Following Wednesday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Milwaukee Brewers formally announced a trio of roster moves.
First, it was stated again that Francisco Rodriguez would have his contract selected before tomorrow’s game. This move required two additional moves to open a spot on both the 40-man and 25-man rosters.
Taylor Green, who will miss the entire season following hip surgery, was transferred to the 60-day disabled list from the 15-day DL. This opened a spot on the 40-man.
As for the 25-man spot, C/1B Blake Lalli was optioned down to the Nashville Sounds. He’ll have a chance to play regularly and hopefully heat his bat back up.
Rodriguez will join a well-used but mostly effective bullpen to provide another arm to hopefully collect outs.
During his 30-day evaluation window, Rodriguez pitched in four games – two each for High-A Brevard County and Triple-A Nashville – where he combined to post a line of:
4.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3 BB, 7 K
The work against Triple-A hitters was against mostly guys with big league experience, for what it’s worth.
Regardless though, after a tumultuous exit from Milwaukee, K-Rod is back. How he’ll be welcomed depends in no small part on how he pitches.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Brewers have decided to call up Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez to the 25-man roster in advance of tonight’s game.
It was being widely reported that the team had until Thursday to decide but Heyman said that deadline was today in fact.
After pitching in consecutive games for the Triple-A affiliate Nashville Sounds, we shouldn’t expect Rodriguez to be available tonight necessarily but Ron Roenicke has stated in the past that Rodriguez can go even four days in a row if he has to. Even still, I have to believe a hitter heads down to begin with.
This move has not yet been announced by the team nor obviously would the corresponding roster move have been.
***UPDATE: Ron Roenicke told the media before pregame warm-up that Rodriguez is en route and if he makes it in time to be active, then they’ll announce the corresponding roster move.
Said Roenicke: “Frankie is on his way here, and we’ll wait to see if he can get here by game time. If he gets here, we’ll make a move. If not, we’ll do it tomorrow.”
As for his performance on the field since signing, Roenicke said, “I don’t know if he’s quite back to where he was last year, but he’s 90, 91 (on the fastball). Changeup’s been very good. We’ll see.”***
- Roenicke quotes courtesy Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel.
Following the 2012 season, the Brewers cleaned a lot of house when it came to relief pitching. That’s been well-documented here at the blog in a number of posts.
Among the casualties was the affable Tim Dillard who gave us moments like this one when he imitated ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian:
Well, a great thing happened not too long ago. Tim Dillard joined Twitter (finally!) under the handle of @DimTillard. He changes his avatar daily during week what with the Movie Quote Mondays, Tim Kurkjian Tuesdays, the newly christened George W Wednesdays, and of course Harry Caray Fridays. Dillard is funny, and personable.
And now he’s back in the Brewers organization.
Earlier today, he retweeted a congratulatory tweet from his former roommate. No context was given but I wondered if maybe the not-currently-in-baseball Dillard had found a job somewhere.
Then later in the day, Brewers.com beat writer Adam McCalvy let the cat out of the bag. He reported that when pitcher Chris Jakubauskas was injured at Triple-A Nashville, Dillard’s phone rang to see if he wanted back in. He accepted and will report to Nashville soon.
Welcome back to the side-arming specialist!
Now we just have to hope he stays active on Twitter.
The Brewers announced this morning that utility infielder Jeff Bianchi was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list where he had been since before the season started. Bianchi originally had a groin strain in spring training which forced his withdrawal from participation in the World Baseball Classic. While that had healed, he then developed hip bursitis, forcing the DL stint.
The corresponding move to activate Bianchi was the optioning of Khris Davis to Nashville where he’ll be able to actually get some playing time and consistent at-bats. As I said last night at the time, Davis simply couldn’t adjust to the role of staying sharp with such irregular PT. He’s hardly alone in that struggle though. Countless players can’t adjust which is why those veterans who can flourish in a bench role, relatively speaking, continue to have such value in the game.
Bianchi’s return is the first in a list of several players expected to heal and contribute to the team’s successes this season. In other words, the Brewers are starting to get healthy.
The key to the timing of these additions is that the guys who have been there have kept the team within striking distance in the division. The Brewers enter play today 1.5 games behind the division-leading Cardinals, whom they face beginning tonight in a four-game series. Play well, and the Brewers will at worst remain where they’re at.
But the Brewers are getting a huge boost back in the lineup for Game 2 in this series as they expect to activate third baseman, cleanup hitter, and professional batsman Aramis Ramirez on Friday.
Ramirez was crucial to the Brewers success last season, especially once he overcame a slow start. He was off to a good start at the dish this year before re-injuring his knee on a slide into second base. Hopefully the games he missed will be the slow ones and he’ll hit the field running on all cylinders this weekend.
And the Brewers won’t stop there. They are still awaiting Corey Hart’s return at the end of the month following off-season knee surgery and Chris Narveson’s from an in-season finger injury.
Hart especially will be akin to trading for a quality player two months before the trading deadline. Hopefully he’ll shake the rust off in his rehab stint in the minors and reenter the lineup sharp.
Good things are coming, Brewer Nation. We’ve been biding our collective time and the team has been winning enough. When the bats are all back in, let’s look for another nice run.
Let’s get to the point because you’ve all been patient while I waited for my son to go to sleep on his 3rd birthday before sitting down long enough to actually blog.
From the same source that allowed me to be the first to bring you the news that the Brewers were talking contract with Francisco Rodriguez, comes this little nugget.
First, the quick disclaimer…
This happened. I am in no way saying that anything else happened yet. I’m not guaranteeing that it will lead anywhere at all. I’ll tell you what happened and where I think it could lead and why, but I am not saying that my source told me reasons around this rumor at all.
All that was passed along to me was, and I quote…
“Yankees inquired about Gonzalez.”
I asked which one and was told, “Alex”.
So there you have it. The Yankees, who aren’t expected to welcome Derek Jeter back to the lineup until around the All-Star break, are exploring at least one option to bolster their depth chart at the shortstop position.
If I were Brian Cashman, I certainly wouldn’t very happy with Jayson Nyx (misspelled on purpose) as my primary infield back up. Gonzalez has shown his newly-added defensive versatility as well which could be very enticing to Cashman as a cheap upgrade.
Be honest, at this point it probably wouldn’t cost a whole lot to acquire Gonzalez from the Brewers. He’s playing out of necessity more so than because he’s playing particularly well.
Still, even though an initial inquiry was made, this doesn’t feel like something that would happen until, at the absolute soonest, Jeff Bianchi or Aramis Ramirez was ready to come off of the disabled list.
I have no idea what Alex Gonzalez would fetch in return at this point, but that’s why I’m not working in a front office. Also, I have no concept of low-to-mid-level minor leaguers in the Yankees system.
That all being said, I have no knowledge of what if anything was said as a reply by the Brewers.
Still, I wanted to pass this along tonight. So, what do you think? Would you? Why wouldn’t you?
Following today’s matinee against the San Francisco Giants (a 7-2 victory capping off a series sweep of the defending World Series Champions, by the by) the Brewers executed a roster transaction.
It was announced that Mike Fiers was optioned to the Nashville Sounds and that a replacement would be on his way to join the parent club but who it was would be announced later.
Let’s tackle this aspect of the move first. Fiers, who looked rough around the edges in Cactus League play this year, hasn’t had his fastball command at all yet this regular season. In his three appearances — one start, two out of the bullpen — Fiers only pitched 7.1 innings, allowing seven earned runs on two walks and 11 hits, including two home runs. His ERA was 8.59, he had a 1.773 WHIP, and his FIP was 7.18.
In short, he was a mess.
The demotion comes at an appropriate time for Fiers, though not just because of his numbers. Going down to Nashville will allow Fiers the opportunity to work on finding his command in a game setting. He already told the media that the plan is for him to start on Saturday for the Sounds, and since he’ll have to be down for a minimum of 10 days, he’ll get at least two starts at the Triple-A level even if they’d want to recall him immediately when he’s eligible.
The timing of the move, though a touch surprising on the surface, is actually very well thought out. By sending Fiers down today instead of waiting until Saturday to make the move, Fiers would be eligible to return before the Brewers next need a fifth starter, which is April 30th. Had the team waited until the 20th to make the move, that wouldn’t have been the case.
The other thing its does is it allows for the recalled minor leaguer to join the team on Friday, get acclimated for the clubhouse and stadium a little bit, and then feel just that much more at ease with his surroundings before making his major league debut on Saturday.
So that was a hint, and here it is:
(For background on Burgos’ career up to the start of the 2013 regular season, click here for my “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” profile from way back on Valentine’s Day.)
So far this season, Burgos has mostly kept it going. In three starts for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, the right-hander sports a 2.70 ERA, in 16.2 innings. He’s recorded 15 strikeouts and allowed just 11 hits though also seven walks. Still, Burgos’ WHIP is a sparkling 1.08. Burgos has allowed three home runs already, for what it’s worth.
Still, Saturday’s game should be a bit of an event at Miller Park. There will be a lot of “firsts” for Burgos, and I’ll enjoy seeing them all in person.
Good luck, Hiram! In honor of your first MLB start, the Brewers arranged to have you face a handful of Triple-A hitters on Saturday.
The Brewers today have announced the signing of former and once again relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez to a minor-league contract.
That the sides were talking was first reported by yours truly. Just prior to the announcement this afternoon, Adam McCalvy reported that Rodriguez was at Maryvale Baseball Park today for a physical as a part of those previously reported discussions.
Rodriguez was almost lights out as the setup man for John Axford after being acquired by Milwaukee over the 2011 All-Star break. His pitching was an integral part of the division championship that season.
The wheels came off for Rodriguez in 2012 as they did for most of the Brewers bullpen that season.
Rodriguez pitched for his native Venezuela in the 2013 World Baseball Classic and was largely ineffective his appearances.
The Brewers have 30 days to assign Rodriguez including his needed time to get ready in extended Spring Training in Arizona.
UPDATE: Leave it to Jon Heyman to come through with the dollar amount.
K-Rod will get $2M plus in #brewers deal
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) April 17, 2013
It was announced just after today’s win over the Chicago Cubs that LHP Chris Narveson was placed on the 15-day Disabled List with a sprain of the middle finger on his left (throwing) hand.
After retweeting my announcement of the status change, Narveson added a little bit more…
— Chris Narveson (@sleep_trick) April 8, 2013
Then, in the post-game media availability, manager Ron Roenicke stated that it would be a position player to replace Narveson on the active roster but that the specific player in question would be announced at a later time.
Naturally, the gears began to grind in the Brewer Nation thinkspace as people tried to come up with the name of who will be on their way to join the parent club in Chicago for Game 2 against the Cubs on Tuesday.
Here are some possible candidates, listed in alphabetical order by last name, with reasons for and against them getting the call.
- On the 40-man roster
- Hitting just under .500 on the young season
- Left-handed hitter
- Could option back to minors later
- Limited to second base defensively
- Not a power bat off the bench
- Basically no time above Double-A
- Would only play off the bench
- On the 40-man roster
- Left-handed hitter
- Some pop in a pinch-hitting role
- Could option back to minors later
- Seasoned minor leaguer
- Corner outfielder defensively
- Off to a very slow start offensively
- Would only play off the bench
- Plays some first base (an area of need)
- Plays catcher allowing for additional flexibility and allows Roenicke to play Maldonado at 1B more
- Left-handed hitter
- Cup of coffee in the big leagues (with the Cubs in 2012)
- Not on the 40-man roster
- No minor league options
- True first baseman
- Allowing for Alex Gonzalez or Yuniesky Betancourt to start at 3B assuming Jean Segura is healthy
- Had breakout season in 2012
- Defensively sound though not spectacular
- Left-handed hitter
- Would help add a touch more balance to the Brewers every day lineup
- Would likely become the starter at first base
- Has played a little third base in his pro career
- True first baseman
- Not on 40-man roster
- Has only played a handful of games above Double-A
So, who got the call?
Blake Lalli, who nearly made the 25-man roster out of spring training in the first place, had his contract selected the Brewers following Nashville’s 1-0 victory on Monday evening.
This will give Ron Roenicke some flexibility to utilize Martin Maldonado as he chooses, including playing him more at first base like I reported was part of the plan back in Spring Training before Alex Gonzalez took to the position so easily.
Lalli will wear uniform number 50 and will join the team tomorrow in Chicago.
Congrats and welcome back to the Show!
The move required a corresponding 40-man roster transaction to clear a spot. To that end, Corey Hart was transferred to the 60-day DL. A source told me back on Opening Day a week ago that Hart’s projected return date had been pushed back to June 1st anyway, so this move makes perfect sense in that regard.
The move is retroactive to March 31st (the earliest is can be) so Hart is now eligible to be activated off the disabled list on May 30th.
I heard a rumor this afternoon that I’ve been trying to vet since.
Aramis Ramirez reinjured his knee in Friday night’s game against he Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park. It is said to have been similar to the injury that cost him just under two weeks of time in the Cactus League, though Ramirez told reporters that the knee hurts worse this time around.
Ramirez was scheduled for an MRI Saturday morning and word is anxiously awaited about his immediate future. If the team thinks it’ll only be a few days, they could keep the veteran third baseman active on the bench for those days. However, given that the Brewers are already with a reduced bench because of a stuffed bullpen, and that Ryan Braun may need another day off as well, and that their only back up infielder in the first place is Yuniesky Betancourt…the stars are aligning for a DL stint for Ramirez regardless of the severity of the injury.
I looked over the 40-man roster last night and tried to determine who it could be. Scooter Gennett is a second baseman and the team needs coverage at third. Maybe they could bring up Hunter Morris and put Alex Gonzalez over at the hot corner, but that would require a 40-man roster move. Same with Stephen Parker (the 3B the Brewers got when they traded Darren Byrd to the Oakland Athletics) or Blake Davis. Nothing seemed to make sense.
Then I got a tip about an hour ago.
I felt dumb for not having thought of it myself, but sitting there on the 40-man roster is a former shortstop who has learned to play to outfield to increase his versatility. That’s experience on the left side of the infield. The versatility also adds a backup to both the infield and the outfield with just one roster spot. I interviewed him at Brewers On Deck, which makes me feel even more spacey for not having thought of him.
But I’ve had it confirmed now that friend of the blog Josh Prince is on his way to Miller Park.
There’s a chance that he won’t be activated in time for tonight’s game, but it appears as though he’ll be wearing #25 whenever he is.
If #Brewers made a DL move, obviously I’d pass it on. Just saw Tony Migs outside the clubhouse with a mystery No. 25 jersey.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 6, 2013
How he is utilized and what trickle-down effect that has on the other would be starters is up to Ron Roenicke of course.
Congratulations to Josh Prince! How long he’s up will be directly related to how healthy other players become. Whether Ramirez, Bianchi, or Green, whoever is healthy first likely pushes Prince back down to Nashville, but what a moment for the young man!
Following today’s final exhibition game (a victory over the Chicago White Sox), the Milwaukee Brewers announced their 25-man roster for Opening Day.
Here is the breakdown by position.
- John Axford
- Burke Badenhop
- Marco Estrada
- Mike Fiers
- Alfredo Figaro
- Yovani Gallardo
- Michael Gonzalez
- Tom Gorzelanny
- Jim Henderson
- Brandon Kintzler
- Kyle Lohse
- Chris Narveson
- Wily Peralta
- Jonathan Lucroy
- Martin Maldonado
- Alex Gonzalez
- Yuniesky Betancourt
- Aramis Ramirez
- Jean Segura
- Rickie Weeks
- Norichika Aoki
- Ryan Braun
- Khris Davis
- Carlos Gomez
- Logan Schafer
The Brewers will also be carrying four (4) players on the big league 15-day disabled list to begin the season (Jeff Bianchi, Taylor Green, Corey Hart, Mark Rogers) and one (1) on the 60-day DL (Mat Gamel).
Special congratulations go out to Alfredo Figaro, Mike Fiers, Jim Henderson, Jean Segura, Khris Davis, Wily Peralta, Martin Maldonado, and Logan Schafer who are all making their first Opening Day MLB roster!