The Major League off season is always more fun when the hot stove is burning. This week, the Milwaukee Brewers have added a few logs to that fire, causing excitement rarely felt by this fan base.
The biggest news of the week is the reported contract proposal to free agent starting pitcher Yu Darvish. Signing Darvish instantly transforms the Milwaukee Brewers into a playoff contender. However, what could it mean for two of the Brewers top pitching prospects?
What this means for Luis Ortiz
For a pitcher like Luis Ortiz, signing Darvish has a huge impact on his future. Widely considered the Brewers top pitching prospect, Ortiz isn’t far from seeing big league action. Bringing in Darvish means Ortiz will potentially be stuck in Triple-A for at least one more season.
However, the Jimmy Nelson injury leaves as many as two spots in the rotation up for grabs this spring. Ortiz has the ability to win one of those jobs. Brandon Woodruff is coming off of a successful debut season and is assuredly a favorite for the rotation.
The Milwaukee Brewers also signed Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo earlier this off season, adding two more names to the mix. Gallardo is probably better suited for the bullpen at this point in his career. Chacin on the other hand is another story. He is an effective Major League starter and his groundball inducing stuff will play well at Miller Park. Additionally, he is a veteran, and teams making a playoff push tend to stick with vets.
Where does this leave Corbin Burnes?
Corbin Burnes will definitely feel the impact of signing Darvish. Although he’s still a year or two away from Major League action, Burnes has Brewers fans salivating over his potential. Many fans have hope Burnes will get an opportunity in the Majors this season.
The Milwaukee Brewers 2017 Minor League Player of The Year definitely opened a lot of eyes with his performance across two levels last year. He’s not as highly touted as Ortiz, but Burnes could end being the better of the two.
This is uncharted territory for the Brewers. Usually it’s a scramble to fill the back end of their rotation. If Darvish signs it will be an all out war for those last two rotation spots. However, if Darvish doesn’t sign, Burnes and Ortiz are two names to keep an eye on.