If you missed it in the hours after the Brewers’ loss to Atlanta on Friday night, Milwaukee made their first minor league call-up of the young season. Infielder Eric Farris was promoted to temporarily take the place of Alex Gonzalez, who is missing the rest of the weekend on paternity leave.
It looks like Cesar Izturis will start at shortstop until Gonzalez returns, with Farris mostly there just to ensure the Brewers aren’t playing a man short for the next few days. The ease of the move also played a factor, as Farris was already on the 40-man roster. Getting a more natural shortstop on the roster, like Edwin Maysonet, would have required a bit more maneuvering. Maysonet would have had to be added to the 40-man, and someone else would have been removed to make room. Considering Gonzalez is only expected to miss the rest of the series, it would have been a lot of unnecessary movement. For now, the Brewers will hope for the best with Izturis.
This situation does show us, though, just how thin the Brewers are at shortstop at the top of the organization to start the year. You can’t be mad at Gonzalez for missing a handful of games to witness the birth of a child (congrats to him and his family), but if Gonzalez were to get hurt at some point this season and had to miss significant time, Izturis would not be a great choice for significant playing time. While the defense would be stellar, it would add a second black hole to the bottom of the order. Luckily, Gonzalez has been pretty durable lately — he played in 149 games last year and 157 the year before — but he is 35 this year.