The Milwaukee Brewers are starting to have a good idea of what their 25-man roster is going to look like once Opening Day rolls around. Will reliever Jesus Sanchez be fortunate enough to suit up on April 1 when Milwaukee hosts the Colorado Rockies?
With several cuts still to be made, one of the more unknown aspects of the team has to be the bullpen. General manager Doug Melvin was forced to rebuild his reliever corps after the group of men allowed a Major League-worst 4.66 earned run average in 2012. Melvin provided quality additions, such as Tom Gorzelanny, Mike Gonzalez and Burke Badenhop, so that the bullpen can be a successful part of the team once again.
The Brewers also added some players to the mix that fans in Milwaukee may not be familiar with. Sanchez has spent five years in the minors without ever getting the opportunity to smell the big leagues. Last year at Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville, he posted a combined 7-3 record with a 1.63 earned run average, 64 strikeouts and 11 saves in 52 appearances. This was by far his best season and it is evident that the 25-year-old is determined to finally shine in the majors.
Sanchez has been outstanding in the limited chances he has been given so far this spring. In five games, the right-hander has allowed only one earned run on five hits and has struck out five batters over the course of 4 1/3 innings.
I personally believe Sanchez has a legitimate shot at making the Opening Day roster, even if most publications do not have him listed as a candidate. However, just because he is doing well in Spring Training does not automatically give the Brewers confidence he can handle himself in a regular season contest with the game on the line. With that being said, he proved himself last year when he dominated in Triple-A and should be given a spot in the bullpen if he continues to pitch well over the next couple weeks.