Milwaukee Brewers major leaguers still have no start date in sight as the MLB lockout is nearing triple-digits in days since its inception. Their minor leaguers, however, have taken to the fields down in Arizona and are in full swing.
The lockout doesn’t have any effect on the minor league season; thus, their spring training has officially begun. Some younger players and some returning from injury got to take part in a special Build Up Camp, but they have now been joined by most of the rest of the minor league contingent.
A majority of the team’s top prospects are present in Arizona, a few of which we have begun to profile, such as this most recent one on shortstop Hayden Cantrelle. We’ve even already started to see some impressive highlights start to grace our timelines.
Unfortunately, three top prospects for the Brewers – catcher Mario Feliciano (No. 13 per MLB Pipeline) and pitchers Alec Bettinger (No. 22) and Dylan File (unranked) – are notably absent from camp. And there is a good, if not frustrating, reason for that.
Due to the MLB lockout, those three Brewers prospects aren’t allowed to attend minor league camp.
As a result of the lockout, no major league players are allowed to participate in any team-sanctioned activities. That goes for all players on the 40-man roster, regardless of their career major league service time, or lack thereof.
Bettinger and Feliciano each got a quick cup of coffee at the big league level in 2021, four and one game, respectively. File, after missing a majority of last year due to injury, has yet to make his own MLB debut.
Barring an extremely strong showing at major league spring training, all three would have been likely to start the season at Triple-A. Instead, due to the lockout still being in place, the trio is stuck in limbo just like the rest of MLB players.
That’s unfortunate for a player like Feliciano, who had a mostly disappointing season at Triple-A last year while being hampered by injury. But, he rebounded with a strong showing at Arizona Fall League and would have been looking to continue that into 2022.
File would have also been looking to build upon the little bit of momentum he got upon his own return from injury. Bettinger, meanwhile, got past a rough MLB debut by giving up three or less earned runs in seven of his last eight Triple-A starts and was likely looking to use that, combined with a strong showing in spring training, to help work his way back to The Bigs.
Alas, these three, not to mention plenty of other 40-man players who would have likely started the season in the minors, will be delayed in their quest to again (or for the first time) crack the 26-man active roster. They instead miss out on valuable development time and sit there waiting in anticipation.
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Hopefully, the end to the MLB lockout is just around the corner and this trio of Brewers prospects can get back to doing what they do best: playing the game of baseball.