With Schoop and Moustakas in tow, here's how the Brewers might align their infield
The Brewers have some options to weigh in filling out their infield
What do the Brewers intend to do all those infielders? Let's sort it out, position by position. Keep in mind, these are just guesses. The Brewers can (and probably will) go a different way than what we've laid out below.
The easiest of the four spots to solve. Jesus Aguilar has started at the cold corner in 72 of Milwaukee's 109 games, with Eric Thames (22) and Ryan Braun (12) getting most of the other starts. Aguilar has scuffled since the All-Star break, but there's no reason to think he's on the hot seat just yet -- not so long as Craig Counsell is using Thames in the outfield against righties.
Best guess: Aguilar, with an occasional appearance from Thames and Braun.
The Brewers have already tipped their hands that they think Travis Shaw is an acceptable answer at the keystone. Hence playing him there in the two games they've faced righties since the Moustakas trade.
Shaw, of course, requires a dance partner. That's where things get tricky. Would the Brewers use Schoop at second base only against lefties? Or would they shift one or the other to shortstop and plug in the void with one of their other reserve infielders? We're guessing the plan is to continue to roll with Shaw at second -- for now, anyway.
Best guess: Shaw against righties, Tyler Saladino versus lefties.
Since acquiring Moustakas, the Brewers have slotted him into the lineup at the hot corner in each game. One would think that will continue to be the case.
There is a chance, however, that the Brewers sit Moustakas against tougher left-handed pitching. Even then, he's been a better hitter against them in recent seasons than he was earlier in his career. If the Brewers believe his gains there are legitimate, they could give him a chance to lift his .698 OPS against them. If not, then Hernan Perez could slot in against southpaws.
Best guess: Mostly Moustakas, with Perez checking in against tougher southpaws.
Yes, we're slotting in Schoop here. That's partially because he has the arm for it, and partially because he has experience there. Schoop has seven games of experience at shortstop in the majors, but more than 220 games in the minors. That isn't to suggest Schoop will be great there, just that he's the most qualified of the Brewers' likely starters to assume the position.
Orlando Arcia, the true shortstop on the roster, has been one of the worst hitters in the majors. Presuming Arcia is also the one to go down, the Brewers could bring him back in September and use him as a late-and-close defensive sub so as to hide Schoop's deficiencies in high-leverage situations.
Best guess: Mostly Schoop, with Arcia manning the spot in important September spots.
Not the best defense by any means -- both players up the middle are out of position -- but the Brewers would be banking on their positioning and their offense making up for it.
Conventional? Hardly, but it should make for an interesting few months in Milwaukee.
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