The Brewers made a couple of DL moves yesterday during their off day before starting a series in Pittsburgh tonight. One of the moves was a bit of a surprise, while the other left many wondering what took so long.
First, Jonathan Lucroy was activated from the disabled list after just a few games rehabbing with Double A Huntsville. To make room, Jeremy Reed was designated for assignment. We knew that Lucroy was likely to come back at some point during the road trip, but I don’t know if anyone expected that he’d be out there for the start of it, especially when it was the offensive aspect of his game that he needed to get up to speed. He did show a good deal of patience in his rehab stint, but whether or not that will translate to the majors remains to be seen. Lucroy historically has had some pretty decent walk rates in the minors, but was subpar last year as he was thrown into the fire.
Perhaps the most surprising part of the move, though, is that the Brewers will go with three catchers for the time being and decided to part ways with Reed. That’s not to say that Reed really provided anything — and he never really got the chance to prove he could provide anything — but keeping three catchers on the roster does seem to be a bit unusual these days. From the sound of it, though, George Kottaras won’t be doing much catching, taking over Reed’s role as a left-handed pinch hitter. For the time being, that’s a good move, even if it doesn’t speak well to Kottaras’ chances of sticking around once Corey Hart is ready to return.
The less surprising move of the day was Takashi Saito heading to the DL with his hamstring problems. Considering Saito’s history, the Brewers had to know that he would be making a trip or two to the DL this season, so this doesn’t exactly come as a shock. It could be argued that having it happen in April already is a bit unexpected, though, and I’m sure some will be quick to compare the Saito signing to the (perceived) failed deals with David Riske and LaTroy Hawkins. This is a bit different, though — those two were counted on to be main pieces of the bullpen when they were signed. Saito is merely a very nice (and valuable) piece to have around when he’s healthy. Anything they can get out of him is gravy, but the Brewers have the bullpen depth to survive without him. For the time being, Brandon Kintzler is back in the majors (at least until Hawkins is ready to come back in the next week or two), so at the very least the team won’t be working with a short-handed and over-taxed bullpen.