The Brewers announced a trio of roster moves, including the activation of first baseman Rowdy Tellez from the 10-day injured list. First baseman Keston Hiura was optioned to Triple-A to make space for Tellez on the active roster. Milwaukee also outrighted utilityman Tim Lopes to Triple-A, four days after Lopes was designated for assignment.
Tellez returns after missing three weeks due to a right patella strain. The slugger and the Brewers each hope that the time off has corrected what had been a nagging knee problem for Tellez, and that he is now ready to roll for the Brew Crew’s postseason stretch.
While the Brewers’ May acquisition of Willy Adames has been rightfully lauded as a turning point in the season, the club’s trade for Tellez in early July shouldn’t be overlooked as another key move. Tellez got off to a brutal start with the Blue Jays this year, prompting Toronto to clear its first base/DH logjam and upgrade its struggling bullpen by moving Tellez to Milwaukee for Trevor Richards. Tellez responded to the change of scenery, hitting .270/.329/.474 with seven home runs during his first 167 plate appearances in a Brewers uniform.
The Tellez deal was necessary in part because Hiura struggled so badly, and he will likely finish the season with a .168/.256/.301 slash line over 197 PA at the big league level in 2021. After a huge rookie campaign in 2019, Hiura didn’t hit well in 2020 before cratering this season, leaving the former top prospect as something of an unknown quantity heading into next year. Hiura is still only 25 years old and has continued to hit well at the Triple-A level, at least, but it remains to be seen if the Brewers still view him as a potential future cornerstone.