The Milwaukee Brewers thinned out the herd of competitors for the starting rotation a little bit more this afternoon:
RHP Aaron Wilkerson has been optioned to minor-league camp. 44 players remain (21 pitchers, 5 catchers, 11 infielders, 7 outfielders).— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) March 14, 2018
The Brewers announced a couple days ago that Yovani Gallardo would be pitching solely from the bullpen going forward and with Wilkerson heading over to minor league camp, that leaves four arms left standing for the final two openings in the starting rotation. Junior Guerra, Brent Suter, Wade Miley, and Brandon Woodruff will continue to do battle over the next couple of weeks before Opening Day in San Diego.
As for Wilkerson, he’ll likely head to AAA to start the year and stay stretched out in case he’s needed as MLB rotation depth during the coming season. The soon-to-be 29 year old was acquired in the trade that sent Aaron Hill to Boston during the summer of 2016 and spent most of last season in AA Biloxi. There he posted a 3.16 ERA and sparkling 57 DRA- across 142.1 innings with 143 strikeouts against 36 walks. He was called up to The Show for the first time in his career in mid-September last season. He wound up tossing 10.1 innings across three appearances (one start), allowing four earned runs while striking out seven and issuing only one free pass. Wilkerson made five appearances this spring and allowed seven earned runs in 7.2 innings, though most of that damage came in his second-to-last appearance when he allowed five earnies in 1.1 innings of work.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball Prospectus