The Milwaukee Brewers dealt with myriad injuries this season, beginning all the way back at the outset of Spring Training. The first player to go down was hard-throwing reliever Bobby Wahl, who came over from New York in the Keon Broxton trade and looked to be in line for a role in the bullpen. He suffered an absurdly rare injury during the first week of March, tearing the ACL in his push-off leg while throwing a pitch during an exhibition game against the Seattle Mariners. At the time, President David Stearns noted that it was only the third-ever occurrence of such an injury within the league’s database.
Wahl unsurprisingly spent the entire season in the 60-day Injured List while recovering and rehabbing from the surgery to repair his blown knee. But he is now apparently ready to return to competitive action, as it was announced today that Wahl will join Milwaukee’s contingent of prospects currently playing in the Arizona Fall League.
#Brewers No. 29 prospect Bobby Wahl, who was acquired from the #Mets in the Keon Broxton deal and missed the entire season with a torn ACL, has been added to the Glendale's roster in @MLBazFallLeague.— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) October 8, 2019
Here's a closer look at Wahl on the @Brewers' Top 30: https://t.co/P9dau0Xc1o pic.twitter.com/RzqA3czoNH
Wahl, who will turn 28 next spring, is a former 5th-round pick of the Athletics backs in 2013. He debuted in the big leagues in 2017 and has thrown a total of 13.0 innings in 14 appearances with Oakland and the Mets during parts of two big league seasons. He is still ranked at #29 among MLB Pipeline’s current top-30 prospects for the Brewers, as he technically remains rookie eligible even though he has already accrued over two full seasons of MLB service time (in addition to spending this season on the IL, he also missed considerable time on the 60-day in 2017 with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome). Because of that Wahl has only four seasons of club control remaining and could qualify for arbitration after 2020 if he spends the majority of the season in the big leagues. He does have two minor league options remaining. On the mound, Wahl is best known for his high-octane fastball that reaches as high as 98 MPH as well as a power curveball. He’ll now have a chance to make up some of the lost reps he missed during the regular season.
In other Arizona Fall League news, the rosters for the annual Fall Stars game — the circuit’s midseason All-Star contest — have been announced, and two Brew Crew prospects have been named to the West team. Representing Milwaukee will be utilityman David Fry and right-handed pitcher Victor Castaneda.
Here are the rosters for @MLB Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game!— MLB's Arizona Fall League (@MLBazFallLeague) October 8, 2019
Saturday, October 12th
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
Can't make it to Scottsdale? Stream at https://t.co/ZJSvndc4Hj pic.twitter.com/cSTBfdyaw3
It is unclear exactly how these rosters are determined, as Fry’s modest .259/.333/.296 slash with one extra-base hit in 27 at-bats across seven games doesn’t exactly scream “All-Star.” Castaneda, on the other hand, has been one of the top-performing starters on the circuit. In three games and 12.2 innings, he has pitched to a 2.84 ERA with 14 punchouts against only two walks.
Here are how Milwaukee’s other AFL prospects have fared so far:
OF Pablo Abreu
21 AB || .095/.095/.095 || 0 HR || 0 SB
IF Jake Gatewood
17 AB || .118/.250/.118 || 0 HR || 0 SB
LHP Clayton Andrews
6.2 IP || 4.05 ERA || 11 K || 5 BB || 1.35 WHIP
RHP Robbie Hitt
5.0 IP || 5.40 ERA || 6 K || 3 BB || 1.40 WHIP
LHP Quintin Torres-Costa
5.0 IP || 1.80 ERA || 8 K || 6 BB || 1.60 WHIP
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and MLB.com