The Brewers announced three more transactions after the game today, optioning Zach Braddock, Taylor Green and Martin Maldonado to Nashville. They also announced that Cesar Izturis has been told that he'll make the team. By my count that means they've been involved in seven player moves today, not counting the five minor league releases. If you missed them, here's a recap:
- Let's start with utility infielder Zelous Wheeler, who the Orioles have claimed off waivers. Wheeler is 25 and was a 19th round pick in 2007. He's a career .271/.371/.408 hitter in 538 minor league games, including .272/.378/.459 between Huntsville and Nashville last season. We had him at #15 in this year's Community Prospect Rankings and he hit .273/.429/.636 in nine games this spring.
- Wheeler's spot on the 40 man roster will likely go to Cesar Izturis, who seems destined to be this team's 25th man. Izturis only played in 18 major league games last season, has a career OBP under .300 and is hitting .191/.235/.255 in 21 games this spring, but he's apparently the best of a set of unappealing options for the backup job at shortstop.
- As for today's options, Zach Braddock's struggles continue. After missing most of last season he came out this spring and walked nine batters in seven innings. He got knocked around in his final major league camp appearance today, which may have sealed his fate.
- Taylor Green really didn't get much of a chance to make the team this spring, as it appeared clear from the start Brooks Conrad was getting the only open spot Green was qualified to compete for. He hit .324/.405/.541 in 20 games this spring but will head back to Nashville to play third base.
- Similarly, there just isn't room on the roster for Martin Maldonado behind Jonathan Lucroy and George Kottaras. Maldonado will be the primary catcher in Nashville despite his ninth inning homer today.
- The minor league catching situation might get a bit complicated since the team signed Racine native Jason Jaramillo to a minor league deal today. Gord Ash told Tom Haudricourt Jaramillo will be the #1 catcher in AA this season, but Jaramillo has played in the majors each of the last three years so that seems like a pretty significant demotion.
- Finally, Brandon Kintzler will open the season on the DL as he continues to rehab his sore elbow. He did not appear in a major league game this spring.