Brewers: Five More Optioned, Opening Day Roster Taking Shape
By Matt Carroll
Five more players were optioned down to the minors by the Brewers yesterday according to the MLB transaction log. Do we now have an idea of what a potential Opening Day roster could look like?
While the MLB season continues to be postponed, fans continue to clamor for any bit of news from either the league or their favorite team. Brewers fans were helped on two fronts in that sense on Friday, first with a bit of news about the team.
With those five players moving down to the minors, that leaves Milwaukee’s active roster at 29. That number would make perfect sense, considering another rumor that came out on Friday.
So, the players that remain on the Brewers active roster technically could be the team’s Opening Day roster, assuming, of course, that this rumor is true and that a season takes place this year. Let’s take a look at who was optioned, and what that leaves for the roster.
Who was optioned?
The Brewers sent four pitchers and one position player down to the minors on Thursday. Pitchers Bobby Wahl, Eric Yardley, and Angel Perdomo as well as catcher/first baseman Jacob Nottingham were sent to Triple-A San Antonio. Meanwhile, pitcher J.P. Feyereisen was optioned to Double-A Biloxi.
All four pitchers had outside chances to make the Opening Day roster, particularly Wahl, who was a strong candidate for a setup role, as well as Perdomo who had a strong showing in Spring Training. But all of them have multiple minor league options remaining, which makes the decision not all that surprising.
Nottingham was a long shot to crack the Opening Day roster as he was far down the depth chart at both catcher and first base. His minor league options made him expendable in terms of the active roster as well.
Who remains on the active roster?
As previously mentioned, 29 players remain on the Brewer roster going forward. Here is the breakdown by position:
Catchers (2): Omar Narvaez, Manny Pina
Infielders (7): Orlando Arcia, Jedd Gyorko, Keston Hiura, Brock Holt, Justin Smoak, Eric Sogard, Luis Urias
Outfielders (6): Ryan Braun, Lorenzo Cain, Ben Gamel, Avisail Garcia, Tyrone Taylor, Christian Yelich
Pitchers (14): Brett Anderson, Ray Black, Corbin Burnes, Alex Claudio, Josh Hader, Adrian Houser, Corey Knebel, Eric Lauer, Josh Lindblom, Freddy Peralta, David Phelps, Brent Suter, Devin Williams, Brandon Woodruff
A couple items of note here. Had Urias been healthy going into the original start of the season, there was likely going to be a tough decision as to whether to keep him or Gamel on the Opening Day roster. Now, both make the roster, as well as Taylor for some added outfield depth.
At 14, the Brewers carry just one more pitcher than they probably would have with a 26-man roster. Williams and Black, whose lack of minor league options likely earned him a spot anyway, get the last couple of roster nods.
Of course, this could still change before any potential new Opening Day. The team could still consider adding fringe candidates like Logan Morrison or Shelby Miller. Morrison, in particular, stated that he was not planning to accept a minor league assignment and his hot spring was putting the team in a tough position.
A 26-man active roster likely left Morrison on the outside looking in. However, with three extra roster spots, the Brewers have a much better chance at finding him a spot on the team. It would require some shuffling of the 40-man roster, but it would be possible.
Whether there is a season to play or not, there is a good chance that the remaining Brewers players on the active roster could be the ones that would suit up on Opening Day. Now they just need some games to play.