Happy Valentine’s Day, Brewer Nation! We’re just 50 days away from Opening Day which puts us just over seven weeks out. Each time the tens digit rolls over it’s like clearing a little mental hurdle.
So let’s finish our approach to this hurdle by profiling a first-timer to “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers”…
Or should I write “Jhonathan” because the Facebook page for the 24-year-old reliever from Venezuela spells his first name with a “J” and that’s basically how you pronounce it. I digress though.
Barrios was acquired by the Brewers from the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 23, 2015 in exchange for Aramis Ramirez (and cash). At the time, many people wrote things about not being able to expect much in return for a guy who has said he’s going to retire at the end of the season and who, quite frankly, wasn’t playing all that great at the time of the trade.
People found a myriad of ways to bemoan the acquisition.
“He’s only 5’10”.”
“All they got was a Double-A relief pitcher?”
“Who is Yuh-honathan?”
“WHY DIDN’T THEY GET MOAR!!!1!”
But the facts that have come to light once Barrios got a chance are that this guy can pitch. He can also throw as evidenced by his four-seam fastball averaging 96.4 MPH during his time in the big leagues (per Fangraphs). And though in his five games he was primarily a two-pitch pitcher (fastball/change-up), he also lightly sprinkled a slider as well.
The two pitches worked for him during his September call-up though as he put up 6.2 scoreless innings in five appearances, striking out seven and walking exactly zero. It’s obviously a small sample size and is predictive of almost nothing, but as I always say it’s certainly better than getting lit up in a small sample size.
Barrios is going to be in the mix for the Opening Day roster if in the Cactus League he performs even close to how he did last September. That said, he could get squeezed out with the options situation surrounding the other bullpen arms (assuming no one else gets traded).
If the Brewers go with a seven-man bullpen — the norm, though it’s certainly not uncommon to roll with eight at times — they’ll have tough decisions to make. Right now the locks given last year’s performances and current roster considerations are Michael Blazek, Jeremy Jeffress, Corey Knebel, and Will Smith. Tyler Thornburg & Ariel Peña are both out of options and Zack Jones (Rule 5 pick) either makes the team or needs to be offered back to Minnesota. That leaves worthwhile 2015 contributors like Barrios and David Goforth working at Colorado Springs. New 40-man adds Damien Magnifico and Jacob Barnes should probably start in minors for a bit more seasoning, but what of Junior Guerra (he has options)?
The point is that Barrios could find himself beginning the year in Colorado Springs and if his 53.3% ground ball rate in September translates back down to the minors he’ll be fine there. It’ll also help that he allowed just two home runs in 60.1 combined innings pitched in the minors last year.
Bottom line: Barrios is a useful asset for this team who could prove effective for several years as the complexion of the roster continues to change.
Catch up on BBtJN ’16:
List is subject to change but here’s the original list as released by the Brewers.
Orlando Arcia(canceled 1/30 due to illness)
- Jacob Barnes
- Yhonathan Barrios
- Michael Blazek
- Ryan Braun
- Keon Broxton
- Chris Carter
- Garin Cecchini
- Trent Clark
- Clint Coulter
Tyler Cravy(canceled 1/30 due to illness)
- Zach Davies
- Ramon Flores
- Matt Garza (added 1/20)
Scooter Gennett(removed 1/26 due a conflict)
- David Goforth
- Junior Guerra
- Josh Hader
- Adrian Houser
- Jeremy Jeffress
- Taylor Jungmann
- Corey Knebel
- Jorge Lopez
Damien Magnifico(canceled on 1/29 due to illness)
- Martin Maldonado
- Jimmy Nelson
- Shane Peterson
- Brett Phillips
- Michael Reed
- Domingo Santana
- Will Smith
- Tyler Thornburg
- Jonathan Villar (added 1/20)
Tyler Wagner(traded to ARI 1/30)
- Colin Walsh
- Craig Counsell
- Darnell Coles
- Joe Crawford
- Derek Johnson
- Marcus Hanel
- Jason Lane
- Pat Murphy
- Ed Sedar
- Carlos Subero
- Lee Tunnell
- Matt Erickson (Timber Rattlers manager)
- Don August
- Jerry Augustine
- Jeff Cirillo (added 1/21)
- Rollie Fingers
- Jim Gantner
- Larry Hisle
- Davey Nelson
- Ken Sanders (added 1/20)
- Gorman Thomas
- Greg Vaughn
- Paul Wagner (added 1/20)
Robin Yount(canceled 1/22 due to personal conflict)
Here is some additional information from the official release about Brewers On Deck:
Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for children 14 and under. Tickets on the day of the event are $20 for adults and $15 for children 14 and under. On the day event, cash is the only accepted form of payment for admittance. A portion of the proceeds from Brewers On Deck will benefit Brewers Community Foundation. Tickets may be purchased at the Miller Park ticket office by calling the Brewers ticket office at (414) 902-4000 or online at Brewers.com/ondeck through Friday, January 29.
Once again, food donations will be accepted through Hunger Task Force. 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.
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 Klement’s Main Stage game shows with Brewers players, coaches and broadcasters; vendor booths with baseball memorabilia; Brewers Community Foundation’s Treasure Hunt, a 50/50 raffle, live auction and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.
During the event, the Brewers will unveil a new book – Explore MKE: Your Neighborhood Our City. The Book is published by SHARP Literacy, Inc. and is sponsored by Brewers Community Foundation and Ryan Braun. It tells the story of two children who share their differing experiences of Milwaukee and are attempting to figure out how they fit in. It also features informational sections that weave together iconic Milwaukee institutions and neighborhood-based landmarks with important themes in common.
SHARP Literacy, Inc. is a non-profit organization that enhances future life success by energizing urban children and motivating them to identify themselves as confident, capable scholars and lifelong learners by inspiring engagement in reading, writing and research through hands on interaction and visual arts.
Details regarding autographs include the following: Recipients of “PREMIER” autographs (players to be announced at a later date) 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. 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 $25 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 later. The autograph opportunities are for signatures on photo cards provided by the team. 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.
Brewers Acquire Right-Handed Reliever Yhonathan Barrios
The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired right-handed pitcher Yhonathan Barrios from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for third baseman Aramis Ramirez and cash. The announcement was made by President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin.
“Aramis has had a great career, and we have had the opportunity to be a part of it,” said Melvin. “He is still a very respected hitter when there is a chance to drive in runs. We wish Aramis and his family the best.”
Barrios, 23, has split the season between Double-A Altoona (20g, 0-1, 1.48 ERA, 10 saves) and Triple-A Indianapolis (13g, 1-2, 4.60 ERA, 1 save). He went a combined 1-3 with a 2.68 ERA and 11 saves in his 33 relief appearances (40.1 IP, 36 H, 15 R (12 ER), 17 BB, 21 K, 1 HR). Barrios will be assigned to Double-A Biloxi.
Barrios, who began his professional career as an infielder, was originally signed by Pittsburgh as a non-drafted free agent on July 5, 2008. He converted to pitcher in 2013. He led all Pirates farmhands in saves (15) last season while pitching at Class-A West Virginia (26 games, 4 saves) and Class-A Bradenton (15 games, 11 saves).
Ramirez, 37, batted .284 with 65 HR and 262 RBI in 455 games as a Brewer (2012-15). He was signed by Milwaukee as a free agent on December 14, 2011. He is batting .247 with 11 HR and 42 RBI in 81 games this season.
Ramirez, who has announced his intention to retire following the 2015 season, ranks fifth on the all-time Major League list for home runs as a third baseman (375). He returns to Pittsburgh where he began his Major League career (1998-2003). Overall, Ramirez is a career .284 hitter with 380 HR and 1,384 RBI in 2,138 games between Pittsburgh, Chicago-NL (2003-11) and Milwaukee.
Wondering who wore a certain uniform number all-time for the Milwaukee Brewers?
The Brewer Nation has got you covered. If you found this list on its own, head back here for the full repository after checking out this one.
Pete Vuckovich (’81-’86)
Matt Maysey (’93)
Steve Sparks (’95-’96)
Greg Martinez (’98)
Robinson Cancel (’99-’00)
Bob Scanlan (’00)
Jesse Levis (’01)
Everett Stull (’02)
Matt Kinney (’03-’04)
Travis Phelps (’04)
Jared Fernandez (’06)
Chris Spurling (’06-’07)
Julian Tavarez (’08)
Angel Salome (’08)
Jorge Julio (’09)
Claudio Vargas (’09)
Kameron Loe (’10-’12)
Blake Lalli (’13)
Mike Fiers (’14-’15)
Yhonathan Barrios (’15)
Michael Kirkman (’16)
Jacob Barnes (’16-Current)