Sal Frelick Brewers infield experiment should not be viewed as a jab at Brice Turang

The former getting potential time on the infield doesn't need to be at the expense of the latter.

Sep 29, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Brice Turang (2) completes
Sep 29, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Brice Turang (2) completes / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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The Milwaukee Brewers are currently in the process of introducing the next wave of players that may impact the team for years to come. This has resulted in a log jam of outfielders in which Christian Yelich, Jackson Chourio, Sal Frelick, Garrett Mitchell, Joey Wiemer, and Blake Perkins are all competing for playing time.

One solution for this that is in the works, is working Sal Frelick into the infield. It was recently announced that as early as November of 2023, he began training with Boston Red Sox legend Dustin Pedroia. Following their training, Pedroia said that Frelick "has it in his bag if the team needs him to fill an infield spot."

Sal Frelick played second base in college, but has also been training at third base.

At Boston College, Sal Frelick played some second base. Between that information, the fact that Brice Turang had a less than desirable offensive season last year, and that he had been training with the four-time Gold Glover Pedroia, it's fair to assume that he would train only at that infield position. The reality is that Frelick has been training at third base as well.

During the offseason, Milwaukee did not address third base in free agency and they likely were planning on filling it from within all along. 40-man roster members Joey Ortiz, Andruw Monasterio, Owen Miller, Oliver Dunn, and Vinny Capra can all play that position, but prospect Tyler Black figures to compete for playing time as well.

Adding Sal Frelick into the infield mix suddenly creates a logjam of infielders and the hot hand will likely get playing time.

With Frelick preparing to be a viable option at second or third base, there suddenly is an influx of players who can play both of those positions. All of the above mentioned players, with the exception of Tyler Black who has prepped at third and first base, will be competing for playing time at either of those positions.

In the past, former manager Craig Counsell has plugged the hot hand into his lineups. An extended run of Miller in the lineup early on last year and Monasterio later on the year are evidence of this. This year, new manager Pat Murphy will be creating the lineup cards, but this same principal figures to hold true.

Sal Frelick experimenting as an infielder is not a direct jab at Brice Turang.

A season ago, rookie Brice Turang showed that he is more than capable of playing high quality defense at the Major League level, but his bat kept him out of the lineup. The 24-year-old did find ways to make contact at the plate, but his exit velocity and hard hit rates were near the bottom of the league and he overall had a dismal .585 OPS.

As Turang enters his sophomore season, it's reasonable to assume that his offense will improve and that he will continue to play superb defense at second base or shortstop when needed. He didn't meet expectations last year, and that can be disappointing given his stock as a former first round draft section, but the reality is that no Brewers infielder played up to par last season (excluding mid-season addition Carlos Santana). It would be foolish for Milwaukee to give up on him prior to his second big league season starting.

In summary, with multiple job openings across the infield, the concept of Sal Frelick improving his overall versatility and worth is not a jab at Brice Turang. Rather it continues to encourage competition across the Brewers organization and it provides Pat Murphy with another way to put out the best lineup at any given point of the season.

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