Brewers’ Decision on Smoak Speaks To Their Hopes For a Postseason Push
Milwaukee Brewers are not screwing around. You might be, but they’re not. Yesterday, Milwaukee designated Justin Smoak for assignment and picked up Dan Vogelbach, formerly of Toronto and Seattle this season. Milwaukee signed Smoak to a one-year deal worth five million dollars. Brewers were not tied to a team option with Smoak. The switch-hitting first baseman was given an opportunity to prove it and ended up being a bust for Milwaukee. Insert Vogelbach who is having an equally awful year. This could be ‘shit for shit’ type of deal, but the Brewers’ general manager is trying to find some answers at first base.
Vogelbach’s year has been awful. He is hitting under .100 for the season. Now, he moves from the American League to the National League so maybe that helps a little bit. And he is playing in a very hitter-friendly ballpark for left-handers. He can hit some absolute tanks out of the ballpark. In a lot of ways, Vogelbach has Russell Branyan vibes to him. If Brewers think they can adjust something in his swing, he could have an Eric Thames-like impact down the stretch. But that is easily the perfect case scenario.
Milwaukee completely botched the first base potion this season. Smoak had years of struggling and didn’t show signs that he had a bad year or two. Jedd Gyroko has played there a bunch and is having a sneaky good year yet Gyroko is too short to play first base. He needs to wear lifts at that position. Speaking of Thames, he is not having a good season. Travis Shaw deciding to light his relationship with the Brewers on fire is unfortunate when you think about it. Also, the Crew not taking a flyer on Jesus Aguilar again hurts the soul too. Next year, first base has to be a priority for the Brewers. The good news is none of the top free agents play first base so that’s fucking lovely.
Let’s hope Vogelbach can get hot with the change in scenery.