Something needed to change for the Brewers after a recent 3-7 stretch against mediocre opponents. That change came Thursday evening when it was announced that Keston Hiura and Tyler Saladino were being called up, and Travis Shaw was demoted to AAA, and super-utility man Hernan Perez was designated for assignment.
Perez being designated for assignment was a bit of a shock for Brewers fans and likely for his teammates as well, given his unique positional versatility and obvious leadership within the clubhouse. However, his recent struggles at the plate pushed the envelope enough for this move to make sense. In the month of June, Perez only hit .196 with a .255 OBP while being given plenty of opportunities to showcase himself and be productive. He will be missed but Milwaukee (43-38) is not in a position to keep players around for the sake of comfort, tenure, and past productivity.
Keston Hiura being recalled to the bigs was a far less surprising move, and it now seems he will be in Milwaukee for the long haul if all goes according to plan. In his debut stint earlier in the season, Hiura slashed .281/.333/.531 with five home runs and looked confident as a middle-of-the-order run producer.
Travis Shaw’s dreadful offensive season which was on life-support already, seems to be unsalvageable at this point in the season. The Brewers’ leading run-producer over the previous two seasons has looked lost ever since Opening Day. It was increasingly difficult for Craig Counsell to justify keeping a .164 hitter in the lineup on a regular basis while Keston Hiura was continuing to rake in AAA San Antonio. Here’s hoping Shaw’s tenure as a Milwaukee Brewer does not end on a sour note, as he was a large part of the franchise’s rebuild and turnaround since his acquisition prior to the 2017 season.
Despite the recent tough stretch for the team as a collective, they still find themselves only a game out of first place in the NL Central, and with their next three series coming against divisional opponents, they are aiming to right the ship with these significant roster moves. David Stearns has proven to have good judgement on these kinds of tough decisions, so having faith in him is imperative for the Milwaukee Brewers fans and overall community.