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Milwaukee Brewers DFA J.J. Hoover, option Brett Phillips to AAA; recall Junior Guerra and Jorge Lopez

There will be a roster quiz at the end of the season...

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers-Media Day
Next man up: Jorge Lopez
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers continue to juggle their roster as injuries, close games, extra inning games, and performance issues continue to be the tale of the young season:

We knew about Junior Guerra coming up to start today’s Facebook Game (will the Brewers need to testify to congress?). Jorge Lopez being called up is a bit of a surprise, as is the designation of J.J. Hoover for assignment.

Hoover pitched one inning plus in last night’s 5-3 eleven inning loss to the Cardinals, taking the loss in an excruciating game. The Brewers blew leads in the ninth and tenth innings, and once again the Cardinal runs were more or less self inflicted...until Matt Carpenter’s game winning homer.

Hoover could not get his curve/slider over - if I recall, he threw one for a strike - and his fastball largely sat at 89-90 mph and straight as a string. He hadn’t pitched in a while, so it is perhaps unfair to blame him for a lack of command, but he has a history of poor control (he has a career walk rate of 4.5 per nine innings). Of course, the possibility remains that Hoover will remain in the organization if he goes unclaimed or unreleased.

Sending Brett Phillips back to AAA is a bit of a surprise to me, but it might mean that Cain will be ready to go Friday in New York against the Mets (the Brewers have an off-day tomorrow). It might reflect positively on the prospects for Christian Yelich to come off of the DL on Sunday, too. This could very well mean that Hernan Perez will be in centerfield in this afternoon’s contest.

Jorge Lopez adds another arm to the pen as the Brewers’ relief corps continues to get extensive usage. Taylor Williams went 1+ innings yesterday; Jacob Barnes and Jeremy Jeffress have worked back to back days; Oliver Drake also worked in multiple innings. Dan Jennings is fresh, but they remain thin. Brent Suter’s start was a welcome respite but he still only worked into the sixth, and the game went into the bottom of the eleventh.

Lopez has been effective in three appearances this spring for AAA Colorado Springs, going 2.1 hitless innings with no hits, no walks, and two strikeouts. He made two starts in the 2015 season for Milwaukee, going 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP. He had a relief appearance last season and went two innings, allowing four hits and a walk with one earned run.

So the carousel continues with the Milwaukee roster, with no end in sight. It appears that Manny Pina is healthy enough that the Brewers didn’t see a need to bring up a catcher today. Pina left last night’s game with calf tightness, and the game was completed behind the plate by Jett Bandy. Bandy will likely get the start today with Pina only available in an emergency. Again, the Thursday off day gives the Crew some wiggle room.

Statistics courtesy of