The final step towards playing regular season baseball was completed on Thursday with the release of the Brewers’ 30-man roster. Who made the cut?
Ever since the return of baseball was announced, the Brewers just needed to clear the milestones to get to the start of the regular season. Prior to today, most of them had been checked off the list. Among those items, COVID-19 testing was (and continues to be) administered, a schedule was created, and Summer Camp was completed.
That left one main task to be completed for teams: deciding on a 30-man roster. With the deadline to do so passing this afternoon, teams announced each of their rosters over the course of the day. As a result, Brewers fans now know which Milwaukee players will be occupying the visitors’ dugout at Wrigley Field for Opening Day against the Cubs.
12 of the 30 players on the roster are new to the Brewers roster since the end of last season (J.P. Feyereisen technically came to the organization just before the end of the 2019 season). And of the 30 players, six will be making the first Opening Day roster of their career.
Like many predicted, manager Craig Counsell decided to go with a split of 14 position players and 16 pitchers. And if you followed along with the scrimmages, the last couple weeks of Brewers news, and our roster projections, there really weren’t many surprises among the finalized list of names.
The 14 position players who were pretty much who everyone expected and ended up exactly matching our second roster projection. For a while, the only one of that group who was even in question was non-roster invitee Logan Morrison, but he ended up being informed of his inclusion by the team on Sunday.
The pitching staff, meanwhile, ended up putting a last-second wrench in predictions. Just as roles were being settled upon going into the final week, news came out that starting pitcher Brett Anderson would start the season on the injured list, soon to be followed by reliever Ray Black.
Those transactions ended up giving roster spots to pretty much all of the most likely fringe pitching candidates to make the staff – players like Feyereisen, Bobby Wahl, Devin Williams, and Eric Yardley. But even with those four joining others who were roster locks, that still left one final spot on the pitching staff.
The honor ended up going to reliever Mike Morin, beating out out Top-30 prospect Drew Rasmussen and veteran Shelby Miller. While Rasmussen seemed to have pitched the best of the three, he likely fell victim to good old service time manipulation.
Morin and Miller were in similar situations, both being non-roster invitees with no minor league options remaining. The difference, though, is that Morin has primarily worked from the bullpen for his career, while Miller has always been a starter. Counsell went with the pitcher who had more bullpen experience.
So there are the 30 players who will suit up for the Brewers season opener. Just one more day before Milwaukee’s leadoff hitter steps into the box for the pitch one of the 2020 season.