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Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Brewers option Keston Hiura to open spot for Travis Shaw

This was a surprise.

Preserving depth on a major-league baseball team sometimes means having to make tough decisions, and the Milwaukee Brewers made one Monday afternoon.

Rather than lose a player they value, the Brewers optioned second baseman Keston Hiura to Class AAA San Antonio to open a roster spot for the return of third baseman Travis Shaw from minor-league rehabilitation assignment with that club.

In making that announcement, Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns made it clear that it wasn’t anything Hiura failed to do in proving he can perform at the big-league level. Rather, it was a move made entirely because of roster considerations.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:30 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brewers, keston hiura

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   1. Howie Menckel Posted: June 04, 2019 at 09:51 AM (#5848071)
as noted elsewhere on this site, Hiura was a butcher at second base and has little experience above A ball. but this and other articles imply that Shaw was out of options - he is not. Aguilar is.
   2. puck Posted: June 04, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5848076)
Hiura has 454 PA in AA and AAA. It would seem the roster crunch and not being able to field the position would be likelier considerations.
   3. DCA Posted: June 04, 2019 at 10:53 AM (#5848106)
If they are going to carry 13 pitchers, it's hard to argue with this. The only guys with options are Arcia, Gamel, and Shaw. Arcia is the only true SS on the roster, and Shaw will be taking Hiura's at bats vs RHP. I'd expect to see Hiura on the September and playoff rosters as a platoon starter and PH, even if Shaw and Moustakas are healthy.
   4. Master of the Horse Posted: June 04, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5848140)
1--Did the person making the butcher claim have a source? Hiura had some errors during his brief time with the team but nobody around the team or in the Brewers commentariat set were saying the guy sucks in the field. His arm is not great, but otherwise he seemed fine. And I am not aware of any scouting reports from his time in the minors that say Hiura cannot handle the position.

Thanks
   5. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 04, 2019 at 11:37 AM (#5848142)
And I am not aware of any scouting reports from his time in the minors that say Hiura cannot handle the position.


There was some pre-draft concern about him sticking at 2B because he was recovering from an injury to his throwing arm and nobody really knew how well it'd bounce back since he hadn't started throwing yet by draft day. Other than that, I don't think it's an issue.
   6. Master of the Horse Posted: June 04, 2019 at 11:39 AM (#5848147)
Shaw is being elevated because the guy has two solid seasons on his resume and the team still believes in the guy. Aguilar has no options so if the team released him strong belief he would get picked up. And the team wants a right hander to go with Shaw and Thames. Really kind of sucks because Hiura was crushing the ball the last week. Poster on BCB shared that Hiura had either the best or almost best exit velocity multiple times with most of the hits going for extra bases if not homers. That homer against Vasquez of the Pirates was out before the outfielder took maybe two steps.

Shaw better hit or he's ######.
   7. Master of the Horse Posted: June 04, 2019 at 11:42 AM (#5848150)
5--Thanks. Yeah all the fielding mentions come from draft day which makes sense because Hiura was a DH his last season in college. Here is a mention from Fangraphs from two weeks ago--Hiura reached Double-A in his first full pro season, and then was clearly one of the top five or six talents in the Arizona Fall League, where he won League MVP. Most importantly, his arm strength is once again viable at second base. An elbow injury relegated Hiura to DH-only duty as a junior at UC Irvine, and he may have gone even earlier in the 2017 draft if not for concerns about the injury and how it might limit his defense. That’s no longer a concern, as Hiura has an average arm and plays an unspectacular second base.

Pretty much agrees with everything I have read or watched as a fan FWIW
   8. bfan Posted: June 04, 2019 at 12:31 PM (#5848198)
Poster on BCB shared that Hiura had either the best or almost best exit velocity multiple times with most of the hits going for extra bases if not homers. That homer against Vasquez of the Pirates was out before the outfielder took maybe two steps.


Yes, it makes me wonder just how good the Milwaukee line-up must be that they do not need a 2B just learning his MLB craft who has compiled an .865 OPS.
   9. Master of the Horse Posted: June 04, 2019 at 12:35 PM (#5848206)
8--Yelich, Grandal and Moose have carried the offense. But not a coincidence that Brewers scored a shitton of runs in PNC a place where the Pirates have rolled the Crew constantly
   10. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 04, 2019 at 02:30 PM (#5848295)
Shaw is being elevated because the guy has two solid seasons on his resume and the team still believes in the guy.

Shaw better hit or he's ######.


Shaw just put up back to back 4 WAR seasons for the Brewers - he's not being 'elevated' he returning to his earned starting position. And last year he handled 2B (39 games there - did not see that experiment working at all!) better than what Hiura is doing this year.
   11. Master of the Horse Posted: June 04, 2019 at 02:58 PM (#5848310)
10--I don't get the distinction being made other than semantics. And I am no scout but anyone claiming that Shaw is better than Hiura at second base defensively does so based on what standard or math or other? Neither has a sample size of any magnitude. But if you did use those limited innings Hiura has a greater DP turned as a pct of innings as well as chances handled as a pct of innings versus Shaw. Hiura has made more errors which anyone will take as a tradeoff against seemingly more range. But who knows what is what given that neither player has been at that position for any real time in the bigs. and yes I know what fangraphs and bbref are sharing but again, these innings numbers are really small.

I know folks are not just making up the 'Hiura sucks playing second' but would really like a source because I read a ton of Brewer content (not ESPN sorry that site sucks) and have not seen that feedback.

And I really, REALLY want Shaw to start hitting. And get why he's back. But c'mon he HAS sucked like a lot this season. And didn't show anything at AAA. He's kind of getting a pass based on history versus anything now.
   12. BillWallace Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:57 PM (#5848409)
What kind of source are you looking for? His UZR is awful in a very very small sample size. But the next best source after SSS metrics would have to be the Brewers baseball decision makers, whose opinion is apparent.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: June 04, 2019 at 06:25 PM (#5848443)
Yes, it makes me wonder just how good the Milwaukee line-up must be that they do not need a 2B just learning his MLB craft who has compiled an .865 OPS.

To reiterate others, how good does a lineup need to be to not give a guy with 8 WAR over the last two seasons his job back? (And it sounds like he might not be getting it fully back.) The Brewers were already slightly crunched with Braun.Thames-Aguilar triangle and the Shaw-Moose conundrum (sounds like an episode of Canadian Star Trek). Gamel is having a solid season as 4th-5th OF and Perez is having a solid season as backup IF.

The guy's also got a 33% K-rate and a 23/3 K/BB so it's likely pitchers were about to start exploiting that anyway (see the Michael Chavis thread). It's also possible he's Javy Baez without the defense so will just keep producing despite the terrible K/BB.

It's a tough decision and they may have made the wrong one but it's a reasonable one and this way Hiura gets to play everyday and continue to work on his defense in the minors. And, yes, they might be able to get him on the other side of the (likely) super-2 threshold. Upside of Brian Dozier seem about right?
   14. Master of the Horse Posted: June 04, 2019 at 06:51 PM (#5848455)
13--Actually his strikeouts went down after striking out 17 times in his first 39 at bats. Which coincided with the power display this past week. So if your premise is that he was hot and then got exploited actually the output was in reverse.
   15. Master of the Horse Posted: June 04, 2019 at 06:55 PM (#5848456)
12--Something other than guesses. Because the club (and get the club isn't going to trash the guy in public) and all the writers around the club are saying defense was not part of the decision. The team has stated and by this action clearly believes in Shaw, Aguilar has no options, so Hiura was the guy who had to go.


   16. Baldrick Posted: June 04, 2019 at 07:16 PM (#5848460)
13--Actually his strikeouts went down after striking out 17 times in his first 39 at bats. Which coincided with the power display this past week. So if your premise is that he was hot and then got exploited actually the output was in reverse.

The premise was: he strikes out a lot and doesn't walk much.
   17. puck Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:11 PM (#5848470)
Is another angle (common for a young player) that they don't want him to be a bench player? They'd rather have him go down to AAA and get regular time?

I didn't realize Moustakas has been playing so much 2nd base.
   18. Master of the Horse Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:31 PM (#5848477)
17--Absolutely. Once you decide Shaw returns makes sense to keep Hiura playing regularly.
   19. Master of the Horse Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:31 PM (#5848478)
Hiura apparently took the news ok. And he is in the lineup tonight against Salt Lake
   20. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: June 04, 2019 at 10:17 PM (#5848524)
Well apparently the "great Travis Shaw return to the lineup" experiment is an EPIC fail! A Trumpesque biggest fail of all time! Down 15-0 to the Marlins!
   21. bfan Posted: June 05, 2019 at 12:41 PM (#5848648)
Yes, it makes me wonder just how good the Milwaukee line-up must be that they do not need a 2B just learning his MLB craft who has compiled an .865 OPS.

To reiterate others, how good does a lineup need to be to not give a guy with 8 WAR over the last two seasons his job back?


Just a musing and kind of answered here; Milwaukee has 9 very good hitters this year, while some MLB teams seem to struggle along with 1 or 2.

The Hiura 23/3 K/BB number is pretty funny, because Austin Riley now sits at 25/4. Austin has dinked some 3-0 pitches (and in fairness, crushed a couple, too), but I hope someone is talking to him (and Hiura) about not swinging at fringy 3-0 pitches and take the ignominy of a walk, or they are going to start getting themselves out too often.
   22. Master of the Horse Posted: June 05, 2019 at 01:55 PM (#5848670)
21--Wouldn't it make sense that early on a guy playing in the majors will have a pretty low walk rate even if in the minors he showed patience? Seems pretty natural because the pitchers would be expected to go after a new guy and the new guy knows that hits get the most attention. Or maybe not. No immediate data to support this idea. Just thought maybe someone had checked it out
   23. DCA Posted: June 05, 2019 at 03:15 PM (#5848694)
A Trumpesque biggest fail of all time! Down 15-0 to the Marlins!

To be fair, Shaw went 2-3 with a double and a walk (and an error) so it's not like it's his fault. The Marlins didn't score 16 runs on an error.

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