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  1. Are the Brewers going to DFA several players at the end of Spring Training or make a move now to add another optionable player to the 40-man MLB roster? RHPs Tyler Cyr and Manuel Rodriguez are possible additions to consider. Image courtesy of © Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports If you’re like me, you’re perplexed at the number of Optionless Wonders the Brewers have, leaving the bottom of their roster more unsettled than usual. Each of the following six players must make the 26-man Opening Day active roster, be placed on the injured list, or be designated for assignment: RHP Bryse Wilson – no options remaining RHP Gus Varland – Brewers can’t option him because he’s a Rule 5 pick 1B Jon Singleton – no options remaining; can also reject assignment if he passes DFA waivers 1B Keston Hiura – burned final option in 2022 roster management malpractice; can also reject assignment if he passes DFA waivers RHP Javy Guerra – no options remaining; can also reject assignment if he passes DFA waivers RHP Joel Payamps – no options remaining; highly likely to be claimed if we DFA Even if the team wanted to get creative and send players like OF Tyrone Taylor or RHP Adrian Houser down to the minors for a spell or two, they can’t. Those players also have no options remaining. Does this matter? What does it suggest? It may mean that Matt Arnold is comfortable knowing there will be some roster shuffling at the end of Spring Training, with the Brewers letting guys go and replacing them with releases from other teams. However, any semi-decent players released from other teams are likely also to be Optionless Wonders, so this is unlikely to be the case. More likely, this means the Brewers intend to add at least one more Optionable AAAA player to the 40-man roster, with the corresponding move being: a trade of Jon Singleton, Keston Hiura, Javy Guerra, and Joel Payamps; OR a DFA of Bryse Wilson, hoping he’ll scale through waivers so that he can be outrighted to AAA (the Tigers recently outrighted a whopping four players in this manner, including former Brewer catcher Mario Feliciano). The usual place to find worthy Optionable AAAA players this time of year is via the DFA market, which has seen an impressive 51 players made available for claim or trade from December 18th to January 17th. However, we’re really at the tail end of this vibrant market, as free agent signings slow to a trickle, and teams will, at some point, be able to move injured players to the 60-day injured list. Barring any additional DFAs around the league this week, only three Optionable players remain in DFA limbo. Given the logic outlined above, the Brewers are a good bet to pick up at least one of these players: RHP Tyler Cyr (Athletics) – 29 years old; reliever; only pitched 13 1/3 MLB innings (2.70 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, .290 BABIP against in 2022); solid MILB results (2.85 ERA in AAA in 2022 with 9.9 K/9, 4.91 ERA in AAA in 2021 with 12.0 K/9, 2.05 ERA in AA in 2019 with 10.6 K/9); MLB fastball averaged 94.4mph in 2022 OF Alberto Rodriguez (Mariners) – 22 years old; LHH right fielder; dipped to a .732 OPS in High-A in 2022 after a .867 OPS in Low-A in 2021, averaging ten homers and 10.5 stolen bases over the two seasons RHP Manuel Rodriguez (Cubs) – 26 years old; reliever; pitched 13 2/3 MLB innings in 2022 (3.29 ERA) and 17 2/3 MLB innings in 2021 (6.11 ERA), but walked 21 against 24 Ks over the two seasons; terrific 12.9 K/9 rate across five minor league campaigns; MLB fastball/slider average dipped to 95-95.9mph in 2022 after 97-97.2mph in 2021 as he’s dealt with injuries in three straight seasons Of the three aforementioned Optionable players, I’d venture that Tyler Cyr is the most likely pick-up if Milwaukee aims to add a high-floor guy who can contribute immediately if called upon. He has been a consistent performer who can also bring respectable heat, with the main blemish being his limited time in the majors (and perhaps his age). Of course, Manuel Rodriguez appears to have more upside, and that 97mph pace may be tempting to take a flier on. I should also mention that Cyr has three option years remaining, while Alberto Rodriguez has two, and Manuel Rodriguez has one. Yes, Cyr could seamlessly yo-yo between MLB and AAA from 2023-2025 with no special roster juggling required. Could the Brewers claim Cyr and not give up any cash or player in return? This is possible, given his age, but two other Optionable pitchers were both nabbed today: RHP Connor Seabold was traded to the Rockies, and the Mariners claimed JB Bukauskas. I’d argue that neither is as attractive a 2023 MLB option as Cyr, so the team may have to give up a relatively minor prospect to the Athletics in return. On a somewhat related note, while some had urged the Brewers to add OF Kyle Garlick (who went unclaimed and was outrighted by the Twins on Tuesday) to play some right field and pinch hit against southpaws, his 14 BB/80 K ratio over the past two seasons was likely a deterrent. Of course, I’m more likely wrong, and the Brewers do absolutely nothing. Let’s see how this week pans out. Which of the remaining players in DFA limbo do you think the Brewers will grab, if any: RHP Manuel Rodriguez, OF Alberto Rodriguez, RHP Tyler Cyr, UTIL Matt Reynolds, or RHP Mark Leiter Jr.? View full article
  2. If you’re like me, you’re perplexed at the number of Optionless Wonders the Brewers have, leaving the bottom of their roster more unsettled than usual. Each of the following six players must make the 26-man Opening Day active roster, be placed on the injured list, or be designated for assignment: RHP Bryse Wilson – no options remaining RHP Gus Varland – Brewers can’t option him because he’s a Rule 5 pick 1B Jon Singleton – no options remaining; can also reject assignment if he passes DFA waivers 1B Keston Hiura – burned final option in 2022 roster management malpractice; can also reject assignment if he passes DFA waivers RHP Javy Guerra – no options remaining; can also reject assignment if he passes DFA waivers RHP Joel Payamps – no options remaining; highly likely to be claimed if we DFA Even if the team wanted to get creative and send players like OF Tyrone Taylor or RHP Adrian Houser down to the minors for a spell or two, they can’t. Those players also have no options remaining. Does this matter? What does it suggest? It may mean that Matt Arnold is comfortable knowing there will be some roster shuffling at the end of Spring Training, with the Brewers letting guys go and replacing them with releases from other teams. However, any semi-decent players released from other teams are likely also to be Optionless Wonders, so this is unlikely to be the case. More likely, this means the Brewers intend to add at least one more Optionable AAAA player to the 40-man roster, with the corresponding move being: a trade of Jon Singleton, Keston Hiura, Javy Guerra, and Joel Payamps; OR a DFA of Bryse Wilson, hoping he’ll scale through waivers so that he can be outrighted to AAA (the Tigers recently outrighted a whopping four players in this manner, including former Brewer catcher Mario Feliciano). The usual place to find worthy Optionable AAAA players this time of year is via the DFA market, which has seen an impressive 51 players made available for claim or trade from December 18th to January 17th. However, we’re really at the tail end of this vibrant market, as free agent signings slow to a trickle, and teams will, at some point, be able to move injured players to the 60-day injured list. Barring any additional DFAs around the league this week, only three Optionable players remain in DFA limbo. Given the logic outlined above, the Brewers are a good bet to pick up at least one of these players: RHP Tyler Cyr (Athletics) – 29 years old; reliever; only pitched 13 1/3 MLB innings (2.70 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, .290 BABIP against in 2022); solid MILB results (2.85 ERA in AAA in 2022 with 9.9 K/9, 4.91 ERA in AAA in 2021 with 12.0 K/9, 2.05 ERA in AA in 2019 with 10.6 K/9); MLB fastball averaged 94.4mph in 2022 OF Alberto Rodriguez (Mariners) – 22 years old; LHH right fielder; dipped to a .732 OPS in High-A in 2022 after a .867 OPS in Low-A in 2021, averaging ten homers and 10.5 stolen bases over the two seasons RHP Manuel Rodriguez (Cubs) – 26 years old; reliever; pitched 13 2/3 MLB innings in 2022 (3.29 ERA) and 17 2/3 MLB innings in 2021 (6.11 ERA), but walked 21 against 24 Ks over the two seasons; terrific 12.9 K/9 rate across five minor league campaigns; MLB fastball/slider average dipped to 95-95.9mph in 2022 after 97-97.2mph in 2021 as he’s dealt with injuries in three straight seasons Of the three aforementioned Optionable players, I’d venture that Tyler Cyr is the most likely pick-up if Milwaukee aims to add a high-floor guy who can contribute immediately if called upon. He has been a consistent performer who can also bring respectable heat, with the main blemish being his limited time in the majors (and perhaps his age). Of course, Manuel Rodriguez appears to have more upside, and that 97mph pace may be tempting to take a flier on. I should also mention that Cyr has three option years remaining, while Alberto Rodriguez has two, and Manuel Rodriguez has one. Yes, Cyr could seamlessly yo-yo between MLB and AAA from 2023-2025 with no special roster juggling required. Could the Brewers claim Cyr and not give up any cash or player in return? This is possible, given his age, but two other Optionable pitchers were both nabbed today: RHP Connor Seabold was traded to the Rockies, and the Mariners claimed JB Bukauskas. I’d argue that neither is as attractive a 2023 MLB option as Cyr, so the team may have to give up a relatively minor prospect to the Athletics in return. On a somewhat related note, while some had urged the Brewers to add OF Kyle Garlick (who went unclaimed and was outrighted by the Twins on Tuesday) to play some right field and pinch hit against southpaws, his 14 BB/80 K ratio over the past two seasons was likely a deterrent. Of course, I’m more likely wrong, and the Brewers do absolutely nothing. Let’s see how this week pans out. Which of the remaining players in DFA limbo do you think the Brewers will grab, if any: RHP Manuel Rodriguez, OF Alberto Rodriguez, RHP Tyler Cyr, UTIL Matt Reynolds, or RHP Mark Leiter Jr.?
  3. It's not a flashy move this offseason, but it adds pitching depth, and the Brewers have shown a knack for converting struggling pitchers into serviceable major league pieces. Image courtesy of © Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports Earlier in the week, the Pittsburgh Pirates designated right-handed pitcher Bryse Wilson for assignment. Today, the Brewers traded for the 25-year-old pitcher for cash considerations. Wilson has spent portions of five seasons in the major leagues, sporting an ugly-looking 5.54 ERA over 232 innings. He spent most of that time as a starter, appearing in 56 games and starting 43. At a glance, this appears to be more roster-filler, potentially for the AAA Nashville Sounds, but intriguing aspects of the young righty deserve to be mentioned. Wilson entered the league as an Atlanta Brave in 2018 with a potent average of 95mph on his fastball. Over the years, particularly last season with the Pirates, that number has slowly dropped to the 92.4mph average fastball he had in 2022. Despite having solid velocity on that fastball - even by 2023 standards - Wilson has struggled to miss bats, posting a low 15.4 K% rate over his career. Undoubtedly, the Brewers plan to send Wilson to Arizona to retrieve some of that lost fastball velocity. It wouldn't be surprising if they immediately moved him to the bullpen, which often helps add a tick or two in velocity. Strangely, despite his struggles, Wilson still threw five different pitches quite often in 2022: And a few of those pitches were massacred by opposing hitters, notably his changeup and four-seam fastball in 2021 and 2022: Year Pitch Type # # RHB # LHB % MPH PA AB H 1B 2B 3B HR SO BBE BA XBA SLG XSLG WOBA XWOBA EV LA Spin Ext. Whiff% PutAway% 2022 Sinker 593 402 191 32.5 92.1 179 160 49 38 9 0 2 21 141 .306 .296 .400 .407 .342 .341 91.2 5 1958 6.5 11.7 16.9 2022 4-Seam Fastball 438 117 321 24.0 92.7 114 99 30 18 7 0 5 24 77 .303 .278 .525 .498 .384 .370 91.7 21 2034 6.5 22.2 16.7 2022 Slider 290 228 62 15.9 83.4 77 75 18 10 4 0 4 13 63 .240 .314 .453 .530 .297 .364 88.4 17 2160 6.6 20.7 17.8 2022 Changeup 270 72 198 14.8 85.1 82 73 22 12 6 1 3 10 64 .301 .310 .534 .499 .386 .387 92.9 5 1467 6.5 18.8 13.9 2022 Curveball 234 111 123 12.8 77.2 56 53 13 4 3 0 6 11 43 .245 .245 .642 .519 .378 .334 86.1 18 2307 6.5 20.4 18.3 2021 4-Seam Fastball 505 194 311 44.5 93.0 134 120 38 25 5 0 8 20 104 .317 .297 .558 .559 .388 .391 86.7 20 2024 6.6 23.7 16.0 2021 Changeup 225 87 138 19.8 86.8 70 67 18 10 6 0 2 8 60 .269 .333 .448 .537 .309 .378 89.4 8 1576 6.6 14.3 11.9 2021 Sinker 218 158 60 19.2 92.7 68 63 16 8 6 0 2 10 53 .254 .237 .444 .419 .323 .311 87.6 4 2001 6.6 10.9 15.6 2021 Curveball 131 81 50 11.5 77.0 30 27 7 5 0 0 2 7 21 .259 .210 .481 .359 .327 .266 82.7 11 2322 6.6 25.9 18.4 2021 Slider 57 28 29 5.0 86.0 17 16 6 4 1 0 1 1 15 .375 .310 .625 .517 .439 .369 85.3 23 2204 6.6 17.2 14.3 The Brewers likely see something in Wilson to warrant this small gamble on the roster's margins. Given the recent history of the Pirates' pitching development system, Milwaukee's front office surely saw the numbers and realized changes could be made to Wilson's pitch mix and usage and see improved results on the field. Can the Brewers work their fringe-y pitcher magic yet again? View full article
  4. Earlier in the week, the Pittsburgh Pirates designated right-handed pitcher Bryse Wilson for assignment. Today, the Brewers traded for the 25-year-old pitcher for cash considerations. Wilson has spent portions of five seasons in the major leagues, sporting an ugly-looking 5.54 ERA over 232 innings. He spent most of that time as a starter, appearing in 56 games and starting 43. At a glance, this appears to be more roster-filler, potentially for the AAA Nashville Sounds, but intriguing aspects of the young righty deserve to be mentioned. Wilson entered the league as an Atlanta Brave in 2018 with a potent average of 95mph on his fastball. Over the years, particularly last season with the Pirates, that number has slowly dropped to the 92.4mph average fastball he had in 2022. Despite having solid velocity on that fastball - even by 2023 standards - Wilson has struggled to miss bats, posting a low 15.4 K% rate over his career. Undoubtedly, the Brewers plan to send Wilson to Arizona to retrieve some of that lost fastball velocity. It wouldn't be surprising if they immediately moved him to the bullpen, which often helps add a tick or two in velocity. Strangely, despite his struggles, Wilson still threw five different pitches quite often in 2022: And a few of those pitches were massacred by opposing hitters, notably his changeup and four-seam fastball in 2021 and 2022: Year Pitch Type # # RHB # LHB % MPH PA AB H 1B 2B 3B HR SO BBE BA XBA SLG XSLG WOBA XWOBA EV LA Spin Ext. Whiff% PutAway% 2022 Sinker 593 402 191 32.5 92.1 179 160 49 38 9 0 2 21 141 .306 .296 .400 .407 .342 .341 91.2 5 1958 6.5 11.7 16.9 2022 4-Seam Fastball 438 117 321 24.0 92.7 114 99 30 18 7 0 5 24 77 .303 .278 .525 .498 .384 .370 91.7 21 2034 6.5 22.2 16.7 2022 Slider 290 228 62 15.9 83.4 77 75 18 10 4 0 4 13 63 .240 .314 .453 .530 .297 .364 88.4 17 2160 6.6 20.7 17.8 2022 Changeup 270 72 198 14.8 85.1 82 73 22 12 6 1 3 10 64 .301 .310 .534 .499 .386 .387 92.9 5 1467 6.5 18.8 13.9 2022 Curveball 234 111 123 12.8 77.2 56 53 13 4 3 0 6 11 43 .245 .245 .642 .519 .378 .334 86.1 18 2307 6.5 20.4 18.3 2021 4-Seam Fastball 505 194 311 44.5 93.0 134 120 38 25 5 0 8 20 104 .317 .297 .558 .559 .388 .391 86.7 20 2024 6.6 23.7 16.0 2021 Changeup 225 87 138 19.8 86.8 70 67 18 10 6 0 2 8 60 .269 .333 .448 .537 .309 .378 89.4 8 1576 6.6 14.3 11.9 2021 Sinker 218 158 60 19.2 92.7 68 63 16 8 6 0 2 10 53 .254 .237 .444 .419 .323 .311 87.6 4 2001 6.6 10.9 15.6 2021 Curveball 131 81 50 11.5 77.0 30 27 7 5 0 0 2 7 21 .259 .210 .481 .359 .327 .266 82.7 11 2322 6.6 25.9 18.4 2021 Slider 57 28 29 5.0 86.0 17 16 6 4 1 0 1 1 15 .375 .310 .625 .517 .439 .369 85.3 23 2204 6.6 17.2 14.3 The Brewers likely see something in Wilson to warrant this small gamble on the roster's margins. Given the recent history of the Pirates' pitching development system, Milwaukee's front office surely saw the numbers and realized changes could be made to Wilson's pitch mix and usage and see improved results on the field. Can the Brewers work their fringe-y pitcher magic yet again?
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