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Brewers send Santana to Triple-A, recall Miller

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- With a crowded outfield since the return of Eric Thames from left thumb surgery earlier this month, the Brewers optioned right fielder Domingo Santana to Triple-A Colorado Springs and added some infield depth on Saturday morning.

After hitting 30 home runs in 2017 and starting on Opening Day in right field for Milwaukee, Santana has struggled to find any pop. The 25-year-old has three homers in '18 and has not started since June 12 against the Cubs, only filling in as a pinch-hitter since.

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MILWAUKEE -- With a crowded outfield since the return of Eric Thames from left thumb surgery earlier this month, the Brewers optioned right fielder Domingo Santana to Triple-A Colorado Springs and added some infield depth on Saturday morning.

After hitting 30 home runs in 2017 and starting on Opening Day in right field for Milwaukee, Santana has struggled to find any pop. The 25-year-old has three homers in '18 and has not started since June 12 against the Cubs, only filling in as a pinch-hitter since.

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"I think as we really just looked at what Domingo's role was going to be moving forward, we know at some point we're going to need Domingo going, and we'd both prefer that he's rolling and clicking when that time comes," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "It's tough to do when you're not playing that much."

Counsell credited Santana for being "a big part of the Brewers' success last season" and believes he will return to the Majors at some point this season.

"We're hoping we're putting him in a spot to be successful," Counsell said. "When that time comes for him to be up here, we'll want him to be able to carry that load and count on him regularly."

Video: NYM@MIL: Santana flicks go-ahead 2-run double into RF

Milwaukee already sent down struggling Opening Day shortstop Orlando Arcia this season, but he was swiftly called back up after Tyler Saladino's ankle forced him onto the disabled list.

The Brewers called up infielder Brad Miller from Triple-A as Saturday's corresponding move. They will look for Miller, who was acquired from the Rays in a trade for Ji-Man Choi earlier this month, to add some offense to a scuffling middle infield.

"I'm pretty excited to get the call and come to a team in first place," Miller said. "Just getting in this organization, everybody so far to me has been first class, and I want to contribute to this winning culture."

Tweet from @Brewers: Brad Miller, the newest member of the #Brewers, meets with the Milwaukee media. Prior to today, Miller had never been to Miller Park. He bats sixth today and will play second base. #MILvsStL pic.twitter.com/JH5jGJkbrb

This is Miller's first stint with a National League team after spending six seasons with the Mariners and Rays. He has started everywhere except pitcher and catcher in his career, and Miller thinks his skillset should work with an NL team, especially during double switches and pinch-hitting scenarios.

"In Interleague games, the few of them I've had, it's kind of fun," Miller said. "Definitely, I think my ability to play everywhere and be a left-handed bat fits well."

Miller knocked 30 home runs in 2016 with Tampa Bay, but he hit .201 last season. Still, he believes he can get back to his '16 level and contribute offensively for the first-place Brewers. In 48 games primarily at first and second base with the Rays in '18, Miller hit .256 with five home runs and 21 RBIs. Miller hasn't been at shortstop for a couple of seasons, but Counsell said his ability to play all over the field regularly makes him "versatile and a very good athlete."

"Each year's different, and you kind of go with the ebbs and the flows," Miller said. "But being in this environment, the culture they've created here, it seems pretty positive for everyone involved."

Miller, who started at second and batted sixth, drove in a run with a bloop single and drew a walk in his Brewers debut in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Cardinals. He was pulled in favor of Eric Sogard during a double switch in the seventh inning. His performance came one night after Milwaukee's middle infielders -- Arcia, Hernan Perez and Jonathan Villar -- combined to go 0-for-7. But getting the start just hours after arriving in Milwaukee didn't startle the newest Brewer.

"That first day -- no matter how much sleep you have, no matter the travel -- it doesn't really matter," Miller said. "You're just running on adrenaline and want to get out there and get going."

Video: STL@MIL: Miller hits an RBI single in 1st Brewers AB

Brewers sign sixth-round pick Rasmussen
The Brewers on Friday agreed to terms with another one of their top picks from the 2018 Draft, signing Oregon State right-hander Drew Rasmussen.

Rasmussen, Milwaukee's sixth-round selection, signed for $135,000, although his pick value (No. 185) was $251,700, according to MLB.com's Jim Callis. A redshirt junior, Rasmussen has undergone two Tommy John surgeries and missed all of last season. He was drafted as a supplemental first-rounder by the Rays in 2017, but he failed his physical and returned to college.

Only first-rounder Brice Turang and ninth-round pick Arbert Cipion remain unsigned for the Brewers in the top 10 rounds.

Stephen Cohn is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. Follow him on Twitter @Stephen__Cohn.

Milwaukee Brewers, Brad Miller, Domingo Santana