The Milwaukee Brewers added one of their minor league outfielders to the 40-man roster on Monday. And before you ask, no, it wasn't Jackson Chourio.
27-year-old Chris Roller was added to the 40-man roster by the Brewers earlier today, replacing a spot that was recently vacated when pitcher Eric Lauer was outrighted to the minors. Roller was acquired less than two months ago in a late season trade with the Guardians.
Roller joins a crowded outfield group that includes Christian Yelich, Sal Frelick, Garrett Mitchell, Joey Wiemer, Blake Perkins, Tyrone Taylor, and Mark Canha, at least for now. Roller is the only one who has no major league experience.
The Brewers added minor league outfielder Chris Roller to the 40-man roster on Monday.
Roller was selected in the 30th round, back when that many rounds existed, of the 2017 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He would last three seasons in their organization before being acquired by the Cleveland Guardians in 2020.
Roller would start off at the Double-A level with the Guardians once minor league baseball resumed in 2021 and spend most of his 2022 season there as well before primarily playing at Triple-A in 2023. That's where he was when the Brewers traded for him in exchange for cash, placing him with their own Triple-A squad in Nashville.
Because he got there so late, Roller only ended up playing in 16 games for the Sounds, but he made quite an impact. In that short time, he slashed an impressive .364/.493/.618 with seven extra base hits (three doubles, one triple, and three homers), 20 RBIs, and nine runs scored. He also had nearly as many walks (13) as strikeouts (15).
Overall, Roller has been a lighter hitter than that in his minor league career. He has hit .237 with a .730 OPS over six seasons and has 34 home runs across 444 career games. He does have some defensive flexibility that the Brewers value.
Roller can play all three outfield positions with a majority of his outfield starts coming in center field. He also has committed just seven errors in his minor league career.
Whether Roller remains on the 40-man roster by the time next season comes around remains to be seen. As was mentioned earlier, the Brewers have a ton of outfield depth. Had he not been added to the roster, though, Roller would have become a free agent, thus Milwaukee adding him to the roster, at least for the time being.
It's been a couple small moves so far for the Brewers with the Roller addition and Lauer subtraction. That leaves plenty of time for the larger moves that are still to come.