With spring training fast approaching, many non-roster invitees will be looking to make their marks. With questions still surrounding certain spots on the roster, here are some Brewers non-roster players who may wind up making an impact with the big league club this season.
With Jonathan Lucroy’s future up in the air, the front office will be taking a hard look at several catchers in spring training.
Josmil Pinto: Pinto spent time with the Twins during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, hitting .257/.339/.445 over 280 major league plate appearances. He spent most of the year last year in AAA where he hit .228, but the big league experience is surely attractive to club officials.
Manny Pina: Pina saw 16 at bats for the Royals between the 2011 and 2012 seasons, getting 3 hits. He spent last year in the Tigers AAA affiliate hitting .305/.379/.461 with 7 home runs. A career .264 hitter in AAA, his numbers last year were well above his career norm. With another strong showing he might find his way onto the big league club if Lucroy gets traded.
Shane Peterson: Recently outrighted to AAA, Peterson spent a good deal of time with the Brewers in 2015 hitting .259/.324/.353 over 226 plate appearances. He is a good depth piece to have, and with the uncertainty in center and the possibility of Khris Davis being traded there is a good chance that he sees time in the big leagues again this year.
Brett Phillips: The Brewers number 2 prospect will begin the year at AAA, but there is little doubt he is the center fielder of the future for the Brewers. In the minors last year he batted .309 while hitting 16 home runs, 34 doubles, and an impressive 14 triples. It’s highly unlikely he makes the opening day roster, but it would be surprising to not see him in the bigs at some point this year.
Will Middlebrooks: Middlebrooks broke into the majors in a big way with Boston in 2012 hitting .288/.325/.509 with 15 home runs. Since then he’s had a rough time at the plate, failing to hit .230 in three straight seasons in the majors. With the brewers not having a clear third baseman, Middlebrooks has a real chance to impact the big league club if he can find anything close to his 2012 form.
Cesar Jimenez: Jimenez spent part of last year with Brewers pitching to a 3.66 ERA over 19.2 innings. Will Smith is currently the only other lefty on the Brewers roster, and with the possibility of him closing this year the bullpen will be missing a lefty to use earlier in the game. Jimenez has a good chance to be that guy.
Chris Capuano: Being a lefty helps out Cap for the same reasons it does Jimenez, but Capuano has the added benefit of being a potential long man. In order to get a chance he has to pitch much better than his 7.97 ERA over 40.2 innings last year with the Yankees.
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Am I missing any non-roster players you think may help the Brew Crew this year? Let me know in the comments!