Brewers: Five Players Who Could be “Next Man Up” for the 60-Man Roster

Matt Carroll
OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 15: A glove and pair of baseballs sit on the field prior to the game between the Oakland Athletics and the Houston Astros at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 15, 2019 in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the Astros 7-6. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 15: A glove and pair of baseballs sit on the field prior to the game between the Oakland Athletics and the Houston Astros at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 15, 2019 in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the Astros 7-6. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images) /
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For every roster that’s filled for a season, there are players who end up just missing the cut. Here are some Brewers who fall into that category and could be added at a later date.

Up until yesterday, the Brewers were one of the teams who had yet to announce the players who would be attending the team’s alternate training site, which is in Appleton for the Crew. Now, after yesterday’s announcement, 58 of the 60 roster spots on the team are full.

GM David Stearns left himself some flexibility with those roster spots. He could wait to see if any valuable players get released from other teams before the regular season begins, add one or two of this year’s draftees, or add one of the team’s prospects who just missed the most recent group of adds.

If no free agent or waiver wire options from other teams present themselves, it will indeed be time to look back to internal options. The following players could be the most likely candidates if or when that need arises.

1. LHP Aaron Ashby

Five of the team’s top six prospects per MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 rankings for the Brewers were added to the 60-man roster on Thursday. Ashby, the team’s No. 5 prospect and 2019 Brewers Minor League Pitcher of the Year, was the only one who was not.

The only left-handed pitching prospect who didn’t make the 60-man roster, Ashby earned the mid-season promotion from Low-A to High-A in 2019 and compiled a 3.46 ERA across both stops. Should another starting or long relief option get called up to the active roster, Ashby could be added to continue his development.

2. OF Garrett Mitchell

The Brewers didn’t release the news about the players who would be heading to Appleton until after Mitchell signed his contract, leading some (including myself) to believe that he might be included on the 60-man roster. That was not the case.

With the minor league season cancelled and the team’s Arizona complex currently unavailable for practices, some players’ only options for development during the summer would probably be either an Independent League or getting added to the 60-man roster. Mitchell could be one of the most likely candidates for the latter.

3. C Payton Henry

Henry was part of a talented catching duo at High-A Carolina in 2019 along with fellow prospect Mario Feliciano. Though Feliciano was the one who earned the promotion to Double-A Biloxi late last season, both were highly regarded enough to earn invites to Spring Training with Milwaukee earlier this year.

The Brewers have plenty of players with catching experience on the 60-man roster already, which is probably why Henry wasn’t added. But if one of those options were to get knocked out due to injury or illness, Henry could hear his name called.

4. 1B/3B Lucas Erceg

Erceg is the only member of the Brewers Top 30 Prospect list who primarily played at Triple-A last year and didn’t get added to the 60-man roster. His .218/.305/.398 slash line last year and increase in K% from 16.1% in 2018 to 25.1% in 2019 probably didn’t help his cause.

One thing possibly going in his favor is that he is the only player on the team’s Top 30 prospect list who is a primary corner infielder. Should the Brewers decide they need some backup at either of those positions, it’s hard to imagine someone who would get added in front of him.

5. RHP Luke Barker

Barker isn’t just an off the radar candidate, he could probably be classified as extreme dark horse, but he’s a player I became a big fan of last year. Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2017, he has a career 2.21 ERA as a Brewer minor leaguer and was outstanding in 2019.

Barker started the year in Biloxi where he had a 1.48 ERA and 0.63 WHIP, while also picking up eight saves, working mostly in the eighth inning or later. After a promotion to Triple-A San Antonio in June, he actually lowered his ERA to 1.20 and was still mostly untouchable with a 0.67 WHIP. If Milwaukee looks to dig deep for some minor league reliever help, keep this name in mind.

Next. 12 Players Added to 60-Man Roster. dark

With two weeks before Opening Day against the Cubs, the Brewers have some time to decide on the final two roster spots. If it isn’t someone coming from another team, look for one of these players to answer the call.

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