The Brewers will press ahead with their unconventional plan for Mike Moustakas. Skipper Craig Counsell says the long-time third baseman will indeed line up at second base in Milwaukee, as Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel was among those to tweet. The move from the hot corner to second isn’t particularly common. And it’s all but unprecedented for a player to be handed the keys to an up-the-middle defensive position that he has never before played professionally. (Moustakas does have minimal experience at shortstop dating to his first two seasons as a pro.) The Brewers obviously feel the tools are there to allow Moustakas to succeed — once he has been positioned optimally, at least.
More from the central divisions:
- Royals reliever Brad Boxberger was kept out of spring action with an unspecified leg issue, Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star reports (Twitter link). Manager Ned Yost would say only that the hurler had “tweaked” something. Fortunately, Boxberger was able to get back on the bump last night and now seems on track to be ready for the start of the season. Boxberger, who is earning $2.2MM on a one-year deal with the Royals, has been expected to serve as his new club’s closer.
- The Reds trotted out Michael Lorenzen as a two-way player in Cactus League action today, as MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon writes. Dual deployment has long been anticipated, though it was — and remains — unclear how frequent he’ll be called upon to line up in the outfield. Lorenzen was in center field today. The 27-year-old hit a robust .290/.333/.710 with four home runs in 34 plate appearances last year, so it’s understandable that the club would like to see what he can do with more opportunities.
- Baseball decisions can be tough to understand at times. Cameron Rupp’s recent history presents a bit of a puzzle, as Chris McCosky of the Detroit News explores. The Tigers’ newly added backstop played in at least half of the Phillies games annually from 2015 through 2017, producing just-below-average, power-driven offense. Rupp’s framing fell apart in 2017, but he had been a decent performer in that metric previously and otherwise was not a problem behind the dish. Despite being relatively youthful and continuing to turn in solid work at the plate, though, Rupp never got a call to the big leagues last year and is already on to his second organization this spring.
An earlier version of this post mistakenly indicated that Boxberger had not yet returned to game action.