Today the Brewers confirmed the call-ups of the three players I reported yesterday afternoon. In that linked piece, I mentioned that the resultant fallout to open up the necessary pair of 40-man roster spots could be interesting. Looks like I was right again.
The additions of two players who earned spots comes at the expense of two who had previously done the same.
Designated For Assignment was Caleb Gindl. Should he clear waivers, it’s a virtual certainty that Gindl would choose to leave the Brewers organization. He has talent but was never afforded a consistent opportunity to showcase himself at the game’s highest level. And since his last chance, he’s been passed on the organizational depth chart by Khris Davis and bumped further down with the acquisition of Gerardo Parra who should return for 2015.
Gindl can be traded during the DFA period as well, but cannot technically refuse an outright assignment to Nashville as he has not been removed from a 40-man roster before in his professional career.
In my opinion, there’s a spot for Gindl on a Major League roster somewhere, but in Milwaukee it just came down to a matter of available space. There just wasn’t enough.
The other player lost, in his case to outright release, was right-handed pitcher Hiram Burgos. The professional story of Burgos is one to behold, as he pitched his way from High-A ball to being on alert as the “next-guy-if-we-need-someone-in-September” all in just 2012. I’ve chronicled that on the blog before, if you’re interested in reading about it.
Burgos pitched well in 2013 winter ball, but after a rough start to his season as lead dog in the Triple-A affiliate Nashville Sounds rotation, Burgos underwent a “clean up” procedure on his throwing shoulder on June 19th. His season was done, and now we know so was his tenure in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
Bottom line: The Brewers needed two spots and guys have been removed off of 40-man Rosters for lesser reasons than “too much depth at one position” and “growing injury history”. That doesn’t make it less impactful to the lives of the men and families behind the names on a transaction page, but at the end of the day it’s a business.
To Caleb Gindl and Hiram Burgos, two players that have always been gracious where I’m concerned, I wish them the absolute best in continuing their careers outside the Brewers’ organization.
Just a quick item to get those up to speed who might not have been made aware of the happenings over the past couple of days.
Decision Finally Forced on Braun
Ryan Braun was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday morning. The transaction is retroactive to Sunday, April 27th. That means Braun isn’t eligible to return until Monday, May 12th (an off day for the Brewers). He’ll miss the rest of this series against the Cincinnati Reds and both full series against the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees.
Hopefully Braun is ready to go on Tuesday, May 13th against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but having been given no real report on his progress in returning from a strained right oblique, we’re left to wonder and hope.
Return of the Mack
Taking my heading from his choice of walk-up music during home games, Logan Schafer was activated from the disabled list when Braun was placed on it Saturday. Schafer played a handful of games on a rehab assignment, some for Class-A Advanced Brevard County and then for Class-AAA Nashville before returning. He only slashed .133/.222/.200 in 26 combined at-bats, but the Brewers will appreciate getting his steady defense back on the field and his left-handed bat back in the lineup to spell Khris Davis. Davis is struggling pretty hard against right-handed pitching so far this season.
Schafer was originally placed on the DL after straining his hamstring while stretching in the on-deck circle before a pinch-hit appearance on April 17th.
Inflammation Sidelines Henderson
Jim Henderson, who hasn’t pitched in a save situation all season for the Brewers after velocity and command issues plagued him all spring, was placed on the 15-day disabled list following Thursday night’s game against the Reds. Henderson was diagnosed with right shoulder inflammation, which would help explain his reduced velocity in his appearance earlier that night.
The Brewers wanted to get a fresh arm up from the minors anyway — then ended up recalling Rob Wooten — so the timing ended up convenient to that end. Unfortunately it was quite the inconvenience to the outcome of the game as Henderson entered in a tied game and was eventually charged with five earned runs in a rare bullpen blow up.
Once Henderson is actually ready for a rehab assignment, expect the team to take its time in activating him. Given this opportunity, they’ll certainly want to make sure Henderson is finally healthy before rejoining the team.
Steady As She Goes
Tom Gorzelanny, who pitched very well when used out of manager Ron Roenicke‘s bullpen last year, required off-season shoulder surgery and is still working his way back. Gorzelanny still has not begun a minor league rehab assignment after suffering what was called “a little setback” during the second week of April.
Then expected to miss the balance of April, we’re now in May so the question is coming back around as to how Gorzelanny is progressing. With no rehab assignment announced, they’re still looking at a minimum of a couple of weeks.
Carlos Gomez says he learned after last night’s game that his appeal of his three-game suspension will be heard this coming Monday, May 5.
— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) May 2, 2014
This tweet came over the wire not too long ago. What it means is that during the business day (so before the Brewers scheduled game that night is played), Gomez will have his appeal heard and decided upon. Gomez can be in New York for the hearing because whatever suspension remains — be it all three games or a reduced punishment — will be served starting immediately. Gomez won’t get off without some suspension, so losing the Monday night series opener at Miller Park against the Arizona Diamondbacks is a guarantee. That’s why El Potro can be in New York for the hearing without worry. What it also means is that the entirety of his suspension will be served during the series with the Diamondbacks. That probably couldn’t be better news for the Brewers. The D’backs, who as of this writing at the polar opposite of the Brewers in several respects, only have nine (9) wins on the season against 22 losses. The Brewers were the first (and as of “Publish” time, the only) team in MLB with 20 wins this season. You guessed where I’m going next. The Diamondbacks are the first team to 20 losses in MLB this year and (as of publishing) are still the only. Houston teeters at 19 as faces Seattle next. So whether Gomez misses three games, two, or somehow one, he’ll be back for the start of the Milwaukee stop on the Derek Jeter Farewell Tour on Friday, May 9th. The games on 5/5-5/7 though will force the Brewers hand on something else, in my opinion, if they haven’t already made a decision by then.
If Braun still isn’t available by Mon (and they haven’t DL’d him already), they almost need to. Brewers need Schafer in CF with Gomez out.
— The Brewer Nation (@BrewerNation) May 2, 2014
Put more verbosely than the 140 character format of Twitter allows, I’m saying that if Braun still isn’t healthy enough to play and they haven’t already placed him on the disabled list before Monday, they’ll almost have to do so in order to make sure they have enough outfielders to play all three spots as well as having Logan Schafer on the 25-man roster to start in centerfield.
If Braun goes on the DL after tonight’s game so Milwaukee can activate Schafer on the first day he’s eligible to return, then fine. If Braun thinks he’ll be able to play soon and they option the just-recalled Caleb Gindl to get Schafer back up, that’ll work, but then they’d be playing with only two true OFs if Braun still isn’t ready by Monday.
My point is that Schafer will be on the field on Monday, May 5th one way or the other (unless he somehow reinjures himself before then). It’s just a matter of how the Brewers want to create the 25-man roster space for him. The D’backs are pretty punchless this season, especially with Mark Trumbo on the DL, but the fly ball outs still need to be caught by someone.
For Gomez, though, it looks like he’ll finally have some closure to this Easter Sunday saga…and in time for Mothers Day — and Kyle Lohse Bobblehead Day.
As reminded by a couple of people on Twitter, players suspended for on-field incidents take their 25-man roster spot with them to suspension. What that means is that when Carlos Gomez and Martin Maldonado serve whatever suspensions they are (probably going to be) given, the Brewers will play without their roster spot for that length of time.
Carlos Gomez has already said that he’ll appeal any suspension levied against him and they can be staggered such that even if both players miss games, they won’t have to be missed concurrently.
That said, being that Maldonado is the team’s backup catcher the Brewers will likely want to have coverage available on the 25-man roster just in case the worst happens to the healthy catcher (*knocks on wood*) Jonathan Lucroy.
Since the Brewers don’t have a third catcher on the 40-man roster, any coverage would require a pair of moves. They’d need to open a 40-man roster spot and then move someone off the 25-man as well. Could that be accomplished by pushing the injured Tom Gorzelanny to the 60-day DL and then maybe optioning a relief pitcher or even Scooter Gennett down to Nashville for the length of the suspension? That would seem to make the most sense. It saves you from potentially losing an asset, and since you have several relief pitchers already making use of options this season, there’s plenty of flexibility.
As for losing Gomez, who in all likelihood will get less of a suspension than Maldonado, covering that all depends on how long it takes for his appeal to be heard. If it takes long enough that Logan Schafer could come back from the DL, then fine. However if it’s sooner than that, Elian Herrera would need to fill in as the starting CF and they’d only have three outfielders on the roster unless they again did a coupled move to get the other 40-man outfielder (Caleb Gindl) onto the 25-man roster.
Then again, if they can stagger the suspensions such that they’re only down one man at a given time, perhaps Elian Herrera’s versatility can cover the team well enough. After all, he was originally signed as a catching prospect when he was picked up as an amateur free agent by the Dodgers back in 2003.
Missing the players is bad enough, and we’ll have to wait to see how it all shakes out, but losing the ability to cover the games those players miss makes it an even tougher situation for the Brewers.
Opening Day is here for the minor leagues!
What follows are the announced rosters for each of the full-season minor-league affiliates for the Milwaukee Brewers, broken down by position group.
Class-AAA Affiliate (Twitter: @nashvillesounds)
Manager: Rick Sweet
28 Total Players
- Michael Blazek (Twitter: @MichaelBlazek34)
- Hiram Burgos (Twitter: @Burgos196)
- Jose De La Torre
- Mike Fiers (Twitter: @Fiers64)
- Alfredo Figaro
- Donovan Hand (@DonovanHand)
- Kyle Heckathorn (@KyleHeckathorn)
- Johnny Hellweg
- Brad Mills
- Dustin Molleken
- Jimmy Nelson (@Jimmy_J_Nelson)
- Ariel Peña
- Rob Wooten (@RobWooten35)
- Irving Falu (@irvingfalu)
- Hector Gomez
- Taylor Green
- Sean Halton (@SeanHalton11)
- Elian Herrera
- Hunter Morris (@HunterMorris15)
- Pete Orr
- Stephen Parker
- Eugenio Velez
- Caleb Gindl
- Jeremy Hermida
- Kevin Mattison (@stachemaster4)
Class-AA Affiliate (Twitter: @HuntsvilleStars)
Manager: Carlos Subero
28 Total Players
- Tyler Cravy (@TylerJayCravy)
- Drew Gagnon (@Dgags24)
- David Goforth (@DavidGoforth7)
- Brooks Hall
- Greg Holle (@GHolle44)
- Taylor Jungmann
- Brent Leach (@brentle24)
- Arcenio Leon
- Johnnie Lowe (@jlowe390)
- Eric Marzec (@MarzMLB)
- Casey Medlen (@cmeds13)
- Andy Moye (@AMoye22)
- Kevin Shackelford (@Shackeldaddy)
- Brent Suter (@bruter24)
- Joey Paciorek
- Adam Weisenburger (@aweisenburger)
- Shawn Zarraga
- Greg Hopkins (@StJonnyHopkins)
- Josh Prince (@JoshPrince17)
- Nick Ramirez (@N_Ramirez33)
- Jason Rogers (@jasonrogers2003)
- Nick Shaw (@NShaw3)
- Hainley Statia (@HStatia4)
- Shea Vucinich
- Kentrail Davis
- Mitch Haniger (@M_Hanny19)
- Brock Kjeldgaard
- D’Vontrey Richardson
Class-A Advanced Affiliate (Twitter: @BCManatees)
Manager: Joe Ayrault
26 Total Players
- Jacob Barnes (@j_barnes30)
- Jed Bradley (@Jed_Bradley)
- Hobbs Johnson (@hojo31)
- Jorge Lopez (@yabiee18)
- Damien Magnifico (@D_Magno32)
- Stephen Peterson (@SPetey22)
- Chad Pierce (@pierce_chad)
- Tanner Poppe (@TannerPoppe)
- Austin Ross
- Michael Strong (@Strong_Mike1188)
- Tommy Toledo (@TommyToledo13)
- Martin Viramontes (@martilious19)
- Tyler Wagner (@_TylerWagner_)
- Orlando Arcia
- Garrett Cooper (@CoopaLoop1)
- Michael Garza (@Miguelito_G_21)
- Brandon Macias (@Cias12)
- Nathan Orf (@NateOrf4)
- Yadiel Rivera (@YADIELRIVERA13)
- Alfredo Rodriguez (@Arodss2)
- Jose Sermo (@j_weesy21)
Class-A Affiliate (Twitter: @TimberRattlers)
Manager: Matt Erickson
27 Total Players
- Tyler Alexander (@LilLefty12)
- Tristan Archer (@TRISTAN_archer)
- Barrett Astin (@BarrettAstin17)
- Victor Diaz
- Rodolfo Fernandez (@cuba900321)
- Preston Gainey (@friendpresto)
- Tyler Linehan (@tylinny39)
- Harvey Martin (@Martin_Time15)
- Zach Quintana (@Slummdog)
- Chris Razo (@RazBerry02)
- Trevor Seidenberger (@trev15berger)
- Tyler Spurlin (@TyroneG4)
- Taylor Williams (@TWilly_KSU)
- Francisco Castillo
- David Denson (@_DavidD_41)
- Steven Halcomb
- Chris McFarland (@cmcfarland116)
- Angel Ortega
- Taylor Smith-Brennan (@TaylorBrennan88)
Welcome back in to “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers”! I hope this day finds you well, if cold here in Milwaukee.
Today we profile another one of the many Brewers to make their MLB debuts in 2013…
Despite being listed at 5’7″ tall on most sites, Caleb Charles Gindl is actually 5’9″. He bats left-handed and hails from Pensacola, Florida. The Brewers drafted Gindl in the fifth round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft and, as I told you last year in this space, his rise through the minor leagues was steady up until repeating Class-AAA Nashville due to there being no openings on the 25-man roster.
Gindl had a bit of a down year by his standards in 2012 but still came to camp last year as a non-roster invitee. And while he didn’t make the team, he impressed the Brewers brass enough (.273 AVG, 4 SB) that they had him on their list of potential call-ups last year. Unfortunately, Gindl then got off to a rough start with Nashville, a plague that seemed to permeate much of that roster. But with a BABIP of just .250 in April, Gindl struggled to a .208/.311/.390 slash line. Not exactly confidence-inspiring.
So when the Brewers needed a bat called up, they once again tapped Khris Davis first. Gindl continued to grind and wound up at .274/.341/.456 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 64 games in Nashville, but the crowning moment was when he finally got the call to head to Milwaukee in mid-July when Ryan Braun finally hit the disabled list with his thumb issues. Overall in 2013 with Milwaukee, Gindl amassed a .242/.340/.439 slash line with 32 hits (14 for extra bases), 17 runs scored, five home runs, 20 walks and 25 strikeouts in 132 at-bats across 57 games.
It was a year of ups and downs for the now 25-year-old Gindl. He would be recalled on three separate occasions during 2013 and would finish the season on Milwaukee’s bench.
For 2014, Gindl came to camp as the likeliest choice for fifth outfielder behind the presumed starters (Davis, Braun, and Carlos Gomez) and the second-best defender of the group, Logan Schafer. Gindl has gotten off to a slow start in Cactus League play however, though they may not have the room on the 25-man roster for a fifth outfielder to start the year anyway.
As a result of several mitigating factors, Gindl is likely to begin 2014 stashed away at Triple-A for at least the short-term. He’ll have the opportunity to get his swing going and could certainly see time this year against some tougher right-handed pitchers at the big league level depending on how things line up both in terms of opponent and situation.
All he’ll truly have to do is what he’s always done: Hit and play solid, if not spectacular, defense.
Something tells me he’s up to the task.
Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:
- #16 Aramis Ramirez
- #18 Khris Davis
- #20 Jonathan Lucroy
- #21 Juan Francisco
- #22 Matt Garza
- #23 Rickie Weeks
- #24 Lyle Overbay
- #25 Hunter Morris
- #26 Kyle Lohse
- #27 Carlos Gomez
- #29 Jim Henderson
- #30 Tyler Thornburg
- #32 Tom Gorzelanny
- #38 Wily Peralta
- #40 Johnny Hellweg
- #41 Marco Estrada
- #45 Alfredo Figaro
- #46 Hiram Burgos
- #47 Rob Wooten
- #49 Yovani Gallardo
- #50 José De La Torre
- #51 Wei-Chung Wang
- #52 Jimmy Nelson
- #53 Brandon Kintzler
- #54 Michael Blazek
- #58 Ariel Peña
- #59 Zach Duke
- #60 Kevin Shackelford
- #61 Jason Rogers
- #63 Brooks Hall
- #64 Mike Fiers
- #65 Irving Falu
- #66 Robinzon Diaz
- BONUS COLUMN: #77 David Goforth, #76 Kevin Mattison, #75 Mitch Haniger, #74 Michael Olmstead, #73 Kentrail Davis, #72 Cameron Garfield, #71 Adam Weisenburger, #70 Dustin Molleken, #67 Eugenio Velez
BREWERS ON DECK, PRESENTED BY TIME WARNER CABLE, TO INCLUDE OVER 50 PLAYERS, COACHES, BROADCASTERS & ALUMNI
Free Admission to All Fans in 2014; Food Donations Accepted through Hunger Task Force
Nearly thirty Milwaukee Brewers players plus a host of alumni, coaches, front office executives and broadcasters are scheduled to participate in Brewers On Deck, presented by Time Warner Cable, which is set to take place on Sunday, January 26 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center.
Admission to this year’s Brewers On Deck is free of charge. Tickets are not required for the event. Food donations will be accepted through the Hunger Task Force (peanut butter is requested by the Hunger Task Force, in particular). Donations can be dropped off at two main entrances to the Wisconsin Center, located at 4th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, and 4th Street and Wells Street. Players, coaches and alumni scheduled to attend include (all subject to change):
- Jeff Bianchi
- Michael Blazek
- Ryan Braun
- Hiram Burgos
- Khris Davis
- Marco Estrada
- Mike Fiers
- Yovani Gallardo
- Scooter Gennett
- Caleb Gindl
- Tom Gorzelanny
- Brooks Hall
- Sean Halton
- Donovan Hand
- Johnny Hellweg
- Jim Henderson
- Elian Herrera
- Brandon Kintzler
- Kyle Lohse
- Jonathan Lucroy
- Hunter Morris
- Jimmy Nelson
- Mark Reynolds
- Jason Rogers
- Logan Schafer
- Jean Segura
- Kevin Shackelford
- Will Smith
- Tyler Thornburg
- Rob Wooten
- Craig Counsell
- Rollie Fingers
- Jim Gantner
- Larry Hisle
- Geoff Jenkins
- Gorman Thomas
- Robin Yount
- Ron Roenicke
- Joe Crawford
- Mike Guerrero
- Marcus Hanel
- Garth Iorg
- Rick Kranitz
- Johnny Narron
- Ed Sedar
- John Shelby
- Lee Tunnell
- Jerry Augustine
- Dave Nelson
- Bob Uecker
Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family. Autographs and photos from Brewers players, coaches and alumni; interactive games in the Kids Area; Q&A sessions and game shows with Brewers players, coaches and broadcasters; vendor booths with baseball memorabilia; Brewers Community Foundation’s Treasure Hunt and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.
Details regarding autographs include the following: Recipients of “PREMIER” autographs (players to be announced next week) will be chosen through a random selection process. Each fan in attendance will receive one Premier Entry sheet which may be redeemed at the Random Selection area outside the Main Exhibit Hall of the Wisconsin Center District. The Premier Entry sheet will be exchanged for a numbered coupon to be entered into the random selection process for any one of the select Brewers players. Coupon distribution will be available at 8 a.m. the day of the event and will continue up to an hour before each designated autograph session. There is no cost for coupons to enter the random selection process; however, those holding winning coupons must pay $10 at the respective autograph stage to collect their player signature. There will be 250 winners for each of the autograph sessions. The winning ticket numbers will be posted at the designated autograph stage no less than 30 minutes prior to each player’s session.
Players and staff not included in the PREMIER autograph list will not use the random selection process. Each of these players will sign 250 autographs at prices ranging from free to $10. A schedule of players, their session times, and distribution info will be posted next week. The autograph opportunities are for signatures on photo cards provided by the team; the Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia. For additional information, visit Brewers.com/ondeck.
Autograph proceeds benefit Brewers Community Foundation. Please note that cash is the only acceptable form of payment for autographs. The Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia, and personalization of items is solely up to the discretion of each player.
Fans also have the opportunity to enter to win autographs from their favorite players via a #BrewersOnDeck Vine & Instagram contest, which runs through Monday, January 20. The details can be found here: http://brewers.mlblogs.com/2014/01/07/win-an-autograph-from-your-favorite-brewers-player-at-brewers-on-deck/
Recorded on location last night, here is the latest Brewer Nation podcast.
Check the tags for some of the players mentioned during this hour-long clip.
Following last night’s loss to the Cincinnati Reds, the Milwaukee Brewers optioned starting pitcher Johnny Hellweg to the Class-A affiliate Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Hellweg was optioned there instead of to either Class-AAA or Class-AA because the organization wants him to start again on regular rest during the MLB All-Star break and while Wisconsin plays a home game burn Nashville and Huntsville are off that day. Class-A Advanced Brevard County has a game that night as well but it’s a road game and the logistics of having Hellweg simply drive from Milwaukee to Appleton is just easier.
Coming up to take Hellweg’s place on the roster and joining the team in Arizona will be outfielder Caleb Gindl. The left-handed hitting Gindl had a rough go defensively in left field but it was a position unfamiliar to him both in terms of venue but also in how the ball reacts off the bat. The recall makes sense from the aspect of getting a lefty bench bat up and having a vastly superior reserve option to put in defensively over Jeff Bianchi and Yuniesky Betancourt.
Brewers Sign Laffey to Minor League Contract
Late Wednesday night, the Brewers announced that they had signed veteran southpaw Aaron Laffey to a minor league contract.
Laffey, 28, has been with three other organizations already in 2013. He signed a minor league deal with the Mets in December of last year but was designated for assignment in April. The Toronto Blue Jays claimed him but then also designated him for assignment quickly. He was able to elect free agency at that point though and did so.He signed a MiLB deal with the Dodgers that included an opt-out clause, which he exercised making him available again as a free agent.
So far this season, Laffey has posted a 7.11 ERA in five games, including three starts, for two ball clubs at the Major League level and 5.61 ERA in 61.0 IP across 12 games (11 starts) with the third org but in Triple-A. The numbers aren’t pretty but I still wanted to pass the signing news along.