Results tagged ‘ Brewers ’

So You Wanna Go To Colorado Springs…

Needing a new Triple-A affiliate is something that hasn’t been a thing for the Milwaukee Brewers since following the 2003 season when the Brewers and Indianapolis Indians ended their relationship. The Brewers affiliated with the Nashville Sounds beginning in 2004 and spent 10 productive, is at times contentious, years together.

But that’s where the Milwaukee Brewers officially found themselves on Wednesday, September 18, 2014 as the Nashville Sounds finally officially announced that they would be affiliating with the Oakland Athletics for the next four years. I could go into a soapbox diatribe about how the Sounds were petty and disloyal and unappreciative, but I won’t. “Business is business”, after all.

Instead, let’s be excited together about new beginnings. Over the next several hundred words, I hope to give you some information — both important and frivolous — about the Brewers’ new Triple-A affiliate…

SkySoxPrimary

…the Colorado Springs Sky Sox!

From the team’s website:

The Sky Sox were honored by Baseball America as the Bob Frietas award-winner in 2011 as the Triple-A Organization of the Year, the highest award given to Minor League Baseball franchises.

The 2014 Sky Sox baseball season was one of the most exciting and memorable in the organization’s 26-year history. Sky Sox fans showed up in record numbers as the team drew 350,374 fans over 70 openings to mark the sixth season in a row that the franchise has eclipsed the 300,000 mark and the first season over 350,000..

The Sky Sox franchise is an original member of the Pacific Coast League, which was founded in 1903. The franchise operated in Sacramento, CA (Solons 1903-1960) was relocated to Honolulu, HI (Islanders 1961-1987) then moved to Colorado Springs (1988-present). The name “Sky Sox” was adopted in honor of Colorado Springs’ Western League Sky Sox (Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) that played at Memorial Park from 1950 through 1958. When Colorado was awarded a Major League franchise, the new Rockies arranged for the Sky Sox to become their AAA affiliate. From 1993 through 2014, Colorado Springs were the top affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.

In 1988, Sky Sox ownership (Elmore Group, LLC) privately funded the construction of a new $3.7 million ballpark, which was built on the eastern edge of Colorado Springs, near the corner of Powers Blvd. & Tutt Ave. The 8,500 capacity “Sky Sox Stadium”, now known as Security Service Field, was home to the Cleveland Indians’ Triple-A team from 1988-1992, culminating in a PCL Title in the Sky Sox’ final season with the Indians.

The Sky Sox have won two PCL titles, in 1992 and 1995.

And here’s some more about the currently-named “Security Services Field” (the naming rights for which belong to Security Services Federal Credit Union):

SecServField

Year Opened:

Cost:

Renovated:

Cost:

Seating Capacity:

1988

$3,700,000

2005

$6,500,000

Baseball – 8,500

So as you can see, the facility is rather old although it’s still 10 years younger than the consensus “worst ballpark in the Pacific Coast League” that the Brewers just left behind in Nashville. There was a significant renovation in 2005 which included replacing the entire field along with a vastly superior drainage system. And while old Herschel Greer Stadium had a seating capacity of 10,300 fans, you’ll notice in the pull from the Sky Sox’s website that they enjoyed record attendance in 2014. That’s a number that outdrew Nashville (323,961) in total attendance by more than 26,000 fans. Despite the Rockies being so close in proximity, it’s clear that there’s a passionate baseball fanbase in Colorado Springs. Hopefully the local residents will be able to let themselves embrace the Milwaukee Brewers as a parent club. That the new Player Development Contract is but a two-year pact will impact just how rapidly they embrace their new group of dreamers.

In what I’ve read and watched over the past several hours, the baseball staff of the Sky Sox is committed to a quality baseball experience for their fans. Part of that comes from the quality of the team on the field, and the Brewers have fielded a much more competitive team at the Triple-A level over the past year, including featuring the Pitcher of the Year in the Pacific Coast League each of the past two seasons (2013 – Johnny Hellweg, 2014 – Jimmy Nelson).

Here is the official press release from the Brewers which includes comment from Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin:

The Milwaukee Brewers have announced a two-year player development contract with Triple-A Colorado Springs of the Pacific Coast League that will run through the 2016 season. The announcement was made by Brewers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin.
 
“We are looking forward to our partnership with Dave Elmore and Colorado Springs,” said Melvin. “The Brewers have a familiarity with the Elmore group, Dave and D.G., and their understanding of the player development process. We have had a successful history working with D.G., owner of the Helena Brewers. Many players on our current roster have come up through our minor league system and we believe that Colorado Springs will continue to help us produce talent at a Major League level.”
 
Colorado Springs is a member of the PCL’s American Northern Division along with Omaha, Iowa and Oklahoma City.  The Sky Sox play their home games at Security Service Field.
 
“We couldn’t be happier to start the newest era in Sky Sox baseball with a world-class organization like the Milwaukee Brewers,” said Sky Sox President and General Manager Tony Ensor. “Their long and rich baseball history, as well as their commitment to a winning culture is something that we know our fans will embrace. We can’t wait to get started on this new and exciting partnership.”
 
The Brewers are the third Major League affiliate of Colorado Springs. The team had previously been affiliated with the Cleveland Indians from 1988-1992 and the Colorado Rockies since 1993.

And here is the press release from the Sky Sox:

The Colorado Springs Sky Sox are excited to announce today that they have agreed to a new, two-year player development contract with the Milwaukee Brewers that will run through the 2016 season. A formal announcement ceremony will be scheduled in the coming days.

The National League Brewers become the third affiliate in the history of the Sky Sox, following the Cleveland Indians (1988-1992) and the Colorado Rockies (1993-2014). This will also be the second time a Milwaukee team has affiliated with a club in Colorado. The Milwaukee Braves were affiliates with the Denver Bears from 1963-1964.

“We couldn’t be happier to start the newest era in Sky Sox baseball with a world-class organization like the Milwaukee Brewers,” said Sky Sox President and General Manager Tony Ensor. “Their long and rich baseball history, as well as their commitment to a winning culture and player development is something that we know our fans will embrace. We can’t wait to get started on this new and exciting partnership.”

“We are very pleased to be working with the Brewers in Colorado Springs,” said Sky Sox Owner and 2014 PCL Hall of Fame Inductee, Dave Elmore. “The Brewers are a first class organization that we are very familiar with as we have been working with them for many years through our Rookie level team in Helena Montana.”

This season, the Brewers are locked in a battle for the 2014 playoffs. Coming into today, the club boasts a 79-73 record and are just 2.5 games back in the wild card chase. Recent Minor League affiliates who have won titles with the Brewers include the Nashville Sounds (AAA-Pacific Coast League, 2005), Huntsville Stars (AA-Southern League, 2001), Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (A-Midwest League, 2012) and the Helena Brewers (Rookie-Pioneer League, 2010,1996,1995).

Five players who played significant time with Milwaukee, including Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Hank Aaron, Rollie Fingers, and Don Sutton, are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Both Yount and Molitor are depicted on their Hall of Fame plaques wearing a Brewers cap insignia. The Brewers also have one of the most legendary broadcasters in Major League history on the mic in Bob Uecker. In 2003, Uecker received the Ford C. Frick Award, bestowed annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame to a broadcaster for “major contributions to baseball”.

A new Brewers era of Sky Sox baseball begins on April 9, 2015 as the Sky Sox begin their 28th season of professional baseball in Colorado Springs. For ticket and team information visit www.skysox.com.

So all in all, the Brewers appear to be a comfortable, if not ideal, spot for at least the next two seasons of Triple-A baseball.

(Oh, and can we talk for a second about how their annual Police vs Fire Departments charity softball game is called “Guns ‘N Hoses”? Because that’s fantastic.)

GunsNHoses

2015 Brewers On Deck Event Scheduled

Time marches on. As such, regardless of how 2014 finishes up, the popular “Brewers On Deck” will return on the final Sunday of January.

It does not, however, return for free.

—Here’s the official release—

The Milwaukee Brewers announced today that tickets for Brewers On Deck 2015 will go on sale tomorrow at 9 a.m. CT.  Set to take place on Sunday, January 25, 2015 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center, Brewers On Deck is the winter fan festival that bridges the gap between the Wisconsin winter and Spring Training.

Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for children 14 and under.  Tickets on the day of the event are $20 for adults and $15 for children 14 and under.  A portion of the proceeds from Brewers On Deck will benefit Brewers Community Foundation.

Fans who purchase a ticket before November 1st will receive a voucher for a ticket to a select 2015 April game.

Tickets may be purchased beginning Thursday at 9 a.m. at the Miller Park ticket office, by calling the Brewers ticket office at 414-902-4000, or online at brewers.com/ondeck.

Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family.  Autographs and photos from Brewers players and coaches, interactive games in the Kids Area, Q&A sessions and game shows with Brewers players, coaches and broadcasters, vendor booths with baseball memorabilia, the Brewers Community Foundation Treasure Hunt and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.

The same system for autographs will be used for Brewers On Deck that was used in previous years.  Recipients of any “PREMIER” autographs (players to be announced at a later date) will be chosen through a random selection process. Numbered coupons to be entered into the random selection process will be available the day of the event only and will be distributed beginning at 8 a.m. at the Wisconsin Center. Coupon distribution will be available up to an hour before each designated autograph session. A schedule of players, their session times, and distribution info will be posted in early January 2015.  Cash will be the only form of payment accepted at the pay stations in the autograph areas.  For more information regarding the lottery process, visit brewers.com/ondeck.  Additional details regarding the autograph schedules will be available at a later date.

Brewers Extend Two Player Development Contracts

The Brewers announced today a pair of PDC extensions. They’ve extended their relationships with their Double-A and High-A affiliates.

Still no word on Triple-A Nashville. (***UPDATE*** Nashville informed the Brewers earlier today that they would not be signing back as the Triple-A affiliate of the Brewers. ***END OF UPDATE***)

What follows is the official press release from the Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers have announced a four-year player development contract extension with Double-A Biloxi of the Southern League through the 2018 season and a two-year PDC extension with Class-A Brevard County of the Florida State League through the 2016 season. The announcements were made by Brewers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin.

“We are excited to extend our contracts with Biloxi and Brevard County,” said Melvin. “We look forward to working with Ken Young and his ownership group as the team relocates from Huntsville to Biloxi and into a new ballpark. The top-notch facilities will give our players the necessary tools to further develop into Major Leaguers.”

The Brewers were affiliated with the Huntsville Stars since the 1999 season. Earlier this year, a Biloxi ownership group led by Ken Young purchased the Stars. Construction of a new ballpark in Biloxi, Mississippi is underway for the 2015 season.

“We’re looking forward to bringing baseball to Biloxi and are eager for this new chapter,” said Biloxi General Manager Buck Rogers. “The Brewers are a class act organization and we can’t wait to get started in our new ballpark.”

The Brevard County Manatees recently completed their 10th season as an affiliate of the Brewers, which began with the 2005 season. The Manatees play their home games at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida. They are owned and operated by Central Florida Baseball Group, LLC.

“The Manatees are thrilled to continue the great working relationship with the Milwaukee Brewers,” said Central Florida Baseball Group Chairman Dr. Tom Winters. “The entire organization is first class.”

Let The Affiliated Organization Shuffle Commence!

Nashville Sounds

I’m here this evening on a truncated timetable to chime in on the upcoming Affiliate Shuffle. And I’m not talking about the latest dance craze sweeping the internet.

(To be honest though, how much fun would a dance be called the “Affiliate Shuffle”? You could get front offices from around the different affiliated minor league franchises to participate. They could film videos. YouTube would go crazy. The best part? It only comes around every other year and last no longer than a couple of weeks. You wouldn’t have time to get sick it. You’d bob your head and stomp your feet. A little rhythmic clapping to go along with it. Yes, the “Affiliate Shuffle” would take the world by storm! Sell t-shirts. Sell lunchboxes! Sell VHS tapes teaching you the dance in the comfort and anonymity of your own home!)

You know what the least likely part of that entire digression is? That you wouldn’t have time to get sick of it. MLB is tremendous at a lot of things, and it’s ability to overplay a song is breathtaking.

But anyway, like I said earlier, I’m on a time crunch here.

That being the case, let’s lay out the facts:

  • Player Development Contracts (“PDCs”) are agreed to in even-numbered totals of years. This is because when affiliates change, there is a ton of work that goes in. It would be wildly unfair to expect an affiliated organization to potentially overhaul so many parts of their organization on an annual basis.
  • Affiliated organizations agree to these PDCs with Major League Baseball clubs. To put it plainly, these contracts result in the team where organizations send their minor league players to compete and develop.
  • The Brewers have five organizations under such contracts during these two-year windows.
  • At the conclusion of 2014, four of those PDCs (Triple-A, Double-A, High-A, rookie ball) were set to expire.

So that’s where we found ourselves with the 2014 season winding down. The only affiliate under a PDC after 2014 was set to be the Class-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, who currently are signed through 2016.

First, some good news came down the pipe as it was announced in August that the Brewers and their rookie ball affiliate in Helena were signing a four-year PDC extension. One down, three to go.

It had been widely assumed that the moving-to-Biloxi-Mississippi Huntsville Stars would stay with the Brewers. The Biloxi team even hired the outgoing Huntsville Stars’ general manager Buck Rogers, so continuity appeared to be a goal. As of the moment I hit publish, there has been no official announcement from either side that the relationship will continue. That being said, Baseball America was operating under the assumption that the PDC renewed automatically for two years. I spoke to someone who said that if the relationship is going to continue, he assumed it would be guaranteed for longer than just a two-year auto renewal. It remains to be seen how it ultimately shakes out.

In the same way as the Double-A affiliate, High-A Brevard County in Florida was shown on the same report from Baseball America to have been renewed for two years. There are some extenuating circumstances surrounding the Manatees, but it appears for now as though the PDC will be renewed there as well.

So if that accounts for three of the four expiring PDCs, we’re brought to the situation in Nashville.

The Nashville Sounds have been the Triple-A affiliate of the Brewers since 2005, which adds up to a cool decade in the Music City. The Brewers put up with an aging facility at the end of this most recent PDC extension. And when Nashville and the Sounds finally got together on a new facility at Sulphur Dell, it was hoped that the Brewers would be benefitting from enduring Greer Stadium. Instead, however, it appears that the Sounds want a new tenant beginning in 2015. That would be unfortunate timing for the Brewers what with the new facility, but then again the PDC almost wasn’t renewed following the 2012 season due to Greer Stadium and a bit of contentiousness.

The bottom line as things stands today is that the Brewers have some potential flux in their minor league system. Tuesday, September 16, 2014 is the first day that teams can officially announce new affiliations. There’s a bit of a potential carousel effect which could take place if rumors hold true.

Those rumors include the A’s leaving Sacramento and affiliating with Nashville (as already mentioned), the San Francisco Giants affiliating in Sacramento and leaving Fresno, and the Brewers possibly ending up affiliating with the Fresno Grizzlies who have been the Giants Triple-A affiliate since 1998. The franchise moved to Fresno in 1998 and was, ironically, a Brewers affiliate in their final season as the original incarnation of the Tucson Toros.

So, there’s much to be revealed beginning Tuesday. Hopefully the dust settles quickly and the Brewers will know where their top prospects will be playing ball for at least the next two years, be that in Fresno or some other option.

Brewers Announce 2015 Season Schedule

2015schedule

The Milwaukee Brewers today announced the schedule for 2015 – the 45th Anniversary season of the Brewers. The team will open 2015 at home against the Colorado Rockies on Monday, April 6 in the start of a six-game homestand over seven days.

Following the opening series against the Rockies, the Brewers will play each of their next 22 games against National League Central Division opponents. After a three-game, weekend series against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the opening homestand, the Brewers travel to St. Louis and Pittsburgh for the first road trip of the season from April 13-19.

The Interleague schedule will feature games against each team in the American League Central Division, beginning against the Chicago White Sox at Miller Park from May 11-13. A week later, the team faces the Detroit Tigers on the road from May 18-20. The border battle with the Minnesota Twins includes a three-game weekend series at Target Field from June 5-7 and a home weekend series from June 26-28. The Brewers will play back-to-back two-game series with the Kansas City Royals – June 15-16 at Miller Park and June 17-18 at Kauffman Stadium. The team also plays a pair of two-game series against the Cleveland Indians – July 21-22 at home and August 25-26 at Progressive Field.

The longest homestand in 2015 will be 11 games from July 30 – August 9 against Chicago-NL (4g), San Diego (4g) and St. Louis (3g). Milwaukee will also host a 10-game homestand from May 4-13 versus Los Angeles-NL (4g), Chicago-NL (3g) and Chicago-AL (3g).

The team will make four, three-city road trips including three 10-game trips. The first 10-game road trip will take place at New York-NL (May 15-17), Detroit (May 18-20) and Atlanta (May 21-24). The final two road trips of the season are also 10-game trips. The first of the final two trips will take place in Cincinnati (September 4-6), Miami (September 7-9) and Pittsburgh (September 10-13), and the second will take place in Chicago-NL (September 21-23), St. Louis (September 24-27) and San Diego (September 29 – October 1).

The Brewers will play at home on Mother’s Day, May 10 vs. Chicago-NL and Memorial Day, May 25 vs. San Francisco.

Most weekday night games at Miller Park will start at 7:10 p.m. (April 20, May 4, May 11 and September 3 will start at 6:20 p.m.). Weekday day games in April and May will start at 12:40 p.m. (except for Opening Day, which will start at 1:10 p.m.). Sunday games and weekday day games from June through September will start at 1:10 p.m. Most Saturday home games will begin at 6:10 p.m. (note – several Saturday game times will be announced at a later date).

All game dates and times are subject to change and road game times will be announced at a later date.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE 2015 BREWERS SCHEDULE

Player Reaction to the Unexpected Passing of Bruce Seid

I’ve never really done this kind of post, but with the outpouring of support and condolences on Twitter already this morning, I felt my small attempt to illustrate what Bruce Seid meant to so many people’s dreams could be cathartic in a way.

First, here’s the story I promised to share on Twitter this morning.

First a little background so you can understand it better. I had reached out through the Brewers to see if Bruce would be willing to give a few minutes of his time to my podcast following the 2014 draft. I figured, he couldn’t say yes if I never asked — right? So I asked.  He was more than willing to do so and we worked out a time to make it happen. The team then felt it would be better if Bruce used that time to instead appear on the radio station and specific afternoon show with which I do twice weekly appearances as a Brewers Insider. I set that up with the show’s producer and they had me email a couple of questions that they could ask Bruce on the air since I didn’t personally get to talk to him. I did, they asked, he responded, I thought it was cool but also that it would probably be the end of my interaction with the situation.

So anyway, shortly after his turn on The Big 920/1070 radio network, I happened to be physically passing by Bruce in what amounts to a hallway. I obviously recognized him from a number of different things from over the years. I offered a simple “Hey, Bruce” as he walked by with his head down on his phone. He sort of half-glanced up and gave me a “Hey, bud!” I figured that was going to be it. I continued down my path. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw his body turn and then heard him re-engage me. He put his phone in his pocket, introduced himself (which I found oddly humbling) and asked me how I was doing that day. I introduced myself by name only and thanked him for taking the time to appear on the show and that I appreciated his insight. I never brought up The Brewer Nation or anything of the work I put in because I couldn’t see it being recognized, let alone truly mattering.

As Bruce and I shook hands again at the end of our brief exchange of pleasantries, he turned to leave but stopped after a brief quarter-turn. He looked me in the eye and said “Wait. You’re the Brewer Nation guy, aren’t you?” I confirmed as much. He said “You’re doing good work there. We appreciate you. Keep it up.”

The mere acknowledgement of this man, this integral part of the Brewers front office machine, was thoroughly unexpected. That he brought it up to me was downright improbable. And then a confirmation of awareness of what it was AND kind words about the content? Unpossible.

I know this can be taken as an indulgent recounting of something that’s fairly insignificant to you, but I share it to highlight the fact that Bruce Seid was everything that everyone is telling you and I don’t doubt for a second any of what you’re about to read from the players he impacted.

He was a great man who affected the lives of countless individuals. There’s a quote that says “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” From what you’ll see below, truly a small sampling I’m sure, Bruce Seid was impactful.

Rest in peace.

Roster News: We Wish Them Well In Their Future Endeavors

Today the Brewers confirmed the call-ups of the three playersreported yesterday afternoon. In that linked piece, I mentioned that the resultant fallout to open up the necessary pair of 40-man roster spots could be interesting. Looks like I was right again.

The additions of two players who earned spots comes at the expense of two who had previously done the same.

caleb gindlDesignated For Assignment was Caleb Gindl. Should he clear waivers, it’s a virtual certainty that Gindl would choose to leave the Brewers organization. He has talent but was never afforded a consistent opportunity to showcase himself at the game’s highest level. And since his last chance, he’s been passed on the organizational depth chart by Khris Davis and bumped further down with the acquisition of Gerardo Parra who should return for 2015.

Gindl can be traded during the DFA period as well, but cannot technically refuse an outright assignment to Nashville as he has not been removed from a 40-man roster before in his professional career.

In my opinion, there’s a spot for Gindl on a Major League roster somewhere, but in Milwaukee it just came down to a matter of available space. There just wasn’t enough.

burgosThe other player lost, in his case to outright release, was right-handed pitcher Hiram Burgos. The professional story of Burgos is one to behold, as he pitched his way from High-A ball to being on alert as the “next-guy-if-we-need-someone-in-September” all in just 2012. I’ve chronicled that on the blog before, if you’re interested in reading about it.

Burgos pitched well in 2013 winter ball, but after a rough start to his season as lead dog in the Triple-A affiliate Nashville Sounds rotation, Burgos underwent a “clean up” procedure on his throwing shoulder on June 19th. His season was done, and now we know so was his tenure in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.

Bottom line: The Brewers needed two spots and guys have been removed off of 40-man Rosters for lesser reasons than “too much depth at one position” and “growing injury history”. That doesn’t make it less impactful to the lives of the men and families behind the names on a transaction page, but at the end of the day it’s a business.

To Caleb Gindl and Hiram Burgos, two players that have always been gracious where I’m concerned, I wish them the absolute best in continuing their careers outside the Brewers’ organization.

Second Round of September Call-Ups Coming

Following their first round of call-ups yesterday, I just heard from a reliable source that the Brewers will call up at least three more players following today’s game now that Nashville’s season has concluded.

Joining the Brewers in the clubhouse tomorrow will be:

  • Jason Rogers
  • Hector Gomez
  • Matt Clark

Rogers, the Brewers’ reigning MiLB Player of the Year, has been playing mostly third base this season in the minor league system. He’s been on an absolute tear of late, finishing his minor-league season on an eight-game hitting streak that included a pair of home runs.

For as hot as Rogers has been at the plate, nobody holds a candle to the lefty clubber Matt Clark. Acquired after Hunter Morris went down with a long-term injury this season (he’s been back and playing), Clark has demolished the Pacific Coast League. In 53 games with the Sounds, Clark is slashing .313/.371/.605 and has hit 16 home runs, all in just 195 at-bats. Of those 16 home runs, a cool 12 have come in the just-completed month of August.

Gomez is primarily a shortstop, and could have been a minor league free agent following this season had the Brewers not added him to the 40-man roster. He was also announced as a participant in the upcoming edition of the Arizona Fall League on behalf of the Brewers so it was widely thought that he would have to be added to the 40-man roster at some point. Gomez played in two MLB games back in 2011 as a Colorado Rockies player, but hasn’t been back since.

As for Rogers and Clark, their first games in a Brewers uniform will be their first games at the highest level of professional baseball.

Congratulations to all three players on strong seasons. They’ve earned these promotions.

Gomez and Clark will require 40-man roster moves. The Brewers could move *UPDATE* Johnny Hellweg (not Tyler Thornburg who is already there) to the 60-day DL easily enough. The other move could be simple, or a bit more interesting depending on how the Brewers choose to go.

Brewers Make First Group of September Call-Ups

pagnozzi

The Milwaukee Brewers have made what is at least their first round of September call-ups prior to Monday’s game in Chicago.

As I first told you on Twitter just before 10pm on Sunday night:

I went on to mention how much sense it makes to have a third catcher in the month of September. Just think back to how the Brewers utilized Yorvit Torrealba, and you’ll get the idea.

In order to clear a 40-man roster spot, which I mentioned they’d need, the Brewers moved infielder Jeff Bianchi to the 60-day Disabled List.

The only other true September call-up at this point is outfielder Logan Schafer, likely recalled a day earlier than he would have been due to the uncertainty surrounding the injured wrist of Carlos Gomez. Gomez said he felt a pop in his left wrist while swinging during an at-bat in the top of the third inning on Sunday afternoon in San Francisco. He was pulled from the game after awkwardly finishing his at-bat with a bad swing.

To Schafer’s part, he’s had a whole lot full of better looking swings since getting back in a groove due to his regular playing time with Nashville. When he was demoted following the acquisition of Gerardo Parra, Schafer went back to a .236/.349/.375 slash line in Triple-A. All he’s done is get hits in 19 out of his 23 games (including eight multi-hit affairs) and raised his slash line to .273/.356/.461 which is not an insignificant increase. Schafer still brings his glove with him which he might need early.

As for the other additions made official on Monday, while Jimmy Nelson is technically a September call-up (he was only officially with the Brevard County Manatees on paper while awaiting his scheduled MLB start Monday afternoon), the Brewers otherwise activated both Matt Garza and Wei-Chung Wang off of the 15-day Disabled List.

Garza is scheduled to rejoin the Brewers starting rotation on Wednesday in Chicago. He has been out since being pulled during a brilliant start against the St. Louis Cardinals back  on August 3rd after straining his left oblique. The Cardinals came back to steal that one from the Brewers prompting Garza to say that they “dodged a bullet.” Hopefully it doesn’t take Garza long to round back into that same form. The Brewers are going to need him.

The Brewers probably won’t need much from Wei-Chung Wang though. Wang has been stretching out during his rehab assignment, most recently completing the longest outing (7.2 IP) of his professional career with the Brevard County Manatees. In it, he tied a career-high with eight strikeouts, something he hadn’t done since his first appearance in 2013 in the Pirates’ system. It will be good experience for Wang to be around a pennant push, though I wouldn’t expect him to pitch maybe at all in September. They’ve got more than enough arms to cover themselves and Ron Roenicke rightfully won’t exactly trust Wang with every pitch being so crucial over the next 28 days.

The other new face in the Brewer locker room on Monday is expected to be relief pitcher Jonathan Broxton whom the Brewers officially acquired from the Cincinnati Reds just after noon on Sunday. For more on that deal, check my write-up here as well as my short interview with Broxton’s agent.

Roster News: Brewers Bolster Bullpen By Bringing In Broxton

Brox

Because sometimes you just can’t help yourself.

The official release reads like this:

SAN FRANCISCO – The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired right-handed reliever Jonathan Broxton from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for two players to be named. Broxton, who is eligible for the Brewers’ postseason roster, will join the team tomorrow in Chicago. The announcement was made by President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin.

Broxton, 30, is 4-2 with a 1.86 ERA and 7 saves in 51 appearances this season. Opponents are batting just .190 (32-for-168, 3hr). He has pitched for Los Angeles (2005-11), Kansas City (2012) and Cincinnati (2012-14) during his 10-year career, going 35-29 with a 3.05 ERA and 118 saves in 531 appearances, all in relief.

Even as far back as July, Doug Melvin wasn’t shy about his desire to obtain another bullpen pitcher, preferably one:

  • with closing experience
  • who throws right-handed
  • has some giddy up on his fastball

So how did this come about? The Reds posted Broxton to revocable waivers and the Brewers put in the winning claim. They had until 1:00pm ET today to work out a trade. They did so and the deal was announced by the Brewers at 12:46pm CT. Typically with players to be named later, the two teams agree upon a list of players who are eligible to be chosen to complete the trade and the acquiring team is given some time to scout them and make their decisions. Sometimes the players are already agreed to but need to be called “to be named later” for various reasons. In this case, it appears to be one of both as Reds GM Walt Jocketty has told reporters that the teams have agreed to one player and have a list for choosing the other. Regardless, a pair of prospects will be headed to the Reds by the end of September. The price won’t be super cheap because Broxton is under contract already for 2015, and there’s value in cost certainty. More on that later.

In trading for Broxton, the Brewers are adding a missing element to their 2014 bullpen. They have lacked an experienced, power righty to match up late in games, probably slot in as the primary set up man, and provide additional confidence for manager Ron Roenicke on days where Francisco Rodriguez can’t or shouldn’t be used in save situations. You can see Broxton’s stats above, and they certainly look quite desirable for a team in the Brewers’ situation.

As several of you decided was worth pointing out on Twitter, this trade doesn’t help the lineup or bench. With comments from “tell him to bring a bat” to “this is no help…he can’t hit”, once again people have decided to miss the forest for the trees. Just because Broxton can’t help the Brewers at the plate doesn’t mean that it’s a deal that shouldn’t have been made. It’s still a big immediate help for the Brewers.

Anyway, welcome to “later”. Broxton’s arm will help in 2014 but he’s also under contract for 2015 and as I said right away on Twitter, he’ll be in the mix come February to close for the Brewers in 2015. He’s owed $9 million in 2015, which is a lot but not undoable, as well as a $9 million mutual option for 2016 with a $2 million buyout. So, the Brewers will be paying Broxton some quality coin over a minimum of the next 15 months or so, but it could certainly be worth it if all goes according to plan.

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