The Milwaukee Brewers will have pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in less than two weeks. Are there any players already on the roster bubble? Absolutely.
As currently constructed, the Milwaukee Brewers are facing a roster crunch. They have 16 position players who could realistically make the Major League roster. They will probably carry 13 position players on the Opening Day roster. The Brewers also have 18 pitchers for 12 spots. Someone will have to end up in Colorado Springs.
Jesus Aguilar enjoyed a mini-breakout in 2017 with an .837 OPS in 311 plate appearances. He may end up back in Colorado Springs unless the Milwaukee Brewers deal an outfielder. Eric Thames is the ‘entrenched’ starter, and it certainly sounds like Ryan Braun will spend time at first in 2018. Aguilar is suddenly blocked at the Major League level and could end up in another uniform before Opening Day. He would need an injury to Thames or Braun in order to stay with the big league team.
If the Milwaukee Brewers don’t deal an outfielder, Keon Broxton could also head to Colorado Springs. Roster spots for Braun, Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, Domingo Santana and Brett Phillips have to come from somewhere. Broxton still has one Minor League option left. This means the Brewers can send him back down without exposing him to waivers. Broxton needs to produce this spring and Phillips needs to struggle for Keon to make the Opening Day roster.
Yovani Gallardo signed with the Milwaukee Brewers in December. He probably assumed he would work his way into the mix for the fifth starter’s job. Since then, the Brewers brought in Jhoulys Chacin, and it sounds like the team is high on Junior Guerra again. Gallardo appears to be headed for the bullpen. The problem there is, the Brewers have added four names to the mix that are likely ahead of Gallardo on the depth chart.
Gallardo is still in the mix for the fifth starter job and a long relief role, but he can’t afford to have a bad spring if he wants to make the Opening Day roster.
Remember when Brent Suter was penciled in as the fifth starter? He was! Remember when Suter was penciled in for a relief role? He was! The Milwaukee Brewers still need a left-handed starter for the rotation, but Boone Logan and Josh Hader will be the two lefties in the bullpen. If Suter can’t make the rotation, he won’t have a role on the Major League roster.
The Milwaukee Brewers have several tough decisions to make before Opening Day. They still have deals in the works. Another free agent signing or major trade pushes even more names onto the roster bubble. The Brewers have more than a few guys who will need to earn their spot already. Spring Training really can’t come fast enough for fringy Major League players.