PHILADELPHIA -- A day after he hit a pinch-hit grand slam to ignite the Brewers' offense in Saturday's win over the Phillies, Ji-Man Choi was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs and then traded to the Rays on Sunday for Brad Miller in a move the Brewers hope will help shore
PHILADELPHIA -- A day after he hit a pinch-hit grand slam to ignite the Brewers' offense in Saturday's win over the Phillies, Ji-Man Choi was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs and then traded to the Rays on Sunday for Brad Miller in a move the Brewers hope will help shore up their middle infield.
The Rays also sent cash to Milwaukee for Miller, 28, who was hitting .256 with five homers and 21 RBIs over 48 games this year, including 38 starts, before he was designated for assignment on Thursday. He's a career .240 hitter over parts of six Major League seasons spent with Seattle and Tampa Bay, including a 30-homer season for the Rays in 2016.
The Brewers immediately optioned Miller to Colorado Springs. Eventually, he has a chance to contribute at shortstop, where Orlando Arcia has struggled mightily on offense and was demoted to the Minors earlier this season, and second base, where Jonathan Villar hasn't quite returned to the form he showed during his breakout 2016.
"At this point, we thought Miller's positional versatility and infield experience would prove beneficial," Brewers general manager David Stearns said. "He will go to Triple-A, and I'm confident that he will be ready to help when a need arises."
Brandon Woodruff, the Brewers' starter for the series-finale defeat at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday, immediately replaced Choi on the 25-man roster.
Choi was recalled at the beginning of the month, primarily to serve as a designated hitter for the Brewers' road Interleague series against the White Sox and Indians. He collected just one hit in 13 at-bats and struck out seven times during those series. Choi reached base safely in each of the two at-bats in Philadelphia, though, including Saturday's game-changing grand slam. But he was the odd man out with Eric Thames expected to return this week from a six-week absence following thumb surgery.
Woodruff could be sent back down to the Minor Leagues if Thames is ready to be activated from the disabled list for Monday's homestand opener against the Cubs. The Brewers won't need a fifth starter until June 19 in Pittsburgh because of an off-day on Thursday.
"He'll play one more game today." Counsell said of Thames. "If he gets through that healthy, he'll be back [Monday]."
Thames, who has been on the DL since April 25 with a torn ligament in his left thumb, went 3-for-4 with a three-run home run and three runs scored in a rehab appearance with Colorado Springs in Sacramento on Saturday night. He's played both outfield and first base during his rehab assignment, which ended with a start in left field on Sunday.
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Shaw being held accountable
Travis Shaw grounded out to Phillies pitcher Adam Morgan in the seventh inning of Saturday's game and didn't run hard to first base. Morgan's throw was off and Shaw would have likely been safe had he run out the play. The Brewers led by five runs at the time.
Shaw didn't take the field at third base in the bottom of the inning, but he did start Sunday's series finale against the Phillies.
"This is something Travis and I have discussed," Counsell said Sunday morning. "It's really, to me, it's kind of a thing that Travis knows about, and I feel like I'm holding Travis accountable for something that he wants to be held accountable for. That's all it is.
"We're to the point as a team where we've got to make sure the small details aren't the ones that beat us."
Joe Bloss is a reporter to MLB.com based in Philadelphia.
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.