Milwaukee Brewers — as of April 22, 2017

2017/04/24

Up:

     Eric Thames, 1B, OF: April 22 – Although he started only 3 of the Brewers first 8 games at 1B (and 2 games in the OF), Eric Thames’ hot bat has catapulted him into a lock on the Brewers’ 1B job. Since then, he’s started all 11 games at 1B, including those against LHP which were originally being handled by Jesus Aguilar.

     Jeff Bandy, C: April 22 — On one hand, Jeff Bandy is seeing more playing time at C given Andrew Susac’s injury and, more recently, his assignment to the minors. On the other hand, Manny Pina’s hot start has probably reduced Bandy’s playing time to some extent. Bandy has only started 11 of the team’s 19 games and appears to be settling into a pattern where he catches Chase Anderson and Zach Davies, while Pina partners with Wily Peralta and Jimmy Nelson. They’ve split Tommy Milone’s two starts to date.

     Manny Pina, C: April 22 – Andrew Susac’s injury gave Manny Pina a chance to make the Brewers as a backup to Jeff Bandy but Pina’s hot start may see the two catchers sharing the duties. To date, Pina has started 8 of the team’s 19 games. Lately, a pattern seems to be developing where Pina partners with Wily Peralta and Jimmy Nelson and Bandy catches Chase Anderson and Zach Davies. It’s a bit early to tell what the team will do in relation to Tommy Milone, as both Pina and Bandy have caught one of his starts.

     Jacob Barnes, RP: April 22 – Jacob Barnes seems to be pushing his way a little higher into the Brewers’ bullpen rankings, racking up 5 Save Situations and 4 Holds. In that, he trails only Carlos Torres and Cory Knebel by 1 in each category. He’s also pitched in 10.3 innings to rank second in the bullpen behind only Torres.

     Jhan Marinez, RP: April 22 – While he’s probably fourth in the bullpen depth chart, Jhan Martinez is edging up, with 3 Save Situations and 3 Holds to date. He isn’t too far behind the top three supporting Closer Neftali Feliz – Carlos Torres, Cory Knebel and Jacob Barnes. He also ranks fourth in IP among the bullpen contingent.

     Tommy Milone, SP, RP: April 22 – Junior Guerra’s injury in the season opener provided an opening for Tommy Milone, who was moved from the bullpen to the rotation. He’s made 2 starts in the time since and seems to be holding his own with most of the rotation – and out-pitching Zach Davies, for that matter. With Guerra out for another 3 or 4 weeks, he would normally expect to have plenty of time to show what he can do. However, Matt Garza is set to return from the DL in the next few days and will probably leapfrog Milone in the depth charts. With Davies’ troubles, though, there’s a chance that Davies, rather than Milone, will be the one moved to the bullpen.

Down:

     Jesus Aguilar, 1B: April 22 – Despite torrid production in Spring Training, Jesus Aguilar was expected to platoon with Eric Thames at 1B, getting the short end of the stick by starting primarily against LHP. However, Thames has been the talk of baseball since the season opened and lately has even been starting against LHP. As a result, while Aguilar started 5 of the Brewers’ first 8 games, he hasn’t started any of the last 11.

In:

     Brent Suter, RP: Apr 21 – 3:52 PM (Rotoworld) — Brewers recalled LHP Brent Suter from Triple-A Colorado Springs. The Brewers needed a reinforcement for their bullpen. Suter will work in long relief. The roster opening occurred when CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis was designated for assignment.

     Apr 8 – 11:15 PM (Rotoworld) — Brewers optioned LHP Brent Suter to Triple-A Colorado Springs. RHP David Goforth has been called up to take Suter’s spot in the Brewers’ bullpen.

     Apr 4 – 2:28 PM (Rotoworld) — Brewers recalled LHP Brent Suter from Triple-A Colorado Springs.

He’ll replace the injured Junior Guerra (calf) on the active roster. With Tommy Milone expected to move into the rotation, Suter will give the Brewers a lefty for their bullpen.

     Nick Franklin, 1B, 2B, SS, LF, RF: Apr 5 – 2:22 PM (Rotoworld) — Brewers claimed INF/OF Nick Franklin off waivers from the Rays.

In a surprise move, the Rays designated Franklin for assignment at the conclusion of spring training. The 26-year-old has had an underwhelming career to this point but has value as a jack-of-all-trades who can play all over the diamond. Last year he made starts at first base, second base, shortstop and both corner outfield positions. The Brewers created a roster spot for Franklin by designating RHP Michael Blazek for assignment.

     Oliver Drake, RP: Apr 14 – 8:27 AM (Rotoworld) — Brewers acquired RHP Oliver Drake from the Orioles for cash or a player to be named later.

This comes mere hours after the Orioles designated Drake for assignment. The 30-year-old right-hander has spent the last few years seesawing between Baltimore and the minor leagues. He carries a career 3.89 ERA over 37 major league innings, all with the Orioles.

To make a spot on their roster for Drake, the Brewers designated RP David Goforth for assignment.

Out:

     Junior Guerra, SP: Apr 4 – 5:08 PM (Rotoworld) — Brewers manager Craig Counsell said today that Junior Guerra (calf) will be out “at least six weeks.”

Guerra put his own timetable at 4-6 weeks in a chat with the media earlier today but the MRI results showed a “significant” strain of his right calf, per Counsell. Tommy Milone will move into the Brewers’ rotation.

     Apr 4 – 4:48 PM (Rotoworld) — Junior Guerra (calf) said today that he expects to miss 4-6 weeks.

But the RHP underwent an MRI on Tuesday morning and those results will paint a clearer picture of his recovery timetable.

     Apr 3 – 5:59 PM (Rotoworld) — Junior Guerra (calf) will be placed on the 10-day disabled list. Brent Suter will be called up from the minors to take his spot on the Brewers’ roster.

Guerra strained his right calf while running out a bunt on Monday. He was getting around on crutches in the clubhouse after the game and Brewers manager Craig Counsell said it would be more than a 10-day absence for the right-hander. Tommy Milone would seem to be an obvious candidate to take Guerra’s spot in the rotation.

     Apr 3 – 3:13 PM (Rotoworld) — Junior Guerra exited today’s Opening Day start against the Rockies after just three innings with a right calf strain.

Guerra limped off the field after attempting a bunt in the bottom of the third inning. He allowed two runs over three innings before being replaced by Tommy Milone. This has the potential to be an injury which requires a stint on the disabled list but there should be more clarity soon.

     Matt Garza, SP: Apr 21 – 5:53 PM (Rotoworld) — Matt Garza (groin) will make his season debut on Monday, April 24,  against the Reds.

Tommy Milone is headed back to the Brewers’ bullpen.

     Apr 20 – 6:22 PM (Rotoworld) – Matt Garza made a second rehab start Monday, April 17, and Brewers manager Craig Counsell confirmed today that he’ll be activated from the disabled list “in the coming days.”

Garza landed on the DL with a strained groin he suffered late in spring training but is trending toward 100 percent. Counsell was noncommittal about what role Garza will play when he’s finally activated.

     Apr 13 – 5:06 PM (Rotoworld) Matt Garza (groin) looked sharp in his first rehab start yesterday, allowing just one run on two hits against Memphis.

He’ll make another rehab start on Monday, April 17, for Triple-A Colorado Springs. After that, Garza should be ready to rejoin Milwaukee’s starting rotation.

     Apr 7 – 4:37 PM (Rotoworld) — Matt Garza (groin) threw a simulated game today.

Assuming he comes out of it with no issues, he’s slated to make rehab starts on April 12 and 17. Garza should be ready to rejoin the Brewers’ rotation after that. He’s needed, especially after Junior Guerra (calf) went down.

     Apr 4 – 5:22 PM (Rotoworld) — Matt Garza (groin) is on track to begin a minor league rehab assignment next week.

The hope is that he’ll only need two rehab starts before joining the Brewers’ rotation. Garza landed on the 10-day disabled list at the end of spring training because of a right groin strain.

     Mar 30 – 6:37 PM (Rotoworld) — Brewers placed RHP Matt Garza on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right groin.

Garza had been scheduled to pitch on Friday, March 31, against the White Sox. Manager Craig Counsell said he’s hoping Garza will resume throwing at some point in April before going out on a minor league rehab assignment.

     Andrew Susac, C: Apr 15 – 10:19 AM (Rotoworld) — Brewers activated C Andrew Susac from the 10-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

With Manny Pina knocking the cover off of the ball, the Brewers will roll with him and Jett Bandy behind the plate for now and give Susac some extra time to get back into the swing of things.

     Apr 13 – 11:50 AM (Milwaukee Brewers/Rotoworld) — Andrew Susac (trapezius) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment today with Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Susac should be ready to join the Brewers early next week. The 27-year-old catcher came down with tightness in his trapezius in the middle of spring training and didn’t appear in a Cactus League game after March 13.

     Mar 31 – 6:48 PM (Rotoworld) — Brewers placed C Andrew Susac on the 10-day disabled list with a trapezius tightness.

The Brewers will enter the season with some combination of Jett Bandy and Manny Pina handling the catching duties until Susac is ready to return. He’s expected to be ready to rejoin the Brewers in mid-April.

     Mar 28 – 11:21 AM (Rotoworld) — Andrew Susac (back) is expected to be cleared for some baseball activities.

Susac has been bothered by some discomfort around his trapezius muscle for a couple of weeks now but a recent MRI came back negative. While he’s making some progress, he’s not ready for game action and a stint on the disabled list appears likely.

     Mar 24 – 12:54 PM (Rotoworld) — An MRI on Andrew Susac’s injured trapezius came back negative.

Susac will be allowed to ramp up his rehab now but he’s still going to begin the season on the disabled list.

     Mar 23 – 1:05 PM (Rotoworld) — Andrew Susac has flown to Milwaukee to undergo additional tests on his neck and back.

There is expected to be an update from the Brewers tomorrow morning. Susac has been bothered for weeks by discomfort around his trapezius muscle and it’s simply not getting any better. Manny Pina and Jett Bandy figure to open the 2017 season as the Brewers’ two active catchers.

     Mar 18 – 7:42 PM (Rotoworld) — Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Andrew Susac (trap) will be out at least through to Monday, March 20.

Trap tightness has kept him out for the past week. At this point, it doesn’t look like Susac is in jeopardy of missing Opening Day. He’s battling Jett Bandy and Manny Pina for the starting job at C.

     Mar 15 – 2:14 PM (Rotoworld) — Brewers manager Craig Counsell said today that Andrew Susac (neck) will probably miss a few days.

Susac was scratched from yesterday’s lineup due to neck stiffness and will require some additional rest. The Brewers can afford to be patient with him.

     Mar 14 – 3:51 PM (Rotoworld) — Andrew Susac was scratched from today’s Cactus League lineup due to neck stiffness.

Rene Garcia will start behind the plate instead. Consider Susac day-to-day for now.

     Taylor Jungmann, RP: Apr 6 – 5:49 PM (Rotoworld) — Brewers optioned RHP Taylor Jungmann to Double-A Biloxi.

The Brewers were stashing eight RP in their pen and needed to clear a roster spot for Nick Franklin, who was claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay. Jungmann struggled in his season debut on April 5 against Colorado, yielding one runs, one walk and two hits in just 2/3 of an inning. The Brewers plan to stretch him out as a SP in the minor leagues.

     Damien Magnifico, RP: Apr 14 – 8:29 AM (Rotoworld) — Orioles acquired RHP Damien Magnifico from the Brewers in exchange for the No. 15 international signing bonus slot.

Magnifico had been designated for assignment on April 9. He has control issues but he’s an intriguing relief arm.

     Apr 9 – 11:07 AM (Rotoworld) — Brewers designated RHP Damien Magnifico for assignment.

The move clears a spot on the 40-man roster for David Goforth. Magnifico has a big arm and could draw some interest on waivers.

     Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF: Apr 23 – 7:39 PM (Rotoworld) — Brewers sent OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis outright to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

The 29-year-old was waived earlier this week after slashing a putrid .080/.233/.240 in his first 30 PA. It’s a bit surprising that no other teams were willing to take a shot on him. He’ll continue to function as minor league OF depth for the Brewers.

     Apr 21 – 3:51 PM (Rotoworld) — Brewers designated OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis for assignment.

Nieuwenhuis had just two hits in his first 25 AB and it cost him his roster spot. He’s making about twice the major league minimum, which could be a factor as the Brewers try to pass him through waivers.

     David Goforth, RP: Apr 14 – 8:53 AM (Rotoworld) Brewers designated RHP David Goforth for assignment.

Goforth was only in the big leagues for four days. His lone appearance came Sunday, April 9, when he tossed a scoreless inning against the Cubs. Because Goforth has been designated for assignment before (it happened just a few weeks ago), he can choose to become a free agent if he clears waivers.

He became expendable when the Brewers traded for RHP Oliver Drake.

     Apr 9 – 11:09 AM (Rotoworld) — Brewers purchased the contract of RHP David Goforth from Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Gorforth lost his 40-man roster spot over the winter but has gotten it back. Goforth will take the place of Brent Suter on the Brewers’ roster, with Suter returning to the minors. Suter, in turn, was taking Junior Guerra’s place.

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