30 groups of prospects, six teams, ~5.5 weeks. This is the Arizona Fall League.
As a premier showcase for talent on the cusp of breaking through to the upper levels of the minors and ultimately The Show, the Arizona Fall League plays host to some of baseball’s best and brightest of who you’ve likely never heard. This year the AFL runs from October 7 through the league championship game on November 15. The annual All-Star Game, appropriately dubbed the “Fall Stars Game” will be held on November 1.
Brewers prospects will be a part of a different, yet somewhat familiar, team this year. After competing last year as a part of the Saguaros of Surprise, the Brewers will be returning to the monicker under which they played in 2012, that of the Desert Dogs. In 2012, the Desert Dogs were referred to as the Phoenix Desert Dogs. In 2014, however, they’re known as the Glendale Desert Dogs. They play their home games at Camelback Ranch, which is the Spring Training home of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox.
Farmhands from the Dodgers, White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers will work alongside those of the Brewers as members of the Desert Dogs.
The Brewers originally were set to send six players to Surprise in 2013. They were pitchers David Goforth, Taylor Jungmann, and Kevin Shackelford, infielder Jason Rogers, outfielder Mitch Haniger, and catcher Adam Weisenburger. For 2014, Milwaukee will be sending ### players (and pitching coach Chris Hook) to Glendale. By position, here are those players and some supplemental information:
- Brooks Hall – RHP – (Highest Minor League level played at in 2014: Double-A)
- Ariel Peña – RHP – (Triple-A)
- Tyler Wagner – RHP – Twitter: @_TylerWagner_ (Class-A Advanced)
- Wei-Chung Wang – LHP – Twitter: @LeftyWang51 (MLB – As a Rule 5 pick)
- Nick Ramirez – 1B – Twitter: @N_Ramirez33 – (Highest Minor League level played at in 2014: Double-A)
- Hector Gomez – SS – (Triple-A)
Outfielders (Brewers’ Priority Position)
- Tyrone Taylor – Twitter: @Ty_roneTaylor – (Highest Minor League level played at in 2014: Class A-Advanced)
- Taylor is currently ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the Brewers’ Top Prospect
- Shawn Zarraga – (Highest Minor League level played at in 2014: Triple-A)
Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett will appear at the Miller Park Brewers Team Store by Majestic for an autograph signing on Tuesday, August 19 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Autographs will be free, and the first 250 people in line will receive a wristband guaranteeing a signature. If time allows, additional fans will be accommodated until 1:30 p.m.
Fans will be allowed to enter through the Miller Park Hot Corner entrance at 9 a.m., and autographs will be first come, first served. There is a limit of one autograph per person and no photos will be permitted in order to accommodate as many fans as possible.
The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired outfielder Gerardo Parra from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for a pair of minor-league prospects; outfielder Mitch Haniger and left-handed pitcher Anthony Banda.
Parra is expected to join the team tomorrow in St. Louis.
The announcement was made by President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin. “The addition of Parra gives us a veteran player who helps to balance our lineup and also brings Gold Glove defense,” said Melvin. Parra, 27, is batting .259 with 6 HR and 30 RBI in 104 games this season. He has made 98 starts (96g in RF, 2g in CF).
Signing as a non-drafted free agent on 8/30/04, Parra had spent his entire professional career in the Diamondbacks organization. He is a career .274 hitter with 39 HR and 250 RBI in 787 Major League games (2009-14). Known for his exceptional defense, Parra has won National League Gold Glove Awards in left field (2011) and right field (2013). Entering today, his 62 outfield assists since 2009 were tied for second (with two others) in the Major Leagues, trailing only the Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista (63).
To make room for Parra on the 25-man roster, outfielder Logan Schafer will be optioned to Triple-A Nashville. To make room on the 40-man roster, pitcher Tyler Thornburg was moved to the 60-day disabled list.
Haniger, 24, was selected by the Brewers in the supplemental first round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. He batted .255 with 10 HR and 34 RBI in 67 games at Double-A Huntsville this season.
Banda, 20, was selected by the Brewers in the 10th round of the 2012 draft. He was 6-6 with a 3.66 ERA and 2 saves in 20 games (14 starts) at Class-A Wisconsin this season.
There’s been a lot of talk today regarding the Brewers involvement in left-handed starting pitcher, the true ace of the Tampa Bay Rays, David Price. I’ve been sitting on a rumor for over three weeks now and may as well talk about it now since it’s the hot topic of the day.
Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of FoxSports.com kicked things off by resurrecting the ghosts of CC Sabathia and, to a different degree, Zack Greinke in pointing out that the Brewers have made runs to the playoffs after acquiring ace pitchers. Sabathia, of course, was the 2008 in-season addition who carried the Brewers to the playoffs along with Ben Sheets.
Rosenthal and Morosi comment that the Brewers were “putting their ‘foot in the water'” on Price and that the results of Rays vs Brewers over the next few days could directly influence Price’s future, both in terms of whether and, if so, where he’ll be dealt. Well, what I was told is that three weeks ago, Melvin supposedly offered a package to the Rays that featured Jimmy Nelson as the centerpiece. I don’t know who else was discussed along with Nelson, but I was told that any package offered for discussion was a “non-starter”, at least at the time. What that means is that it simply wasn’t enough of a return for Tampa to consider. It lead to a report that the Brewers were viewed as “out” on Price at the time.
As teams have gotten back into the race, or fallen out of it, trade partners also fluctuate. Perhaps the Rays are more willing to deal with the Brewers now, and perhaps that’s because Melvin is willing to part with different pieces now than he was before. That, I don’t know. But I was told three weeks ago that Andrew Friedman and the Rays’ front office are valuing near-MLB prospects more than “high-ceiling, but further away from contributing types. Again, they may not have seen what they wanted to in that realm and are now willing to consider those “further away” prospects, but I’m not privy to any more recent discussions…at least not yet.
So, yes, the Brewers expressed interest. And while things may have changed in the last 22 days, initial information indicated that Melvin and company didn’t have the right package to pull off the major coup this time around.
And while I don’t expect anything to happen, it sure would be fun if they figured out a way to sweeten their offer.
Milwaukee Brewers All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy will appear at the Miller Park Brewers Team Store by Majestic for an autograph signing on Friday, July 25 from 12:30 – 1:30 pm.
Autographs will be free, and the first 250 people in line will receive a wristband guaranteeing a signature. If time allows, additional fans will be accommodated until 1:30 pm.
Fans will be allowed to enter through the Miller Park Hot Corner entrance at 9 am, and autographs will be first come, first served. There is a limit of one autograph per person and no photos will be permitted in order to accommodate as many fans as possible.
In the sequel to the pre-All-Star break roster shuffle, the Milwaukee Brewers today announced that they have made a move in an attempt to bolster the big league bullpen.
The move required both a 25-man roster spot as well as a 40-man roster spot. To facilitate those moves, RHP Rob Wooten was optioned to Triple-A Nashville (25-man) and rehabbing right-hander Jim Henderson was placed on the 60-day disabled list (40-man).
All this was done so that the Brewers could select the contract of RHP Jeremy Jeffress.
Jeffress was made headlines more than once in Milwaukee. He was a part of the package of prospects sent to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Zack Greinke. Earlier this season, he chose to re-sign with the Brewers organization after being designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays and electing free agency after clearing waivers. He also was almost out of baseball completely during his first turn in Milwaukee’s system as he was suspended more than once for marijuana use. By multiple accounts, he’s clear of that recreational drug use though, but is now back on a 40-man roster anyway.
Much more importantly than his off-the-field history is his on-the-field production so far in 2014. In other words, there’s a much better reason that he was added to the 40-man roster this time around.
While pitching for Nashville this season, the former first-round draft pick of the Brewers (16th overall in 2006) has posted the following line:
30 G, 1.51 ERA, 41.2 IP, 0 HR, 45 K, 18 BB, 1.224 WHIP
That’s good for a 9.7 K/9 and a 2.50 K/BB, but it’s also worth noting that he’s been even better recently. Jeffress hasn’t given up a run since June 23rd, a span of nine appearances. He’s only given up two runs in his last 15 games and just three total in his last 24 trips to the mound.
Jeffress has always brought the gas on his fastball, but it will be his ability to command his breaking ball that will translate to big league success. He’s shown the other sought-after ability to miss bats at multiple levels as well, something which would serve him and his new team very well moving forward for the balance of 2014.
As for the others involved, Wooten hasn’t been bad and will likely be back up in September if not sooner. In fact, by effectiveness, Brandon Kintzler may have been a better candidate to go down, but Wooten’s option year is already burned and that likely played a part in the decision.
For Jim Henderson, this must be seen as a referendum on where he’s at physically. Recent reports show him lagging behind the needed 97 MPH on his fastball. I haven’t seen any recent accounts of his slider command nor how his “work-in-progress” change up have fared since he got back on the mound, but without the heat I’m not sure the other pitches matter a lot. The timing doesn’t make much difference on his being moved to the 60-day DL though (he’s already spent more than 60 days on the DL having been placed on it on May 2nd), so maybe everything is progressing fine, but you normally wouldn’t make the move with a guy set to return any time soon.
Time will tell, I suppose.
GUESS WHO’S BACK — BACK AGAIN?
While I was eating supper with my parents who are in from out of town, the Milwaukee Brewers made official was has been danced around and toward for some time now.
Jimmy Nelson has been recalled from the minor leagues.
He’ll start on Saturday against St. Louis at Miller Park, his first home start of 2014. With the gap in the National League’s Central Division at 2.0 games (as of publishing on Thursday, July 10) the Brewers brass must have felt that rolling the dice with Marco Estrada against a Cardinal team he’s historically struggled against wasn’t what is best for the business of winning baseball games.
Nelson comes with plenty of acclaim and hope, and hopefully plenty of aplomb as he’ll be thrown right into the thick of a divisional race that is as tight as it’s been in roughly three months.
Around making one spot start — for Yovani Gallardo who sprained his ankle — Nelson has spent his season with the Class-AAA Nashville Sounds. In a nutshell, Nelson was the top vote-getter for the Triple-A All-Star Game and was going to start the same for his Pacific Coast League squad. To go a little deeper, here’s Nelson’s season line at Nashville:
10-2, 1.46 ERA, 111.0 IP, 70 H, 23 R (18 ER), 3 HR, 114:32 K:BB, 0.919 WHIP, .179/.247/.245 slash line against
Some ratios: 0.2 HR/9, 9.2 K/9, 3.56 K/BB
And some more advanced stats: 2.47 FIP, 2.84 SIERA, 57.3% GB%
In summary, Nelson has been a dominant force in Triple-A this season and is clearly ready to try the next level. But let’s be fair to him. He should not be seen as a savior or the next coming. He’s got the goods to compete, and will likely struggle from time to time as he adjusts to the best hitters in the world, but as he showed in that spot start against the Marlins, he has the chance to compete. That’s something that the team hasn’t always gotten out of Marco Estrada, whose spot in the rotation Nelson will be taking.
ESTRADA LEASES A SPOT IN THE BULLPEN
Speaking of Estrada, of the 4.96 ERA, 5.71 FIP, and MLB-worst 27 home runs allowed, he will be contributing to the team from the bullpen for the foreseeable future.
Estrada should be somewhat useful if he’s able to embrace the role and get all the way back to his strike-throwing, command-heavy ways. Working against him are his splits in the first inning of his appearances so far this season. In his first inning of work in 2014, Estrada sports a 6.00 ERA, having allowed 12 ER in 18.0 IP. Seven of his 27 home runs allowed have come within the first three outs of his appearances and opponents are slugging .653 in the same. And for the sake of full disclosure, Estrada hasn’t walked a batter yet this year in his first innings of work.
But those numbers are why I’ve been a little confused when so many people have touted Estrada for a bullpen job. It doesn’t seem nearly as cut and dried as many say that Estrada will be “so much better” as a reliever.
Time will tell.
WANG INJURED, TRULY AND HONESTLY
The other thing time will tell is just how long Wei-Chung Wang will be on the disabled list. That’s right, conspiracy theorists: The Brewers placed Wang on the 15-day Disabled List with left shoulder tightness.
In all seriousness, I don’t believe that the team has made up this injury. Rule V Draft choices are closely monitored so that teams cannot simply stash them on the DL with false injuries.
But that’s beside the point of this article. The point of this article requires me to tell you that they opened up the spot on the 25-man roster to recall Nelson by placing Wang on the DL.
So, there you have it, Brewer Nation.
- Nelson up and into the rotation
- Estrada moved into the bullpen
- Wang placed on the disabled list
Thoughts? Let’s hear ‘em.
Comment here or respond via social media.
Follow me on Twitter: @BrewerNation
Like my page on Facebook and join the forum discussion there: http://www.facebook.com/BrewerNation
BREWERS CELEBRATE MIDSUMMER CLASSIC SELECTIONS WITH “MY ALL-STAR” TICKET PROMOTION
Four Plans to Each Contain Unique T-Shirts Available Only with Package Purchase
Milwaukee Brewers fans once again showed the power of their vote this season as both Carlos Gomez and Aramis Ramirez were elected to start in this year’s All-Star Game, while Francisco Rodriguez and Jonathan Lucroy joined the All-Stars on the player vote. With a franchise-record-tying four players on the National League team, the Brewers will mark the occasion by offering a ticket and merchandise package featuring each of the Club’s four All-Star representatives.
The four “My All-Star” ticket packages each include tickets to any four midweek games of the fan’s choice (beginning July 21) plus a limited-edition t-shirt featuring their favorite All-Star player – not available for sale anywhere else. Each package is priced according to the uniform number of the designated All-Star player, meaning that fans will not only be able to show their support for their favorite Brewers All-Star, they’ll be able to select from packages starting at just $16 per game.
Fans will receive one t-shirt for each ticket package purchased. Shirt sizes are Adult Medium and Extra Large.
“We have seen how Brewers fans over-deliver in their All-Star voting efforts, and this ticket plan will give fans another opportunity to show their support for their favorite All-Stars,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “With the team leading the Central Division and games becoming more meaningful every day, we expect these packages to be very popular as we head into the stretch run.”
The ticket plan details are as follows:
The “Aramis is My All-Star” Plan: Terrace Box tickets to any four midweek games plus a limited-edition t-shirt for $64 (based on his uniform number 16 – $16×4=$64)
The “Luuuuc is My All-Star” Plan: Loge Bleachers tickets to any four midweek games plus a limited-edition t-shirt for $80 (based on his uniform number 20 – $20×4=$80)
The “Gomez is My All-Star” Plan: Loge Outfield tickets to any four midweek games plus a limited-edition t-shirt for $108 (based on his uniform number 27 – $27×4=$108)
The “K-Rod is My All-Star” Plan: Field Diamond Box tickets (Sections 110 and 125 only) to any four midweek games plus a limited-edition t-shirt for $228 (based on his uniform number 57 – $57×4=$228)
The ticket packages are currently on sale. Packages may be purchased online at Brewers.com/myallstar, or by calling 414-902-GAME.
The Milwaukee Brewers today had four players selected to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It marks only the fifth time in franchise history that the team has had four All-Stars. Center fielder Carlos Gomez (starter), third baseman Aramis Ramirez (starter), catcher Jonathan Lucroy and pitcher Francisco Rodriguez will represent the Brewers at this year’s Midsummer Classic, which will be played at Target Field in Minnesota on Tuesday, July 15 at 7pm CT.
In addition to the 2014 season, the Brewers had four All-Star selections in 1980 (Cecil Cooper, Paul Molitor, Ben Oglivie and Robin Yount), 1982 (Cooper, Rollie Fingers, Oglivie and Yount), 1983 (Cooper, Oglivie, Ted Simmons and Yount) and 2007 (Francisco Cordero, Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy and Ben Sheets). The Brewers have multiple All-Star starters for the seventh time (1980, 1982, 1983, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2014).
Gomez, 28, has been selected to his second All-Star Game and first as a starter. He was a first-time All-Star last season. Gomez finished second among National League outfielders in fan voting (4,068,745), trailing only the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen (4,519,440) and just ahead of the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig (4,059,746). He is batting .299 with 13 HR and 45 RBI in 80 games this season.
Ramirez, 36, has been selected to his third All-Star Game and second as a starter. He started the 2005 All-Star Game as an injury replacement for Scott Rolen. He was also an All-Star in 2008. Ramirez had 2,318,611 votes in fan balloting, finishing ahead of the Mets’ David Wright (1,979,883). He is batting .287 with 11 HR and 41 RBI in 63 games this season.
Lucroy, 28, has been selected to his first All-Star Game. He was selected via the player vote, finishing first among National League catchers with 420 votes. Lucroy is batting .329 with 9 HR and 44 RBI in 82 games this season. He entered today’s game leading the National League in multi-hit games (31) and among the league leaders in batting average (2nd), doubles (2nd), hits (T3rd), on-base percentage (4th), slugging percentage (5th), OPS (5th) and extra-base hits (5th).
Rodriguez, 32, has been selected to his fifth All-Star Game. He was also an All-Star in 2004, 2007 and 2008 with the Angels and in 2009 with the Mets. Rodriguez was selected via the player vote, finishing second among National League relievers with 138 votes, trailing only the Braves’ Craig Kimbrel (190). He is 3-2 with a 2.34 ERA and 27 saves in 42 appearances this season while holding opponents to a .187 batting average. His 27 saves tied Kimbrel for the Major League lead entering today’s game.
The Milwaukee Brewers today announced the signings of the team’s first three selections in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, including LHP Kodi Medeiros (First-Round selection, 12th overall), SS Jacob Gatewood (Competitive Balance Round A selection, 41st overall) and OF Monte Harrison (Second-Round selection, 50th overall).
In addition, the Brewers also signed C Matt Martin (27th round) from Wake Forest University and LHP Carlos Leal (34th round) from Delta State University. The Brewers have now signed each of their first eight draft selections and 22 overall draft picks from the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.
Medeiros, a native of Hilo, Hawaii, went 7-1 with a 0.97 ERA in eight games as a senior at Waiakea (HI) High School. He struck out 83 batters compared to 17 walks and allowed just 14 hits in 43.1 innings pitched this past season. As a sophomore, Medeiros helped lead the Waiakea Warriors to their first-ever state championship. The 6-foot-2, 195 pound left-handed pitcher was selected for the Perfect Game All-American Classic. He is the highest-drafted player to be selected out of high school from Hawaii. Medeiros, 18, had a scholarship offer to Pepperdine University.
Gatewood, 18, batted .389 (44-for-113) with nine doubles, five home runs and 28 RBI as a senior at Clovis (CA) High School. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound shortstop won the junior portion of Major League’s Home Run Derby at the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field. A month later, he won the Baseball Factory Home Run Derby at the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field. Gatewood had a commitment to the University of Southern California.
Harrison, 18, batted .429 (36-for-84) with 11 doubles, two home runs, 33 RBI and 24 stolen bases during his senior season at Lee’s Summit (MO) West High School. Harrison was a 2013 Underclass First Team selection and a 2014 First Team All-American. A multi-sport athlete, he had a scholarship offer to play baseball and football (as a wide receiver) at the University of Nebraska. His older brother, Shaquille, plays basketball at the University of Tulsa.