David Stearns is hoping to strike gold once more.
For the second time in six weeks, the Milwaukee Brewers’ president of baseball operations parted with a key piece of his bullpen to bolster one other a part of the massive league roster when he despatched right-handed reliever Trevor Richards to the Toronto for first baseman Rowdy Tellez Tuesday afternoon.
The deal supplies Milwaukee a left-handed possibility at first base the place Keston Hiura has regressed after a promising begin following his return from Triple-A; a return that was made crucial when Daniel Vogelbach was misplaced to a hamstring damage.
“I believe the necessity there may be clear,” Stearns mentioned earlier than Milwaukee’s recreation in opposition to the Mets at Citi Discipline was referred to as off resulting from rain. “We misplaced a left-handed hitter who was hitting in the course of our lineup and doing a very nice job so we have been searching for to interchange a few of that manufacturing.”
Vogelbach, who Milwaukee additionally acquired from the Blue Jays late final season, had taken over because the on a regular basis starter at first base when Hiura was demoted for a second time in an effort to shake out of an offensive hunch that stretched all the best way again to final season.
He’d carried out nicely within the function, posting a .790 OPS with 4 residence runs and 7 RBIs over 19 video games earlier than straining his hamstring whereas attempting to attain in a 5-0 victory at Arizona on June 22.
Not solely did that go away Milwaukee little option to carry again Hiura and additional pressure the workforce’s depth, which has been put to the take a look at due to a season-long slate of accidents, it left supervisor Craig Counsell with a lineup that was closely right-handed and have become much more skewed that method when Kolten Wong was positioned on the injured record over the weekend.
That made Tellez, who hit 21 residence runs in 11 video games in 2019 and eight in 35 video games final season a lovely goal, regardless of less-than-impressive 2021 numbers (.209/.272/.338, 4 HRs, 610 OPS in 50 video games) that led TOronto to possibility him to Triple-A final month.
“It is a participant who has persistently put the bat on the ball and he’s persistently hit the ball arduous,” Stearns mentioned. “These are two fairly good attributes for main league hitters. He’s had success within the main leagues. He’s had an extended observe file of success within the minor leagues.
“He bought off to somewhat little bit of a gradual begin this yr on the main league stage however we expect the underlying elements are fairly sound. We predict he ought to be capable of carry out on the main league stage.”
Stearns had comparable fortune when he acquired shortstop Willy Adames from the Rays in late Could. Adames was hitting simply .197 with Tampa however has been red-hot since coming to Milwaukee, the place he’s batting .298 with eight residence runs, 29 RBIs and a .930 OPS in 42 video games whereas additionally stabilizing the shortstop place, the place Luis Urias had struggled after taking on the on a regular basis job earlier within the season.
In an ironic twist, Richards additionally got here to Milwaukee within the Adames deal, which price Stearns two extremely regarded younger relievers in J.P. Feyereisen and Drew Rasmussen.
Adames’ success on the sector and emergence as a pacesetter off it overshadowed Richards’ contributions to the workforce. He appeared in 15 video games for Milwaukee, going 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 19⅔ innings.
Dropping Richards is hard however the emergence of choices like Jake Cousins and Miguel Sanchez and a latest commerce for Hunter Strickland left Stearns assured that the bullpen would be capable of choose up the slack.
“We’re most likely nearing the sting of our depth somewhat bit and I’m cognizant of that,” Stearns mentioned. “However in an effort to make trades like this, the place two contending golf equipment make a deal, we frequently have to offer one thing up off our main league membership.”
The deal for Tellez comes lower than a month earlier than Main League Baseball’s annual commerce deadline. Stearns has not been shy about making strikes to this point this season and isn’t planning to take a seat on his fingers between now and July 31.
“We’re actually open to enhancing the workforce nonetheless we will,” Stearns mentioned. “That’ll be a pursuit that continues over the following 4 weeks. I’ve mentioned it earlier than: I’m not good at timing these items and I’m not good at predicting these items so I’ll cease attempting to try this however we’re working to attempt to enhance the workforce the place we will and I’m hopeful we’ll have the chance to try this over the following 4 weeks.”