5 Milwaukee Brewers Who Won’t Make it Through 2014 Spring Training
Players Who Won't Make the Milwaukee Brewers Opening Day Roster
The Milwaukee Brewers changed up the roster a bit this offseason in an effort to get back into contention to win the NL Central. After winning the division in 2011, the Brewers fell back to third place in 2012 and dropped to fourth last season.
The Brewers have added some new players via free agency and trades this offseason and have some prospects that are looking to break through.
Signing Matt Garza was the biggest move that the Brewers made this offseason. Garza will pair with Kyle Lohse and Yovani Gallardo to make a talented starting rotation.
The Brewers also traded for reliever Will Smith. He will join with a group of prospects to challenge for a spot in the bullpen. The bullpen is one of two positions, along with first base, that are unsettled going into spring training. The Brewers have brought in some non-roster invitees to add some more options for those positions. The players who have been brought in are proven commodities and will give the Brewers some solid options.
Bringing in different options at positions of need is a smart move for the Brewers, but it is going to force them to make some tough decisions. All the new additions have a plethora of players fighting for the 25 spots. There are more than 25 guys competing for those spots, so some people are going to find themselves on the outside looking in. This list looks at five players who will most likely be in that situation.
Zach Duke was brought in by the Milwaukee Brewers as a non-roster invitee to compete for a spot in the bullpen. Duke was 1-2 with a 6.03 ERA last season in 26 appearances between the Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds. With a lot of established arms in the Brewers pen already, Duke faces an uphill battle. Duke has pitched well in his career, finishing with an 8-2 record with a 1.81 ERA and a fifth place finish in the National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2002 and earned an All-Star game nomination in 2009, but those days are long gone. Duke looks like he'll be looking for a job at the end of Spring Training.
Hunter Morris is one of the Milwaukee Brewers' top prospects, but he will most likely start the season in Triple A. Morris had a great season in 2012, hitting .303 with 28 home runs and 113 RBIs for the Brewers' Double A club, but struggled a bit last year in Triple A. Those numbers dropped to .247 with 24 home runs and 73 RBIs. With the Brewers unsure about who will be the first baseman this season, Morris is a possibility, but the Brewers brought in a pair of non-roster invitees, who are better options at the moment. Expect Morris to open the year in the minors and be called up later in the season.
Lyle Overbay is one of the non-roster invitees that the Milwaukee Brewers brought in to try at first base. Overbay saw quite a bit of playing time with the New York Yankees last year and hit .240 with 14 home runs and 59 RBIs, but the odds are against him to make the roster. Mark Reynolds, the other non-roster invitee at first base, provides a better option. Reynolds is younger and has a lot more potential, especially with his power at the plate. Overbay will be looking to latch on with another club at the end of Spring Training.
With the addition of Matt Garza, Johnny Hellweg looks to be the odd man out in the starting rotation. Hellweg is a top prospect for the Milwaukee Brewers and was a key piece of the Zach Greinke trade in 2012. He is probably the sixth starter on the team and the fact that the Brewers have Tyler Thornburg, who can start, in the bullpen, makes Hellweg a candidate to start the year in the minors. He has an impressive record there, going 12-5 with a 3.15 ERA last season, but a little more work couldn't hurt. Hellweg should make it to the majors at some point this season, but just not on Opening Day.
Caleb Gindl played in 57 games for the Milwaukee Brewers last season, batting .242, but with Ryan Braun returning from suspension, it is likely that Gindl will be headed back to Triple A. Gindl would be the fifth outfielder for the Brewers and the odd man out. Logan Shafer is more likely to make the Opening Day Roster out of Spring Training and would serve as the reserve outfielder. Gindl should start the year in the minors and be the first call-up should anything happen to one of the four on the Opening Day Roster.