Brewers News: Keston Hiura and Tyler Naquin will not make Opening Day roster
By Eric Treuden
At long last, it seems that the Keston Hiura saga in Milwaukee is officially winding down. The 26-year-old has not made the Brewers' Opening Day roster.
The 2017 first-round pick has received multiple chances with the Brewers and outside of a strong 84-game showing in 2019, has yet to take advantage of them. He's shown glimpses of promise, including an impressive ability to annihilate right-handed pitching, but overall has seemed more like a bust than anything with the club.
The Brewers have informed former top prospect Keston Hiura he won't make the 2023 Opening Day roster. Tyler Naquin also falls short of making the team.
In 284 games since he debuted in 2019, Hiura has 50 home runs and 132 RBI with a .238 average and 105 OPS+. He has struck out in 36 percent of his plate appearances while drawing walks in around seven percent of them. In 12 spring training games this year, he is five-for-32 (.156 average) with 15 strikeouts and no home runs.
Instead, it seems like the Brewers are going to rely on Luke Voit to form the right-handed side of a platoon at either first base or designated hitter. Currently, left-handed batters Rowdy Tellez and Jesse Winker are expected to get the majority of the at-bats against righties.
The Brewers will seek out trade opportunities for Hiura and if they aren't able to find anything on that front, he'll be placed on waivers. If he goes unclaimed, the Brewers could try to keep him in the organization down in the minor leagues.
Alongside the Hiura news, it also sounds like veteran outfielder Tyler Naquin, in camp as a non-roster invitee on a minor league deal, will not make the Opening Day roster.
The Naquin news is a bit more surprising than Hiura's. The 31-year-old emerged as a solid outfield option for the division rival Reds back in 2021 when he hit 24 doubles and 19 home runs, drove in 70 and had an OPS+ of 107. He can play all over the outfield and would give the Brewers another versatile option on defense.
In 11 spring games for the Brewers, he is six-for-29 (.207 average) with no home runs and 10 strikeouts. His spot is now likely going to go to one of the Brewers' intriguing outfield prospects such as Sal Frelick or Joey Wiemer, neither of whom are currently on the 40-man roster.