Results tagged ‘ Alfredo Figaro ’

2014 Opening Day Affiliates Rosters

Opening Day is here for the minor leagues!

What follows are the announced rosters for each of the full-season minor-league affiliates for the Milwaukee Brewers, broken down by position group.

Nashville Sounds

Class-AAA Affiliate (Twitter: @nashvillesounds)

Manager: Rick Sweet

28 Total Players

Pitchers (13)

Catchers (3)

Infielders (9)

Outfielders (3)

Huntsville Stars

Class-AA Affiliate (Twitter: @HuntsvilleStars)

Manager: Carlos Subero

28 Total Players

Pitchers (14)

Catchers (3)

Infielders (7)

Outfielders (4)

  • Kentrail Davis
  • Mitch Haniger (@M_Hanny19)
  • Brock Kjeldgaard
  • D’Vontrey Richardson

BC Manatees

Class-A Advanced Affiliate (Twitter: @BCManatees)

Manager: Joe Ayrault

26 Total Players

Pitchers (13)

Catchers (2)

Infielders (8)

Outfielders (3)

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

Class-A Affiliate (Twitter: @TimberRattlers)

Manager: Matt Erickson

27 Total Players

Pitchers (13)

Catchers (3)

Infielders (6)

Outfielders (5)

*Player/Coach

2014 Milwaukee Brewers 25-Man Roster Projection

Milwaukee Brewers

We’re on the precipice of Opening Day, but there are still some decisions awaiting the front office staff of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Most pressing, if not most important, is how they will construct the 25-man roster to begin the 2014 regular season. In this, they’ve got some options.

Let’s assume a couple of things off the top here. First, a standard 13 hitter, 12 pitcher roster split. Second, that we’re all aware that things will change throughout the season and plenty of the players who don’t make the Opening Day roster will don a Brewers uniform at some point in 2014.

I’ll lay out the different roster groupings and then explain what went into my decisions thereafter. Cool?

With that, to the list!

Starting Pitchers (5)

  • Yovani Gallardo
  • Kyle Lohse
  • Marco Estrada
  • Matt Garza
  • Wily Peralta

I did my best educated guess at the order here too. It was announced that Gallardo has Opening Day honors and that Lohse will follow in Game 2. It was also hinted that Garza could pitch the opener in Boston, but that isn’t for sure yet…at least not publicly. Couple that with how well Estrada has pitched and he’s the superior choice against Atlanta in Game 3 than is Peralta.

The wrinkle here is that the Brewers have the opportunity to start the season with four starters because of the off-days scheduled. They don’t need a fifth starting pitcher until mid-April. If they do that, Peralta would start with Nashville to stay on rotation.

Relief Pitchers (7)

(with one more starting on DL)

  • Jim Henderson
  • Francisco Rodriguez
  • Will Smith*
  • Brandon Kintzler
  • Wei-Chung Wang*
  • Rob Wooten
  • Alfredo Figaro (Alternative: Tyler Thornburg)
  • Tom Gorzelanny* (DL)

Henderson is the incumbent closer. Rodriguez was brought in on a MLB deal and has the longest track record out of any of the options. Smith has been great this spring after being acquired in trade. Kintzler was very good last year and has a spot locked up. Wang makes it in part because of how well he’s thrown but also because of the Rule V circumstances. Wooten pitched well enough in his time last year that he gets one of my “open” jobs. He’s certainly in a fungible position, though, as he’s got minor league options remaining.

For the final active spot, I’m going with Alfredo Figaro. I know that Tyler Thornburg is under consideration for that job, but I think that they’ll realize that he’s more valuable staying stretched out at Nashville in order to cover the inevitable first injury to the starting rotation than he is in pitching at best every other day in Milwaukee as the long man. Figaro filled the long relief role admirably last year as his stuff played up out of the bullpen.

Wooten, Figaro, and Thornburg all have at least one minor league option remaining so there’s no real consideration of roster depth when making any decisions concering the three. And I think we’ll be seeing all of them pitch at Miller Park in 2014 at one point or another.

As for non-roster invitee Zach Duke, I think that the Brewers have liked what they’ve seen but with Wang making good (so far), there really isn’t room for Duke to begin the season. The veteran lefty is on a minor-league deal, so most likely he’ll simply be assigned to Nashville to start.

Catchers (2)

  • Jonathan Lucroy
  • Martin Maldonado

They’re the only two on the 40-man and that’s because they’re the two best in the organization. Nothing more needs to be said here.

Infielders (7)

  • Mark Reynolds
  • Rickie Weeks
  • Jean Segura
  • Aramis Ramirez
  • Juan Francisco** (Alternative: Lyle Overbay)
  • Scooter Gennett**
  • Jeff Bianchi (Alternative: Elian Herrera)

Reynolds was signed to a minor-league deal for roster considerations at the time. He’s got a job. Weeks is the longest-tenured player in the organization right now and isn’t moveable (yet). Segura and Ramirez are obvious inclusions. Gennett comes along if they go with two second basemen, which has been the hottest talk of late.

Despite all the talk to the contrary lately, I still think that if they must choose between them, Francisco’s potential, relative youth, power, and increased patience this spring outweight Overbay’s veteran savvy, locker room presence, and far superior defense. That said, I can absolutely see a scenario in which they trade Francisco for an asset and keep Overbay. Maybe I’m projecting Francisco simply out of hope.

The other hotly contested job has been the utility infielder role. Jeff Bianchi filled the role last year with middling success. The biggest challenger to Bianchi’s incumbency has been the 40-man rostered Elian Herrera, who was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers over the winter. They’ve both hit, they both have defensive versatility. The differences that matter: Bianchi is a better defender at shortstop. Herrera is a much more natural outfielder (which is big when you’ve only got four rostered). Herrera is a switch hitter. Bianchi is out of options; Herrera has one remaining. It is that last point that I think will be the deciding factor. Herrera will start at Nashville and would absolutley be the first man called upon should an injury befall any infielder on the big league roster.

For the record: Should they decide that they can forego two second basemen to start the year to even the roster out a bit a more, I think Herrera make the club over a fifth true outfielder.

Outfielders (4)

  • Khris Davis
  • Carlos Gomez
  • Ryan Braun
  • Logan Schafer**

Another easy prediction. Schafer could see some time starting in left field, but as the only man on the projected roster that can backup centerfield, he’ll likely be providing coverage from the bench more often than not.

* - Throws left-handed
** - Bats left-handed
---

So there you have it.

I welcome feedback and want to hear your opinions. Do you agree? Disagree? Think I’m overlooking an important detail or better player? Look down there…a “Comments” section.

Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers ’14 – #45 Alfredo Figaro

BBtJN Logo

Today is Friday, February 14th. You may know it as Valentine’s Day. This year, I know it as Pitchers & Catchers Eve. I also know it as 45 days away from Opening Day.

Among the pitchers scheduled to officially report to camp tomorrow is the man who wears #45 on his back for the Brewers and the subject of this profile…

Alfredo Figaro.

AlfredoFigaro

Acquired as a free agent prior to the 2013 season, Figaro returned to MLB after a successful pair of seasons playing in Japan for the Orix Buffaloes.

Primarily a starting pitcher in Japan, Figaro spent most of his 2013 for the Brewers as a long reliever. He pitched in 33 games for Milwaukee, starting five and finishing eight. All told, he posted a 4.14 ERA, but his stuff predictably played up when he was entering games out of the bullpen.

Here are his splits for 2013 by role.

  • SP: 1-2, 6.48 ERA, 25.0 IP, 8 HR, 6 BB, 21 K, 1.360 WHIP, 3.50 K/BB
  • RP:  2-1, 2.94 ERA, 49.0 IP, 7 HR, 9 BB, 33 K, 1.184 WHIP, 3.67 K/BB

Figaro has a big fastball (which Pitch f/x says topped out at 98.7 MPH last year, and sits just over 95 MPH) which he compliments with a slider and much less so with a straight change. His fastball/slider combination was fairly effective at generating groundballs. He had a 56.8% groundball rate with his slider as a matter of fact. Unfortunately, opponents hit .290 off of Figaro’s slider last year.

The 29-year-old Figaro, who hails from the Dominican Republic, totaled 77.0 innings in 2013 but would have pitched even more had he not hit the disabled list in late June with an oblique injury. That injury opened the door for Johnny Hellweg’s MLB debut, but that’s neither here nor there.

Figaro was activated off of the disabled list on July 24th and then optioned down to Class-AAA Nashville on August 16th. He rejoined the parent club at the end of August, after John Axford was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Looking ahead to 2014, Figaro may be a fine choice for long man to start the year, but the bottom line in a bullpen without many openings is that Figaro does have one minor league option remaining. As a result, Figaro may see even more frequent flier miles. The Opening Day bullpen might have a job for him, but that hinges on one or more of a handful of factors. Is Tom Gorzelanny ready to go? Did they keep their Rule V pick Wei-Chung Wang? When do they need their fifth starter and would they start the first four games of the season with an extra bullpen arm?

Figaro has proven that he’s capable of being a useful arm, but how much of that he’ll be able put in a Major League boxscore remains to be seen. I’m predicting that Figaro will find himself on a few extra airplanes this year as he travels up and down as needed.

You can follow Alfredo Figaro on Twitter: @Guden45

Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:

Brewer Nation Podcast – Off-Season Primer

Recorded on location last night, here is the latest Brewer Nation podcast.

Check the tags for some of the players mentioned during this hour-long clip.

Brewers Trade Axford

image

Milwaukee Brewers have acquired a player to be named from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for right-handed reliever John Axford.

The announcement was made by President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin. Axford, 30, is 6-7 with a 4.45 ERA in 62 relief appearances this season.  Though he did not produce a save for the Brewers in 2013, he ranks second on the all-time franchise list in that category (106), trailing only Dan Plesac (133).  Axford went 21-19 with a 3.35 ERA and 106 saves in 268 relief appearances with the Brewers from 2009-13.  His 46 saves in 2011 set a franchise record.  He is eligible for arbitration. “John has been a big contributor to the Brewers, and we do not go to the playoffs in 2011 without his outstanding performance,” said Melvin. “He and his wife, Nicole, will also be missed as contributors to the Milwaukee community.”

In a corresponding roster move, the Brewers have recalled right-handed pitcher Alfredo Figaro from Triple-A Nashville. Figaro is 2-3 with a 4.25 ERA in 26 games (5 starts) with Milwaukee this season.

Figaro to DL; Top Prospect Recalled, Will Start

hellwegthrowing

Following the Brewers’ 9-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday evening, the team announced the Alfredo Figaro was the latest Brewers player to succumb to injury.

Citing an oblique strain that popped up three starts ago — which would help explain the downtick in performance as well — Figaro was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday, June 24th. The big news of the move though was who was recalled to take his place both on the roster and in the starting rotation.

Top prospect, the 6’9″ fire-balling righty Johnny Hellweg was recalled from the Triple-A affiliate Nashville Sounds. He’ll join the team officially tomorrow and travel to Pittsburgh on Thursday evening in preparation for his Major League debut.

After a slow start to the season, Hellweg modified his approach on the mound with spectacular results so far. Over the last month, Hellweg has made four starts (he was held out for a stretch to conserve innings) and posted the following line:

4-0 record, 0.67 ERA, 27.0 IP, 20 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 7 BB, 12 K, 2 HBP, 1.000 WHIP

He’s been pitching a bit more to contact, worrying less about the strikeout, and letting his defense work. Ironically, he’s currently scheduled to square off against Gerritt Cole, the top pitching prospect for the Pirates who also has been conspicuously devoid of strikeouts since his MLB debut. He’s another fireballer who has let his natural movement and disdain for pitching outside the zone work to his advantage.

Hellweg was called upon because, as manager Ron Roenicke put it, they needed another starter with Figaro getting hurt. Still, there’s something telling about Hellweg coming up for an audition in advance of the trading season. Hellweg represents the spearhead of a wave of touted pitching prospects reaching the upper levels of the Brewers’ system. That he was a part of the return in the Zack-Greinke-to-Anaheim deal along with Jean Segura just makes his debut that much more exciting.

Bottom line: Set your DVRs for Friday night in Pittsburgh if you aren’t going to be home. As for me?

 

You’ve Seen the Moves, So What Do They Mean?

So you’ve seen the moves (as listed here) but what do they all mean for the individual players involved?

First the easy one.

Alex Gonzalez will be unconditionally released through the waiver system. He wasn’t getting the job done at the plate and his defense didn’t continue to progress the way that the team had hoped back in Spring Training. He does have one W to his credit this season though. His two-run double against A.J. Burnett in the game the Brewers won 2-1 back on May 24th.

Second up is Mike Fiers. He was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. What does that mean? He’ll start for the Sounds as he looks to regain his confidence which manager Ron Roenicke said was noticably absent from his recent outings. Despite having more success as a relief pitcher this year, he has experience starting successfully so the Brewers will certainly give him an opportunity to contribute in a place where they lack ready depth.

Moving into that spot in the rotation will be Alfredo Figaro. Figaro was a starter in Japan for the last two seasons along with much of his minor league career. Figaro had a spot start last week against the Minnesota Twins.

Now for the moves that resulted in new pieces on the big league roster.

juanfranciscotrot

Third baseman Juan Francisco, 25, is a 6’2″, 240 lb Dominican who was acquired via trade following his having been designated for assignment by the Atlanta Braves. Once being touted as having the potential to be their “Pablo Sandoval”, Francisco didn’t hit for much average in Atlanta and was the expendable piece when the Braves needed an extra arm called up for the bullpen.

Hopefully the Braves’ discard is the Brewers’ treasure. Doug Melvin told the media that the plan is to start Francisco at first base, something that he, while not having much experience doing it, is willing to do. After all, Brewers’ 1B this season have combined to slash .193/.229/.288 so far. That’s putrid. Francisco posted a .241/.287/.398 slash line himself. He is a left-handed bat though and will help balance out the lineup to a degree when he plays.

ScooterFutures

And finally, the clamoring has been answered as Doug Melvin recalled second baseman Ryan “Scooter” Gennett from the minor leagues. Scooter’s addition accomplishes two things right away. It finally gives the Brewers a full bench of hitters but also allows for a soft platoon at the keystone with the incumbent and favored lightning rod Rickie Weeks.

Gennett bats left-handed and again offers some lineup balance on days he starts. More over, it allows Roenicke to pick and choose his match ups for Weeks even more finely and really get the veteran in there on days which he should benefit in an effort to continue to build upon his mild resurgence over the past week plus.

So there you have it. Weeks and Gennett will somewhat platoon at second for the time being. It won’t be a strict Gennett vs RHP and Weeks vs LHP all the time. Francisco will start a lot at first base with Yuniesky Betancourt as his soft platoon partner and primary back up. Jeff Bianchi become the primary back up for shortstop and some combination of he, Betancourt and Francisco will back up Ramirez at third. And Figaro takes over in the rotation for the demoted Fiers.

Figaro, Lohse, Hensley – Roster News & Notes for Memorial Day

Catching you up on a few things from the Memorial Day weekend in case you were grilling out and forgot to turn on your radio.

Figaro Gets the Nod

AlfredoFigaro1940s

After Wily Peralta was able to gut out five full innings on Memorial Day, the Brewers’ plans for a starting pitcher on Tuesday evening against the Minnesota Twins were set.

Alfredo Figaro, who worked the past two seasons as a starting pitcher in Japan, was signed to a contract by the Brewers prior to Spring Training. After some negotiations with his Orix Buffaloes team who claimed that they still owned Figaro’s rights, the fireballing right-handed pitcher was brought into camp and eventually won the last job in the bullpen. He acts as the long man most days but has put up pretty good numbers so far this season.

As of 5/27/13: 15 G, 3.46 ERA, 26.0 IP, 30 H, 13 R, 10 ER, 5 HR, 6 BB, 21 K, 1.385 WHIP

He’s only given up runs in seven of his 15 appearances, and only multiple earned runs twice. The negative though is that he’s given up at least one run in each of his last three appearances.

He’ll match up against left-hander Scott Diamond (3-4, 4.96) in the finale of a quick two-game series before the teams head to Minnesota for a pair at Target Field.

Lohse Not Lost For Long After All

KyleLohseOne of those games at Target Field should be started by Kyle Lohse. After having to skip an entire turn in the rotation due to elbow inflammation, the Brewers’ prize off-season acquisition — and ironically best starting pitcher so far in 2013 — threw a bullpen session on Monday and was deemed ready to go for Thursday. Obviously something could happen between now and then, but if nothing changes it’ll be Lohse squaring off against P.J. Walters.

The Brewers will need Lohse to continue his performance on the mound but also must begin to provide him with any semblance of run support. Lohse has gotten under 3.0 runs per game in support which is reflected in his Win-Loss record of 1-5.

Hand Promoted, Hensley Signed to Fill Spot

ClayHensley

After the Brewers promoted RP Donovan Hand to The Show on Sunday, there existed an opening in the bullpen of the Nashville Sounds. To fill the spot, the Brewers signed a veteran free agent relief pitcher in Clay Hensley.

Hensley, 33, has pitched in parts of seven big league seasons for three teams since making his debut on July 20, 2005. He’s been a member of five separate organizations, having spent Spring Training in camp with the Cincinnati Reds along with a stint as a Houston farmhand back in part of 2009.

Hensley maintains a four-pitch arsenal that he’s thrown to varying percentages throughout his career. His primary pitch is a sinker but he also features a curve, change and slider.

Career-wise, Hensley has totaled ERA of 4.00 in 517.0 IP across 271 appearances, 49 of which were starts. He doesn’t platoon barely at all which is very good for a reliever who pitches with length.

Time will tell if his services will be needed in Milwaukee at some point, but he’s certainly a guy worth having in your Triple-A stable.

Pitchers Swap 25-Man, Disabled List Spots

The Brewers just announced that LHP Tom Gorzelanny has been reinstated from the 15-day Disabled List in advance of tonight’s series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park.

Gorzelanny was placed on the DL back on May 11th (retroactive to May 8th) with left shoulder tendinitis. He threw live batting practice earlier in the week and was given the green light by the team’s medical staff.

The bullpen has performed very well these last two weeks despite their overabundance of innings pitched. That wasn’t because they lost Gorzelanny though. Far from it.

When he was placed on the DL, Gorzelanny sported a 2.30 ERA in 15.2 IP across 18 games. His 0.894 WHIP is very, very good and his 177 ERA+ illustrates how much better he’s been than your average pitcher so far.

He’s also tallied a Win in relief to go along with six Holds. He did have one Blown Save (against the Cardinals) which came three appearances before his injury was revealed but it likely wasn’t a factor at that time.

But there are only 25 spots on a 25-man roster (aptly name, right?) so as with any activation someone has to be moved out. That someone is Hiram Burgos who was placed on the disabled list with a “right shoulder impingement”.

The Brewers are technically carrying only seven bullpen arms with Mike Fiers officially being tapped to start on Saturday, but their also carrying a useless body on the active roster as well. Still, they’re already short on the bench so obviously someone had to go from the pitching staff. If Lohse does only miss one start then Fiers can simply remain in the rotation for the time being or they can go get a spot starter for Tuesday.

Burgos has a bright future still but his present will benefit from a bit of a reset.

That will produce a need for a starter on Tuesday against Minnesota. (Wily Peralta will just go on normal rest on Monday.) Roenicke thinks they’ll fill the start from the current roster which means that it’s likely a “bullpen game”. In that scenario, it makes the most sense to start Alfredo Figaro and fill in thereafter as needed.

Kyle Lohse, assuming he can get back to work next week, was originally penciled in for Thursday which is the next day his rotation spot would come up. Chris Narveson likely won’t be ready by then either, for what it’s worth, as he’ll reportedly be sent on rehab before being activated, assuming he’s healthy by then.

A Series of Unfortunate At-Bats

Peralta_05022013

Milwaukee – (That’s how I start these things, right?)

Tonight at Miller Park, the Milwaukee Brewers hosted the NL Central Division-leading St. Louis Cardinals in the first of a four-game set.

The third inning was particularly hospitable to the redbirds as they brought 11 men to the plate and scored six times. It was a rough and often unlucky inning for Wily Peralta who broke multiple bats, and was blooped, flared, and papercut to death by the Cards. There were a couple of hard hit balls as well but the majority of safe strokes would qualify for the “Punch & Judy” Hall of Fame. The six runs that the Cardinals scored in the inning would be all they got for the night, which added even more to the feelings of frustration.

After the game, Roenicke talked about the troublesome inning for Peralta.

“You see weird things and it’s not always fair,” said Roenicke. “(Peralta was) okay. It was definitely not as bad as what those numbers look like.”

As for Peralta’s repertoire, Roenicke admitted that, “his offspeed stuff wasn’t as sharp as I think he needs to get it to. He needs to be able to throw a slider for a strike when he needs to and he needs to be able to bounce it when he needs to. His change ups he’s got to mix in more. His sinker is still really good. I thought it was down most of the night.”

Peralta would eventually get out of the third and pitch into the fifth before putting two on in the fifth. Alfredo Figaro entered and only allowed one hit over the next 2.2 innings.

Peralta for his part understood that he made a bunch of good pitches in the third inning getting a couple of broken bats and suffering several weak hits but that it was obviously the difference in the game.

“This inning (was) the difference in the game”, said Peralta. He said it was particularly upsetting to give up so many consecutive hits with two outs.

He credited the bullpen for allowing the offense a chance to win. “The bullpen did a good job and (held) there.”

As for St. Louis, Jake Westbrook did what Jake Westbrook does on the mound and allowed some baserunners, but only three consecutive fourth inning singles from Weeks, Gomez, and Maldonado were able to scratch a run across off of the Cardinal veteran.

Luckily, “veteran” in this case also means “old” and Westbrook was lifted after 6.0 innings pitched for Joe Kelly. All Kelly did was get charged with two runs in 0.2 IP (raising the 8.31 ERA he entered the game with), and force Cardinal manager Mike Matheny to call on Mitchell Boggs. The new right-hander walked two — the first loaded the bases, the second scored the second run off Kelly — without recording an out. Matheny had to go get Trevor Rosenthal then who struck out Martin Maldonado to end the threat.

Tom Gorzelanny continued the quality work out of the bullpen this evening with a quick and clean 8th inning.

Rosenthal stayed in for the 8th inning. He got the scuffling Alex Gonzalez to pop out in foul territory to Yadier Molina, but then Blake Lalli scalded one what had to be a good 25 feet between a bewildered Molina and Rosenthal. Norichika Aoki reached on an error with one down, but resident hero Jean Segura could not come through on this night as he struck out swinging, chasing a high fastball.

That brought Ryan Braun to the plate as the new tying run, and he singled up the middle to plate Lalli and put Aoki on third. The legend of Yuni B 2013 took a hit though as he struck out swinging to end the inning. Still, that made the score 6-4 in favor of the Cardinals heading to the 9th.

The 9th saw Burke Badenhop get Carlos Beltran to bounce back to him, strike out Matt Holliday, and break the bat of Allen Craig on a soft liner to Segura.

The last of the ninth, and the game, belonged to Edward Mujica and the Cardinals though. Weeks attempted to cut the lead in half but his deep drive to RF was hit about 30 feet too far left. Gomez singled and eventually would steal second. After Maldonado struck out looking, Gonzalez came through with an RBI single to CF.

That allowed Ron Roenicke to send up Jonathan Lucroy to pinch-hit. Unfortunately, Lucroy would strike out to end the game with the Brewers falling a run short.

After the game, Josh Prince was optioned down to the Nashville Sounds where he will get a chance to play every day. He admitted that at least a part of him was excited to play regularly again.

“That’s what I love to do is play the game. But there’s no better place to play than (the big leagues).”

Prince will work defensively at multiple positions in preparation for his eventual return.

The move opens up a spot on the roster for the returning Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez will rejoin the team officially on Friday and be active for that evening’s game.

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