Brewers claim Perez, designate veteran Herrera

Brewers claim Perez, designate veteran Herrera

ST. LOUIS -- The Brewers' recent youth movement continued when the team designated veteran utility man Elian Herrera for assignment Tuesday in favor of infielder Hernan Perez, a 24-year-old claimed off waivers from the Tigers.

Perez joined the Brewers' bench, and continued a trend lowering the average age of the Brewers' roster. Since May 15, the Brewers have added six rookies to the active roster: Infielders Perez and Luis Sardinas (who has since turned 22), relievers David Goforth (26) and Corey Knebel (23) and starters Tyler Cravy (25) and Tyler Wagner (24). Wagner was returned to Double-A, but the others were all active for Tuesday's game against the Cardinals.

"When the record is what it is," said manager Craig Counsell, whose Brewers entered Tuesday a Major League-worst 18-34, "you're going to try some new players, and they're going to be younger players. I think that's a logical step. So we're going to give opportunities to different guys, and the guys you give opportunities to, you want them to have the ability to grow if they capitalize on it."

Perez went 2-for-33 (.061) this year for Detroit while appearing at every infield position, including first base. He has already appeared in the Majors in parts of four seasons. He's a career .262 hitter in parts of seven Minor League seasons, including a .287/.331/.404 slash line last year at Triple-A Toledo.

Perez has mostly played shortstop during his career. He entered this season No. 8 on MLB.com's list of the top Tigers prospects.

"He's just a guy our evaluators have all liked," Counsell said. "He's 24 years old and got to the big leagues at 21, made it through the Minor Leagues pretty quickly and has performed at the upper levels of the Minor Leagues. So, just take a look at him and give him a shot. … "They [The Tigers] have Ian Kinsler, obviously and [Nick] Castellanos, so [Perez] was a little bit stuck there and didn't get any playing time. We'll take a look at him."

Herrera, 30, hit .212/.259/.374 in sporadic playing time with Milwaukee this season, including four home runs. He started 14 games at second base and nine at third.

Herrera's departure, coupled with Khris Davis' recent knee injury, left the Brewers temporarily thin in the outfield. Perez, Hector Gomez and Jason Rogers were all emergency options, said Counsell, who indicated the team would probably promote another outfielder in the coming days.

"We'll be all right. We have guys that can go out there," Counsell said. "It's not ideal but I think in the short term, to acquire a player, it's the kind of thing that's going to happen."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.