Milwaukee Brewers: Internal options at 2B will rise to the occasion

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

This offseason many have been waiting for the Milwaukee Brewers to sign a second baseman that will keep the spot warm while Keston Hiura is in the minors, but the internal options that they already have on the roster will step up and contribute.

Whether it was in regards to a starting pitcher or a second baseman, Milwaukee Brewers General Manager David Stearns has always thought more highly of his own players at those positions than the general public has. This is a factor as to why Stearns hasn’t felt pressured to bring in a free agent second baseman this offseason unless it was the perfect fit.

Since the offseason began, most assumed that the Milwaukee Brewers would sign a free agent second baseman to fill the need for the 2019 season. While they were linked to a couple different names throughout the process, nothing materialized and the free agent pool started to dwindle.

What makes the Milwaukee Brewers situation unique, is that they have a potential star in Keston Hiura making his way through the minor leagues and although he won’t be on the Opening Day 25-man roster, it is very likely that he will make his MLB debut in 2019.

As appealing as it would have been signing D.J. LeMahieu, Jed Lowrie or Ian Kinsler, all three went for multi-year deals and making that commitment from the Milwaukee Brewers standpoint would have been unnecessary.

Even though they are still linked to Mike Moustakas, leaving the roster as is, could be the best move for Milwaukee. Moustakas is in search of a multi-year contract and according to Spotrac could make over $10 million per year. Neither of those aspects are that appealing to the Brewers.

Additionally, this acquisition would weaken the Milwaukee Brewers defensively in two places. Travis Shaw at second would be a downgrade over the current options and Moose at third would be a downgrade defensively over Shaw.

With all of this said, the Milwaukee Brewers have viable options already on the roster and they will be able to hold their own as contributors while we await the anticipated arrival of Keston Hiura.

Spangenberg and Perez platoon

On paper, Cory Spangenberg and Hernan Perez appear quite similar, from their versatility on defense down to their career numbers, which are nothing to write home about. However, while looking at Spangenberg and Perez individually may not strike fear into opposing pitchers, the duo in a platoon role could be quite formidable.

As we would expect, Perez who is a right-handed batter has had far better success at the plate when facing a lefty. Over his career, he’s accumulated a slash line of .273/.293/.444 against left-handers.

While on the other hand, Spangenberg as a lefty has fared much better against right-handed pitchers, posting a career line of .271/.331/.423.

Utilizing Spangenberg and Perez in this manner would mean that the Milwaukee Brewers would be adding an above average bat to the bottom of their batting order, which was an area of weakness in 2018.

Realistically, this may not be the best long term solution, but as stated above that’s not what the Milwaukee Brewers need at the moment. The duo will be able to contribute on offense and when either is having a down day, the Brewers’ offense has enough firepower that for the most part, it should be able to hide any inefficiencies.

The return of Mauricio Dubon

It hasn’t just been Mauricio Dubon’s Twitter game that has been on fire, before his unfortunate injury, his bat was as well.

Prior to tearing his ACL early on in the 2018 season, Dubon was off to an amazing start in Triple-A Colorado Springs and was on the brink of being called up the big leagues to relieve a struggling Orlando Arcia at shortstop.

In 27 games, Dubon had 114 plate appearances and posted a red-hot slash line of .343/.348/.574 and was riding a 23 game hitting streak.

Given Arcia’s slow first half of the season, had Dubon avoided injury we most likely would have seen him with the Milwaukee Brewers for much of the 2018 season, and we may not have had the discussion all offseason about who will fill the role at second base.

Over his career, Dubon’s primary position has been at shortstop but he has spent his fair share of time playing second base as well. This winter he even posted a video on Twiter of him turning a double play, hinting that he is ready to take over at second in 2019.

Since he is coming off of an injury, as well as limited playing time in 2018, Dubon will most likely begin the upcoming season in Triple-A, but I can’t imagine he will be there too long. When he gets his chance in the big leagues, he will be ready for the opportunity.

Many of these questions at second base are centered around the arrival of Keston Hiura to the Milwaukee Brewers. As anticipated as his debut will be, fans need to remember that he is yet to take a swing at the Triple-A level and that he may need some time before making the final jump to Miller Park.

Next. What to watch for in Spring Training. dark

While I do anticipate that we will see Hiura in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform in 2019, it may not be until some point during the summer months. In the meantime, the options that are available to keep his seat warm at second will get the job done.