Brewers Projected Opening Day Infielders (6)
Keston Hiura, Kolten Wong, Orlando Arcia, Luis Urias, Travis Shaw, Daniel Robertson
Other Candidates: Pablo Reyes, Daniel Vogelbach
Pablo Reyes has emerged as a candidate with a very strong spring, but he faces an uphill battle to make the roster and will likely need an injury to someone ahead of him in order to make this team out of the gate.
Travis Shaw‘s opt out date is coming up on Monday the 15th, so he’ll know for sure if he’s making the roster soon. All expectations are that he will make the team given his strong performance this spring and comments from the coaching staff.
Robertson has played well and should fill that super-utility role, working as the fifth outfielder if necessary, and with Mathias out, he has a clear path to the job and no competition for the super-utility role.
The one change from our last projection is that Daniel Vogelbach dropped off the roster. With the lack of a DH this year, Keston Hiura moving to his position to start everyday, and a plethora of pitchers that are deserving of a roster spot, Vogelbach is the odd man out. He hasn’t played super well in spring, hitting .211 (4-for-19) with a pair of doubles, four walks, and just one strikeout.
Without the DH, and with Hiura taking over 1B every day, Vogelbach needs a 2017 Jesus Aguilar Spring Training, where he just hits so much they can’t leave him off the roster. He hasn’t done that so far. As such, he falls short of making it in this projection.
Brewers Projected Opening Day Outfielders (4)
Jackie Bradley Jr., Lorenzo Cain, Avisail Garcia, Christian Yelich
Other candidates: Derek Fisher, Billy McKinney, Tyrone Taylor
These four players are the four highest paid players on the team, and thus will make the roster. The addition of Bradley Jr makes it quite difficult for any of the Fisher/McKinney/Taylor trio to make the roster. There’s an outside chance Counsell could elect to carry five outfielders, but with some of the infield options having super-utility ability, it’s not necessary.
Fisher and McKinney are out of options, and if they don’t make the roster, they will have to be put on waivers and any other team could claim them. Taylor, meanwhile, still has a minor league option year remaining and the Brewers are going to use it.
As for how getting enough at-bats between these four players on the roster are going to work, the Brewers have figured that out. There’s plenty of at-bats for everyone. Even Avisail Garcia was concerned as to how it would work, so he had a meeting with Counsell this week to get an explanation. Garcia was understanding and is on board with the plan, so if they’re good, fans should be good.