Before the Brewers start a three-game series in St. Louis against the last place Cardinal they announced several roster moves Monday afternoon. Perhaps the biggest outside move was signing 1B/OF Darin Ruf, who elected free agency after being DFA'd by the San Francisco Giants.
Ruf only made 27 plate appearances for the Giants before being DFA'd, in those 9 games he had a .370 OBP, .348 SLG, and a 108 wRC+.
In addition to signing Ruf, the Brewers made a few other moves, optioning RHP Colin Rea to Triple-A, recalling RHP Trevor MeGill, and placing 1B/DH Luke Voit on the 10-Day injured list with a neck strain. To create space on the 40-man roster for Ruf, the Brewers transferred Brandon Woodruff to the 60-Day IL.
Ruf has primarily seen time at first base and in the corner outfield, but he will likely see a majority of his time in the lineup against left-handed pitchers. It's an area where Milwaukee has notably struggled and in which he has hit quite well throughout his career.
In 727 career plate appearances against left-handed pitching, Ruf has a career slash line of .271/.368/.519 with a 142 wRC+ in that time. On the flip side, against right-handed pitching, Ruf has a career 86 wRC+ with a .217/.300/.665 slash line in 933 PA.
With 1B/DH Luke Voit off to a slow start, some fans had lobbied for Keston Hiura to be called up after a hot start in Triple-A Nashville. However, Hiura's reverse splits make it difficult to justify bringing him up given the team's struggles against lefties. Entering play today the Brewers have the lowest wRC+ in baseball against left-handed pitching.
On the pitching side, Colin Rea, who had a 5.52 ERA through seven appearances (six starts) for the Brewers, makes way for Trevor Megill, who was acquired recently from the Twins and likely slots into the bullpen. That could mean that Eric Lauer, who was bumped to the bullpen for a bit of a reset, returns to the rotation soon.
Not returning to the rotation soon is starter Brandon Woodruff. He was already looking at an extended absence after hitting the injured list early in the year and his move to the 60-day IL on Monday just confirms that.
Expect to see Ruf get time at both DH and first base when the Brewers do face LHP, which they currently slated to face against St. Louis tomorrow when Jordan Montgomery takes the mound.