Lots of bad news in the world of baseball today — Brewers bullpen coach Stan Kyles was diagnosed with cancer, Colorado team president Keli McGregor was found dead at age 48, and Edinson Volquez was suspended 50 games for violating the league’s PED policy.
There was a piece of good news this afternoon for Brewers fans, though — Jonathan Lucroy was promoted to Triple-A Nashville after hitting .452/.500/.524 in Huntsville to start the season (h/t to battlekow, who was the first I saw to break the story). Ben Badler of Baseball America noted on Twitter that Lucroy’s bat was too advanced for Double-A, which was why it was so puzzling he was assigned there to start the year.
One of the reasons we heard for Lucroy repeating Double-A was that the Brewers wanted to make sure Lucroy and Angel Salome both got plenty of playing time — something that would be hard to do if they were both in Triple-A. Of course, now we’re facing that problem, and we’re left wondering what this means for Salome, and possibly the big league catchers as well.
That’s assuming, though, that this is anything more than a temporary promotion. Salome is currently on the inactive list as his wife is expecting their second child. While Salome is away, though, Lucroy will get the chance to show what he can do against tougher competition.
I get the feeling that the Brewers wouldn’t have promoted him — even temporarily — if they didn’t think he could handle it, though. Hell, over the winter there was speculation that Lucroy would be making a Double-A to Major League jump after he tore the cover off the ball in the Arizona Fall League. With Gregg Zaun and George Kottaras struggling (both offensively and defensively) to start the year, you can’t help but wonder if this is an early test to see if he’d possibly be ready to take over the catching duties in Milwaukee sometime this year.
I think we’re all assuming to see Lucroy in Milwaukee by September, but who knows — if he continues to impress by hitting well in Nashville and the Zaun/Kottaras combo keeps trying to play as poorly as Jason Kendall did, we could be seeing him sooner.