Toward the end of the season I wrote a Fanpost predicting who would stay and who would go from the 40 man roster as it stood at the time. Yesterday the Brewers removed Matt Clark, Juan Centeno, Johnny Hellweg, Cesar Jimenez and Logan Schafer as predicted. As expected Nevin Ashley was also removed in early October and Kyle Lohse has elected free agency. It remains to be seen if the status of Ellian Herrera, Shane Peterson or Daniel Fields changes as I thought at the time but I will stick with my original predictions for the purpose of this Fanpost. This Fanpost will focus on who I think the additions to the 40 man roster will be and also some quick notes on some minor league players that I don’t believe will be added. For a complete list of players eligible to be selected in the rule 5 draft go to Brewerfan.net. Following are the players I believe will be added:
Guerra isn’t actually an add as he was claimed off waivers from the White Sox in early October but was not included in Part 1 of the Fanpost. Guerra will be turning 31 in January and was out of organized baseball for 6 years before appearing with the White Sox this past off season. Not exactly a guy that will be around when the Brewers are good again. However, he was solid in the minors this past year striking out 105 in 83.1 innings of work with a mid 90’s fastball. He has continued to have success in winter ball with an ERA under 3 and striking out a batter an inning. My guess is that he sticks and is in the mix for an opening day bullpen job
Arcia is the best prospect in the Brewers organization and a sure thing to be added to the 40 man roster. Arcia will get a chance to continue to develop in AAA since the Brewers have other options (Segura/ Sardinas/Rivera) at shortstop to fill in at the big league level.
Wang’s rule 5 story was heavily documented during the 2014 season. His 2015 season was off to a horrific start and he was promptly DFA in June by the Brewers. At the time I thought it was a good move because I didn’t think he would be selected in the rule 5 draft again. My opinion has now changed, since his removal from the 40 man he had an ERA less than 2.00 in 85 innings of work and pitched three complete games. If the Brewers don’t add him some team will likely take a chance on the left hander.
The moment he was drafted by the Brewers in 2012 I vowed that I would buy his jersey if he ever made the big league club as he has one of the best names ever. During 2015 he was absolutely magnificent as he produced a minuscule 1.17 ERA for AA Biloxi in 53 innings of work. He is currently playing in the Arizona Fall League where his fastball has been clocked at 100 MPH.
Jorge Ortega is one of the more puzzling pitchers in the Brewers organization. Scouts don’t think much of his stuff and he doesn’t strike out many but he had a great year. His control is his best asset as he only walked 11, yes 11, in nearly 150 innings of work and gave up a rather low 7 home runs in the process. He doesn’t really project as a starter or a reliever for that matter in the big leagues but I hope he continues to remain a Brewer.
The soft tossing lefty from Harvard has already beaten the odds by reaching AAA. Not much was thought of him when he was drafted in the 31st round but he had a remarkable year during 2015 and is on the verge of being added to the 40 man roster. In 83 innings at AA Biloxi he had an ERA of 1.95 and continued his success at AAA with a respectable 3.31 ERA in 35 innings. Like Ortega, he doesn’t appear to have great stuff but has produced ever since being drafted.
The former 1st round draft choice from 2012 has been somewhat of a disappointment for the Brewers. The power has always been intriguing for fans and scouts alike but he also strikes out in nearly 30% of his plate appearances and hasn’t shown the ability to hit or walk enough to justify the strikeouts. Some would consider him a lock to be added but I’m not so sure. He is sometime compared to Khris Davis but I don’t see it as Davis had a 900 OPS in A and A+ while Roache continues to flounder in the mid 700’s. Ultimately, I think he gets added but he is in desperate need of a breakout season if he wants to remain on the 40 man as his competition will only continue to increase.
Rule 5 Pick
With a high pick in the upcoming draft I think they will draft somebody and give him a strong look during spring training. It is difficult to even predict who it will be since a list won't be available until after November 20th, however it would not surprise me if Stearns picked up somebody from the Astros organization since he is so familiar with the players there.
Other to consider:
22 year old Angel Ventura struck out 126 in 122 innings for Class A Wisconsin. 21 year old catcher Dustin Houle hit .300 for high A Brevard County in 80 at bats. Lefty first baseman Nick Ramirez repeated AA but didn’t improve on his 2014 season as he finished with an OPS of 731. Jacob Barnes was also a participant in the Arizona Fall League and pitched for Biloxi during the 2015 season. Catcher Adam Weisenburger continued to show in AA his defensive prowess and his ability to take walks but has shown little ability to hit for average or power. Former 40 man roster member Brooks Hall lost his spot in the AA starting rotation during the season and will likely have to prove he can be an effective bullpen arm in order to reach the majors. Austin Ross had a breakout season in AA striking out over 11 per 9 innings in relief but struggled to an ERA near 7 after his promotion to AAA.
Final prediction for 40 man roster prior to winter meetings: