Brewers: After A Brief Departure, Jacob Nottingham Is Back

The Brewers just can’t quit Jacob Nottingham.

Back on April 22nd, despite a few injuries piling up, the Brewers catching situation was healthy and performing well. David Stearns had to make the inevitable call to DFA Nottingham. He was healthy, out of options, and the team couldn’t carry three catchers.

David Stearns probably wishes he had held off on that decision a few more days because almost immediately after, he needed Jacob Nottingham on this Brewers roster.

A few days after the DFA, Manny Pina suffered an injury to his big toe, putting him on the IL. Nottingham was already in DFA limbo and there was no bringing him back until he cleared waivers.

He did not clear waivers.

The Seattle Mariners claimed him, and the Brewers had to call up Luke Maile to back up Omar Narvaez behind the plate.

Then Omar Narvaez pulled a hamstring.

Now the Brewers were in a really tight spot with both of their Opening Day catchers hurt. Luke Maile had to cover and the only other catcher on the 40 man roster was Mario Feliciano, a 22 year old prospect who has just a small handful of at-bats at Double-A. It’s too early for extended big league time for Feliciano, but they had no choice.

Then Jacob Nottingham re-entered the picture.

For whatever reason, the Mariners also decided to designate Nottingham for assignment. When that news came through, David Stearns’ ears probably perked up. Then his head started thinking. He ended up sending cash considerations to the Mariners to bring back Nottingham immediately.

Brewers make a flurry of roster moves to make the Nottingham acquisition work.

Top catching prospect Mario Feliciano, who made his major league debut Saturday night, and scored the winning run, gets sent back down to the minors where he can get the regular at-bats he needs.

But to add Nottingham back, they need to clear a 40 man roster spot, so they made the unusual decision to call up another prospect, Dylan File, and immediately placed him on the 60 day IL to clear room on the 40 man. File is out until June at the earliest anyways. This will start his big league paychecks and service time, but the only other option was to DFA someone else.

With practically the entire 40 man roster up at the big league level, either healthy or on the IL, there isn’t much wiggle room there right now. It’s unusual to see a team do that, but it was the best option.

It’s almost comical at this point as File gets called up just to become the 17th player on the injured list for the Crew. He was already hurt, so this isn’t a new injury, but it just adds to the ridiculousness of the team’s IL situation right now.

This was the best-case scenario for the Brewers as they get back Nottingham, whom they’ve wanted to keep but had to let go, get Feliciano more seasoning in the minors, and don’t have to lose anyone else off the roster. Nottingham knows the pitching staff well and now he can finally get a more extended opportunity in the big leagues.

Despite all the injuries, the Brewers are winning, and a lot of that is due to the team’s clubhouse culture, of which Nottingham was a big part of.