The Milwaukee Brewers are hoping a new starting shortstop will provide a boost and help snap them out of a prolonged slump when he arrives Saturday for the second of a three-game series against the Reds in Cincinnati.
The Brewers wasted valuable opportunities early and dropped their third straight, 9-4, Friday night. Hours before the game, Milwaukee traded right-handed relievers J.P. Feyereisen and Drew Rasmussen to Tampa Bay for shortstop Willy Adames and right-handed pitcher Trevor Richards.
Adames is likely to be inserted immediately at shortstop against Cincinnati Reds right-hander Sonny Gray (0-3, 3.86 ERA), who will be looking for his first win in his seventh start of the season.
“I have some friends there who are waiting for me already,” Adames said Friday after learning he was traded. “It’s a great opportunity for me as a player to be a part of this organization. Hopefully, I can bring some good stuff to the table and bring a lot of energy to the clubhouse and the dugout.
“I know they’re always pushing to go to the playoffs, and they like to win. That’s one thing I love about them. That’s what I’m all about. I like to win. I don’t like to lose.”
Adames would not like what the Brewers have endured since opening the season 17-10. Milwaukee enters Saturday’s action having dropped 13 of 17. Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Friday’s trade was about adding a quality player at the right time.
“He’s a 25-year-old shortstop who had his best season in the big leagues last year. Who knows if the player’s available if he’s having a great year?” Counsell said of Adames, who batting just .197 with five home runs in 41 games for Tampa Bay this year.
If Adames is in the field, he’ll be looking to offer offensive support to Milwaukee lefty Brett Anderson (2-3, 4.50), who will be making his seventh start of the season. Anderson, who started the season on the injured list with a right hamstring injury, was roughed up last Saturday when he allowed four earned runs on eight hits, lasting just 3 2/3 innings in a loss to the Atlanta Braves.
The news is somewhat more upbeat for the Reds, thanks to the torrid Jesse Winker. The Cincinnati left fielder recorded his first career three-homer game in Friday’s win. Winker’s explosion lifted him into a tie with Nick Castellanos for the team lead in home runs with 11.
After his third homer of the night, Winker heard chants of “M-V-P” from the home crowd before he hopped out of the Reds dugout, tapped his chest to recognize the love from the fans.
“It was like a dream as a kid that came true,” Winker said.
Gray would like some of that offensive support when he takes the mound Saturday. Last Monday in absorbing a 6-3 loss to San Francisco, Gray gave up four runs, three earned, and five hits over five innings, striking out a season-low three in his sixth start of 2021.
Before Friday’s game, the Reds placed infielder Nick Senzel (knee) and starting pitcher Wade Miley (left foot sprain) on the 10-day injured list.
“A few different things going on. He went on the IL for his knee, but maybe it’s just an opportunity for him to reset his body as well,” Reds manager David Bell said Friday on Senzel. “Hopefully it’s no more than 10 days there.”
As for Miley, he was running out of the batter’s box in the third inning on Wednesday in his start against the San Francisco Giants when he felt soreness.
–Field Level Media