Preview: Brewers vs. Mets

MILWAUKEE — Orlando Arcia won’t be with the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday as they continue their four-game weekend series with the New York Mets at Miller Park.

Milwaukee optioned the one-time top prospect to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Friday in the hopes of snapping him out of a season-long offensive funk.

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Arcia was batting .194 with two home runs and 13 RBIs this season. He’d gone hitless in his last 15 at-bats and had only two hits in his last 29 plate appearances, dropping his on-base percentage to a paltry .233.

Manager Craig Counsell kept Arcia in the lineup as much as possible, though, because of his defensive ability but Arcia’s playing time dwindled when the Brewers recalled Tyler Saladino

“We need to get him on track because we’re a better team with the version of him from last year,” Counsell said. “That’s the version of him we need. This is an attempt to get back to that player. The decision is how to do it: take a little break and do it at Triple-A or do it at the big-league level? In this case, we think Triple-A is the best place to do it.”

Along with Arcia’s reassignment, the Brewers made a flurry of other moves Friday as they try to solidify their hold on first place in the National League Central.

Struggling catcher Jett Bandy was designated for assignment after Milwaukee acquired catcher Erik Kratz from the Yankees for a player to be named later.

Kratz appeared in two games for the Yankees this season but was batting .269 for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and will serve as a backup to Manny Pina.

“Erik’s strength is on the defensive side of the ball,” Counsell said. “I think he’s a very good receiver. He’s obviously been around and experienced a lot of things, just controlling the game and whatever situation is out there, he’s been in already. He’s experienced. On the receiving end, I feel like he’s one of the better guys out there.”

Milwaukee also sent right-hander Jorge Lopez back to Colorado Springs and summoned right-hander Adrian Houser from Double-A Biloxi to add a fresh arm to the bullpen while Eric Sogard was recalled from Colorado Springs to replace Arcia on the roster.

The new-look Brewers got off to a good start Friday night, beating the Mets, 4-3 in 10 innings. Chase Anderson will try to build off that when he takes the mound Saturday for the third game of the series.

Anderson (4-3, 3.86 ERA) earned the victory in his last outing, giving up two runs on three hits over six innings in a 4-2 victory over Arizona.

In five career starts against the Mets, Anderson is 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA including a 5-1 victory earlier this season in Queens.

The Mets turn to left-hander Jason Vargas, who’s also looking to build on a strong effort after throwing five scoreless innings against the Marlins in his last start, lowering his ERA from 13.86 to 9.87.

“He had great command,” catcher Devin Mesoraco said. “He was hitting all his spots.”

Vargas’ lone appearance against the Brewers came nearly eight years ago at Miller Park. Pitching for the Mariners at the time, Vargas allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out two June 27, 2010.