By Adam Roberts – 2/5/2021
Since the departure of Prince Fielder, the Milwaukee Brewers have been in a seemingly endless search for his replacement at first base. Since 2012, the team has gone through a revolving door of starers, including names like Corey Hart, Yuniesky Betancourt, Mary Reynolds, Chris Carter, Adam Lind, Eric Thames, Jesus Aguilar, and last year’s duo of Justin Smoak and late-season addition Dan Vogelbach.
Going into 2021, general manager David Stearns has needed to try and figure out this position once again, and is also wondering what to do with Keston Hiura, a fan favorite but unfortunately a defensive liability at second base. With the move to acquire Kolten Wong from the St. Louis Cardinals for two years, which became official today, Stearns hopes to have found at least a short-term fix at second. Now, with today’s news that Hiura will be moved to primarily playing first, we’ll see if that position gets its much-needed fix as well.
The move for Wong made plenty of sense; Hiura had a -0.4 WAR last season, second worst among starters behind just Smoak at first. Wong meanwhile is a back-to-back Gold Glover who racked up a 1.3 WAR in 2020. In addition, Hiura had six errors in a pandemic-shortened season while Wong committed just two.
If Hiura doesn’t work out at first, it will be interesting to watch what becomes of the 24 year old.