Brewers weigh options at 3rd after Ramirez trade
Perez to see majority of playing time in near term
PHOENIX -- With Aramis Ramirez off to Pittsburgh and no Kris Bryants waiting in the Minor Leagues, the Brewers on Thursday began the search for a long-term solution at the position.
"The one thing about trading Ramirez is it opens it up for us to experiment and look at people," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said after trading Ramirez to the Pirates for a relief prospect. "We don't have an immediate solution."
Up first was June waiver claim Hernan Perez, a onetime Tigers prospect who started the Brewers' series opener Thursday at Chase Field and figures to see the majority of playing time in the near term. Perez is a terrific defender who has rebounded nicely from an ice-cold start to this season at the plate, entering Thursday batting .397 over his previous 27 games.
His backup was Hector Gomez, whose playing time had all but disappeared of late but now should play a more prominent role. Gomez has not started a game since June 15.
The Brewers also claimed former Astros third baseman Matt Dominguez off waivers this month and have him playing at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
"They have some talent," Ramirez said of the Brewers' current depth at the position. "Hernan is playing well since they picked him up from Detroit. He's young, and he's done well. Third base is a tough position, but there's no easy position in the big leagues. They've got Hector Gomez there, too. He's a good player."
The Brewers are stocked with shortstop prospects, two of whom, Jake Gatewood and Gilbert Lara, have been mentioned as potential third baseman in the future. But Gatewood is just 19 and Lara is 17, so they are years away from the Major Leagues. Dustin DeMuth, a fifth-round Draft pick in 2014, has looked promising in the Brewers' Minor League chain but suffered a broken left hand days ago at Class A Wisconsin and is out for the year.
"Hernan is playing third base today, and he's going to get a shot to play," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "He's played really well. He's swung the bat well in some limited time. He was playing a little bit more, and now he's backed off, but he's going to get a chance to play, for sure."