Brewers claim Dominguez off waivers
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers claimed third baseman Matt Dominguez off waivers on Tuesday and optioned him to Triple-A Colorado Springs, adding another candidate to a relatively weak position in the organization. Houston had designated Dominguez for assignment on June 8.
Dominguez played 340 games in Houston from 2011-14 and hit 42 home runs, but he posted an on-base percentage of just .275, including .256 in 607 plate appearances in 2014. He's one of only nine players in the past five seasons to appear in at least 300 games with an OBP of .275 or lower.
At the same time, Dominguez is still just 25 years old, a former first-round MLB Draft pick and a quality defensive player, according to manager Craig Counsell. The Brewers, with question marks at third base at the Major and Minor League levels, deemed Dominguez worthy of a look.
"I think at this point, where we're at in the standings, you get the first shot at some of these players on waivers," Counsell said, "so you take a look at them."
To make room on a full 40-man roster for Dominguez, the Brewers designated former Rule 5 Draft pick Wei-Chung Wang for assignment.
Wang, whose presence on the Brewers' 2014 roster was a subject of debate since he seldom pitched for a team that spent 150 days in first place, had been struggling at advanced Class A Brevard County. Despite his experience and a pitcher-friendly home ballpark, Wang has a 5.93 ERA in 12 starts for the Manatees and has allowed 78 hits in 60 2/3 innings.
In order to keep him in the organization, Wang will have to clear waivers. He has a high salary for a Class A player -- about $300,000 -- because he was in the Majors last year.
"I don't think you're giving up on Wei-Chung Wang," said Counsell, who was involved in internal debates about Wang in Counsell's previous front office role. "He still has a chance to be a Major League pitcher. He's still in the organization. At the Major League level did it work? No, he wasn't successful at the Major League level.
"He's still a 23-year-old kid. He has some tools and you hope he can get it together. With pitching, it's a little harder because it's so uneven how they develop. It's rarely a straight line with pitching. I don't think you give up on him at all, no."