The Brewers announced a flurry of roster moves this morning, as the club designated left-hander Alex Claudio for assignment, placed shortstop Willy Adames on the 7-day concussion list, and optioned left-hander Ethan Small to Triple-A Nashville. Additionally, the club selected the contract of infielder Andruw Monasterio and recalled right-hander Jake Cousins.
Claudio, who was selected to the big league roster last month, recorded just one out before heading back to the minors. The veteran left-hander has pitched for the Rangers, Angels, and Mets throughout his 10 season career aside from the Brewers, and owns a career ERA of 3.59 and a FIP of 3.83 in in 348 innings of work. The Brewers will have one week to trade or waive Claudio, who seems likely to re-enter the free agent market and search for a new minor league deal under which he can act as bullpen depth for an interested club.
Adames, meanwhile, heads to the concussion IL after being struck by a foul ball while in the dugout during last night’s game. Adames fortunately avoided any fractures or other serious injuries beyond the concussion during the terrifying moment. On the field this season, Adames has struggled with the bat somewhat, slashing just .205/.292/.384 (85 wRC+) in 51 games this season.
Adames’s injury leaves the Brewers without a clear option at shortstop, a conundrum that seemingly prompted Milwaukee to select Monasterio’s contract, for whom this is his first major league call-up. Monasterio, who will celebrate his 26th birthday on Tuesday, began his professional career with the Cubs and spent time with DC and Cleveland before landing with the Brewers last season, when he slashed .271/.364/.406 in 110 games split between the Double-A and Triple-A levels. Monasterio has had an excellent season at the Triple-A level so far in 2023, with a solid .271/.410/.400 slash line in 42 games while playing shortstop, second base, and third base.
Small made his 2023 debut for the Brewers just yesterday, when he pitched three innings of relief in a blowout loss to the Giants, surrendering five runs. The club’s first round pick in 2019, Small has struggled in limited big league opportunities to this point in his career, and moved to the bullpen for the first time in his career ahead of the 2023 campaign. Small figures to continue providing pitching depth to the Brewers going forward until a longer-term opportunity in the majors presents itself.
Small’s departure clears space on the roster for Cousins, a 28-year-old right-hander who’s pitched well for the Brewers in parts of three seasons now, with a 2.79 ERA and 4.03 FIP across 51 2/3 innings in that span of time. While he’s largely been a solid reliever for Milwaukee, his 8 1/3 innings in 2023 have raised concerns about his command, as he’s walked a whopping 21.1% of batters faced while striking out just 18.4%. Still, the Brewers are clearly hoping he can get right and contribute to their bullpen going forward.