Moose finds familiar faces in Brewers clubhouse

July 29th, 2018

MILWAUKEE -- Mike Moustakas joined a new team Saturday and donned a different shade of blue, but a slew of familiar faces made him feel right at home with the Brewers.

A full fifth of the Brewers' roster is populated by former Royals teammates: , , , and . is a friend. And and Moustakas have a common circle of friends in Southern California and have spent recent offseasons working out together at Pepperdine University.

"We're getting a great player," said Braun, before Moustakas went 1-for-5 in Milwaukee's 7-1 win over the Giants at AT&T Park. "Somebody who adds a lot of depth to our lineup. The postseason experience. A big, left-handed power bat that should play well in our ballpark. Good competitor. And as we all talked about yesterday, there's nobody more excited to be a Brewer, and there's real value in that."

After the Brewers and Royals completed a Friday trade that sent outfielder and pitcher to Kansas City for Moustakas, he took a cross-country flight from New York to San Francisco on Saturday and arrived in time to bat third in manager Craig Counsell's new-look lineup. As expected, it featured manning second base for the first time in his life.

Shaw will require a learning curve, Counsell conceded. The Brewers believe adding Moustakas' bat will be worth it, and Cain raved about Moustakas' fiery presence in the dugout during games.

Does being a hired bat carry any sort of pressure?

"I've been playing ball for a while now -- especially at the big league level -- so I know what I'm capable of doing," Moustakas said. "Obviously I just want to go out there and continue to do what I've done over the past couple years, put together good at-bats and hit the ball hard and do what I can to help win us some ballgames. And at the end of the day that's the most important thing, is finding ways to win and doing the little things. I'll do my part and we'll see what happens."

Asked about Shaw's move, Moustakas said, "Unbelievable guy. Obviously he's a phenomenal baseball player, a phenomenal third baseman. For him to go over to second base and make room for me over there at third base, it says a lot about him and the character that he has and the desire he has to win. It makes me feel a lot more welcome, obviously, that he's willing to do that and put some time and some hard work in over at second base to learn how to play that position."

Moustakas said he's "absolutely" open to second base, too, if that becomes necessary.

But the Brewers primarily acquired him to hit.

"We've all seen what he can do," Cain said, "swinging the bat and playing solid defense. Great teammate and great competitor. He just adds to our lineup. He adds depth. He's going to be a huge hitter for us every day that he is here."

Moustakas' arrival came amid another flurry of Brewers roster moves. The team also activated reliever Matt Albers from the 10-day disabled list, optioned outfielder to Triple-A Colorado Springs and designated infielder Brad Miller for assignment.

The team's 40-man roster remains at 39, which is worth noting as Tuesday's 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches.