Injury to breakout Brewers infielder should revive an abandoned spring experiment

Sal Frelick should see a lot more time in the infield the next few weeks
St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers
St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages

The Brewers had to place breakout rookie Joey Ortiz on the injured list with a neck issue on Wednesday. He'd been day to day for the last week and finally the Brewers put him on the shelf.

At the same time, they placed reliever Enoli Paredes on the IL with forearm tendonitis. In order to replace both those players, the Brewers called up Janson Junk and Vinny Capra. Junk has been up and down a few times already while Capra is coming up for the first time with the Brewers. He has previous MLB experience with the Pirates.

Capra is coming up to be a healthy body on the bench but he's unlikely to earn much playing time as a utility infielder. Instead, the Brewers will have to go a different route to cover third base while Ortiz is out.

Andruw Monasterio is going to get some starts at the hot corner, but another player the Brewers are likely to put over at third in the near future is Sal Frelick. Manager Pat Murphy may be forced into reviving a spring training experiment that was abandoned through the first half of the season.

Sal Frelick should see more playing time at third base

There are two factors that should lead to Sal Frelick playing more regularly at third base. The first, clearly, is Joey Ortiz's injury leaving the spot open after he had claimed the everyday job the past few months. Secondly, the return of Garrett Mitchell gives the outfield full strength.

The Brewers started this project of giving Frelick infield reps because of the severe logjam in the outfield. With Christian Yelich, Garrett Mitchell, Blake Perkins, Jackson Chourio, and Frelick all in the mix, there was not enough playing time to go around. The third base project for Frelick had to be abandoned early on this season once Garrett Mitchell suffered a broken bone in his had toward the end of spring training and had to open the year on the injured list. The need in the outfield was too great with Mitchell out for Frelick to move to the infield.

Now that Mitchell is back, Murphy can roll with an outfield mix of Yelich, Mitchell, Chourio, and Perkins while getting Frelick his ABs over at third base. Frelick, over his last 30 games, is hitting .315/.376/.359 and has boosted his season average to .271.

Monasterio is an infielder by trade and will get his opportunities as well. He's hitting .300 (6 for 20) over his last seven games. Murphy has two good options he can go with to cover third base in Ortiz's absence.

Brewers fans haven't seen much of Frelick at third base since spring training, but now it's likely that this experiment is finally going to be tested in meaningful games.