I really can’t say this move that Ron Roenicke made is by any means surprising, but it is a good topic for discussion. Travis Ishikawa is the veteran player over Brooks Conrad and actually did fairly better than Conrad in Spring Training. Of course, Roenicke has announced that Ishikawa will be Mat Gamel’s back up at first, which if Gamel doesn’t produce, I’d be fine with Ishikawa at first. Though, what exactly does this all say for Brooks Conrad? Tough luck? Better luck next time? No. Conrad still can play and maybe will prove himself to have a Brewers’ roster spot later in the season.
So now that the last roster spot has been filled in with Travis Ishikawa, where does Brooks Conrad go from here? Clearly Ishikawa cannot be the only infield backup guy to go to. The great thing about Conrad is that he played a multitude of infield positions with the A’s and Braves. Versatility is always a great asset for any manager. However, while Ishikawa will be a backup for first and maybe third, Cesar Izturis will more than likely have second base and shortstop. Izturis, who has much better career numbers and more experience than Conrad obviously got the nod for the roster as a Spring Training invitee. Since he won’t be with the Brewers for the time, Conrad will spend time in Triple-A Nashville, alongside Taylor Green, Eric Farris and Edwin Maysonet. Roenicke fully believes in the combination of Ishikawa and Izturis as infield back ups, but has not ruled out of the possibility of bringing Conrad up for his versatility.
With Ishikawa as the final pick, Roenicke had this to say on his decision,
“We’re losing what we felt was a great pinch-hitter last year in Kotsay. “We’re looking at a guy [in Ishikawa] who’s got some experience, and he’s done a nice job for San Francisco in the Major Leagues.“
Losing Mark Kotsay was and still is a pretty big deal. Obviously Prince has been gone, that bridge was burned. Mark Kotsay on the other hand was a guy who we had that Roenicke could rely on to provide some pop in the line-up, plus he was a main utility guy. Now with Ishikawa, Roenicke thinks he’ll produce the same results that Kotsay did, which is by no means a hard task to accomplish.
Before today’s preseason finale game with the Diamonbacks, the Brewers had officially released the 25 man roster for the 2012 season:
2012 looks pretty bright to me, how about you?
Until next time guys and gals!