The Brewers announced they have reinstated right-hander Jimmy Nelson and left-hander Brent Suter from the 60-day injured list. To create 40-man roster space, the club has designated right-hander Aaron Wilkerson and outfielder Troy Stokes, Jr. for assignment. The club also confirmed the previously-reported designation of right-hander Jeremy Jeffress.
Nelson, the former staff ace, has worked out of the bullpen on rehab, where he’ll presumably factor in down the stretch. He’s battled velocity loss and ineffectiveness in the wake of 2017 shoulder surgery. Suter, too, figures to work in short stints as he returns from 2018 Tommy John Surgery. He’s worked primarily as an opener on rehab, although he did work his way up to four innings in his most recent minor-league start. The soft-tossing lefty was a solid back-end command artist for the club before going under the knife, which would be valuable for a rotation that has undergone its fair share of struggles in 2019.
To welcome back the veterans, Milwaukee cuts bait with Wilkerson and Stokes. Wilkerson’s a 30 year-old swingman whose logged 35.2 subpar innings for the club the past three seasons. He has long been an adequate high minors starter though, explaining why he’s lasted three years on Milwaukee’s 40-man.
Stokes, a former fourth-round pick, has emerged as a noteworthy prospect in Milwaukee’s system the past few seasons. Featuring above-average raw power and speed, per Fangraphs’ prospect duo, Stokes had generally shown solid power and walk rates in the low minors. He hit a speed bump in his first taste at Triple-A, though, where his .233/.341/.385 line was 20% below PCL average. That proved too much for Milwaukee’s taste for a player who has increasingly seen time in left field, not center, in recent years, likely due to a below-average arm. That said, it’s easy to imagine a non-contender taking a chance on Stokes’ physical gifts and pre-2019 track record, so it’s possible, if not likely, he’ll be claimed off waivers. He comes with two additional option seasons, so there’d be no hurry to get him to the big leagues before he’s ready.