Brewers reinstate Thames from DL, option Woodruff to Triple-A

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers have activated first baseman Eric Thames from the 10-day disabled list and optioned right-hander Brandon Woodruff to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

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Thames had been out since April 25 after tearing a ligament in his left thumb. The bearded slugger was hitting .250 with seven homers and 13 RBIs when he got hurt.

The return of Thames gives manager Craig Counsell plenty of options at first base and the outfield. Jesus Aguilar has played well at first in Thames’ absence, hitting .290 with 11 homers and 37 RBIs.

The Brewers host the Chicago Cubs on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series.

Thames can also play the corner outfield positions. The Brewers also play Ryan Braun in left field and at first base, while Domingo Santana plays right. Christian Yelich can play all three outfield positions.

“The bat that comes out of the lineup when Eric goes in there has produced, so that’s a good thing,” Counsell said. “That means we’ve gotten a lot of production and we’re adding another player who we think is going to add a lot of production.”

Thames wasn’t in the starting lineup on Monday against Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana. He said that while wasn’t in midseason form yet physically, he was strong and eager to return to the plate.

“My hands, I’ve been doing so much grip stuff I can crush anything,” Thames said.

Woodruff is 2-0 with a 5.01 ERA in multiple stints this season in the big leagues.

The Brewers on Sunday acquired infielder Brad Miller and cash from the Tampa Bay Rays for first baseman-outfielder Ji-Man Choi. Miller was optioned to Triple-A.

Miller played mainly first this season while with Tampa Bay, but the left-handed hitter has extensive in the middle of the infield.

The Brewers have struggled offensively at shortstop, where Orlando Arcia is hitting .207. Backup Eric Sogard is hitting just .114.

“It’s going to challenge Brad a little bit to get back to playing second base and maybe a little bit of shortstop, which he has not done this year, but has done a lot of in the past,” Counsell said.