It’s about that time in camp, where the roster cuts start coming in and the players in camp slowly are whittled down until we have the final 25-man roster for the season. The first set of cuts came today, with four players heading to the minor-league camp:
RHP Adrian Houser optioned to minor-league camp. C Jacob Nottingham, OF Corey Ray & RHP Yhonathan Barrios reassigned to minor-league camp.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) March 8, 2017
Of the four, only Adrian Houser had to be optioned because he was the only player currently on the 40-man roster. The other three were in camp on minor-league deals with major-league camp invites, so they will not have to use an option or pass through waivers to be returned to the minors.
Another important point to note here is why the players were sent down to the minor-league camp. As Tom Haudricourt notes, all four players are currently recovering from injuries:
Houser coming off Tommy John; Barrios rotator cuff surgery, Ray knee surgery; and Nottingham has biceps tendinitis.— Tom (@Haudricourt) March 8, 2017
As a result, none of these four would likely see time in a game anytime soon, so by returning them to the minor league camp, they can get more focused treatment and work done. Adrian Houser and Yhonathan Barrios likely will miss several more months (if not the entire season) recovering from their injuries. Corey Ray and Jacob Nottingham are closer to returning, and should be back in time for the minor-league season.
This brings the number of players in the major league camp down to 54. More cuts should be coming in the near future, though they may trickle in slower than previous years due to the World Baseball Classic.