If you’re otherwise unable to keep up on news as it happens throughout the day (via social media, or however), allow me to catch you up on the all the roster news coming out of One Brewers Way over the past several days.
(I’ve tweeted all of this as it happened, but this is a quick summary so it’s all in one place.)
- October 27th
- 3B Luis Jiménez claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- October 30th
- Five players filed for, and were granted, free agency
- Zach Duke
- Tom Gorzelanny
- Lyle Overbay
- Mark Reynolds
- Francisco Rodriguez
- A report came out that the 2015 contract option on Yovani Gallardo had been exercised
- Five players filed for, and were granted, free agency
- October 31st
- Brewers confirm picking up Gallardo’s option
- Rickie Weeks officially became a free agent when the team declined the 2015 option on his contract
- Brewers officially exercised their half of the mutual 2015 option on the contract of Aramis Ramirez
- Ramirez officially has three (3) days — read Monday — to decide whether he will opt in as well or decline the option to become a free agent
- C Juan Centeno claimed off waivers from the New York Mets
Quick thoughts (because you can get a list anywhere):
Jiménez sounds like a great glove with some power who carries a higher average than Reynolds. Truly feels like Doug Melvin found a player worth replacing the veteran with.
Speaking of the free agents, the Brewers could look to bring back either Duke or Gorzelanny (though likely not both) but there’s certainly a tenable position that with Duke’s performance and Gorzelanny’s recent health concerns that they choose to let both sign contracts elsewhere. I’d lean toward them re-signing Duke of the two, though Gorzelanny could be cheaper. Overbay has said publicly that he’s leaning toward retirement. As for Reynolds, when he was simply passed over down the stretch last season, it felt like he dropped out of favor. He was streakier at the plate than I think the Brewers anticipated.
Gallardo’s option getting picked up makes all the sense in the world. I covered that move specifically here before it was confirmed Friday morning.
Rickie Weeks leaving Milwaukee is truly a notable moment. He’s been in the franchise for a long time, and was really the first of the high draft picks which ultimately led to winning seasons and playoff runs. While he never did realize the level of a #2 overall draft pick due mainly to injuries, he was the consummate professional in his time in Milwaukee. I wish him consistent success wherever his career takes him next.
Wanting to bring Ramirez back makes sense to a degree as the Brewers haven’t yet developed an internal replacement at third base. Should he decline his option to seek a multi-year deal elsewhere, the Brewers could turn to Jiménez or another internal option like Jason Rogers who played there in 2014 for the first time since college, or even, assuming he stays as has been rumored, Taylor Green? (Yes, that’s how thin the hot corner has been for the Brewers.)
Finally, as for Centeno, I haven’t had much of a chance to read up on him but I did see that he was a tremendous defensive season in 2013 in the minors though he reportedly regressed this past season. He hit pretty well in the minors in 2014 though. Without another catcher on the 40-man roster outside of the MLB level duo of Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado, it’s nice to have someone readily available who also has minor league options remaining.
Anyway, there’s your end of October round up of the Brewers roster moves over the past few days. Also noteworthy in roster news is that the Washington Nationals declined their option on 1B Adam LaRoche, making him a free agent. He could be a top target in free agency for Doug Melvin
You’re not seeing things. Aramis Ramirez has taken over the top spot in the latest National League All-Star balloting update provided by Major League Baseball. Carlos Gomez has also moved back into starting position and Jonathan Lucroy has passed Buster Posey for second place among NL backstops!
Oh, and how about Jean Segura in second among shortstops and Mark Reynolds and Rickie Weeks both getting on the board at their respective positions in 4th place?
Keep on Voting Brewers!!!
Here’s the latest from Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Brevard County.
Braun Having Relationship Issues With Rib Cage, Intercostal Discourse At Fault?
After he laid down a bunt base hit late in Saturday’s 5-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park, Ryan Braun was caught by television cameras explaining the action to first base coach Garth Iorg.
And while I don’t think he exactly said, “I only did that because my oblique is [feeling a bit off of normal],” the fact remains that Braun has a slight strain of his intercostal. It’s an ailment that’s plagued him in the past, including in both 2011 and 2012.
Braun was originally diagnosed as “day-to-day”. However, after Sunday’s game, manager Ron Roenicke reclassified him as likely to miss the next “three-to-five days”. Those are keys divisional road series in St. Louis (Monday thru Wednesday) and Cincinnati (Thursday thru Sunday).
The Brewers will miss his bat against the Cardinals. As such, Roenicke was non-committal about starting Elian Herrera in right field for all the games Braun misses, however many that turns out to be. When prompted with Mark Reynolds’ name, Roenicke recounted how Reynolds did play a game in right field for the Brewers during Cactus League play this year.
*** UPDATE – 5:03pm CT *** Adam McCalvy tweets that Braun underwent an MRI last night. Turns out the injury is to his oblique as opposed to the intercostal. Doesn’t necessarily change much with timeframe but they know how to specifically treat it now.
Segura Fortunate to Avoid More Serious Injury
Starting shortstop Jean Segura met with reporters following Sunday’s game to talk about his injury. He did so with a swollen right cheek and a gash on the same currently sealed up with stitches. Roenicke told the media on Saturday that his All-Star had avoided a concussion and any fractures.
It could have been much worse for the Dominican native, and he feared so at the time. “When it happened, I thought it was something bad. Today, I feel much better and thank God nothing was worse.”
When asked on Sunday about his vision, Segura said that he could see fine but that the swelling would need to go down before he could play. He was then asked if he thought he’d be able to play this week coming up.
Schafer Eyes Saturday Return
I spoke to injured Brewers outfielder Logan Schafer after the game on Sunday. He told me that he was set to test out his healing hamstring today (Monday) and then join the Class-A Advanced affiliate Brevard County Manatees for a rehab assignment.
The Brewers could use Schafer’s defense as well as his bat to be available again. Elian Herrera has filled in well enough defensively but hasn’t contributed much at the plate (2-for-13, both singles, .154 AVG with no walks) since being recalled 10 days ago.
Assuming Braun and Segura avoid the DL as is currently the plan publicly, Schafer’s return will likely come with the demotion of Herrera back to Nashville. That would likely be predicated on at least Segura returning to the field before then, as currently Herrera is the backup shortstop to Jeff Bianchi.
Schafer is eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, May 3rd in Cincinnati.
Kintzler Returns, Falls From the Unscored Upon
Relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler returned from the DL prior to the just completed weekend series with the Cubs at Miller Park. He made one appearance in the set, an inning of work on Sunday. In it, he allowed his first run of the season when Starlin Castro took him deep to left field. It ended Kintzler’s run with fellow setup man Will Smith and closer Francisco Rodriguez as Brewers relievers who had yet to surrender a run.
Having not gone on a rehab assignemtn, Kintzler will be eased back into setup work while recapturing any lost sharpness.
Online Brewers.com Fan Balloting and Miller Park Firestone Voting Begins Today; Participating Entrants Will Have the Opportunity to Win Unique Prizes
Brewers fans have the well-earned reputation for filling the ballot boxes with All-Star votes for their favorite players. With at least one Brewers player elected to start in five of the last seven All-Star Games since 2007, Milwaukee fans demonstrated that it doesn’t take the largest market to be heard as they voted for their hometown Brewers in almost unheard of numbers.
And while it may still be April, it’s time to ramp up and Vote Brewers! This season, eight Milwaukee Brewers players are featured on the ballot for the 85th Major League Baseball All-Star Game to be held on Tuesday, July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis. Brewers fans will again have the opportunity to show their overwhelming fan support by helping decide which players will be named to the Midsummer Classic through the 2014 MLB In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program and the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot.
Beginning today, fans are able to vote online at brewers.com and through in-park balloting at Miller Park.
At brewers.com, all fans voting 21 or more times for their favorite Brewers will be entered into a drawing to win a prize package that includes four Field Box tickets to a mutually agreed-upon game, an opportunity to go down Bernie’s slide (restrictions apply), an opportunity to watch batting practice that day from the field and a meet and greet with five-time All-Star Ryan Braun. There is a maximum of 25 votes per email address. More information and rules may be found at brewers.com. Additionally, fans voting online will be eligible to purchase Field Outfield Box and Terrace Box seats for select Brewers games at a savings of up to 50% (details available after fans complete their votes at Brewers.com).
Those visiting Miller Park are encouraged to vote early and often via paper ballot at the All-Star Polling District, set up during Brewers home games along the first base concourse. In-park balloting at Miller Park begins today and continues through Friday, June 15, comprising 23 home dates. The Vote Brewers! campaign will feature event staff decked out at home games in promotional t-shirts, and signage displayed along the Miller Park fascia and behind the plate. In addition, media partners FOX Sports Wisconsin and Newsradio 620 WTMJ will be promoting the initiative on broadcasts, and the World Famous Klement’s Racing Sausages will help distribute voting information around the city.
With every 10 ballots turned in to the All-Star Polling District, fans will receive one raffle ticket that will enter them in a drawing for the opportunity to win a collector’s item daily, ranging from game-used memorabilia to player autographs. A drawing will be held during every home game through June 15 and the winning ticket will be announced during the game. Rules will be available at the Polling District.
Both the National League and American League teams will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers.
Fans can vote for the Major League All-Stars online at brewers.com through Thursday, July 3 at 10:59 p.m. CT.
Here are the bench clearing lowlights
And Carlos Gomez discussing the situation during postgame…
Here are the three solo home runs that…
Tied the game in the 8th…
Tied the game in the 9th…
Won the game in the 14th…
Here is a listing of the MLB salaries of the 26* men earning MLB-level pay from the Milwaukee Brewers as of Opening Day.
Quick math: The figures below total $101,219,338.00
Aramis Ramirez $15,137,803
Matt Garza $12,209,424
Rickie Weeks $12,000,000
Yovani Gallardo $11,500,000
Ryan Braun $11,111,111
Kyle Lohse $11,000,000
Carlos Gomez $7,000,000
Marco Estrada $3,325,000
Francisco Rodriguez $3,250,000
Tom Gorzelanny* $3,150,000
Jonathan Lucroy $2,100,000
Mark Reynolds $2,000,000
Lyle Overbay $1,500,000
Zach Duke $850,000
Jean Segura $534,000
Wily Peralta $515,000
Jim Henderson $512,000
Brandon Kintzler $507,000
Logan Schafer $505,000
Tyler Thornburg $505,000
Scooter Gennett $504,000
Khris Davis $503,000
Jeff Bianchi $ 502,000
Martin Maldonado $ 502,000
Will Smith $502,000
Wei-Chung Wang $500,000
*Tom Gorzelanny is on the 15-day Disabled List to begin the season
Source: USA Today
Here is the breakdown of the Opening Day 25-man roster.
59 Zach Duke* – LHP
41 Marco Estrada – RHP
49 Yovani Gallardo – RHP
22 Matt Garza – RHP
29 Jim Henderson – RHP
53 Brandon Kintzler – RHP
26 Kyle Lohse – RHP
38 Wily Peralta – RHP
57 Francisco Rodriguez – RHP
13 Will Smith – LHP
30 Tyler Thornburg – RHP
51 Wei-Chung Wang – LHP
20 Jonathan Lucroy
12 Martin Maldonado
14 Jeff Bianchi
2 Scooter Gennett
24 Lyle Overbay
16 Aramis Ramirez
7 Mark Reynolds
9 Jean Segura
23 Rickie Weeks
8 Ryan Braun
18 Khris Davis
27 Carlos Gomez
1 Logan Schafer
DISABLED LIST (1)
32 Tom Gorzelanny LHP (left shoulder)
10 Ron Roenicke – Manager
33 Mike Guerrero – Coach
35 Garth Iorg – 1B Coach
39 Rick Kranitz – Pitching Coach
36 Jerry Narron – Bench Coach
37 Johnny Narron – Hitting Coach
6 Ed Sedar – 3B Coach
31 John Shelby – Outfield Coach
43 Lee Tunnell – Bullpen Coach
56 Joe Crawford – Coaching Assistant
55 Marcus Hanel – Bullpen Catcher
Welcome back to “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” for Monday, March 24, 2014! If you haven’t already done the match, March 31st is just one week away! Seven days. That’s all. We’ve almost made it.
Okay, I’ll try to remain calm and get through the end of this series.
Today, on our countdown to Opening Day, we stop to take a look at the newly named primary starting first baseman…
In the last couple of days, this post has taken on a whole different tone. No longer do I have to assure you that Mark Andrew Reynolds will be making the 25-man roster and that he was only signed to a minor-league contract because they didn’t want to have to make any of those 40-man roster based decisions right away.
I suppose I do still need to assure you that Reynolds will be starting on Opening Day. And I can certainly mention that the plan is such that he’ll be getting the vast majority of the starts at first base this season for the Brewers.
I can tell you that at 6’2″ tall, Reynolds makes for an adequately sized first baseman defensively, and that he’s played enough innings there over (500.0 in 2013 alone and over 2000 innings in his seven-year MLB career) that he’s more than comfortable at this point. This is no “work in progress” nor is it a “he’s never played there before” like nearly every option the Brewers tried in 2013. Is Reynolds a defensive whiz? Of course not. But what else Reynolds is not is Juan Francisco, Yuniesky Betancourt, Jonathan Lucroy, Martin Maldonado, Opening Day starter Alex Gonzalez, or otherwise. He’ll be fine.
Where Reynolds will earn — and hopefully exceed — the value of his contract is at the plate. Reynolds has a ton of power and enough patience that manifest together in a very 3TO-like set of results.
Reynolds is going to strikeout. All players do, though some are more prolific than others. Reynolds takes it to the next level though. He’s led all of MLB on more than one occasion and holds the single-season record for strikeouts in a season (ironically coming in the same season he finished 20th in league MVP voting) as well as three of the top 6 single-season strikeout totals in MLB history. He’s cut down on his strikeouts in each of the last two years (29.6% & 30.6% respectively versus a 32.3% career mark), but that hurts the narrative so many people won’t bother to recognize it.
Reynolds is going to walk. All players do, but Reynolds’ 11.6% career walk percentage is more than four points north of league average. To illustrate: In his worst season of batting average (.198 in 2010), Reynolds also posted his highest single-season walks total (83) en route to a .320 OBP. In fact, Reynolds career K/BB ratio isn’t actually terrible out of whack with the league either (2.78 to 2.20) and he was actually below league average (2.18) as recently as 2012.
Reynolds is going to hit home runs. A career HR% nearly twice the league rate (5.1% to 2.6%), a career AB/HR more than twice as frequent as league average (16.9 against 34.6), and a HR/fly ball rate more than 10 points higher than the league. The power is real, it’s always been there for him, and it’ll continue. The key for Reynolds is contact. Will he hit the ball enough to let the rest of his skills affect the outcomes of said batted ball?
The Brewers are willing to give him an opportunity to figure it out. He’ll also have up to 81 games in Miller Park to impact the bottom line, which certainly isn’t going to hurt his efforts.
There will be some windy conditions around home plate when Reynolds steps into the box, but make sure you keep your eye on the ball to know whether that powerful cut sent the ball into the stratosphere…or missed it completely.
Chances are? There’ll be a whole lot of fun along the way, especially for the bleacher dwellers.
Bottom line though is that Reynolds will not be worse than the combined efforts of the 2013 amalgam of Brewer “first basemen”. Quite the opposite in fact. He’ll be better.
Enjoy the power and try not to worry too much about the strikeouts. After all, they only count as one.
Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” profiles to this point:
- #8 Ryan Braun
- #9 Jean Segura
- #12 Martin Maldonado
- #13 Will Smith
- #14 Jeff Bianchi
- #15 Caleb Gindl
- #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
On the heels of yesterday’s revelation that Juan Francisco’s locker at Maryvale Baseball Park was empty, the Brewers announced this morning that Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay have been informed that they have made the 25-man roster.
Both men were signed to minor-league deals (with invitations to Major League camp) in the off-season and given the opportunity to compete for what was basically an open position in first base.
Francisco put in a lot of time at first for Milwaukee in 2013, a season which saw a historically poor combined statistical performance. He was learning first base on the fly last year which showed in his lackluster defense. He also struck out at an alarming rate, which caused the Brewers to suggest a change to his batting mechanics, something that was showing improvement over winter ball and so far this spring.
For his part, Francisco hit well this spring — .346/.500/.731 with 8 BB, 9 K in 26 AB, displaying his known power and increased patience albeit while still striking out. There wasn’t much else that he could have done make the roster. It was his track record over parts of five seasons in the big leagues that truly worked against him in the end.
Overbay, 37, hit very poorly this spring — .114/.279/.114 with 8 BB, 15 K in 35 AB — but his bat wasn’t why he was signed in the first place. Long regarded as an above average defender at first base, Overbay gives the Brewers a level of certainty that they at no time had in 2013. Even more than Reynolds who is a natural third baseman but who has played his fair share of first over the last few seasons, Overbay is a true first baseman who can still pick it. His 6’2″ frame adds to his ability to stretch for balls and he’s maintained much of his defensive value.
For the record, Overbay did hit okay against just right-handed pitching in 2013. But he absolutely shouldn’t ever start against a left-handed pitcher. Manager Ron Roenicke should be monitoring the opposing probable starters when determining appropriate days to move Reynolds off of first either to spell Aramis Ramirez at third or just to give Reynolds himself a day off.
As for Francisco’s future? Nothing was announced officially by the team but he won’t be with the team. Whether the specific language is DFA so they have the chance to trade him or simple release waivers, there is the three day window in which other teams have a chance to claim the high-potential, low-results slugger.
Reynolds will be the primary starting first baseman, with Overbay providing relief. Reynolds doesn’t own much of a career platoon split at all. I’ll get more into that tomorrow though as it’ll be Reynolds’ turn in “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” then.
For now, congratulations to Reynolds and Overbay. Let’s hope it’s the right combination for success on the field.
Let’s also hope that losing Francisco doesn’t come back to haunt Milwaukee.
UPDATE: Click for the original JSOnline article for the following quotes from Ron Roenicke regarding the decision. The JSOnline blog post was written by Todd Rosiak.
“We’re going with two guys that their track record is what we’re looking at,” said manager Ron Roenicke. “We feel we have better defense that way. I’ve been frustrated a little bit with the way we’re playing our defense, as has Doug (Melvin).
“We really feel like we’re going to pitch well this season. And because of that, we feel like we need to play good defense. When they talk about your defense being strong up the middle, we think we should be.
“I know how important it is at first base, to make plays there and pick up your pitching staff. That’s kind of what we’ve done. Reynolds is the versatile guy that Francisco was with first and third, and they’re kind of the same guy as power numbers and strikeouts.”
“Spring training is to get in shape. Spring training is not to see who you think should be on the team. If you did that, there would be some weird stuff happening every year,” he said. “Any of these guys, the veterans, could walk in and hit .200. Does that mean you don’t keep them on the team?
“Spring training is not on numbers. It isn’t. That’s the misleading thing that people don’t understand. The people that I look up to in this game always say, ‘Do not be misled by spring training,’ and it’s the truth.
“There is that occasion when you have two guys coming in and you’re not familiar with them and then you may make a decision on spring training.”
“Juan, he has improved. We all saw it,” Roenicke said. “Is some of it because he was coming out of winter ball? I don’t want to downplay what Juan did here because Juan did everything he could to help himself make this team. But the skill set, we feel, of the other two really fits better with what we’re trying to accomplish.”
We’re on the precipice of Opening Day, but there are still some decisions awaiting the front office staff of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Most pressing, if not most important, is how they will construct the 25-man roster to begin the 2014 regular season. In this, they’ve got some options.
Let’s assume a couple of things off the top here. First, a standard 13 hitter, 12 pitcher roster split. Second, that we’re all aware that things will change throughout the season and plenty of the players who don’t make the Opening Day roster will don a Brewers uniform at some point in 2014.
I’ll lay out the different roster groupings and then explain what went into my decisions thereafter. Cool?
With that, to the list!
Starting Pitchers (5)
- Yovani Gallardo
- Kyle Lohse
- Marco Estrada
- Matt Garza
- Wily Peralta
I did my best educated guess at the order here too. It was announced that Gallardo has Opening Day honors and that Lohse will follow in Game 2. It was also hinted that Garza could pitch the opener in Boston, but that isn’t for sure yet…at least not publicly. Couple that with how well Estrada has pitched and he’s the superior choice against Atlanta in Game 3 than is Peralta.
The wrinkle here is that the Brewers have the opportunity to start the season with four starters because of the off-days scheduled. They don’t need a fifth starting pitcher until mid-April. If they do that, Peralta would start with Nashville to stay on rotation.
Relief Pitchers (7)
(with one more starting on DL)
- Jim Henderson
- Francisco Rodriguez
- Will Smith*
- Brandon Kintzler
- Wei-Chung Wang*
- Rob Wooten
- Alfredo Figaro (Alternative: Tyler Thornburg)
- Tom Gorzelanny* (DL)
Henderson is the incumbent closer. Rodriguez was brought in on a MLB deal and has the longest track record out of any of the options. Smith has been great this spring after being acquired in trade. Kintzler was very good last year and has a spot locked up. Wang makes it in part because of how well he’s thrown but also because of the Rule V circumstances. Wooten pitched well enough in his time last year that he gets one of my “open” jobs. He’s certainly in a fungible position, though, as he’s got minor league options remaining.
For the final active spot, I’m going with Alfredo Figaro. I know that Tyler Thornburg is under consideration for that job, but I think that they’ll realize that he’s more valuable staying stretched out at Nashville in order to cover the inevitable first injury to the starting rotation than he is in pitching at best every other day in Milwaukee as the long man. Figaro filled the long relief role admirably last year as his stuff played up out of the bullpen.
Wooten, Figaro, and Thornburg all have at least one minor league option remaining so there’s no real consideration of roster depth when making any decisions concering the three. And I think we’ll be seeing all of them pitch at Miller Park in 2014 at one point or another.
As for non-roster invitee Zach Duke, I think that the Brewers have liked what they’ve seen but with Wang making good (so far), there really isn’t room for Duke to begin the season. The veteran lefty is on a minor-league deal, so most likely he’ll simply be assigned to Nashville to start.
- Jonathan Lucroy
- Martin Maldonado
They’re the only two on the 40-man and that’s because they’re the two best in the organization. Nothing more needs to be said here.
- Mark Reynolds
- Rickie Weeks
- Jean Segura
- Aramis Ramirez
- Juan Francisco** (Alternative: Lyle Overbay)
- Scooter Gennett**
- Jeff Bianchi (Alternative: Elian Herrera)
Reynolds was signed to a minor-league deal for roster considerations at the time. He’s got a job. Weeks is the longest-tenured player in the organization right now and isn’t moveable (yet). Segura and Ramirez are obvious inclusions. Gennett comes along if they go with two second basemen, which has been the hottest talk of late.
Despite all the talk to the contrary lately, I still think that if they must choose between them, Francisco’s potential, relative youth, power, and increased patience this spring outweight Overbay’s veteran savvy, locker room presence, and far superior defense. That said, I can absolutely see a scenario in which they trade Francisco for an asset and keep Overbay. Maybe I’m projecting Francisco simply out of hope.
The other hotly contested job has been the utility infielder role. Jeff Bianchi filled the role last year with middling success. The biggest challenger to Bianchi’s incumbency has been the 40-man rostered Elian Herrera, who was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers over the winter. They’ve both hit, they both have defensive versatility. The differences that matter: Bianchi is a better defender at shortstop. Herrera is a much more natural outfielder (which is big when you’ve only got four rostered). Herrera is a switch hitter. Bianchi is out of options; Herrera has one remaining. It is that last point that I think will be the deciding factor. Herrera will start at Nashville and would absolutley be the first man called upon should an injury befall any infielder on the big league roster.
For the record: Should they decide that they can forego two second basemen to start the year to even the roster out a bit a more, I think Herrera would make the club over a fifth true outfielder.
- Khris Davis
- Carlos Gomez
- Ryan Braun
- Logan Schafer**
Another easy prediction. Schafer could see some time starting in left field, but as the only man on the projected roster that can backup centerfield, he’ll likely be providing coverage from the bench more often than not.
* - Throws left-handed ** - Bats left-handed ---
So there you have it.
I welcome feedback and want to hear your opinions. Do you agree? Disagree? Think I’m overlooking an important detail or better player? Look down there…a “Comments” section.