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Battlekow, we have a problem

The Rule 5 draft is coming up on Thursday. Doug Melvin has said that he doesn't plan on taking anyone in the Major League portion, and I don't blame him. You may recall such precious commodities as Matt Ford, Enrique Cruz, and Jeff Bennett joining the organization in the Rule 5. If you pick a player, you've got to keep him on your active major-league roster all year, or offer him back to the team who you drafted him from.

Because of a change in the rules stemming from the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, players are protected from Rule 5 pickage for one more year. That means there are fewer interesting players (like the aforementioned Ford, Cruz, and Bennett) to choose from. But, as Mike Emeigh has shown at Baseball Think Factory, there are still plenty of options.

Therein lies the problem. Here are those players on the Brewers who will be available for selection, if they aren't added to the 40-man in the next 24 hours or so:

Steve Bray? I mean...STEVE f'in BRAY?!? You may recall, we drafted Steve Bray in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft last year from the Kansas City Royals. (As you know, the Royals have way too many quality prospects, so they were just giving them away last year.) After we picked him, Bray just started getting guys out. Then more guys.

In the process, he never walked anybody. Literally. Check out his game log. He didn't walk his first man until May 23rd. He came back to earth a little bit, even walking a pair in two consecutive outings in June, but over nearly 100 innings, he walked only 14 and allowed less than a baserunner per inning.

Can anyone seriously think that nobody will take a flyer on this guy? That it's more important to have JD Closser on the 40-man than Bray? He put up about 2/3 of those numbers in double-A, but he more than held his own in both Triple-A and the AFL. His cumulative Minor League Equivalencies from Huntsville and Nashville: 1.19 WHIP, 1.67 BB/9, 6.47 K/9, and an OPS allowed of .729. Frankly, I think I'd rather have him than Greg Aquino.

Please, someone tell me this is a mistake. I know I'm getting a bit too worked up over a minor league reliever who's a 7th-inning guy at best, but still. It can't be so!

Update [2006-12-6 11:40:12 by battlekow]: Noooooooooooooooooooo!