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Jim Hoey hasn't had much success as a reliever. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Brewer News: Club Signs Three New, but Minor Players

Since the Milwaukee Brewers’ acquisitions of Burke Badenhop, Tom Gorzelanny and Mike Gonzalez, Doug Melvin has pretty much all but confirmed that the Brewers are done making moves. While there are relievers still like J.P. Howell out there, this becomes one of those “be happy with what you have” scenarios. Throughout the holidays, the Brewers made a few minor moves that may or may not add to the club as none of the players signed were given an invitation to Spring Training.

Let’s take a closer look at the three players the Brewers signed just recently. 

Rene Tosoni could provide some outfield depth. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Rene Tosoni – OF

In 2011, Tosoni played in his only year in the majors so far with the Minnesota Twins. In 60 games, Tosoni had a .203/.275/.343 slash line which isn’t all that great, but in 60 games, it shows room for improvement. Despite his .203 batting average, Tosoni had a BABIP of .240, which is far from great, but it isn’t to say he’s completely useless with the bat. Inside those 60 games, Tosoni was able to slug out five home runs, drive in 22 RBIs and scored 20 runs.

Defensively for Tosoni, he’s just average. Tosoni presents really nothing spectacular with the glove and obviously won’t have to worry about starting everyday with the Brewers. He had a fielding percentage of .968 in 2011 alongside an UZR rating of -1.4 and a DRS rating of -4, so his arm isn’t the most powerful. That said, unless guys like Logan Schafer just seem to fall off the face of earth, which I don’t see happening, Tosoni has a small shot to make the 25-man roster. The positive thing for Tosoni is he’s only 26 so perhaps the 60 games we saw out of him in 2011 may prove us wrong and he’ll break out from that slump.

Ozzie Chavez – 2B/SS

For Chavez at 29, his days as a middle infielder almost sort of become numbered. The one really negative thing about Chavez is that despite being 29, he’s never made his MLB debut. In his career in the minors, which spans since the Brewers originally drafted him in 2001, Chavez is a .245/.306/.324 hitter so he shows that he’s able to get on base. Despite that though, he’s been seeing an increased amount of strikeouts in the past few years as from 2010, it’s risen from 15.2 percent to 20.8 percent in 2012. After leaving the Brewers, Chavez went to the Philadelphia Phillies’ minor league system, then to the Chicago White Sox’s system, now he’s back here with us.

Chavez defensively isn’t that great of a fielder. He’s played a combination of second-base and shortstop, but has an overall fielding percentage of .961. However, Chavez is more a shortstop as he’s played 865 games there as opposed to the 203 games played at second-base. I highly doubt we’ll ever see Chavez up in the majors this year, or maybe ever with the Brewers as the younger talent has proved to be more rewarding.

Jim Hoey – RP

There’s the old saying that you can never have too much pitching. Well in this case, the signing of Hoey says just that. What’s funny is that Hoey and Tosoni were teammates, so perhaps the chemistry they had (if any) can be brought over to the Brewers’ organization. What Hoey can bring to the Brewers is what this team just got rid of, a pitcher that can get hit hard. In his career, Hoey has pitched a total of 59 innings, in which he’s accumulated a 7.02 ERA, a 1.85 WHIP, five blown saves, seven losses and only four wins. Hitters also have had a field day against Hoey, having a career.312/.399/.496 slash line against him.

Hoey only throws three types of pitches: a fastball, a slider, and a change-up. He’s far from a dominant strikeout pitcher as he’s struck out 38 batters in his career, but has also walked 36. Hoey offers nothing that the Brewers particularly need, aside from maybe MLB exposure. At 30, Hoey offers nothing special and like Chavez mentioned above, will probably not see any time in the majors this season.

Take away what you will from these small signings. The Brewers’ major pieces may already be in place and even then, this is a team centralized on using talent from within the organization instead of signing it. Who knows if one, or any of these three players will see time with the club this season, but I wish them the best of luck.

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