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)
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.
Here is post-game audio from the final home game of the season. This includes my exclusive with Donovan Hand after the Brewers’ 6-4 win over the rival Cardinals.
Enjoy it all!
Ron Roenicke’s Post-game Press Conference
Jim Henderson on the game, facing Matt Adams with the game on the line, the realization of his dreams, Mariano Rivera, etc.
Exclusive! Donovan Hand on coming in to a tough situation on Sunday, and how he views his role moving forward in his career
Scooter Gennett on confidence, coming through in the clutch, and goals for the off-season and 2014
Catching you up on a few things from the Memorial Day weekend in case you were grilling out and forgot to turn on your radio.
Figaro Gets the Nod
After Wily Peralta was able to gut out five full innings on Memorial Day, the Brewers’ plans for a starting pitcher on Tuesday evening against the Minnesota Twins were set.
Alfredo Figaro, who worked the past two seasons as a starting pitcher in Japan, was signed to a contract by the Brewers prior to Spring Training. After some negotiations with his Orix Buffaloes team who claimed that they still owned Figaro’s rights, the fireballing right-handed pitcher was brought into camp and eventually won the last job in the bullpen. He acts as the long man most days but has put up pretty good numbers so far this season.
As of 5/27/13: 15 G, 3.46 ERA, 26.0 IP, 30 H, 13 R, 10 ER, 5 HR, 6 BB, 21 K, 1.385 WHIP
He’s only given up runs in seven of his 15 appearances, and only multiple earned runs twice. The negative though is that he’s given up at least one run in each of his last three appearances.
He’ll match up against left-hander Scott Diamond (3-4, 4.96) in the finale of a quick two-game series before the teams head to Minnesota for a pair at Target Field.
Lohse Not Lost For Long After All
One of those games at Target Field should be started by Kyle Lohse. After having to skip an entire turn in the rotation due to elbow inflammation, the Brewers’ prize off-season acquisition — and ironically best starting pitcher so far in 2013 — threw a bullpen session on Monday and was deemed ready to go for Thursday. Obviously something could happen between now and then, but if nothing changes it’ll be Lohse squaring off against P.J. Walters.
The Brewers will need Lohse to continue his performance on the mound but also must begin to provide him with any semblance of run support. Lohse has gotten under 3.0 runs per game in support which is reflected in his Win-Loss record of 1-5.
Hand Promoted, Hensley Signed to Fill Spot
After the Brewers promoted RP Donovan Hand to The Show on Sunday, there existed an opening in the bullpen of the Nashville Sounds. To fill the spot, the Brewers signed a veteran free agent relief pitcher in Clay Hensley.
Hensley, 33, has pitched in parts of seven big league seasons for three teams since making his debut on July 20, 2005. He’s been a member of five separate organizations, having spent Spring Training in camp with the Cincinnati Reds along with a stint as a Houston farmhand back in part of 2009.
Hensley maintains a four-pitch arsenal that he’s thrown to varying percentages throughout his career. His primary pitch is a sinker but he also features a curve, change and slider.
Career-wise, Hensley has totaled ERA of 4.00 in 517.0 IP across 271 appearances, 49 of which were starts. He doesn’t platoon barely at all which is very good for a reliever who pitches with length.
Time will tell if his services will be needed in Milwaukee at some point, but he’s certainly a guy worth having in your Triple-A stable.
I’m sorry. It’s 1:38am as I’m beginning this post and I just couldn’t resist that headline.
There was some Twitter chatter late Saturday night about Donovan Hand having gotten the call to the big leagues to replace injured closer Jim Henderson on the Brewers’ 25-man roster.
My best friend is going to the big leagues!!! @donovanhand I’m so proud!!!
— chris beverly(@CBEV_3) May 26, 2013
Should this prove true, it would be a good choice by the Brewers as he has been performing pretty well in Nashville so far this season (2-1, 3.18 ERA, 16 G, 28.1 IP, 32 K, 9 BB) and was the final cut made in camp — in Alfredo Figaro’s favor — down in Arizona. Hand also would provide the length that Roenicke said he would need if they brought up a reliever and started Figaro on Tuedsay. Hand has thrown 3.0 IP in relief on three separate occasions for Nashville already this season, including in his most recent appearance back on May 21st.
Though, if it is indeed Hand getting the call then there will need to be a corresponding move on the 40-man roster. Could that be Mark Rogers to the 60-day DL? Would they outright release somebody who hasn’t been performing in Triple-A this season? The only obvious option is Rogers to the 60-day. Though that would, once again, mean a tougher decision would be coming when Corey Hart needs to be added back onto the 40-man roster in a couple of weeks.
If you’d like to read up on Hand a little further, here is the profile I did of him for this year’s “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” series back in February.
Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers – #48 Donovan Hand
The Brewers confirmed this morning that Donovan Hand did have his contract purchased from the Sounds.
Also, as I figured above, Mark Rogers was indeed transferred to the 60-day DL to clear the needed spot on the 40-man roster.
Henderson, who is nine-for-nine in Save opportunities this season, was pitching in Friday night’s game when he strained his right hamstring on a pitch. The play resulted in the second out of the top of the ninth inning but with the Brewers clinging to a one-run lead and seeing their first victory of the season when they scored three or fewer runs, Henderson could not physically continue.
Manager Ron Roenicke called on the recently added Francisco Rodriguez to face Neil Walker in an attempt to get the final out. Rodriguez induced a ground ball to the second baseman and the Brewers won the day. For Rodriguez it was his first Save of the year and the 295th of his MLB career.
After Friday’s game, Henderson spoke to the media and felt that he might be ready to go after a few days of rest but Roenicke countered by saying that Henderson would see the doc and they’d make their decision based on roster considerations as well as health. In other words, the Brewers couldn’t afford to carry another down pitcher if Henderson was going to miss even a handful of games.
The doctor made his diagnosis and recommendation on Saturday afternoon. With no time to get a replacement to town, and with a decision still to be made on who that would be anyway, the Brewers waited until Saturday night to DL their current closer.
So who comes up from the minor leagues for Sunday’s afternoon affair? Well, that all depends.
Do the Brewers just call up their choice for Tuesday’s starting pitcher? Do they summon a reliever for two days and exchange him for that same starter after Monday’s game? Or will Alfredo Figaro start on Tuesday so a relief pitcher can come up and just stay through until later in the week?
It’d be easier to know what they are going to do if we knew who was coming, but they’re probably deciding on what before they pick who.
If they go get a starter, I’d still expect it to be Tyler Thornburg despite his early season struggles with Triple-A Nashville. Thornburg would be the least affected by the situation, methinks. Furthermore, his next turn is scheduled for Monday so he’d be on close-to-regular rest.
If they choose to summon a bullpen arm, some names I’d watch for are Jesus Sanchez and Michael Olmsted. Sanchez has solid numbers so far for Nashville which works in his favor. Olmsted was the darling of Spring Training and one of the final cuts from camp.
That announcement will come prior to Sunday’s game though so keep it tuned to your favorite fan blogger (or me, if they’re unavailable) for all the details in the morning.
Recorded last night over dinner and during a fantasy baseball draft, my podcast partner Cary Kostka and I get you ready for Opening Day!
We discuss the 25-man roster projection, lineup for Opening Day, rotation, Kyle Lohse, Yuniesky Betancourt and more!
Click here to download the podcast: Brewer Nation Podcast – 2013 Opening Day Preparedness
The Brewers made a handful of additional roster moves in anticipation of paring the list down to 25 men to start the regular season on Monday, April 1st.
Here are the moves:
- Donnie Murphy exercised an “out” in his contract after learning he would not be making the 25-man roster and was released.
- Jeff Bianchi was officially placed on the 15-day DL today with left hip bursitis. Bianchi also dealt with a groin injury this spring which caused him to miss the World Baseball Classic. He was to play for Team Italy. Bianchi’s placement is retroactive to 3/22 (the earliest date you can backdate an injury to this year).
- Corey Hart was officially placed on the 15-day DL today as well, also retroactive to 3/22. Given the original estimate of recovery, the Brewers could have freed up a 40-man roster spot by having Hart start the season on the 60-day DL, but opted to go with the 15-day DL instead which probably means that they are optimistic of a return to the big league lineup prior to May 21st (which is 60 days after March 22nd).
The Brewers have only three more roster decisions to announce, but that won’t come until the team is back in Milwaukee this weekend for exhibition games against the Chicago White Sox.
Still to be decided are:
- Will the Brewers will begin the season with 13 pitchers? If so, it’s likely that an extra starter will be kept while Kyle Lohse ramps up.
- Who wins the final two spots in the bullpen? Brandon Kintzler is a lock in my opinion, but technically I suppose there are two spots for him, Alfredo Figaro, and Donovan Hand.
- Who wins the final bench spot (unless there are two)? With Yuniesky Betancourt, Logan Schafer, and Martin Maldonado locked in, if the team carries only 12 hitters that leaves one spot for either (in my opinion) Blake Lalli or Khris Davis. If the team only carries 12 pitchers, I think they both make it.
To hear who I think will make the team and win those battles, check out the latest podcast which should be posted tonight at some point.
He was discussed last year prior to Jim Henderson’s eventual call up as another option who was performing pretty well in the minor leagues out of the bullpen in Triple-A affiliate Nashville.
Mostly as a relief pitcher in 2012, Donovan J. Hand compiled a 3.84 ERA over 79.2 innings pitched. He made three starts in 44 games. Overall, Hand held opponents to a .292 batting average, posted a 1.36 WHIP, struck out 54, and in 79.2 innings he walked only 18. And all of that was tallied while his allowed BABIP was .335 for what that’s worth.
Hand throws a heavy enough ball that he has kept home runs in check the past couple of year as he’s matured. Entering his age 27 season, the time has come to demonstrate to the Brewers’ coaching staff that he is indeed a viable candidate to be called up from the minor leagues should the need arise. He needs to pitch his name onto the short list.
It’ll be a bit tougher for him to get a call up in-season if only because Hand is coming to big league camp as a non-roster invitee. That means that he isn’t on the 40-man roster currently. That being said, he has a prime opportunity to impress as there should be plenty of innings in the first several games as a pair of entrenched relievers will be pitching for Team Canada for a stretch.
As for his short term projection, Hand was used in a variety of ways last season by Sounds manager Mike Guerrero and pitching coach Fred Dabney. 23 of Hand’s 41 relief appearances in 2012 were longer than three outs and 16 of those were at least six outs. He could possibly end up as a long reliever in the big leagues in 2013 if, for example, something devastating happened where the Brewers were forced to maybe move Tom Gorzelanny into the rotation for however long a time.
Physically, the Brewers website lists Hand at 6’3″ and 220 pounds. I’m guessing that’s the most up-to-date measurements since elsewhere sites agree on a listing of 6’4″ and 210. He throws (and swings) right-handed. Hand has made his hay primarily as a sinkerball (two-seam fastball) pitcher, but he tells me that he also throws a four-seam fastball, a cutter, a curve and a circle change. He throws a four-seam fastball for specific reasons, like many sinkerball pitchers do. He used to throw a slider earlier in his career and told me that his cutter was born from his old slider and is “a smaller version of the slider”. When he was drafted he didn’t throw a curve.
Hand was originally drafted by the Brewers back in 2007 when they took him in the 14th round out of Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. He reached Double-A in his first full season (2008) as a professional, still mostly starting at that time. He started less than half of his games in 2009, and made the switch to the bullpen basically full-time in 2010. It was in 2010 that Hand first reached the Triple-A level. After starting the 2011 season with nine appearances at Double-A Huntsville, he was promoted to Triple-A and hasn’t looked back finally pitching the full year with Nashville in 2012. He’s now logged over 200 games in the minor leagues including more than 100 at Triple-A.
Could it all be coming together for Donovan Hand in 2013? Certainly feels like it. He’s experienced in professional ball, he’s performed at the highest level of the minors, he earned his first invitation to big league camp…
Look, I’ll reiterate that it would likely take a situation of some significance for him to break camp with someone other than Nashville, but entering what are commonly considered as the prime years for a pitcher coupled with all the other circumstances, Hand could certainly get his name on that proverbial short list I mentioned before.
The work starts today at Brewers camp in Phoenix, Arizona. I’d be willing to be that Donovan Hand will be among those working the hardest.
You can follow Donovan on Twitter and support his quest for a successful season and big league call-up: @DonovanHand
Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:
- #49 Yovani Gallardo
- #51 Michael Gonzalez
- #53 Brandon Kintzler
- #54 Josh Stinson
- #57 Khris Davis
- #58 Josh Prince
- #59 John Axford
- #60 Wily Peralta
- #61 Darren Byrd
- #63 Tyler Thornburg
- #64 Mike Fiers
- #65 Miguel De Los Santos
- #67 Santo Manzanillo
- #68 Jesus Sanchez
- #70 Nick Bucci
- #71 Johnny Hellweg
- #73 Ariel Peña
- #74 Michael Olmsted
- #75 Travis Webb
- #77 Jed Bradley
- #78 Taylor Jungmann
- BONUS ARTICLE: #91-94 Adam Weisenberger, Hunter Morris, Kentrail Davis, Rafael Neda