When word of Mike Moustakas’ impending return to the Brewers broke, the assumption among many was that the Milwaukee organization would utilize the same defensive alignment as in 2019: Travis Shaw shifting over to second base and Moustakas handling third base. However, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweets that the Brewers will use Spring Training to determine if Moustakas is able to handle second base. If the team is satisfied with what it sees, Moustakas will be the primary second baseman, with Shaw remaining at third base.
While the arrangement likely isn’t one that many would anticipate, it does have the potential to be the best of their options. Shaw, after all, has turned in quite strong defensive marks at the hot corner since coming to Milwaukee, recording 22 Defensive Runs Saved and a +3.5 Ultimate Zone Rating across the past few seasons. Moustakas, meanwhile, has been average or slightly better for most of the past four seasons (with his return year from surgery to repair an ACL tear standing out as an understandable exception).
If Moustakas is able to play even competently at second base, the Brewers could enjoy the benefit of retaining a plus defender at the hot corner. Of course, if the experiment doesn’t yield dividends, there’ll be a fair bit of second-guessing as to why the Brewers didn’t simply acquire a truer option at second base. The market certainly had — and still has — alternatives. Marwin Gonzalez, Josh Harrison and Logan Forsythe are among the currently available players, and it’s worth pointing out that the Brewers were seemingly willing to pay more to play Moustakas out of position than they’d have needed to pay to simply sign Brian Dozier, who went to the Nationals for one year and $9MM.
Of course, the 30-year-old Moustakas is coming off of his fourth-straight season of above-average offensive work, with his consistent power making up for less-than-certain on-base numbers. And the Brewers know well what they are getting, having seen Moustakas up close down the stretch in 2018. In any event, it’ll be fascinating to see how the experiment pans out.
If I were Mike I’d move to second instantly. More to add to the resume next time he hits free agency. Clearly wasn’t working out as a 3B only
I’ve just analyzed every single MLBTR comment from the last three years … and seven (7) people know what they’re talking about. Better than I expected. Good job!
Go back to the future you baseball computer monster!
And put some money on the cubbies!!!
Obviously you are not one of the seven.
…and I am not one of them. But I like to drink beer while watching the Brewers and listening to Bob. So that makes me an armchair pitcher. I have a straight ball and a curveball, I can’t call it a fastball cause it sure ain’t fast.
Im okay with Shaw there. he played decent there last season. Either way, loved the signing of Moose. Theres 30 homers and 90 RBIs
90 rbi from his likely position in the batting order is a bit optimistic, however he’s pretty clutch and feels like a Brewer. I’d take the over on 72.5 rbi. 10M seems a bit much to me for the Crew though – a bit surprised.
In 54 games with the brewers he had 33 RBI. Stretch that out over 162 games it’s 99 RBI. He’s been at least into the 80s since his breakout year 4 years ago (barring his injury shortened 2016), so I don’t see why he would suddenly drop to the low 70s in a much better lineup than he used to be in, in a far more hitter friendly park
He’s hit 30+ HRs once. 90 RBI once. And last year was the first year he played over 149 games. Let’s get back to reality.
That’s not how RBI’s work. He’ll likely be down in the 6 spot, no way he gets that many RBI.
I dunno. I think the Brewers would be better served to sign Josh Harrison to play 2B everyday, and deal Shaw to a team that needs a legit MLB 3B, keeping Moose at 3B. Maybe they can turn Shaw into a SP? Alex Cobb from Baltimore? Just spitballing.
Playing guys out of position opens you up to a potential royal mess up at the worst time. Brewers are close enough to going and maybe even winning a WS, so why attempt to jam a square peg in a round hole?
I like the idea of potentially trading Shaw but they can definitely get a lot more for him than Cobb. Cobb is owed a lot of money and was not good for most of the year last year (I think he’ll be much better this year but his value is currently low). Shaw is under control for quite a while at arbitration prices. The Brewers GM seems to really love his SP and having infield depth so I think it’s more likely that they stand pat than make a big move like that
Shaw has two arbitration year remaining. Probably around $18-$20 M combined for those two years.
3 years if you count this year (which is at the bargain price of 4.67 million). Then there’s Cobb owed 42 million over the same amount of time. A team could likely buy low on him, but I think the Orioles would let him go for nothing more than salary relief at this point
it makes total sense to try. cant be any wackier then trying Shaw there.
Not as wacky as if they brought back Schoop. Id rather have a damp rag at the plate than Schoop
I don’t think that you’ll be saying that later this yr. Has always been a quality bat and average glove. Last yr the exception and I’m not a Schoop fan. Primed for big yr
i doubt he’ll be as good again vs what he did in 2017, but he probably will be better going forward compaired to last year.
I think he’ll be better in Minnesota than he was in Milwaukee but I doubt he approaches his Oriole career highs in that ballpark the twins play in.
I believe Schoop is somewhere in between his 2016 and 2017 numbers. I don’t have any doubt he’ll be above league average at 2B with the bat and he’s solid enough with the glove. I don’t think he’s quite as good as the 2017 numbers show but they aren’t that crazy. Guy has a lot of pop in his bat, even if the rest of the game is lacking. Aside from turning a smooth a double play. He does that extremely well.
Moose or Shaw the right side of the Brewer infield with Aguilar at first will be the worst in Baseball by plenty. Couple that with the fact that the Brewers starting staff is primarily right-handed inducing teams to start as many lefties as possible, the combo is a recipe for disaster.
You’ll see 3 fielders on the right side for a lot of lefties. It’ll probably work out just fine.
Aguilar was rated as the 7th best defensive 1st baseman by fangraphs for his work last year. I highly doubt that the 2nd and 1st combo Milwaukee puts out will be the worst defensive unit if their 1st base play is the 7th best again.
3 statues.. usually they are placed outside the stadium, not.on the right side of the infield.
Cubs or Cards troll: How did 2018 work out for you?
Schoop was absolutely on fire when he got traded (7 HR in his last 9 games) and he was finally turning his season around. The trade seems to have messed with his rhythm and then after he struggled for a week the brewers started benching him every few games, likely keeping him from ever getting back into his groove. I think that in this case their depth hurt them and definitely hurt Schoop. I predict a rebound this year with a team that actually plays him everyday
Never pictured Moose as a 2nd baseman.
It should be unforgettable
Never pictured Moose in the Hall of Fame.
Agreed. I thought retiring a year before he should have cost him his shot at the hall. I am glad to see the voters could see he left baseball with more left in the tank and didn’t hold on for 3-4 years just to pad his stats. Although, I really think he should have stuck around one more year. Finishing the season with a 3.37 ERA, 3.32 FIP, 131 ERA+ and 4.84 K/BB does not say time to retire. He had a legit shot at 300 Wins within 2-3 more seasons and would have been a first ballot.
It’s worth testing out during spring training… I think once the season starts, Moose will be bouncing between third and first and DH whenever in the AL parks. Perez will get the majority of the work at second.
I thought they’d trade for Dee Gordon for second.
Has there ever been a second baseman nicknamed Moose before?
Can’t think of one…
He played some 2nd base in the playoffs against the Dodgers and he looked good.
no he didn’t
Dr. Chim Richalds
Moustakas playing 2B. Desmond playing CF. Now all we need today, is for someone to sign Manny Machado, the best catcher in baseball, and this bizarro world will be complete.
I think Cervelli should he the Pirates shortstop.
I think it’s enough watching Machado set error records at short because he is to egotistical and self centered to be ok with being the best defensive 3rd basemen.
Moose is 6 feet and a little faster then Shaw. Shaw while he played well at 2nd is 6’4”. Makes sense to keep the 3rd basement of our present and future happy rather then have him play a position that belongs to Kesten Huira as quick as an injury and by opening day 2020 the job is his
what are your thoughts on the backup infielders we have? who makes the team? Perez, Lawrie, Spangenberg,Saladino??
Only Hernan now.
OF- Braun, Cain, Yelich. C – Grandal, Pina. IF – Shaw, Arica, Moose, Aguilar. Utility/Bench – Gamel, Thames, Perez, Lawrie/Spangenberg. Not sure Saladino can beat the others out…
Just stop the list at Perez, i think the brewers will carry a 13 man pitching staff
Perez, Spangenberg, Thames and Gamel
Gamel has an option left so highly doubtful that he is on the Opening Day roster unless he really impresses in Spring.
With Braun’s health issues Gamel is making the team and will play a significant amount of innings in the OF.
If they could get Moose to take his strong LH bat and play some halfway decent left field, it would really help. Braun misses a lot of games.
nah they’ll roll thames out in the outfield again for a bit
I think Counsell will look to use Thames more at both corner OF spots to get him more consistent ABs
Chicks Dig the Longball
I think this is to help the pitchers get use to having a crappy 2nd baseman so when Hiura gets there they wont notice a difference.
As a Cubs fan I think this is a great idea!
I think trying Moose at 2B in spring training is a great idea. He was drafted as a shortstop and played there in the low minors. Obviously that was a few years and pounds ago but nobody will work harder at it.
Many are drafted as SS because they are so much better than average non-pro player.
Miguel Cabrera and Nick Castellanos were both SS prospects.
At 6’ and 225 pounds, I can’t wait to see him turn a double play.
They have Spring training to work out “What’s on 2nd.”
So painfully close for this classic abott and costello bit that I felt like sharing it anyway…Sean Manaea is one letter away from his last name being
Manana…Tomorrow in Spanish…I’ve thought about it alot…
I can’t wait to see Machado try to spike him.
The man is a professional athlete who’s played in the infield his whole life. He will be at least decent at 2B.
Hopefully i’ll get to see some ST Brewers games with him at 2nd. I imagine “statuesque” might be a word that’ll come to mind.
I have a feeling that you will see Shaw at first, Huira at second, Dubon or Arcia at short and Moose at third by middle of May . We then may have teams to trade possibly for more prospects at that time if not sooner for Perez, Davies, Anderson, Thames. Possible dfa Saladino and Spand because we will need them at AAA by then. If we get lucky with Lawrie then he could be super utility player covering infield, outfielder and third catcher. I honestly dont know if Aguilar can handle full time first struggled second half and winter ball
Counsell loves Hernan, he will not be going anywhere, his versatility is too valuable.
Even if Aguilar struggles he will have the job at least into June after an allstar year.
I’ll take Moose at second with poor defense and serious power than Logan Forsythe and his .600 OPS
Yes this… the crew uses the shift so well that the ball usually ends up going right to the position player. Kinda freaky how well it works.
Dan Uggla played 2B, so anything is possible
The guy was short, quick, and strong as an ox. MM is fat and slow … big difference lol. Uggla was just the worse hitter though
Dumb… but who cares about defense these days, right? And this is coming from a Brewers fan.
Exactly. Especially IF defense. A product of launch angle theology. As exceptional as the Red Sox OF was last year, that’s how bad the IF defense was. And they won 106.
When Hader is striking out the side, anyone can play anywhere.
This is called A Bad Idea lol
Here’s why I’m okay with this option. Even though the notion is that Marwin would have been better or Dozier would have been a better short term stop gap price wise. They’ll likely have Hiura ready next year, meaning a longer term contract to Marwin wouldn’t have made sense. And with Dozier you don’t know what kind of offense you’ll for sure get or how healthy he’ll be. Moose fits in with their lineup so well that even if they do have to end up switching Shaw to second again because he can’t cover it adequately, I think he fits their best short term as far as what he’ll provide to the lineup. Marwin would be great if they could get him for one year, but even if he took a one year deal to try free agency again next year, he’d likely want about what Moose got anyhow.
There was a guy named Brian dozier in FA who signed for the same price who actually is a 2B. For that matter they had a pretty strong rebound candidate with the same skill set as moose in Jonathan Schoop who they chose to non tender. Makes more sense than seeing if Mike Moustakas can play the position.
And there was also a guy named Brian Dozier in FA that had a negative dWAR last season at 2B, an OPS of almost 80 points less than Moustakas and is more than a year older.
And you only need to go back to 2017 to find dozier as a top 2B. You don’t need to be defensive here. Dozier is an actual 2B who was elite as recently as 2017. They went moose and that’s fine but if you’re telling me you think he’s a better 2B option than dozier I’ll have to say no to that until proven otherwise.
Dozier has never been anywhere close to being a top 2B defensively. He’s league average, at best. You don’t think Moustakas seems capable of playing league average defense? Also, In 2017 when Dozier was “elite”, with the exception of Dozier drawing more walks, Moustakas outperformed him offensively.
Do those walks not count? Or the 16 steals? His OPS was .856 while moose posted an .835. Go back to 2016 and the gap would widen. Dozier is a natural 2B who plays decent defense. Moose is an average defensive 3B who could play terrible 2B defense. Like I said I’ll believe it when I see it. They’re going that way but I’m understanadably skeptical. You should be too.
Plus, clubhouse culture is put premium by BrewCrew lately. Generally, BrewCrew is men having fun playing baseball. Moose fits. Schoop has frown face and half heart on field. It is a thing.
Yes, the 1 extra walk per four games does count. But the OPS difference is less than the OBP difference, so Moustakas outperformed him otherwise.
You seem to be already convinced that Moustakas will be playing second and will suck defensively. It just seems more likely he would be average defensively (which is comparable to Dozier) than he would suck. It’s also more likely that Moose stays at third while Shaw moves to second.
Either way, Shaw/Dozier is not an improvement over Shaw/Moustakas. It all comes down to which you think is more likely, Dozier rebounding offensively or Moustakas being horrible defensively if he even plays second. And, again, it seems much more likely that Moustakas can play average defense at second and outhit Dozier than not.
I mean I’d say that’s a coin flip at best. Dozier had an unusual low BABIP yet his hard hit rate went up v his two highly productive years the two years prior. His profile looks the same and I’d argue he’s one of the most likely bounce back candidates in all of baseball. He’s outhit Moustakas 2/3 years. Just not last. The Brewers went their direction and that’s fine it may work out but I don’t think you need to reinvent the wheel. I have no vested interest in the NL central so I wish the brewers best and hope it all works out but I’m going to be skeptical until I see it happen.
The only year Dozier outhit Moustakas was 2016 when Moose was injured.
Dozier is having to look to rebound, and Schoop was absolutely terrible for them last year though. Considering Moustakas has at least been consistent, he was still the safer bet of those three. And he was a shorter term commitment than Marwin Gonzalez would have been. They could have tried to overpay Marwin to go for a one year deal, but at least with Moose they have someone they’re familiar with who had some success with the team last season. He was well liked in the clubhouse, showed the right signs that he enjoyed playing for the team, it was a solid pickup imo. Not to bash yours or anything, I just think if you’re going to going to spend the money, you might as well pay it for the lesser gamble who’s already been a good presence to your team.
wanna see moose turn two!
The desire to keep Shaw at 3rd is easy to understand. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting in Spring Training, and if Moose can play a passable keystone, that’s the way I would go. This can’t be as bad as Sano in right field, can it? 😉 Still, if I’m shaping the Milwaukee roster, I would have earlier pursued a true secondbaseman.
I don’t see moose as a second baseman but wth give it a shot he might just Rock it… one of KC’s mistakes is letting him go..
As a Royals fan I would agree with you. We could have kept Moose and LoCain for a lot less than we offered Hosmer. I’m glad they’re together on the Crew.
I honestly think Moose can play a decent 2B.
Fascinating? Seriously? Talk about hyperbole…
No matter how well he does, he’ll still be only the second best “Moose” to play for the Brewers.
Not if they win it all baby!!!
The one player I really wanted NY Yankees to sign. Hits left handed, plays good defense, not overly expensive. Oh, well.
Good luck, MM.
Everyone is hung up on OBP. There aren’t many teams that Moose wouldn’t improve. He’s intense, he’s focused, he doesn’t whine or pout, he doesn’t embarrass you off the field and he’s great in the clubhouse. Combine that with 25 HR and 90 RBI and I’ll never understand why a marked didn’t develop for him. He’ll be Forever Royal to me regardless of where he plays.
1 Goose Man
Brett Lawrie can play 2nd too. Brewers looking in good shape with options.
Tough for me to envision The Moose having enough quickness to effectively defend the position and turn double plays when needed. The again I guess if Dan Uggla can play there so can Mike Moustakas.
it’ll be interesting to see what C.C does with the lineup this season and how he implements who hits where. seems like we have a pretty good right/left split. most likely
Moose’s bat is so vastly superior to all the other options at 2b he would have to be absolutely terrible defensively, pretty obvious.
This signing was a great move, whether he’s at 3B or 2B. Will definitely help Milwaukee