Milwaukee Brewers – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-06-24T03:30:45Z WordPress Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Brewers Option Domingo Santana]]> 2018-06-23T17:12:31Z 2018-06-23T16:33:06Z The Brewers announced today that they’ve optioned outfielder Domingo Santana to Triple-A Colorado Springs. In a related move, the club has elected to promote Brad Miller, whom the team acquired from the Rays just under two weeks ago.

It’s been quite the fall from grace for the soon-to-be 26-year-old Santana, who last season enjoyed a breakout campaign headlined by 30 homers, 15 stolen bases and a .278/.371/.505 batting line. That hardly seems like a fluke on the surface, considering Santana’s .362 xwOBA ranked just outside the 10th percentile among 546 hitters with at least 50 batted ball events. His hard contact rate (39.7%) and plate discipline (12% walk rate, 26.5% chase rate) also supported the argument that Santana was simply a very good hitter.

Santana’s struggles this season have been well-documented. He appears to have taken a step backwards in nearly every facet of his game. Certainly the power has mysteriously disappeared, evidenced by a mere three homers and .354 slugging percentage. But equally alarming is the fact that his walk rate has dropped off significantly; his 8.5% clip so far would be the lowest of his career by a full two points (not including an 18 PA cup of coffee in 2014). Santana’s batting average has also dropped a full 31 points even despite a marginal increase over last year’s gaudy .363 BABIP. His one stolen base thus far puts him on pace for a dramatic drop-off from the 15 bases he stole in 2017.

One of the biggest differences in Santana’s game this year is his batted ball profile. His line drive rate has plummeted from 27.4% last season to 22.8% so far in 2018. Those lost liners have all turned into ground balls, and as a result Santana’s hit the ball on the ground more than half the time this year. He’s also been chasing quite a few more pitches outside of the strike zone; his chase rate of 30.8% is a large jump from last year’s 26.5% clip.

The move likely means more playing time for Jesus Aguilar, who’s been a revelation for the Brewers this season. Aguilar, who came to Milwaukee last year after being designated for assignment by the Indians, has been one of the top ten best hitters in baseball this season. However, due in part to the return of Eric Thames to the lineup, Aguilar has sat on the bench twice in the past week. The removal of Santana from the active roster should help clear up a bit more playing time for a hitter who has certainly earned it with his 16 homers and .975 OPS.

Jeff Todd <![CDATA[2018 Amateur Signings: 6/22/18]]> 2018-06-23T05:48:25Z 2018-06-23T05:48:25Z Let’s round up Friday’s draft deals of note. As always, the rankings referenced come courtesy of FangraphsMLB.comBaseball America and ESPN’s Keith Law; Fangraphs and scouting reports are available to the public free of charge, while the others require subscriptions.

  • The Pirates have a deal with second-rounder Braxton Ashcraft,’s Jim Callis tweets. Aschcraft’s $1,825,000 bonus comes in well over the slot value for the 51st overall selection ($1,382,400). The Baseball America (#58) and (#64) analysts were highest on the reputedly athletic hurler, who’s regarded more for his projectability than his present ability on the mound. He’ll forego a commitment to Baylor to join the Bucs, who have inked most of their top picks but are still trying to work things out with sandwich round selection Gunnar Hoglund.
  • Astros second-rounder Jayson Schroeder also lands over slot, Callis tweets. Like Ashcraft, Schroeder is a high-school righty who still needs polish but has shown promising tools. He’ll take home a $1.25MM bonus after being taken 66th overall, a choice that carried a $965,300 allocation. Schroeder had been slated to attend the University of Washington.
  • The Brewers announced their deal with second-round choice Joe Gray, with Callis again tweeting the dollars. Gray lands right at the $1,113,500 allocation for the 60th selection. He’s another toolsy player who’ll forego a collegiate commitment, but in his case he’s an outfielder who has decided against a run at the University of Mississippi. A quality defender with power, Gray is seen as possessing significant upside — if his hitting ability can catch up to his other talents. Notably, the Brewers have yet to ink first-rounder Brice Turang. And amateur scouting director Tod Johnson suggested today that a deal is not inevitable, telling Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (Twitter link): “Obviously he and his family have to make a decision as to whether he wants to get on the field and start playing professionally, or go down to LSU and go that route.”
Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Brewers Designate Boone Logan]]> 2018-06-19T19:43:12Z 2018-06-19T19:36:27Z The Brewers have designated lefty Boone Logan for assignment, per a club announcement. His roster spot will go to right-hander Freddy Peralta, who was recalled to take a start this evening.

Logan, who’s closing in on his 34th birthday, simply never got things going after joining the Brewers on a one-year deal over the winter. His $2.5MM guarantee included a buyout for a club option in 2019, which obviously now will not be exercised. The contract also included a hefty $3.2MM incentives package that started to accrue after 25 appearances.

Logan will continue to receive the promised money, but won’t see any of that potential extra cash. He opened the year on the DL and has struggled since being activated. In 10 2/3 innings, he has allowed seven earned runs on 15 hits and 10 walks (three of them intentional).

To be fair, Logan has also run up 14 strikeouts and shown well in terms of average velocity (94.3 mph on his fastball) and swinging-strike rate (14.0%). That said, the walks seemed to be a product of real command troubles. Logan has worked in the zone at a 45.0% career rate, but has done so on just 33.9% of his pitches thus far in 2018.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rosenthal On Brewers' Deadline Possibilities]]> 2018-06-17T13:39:32Z 2018-06-17T03:34:29Z Rival executives expect the Brewers to be aggressive in targeting starting pitching help this summer, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (video link). The Brewers’ rotation has been a middle-of-the-pack group to this point, as it entered Saturday 13th in the majors in ERA (3.92) and 19th in fWAR (3.8). Of course, the unit has been without its top starter from 2017, Jimmy Nelson, who’s working back from the right shoulder surgery he underwent last September and should return sometime this season. He and another starter acquired from elsewhere could help the Brewers hold on to a playoff spot, which they were unable to do a year ago during an 86-win campaign. Rosenthal also points to catcher and shortstop as positions the Brewers could upgrade, though he notes they’re “unlikely” to be in play for Manny Machado at the latter spot.

Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Yankees Acquire Wendell Rijo To Complete Erik Kratz Trade]]> 2018-06-16T15:23:37Z 2018-06-16T15:03:49Z The Yankees have acquired second baseman Wendell Rijo, who is officially the player to be named later in May’s Erik Kratz trade with the Brewers; the club’s PR department has announced the acquisition.

Nothing about the 22-year-old Rijo immediately jumps off the page. Originally an international signee of the Red Sox out of the Dominican Republic, Rijo’s played all of 374 games at the Double-A level and hasn’t been particularly impressive with the bat overall. This season, Rijo sports a .200/.304/.375 slash line with four homers across 93 plate appearances.

Notably, though, his walk rate has made a significant jump in 2018. In a limited sample, he’s walked 12.9% of the time, which is up from just 7.7% at Double-A last season. Even more intriguing is the fact that Rijo’s suffered from some severe bad luck thus far; his .214 BABIP indicates that he likely deserves a higher batting average than the mere .200 he owns at present. Rijo was also active on the basepaths in his first three pro seasons, swiping at least 15 bags during each minor league season from 2013-2015. Though he hasn’t done nearly as much of that in recent seasons, one has to imagine he’s still got the potential to kick it up a notch on the bases.

Regardless, the Yankees will be happy to get anything in exchange for the veteran Kratz, whom they re-signed to a minor-league deal during the offseason following using him mostly in a defensive replacement capacity and during just four MLB games in September of 2017. He’s been surprisingly effective for the Brewers this season: the backstop has three homers and a .511 wOBA across his 29 plate appearances in 2018.

Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Amateur Draft Signings: 6/15/18]]> 2018-06-16T03:49:09Z 2018-06-16T03:49:09Z Here are the day’s deals of note from the top few rounds of the draft (rankings referenced are courtesy of Baseball AmericaMLB.comFangraphs and ESPN’s Keith Law — with the scouting reports from MLB and Fangraphs both coming free to the general public) …

  • The Giants agreed to a $1.5MM bonus with second-round choice Sean Hjelle, according to’s Jim Callis (via Twitter). A towering righty from the University of Kentucky, Hjelle was taken with the 45th overall choice, which came with a $1,587,600 pick allocation. He ranked as high as thirtieth on pre-draft lists, earning that placement on the Baseball America board. Evaluators seem to think the polished collegiate hurler is likely to be a steady, back-of-the-rotation arm, though he isn’t generally seen as possessing immense upside.
  • Mets second-rounder Simeon Woods-Richardson will receive a $1.85MM bonus to forego his commitment to the University of Texas, Callis tweets. That lands above the $1,485,100 slot value at the 48th overall pick. While the right-handed hurler has shown quite a lot of promise at times, there are concerns that he has not consistently maintained that high level throughout his starts. Grades were all over the map, with BA highest at #76. Clearly, the Mets believe they can tap into the tools.
  • The Brewers will save some money against the slot value on Micah Bello, their competitive balance round B pick,’s Jonathan Mayo reports on Twitter. He’ll receive a $550K bonus, leaving the club with some excess pool space from the 73rd overall pick ($824,900 slot). A Hawaiian high-school outfielder, Bello did not draw top-100 billing but placed 121st on BA’s board. He’s credited as a quality overall hitter who may yet have a bit of upside, with some speed and perhaps some untapped power potential, though it’s not clear whether he’ll remain an up-the-middle defender as a professional.
Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Yankees Acquire International Pool Space From Brewers]]> 2018-06-15T21:45:00Z 2018-06-15T21:32:36Z The Yankees announced today that they have acquired international bonus pool availability from the Brewers. The swap will send minor-league righty Chad Whitmer to Milwaukee for an undisclosed amount of spending capacity.

It is not immediately clear whether the funds are from the current signing period, which ends today, or for the new one set to open on July 2nd. Baseball America’s Ben Badler has provided ample detail on the Yanks’ most recent international class and previewed the organization’s upcoming dealmaking.

Whitmer, 23, was a tenth-round pick last year who has yet to take the mound in the current season. He turned in 19 innings of 3.79 ERA pitching at the Rookie ball level (Gulf Coast League) in his debut campaign, allowing 24 hits but also recording an impressive 22:2 K/BB ratio.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brewers Activate Eric Thames]]> 2018-06-11T21:06:28Z 2018-06-11T21:06:28Z The Brewers announced that they’ve activated first baseman/outfielder Eric Thames from the 10-day disabled list and optioned right-hander Brandon Woodruff to Triple-A Colorado Springs to clear a spot on the roster.

Thames has been out since late April due to a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb and will be returning on the short end of the initial six- to eight-week timeline provided for his recovery. The 31-year-old hardly showed signs of rust in Triple-A on his rehab assignment, though, going 6-for-14 with a homer, a walk and no strikeouts in a total of 15 plate appearances over four games leading up to his activation.

Prior to his injury, Thames had gotten off to a nice start, hitting .250/.351/.625 with seven homers in 74 plate appearances before suffering the injury. That marked a nice continuation of Thames’ production in his return to the Majors in 2017, when he hit .247/.351/.518 with 31 homers after parlaying a dominant three-year run in South Korea into a three-year contract with Milwaukee.

The impending return of Thames may very well have contributed to yesterday’s decision to trade Ji-Man Choi to the Rays in exchange for Brad Miller. With Thames, Ryan Braun and Jesus Aguilar all on the roster, the Brewers had little means of getting Choi into the MLB lineup. However, Miller brings some left-handed pop in his own right and provides additional defensive versatility, making him a better fit for the Brewers at the MLB level.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rays Trade Brad Miller To Brewers For Ji-Man Choi]]> 2018-06-11T19:13:32Z 2018-06-11T19:13:16Z June 11: Tampa Bay is covering $2.209MM of the remaining $2.709MM remaining on Miller’s contract through season’s end, according to the Associated Press. Choi’s split contract calls for an $850K salary in the Majors and a $250K salary in the minors, and he’d be owed about $513K through season’s end if he were to spend the rest of the year in the Majors. That doesn’t seem likely to be the case, so the Rays will save a bit of money while paying Choi at his minor league rate of pay, though the overall cost-savings in the deal look to be more or less negligible, even for a cost-conscious club like Tampa Bay.

June 10: The Rays have dealt infielder Brad Miller to the Brewers for first baseman Ji-Man Choi, as announced by both teams on Twitter.  Tampa will also send some cash to Milwaukee as part of the deal.  Miller and Choi have each been optioned to Triple-A with their respective new organizations.

Miller was designated for assignment earlier this week, though he had hit respectably well (.256/.322/.429 with five homers) over 174 plate appearances for the Rays this season.  Beyond those decent batting numbers, however, Miller brought little else to the table — he has continued his career-long struggles against left-handed pitching, and has posted below-average defensive numbers wherever he has played around the diamond.  Miller is also coming off a rough 2017 campaign, so it could be that the Rays sought to sell as high as they could on him while he was still productive, in order to get at least some of his $2.79MM in remaining salary off the books.

[Updated Brewers and Rays depth charts at Roster Resource]

Though Miller doesn’t bring much defensive value as a shortstop or second baseman, he can at least offer the Brew Crew some extra pop at both middle infield positions.  Jonathan Villar hasn’t done much against righty pitching over the last couple of years, while defensively-gifted shortstop Orlando Arcia is suffering through a dreadful year at the plate.  Miller and Arcia could form a platoon, with Arcia stepping in as a late-game defensive replacement on days when Miller starts, plus the Brewers also have veteran Eric Sogard in the bench mix.

Middle infield was a weak spot for a Brewers team that is fighting for a postseason berth, and the low-cost addition of Miller could mean that the club won’t seek out more substantial second base or shortstop help at the trade deadline.  Miller also adds a bit more depth to the roster at first base and in the corner outfield positions, though Milwaukee is already pretty set at those spots.

Choi signed a minor league deal with the Brewers last offseason that guaranteed him $850K if he reached the majors, so he’ll only add another $510K or so to Tampa’s payroll.  The 27-year-old hit .233/.281/.500 over 32 plate appearances for the Crew, getting some time at first base with Eric Thames and Ryan Braun hit the disabled list.  (Just yesterday, in fact, Choi hit a pinch-hit grand slam in Milwaukee’s 12-3 rout of the Phillies.)  The 27-year-old will essentially replace Miller as a left-handed hitting option in the Rays organization, though the team is currently giving top prospect Jake Bauers (another lefty bat) a chance to stick in the big leagues as a regular first baseman.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Eric Thames Could Return Monday]]> 2018-06-09T19:15:10Z 2018-06-09T19:14:44Z
  • The Brewers expect first baseman Eric Thames back at the beginning of the upcoming week, Joe Bloss of relays. Thames landed on the DL on April 27 with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb, derailing a start in which he slashed .250/.351/.625 with seven home runs in 74 plate appearances. Fellow first baseman Jesus Aguilar has been outstanding in Thames’ absence, however, with a .296/.369/.556 line and 11 homers in 187 PAs this year.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Brewers Place Zach Davies On 10-Day DL, Recall Ji-Man Choi, Outright Jett Bandy]]> 2018-06-01T23:22:29Z 2018-06-01T23:22:29Z The Brewers announced a slate of roster moves today. Righty Zach Davies is headed to the 10-day DL with rotator cuff inflammation. He’ll be replaced on the active roster by first baseman/outfielder Ji-Man Choi.

    In other news, the Milwaukee organization has outrighted catcher Jett Bandy. He had been designated for assignment recently and will now head to Triple-A after clearing waivers.

    Davies, 25, spent nearly a month on the DL already and has struggled in two starts since returning. On the year, he carries a 5.23 ERA with 6.5 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9 in 43 innings over eight starts.

    While he has been a solid rotation piece over the past two seasons with less-than-exciting K/BB numbers, Davies has been easier to square up so far in 2018. He has already surrendered seven home runs and has allowed opposing hitters to make hard contact at a hefty 43.8% clip. Still, measures such as fastball velocity, swinging-strike rate, and groundball rate indicate that Davies is still much the same hurler as before.

    With Davies on the shelf, the Brewers will need another starter in a few days. For the time being, though, they’ll go with an extra man on the bench. Choi has impressed consistently of late with the bat. in his 154 plate appearances at Triple-A, he has posted a .290/.416/.452 slash with four home runs and 28 walks against 31 strikeouts.

    Bandy, meanwhile, will remain available if a need arises behind the dish. The 28-year-old has struggled at the plate, with a .218/.282/.365 slash in his 492 career plate appearances at the game’s highest level. Still, the Milwaukee organization will be glad to retain Bandy, particularly since Stephen Vogt is already likely out for the year and the team’s current MLB duo of Manny Pina and Erik Kratz does not exactly make for an imposing unit.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brewers Acquire Erik Kratz, Designate Jett Bandy, Option Orlando Arcia]]> 2018-05-25T17:13:02Z 2018-05-25T16:37:40Z The Brewers made a significant series of roster moves on Friday, acquiring veteran backstop Erik Kratz from the Yankees in exchange for cash and designating Jett Bandy for assignment to clear a spot on the roster. Both teams have announced the trade. Additionally, Milwaukee announced that shortstop Orlando Arcia and righty Jorge Lopez have been optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs in favor of veteran infielder Eric Sogard and right-hander Adrian Houser.

    Set to turn 38 in June, Kratz is off to a .269/.356/.538 start with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. While he doesn’t have a lengthy track record at the big league level, he’s shown throughout parts of eight big league seasons that he possess some pop, homering 24 times in 649 plate appearances and notching a .163 ISO. Of course, Kratz’s overall .203/.250/.366 slash line in that time has been sub-par and serves to illustrate why his time in the Majors has been sporadic. To his credit, he’s halted 34 percent of stolen-base attempts against him in the Majors and has been similarly effective throughout his minor league career (32 percent).

    As for Bandy, the Brewers will have a week to trade him, Ttry to pass him through outright waivers or release him. The 28-year-old showed a bit of promise early in his career with the Angels but has struggled in two seasons with Milwaukee, hitting just .202/.282/.326. While Milwaukee GM David Stearns has made his share of shrewd moves since taking over the team’s baseball operations department, the decision to flip Martin Maldonado to the Angels in exchange for Bandy likely ranks among his most regrettable swaps, as Maldonado has provided more with the bat and also took home an AL Gold Glove last season in his first year with the Halos.

    Arcia, meanwhile, looked to have gone a long way toward establishing himself as a regular in the Milwaukee infield last season. After struggling as a 21-year-old in his debut back in 2016, the longtime top prospect hit .277/.324/.407 with 15 home runs and 14 stolen bases last season. The 2018 season, however, has proven to be a full course reversal at the dish.

    Through 146 trips to the dish this season, Arcia has mustered a feeble .194/.233/.273 slash with two homers and five doubles. His walk rate is down two percent, his strikeout rate is up five percent, and his 28.6 percent hard-contact rate is considerably south of the league average. Arcia has contributed quality glovework, to be sure, but that apparently wasn’t deemed enough to salvage his spot on the roster for the time being.

    Tyler Saladino figures to be the primary beneficiary of the Brewers’ decision to offer Arcia a mental reset of sorts, as he’s hit well in his brief time since being acquired from the White Sox and offers a solid glove in his own right. While the 28-year-old certainly doesn’t possess the same upside as Arcia, who once ranked as one of the game’s 10 to 15 top overall prospects, he’ll serve as a stopgap while Arcia seeks to remedy his swing and improve upon his plate discipline in a lower-pressure setting.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Brewers Activate Chase Anderson, Option Freddy Peralta]]> 2018-05-22T20:14:02Z 2018-05-22T13:41:41Z
  • The Brewers activated righty Chase Anderson from the DL to take the ball yesterday, optioning Freddy Peralta to open a roster spot. It’s certainly good news for Milwaukee that Anderson was able to bounce back quickly from illness; now, the 30-year-old will look go get back on track after a messy start to the year. He has managed a 3.86 ERA in 51 1/3 frames, but has showing worrying trends in his peripherals that have fielding-independent pitching metrics raising red flags (6.02 FIP; 5.36 xFIP; 5.16 SIERA). The brief respite for Anderson may not have been the worst thing for all involved. In addition to giving him a chance to get sorted, the team surely now feels like it has a better sense of Peralta’s potential to help at the MLB level in the near term. His second outing wasn’t quite as stirring as his first, to be sure, but Peralta impressed overall by allowing just four earned runs on four hits while recording 18 strikeouts against eight walks in 9 2/3 innings.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Brewers Transactions: Pennington, Betancourt]]> 2018-05-20T04:50:04Z 2018-05-20T04:49:26Z
  • Brewers righty Josh Pennington has retired, Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. The 22-year-old made the decision after suffering a shoulder injury, per Rosiak. Pennington, a 29th-round pick of the Red Sox in 2014, joined the Brewers in December 2016 as part of a trade that featured more prominent names in Travis Shaw, Tyler Thornburg and Mauricio Dubon. He opened 2018 at the Single-A level, concluding his career with a pair of scoreless innings.
  • More from Rosiak, who reports that the Brewers have released infielder Javier Betancourt. He also came to the Brewers in a trade – a 2015 swap in which they sent reliever Francisco Rodriguez to Detroit. Betancourt was a promising prospect at the time, but he struggled to produce from 2016-17 as a member of the Brewers’ Double-A affiliate, with whom he hit .233/.286/.344 in 744 plate appearances. The 23-year-old then suffered a gunshot wound to the arm in his native Venezuela last November, but fortunately, he avoided any life-threatening injuries.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Jimmy Nelson's Recovery]]> 2018-05-20T02:34:51Z 2018-05-20T02:34:06Z Greg Holland’s short tenure with the Cardinals took another disastrous turn Saturday when the once-dominant reliever got the loss against the Phillies, who scored twice on him in 2/3 of an inning. Holland, whom the Cards guaranteed $14MM after he went through spring training unemployed, has now pitched to a sky-high 7.30 ERA with astoundingly poor strikeout and walk rates (6.57 K/9, 10.22 BB/9) across 12 1/3 innings this season. Nevertheless, there’s no indication the the Cardinals will ask him to head to the minors to work through his issues, Joe Trezza of tweets. Even if the Redbirds were interested in demoting Holland, they’d need the 32-year-old’s consent to do so. It doesn’t appear they’d receive it, though, as Holland “flatly denounced the idea” of going down, Trezza writes.

    • In better news for the Cardinals, ace Carlos Martinez received “encouraging” results on the right shoulder MRI he underwent this week, according to president John Mozeliak (Twitter link via Rob Rains of STLSportsPage). Martinez is on track to begin a throwing program Monday and return to the Cards’ rotation within one or two weeks, Rains adds. The fireballer has been out since May 8, before which he notched a 1.62 ERA/3.38 FIP across 50 innings.
    • Although the Royals own the majors’ second-worst record (14-31) and look like sellers in the making, they’re not yet focused on trades, general manager Dayton Moore tells Jeffrey Flanagan of “It all depends on where we’re at when that time comes,” Moore said. “Honestly, we’ve never been a team that has traded many guys off the 25-man roster. We’ll see where we are. There’s no reason to make advance decisions on that.” For now, the Moore-led Royals are more concerned about June’s draft, in which they own five of the first 58 picks, Flanagan points out. Once the draft’s in the rearview mirror, the Royals may have at least a few potential trade chips in contract-year veterans Mike Moustakas, Kelvin Herrera, Jon Jay, Lucas Duda and Alcides Escobar; speculatively, though, quality returns may be hard to come by in most of those cases.
    • The Pirates plan to activate second baseman Josh Harrison from the disabled list Sunday, manager Clint Hurdle told Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and other reporters Saturday. Harrison has been out since mid-April with a fractured left hand, and fellow second base options Sean Rodriguez, Max Moroff and Adam Frazier haven’t been particularly productive in his absence. The club optioned Moroff to Triple-A on Saturday.
    • As is the case with Martinez, the outlook for Brewers righty Jimmy Nelson is also positive. Nelson, who’s working back from the right shoulder surgery he underwent last September, got good news after his visit with Dr. Neal ElAttrache this week, per Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He’s now at the beginning of a 10-day rest period, Rosiak reports.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brewers Place Ryan Braun On Disabled List]]> 2018-05-18T02:39:43Z 2018-05-18T02:12:42Z
  • The Brewers announced that Ryan Braun has been placed on the 10-day DL, retroactive to Monday, with tightness in his back. They’ll announce a corresponding move tomorrow. The injury doesn’t sound to be especially serious at present, but Braun has been battling the discomfort for some time now and performing poorly as a result, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes. Taking even the minimum 10 days off could help to get him back on track. The 34-year-old Braun hit .258/.304/.473 in April, but his bat cratered with a .121/.167/.242 slash thus far in the month of May.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Stephen Vogt To Undergo Shoulder Surgery]]> 2018-05-16T00:48:35Z 2018-05-16T00:48:35Z Brewers catcher Stephen Vogt met with Dr. Neal ElAttrache to have another examination of his ailing shoulder and received an unfortunate but largely expected diagnosis, reports Adam McCalvy of (Twitter links). He’ll require season-ending shoulder surgery that could threaten his career.

    The 33-year-old Vogt was emotional last week when talking to reporters about the injury, which he sustained when making a throw to third base on a recent minor league rehab assignment. Vogt’s shoulder is said to have damage in each of the rotator cuff, labrum and anterior capsule, making the surgical procedure he’ll require extremely complex.

    It’ll be the second major shoulder surgery of Vogt’s career, and the veteran backstop acknowledged last week that having been through a similar process before, there are “big implications” he’s being forced to think about. “I felt everything go wrong that could go wrong with a shoulder,” Vogt said at the time.

    Vogt, commonly cited as a significant clubhouse fixture for both the Athletics and the Brewers (who acquired him last summer) is by all accounts beloved by both teammates and fans, as evidenced by the popular “I believe in Stephen Vogt” chants at O.Co Coliseum and the corresponding t-shirts created by fans. A two-time All-Star, Vogt is a career .251/.310/.416 hitter in parts of six big league seasons and slashed .254/.281/.508 with eight homers in just 129 plate appearances for the Brewers down the stretch last season.

    [Related: Milwaukee Brewers depth chart]

    With Vogt now decidedly out of the catching mix in Milwaukee, the Brewers will continue to rely on Manny Pina and Jett Bandy behind the plate. However, neither player has produced much offensively this season, which could push the Brewers to eventually give a longer look to either Jacob Nottingham or Christian Bethancourt. Giving Bethancourt a look would require a 40-man roster move for the Brewers. Vogt is already on the 60-day DL, so he couldn’t be transferred there as a means of clearing room.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Brewers To Place Chase Anderson On DL]]> 2018-05-13T03:54:33Z 2018-05-13T03:32:09Z The Brewers will place right-hander Chase Anderson on the 10-day disabled list because of a stomach illness, according to a team announcement. His roster spot will go to righty Freddy Peralta, who’s coming up from Triple-A to make his major league debut Sunday.

    Anderson was scheduled to take the ball Saturday in Colorado, but he was physically unable to pitch, leaving the Brewers to plug in lefty Brent Suter for a spot start. Suter struggled over five innings, and the Brewers dropped a 4-0 decision to fall to a still-solid 23-17 on the season. Some of Milwaukee’s success in 2018 has come thanks to Anderson, who leads the team in innings pitched (45.1) and ranks second among its starters in ERA (3.97).

    While Anderson has prevented runs at a palatable clip, his other numbers aren’t particularly encouraging. Anderson’s strikeout (5.96 K/9) and walk (3.18 BB/9) rates have gone in the wrong direction since a breakout 2017, when he managed 8.47 and 2.61 in those categories, and he has only induced ground balls at a 36.4 percent clip. Thanks partially to his fly ball tendencies, Anderson has allowed 1.99 home runs per nine – up from .89 last season.

    Anderson may well regress toward his subpar 6.02 FIP when he returns from the DL, but this is still an unfortunate development for the Brewers. They now have four established starters on the DL, with Jimmy Nelson, Zach Davies and Wade Miley being the others. Their injuries have opened the door for the 21-year-old Peralta, acquired as part of a 2015 trade with the Mariners centering on first baseman Adam Lind.

    Peralta, who began his Brewers tenure at the Single-A level, now ranks as the club’s ninth-best prospect at He opened the year at Triple-A Colorado Springs, a difficult environment for pitchers, and posted a 3.63 ERA/3.12 FIP with 11.94 K/9, 4.41 BB/9 and a 53.6 percent grounder rate over 34 2/3 innings (seven starts).

    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Brewers Select Alec Asher, Wade Miley To 60-Day DL]]> 2018-05-12T19:53:15Z 2018-05-12T19:43:21Z The Brewers have selected the contract of 26-year-old right-hander Alec Asher from Triple-A Colorado Springs. They’ve optioned right-hander Jacob Barnes to Triple-A while transferring lefty Wade Miley to the 60-Day DL to make room for Asher on the 25- and 40-man rosters, respectively.

    Asher will be making both his 2018 debut and his Brewers debut if and when he pitches for the club. While he sports a very low career K/9 (5.86) across 116 2/3 career innings, he’s also somewhat stingy with walks (2.85 BB/9). Asher’s also pitched in the majors for the Phillies and Orioles, and has spent time in the farm systems of the Dodgers and Rangers.

    The news of Miley going to the 60-day DL isn’t earth-shattering. Reports yesterday surfaced saying that the lefty’s updated timetable to return from an oblique strain involved a late-June target, despite an earlier rough estimate that he’d only be out four to six weeks. Miley opened the season rehabbing a groin injury, so he’s already taking his second trip to the DL since signing a minors deal with the Brew Crew in the offseason.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brewers Add Darren Seferina On Minors Deal]]> 2018-05-11T15:40:32Z 2018-05-11T15:40:32Z
  • The Brewers announced late Thursday that they’ve signed second baseman Darren Seferina to a minor league deal. The former Cardinals’ farmhand was a fifth-round pick back in 2014 and opened the 2018 season in Double-A, where he struggled considerably. But Seferina, 24, split the 2017 season between Class-A Advanced and Double-A, faring well at both levels and hitting a combined .278/.357/.409 with seven homers, 17 doubles, 10 triples and 19 stolen bases. He’s never been considered one of the Cardinals’ premium prospects, but he’s hit fairly well throughout his minor league tenure with the exception of the first few weeks of the 2018 season.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brewers Activate Corey Knebel; Wade Miley Out Four To Six Weeks]]> 2018-05-09T20:35:28Z 2018-05-09T20:30:37Z 3:30pm: Miley has been told he’ll miss four to six weeks with the oblique strain (Twitter link via Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

    May 9, 9:44am: Milwaukee has announced the moves. Franklin is indeed going to the DL, with infielder Tyler Saladino called up to take his place on the active roster.

    May 8: The Brewers announced that Wade Miley left tonight’s start with a strained right oblique muscle. He’s headed to the disabled list (Twitter link via’s Adam McCalvy), while closer Corey Knebel is set to be activated from the DL tomorrow. It’s also possible that infielder Nick Franklin is headed for the DL after incurring an injury on the very day he returned to the big leagues. McCalvy tweets that he left tonight’s game with a quadriceps strain and is “likely” to hit the DL.

    Miley’s injury comes less than a week after he was activated from the disabled list for a groin strain that cost him the first month of the season. The 31-year-old veteran notched a very solid quality start in his first outing, allowing one run through six innings, but he exited tonight’s game after recording just one out when he injured his oblique while delivering a pitch. There’s no timeline on his return, but it’s common for players to spend around a month on the disabled list for Grade 1 strains and considerably longer for Grade 2 strains.

    With Miley heading to the DL and likely to miss several starts, the Brewers may once again turn to southpaw Brent Suter. The 28-year-old lefty just moved to the ’pen to accommodate Miley, but he showed that he’s still plenty stretched out by coming in and posting 4 2/3 innings of quality relief in Miley’s place tonight. Zach Davies is also on the DL with some mild inflammation in his right shoulder, so the Brewers will need to fill two spots for the time being, although Davies’ absence is expected to be extremely minimal. Prospect Brandon Woodruff is on-hand in Triple-A and could be viewed as an option for the Brewers to step into the starting mix alongside Suter.

    [Related: Milwaukee Brewers depth chart]

    Knebel landed on the disabled list on April 6 after collapsing on the mound while delivering a pitch. He had to be helped off the field and looked to be in excruciating pain, though the diagnosis ultimately proved to be more favorable than expected upon seeing the initial injury. The Brewers initially believed that Knebel would miss “at least” six weeks, but he’ll return to the club in a bit under five weeks after suffering his injury.

    If Franklin requires a DL trip, the Brewers could give Eric Sogard another look, though he consented to an optional assignment today in an effort to get his swing sorted out in the minors. Tyler Saladino would be another option who is already on the 40-man roster and has plenty of middle infield experience in the Majors. And Jonathan Villar, of course, is still with the big league club as well, though he’s had a lackluster season at the plate so far in 2018.

    It’s been an eventful day on the injury front in Milwaukee. The Brewers learned earlier today that Mauricio Dubon, one of their top infield prospects who’d been in the mix for a call to the Majors, will miss the remainder of the year following a torn ACL. And the news is somehow even more grim for veteran catcher and beloved clubhouse leader Stephen Vogt, who suffered damage to his anterior capsule, rotator cuff and labrum in his throwing shoulder and is now faced with the possibility of career-threatening surgery.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Stephen Vogt Suffers Career-Threatening Shoulder Injury; Mauricio Dubon Tears ACL]]> 2018-05-08T23:48:54Z 2018-05-08T23:47:22Z 6:47pm: Vogt’s injury puts not only the remainder of the 2018 season in jeopardy but could also be career-threatening, Haudricourt explains in a full column on the matter. Vogt suffered damage to the anterior capsule, the rotator cuff and the labrum in his right shoulder while making a throw to third base in a rehab game this weekend. The veteran fought back tears when describing the injury to reporters (Twitter link with video, via McCalvy). He’ll head to L.A. to be evaluated by renowned surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache later this week.

    “The biggest emotion is sadness,” said Vogt. “It’s hard. I’m upset. … Obviously, there are big implications here with a second shoulder injury like this that I don’t like to think about but I am thinking about. I felt everything go wrong that could go wrong with a shoulder.”

    4:02pm: The Brewers announced on Tuesday that infield prospect Mauricio Dubon has suffered a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the season. The tough injury news didn’t stop there, either, as GM David Stearns told reporters that catcher Stephen Vogt has re-injured the anterior capsule in his right shoulder and also has some damage in his rotator cuff (Twitter link via Adam McCalvy of He’s headed for a second opinion, but season-ending surgery is possible for Vogt, McCalvy adds. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, meanwhile, tweets that surgery is “inevitable.”

    Both bits of news are significant for the Brewers. Stearns revealed today that Dubon was in consideration for his first call to the Major Leagues when he incurred the injury. The 23-year-old, acquired alongside Travis Shaw in the Tyler Thornburg swap with the Red Sox two winters ago, was hitting .343/.348/.574 with four homers, nine doubles, two triples and six stolen bases in 114 plate appearances with Triple-A Colorado Springs. He’d have been just the second native of Honduras to reach the Majors, per Baseball-Reference, though that distinction will now be placed on hold for at least a season. (Former Astros outfielder Gerald Young was the first.)

    As for Vogt, there won’t be any definitive word on his status until he receives further opinions from additional medical experts, but the outlook certainly isn’t promising. He’d been near a return prior to aggravating the shoulder in a rehab appearance with Double-A Biloxi over the weekend, per Haudricourt. Vogt’s return might’ve come at the expense of struggling backup Jett Bandy, who is out of minor league options, but Bandy’s spot on the club now looks more secure with Vogt sidelined indefinitely. (Christian Bethancourt and Jacob Nottingham are both hitting quite well in Triple-A, however, providing additional in-house alternatives.)

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Brewers Select Nick Franklin, Option Eric Sogard]]> 2018-05-08T20:12:17Z 2018-05-08T20:12:17Z The Brewers have selected the contract of utilityman Nick Franklin, per a club announcement. He’ll take the active roster spot of infielder Eric Sogard, who has been optioned.

    To open a 40-man spot, the club has shifted catcher Stephen Vogt to the 60-day DL. That means he won’t be eligible to return until the end of the month. It seems, though, that the veteran receiver has suffered a setback in his efforts to return from a shoulder injury, as Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweets. We’ll have to await further word before assessing.

    The news represents a disappointing turn for Sogard, who signed a one-year, $2.4MM deal to return to Milwaukee before he even formally reached free agency. Sogard, 31, had turned in his best season at the plate at the MLB level in 2017. But he’s off to a brutal start this year, with a .100/.194/.150 slash over 68 plate appearances.

    As for Franklin, he’s back in the majors for a sixth-straight season. Once a top prospect, Franklin has never quite consistently produced at the game’s highest level. In his 921 total plate appearances in the bigs, he’s a .213/.285/.360 hitter.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Prospect Mauricio Dubon Headed For Tests On Injured Knee]]> 2018-05-07T20:37:36Z 2018-05-07T20:37:36Z
  • Some Brewers fans have clamored for a promotion of infield prospect Mauricio Dubon, who has a 23-game hitting streak going in Triple-A, but Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Dubon incurred a knee injury over the weekend and is headed to Milwaukee to be examined by team physician Dr. William Raasch. Farm director Tom Flanagan tells Haudricourt that the hope is that Dubon is dealing only with a strain, though the organization won’t know until further testing and imaging is performed. Dubon suffered the injury while executing a rundown in Saturday’s game. Acquired alongside Travis Shaw in the Tyler Thornburg deal with the Red Sox, Dubon is hitting .343/.348/.574 with four homers and six steals in 114 plate appearances this season.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Stephen Vogt Has Setback In Rehab Assignment]]> 2018-05-07T02:56:45Z 2018-05-07T02:56:45Z
  • Stephen Vogt removed himself from a minor league rehab game on Saturday with another shoulder problem, the Brewers catcher told reporters (including Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).  Vogt “felt something pinch in my shoulder” during a throw to third base, and described the new problem as coming from a different area of his shoulder than the capsule strain that has sidelined him since late February.  Even a day after suffering the injury, Vogt said he was still “in a lot of pain” and was going to be examined by team doctors on Monday.  The ominous-sounding situation doesn’t bode well for Vogt or the Brewers’ catching mix, as the Manny Pina/Jett Bandy tandem hasn’t contributed much at the plate over the first month-plus of the season.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Indians Acquire Oliver Drake From Brewers]]> 2018-05-05T14:40:04Z 2018-05-05T13:57:39Z Right-hander Oliver Drake, whom the Brewers designated for assignment on Tuesday, has been traded to the Indians for cash considerations. The move was announced by Milwaukee via its Twitter account. The Indians have yet to announce a corresponding move.

    On the surface, it’s not difficult to understand why the Brewers designated Drake for assignment; he sports an alarming 6.70 ERA on the season while walking a whopping 8 batters in just 12 2/3 innings on the young season. But while the walk rate is certainly a valid concern, the bloated ERA can be blamed in part on an absurd .400 batting average on balls in play against the righty. That’s been one contributing factor towards a 59.1% strand rate; league average usually sits around 70-72%, while Drake’s career average comes in just under that range at 67.7%. In short, he certainly has nobody to blame but himself for the runners he put on base via free passes, but he’s also suffered from some considerably poor fortune as far as those runners crossing the plate.

    The positive signs offer some encouragement for Drake’s outlook with his new club. His 10.66 K/9 so far is a career-high mark, about a batter per nine above his career rate of 10.11. He’s also induced ground balls from 52.9% of opposing hitters this season, which sits just outside the top 25% of qualified relievers in MLB. And while Drake’s 6.70 ERA on the year is an eyesore, his 2.70 FIP is a much more palatable figure and suggests he’s likely to make some improvements in the run-prevention arena.

    If he can just improve his control a bit, it’s certainly possible the Indians could end up with another surprise diamond in the rough, as they did last year with both Nick Goody and Tyler Olson. That would be a welcome sigh of relief for a club that’s feeling the pains of losing relief ace Andrew Miller to the DL; their bullpen sports an ERA north of nine in his absence and has shuffled through a small army of relievers in the past four days alone (as’s Jordan Bastian recently noted). Regardless of whether Drake can perform at a high level, it’s a low-risk move for a club in desperate need of some stability in its relief corps.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Davies Placed On DL, Only Expected To Miss One Start]]> 2018-05-04T03:58:58Z 2018-05-04T03:54:52Z
  • The Brewers announced tonight that righty Zach Davies is going on the 10-day disabled list due to some inflammation in his right rotator cuff. However, with two off days coming in the next week, the team added that it only expects Davies to miss one start. A corresponding move will be made tomorrow. The 25-year-old Davies has started off the 2018 season with a 4.24 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 1.32 HR/9 and a 48 percent ground-ball rate through his first 34 innings. His placement on the DL is retroactive to April 30, so he can be activated in a week’s time.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brewers Select Wade Miley’s Contract, Designate Oliver Drake]]> 2018-05-02T03:04:03Z 2018-05-02T02:53:10Z The Brewers announced that they’ll formally select the contract of left-hander Wade Miley prior to tomorrow’s game and designate right-hander Oliver Drake for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster. Miley, who signed a minor league deal with the Brewers but opened the season rehabbing a groin injury, will be added to the Brewers’ rotation now that his rehab assignment has been completed.

    The 31-year-old Miley has made three rehab starts with Milwuakee’s Double-A affiliate, totaling 11 2/3 innings and allowing four earned runs on a dozen hits and two walks with 14 strikeouts. The former D-backs/Red Sox/Mariners/Orioles southpaw is coming off a dreadful stint with the O’s, having limped to a 5.75 ERA  in a season-plus in Baltimore, but he’s posted a 35-to-10 K/BB ratio in the Brewers organization between Spring Training and his rehab stint (31 2/3 innings).

    [Related: Milwaukee Brewers depth chart]

    He’ll join a Milwaukee rotation that includes Chase Anderson, Zach Davies, Jhoulys Chacin and Junior Guerra for the time being as they await the return of Jimmy Nelson from shoulder surgery. Miley is stepping into the rotation spot of fellow southpaw Brent Suter, who has already been moved to the bullpen in advance of the widely anticipated addition of Miley to the starting mix.

    Drake, meanwhile, has gotten off to a miserable start to his 2018 season, yielding nine runs on 14 hits and eight walks in 12 2/3 innings. To his credit, he’s punched out 15 hitters in that time and induced grounders at a well-above-average 52.9 percent clip while not allowing a home run. The righty has totaled 102 1/3 innings in the Majors between the Orioles and Brewers, averaging better than 10 strikeouts per nine innings with solid ground-ball tendencies, though he’s been haunted by shaky control and a strand rate that falls quite a bit below the league average.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Brewers Succeeding With Versatile Bullpen]]> 2018-04-30T01:54:11Z 2018-04-30T01:54:11Z
  • While closer Corey Knebel has been on the DL, the Brewers’ adoption of a fully situational bullpen has been a big success, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes.  Manager Craig Counsell has been deploying his pitchers simply as “out-getters,” in his words, and not worrying about using specific arms in specific roles.  Entering today’s play, Brewers relievers had a cumulative 2.50 ERA (third-best in baseball) despite heavy usage, as the team has the fourth-most bullpen innings of any club in the league.  This outstanding relief effort has helped the Brewers offset some pretty middling numbers from the starting rotation.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Brewers To Add Wade Miley To Roster]]> 2018-04-29T16:41:11Z 2018-04-29T16:21:07Z The Brewers will add left-hander Wade Miley to their roster, according to a team announcement. He’ll start Wednesday’s game in Cincinnati, thus sending fellow southpaw Brent Suter to the bullpen. Milwaukee will have to make corresponding 40- and 25-man moves by then.

    The Brewers had been facing a weekend deadline to either promote Miley to their roster or release him back into free agency. The decision was supposed to come back in late March, but the team was able to put it off after Miley went to the disabled list with a slight groin tear. The 31-year-old, who inked a minors pact in the offseason and will now earn a $2.5MM salary in the majors, looked like a decent bet to earn a rotation spot before his injury. He’ll now do so at the expense of Suter, who made six starts prior to Sunday and registered a 5.34 ERA/3.81 FIP, 6.53 K/9 against 2.08 BB/9, and a 32 percent groundball rate during that 30 1/3-inning span.

    Like Suter this year, Miley has struggled to prevent runs recently. He posted ERAs in the fives over the previous two seasons – one divided between Seattle and Baltimore, the other solely with the Orioles – leading to an inability to secure a major league contract over the winter. At his best, Miley was a capable workhorse with the Diamondbacks and Red Sox from 2012-16, a period in which he ranked 14th in the majors in innings (958 1/3) and logged a 4.17 ERA/3.86 FIP with 7.12 K/9, 2.73 BB/9 and a 48.5 percent grounder mark.

    Miley will now join a Brewers rotation that has managed the game’s eighth-best ERA (3.64), though the unit ranks a far less encouraging 18th in fWAR. Regardless, the hopeful playoff contenders have fared nicely in the early going (16-12) despite not having their 2017 ace, Jimmy Nelson, who’s working back from September shoulder surgery.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Brewers Have Decision To Make On Wade Miley]]> 2018-04-29T00:53:42Z 2018-04-29T00:52:16Z
  • Brewers southpaw Wade Miley, out since late March with a slight groin tear, made his third and final rehab start Friday. The Brewers now must decide within the next two days whether to add Miley to their roster or release him, Adam McCalvy of writes. If the Brewers do keep Miley, whom they signed to a minor league deal over the winter, they could option starter Brent Suter or reliever Brandon Woodruff to Triple-A to make room, McCalvy notes. But it’s “a tough decision” because Milwaukee’s staff has fared well thus far without Miley, manager Craig Counsell admitted.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Buxton, Sano, Ervin, Knebel, Williamson]]> 2018-04-28T17:18:23Z 2018-04-28T16:58:59Z Byron Buxton has a hairline fracture in his left toe, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports on Twitter. According to Hayes, the Twins hopes to have a better idea on his return timeline by the end of the homestand. As Hayes wrote previously, the team has missed Buxton while he’s been sidelined; seven of the club’s eight wins have come with the speedster patrolling center field. It’s worth noting, though, that while Buxton has played typically great defense in the outfield grass, he’s scuffled to a .195/.233/.244 batting line at the plate.

    More injury notes from around the league…

    • Speaking of the Twins, Miguel Sano will sit out today’s game due to hamstring tightness (h/t Rhett Bollinger of Sano, who owns a .450 slugging percentage on the season with five homers and a 40% K rate, barely ran out a ground ball in his last at-bat during yesterday’s game. It’s unclear how long he’ll need to rest. Meanwhile, there’s a positive sign for the Twins: Ervin Santana is making progress and has already practiced throwing his change-up, according to Hayes. He’s reportedly close to throwing off a mound. The club will be anxiously awaiting his return, as their starters as a group sit in the bottom half of MLB in ERA and FIP and dead last in innings pitched.
    • Brewers closer Corey Knebel is very excited about his progress with his hamstring strain, Tom Haudricort of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. He’ll reportedly throw one more bullpen session before heading out on a rehab assignment. It seems likely that Knebel will be able to return by mid-May. Josh Hader, Matt Albers and Jacob Barnes have closed out games in his absence, collecting six saves; that group has combined for a sub-1.25 ERA on the season, so Knebel’s return will make for a truly formidable late-inning crew.
    • It looks as though Giants outfielder Mac Williamson will avoid the concussion DL, as manager Bruce Bochy expects him to start tomorrow (h/t Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic). There was a fear that Williamson might have suffered a concussion after a collision with the outfield wall on Tuesday, but the 27-year-old appears to have dodged any serious injury. Williamson already has three homers for San Francisco in just 19 plate appearances.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Eric Thames Undergoes Surgery For Torn Thumb Ligament]]> 2018-04-27T23:27:10Z 2018-04-27T23:27:37Z FRIDAY: Thames underwent surgery and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks, the club announced.

    WEDNESDAY, 2:51pm: Milwaukee GM David Stearns tells reporters that Thames will likely require surgery, though that determination is not yet finalized (Twitter link via Adam McCalvy of The team still expects to have Thames back in the fold for a “significant” portion of the 2018 campaign, Stearns further adds.

    2:39pm: The Brewers announced Wednesday that first baseman/outfielder Eric Thames has been placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. Right-hander Brandon Woodruff has been recalled from Triple-A to fill Thames’ spot on the roster.

    Milwaukee didn’t provide a timeline for Thames’ absence, though this type of injury has cost players anywhere from six to eight weeks in the past and typically requires surgical repair. Yadier Molina (twice), Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Dustin Pedroia are among the notable names to have experienced a UCL tear in the thumb over the past few seasons.

    Thames, 31, was off to a terrific start in Milwaukee, hitting a robust .250/.351/.625 with seven homers and three doubles through his first 74 plate appearances of the season. He sustained the injury when making a diving stab at first base in the eighth inning of last night’s game, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

    The loss of a slugger hitting as well as Thames has been to open the season stings for the Brewers, of course, though Milwaukee has a considerable amount of corner depth to help soften the blow. Many fans and pundits, myself included, were surprised to see the Brewers hang onto all of their outfielders and first baseman Jesus Aguilar after adding both Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich this offseason. But, their decision to do so could now allow the Brewers to shift Ryan Braun to first base more often while deploying a strong outfield mix of Yelich, Cain and Domingo Santana. Aguilar, too, seems likely to see some increased reps at first base with Thames out for what could be an absence of two months.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brewers Outright Alec Asher]]> 2018-04-23T20:29:44Z 2018-04-23T20:29:44Z Right-hander Alec Asher has cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Triple-A Colorado Springs after being designated for assignment last week, as first reflected on the Transactions page. He’ll remain with the organization and hope to pitch his way into consideration for a look in the Majors later this season.

    The 26-year-old Asher has appeared in 36 big league games over the past three seasons, 18 of them starts, splitting his time between the Phillies (2015-16) and Orioles (2017). Baltimore designated him for assignment when setting its Opening Day roster, and was claimed by the Dodgers and then the Brewers before ultimately clearing the third time he was attempted to be put through waivers.

    Last year with the Orioles, Asher totaled 60 innings with a 47-to-23 K/BB and 5.25 ERA. While the righty demonstrated an ability to pitch out of both the rotation and bullpen in multi-inning stints, he also served up 10 homers in last year’s 60 frames. He’ll head to Triple-A with a 3.74 ERA, 6.3 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 173 1/3 innings of work at that level (including a brief three-inning appearance with the Dodgers this year).

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Brewers Acquire Tyler Saladino, Designate Alec Asher]]> 2018-04-20T15:54:32Z 2018-04-20T00:19:02Z The Brewers have acquired infielder Tyler Saladino from the White Sox, per a club announcement. Cash will go to Chicago in the swap.

    Milwaukee has designated recently acquired righty Alec Asher for assignment to create roster space. He’ll either continue his tour of the league via waiver wire or end up finally clearing and being outrighted. To this point in the season, Asher has already been placed on waivers by both the Orioles and Dodgers, though he’s obviously yet to clear.

    Saladino, 28, has been a heavily used reserve on the South Side since the start of the 2015 season. He has had his moments, particularly during a solid 2016 campaign, but in the aggregate has only managed a .231/.281/.330 slash in 863 total plate appearances. Of course, he’s valued more for his versatile fielding ability and will provide the Brewers organization with some depth in that regard. Saladino has played all over the infield in addition to cameos at all three outfield spots. Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating are particularly bullish on his work at second base and third base, though he’s no stranger to shortstop, either, having logged 429 big league innings there.

    [Related: Updated Brewers depth chart and White Sox depth chart]

    Saladino entered the season with two years, 87 days of Major League service time, meaning he’ll likely be arbitration eligible if he spends any meaningful amount of time on the Brewers’ Major League roster. He does have two minor league option seasons remaining (including 2018), though, so it’s possible that he still falls shy.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Decision On Wade Miley Looming For Brewers]]> 2018-04-19T01:58:08Z 2018-04-19T01:51:41Z
  • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel passes along some Brewers injury news, reporting that Wade Miley’s first rehab start went smoothly and adding that he’ll start again on Sunday (Twitter links). At that point, the Brewers will likely have to make a decision whether they’ll add him to the big league rotation or keep him in the minors for another rehab outing. Additionally, lefty Boone Logan threw a bullpen session for the first time since injuring his left triceps muscle — a notable first step in his debut in the Milwaukee ’pen.
  • ]]>
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Offseason In Review: Milwaukee Brewers]]> 2018-04-18T15:10:16Z 2018-04-18T15:01:28Z This is the latest entry in MLBTR’s 2017-18 Offseason In Review series. Click here to read the other completed reviews from around the league.

    Milwaukee’s rebuild reaped significant benefits faster than most anticipated in 2017, setting the stage for an active but also puzzling offseason from GM David Stearns & Co.

    Major League Signings

    Trades and Claims

    Notable Minor League Signings


    • Chase Anderson, RHP: Two years, $11.75MM plus club options for 2020 ($8.5MM) and 2021 ($9.5MM)

    Notable Losses

    Needs Addressed

    Milwaukee’s needs on the pitching staff received the lion’s share of attention headed into the offseason, which was understandable following staff ace Jimmy Nelson’s shoulder surgery. But the Brew Crew also had some fairly notable needs on the offensive end of the spectrum as well. The Brewers did hit the seventh-most homers in MLB last year, but they nonetheless ranked 20th in the Majors in runs scored. Their collective output against lefties (.248/.321/.413, 89 wRC+) ranked 24th in the Majors, while their production against right-handers (.250/.323/.434, 94 wRC+) wasn’t dramatically better.

    Lorenzo Cain

    The Brewers’ primary means of bolstering the offense came in effectively swapping out Keon Broxton for Lorenzo Cain, who inked the third-largest contract of any position player this offseason and the fourth-largest overall at five years and $80MM. Milwaukee also shipped out a four-player package headlined by Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison to acquire a whopping five seasons of Christian Yelich — all of which figure to be prime years.

    The outfield, of course, didn’t look like a huge need for the Brewers on paper, and it’s arguable that it wasn’t a need at all. However, manager Craig Counsell should have around 2600 to 2700 plate appearances to divide up primarily between Cain, Yelich, Domingo Santana, Ryan Braun and Eric Thames in a rotation of players in the outfield at at first base (where Braun and Thames will factor most prominently).

    Christian Yelich

    The depth allows Thames (.182/.270/.394 vs. lefties in 2017) to be platooned, and the group of Cain, Braun, Santana and occasional first baseman Jesus Aguilar gives Counsell plenty of possibilities versus lefties. The club has also held onto righty-swinging first bagger Ji-Man Choi after his eye-opening spring, though he’s currently on optional assignment. Plus, Broxton and Brett Phillips are both still on hand as outfield options should injuries necessitate. That level of depth is hard to find throughout the league.

    That’s not to say, either, that the Brewers didn’t address their pitching staff at all. Jhoulys Chacin has quietly been a quality arm for the Angels and Padres over the past two seasons. It’s a bit too rudimentary to say Chacin needs to prove he can pitch outside of San Diego — his home/road splits were pronounced with the Halos as well — but he’ll certainly hope to pitch more consistently than over the past two seasons. The bottom-line results for Chacin have tended to even out in the end, though, and he’ll provide a veteran source of innings to an otherwise inexperienced rotation.

    In the ’pen, the Brewers added quantity but did not join in on the Winter Meetings’ relief craze. With premium annual values and multi-year deals for setup men en vogue — the Rockies led the way with more than $100MM worth of bullpen spending — the Brewers went the opposite route. Matt Albers was a late sign at a more traditionally expected rate and will look to prove to his doubters that last year’s brilliant season with the Nats was no fluke. Dan Jennings was a late-Spring steal at $750K, and he’ll pair with veteran Boone Logan (once healthy) and exciting youngster Josh Hader to give Counsell the left-handed depth he sorely lacked in 2017. (Yovani Gallardo was also signed to a non-guaranteed deal, but he didn’t make the cut out of Spring Training.)

    Questions Remaining

    The common belief once the Brewers acquired Yelich and Cain within mere hours of one another was that the front office would use its newfound outfield depth to trade for a rotation upgrade. Rumors persisted throughout the offseason, and Milwaukee remained connected to the likes of Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb throughout their respective time on the open market. In the end, though, Chacin was the lone rotation addition outside of a minor league deal for Wade Miley, who figures to get some starts for the Brewers once he recovers from a groin injury after showing well this spring.

    With Nelson out until midseason, then, Milwaukee’s rotation will consist of Chase Anderson, Zach Davies, Chacin and a combination of Brent Suter, Junior Guerra, Brandon Woodruff and, eventually, Miley. Clearly, it’s a group that is rife with uncertainty. Anderson and Davies impressed in 2017, and Chacin should be serviceable, but the rest of the group is less certain. Guerra had a nightmarish 2017 season, while Suter and Woodruff lack much in the way of a big league track record. Miley pitched poorly enough in 2016-17 that he had to settle for a minor league deal despite a history of durability.

    Brewers fans and onlookers wondered for the final several months of the winter when Stearns and his staff were going to make some kind of splash on the pitching market, but in retrospect, perhaps the opportunity for a meaningful upgrade on the trade front never materialized. Corner outfielders aren’t exactly in high demand these days, as both the trade and free-agent markets in the past couple of seasons have made abundantly clear.

    Santana had a nice season, to be sure, but being a 30-homer bat in a season that saw 74 players swat 25+ big flies doesn’t hold the same appeal as being a 30-homer bat would’ve been even three years prior. Add in a 31 percent career strikeout rate, and it’s plenty plausible that the offers for him simply didn’t include a rotation piece of note. Broxton and Phillips both have significant strikeout issues, and Phillips’ big year was at least somewhat fueled by BABIPs north of .400 in the Majors and the minors. The Brewers undoubtedly could’ve added some depth via trade, but if they felt that the best the market had to offer was arms with similar uncertainty to the ones they already possessed, then the lack of a deal is more justifiable.

    As far as free agency goes, a match with any of the big four starters seemed plenty plausible on paper, even as far back as November. Milwaukee never seemed keen on beating the market for one of the top arms, however, with the possible exception of Darvish, who instead went to the Cubs on what would’ve been a record deal for the Brewers.

    It’s somewhat of a surprise that Milwaukee seemingly didn’t play for Lynn, even when his market dipped to the point where he could be had on a one-year deal. The Brewers, after all, would’ve only been required to punt a third-round pick to sign Lynn, as they’d already surrendered a second-round pick in order to sign Cain earlier in the winter. Lynn’s strikeout, walk and home-run rates in 2017 were all questionable in 2017, but the Milwaukee rotation would still look more solid with him penciled into the middle.

    Elsewhere on the diamond, the Brewers looked to be a quality landing spot for Neil Walker, who thrived in Milwaukee following a trade from the Mets last season. There were longstanding rumors connecting the Crew to Ian Kinsler as well, but he went to the Angels while Walker landed on a one-year, $4MM deal with the Yankees. Milwaukee had already re-signed Eric Sogard, but they’ll now lean on the same mix of Sogard, Jonathan Villar and Hernan Perez that was shaky enough to prompt last August’s trade for Walker in the first place. If 2016 Villar resurfaces, all will be fine. But for a team that stockpiled depth so substantially in the outfield, it’s curious that the Brewers wouldn’t bring Walker back into the fold at a fairly minimal cost. It won’t be a surprise if they’re on the hunt for second base help again in two months’ time.


    Milwaukee’s offense, defense and overall outfield depth should be drastically improved with the additions of Cain and Yelich on long-term commitments. Those two acquisitions should help to deepen the lineup and create a more complete offense than last year’s deceptively home-run-dependent unit. It’s fair to wonder how Cain will hold up into his age-36 campaign, but those questions exist with any long-term deal for a position player. Though second base could eventually be an issue for the club, that’s a position that’ll be fairly easy to address on the trade market if the past couple of years are any indication.

    For the 2018 Brewers, the rotation will be the main focus of fans and critics alike. Pundits widely opined that the team was making a misstep by not making further additions. I’m of the mind that, except for a late one-year deal for Lynn that would’ve made some sense, the Brewers’ lack of activity was largely justifiable given that the supply of available outfielders dampened the value of their potential trade chips and given the prices for the other top free agents. But if the group they have in place right now falters and/or Nelson takes longer than anticipated to return, the Brewers will be in the market for rotation help this summer and forced to field questions as to why that need wasn’t more thoroughly addressed in the winter.

    How would you grade the Brewers’ offseason? (Link to poll for Trade Rumors app users.)

    Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brewers Claim Alec Asher From Dodgers]]> 2018-04-17T19:23:40Z 2018-04-17T19:20:40Z The Brewers announced that they’ve claimed right-hander Alec Asher off waivers from the Dodgers and optioned him to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Milwaukee had an open spot on its 40-man roster, so no corresponding move is necessary.

    Asher, 26, made six starts and 18 relief appearances for the Orioles last year, working to a total of 60 innings with a 47-to-23 K/BB. While the righty demonstrated an ability to pitch out of both the rotation and bullpen in multi-inning stints, he struggled to a 5.25 ERA and yielded 10 homers in last year’s 60 frames with the O’s. Asher does sport a quality 3.75 ERA in 170 1/3 innings of Triple-A work, where he’s averaged 6.4 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9. That he has a minor league option remaining only makes him more appealing. He can be shuttled back and forth from Triple-A this season as the Brewers see fit.

    With the Dodgers, Asher saw just one game in Triple-A, during which he worked three innings and allowed an earned run on three hits and no walks with one strikeout.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[J.J. Hoover Elects Free Agency]]> 2018-04-16T17:44:06Z 2018-04-16T17:44:07Z April 16: The Brewers announced this afternoon that Hoover has rejected his outright assignment and will instead elect free agency.

    April 15: Veteran reliever J.J. Hoover is staying with the Brewers after being designated for assignment earlier this week, per Adam McCalvy of (Twitter link). The 30-year-old right-hander will head to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

    Hoover, whom the Brewers added on a minor league pact in January, joined the big club on April 7. He then made two appearances, including a nightmarish second one against the Cardinals this past Tuesday. Hoover picked up both a blown save and a loss after surrendering three earned runs on four hits and a walk in an inning of work. As a result of that disastrous showing, he lost his place on Milwaukee’s 40- and 25-man rosters.

    Since debuting with the Reds in 2012, Hoover has enjoyed some success in the majors – including in 2017. As a member of the Diamondbacks last season, Hoover threw 41 1/3 innings of 3.92 ERA ball and notched 11.76 K/9. However, a 5.66 BB/9 and a 32.8 percent groundball rate helped prevent him from landing a major league deal over the winter. Hoover will now attempt to work his way back to the Brewers via the minors.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brewers To Recall Jacob Nottingham]]> 2018-04-16T16:15:54Z 2018-04-16T16:12:32Z The Brewers will recall catcher Jacob Nottingham from Triple-A Colorado Springs before tonight’s game, Adam McCalvy of reports. It’ll be the first taste of the Majors for Nottingham, who was acquired by Milwaukee in the trade that sent Khris Davis to Oakland. The 23-year-old Nottingham has had two rough seasons in Milwaukee’s system, posting a sub-.700 OPS at Double-A in both 2016 and 2017. He’s off to a fast start this year, however, hitting .296/.345/.519 through a tiny sample of 29 plate appearances. The corresponding 25-man move for Milwaukee isn’t yet clear, though primary catcher Manny Pina is day-to-day at the moment, as are Eric Thames and Ryan Braun, McCalvy notes. Nottingham doesn’t figure to be a long-term add for the time being, as Pina, Jett Bandy and Stephen Vogt (who is working his way back from a shoulder injury) all come with more experience.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Josh Hader Content In Relief Role]]> 2018-04-15T17:28:32Z 2018-04-15T17:28:05Z Although Brewers left-hander Josh Hader worked through the minor league ranks as a starting pitching prospect, he has served exclusively as a reliever since making his MLB debut last year. That’s OK with Hader, who has emerged as one of the game’s most dominant bullpen weapons during his 57 1/3-inning career. “I like the idea of coming out of the bullpen and attacking hitters,” he told Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “That plays to my strengths a little bit better.” Hader added that “being able to come in 1-2 innings every other day, that keeps me in shape and keeps my pitches more intact” (Twitter links). It’s hard to argue with the results – a 2.04 ERA with 14.13 K/9 against 3.92 BB/9. The 24-year-old is averaging upward of 20 strikeouts per nine early this season, thanks in part to his five-K performance against the Mets over two perfect innings on Saturday. Hader earned the first save of his career in that outing.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Brewers Notes: Yelich, Braun]]> 2018-04-15T03:17:59Z 2018-04-15T03:17:44Z
  • Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich is eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday, but the club won’t activate him then, Adam McCalvy of tweets. Yelich, who suffered an oblique injury last week, isn’t yet 100 percent, McCalvy notes. Meanwhile, fellow corner outfielder Ryan Braun left Saturday’s game against the Mets with back tightness, Adam Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was among those to report. Whether it’s problematic enough to lead to a DL stint isn’t yet known. Braun, of course, missed 58 games last year while dealing with various injuries.
  • ]]>
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Padres Claim Tyler Webb]]> 2018-04-14T18:16:56Z 2018-04-14T18:06:08Z The Padres announced that they have claimed southpaw Tyler Webb off waivers from the Brewers.  Webb will report to Triple-A, while Dinelson Lamet (who is slated for Tommy John surgery) will be shifted to the 60-day DL to create a 40-man roster spot.

    Milwaukee designated Webb for assignment last week, and the 27-year-old will now join his third different organization in less than a year.  Webb was selected by the Yankees in the 10th round of the 2013 draft, and he made his MLB debut in the pinstripes last season before being traded to the Brewers last July for Garrett Cooper.  Webb ended up tossing eight innings for New York and Milwaukee in his first taste of Major League action, and he’ll join Buddy Baumann as San Diego’s top minor league choices for a left-handed bullpen arm.  Southpaw relievers Kyle McGrath and Robbie Erlin currently have places on the 25-man roster, as well as closer Brad Hand.

    Webb has worked primarily as a reliever throughout his pro career, only making five starts in 156 career minor league appearances.  Over 264 2/3 frames in the minors, Webb has a 3.64 ERA, 11.2 K/9, and a 4.45 K/BB ratio.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Brewers Designate J.J. Hoover]]> 2018-04-11T15:38:21Z 2018-04-11T13:53:56Z The Brewers have designated righty J.J. Hoover for assignment, per a club announcement. Milwaukee cleared another roster spot by optioning outfielder Brett Phillips.

    These departures will make way for the addition of two new righties to the active roster. Junior Guerra and Jorge Lopez are both coming up to supplement the pitching staff.

    [RELATED: Updated Brewers Depth Chart]

    Hoover did not make the Milwaukee Opening Day roster out of camp, but was brought up just a week into the season. He ended up coughing up a game-ending home run last night. Even if the Brewers were willing to look past that performance, the club needed fresh arms and evidently decided that Hoover was the most expendable player on the roster.

    The move could cost the Brewers the chance to hang onto Hoover, who turned in a solid performance this spring. In his 10 1/3 frames, he allowed just one run on six hits, though he also recorded only five strikeouts. He also filled some useful innings last year for the Diamondbacks, posting a 3.92 ERA with 11.8 K/9 (on a career-high 12.0% swinging-strike rate) and 5.7 BB/9 in 41 1/3 innings.

    Instead, the team will give Lopez a shot at helping to bolster a relief unit that has worked more innings than those of all but three other teams. He spent most of 2017 as a swingman at the Double-A level, working to a 4.25 ERA with 9.1 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9. With a background as a starter, Lopez can perhaps offer some length to the Milwaukee pen.

    Guerra, meanwhile, is scheduled to start tonight’s game. The 33-year-old struggled last year after his astounding, late-career breakout in 2016. But he turned in a strong showing in camp and a nice first outing at Triple-A. The Brewers would obviously love to see Guerra return to something like the form he showed in ’16, when he ran up a 2.81 ERA in 121 2/3 innings, after watching their rotation limp to a 4.92 ERA through its first dozen collective starts on the season.

    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Brewers Place Christian Yelich on 10-Day DL]]> 2018-04-08T16:15:44Z 2018-04-08T16:11:48Z After letting him sit out a few games with a minor oblique injury, the Brewers have elected to place outfielder Christian Yelich on the 10-day DL. In a corresponding move, the team has recalled right-hander Taylor Williams from Triple-A Colorado Springs.

    During Yelich’s absence, it seems likely that Domingo Santana will fill in for him in the outfield. Yelich was off to a hot start for the 2018 season; he’s hit .385/.407/.577 across 27 plate appearances for the Brew Crew with one long ball and five runs driven in.  The 26-year-old has played at least 155 games in consecutive seasons, a streak that will now officially come to an end with the news that he’ll miss at least the ten-day minimum.

    Yelich, of course, was perhaps the Brewers’ biggest offseason addition. The club sent top prospects Lewis Brinson and Isan Diaz, along with two other minor-leaguers, to Miami in order to bring the young slugger to Milwaukee. He sports a career .291/.366/.433 batting line across his first 2,839 plate appearances, with 60 homers and a 121 wRC+.