As happened last year, the Milwaukee Brewers only recently announced the rest of their Spring Training jersey number updates for 2015. There are six players to catch up on who missed their own dates as a result.
The reason for this bonus article is that, as mentioned above, these players were announced after the day on which they would have otherwise had their individual article written and posted.
As in 2014, these won’t be in-depth profiles of these players but I wanted to make sure you knew a little something about them before camp opens and you see their names popping up in box scores.
Tyler Jay Cravy, 25, is a 6’3″ right-handed pitcher from California who the Brewers drafted out of Napa Valley College in the 17th round of the 2009 draft. He’s been a 40-man roster consideration each of the last couple of years, especially the most recent one where Cravy posted a combined 1.64 ERA in 17 games (15 starts) for three different spots in the Brewers system. In 82.1 innings, Cravy struck out 76 batters, walking just 20.
It may not have done the trick to get him on someone’s Rule 5 Draft board, but it was enough to garner him an invitation to big league camp this year. He’s likely to break camp with the new Class-AAA affiliate Colorado Springs, and it would seem as though he’s ticketed for their rotation after 2014. Cravy was primarily a bullpen arm for the three years prior.
In contrast to how long it’s taken Cravy to reach big league camp, Jeffrey Hobbs Johnson will join the big leaguers in what is just his second spring training. Drafted in the 14th round out of North Carolina, the 23-year-old Rocky Mount native has performed very well as a professional. He had limited reps after signing in 2013 (11 games, no starts) between Helena (R) and Wisconsin (A) but posted very good numbers. Last year in his first full professional season, Johnson compiled a 12-8 record in 25 games (24 starts). He pitched to a 2.93 ERA in 147.1 innings for Class-A Advanced Brevard County.
At 5’11”, the left-handed Johnson being a starter is something in which the Brewers are not exactly flush throughout their minor league system. The invite to big league camp should be viewed as the honor it is, a reward for a great season, but don’t take it to mean that Johnson has any shot at breaking camp on the 25-man roster. He’s still got a ways to go, especially when considering the standard Brewers development plan.
Another smaller pitcher than the Brewers have targeted in recent years, Taylor G. Williams at 5’11” still has managed to turn heads in the organization and out. He’s got a quality profile and pitch arsenal, and has been putting things together nicely to this point in his young pro career. 2014 saw Williams post a combined 2.72 ERA between Class-A Wisconsin and Class-A Advanced Brevard County. He appeared in 27 games, making 17 starts. Williams pitched to a FIP and SIERA both until 3.00 as well, showing that the peripherals are supportive of his strong season as opposed to being red flags of regression. Williams kept his WHIP at 1.02 on the year as well, along with striking out 137 hitters in 132.1 innings pitched.
At times, shorter pitchers have trouble keeping the ball down effectively. While it’s hardly an exact illustration of his ability, Williams allowed just eight home runs all of last year. His strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.89 is high quality as well.
The bottom line is that Williams is jumping up Top Prospects lists around the industry. He’s definitely one to keep an eye on over the next year or two. He could force his way onto the 40-man roster by way of call up before he needs its protection.
Last year in this same “Bonus” article, I told you that Cameron Garfield is not simply “organizational catcher guy” who comes to big league camp for a couple of weeks while extra pitchers are in camp too.
Garfield, now 23, played in 95 games a year after appearing in 109. He repeated Class-A Advanced Brevard County and did see his offensive numbers slip a bit year over year. It can’t ever be forgotten that the Gulf Coast League is tough on hitters though Garfield certainly has room to grow at the plate as he continues to improve behind it.
A second round draft pick in 2009, Garfield is a bit behind where he’d normally be because of some significant injuries early in his professional career. But he is a guy to which the Brewers will give plenty of opportunities to realize his potential. Catching is always a premium.
Another catcher who repeats in this bonus column all the way down to his uniform numbers, Adam Robert Weisenburger continues to carry the reputation as a very good receiver. Weisenburger caught most of 2014 as Double-A Huntsville before moving up to Triple-A in August after their top backstop (Matt Pagnozzi, now with the Diamondbacks) got a September call up.
Weisenburger posted offensive numbers roughly in line with where you’d hope a quality receiver/second catcher could consistently put up. As a 34th round draft pick, if he’s able to get there one day, that would be a big win for the Brewers development staff.
The only new-to-the-organization guy in this column, Matthew Eugene Long is a primary outfielder who has played some second base as well. Drafted by the Angels in the 30th round back in 2009, the California native has played as high as Class-AAA each of the last three seasons. His career Triple-A slash line is .279/.358/.442 over 1102 plate appearances across 262 games.
Long has played the majority of his games in the outfield the last two seasons, after playing mostly at second base in 2012. It’s been a return to familiar ground for Long who spent all of his time in the outfield from 2009-2011. Long even found a handful of games at the hot corner last year at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Versatility is the key for many minor leaguers, and if Long is to one day make his major league debut, being able to fill in at multiple positions is one way he might be able to get there. For now, he looks ticketed to the thin aired outfield in Colorado Springs to start the season.
You can follow all of the players profiled in this article on Twitter.
- #75 – Tyler Cravy: @TylerJayCravy
- #74 – Hobbs Johnson: @hojo31
- #73 – Taylor Williams: @twillyflash
- #72 – Cameron Garfield: @CAMgGARFIELD
- #71 – Adam Weisenburger: @aweisenburger
- #70 – Matt Long: @MattELong
So there you have it. We’re caught up to today with #68 Ariel Peña coming later.
This is a list I’m parking here, basically for my own reference, because the Brewers.com website isn’t updated yet.
Here is list, broken down by position, of the announced non-roster invitees that will be initially assigned to the big league side at Spring Training 2015. I’ll update the list as players are added and do my best to remember to do the same when they are reassigned.
- Tyler Cravy
- Hobbs Johnson (L)
- Brent Leach (L)
- Ariel Peña
- Taylor Williams
- Dontrelle Willis (L)
- Nevin Ashley
- Parker Berberet
- Cameron Garfield
- Adam Weisenburger
- Pete Orr
- Matt Long
- Bryan Petersen
Here’s the 2015 Spring Training schedule! Cactus League action, come for the scorpion stings, stay for the cactus spines in your foot!
Below is the official press release with all of the dates/times/opponents.
Here are the quick hit highlights:
- P&C (and my annual viewing of the movie Major League) is officially set for Friday, February 20th
- Position players must report by Wednesday, February 25th
- Open with an exhibition against the UW-Milwaukee Panthers baseball team
- Gone is the traditional Maryvale opener against the Oakland Athletics. (Related to the Nashville Sounds re-affiliation?)
- No Miller Park exhibitions in 2015
The Milwaukee Brewers today announced the team’s 2015 Spring Training schedule, which consists of 31 Cactus League games, including 16 at Maryvale Baseball Park.
The Brewers will open the spring schedule on Wednesday, March 4, against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team at Maryvale Baseball Park. This will mark the first time the Brewers will face a collegiate team in an exhibition game since 1983 when they played the Arizona State University men’s baseball team. It will also mark the first-ever contest between the Brewers and the Panthers.
The Brewers will host their National League Central rival Chicago Cubs on Saturday, March 14. The spring slate includes one scheduled split squad date on Sunday, March 15 vs. the Oakland Athletics at Maryvale Baseball Park and also against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium. Following an off day on Monday, March 16 – the first of two off days (also off on Monday, March 30) – the Brewers will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a game against the San Diego Padres in Peoria on Tuesday, March 17.
The Brewers will play three night games this spring. They include Friday, March 13 against the Seattle Mariners at Peoria Sports Complex (7:05 p.m. local start time); Tuesday, March 24 against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Talking Stick (6:40 p.m.); and Friday, March 27 with a 7:05 p.m. game against the Cincinnati Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. All other spring games are day games, most of which will begin at 1:05 p.m. Arizona time (the games on Thursday, April 2 and Saturday, April 4 will begin at 12:05 p.m.).
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training on Friday, February 20. All position players have a report date of Wednesday, February 25. The first full workout is scheduled for Thursday, February 26.
Tickets for the Milwaukee Brewers’ home Spring Training games will go on sale at 9 a.m. CT on Monday, December 8 at Brewers.com and by phone at 800-933-7890. Normal business hours are from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. CT. Sales at the Maryvale Baseball Park Box Office will begin on Monday, February 9, 2015. Tickets are available in four seating areas: Field Box ($23), Infield Reserved ($17), Outfield Reserved ($13) and Lawn Seating ($8). In addition, there will also be a limited number of advanced parking passes available for $5. Information on Spring Training Season Tickets can be obtained by calling the Milwaukee Brewers Ticket Office at 414-902-4000.
Please note that games and times are subject to change. (Home games are in bold.)
Date Time (CT) Opponent Location
Wednesday, March 4
2:05pm – UW-Milwaukee – Maryvale
Thursday, March 5
2:05pm – LA Angels of Anaheim – Tempe
Friday, March 6
2:05 pm – Los Angeles Dodgers – Maryvale
Saturday, March 7
2:05 pm – Texas Rangers – Maryvale
DAYLIGHT-SAVING TIME BEGINS MARCH 8
Sunday, March 8
3:05 pm – Los Angeles Dodgers – Camelback Ranch
Monday, March 9
3:05 pm – Kansas City Royals – Maryvale
Tuesday, March 10
3:05 pm – Cincinnati Reds – Maryvale
Wednesday, March 11
3:05 pm – San Francisco Giants – Scottsdale
Thursday, March 12
3:05 pm – Colorado Rockies – Maryvale
Friday, March 13
9:05 pm – Seattle Mariners – Peoria
Saturday, March 14
3:05 pm – Chicago Cubs – Maryvale
Sunday, March 15
3:05 pm – Oakland Athletics – Maryvale – SPLIT-SQUAD
3:05 pm – Texas Rangers – Surprise – SPLIT-SQUAD
Monday, March 16
Tuesday, March 17
3:05 p.m – San Diego Padres – Peoria
Wednesday, March 18
3:05 pm – Kansas City Royals – Surprise
Thursday, March 19
3:05 pm – San Francisco Giants – Maryvale
Friday, March 20
3:05 pm – Arizona Diamondbacks – Maryvale
Saturday, March 21
3:05 pm – Texas Rangers – Surprise
Sunday, March 22
3:05 pm – Chicago White Sox – Maryvale
Monday, March 23
3:05 pm – Colorado Rockies – Talking Stick
Tuesday, March 24
8:40 pm – Arizona Diamondbacks – Talking Stick
Wednesday, March 25
3:05 pm – Oakland Athletics – Maryvale
Thursday, March 26
3:05 pm – Seattle Mariners – Maryvale
Friday, March 27
9:05 pm – Cincinnati Reds – Goodyear
Saturday, March 28
3:05 pm – Cleveland Indians – Maryvale
Sunday, March 29
3:05 pm – Oakland Athletics – Mesa
Monday, March 30
Tuesday, March 31
3:05 pm – Cincinnati Reds – Maryvale
Wednesday, April 1
3:05 pm – Chicago Cubs – Mesa
Thursday, April 2
2:05 pm – San Diego Padres – Peoria
Friday, April 3
3:05 pm – Cleveland Indians – Goodyear
Saturday, April 4
2:05 pm – Cleveland Indians – Maryvale