A handful of rookie players were bound to make an impact on the 2023 Milwaukee Brewers season. We just didn't know that the most recent one to do so would be part of that mix.
With the Brewers facing even more injury concerns on the offensive side of the ball, most recently due to a Willy Adames concussion that could have been so much worse, the team reached into their Triple-A talent pool and added infielder Andruw Monasterio to the 40-man and 26-man rosters last week.
The expectation for Brewers fans was likely that the 26-year-old would come up, cover some late innings here and there as a utility guy, and head back down once some of the Crew's regular starting infielders were ready to return from injury. So far, he has provided so much more.
Since joining the team, Monasterio has played in six games and starting five of them. He has hit safely in all five of the games he has started and is overall 7-for-17 with a double, three RBI, three runs scored, and his first career Major League home run. He has also played some timely defense up the middle.
After putting up that type of performance over the last week, it's no longer a foregone conclusion that Monasterio will be sent back to the minors when it comes decision time. But with the returns of Adames and Luis Urias imminent, someone has to lose their active roster spot, right?
The emergence of Andruw Monasterio could force fellow rookie Brice Turang back to the minors soon.
When previous starting second baseman Kolten Wong was traded to the Mariners for Jesse Winker and Abraham Toro this offseason, it opened the door for 2018 first-round draft pick Brice Turang to take over the reigns at the position. Early on, that move was working out fantastically.
Turang collected five hits, scored five runs, and stole a pair of bases over his first four games of the season. He also hit his first career MLB home run in the grandest of ways, hammering a grand slam in the team's home opener against the Mets.
The hits would keep coming through about mid April with Turang posting a .283 batting average as of April 17th. Since then, though, the offensive production has plummeted. In his most recent 14 games, the rookie is batting just 1-for-40 and has seen his slash line drop all the way to .198/.244/.290.
For a while, you could have justified Turang's continuing presence on the roster by the elite defense he was providing, something that was helping the Brewers pull out some close wins. But with Milwaukee on a poor offensive pace and another rookie now capable of helping in that regard, that may no longer be the case.
As mentioned above, Adames and Urias will soon be returning from injury, meaning two players will have to head out. Toro will likely be one of those players. After that, it probably comes down to Turang and Mike Brosseau, who is also struggling offensively. But as the former is more a part of the team's future plans, sending him down to get some regular at bats and confidence back might be the smarter move.
Whether Turang does or doesn't get optioned down soon, it's hard to argue the fact that Monasterio needs to stay. With offense at a premium, don't be afraid to ride the hot hand.