With Opening Day now just one week away, there has been plenty of transaction news around the league as Article XX(B) free agents are reaching their specified opt-out days. Coming into camp this spring, the Milwaukee Brewers had three such players: RHP Blaine Boyer and LHPs Chris Capuano and Franklin Morales.
Boyer already received the good news that he'll make the team over the weekend, and today was the final date for the club to let Morales know if he would make the team or not. Unfortunately for Frankie, he did not receive good news.
LHP Franklin Morales has been granted his unconditional release.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) March 28, 2016
Morales was a late addition to the Brewers spring training roster after being signed to a minor league deal on March 4th. The 30 year old posted a 3.18 ERA and 3.52 FIP in 62.1 innings out of the bullpen for the World Champion Royals last season. He pitched only 4.0 innings this spring, albeit scoreless ones, with 3 strikeouts and 2 walks. Rather than offer Morales a $100K roster bonus to pitch in the minor leagues, the club cut bait with the non-roster invitee in order to allow him the opportunity to latch on with another club before Opening Day.
Chris Capuano has been informed he will be on the Brewers’ opening-day roster. #Brewers— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) March 28, 2016
On the other hand, good news has reportedly been passed down to veteran Chris Capuano, who went from being a former Brewer to once again a current one. With the injury to Will Smith, Capuano will enter the season as the lone lefty in the Brewers' bullpen. Capuano gives manager Craig Counsell some nice flexibility, as he can obviously cover multiple innings given his pedigree as a starter as well as being deployed in lefty-on-lefty matchup situations. Capuano had a miserable season for the Yankees last year, posting a 7.97 ERA and 5.03 FIP in 40.2 innings. So far he's allowed just two runs in 10.2 innings this spring.
With today's roster moves and the cuts the Brewers made over the weekend, there are now two pitchers remaining who are competing for one more spot in the bullpen: Ariel Pena and Tyler Cravy. In reality though, it's fairly easy to assume that Cravy, who has minor league options remaining, will begin the season in the minor leagues while Pena punches his ticket to Milwaukee for April 4th. Pena has no minor league options remaining and since he has previously been outrighted off the Brewers 40 man roster, he has the right to elect free agency if he is passed through waivers once more.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference