The spring training cuts kept coming this week.
A couple of more cuts happened this week as the Brewers continue to progress towards Opening Day. They started on Sunday by optioning Michael Blazek to Nashville. Blazek had struggled this spring so far and was probably not going to make the 25-man roster. The other move came on Friday when the Brewers returned Donovan Hand to the minor league camp, reducing the remaining roster in camp to 34. Hand was also a long shot for the roster, so his return to the minors isn't a surprise either.
There was one other move this week, though not involving a player still in camp. On Tuesday, Sean Halton was outrighted to Nashville, bringing the 40-man roster total down to 38. The Brewers needed to clear at least one roster spot at some point this spring, and clearing a second may mean the Brewers are planning on keeping two non-roster invitees. At this point, we are just over a week away from the final roster announcement, and those open spots will come into play.
Wei-Chung Wang is in a very unique situation.
This is obvious, but it's becoming more of a unique situation each day. Through the end of last season, Wang hadn't appeared above rookie ball, but is making a case to open the season in the Brewers bullpen. It would be a massive leap, but wouldn't be unprecedented. Even if he does make the roster, the spring training stats could be misleading, and Noah encourages everyone to keep your expectations in check. There is a lot of excitement around Wang, but the Brewers would have to keep him on the 25-man roster all season to hold on to him. Otherwise, they have to offer him back to the Pirates or work a trade (which seems unlikely). If Wang continues to pitch well, he will make the roster and could be a surprise success story.
We have some final projections coming out.
There's a few projections remaining on BCB to cover before the start of the baseball season. This week, Jordan covered the infield positions, starting with the third base, shortstop, and second base positions. The situations at shortstop and third base are simpler, with set starters at both positions. Second base is a more interesting situation, with a platoon potential to start the season. Jordan then concluded the series with a look at first base and catcher. Catcher is a simple situation with Jonathan Lucroy set to be the primary starter again. First base is still an uncertain situation, with three potential players to fill the spot. Even with an uncertain situation there, it looks like it will be better than last season (and won't take much to top last season).
- Sometimes an idea is better in theory than in practice. We got a taste of that on Friday when the Brewers announced a new line of specialized player t-shirts. Some were well-done, while others (such as the Gomez t-shirt) looked completely different than they should. It's all about making money in the end, and they will make money off of it.
- While the 3rd and 4th spots in the lineup are set, there's still discussion on where the other regulars will hit in the lineup. Carlos Gomez could end up hitting in the leadoff spot, as his speed could cause problems for opposing teams. The other possibility would be Jean Segura hitting leadoff, and he should end up in the first or second spot in the lineup either way.
The Box Scores
3/15/2014: Reds 16, Brewers 4 (Game Preview/Thread)
3/16/2014: Diamondbacks 6, Brewers 5 (Game Preview/Thread)
3/17/2014: White Sox 9, Brewers 0 (Game Preview/Thread)
3/18/2014: Brewers 9, Rangers 3 (Game Preview/Thread)
3/19/2014: Brewers 9, Mariners 7 (Game Preview/Thread)
3/20/2014: Brewers 4, Rockies 3 (Game Preview/Thread)
3/21/2014: Rangers 7, Brewers 5 (Game Preview/Thread)
The Collection of Mugs
3/17/2014: Two weeks away
3/18/2014: Seeing red in green
3/19/2014: Back to winning
3/20/2014: Power and (minimal) glory
3/21/2014: Still hope for .500