Most of the focus this off season has been on the Milwaukee Brewers’ pitching staff. The bench played a key role in the success the team had in 2017. How does the bench look for 2018?
The Milwaukee Brewers really haven’t added much to their offense this off season. Ji-man Choi looks like the most intriguing new addition to the offense. However, Choi will likely head Colorado Springs unless there’s an injury. There are position battles yet to occur, but we have a general idea about who should hold the four or five bench slots.
Who’s the backup catcher?
That depends on who the Milwaukee Brewers are facing. Manny Pina and Stephen Vogt are virtually locked into a lefty/righty platoon. Vogt will get righties, while Pina will get all the at-bats against left-handers. Pina should also sneak in against righties occasionally. The Milwaukee Brewers catchers could end up in a 50/50 time share.
What about the reserve infielders?
Jesus Aguilar is the backup first baseman / DH in American League parks / first bat off the bench. Eric Sogard and Jonathan Villar look like another lefty / righty platoon, but neither can hit left-handers. Hernan Perez may steal at bats at second base if the Milwaukee Brewers don’t make a change made before the start of the season.
Mauricio Dubon would have to win a starting job outright if he were to make the Milwaukee Brewers Opening Day roster. It makes zero sense to add a player like Dubon to the 25-man roster and force him to sit on the bench.
How will the outfield shake out?
Ryan Braun and Domingo Santana are locked in as the every day left fielder and right fielder. The Milwaukee Brewers have three obvious choices for center field. They could bring back Keon Broxton as the every day option. However, Lewis Brinson or Brett Phillips could claim the starting job in center with a solid spring. If either Brinson or Phillips claim the role, Broxton would head to the bench. Phillips could also earn a bench spot if he doesn’t win a starting job. His arm and defense make him an ideal option for a late inning sub.
There’s still time for the Milwaukee Brewers to make a deal before the start of Spring Training, but the clock is ticking. Every day that goes by means guys who could have been moved will stay. Aguilar and Broxton were thought to be trade candidates, but GM David Stearns appears ready to head to Arizona with both still on the roster. The Brewers don’t HAVE to make any additions, but the option is still there. Any deal of Major League talent would force Stearns to add depth, even with the surplus of outfielders.