The Brewers announced they’ve optioned infielder Keston Hiura to Triple-A Nashville. Right-hander Luis Perdomo was selected onto the major league roster in a corresponding move. Milwaukee already had a pair of vacancies on the 40-man roster, which sits at 39 after Perdomo’s addition.
It’s another setback for Hiura, who has run into a series of struggles over the past couple years. Selected ninth overall in the 2017 draft, Hiura was regarded as a bat-first second baseman who could move quickly through the minor leagues. That proved to be the case, as he’d reached the majors by the middle of the 2019 season. The UC-Irvine product was excellent as a rookie, posting a .303/.368/.570 line with 19 home runs over his first 84 MLB games.
That was stellar production that seemed to cement Hiura’s status as the second baseman of the future, but it came with a surprisingly high 30.7% strikeout rate. Swing-and-miss hadn’t really been a concern for the right-handed hitter either in college or during his first season and a half in the minors, but the punchouts began to mount when he first reached Triple-A in 2019. Hiura showed as a rookie he could still be productive while fanning in three of every ten trips to the dish, but those concerns have become even more pronounced since that season.
Hiura played in 59 of the Brew Crew’s 60 games in 2020, but he hit only .212/.297/.410 with a 34.6% strikeout rate. Milwaukee signed Kolten Wong to take the primary second base job in 2021, leaving Hiura to split time between the keystone and first base. He bounced up and down from Nashville a few times while posting a .168/.256/.301 line and going down on strikes in just under 40% of his plate appearances.
In an effort to curb the swing-and-miss issues, Hiura set out to simplify his swing mechanics this past offseason. That hasn’t yet paid off; he has struck out in 20 of his first 42 trips on the season, and his 58.8% rate of contact on swings isn’t too dissimilar from his 2020-21 marks. Hiura hasn’t had a ton of playing time behind Wong and first baseman Rowdy Tellez, who is off to a scorching start to the season. The Brewers will send him back to Nashville — where he had strong results despite a lot of strikeouts last year — for more regular playing time.
Still yet to turn 26, Hiura has a bit of time to figure things out. His service clock could begin to force the issue after this season, though. Hiura entered the year with two years and 30 days of MLB service. Players are credited with a full year for spending 172 days on an MLB roster or injured list, meaning he needs 142 days in the bigs this year to keep his trajectory towards free agency after the 2025 season. There’s also a possibility of Hiura reaching arbitration eligibility as a Super Two qualifier but falling short of the three-year mark depending on how much time he spends in the minors.
Of course, the service time component is only relevant for Milwaukee if Hiura proves worthy of a long-term roster spot. He has one minor league option year remaining. If he spends 20+ days in the minors this season, he’ll exhaust that final option in 2022. That’d mean Milwaukee has to carry Hiura on the active roster out of camp next year if they don’t want to make him available to other teams. Much of how the Brewers proceed will no doubt be determined by whether he gets the strikeouts under control over the next few months.
As for Perdomo, he makes his return to the majors after missing all of last year recovering from Tommy John surgery. A former Rule 5 pick of the Padres, the righty intermittently flashed upside revolving around a mid-90s sinker that regularly induced huge ground-ball totals. Perdomo never missed many bats and occasionally battled control issues, though, and he posted an ERA of 4.00 or higher in all five of his seasons in San Diego.
After Perdomo went under the knife in October 2020, the Friars released him. Milwaukee signed him to a two-year minor-league contract with an eye towards 2022, and he’s earned his way back with a very nice start in Nashville. The 28-year-old (29 next week) has allowed just three runs in 12 innings with the Sounds. He’s fanned 13 and only walked a pair, and he has racked up grounders at a massive 71% clip early in the year. He’ll add a grounder-oriented, multi-inning relief option for manager Craig Counsell — a role that was filled by José Ureña until the latter was designated for assignment on Monday.
He’s outta Hiura
2b or not 2b? That is the Keston.
I guess I’m out too.
Makes sense to send him down for some regular ABs, plus Rowdy is going all Bambino
Any Brewers fans have a sense of whether this means Rowdy may be facing LH pitching more regularly, or will the 1B platoon continue with someone else on the short side?
I feel like they’ll give him a shot while he’s running hot I mean why not?
Seems like he’s been getting the bulk of ab’s against them lately, and doing alright.
I think its less an indictment against Keston and more just Rowdy mashing right now. I’d guess he gets recalled quickly if Rowdy slumps. With him sent down Jace appears to be his backup, and he’s another lefty.
Counsell always rides the hot bat and will let them play until they start stranding batters on base. Then he goes back to platoon. By then, someone else usually gets hot and carries the team, and that seems to be the way Counsell let’s the baseball gods dictate the lineup.
Kripes- your statement is quite contradictory to 75% of Brewers “fans” on the daily FB lineups. They’re constantly moaning about “Clownsell” not playing a guy the game after he had a good offensive performance.
Particularly guys like Taylor and Keston. He’s basically been every other for Narvy and Caratini this year (can’t say either of them have made a strong case for more regular PT however).
Hiura needs a change of scenery almost as much as anyone in the league. I just don’t know where that scenery would really fit right now. Maybe the White Sox? Maybe the Orioles? Maybe Japan?
Scott Kingery has entered the chat……..
Eugh, I think Kingery’s issue is the swing. think it was tweaked a bit too much and he just needs to start over again. Maybe going somewhere else could help, but I think Hiura needs it more.
I think the Yankees would be a great fit for Hiura in that ball park. I know they have Torres and Lemaheiu for that position but you can keep him as Triple-A fodder until eventually one of those guys go down
The problem is that Hiura is a Terrible 2B.
He’s basically a 1B only guy. He has to really hit to have value and he’s had a ton of problems making contact for 3 years now.
How is that a better scene for him? It’s a change, sure..in location. But he’d still be stuck behind someone better.
I believe Wong is a FA after this year. I think it’s 50/50 they bring him back. At that point, it’s make or break for Keston if he (or the Brewers) really think he can (or should) play second base.
He’s a right-handed batter. Unless he’s skilled at slicing the ball the opposite way, YS won’t help him.
Counsell is just as much to blame he doesn’t give him enough at bats Ruining Huira and Taylor at the same time. Should have bench Cain awhile ago too.
Who should be benched for Huira?
Wong ain’t doing much of anything. Just let him be a defensive replacement. His track record is his slumps last a long time too.
Wong ain’t doing much of anything. Just let him be a defensive replacement. His track record is his slumps last a long time too. As a matter a fact he didn’t out play his extension for the Cardinals along with them trying to replace him for atleast 3 years. Watch him play , he plays only for himself and stats.
It’s questionable whether or not Hiura should ever have been promoted. He had a 56/22 K/W in AA, followed by a 64/23 in AAA. His first year in the pros he had a 107/25. That’s unsustainable. If your AAA K/W is not 2/1 or under, the transition to the pros is difficult.
If you give Hiura at bats who do take out of the lineup? Kind of a dumb statement to make. Wong? Nope Tellez? Certainly not
McCutcheon, who has been awful after the hot start.
It’s too bad Huira couldn’t play against the Pirates 70 or 80 more times. He’d be a leading contender for the batting and home run crowns easily
So would about half the league in that same situation.
He’s got nowhere to play right now. He can only really play first or DH. You’re not sitting Tellez who’s going bananas right now, and the DH spot is a good revolving door for guys like Yelich and Mccutchen to keep them fresh. I do think its too soon to give up on him completely so I don’t mind the move to send him down before a long road trip and get a fresh young arm for that 3 city trip.
Him and Tyrone Taylor are in the same boat. They need everyday at bats to get going but you won’t find it the way the team is aligned right now. Cain either needs to be traded or benched (he’s not good) but you won’t find anyone to take him for what he’s making. You’re not going to have that amount of money sitting on the bench.
I really hope Tyrone gets more at bats because the kid can hit
Tyrone would appear to have more chances to see the field..and at bats. 3 OF spots to sub, where Keston is either 1B or DH..and both are kinda blocked right now. Plus if TT pinch hits he’s not a liability on defense.
McCutcheon has been awful after a hot start.
Hiura and TT both should take away his ABs.
McCutchen has hit the ball extremely hard..and unfortunately right at guys. That’s the main reason his numbers aren’t great. But I’d rather have him making contact regularly and making outs than striking out 35% or more of his AB’s.
I haven’t watched Huira enough to have an informed opinion, but the discrepancy between his minor league and major league numbers is impressive. Is he just Pedro Serrano who can’t hit breaking balls? Do the Brewers need to sacrifice a live chicken or something? Refill Jobu’s rum?
Lack of regular ab’s may be part of it. But then he’s not good defensively so one thing leads to another. I at least expected him to play 1st against lefties this year but Rowdy is just nuts right now.
MLB pitchers have a pretty good book on him. They change speeds on him and they know he’s pressing, so they get him to chase stuff out of the zone. I was worried that Yelich wouldn’t find his swing again, but looks like he’s driving the ball and got his mojo back again finally over the last 2 weeks. Hiura was a pretty disciplined batter coming up, so I think he just needs to relax and get out of his own head. Feel bad for him, he’s got the tools but just can’t put it all together.
I love going to Arizona Fall League games, I think it was 2019, the big names were Pete Alonso and Vlad Jr, Keston Huira won the MVP, he was awesome, always a brutal fielder but his hitting was great, obviously struggled in the majors
Perdomo could lose a few MPH and still do great with the sinker.
I agree it seems he is a change of scenery guy at this point. But I can’t see the White Sox being a destination for him. They are already loaded with guys that play DH/1B but out of only having 2 spots for those, play elsewhere. Adding a bad defensive 2B that bats right handed would not address any issues the Sox currently have.
Dumb move. McCutcheon started hot and is in a horrible tailspin as well.
I’d rather have seen Hiura get REGULAR ABs as the DH.
He hasn’t had a real chance this year.
Not sure if you’ve seen too many games, but Cutch is the guy I want up when guys are on base.
Time to trade Hiura. Use him as a piece to trade for rental at trade deadline. Perhaps a chance of teams is fresh start he needs to turn things around.