The 2022 Milwaukee Brewers season hasn’t even gotten underway yet and they’re already losing a key contributor. No, not Luis Urias, but Pedro Severino.
It was announced on Tuesday that Brewers backup catcher Pedro Severino, who just signed a contract with the Brewers this offseason, has been suspended by MLB for 80 games for testing positive for PEDs.
He will begin the suspension immediately.
Severino had been hitting well in spring training and was in a prime position to get a large chunk of playing time behind starter Omar Narvaez.
Pedro Severino has been suspended for PEDs. What do the Brewers do now at catcher?
Severino released this statement on the suspension.
Severino was just trying to start a family and took a prescribed fertility drug to help because they were struggling to get it started. That drug triggered the positive test and suspension. It wasn’t an effort to cheat the game or hit more home runs, just an effort to start a family.
Meanwhile, this is going to have a negative effect on the Brewers while Severino serves his suspension.
There are two other catchers on the 40 man roster, Brett Sullivan and Mario Feliciano. Feliciano has been a prospect in the Brewers system since 2016 but the Brewers likely wanted to see more time for him in Triple-A before calling him up again. Brett Sullivan, meanwhile, has zero games of MLB experience and was signed just this past offseason.
Sullivan played in Triple-A last year for Tampa Bay and hit just .223 with a .677 OPS. Feliciano missed most of last season with shoulder issues.
Severino is going to miss half the season, which completely throws a wrench in the Brewers plans. If he missed the second half of the season, they might feel more comfortable calling up Sullivan or Feliciano to take on a larger role. But since this is the first half of the season, they probably aren’t fully ready yet.
But they’re going to have to be.
With just two days before Opening Day, it’s too late to sign a catcher from outside the organization and expect them to be ready for an Opening Day opportunity. It’s down to Sullivan and Feliciano to man the backup spot until Severino is able to come back.
Sullivan might have the leg up on Feliciano and even though he may not bring much offense, he’s a very good defensive catcher and that should help fill the gap in the short-term for Milwaukee.
The Brewers are suddenly very thin at catcher and Pedro Severino’s suspension couldn’t have come at a worse time.