With two doubleheaders coming in three days, it was safe to assume the Brewers would make a handful of moves to get some fresh arms in their bullpen, along with announcing who their 29th man would be for the first doubleheader.
It turns out the Brewers made more than a handful, including a somewhat surprising DFA of someone appearing in their Top 30 prospects list at MLB Pipeline.
OF Billy McKinney claimed off waivers from Toronto and sent to the Alternate Training Site.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 14, 2020
RHP Justin Topa recalled as the 29th man for the doubleheader.
RHP Ray Black reinstated from the 45-day injured list. pic.twitter.com/9oBiTB28BM
RHP J.P. Feyereisen optioned to the Alternate Training Site.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 14, 2020
INF Ronny Rodríguez and RHP Trey Supak designated for assignment. pic.twitter.com/24tTYbVETS
There are a lot of moving pieces here — too many for just one tweet! — and there will likely be more later this week.
For now, though, Ray Black will be back and will join Justin Topa as fresh arms available in the bullpen this afternoon/night. With doubleheader games shortened to 7 innings, the hope is obviously that guys like Corbin Burnes (scheduled to go in the second game today) can get you most of — if not all of — the way there, but with Josh Lindblom starting Game 1, odds are more arms will be needed, as it’s looking like Lindblom is best utilized in short spurts.
Feyereisen was likely unavailable today after throwing 31 pitches over 2 innings yesterday in the Game That Shall Not Be Mentioned. He’ll likely be back up sometime very soon.
The surprise, though, may be Trey Supak getting DFAed to make room on the roster for Ray Black being activated. The big righty ranked 16th on MLB Pipeline’s list of Top 30 Brewers prospects, which given the state of the Brewers’ farm system isn’t saying a whole lot — he’s unlikely to crack the Top 30 in another teams’ system — but he’s still just 24 this year. Supak was the Southern League’s Pitcher of the Year in 2019 after putting up a 2.42 ERA in 20 starts with Biloxi, but got shelled to a 9.30 ERA in his first 30 innings with Triple-A San Antonio.
McKinney, meanwhile, seems like a Very David Stearns waiver claim.
McKinney was a top-100 level prospect in 2015-16 and owns a .231/.291/.437 slash (94 OPS+) w/ 18 HR in 411 MLB plate appearances across parts of 3 seasons.— Brew Crew Ball (@BrewCrewBall) September 14, 2020
He's been a .261/.329/.505 hitter in parts of 3 seasons in AAA.
26 years old, has played mostly RF with some LF, CF, & 1B. https://t.co/ATW8fYm9R3
He’ll head to the Alternate Site for now, but given the team’s struggles at first base and in the outfield, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him up at some point in the next two weeks. He’s the second player the Brewers have claimed from Toronto in recent weeks, having previously brought in Daniel Vogelbach.