Even with the Brewers not playing on Monday, we got a little bit of news with the club deciding to option Keston Hiura back to Triple-A Nashville. It goes without saying that Hiura’s season has been a major disappointment with him hitting .130 with 48 strikeouts in 108 at-bats.
When he was sent down the first time, he dominated Triple-A with a .438 batting average, 3 home runs, 7 RBI’s and a 1.433 OPS in nine games. Those numbers did not translate back to the big leagues with him collecting only two hits in his return to the Brewers.
So now the organization needs to figure out how to make this trip to Triple-A different from the first one. Even beyond this year’s success at Nashville, Hiura has proven he can hit Triple-A pitching. In 66 Triple-A games, he is hitting .343 with 22 home runs and a 1.134 OPS.
I am not a hitting coach, a scout or anything that resembles either of those things but it’s clear Hiura has an issue against Major League pitching that he does not have against Triple-A pitching. There is no value in him going to Triple-A, not changing much, having great success and coming back to the big leagues essentially as the same guy who left.
If his numbers at Triple-A this time dip significantly, that could actually be a good sign that they are working though some changes with his swing that are going to take some time and some discipline to implement.
While the Brewers do believe in Hiura and his ability to regain his form, at some point the club has to get more production from their corner infield spots. In the finale of the Arizona series the seven and eight spots in the lineup were filled with the two corner infielders.
There is an expectation of a certain amount of offensive production from the corner infield spots and the Brewers are not getting it. Travis Shaw had a great start to the season in terms of driving in runs but he is now hitting below .200. Daniel Vogelbach gives the team really good at-bats, a good number of walks and some big hits but he’s still hitting only .210.
With the expanded playoff not in existence this year, there might be more teams that are willing to trade off some veteran pieces and if the Brewers don’t start getting a lot more from 1st and 3rd base real soon, I would have to think shoring up those positions would be a big priority going into the trade deadline.
The goal of any trade is to make your team better. I especially appreciate trades that make you better in multiple ways and so far that’s a good description of the Willy Adames trade.
His offensive production was desperately needed. Since joining the Brewers, he’s hitting .269 with 3 home runs, 11 RBI’s and an .837 OPS. Clearly, that is helping the team score runs.
Adames is having an impact beyond his offensive numbers. His presence has created more roster depth. With Kolten Wong injured, the team is able to move Luis Urias to second base. That is a nice luxury to have.
Adames has also seemingly provided a spark for this club. Anyone who is asked about him always mentions his energy. It can be a chicken and egg situation with winning along with energy, excitement and fun but it feels like this team has a little more pep in their step since Adames arrived.
The Brewers batting average is bad. They are a .211 hitting team. That’s the worst in the National League (by a fair margin) and second-worst in all of Major League Baseball. With two months of hitting just a little over .200, it would take a remarkable increase in average for this team to have a “good” batting average by the end of the season.
The hole is so deep at this point, there is not much value in monitoring their overall team batting average moving forward.
There is value in what they have done lately. Since May 29th, when they began a month of playing teams with below .500 records, they have hit .223 and have 20 home runs in those 9 games. A .223 batting average is nothing to write home about but it’s a lot better than .211. The 20 home runs is the significant number. If they can keep up some version of their recent power surge, they are going to win a lot of games as long as the pitching continues to hold up.