Through a series of tweets by beat writers Adam McCalvy (MLB.com), Tom Haudricourt & Todd Rosiak (Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel), several decisions which directly impact the 25-man roster of the Milwaukee Brewers were disseminated from Spring Training on Sunday morning.
With an opt-out decision looming today, first and foremost relief pitcher Blaine Boyer was told that he has made the 25-man roster. The move will eventually require a corresponding 40-man roster move as Boyer was in camp on a Minor League contract, but there are a handful of 60-day DL candidates so finding a spot (or two or three) won’t be difficult.
The other player who got the best news was OF/1B Ramon Flores who was also told he’ll make the 25-man roster. Flores was acquired this off-season in trade from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for infielder Luis Sardiñas in a swap of players who were likely to be waived by their original clubs. Flores had a strong Cactus League and also showed a little versatility in being able to potentially backup Chris Carter at first base.
As there are ultimately so few spots, many more players get the proverbial red ticket in their locker.
Among those informed that they’ll begin the regular season in the minors are catchers Josmil Pinto and Manny Piña who were told they’ll be in Triple-A. Catcher Adam Weisenburger will apparently join them, giving Colorado Springs a trio of backstops.
Will Middlebrooks was informed today that he’ll also be assigned to Triple-A after vying for a spot as a backup corner infielder. Once there he is expected to rotate at the corner infield positions with Andy Wilkins and Garin Cecchini.
Joining them in the high-altitude infield will be Jake Elmore who was hoping to make the big league team as a reserve but came up short.
In the outfield competition, Eric Young Jr. was told that he’ll also head to the Centennial State when camp breaks. He’ll be joined officially by Shane Peterson who, after passing through waivers earlier this winter, was also in camp on a minor-league deal.
And finally, one official optioning came down as reliever David Goforth was sent out. Even with all the injuries to the bullpen recently, Goforth having minor league options was likely a key factor as others in the running for just a couple of spots had less team control due to no options or contract opt-outs like Boyer.
All told, this leaves the following combination of players in camp:
- Yadiel Rivera, Rule 5 Colin Walsh, and non-roster invitee Hernan Perez are competing for what is likely two open infield jobs.
- Keon Broxton (options remaining), Kirk Nieuwenhuis (no options), and Alex Presley (NRI) competing for likely two backup outfield spots.
- Chris Capuano (opt-out), Franklin Morales (opt-out), Ariel Peña (no options), Tyler Cravy (options remaining) are in play for two bullpen jobs
This year’s crop of
seven initially named eight Milwaukee Brewers prospects participating in the annual Arizona Fall League include three who weren’t even a part of the organization 32 days ago.
Brewers prospects will be a part of the Surprise Saguaros roster in 2015. They last were a part of that squad in 2013. In 2012 and 2014, the Brewers prospects were Desert Dogs. (Maybe next year will bring something new and exciting.)
Farmhands from the Kansas City Royals, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, and Texas Rangers will work alongside those of the Brewers as members of the Saguaros this year.
By position, here are those players and some supplemental information:
- Jacob Barnes – RHP – Twitter: @j_barnes30 (Highest Minor League level played at in 2015: Double-A)
- Josh Hader – LHP – Twitter: @jhader17 (Double-A)
- Adrian Houser – RHP – Twitter: @AdrianHouser12 (Double-A)
- Damien Magnifico – RHP – Twitter: @D_Magno32 (Double-A)
- Nate Orf – 2B/UTIL – Twitter: @NateOrf4 – (Highest Minor League level played at in 2015: Double-A)
- Yadiel Rivera – SS/2B – Twitter: @YADIELRIVERA13 – (Triple-A)
In the time leading up to Wednesday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox at Miller Park, the Milwaukee Brewers alerted everyone that their posted lineup would be changing. Jean Segura, who had been set to play shortstop and lead off for Craig Counsell, would no longer be participating in that evening’s contest. The given reason was soreness in Segura’s pinky finger on his right hand.
Scorebook pages were swapped out or updated with the new player and the new batting order, but beyond that nobody gave it another thought, really. Well, until this morning anyway.
That’s when a pair of tweets hit the interwebz from the Brewers official account. The first alerted us that Segura’s finger soreness was being understandably caused by a fracture.
SS Jean Segura has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured right fifth (pinky) finger, retroactive to 5/13.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) May 14, 2015
The second filled us in on how the Brewers would be managing the roster in light of the news.
INF Luis Sardiñas will be recalled from Triple-A @skysox tomorrow to take the spot of SS Jean Segura, who was placed on the DL.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) May 14, 2015
While it’s obviously terrible news that “Seggy” will miss time, that he will is an unavoidable certainty. Therefore, let’s not dwell on that part of things. Instead, let’s focus on the latter half of this transaction news.
Luis Sardiñas, who will turn just 22 years old on Saturday, is a switch-hitting infielder who hails from Venezuela. He is the same switch-hitting Venezuelan infielder acquired from the Texas Rangers over the off-season in the Yovani Gallardo trade.
So far this season, Sardiñas has slashed .288/.324/.386 for Triple-A Colorado Springs. That includes seven doubles and three triples but no home runs. He’s struck out just 19 times in 141 plate appearances, but also walked but seven.
Defensively capable at shortstop, third, and second, Sardiñas is a true shortstop first and foremost. That’s been reflected in his defensive log with the Sky Sox inasmuch as he’s played in 31 games at shortstop with just one appearance at the keystone and zero at the hot corner.
Sardiñas made his Major League debut in 2014 for the Rangers, appearing out of necessity after that team suffered an ridiculous amount of injuries at the big league level. That’s how he gets his next opportunity as well, though his time was certainly coming at some point regardless of why.
It wouldn’t shock me if Sardiñas is given the opportunity to start some over the next two weeks. As mentioned, he’s a switch-hitter which gives Craig Counsell another player for whom he needn’t worry about late-game matchups.
All that said, let’s look at one more potentially impacted part of the Brewers organization by way of this promotion. The Sky Sox don’t exactly have another true shortstop on their roster. Donnie Murphy and Pete Orr could fill in (and maybe Chris Nelson too, though I don’t know if he’s played short and I don’t have time to check right now), but this seems like the right time to promote from within.
The Brewers are currently carrying two true shortstops at Double-A Biloxi in the persons of Yadiel Rivera and top prospect Orlando Arcia. They carry surprisingly similar stat lines to this point, for what it’s worth. Also, when a spot opened at Double-A last year, Rivera was promoted first. Granted he’s older (having turned just 23 in his own right on May 2nd) and has been a professional longer (by a year) than Arcia, but that doesn’t always amount to a hill of beans in the grand scheme.
Doug Melvin should use this opportunity to see what he’s got in one of these Double-A shortstops. I’d guess they’d opt to move Rivera first.
Either way, there exists a chance to make the most of this unfortunate situation. Sardiñas gets his call back to The Show and someone should, in my humble opinion, be given the chance to ply their trade just one step away from Milwaukee.
On November 20 of last year, a deadline came on the MLB calendar. Which Rule 5 eligible players would be added to their franchise’s 40-man rosters, thereby protecting them from being plucked in said Rule 5 Draft.
Sometimes guys get added out of left field, metaphorically speaking, while other players are shoo-ins.
Today’s subject for Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers is one of the latter. Plus defense, emergence at the plate, and what appears from far away to be a big league makeup equated to a 40-man spot for…
A native of Puerto Rico, Yadiel Rivera was drafted by the Brewers as an 18-year-old out of Manuela Toro High School in Caguas. He has excelled defensively throughout his professional career, with some even saying that his defense is Major League ready (and has been for over a year). Unfortunately, there’s precious little room for defense-only players in the big leagues these days. You need to provide something with the bat in most cases just to be a bench player.
Rivera came over to the states right away after being drafted and only hit .209 in the Arizona rookie league. And despite his 6’2″ frame, he’s still listed at just 175 pounds. He can add strength if he chooses, but staying lean and smooth seems to be the focus for the young shortstop, at least for now. Rivera has never slugged even .400 for an entire season, but the fact that he did so (.410) in his 183 at-bats at Class-AA Huntsville to finish the 2014 season is nice to see.
Rivera will likely start 2015 back at the Double-A level, though with a new fan base and in a new city as the Brewers affiliate is moving operations from Huntsville, Alabama to the gulf coast in Biloxi, Mississippi. Fortunately, the diamond is still 90 square feet so all the throws remain the same. And if his bat continues to mature from the .258/.309/.374 combined line Rivera posted in 2014 between Double-A and High-A, Rivera could cement his place in the organization with an eye on the future.
That said, there’s a top prospect named Orlando Arcia nipping at his heels. They can’t both play shortstop for the Brewers at the end of the day. That could be why Rivera played 28 games at second base for Class-A Advanced Brevard County last year before his promotion.
Keep an eye on Rivera’s progress, but on that of Arcia as well as the developmental staff makes decisions on who plays where and for whom.
Catch up on the countdown!
Several of the newest jersey numbers for Brewers 40-man rosterees were updated last night.
If you’ve read me for any length of time, you probably know what a number nerd I am by now. After all, these numbers are an impetus behind my annual countdown to Opening Day.
Without further ado, here are the number updates which also will be where you can find these players in said countdown.
Logan Schafer, who gave up his #22 when Matt Garza was signed during last year’s Brewers On Deck fanfest, now had to give up his #1 after the team retired it for outgoing commissioner and former owner Bud Selig. Schafer gets #7 for 2015.
Brooks Hall was listed without a number for a time but returns to the 63 he wore last spring as a new 40-man add.
Similarly, Taylor Jungmann returns to the 78 he’s worn as a past non-roster invitee.
David Goforth will wear #77 when pitchers and catchers report to Maryvale in his first spring on the 40-man.
Number 76 now belongs to lefty Mike Strong as he contends for a specialist role in the big league bullpen.
And now for the guys new to the organization…
Big off-season acquisition and new starting first baseman Adam Lind will wear the 24 used by Lyle Overbay last season.
Catcher Juan Centeno has been assigned #66.
Finally for these updates, shortstop Yadiel Rivera will don #65 in his first big league camp.
(As of this writing, new corner infielder Luis Jimenez and new outfielder Shane Peterson hadn’t been assigned a number…at least not ones that were updated on the Brewers website.)
My annual countdown to Opening Day will return for another season!
There has been some decent 40-man roster turnover since Spring Training. I mark the passage of time from (roughly) the turn of the calendar until Brewers Opening Day by previewing players who wear a certain uniform number on the corresponding day.
We’re 98 days away from Opening Day, so we won’t get underway on this thing quite yet, but once the countdown coincides with a jersey, you’ll see the first column go up.
I call the series “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” and it works a little something like this:
- Opening Day is April 6, 2015.
- March 29th is eight days before April 6th.
- Ryan Braun wears number 8 on his jersey.
- I’ll write an article reviewing Ryan Braun’s 2014 and looking ahead to his 2015 and post it on March 29, 2015.
Make sense? Here’s another example:
- Jonathan Broxton wears number 51.
- 51 days before April 6th is February 14th.
- I’ll post my Broxton column on February 14th.
I do a column on every player who is on the Brewers 40-man roster along with most Spring Training non-roster invitees. I’ll update this space with a full schedule once the uniform numbers for the newest 40-man additions are announced. I’ll update it again as non-roster invitees are revealed.
Thanks for reading and sticking with me this winter. BBtJN is a very popular series and I thank you for that. Stay tuned!
Today the Brewers announced the additions of three players to the 40-man roster, a move that comes ahead of today’s deadline to protect those players from the Rule 5 Draft. The Rule 5 Draft takes places each December on the last day of baseball’s annual Winter Meetings.
Last year the Brewers protected four players: infielders Hunter Morris and Jason Rogers, and pitchers Kevin Shackelford (since removed) and Brooks Hall.
Morris and Hall were hurt for a stretch of time in 2014, though Hall pitched well making up time in the Arizona Fall League following surgery. Jason Rogers was among Milwaukee’s September call-ups in 2014.
The Brewers had nearly a full 40-man roster of players to consider for protection (38), including 22 who were eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time.
Here are the three prospects who were protected with a little bit more information about each of them.
Taylor Jungmann is a big (6’6″) right-handed pitcher who was the team’s top overall draft pick (12th overall) in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Texas. He split time this season between Double-A Huntsville and, after an earned promotion, Triple-A Nashville. He posted a combined 12-10 record in 27 starts and one appearance out of the bullpen right after his promotion to Triple-A. Jungmann, who turns 25 next month, posted a composite 3.57 ERA in 153.2 innings. He struck out 147 hitters overall, 101 of which came in his 101.2 innings at Nashville.
Mike Strong, who turned 26 three days ago, earned protection after a long and successful 2014. The southpaw pitcher played for three different teams this year, making all but one regular season appearance with High-A Brevard County before a one-game season-ender with Huntsville (where he pitched 4.0 scoreless in relief) and then participating in the Arizona Fall League as a member of the Glendale Desert Dogs. In the Florida State League, Strong was 2-2 with a 2.50 ERA in 75.2 innings pitched across 30 games (six starts). He struck out 78 batters as a Manatee, saved four games, and posted a 1.044 WHIP. In Arizona, his 1.98 ERA in 11 games, two saves, and 14 punchies in 13.2 innings were a cherry on top of his case to make the 40-man roster.
Yadiel Rivera is the third player protected this year and is considered to be nearly ready defensively for the Major Leagues. Before 2014, however, Rivera’s bat was lagging significantly behind. Still just 22 years old, Rivera slashed .258/.309/.374 combined in 2014, with a line of .262/.304/.410 at Double-A following his late-June promotion from High-A. He still needs development at the plate, and Orlando Arcia will be nipping at his heels at shortstop in the system, but with his defensive profile and step forward as a hitter, Rivera deserved protection.
With these three additions, the Brewers 40-man roster currently stands at 39 players.
Of note is that the Brewers are still considering the addition of a fourth player to the 40-man roster in advance of today’s 11pm CT deadline. That report came via a tweet from beat writer Tom Haudricourt who called GM Doug Melvin for comments on Jungmann, Strong, and Rivera.
David Goforth was the surprise to me this morning as having been left off of the 40-man roster, but to hear that the Brewers are still considering him is encouraging.