get through this weekend and a three-game series against the Cubs, they have two out of the following five days off before a six-game road trip brings them into the All-Star break, so it’s feasible that they could survive being down a pitcher during that stretch.
Should they go that route, Jason Alexander could be most likely to lose his spot. He filled in admirably as a starter with the Brewers going 3-2 during his five starts. The return of Brandon Woodruff and Aaron Ashby from the IL as well as the acquisition of Chi Chi Gonzalez have left him without a home in the rotation, however.
Alexander has had two relief outings since then and neither went great as he gave up four runs (three earned) over a combined 2 1/3 innings. He gives up a decent amount of hits and walks for someone in a relief role so the Brewers could always opt to return him to the minors where he can stay ready as a starter again.
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We’ll see what move the Brewers make to get Severino on to the 26-man roster, but it’s just another example of the many intricate decisions teams have to make over the course of a 162-game season.