Opening Day is less than two weeks away, and the Milwaukee Brewers’ are starting to heat up and show that they are ready for the season. After losing their first five cactus league games, our beloved Milwaukee nine has started to pick it up and have score nine or more runs in four of their last five ballgames. Several key contributors are having strong springs: Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy, Adam Lind, and Khris Davis are all sporting OPS marks over 1.000 at the time of this writing, and since starting off 0-13, Ryan Braun has gone 7 for his last 12 with two home runs.
We all know those guys are going to make the team out of camp, obviously. Where the real competition is occurring is for the last couple of roster spots. The Brewers have engaged in two rounds of roster cuts over the past few days, officially sending five players to minor league camp, announced through a series of tweets. The Brewers now have 36 players remaining in with the Major League team, Here are the latest players to get the boot from big league camp:
RHP David Goforth-age 26 season, 7th round pick in 2011. Converted to full time relief in 2013, posted a 3.76 ERA in 64.2 innings at AA last year, saving 27 games. Throws a blazing fastball but doesn’t miss many bats, posting only 6.5 K/9 in 381.0 career minor league innings. Optioned to AAA (1/3 options used). Full story here.
INF Pete Orr-age 36 season, signed to minor league deal in November. Hasn’t appeared in majors since 2013, .257/.289/.328 career slash in 738 MLB plate appearances. Hit .301/.329/.423 in 113 games in AAA last season, his first in Milwaukee’s system, making appearances at every position except pitcher and catcher.
OF Bryan Petersen-age 29 season, signed to minor league deal in December. Last appeared in major leagues in 2012 with Miami, has a career .220/.303/.305 triple slash in 538 MLB plate appearances. Hit .252/.321/.418 with 13 home runs in 501 plate appearances for Texas’ AAA team last season.
IF Luis Sardinas-age 22 season, acquired in trade with Texas in January. Former top 100 prospect is known for his slick fielding ability and plus speed, able to play shortstop, second base, and third base. Bat has a ways to go, however, and he posted a .261/.303/.313 line in 125 plate appearances for the Rangers last season, his first experience in the major leagues. Optioned to AAA (2/3 options used).
OF Shane Peterson-age 27 season, claimed of waivers from Cubs in December. Has all of seven major league at bats, collecting one hit with Oakland in 2013. Strong track record at AAA, however, including a .308/.381/.460 line with 56 extra base hits in 625 plate appearances last season. Can play all three outfield positions as well as first base, and bats and throws left-handed. (3/3 options used).
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In addition to those players that were officially sent packing, Brewers’ reliever Jim Henderson has found himself in an interesting situation as well. Henderson, attempting to work his way back from shoulder season last season, has had issues regaining the velocity he had during his peak seasons of 2012-13, and there are questions about Henderson’s ability to pitch in the bigs without a plus fastball. Though Henderson will technically remain in major league camp, he will only pitch in minor league games as he continues his rehab. It’s likely that he will start the season on the disabled list.
With Sardinas and Peterson getting sent off to minor league camp, it appears that Luis Jimenez and Hector Gomez (both out of options) will likely begin the season as the Brewers’ backup infielders. The final bench spot will likely come down to Matt Clark against Logan Schafer. Schafer is a plus defender at all three outfield spots, but has managed only a .603 OPS in 503 MLB plate appearances. Clark, on the other hand, is a power-hitting lefty who has opened plenty of eyes with .947 OPS and 3 home runs this spring. Clark is a first baseman by trade, but has some experience during his minor league career in the outfield corners, and could play those positions in a pinch if the Brewers’ needed him to.
The Milwaukee Brewers will begin their season on April 6th, with Kyle Lohse taking the mound against the Colorado Rockies.