The Brewers announced Wednesday that they’ve selected the contract of righty Connor Sadzeck from Triple-A Nashville. Infielder Keston Hiura has been optioned to Nashville to open a spot on the active roster. Milwaukee already had an open 40-man spot after designating Chi Chi Gonzalez for assignment last night.
A promising prospect with the Rangers earlier in his career, the now-30-year-old Sadzeck hasn’t appeared in the big leagues since 2019. Injuries, including Tommy John surgery early in his minor league career and a flexor mass issue back in 2019, have slowed the right-hander and kept him off the mound for significant portions of his career.
When healthy, Sadzeck is a legitimately intriguing arm who boasts a triple-digit heater, impressive strikeout abilities and, as is often the case for flamethrowers like this, some problematic command issues. He’s pitched just 33 Major League innings and boasts a 2.18 ERA but a concerning 17.4% walk rate in that time. Sadzeck is currently sporting an outstanding 0.86 ERA and 30.7% strikeout rate in 28 Triple-A innings, however, and this year’s 10.5% walk rate is more manageable than several of his prior seasons.
Hiura, meanwhile, has gone from former first-round pick and potential building block to a defensively limited slugger who’s regularly optioned by the Brewers. He’s hitting .238/.354/.451 this season — solid overall production — but has also yet to rectify the alarming strikeout issues that have plagued him throughout his career. Hiura has fanned in a sky-high 43.8% of his plate appearances this season, making even that modest .238 average unsustainable. (He’s currently benefitting from a .412 BABIP.)
That said, the decision to option Hiura couldn’t have been an easy one. He’s been on a tear at the plate over his past 12 games, batting .324/.435/.595 with three long balls and a double in that time. For now, Hiura will return to Nashville and continue working to improve his bat-to-ball skills and overall plate discipline. In all likelihood, he’ll get another big league look (or multiple looks) between now and season’s end.