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Milwaukee Brewers Make First Round of Roster Cuts

49 players remain in big league camp fighting for a spot.

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

With so many players in camp, the early weeks of Spring Training can be a hectic time around baseball. Clubs are able to invite in upwards of 60 players to their big league camp each year, and this year the Milwaukee Brewers started off with 59 players reporting to major league camp at Maryvale. With about two weeks worth of Cactus League games now in the books, the Brewers and GM Slingin' David Stearns have begun paring down the roster to start assembling the group of 25 players who will head north to Milwaukee on April 4th.

Through a series of tweets, the Brewers announced this morning that they have cut 10 players from big league camp and sent them over to the minor league side of Maryvale Baseball Park. Those players are:

SS Orlando Arcia
(2/3 options remaining)

The Brewers have already said Arcia will begin the season in AAA, so there's no surprise here. He hit .211/.211/.421 with one home run in 19 spring at-bats while flashing some terrific defense at shortstop. The consensus is that it's only a matter of time until we see Milwaukee's top prospect take over the reins at short, perhaps as early as this June.

RHP Jacob Barnes
(2/3 options remaining)

Barnes was somewhat of a surprise addition to the 40 man roster last November, though he does throw hard and posted a solid 3.36 ERA in 75 innings at AA last year. The soon-to-be 26 year old allowed two earned runs in three innings this spring, and he'll likely begin the year in the Colorado Springs' bullpen.

RHP Adrian Houser
(2/3 options remaining)

The fourth player included in last July's blockbuster trade with the Astros, Houser has seen his stock improve greatly since becoming a member of the Brewers. He threw four innings this spring and allowed just one earned run. He'll be a candidate to open the season in what should be a vaunted starting rotation in Colorado Springs.

RHP Jorge Lopez
(2/3 options remaining)

The Brewers' top pitching prospect broke out in AA last season and put together some nice outings this spring, allowing two earned runs in five innings with a save thrown in. He should be the de facto ace of the staff at Colorado Springs and could be (along with Zach Davies) the first pitcher called up in the case of an injury to a starter in the Brewers' rotation.

RHP Damien Magnifico
(2/3 options remaining)

The other reliever added to the Brewers' 40 man roster in November, Magnifico served as the closer for AA Biloxi last year and posted a tremendous 1.17 ERA with 20 saves in 53.2 innings last year. His peripheral numbers weren't as promising, however, and he doesn't get many whiffs despite throwing a fastball in the upper 90s. Magnifico pitched three scoreless innings this spring and could very well reprise his role as closer this season in a Sky Sox uniform.

OF Michael Reed
(2/3 options remaining)

Reed was supposedly one of the players competing for the center field job in camp this spring, but for now he'll begin his season in AAA Colorado Springs. He hit .222/.300/.444 in 18 plate appearances this spring and should slot in as a starter somewhere in the Sky Sox outfield, and should definitely see some big league time this season.

C Rene Garcia
(minor league deal)

Garcia is a well traveled minor league veteran, having 532 games of experience over the last eight seasons with the Astros and Phillies organizations before signing with Milwaukee as a minor league free agent this winter. He accrued just three at-bats this springs, collecting one single and two walks. The soon-to-be 26 year old could be a backup in either AA or AAA this year.

LHP Josh Hader
(minor league deal)

Another part of the Astros' blockbuster, perhaps no prospect has seen his stock soar over the last six months than Josh Hader. The lefty can throw in the upper 90s and has had the dangerous Chris Sale comp thrown at him, though there are still very real doubts about how his slight frame and funky arm slot will hold up to the rigors of throwing 160+ innings on an annual basis. He's likely ticketed for AAA and the club will continue to develop him as a starter for the time being. He allowed just one run in four innings this spring.

C Jacob Nottingham
(minor league deal)

Of all the prospects that the Brewers have brought in over the last year or so, perhaps none is more important than Nottingham. His addition finally gave the Brewers a legitimate catching prospect in their pipeline, softening the blow of the inevitable Jonathan Lucroy trade. Nottingham hit a robust .429/.500/.714 in seven at-bats this spring and could begin the year as AA Biloxi's starting backstop.

OF Brett Phillips
(minor league deal)

The centerpiece of the aforementioned Astros deal, Phillips made some waves early in camp for his over-the-top laughing fits. He did not appear in any games this spring after experiencing some oblique issues but still managed to make a big impression during his first major league camp. It's a toss up as of now whether he'll resume his development in AA, where he only has 54 games of experience, or be bumped up to Colorado Springs to begin the season.

_____________________________

With the above-mentioned roster cuts, the Brewers now have 49 players remaining in big league camp. The players that have been reassigned can now focus on preparing for their upcoming minor league seasons while Stearns and manager Craig Counsell can have a clearer picture of the guys that need further evaluation in preparation for setting the final 25 man roster.

The Brewers resume Cactus League play today at 3:05 CST today against the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch.

Statistics courtesy of Brewers.com