Milwaukee Brewers: Where Does Ehire Adrianza Fit In?

The Milwaukee Brewers added another switch-hitting infielder to their roster by claiming Ehire Adrianza from the Giants.

One advantage of being in a rebuild is the ability to take chances without risking a divisional championship or wild card birth. This flexibility was apparent on Tuesday, as Brewers GM David Stearns added Ehire Adrianza for infield depth.

Before the move, Milwaukee was already heading into camp with competition at each infield position. While Orlando Arcia and Jonathan Villar should be locks as starters, Hernan Perez and Scooter Gennett will be pushing for consistent playing time.

With spring training set to begin in a matter of weeks,  Stearns made another solid move by adding tough competition. As for his status on the roster, Stearns stated,

“We like positional versatility and infielders, and he adds to that. As far as how he ultimately falls from a roster construction standpoint, we’ll tackle those questions as the offseason continues and in spring training. This is something we did not want to pass up”

Known for his defensive ability, Adrianza appears to be a similar player to defensive minded infielder Yadiel Rivera.  However, at just 27 years old, the newest Brewer could benefit from a change of scenery and find hitting success at Miller Park.

The question is, will he even make the opening day roster? Working in his favor is the fact that he is out of minor league options. Therefore, Stearns would likely Adrianza to free-agency if brought to Milwaukee.

This puts pressure on Scooter Gennett to have a productive spring training. If he gets off to a slow start, Stearns and Counsell might choose to give the backup job to the former Giant, who is a more reliable defender.

For Adrianza it will be important that he comes to camp knowing he needs to outplay Gennett by a wide margin for him to make the team. This can be done by living up to his defensive reputation and getting on base often.

In 2016, between his time in AAA and with the Giants, Adrianza had an OBP of .299 and .297, respectively. Certainly, he would need to do more to be worth a spot on the 25-man roster.

Overall, David Stearns decision to claim Ehire Adrianza will give Craig Counsell additional versatility in the infield. This will add to the battles for playing time taking place throughout spring training. In the end, this could push Scooter Gennett out of a job or just be a risk-free move by the Brewers GM.