The Brewers announced that they’ve recalled top prospect Domingo Santana from Triple-A Colorado Springs. (MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy had tweeted prior to the announcement that Santana could be on his way to the bigs.) Acquired last month from the Astros as part of the Carlos Gomez/Mike Fiers blockbuster, Santana ranks 83rd on MLB.com’s list of Top 100 prospects.
This will not be the 23-year-old Santana’s first taste of Major League action, as he tallied 20 games with the Astros over the past two seasons before coming over to Milwaukee in the trade. Santana hit .256/.310/.462 in 14 games with Houston earlier this season and has delivered excellent production at the Triple-A level all season between both organizations. Though his numbers come with the usual Pacific Coast League caveat (the league is an exceptionally hitter-friendly environment), Santana’s .333/.426/.573 batting line is nonetheless impressive.
Santana will take the roster spot of injured right-hander Tyler Cravy, though he seemingly will also be auditioning to lock down a long-term role in a Brewers outfield that is at least somewhat in transition following the departure of Gomez. Though Santana has played primarily in the corner outfield as a minor leaguer, and his future is likely to be in right or left field, he does have experience in center field as well, where Milwaukee has a more immediate need.
From a long-term perspective, the Brewers seem to have three big-league-ready assets for two corner outfield spots. Ryan Braun is, of course, under contract through the 2020 season at an average of $19MM per year. And while Khris Davis has had his struggles this season, he’s homered nine times in his past 35 games (29 starts), albeit with low batting average (.224) and OBP (.306) marks. The team’s corner outfield situation though, will seemingly be one of many situations that the Brewers’ new general manager will have to sort out this winter. A move from the outfield to first base for Braun has been discussed in the past, but neither he nor Davis has ever played a professional game at first base.
Looking more toward the short-term, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel notes that the Brewers do have an interleague series against the Indians coming up that will be played in Cleveland, giving manager Craig Counsell the opportunity to work all three right-handed bats into his lineup by adding a DH possibility. And, with rosters expanding on Sept. 1, Counsell and the Brewers won’t have to worry about keeping too many corner options on the active roster for long.