Minor League Mailbag: 3/25/16

Opening Day is fast approaching and as a handful of players continue to battle it out for the final few roster spots, we’ll take a look at that roster construction as well as answer questions about Orlando Arcia’s ETA, the whereabouts of several young prospects and more, in another edition of the Minor League Mailbag.

I know guys like (Keon) Broxton and (Yadiel) Rivera probably deserve to make the team out of spring training but wouldn’t it be best to send them down since they have options left? – Justin

There are arguments both for and against this but I think the simplest way to look at it is would they play every day at the big league level? Both Broxton and Rivera have been impressive this spring and I’d love to see more of them in Milwaukee. If their names are penciled in the starting lineup day after day I’m all for having them on the squad, but if they are relegated to platoon/bench roles, they might be better served playing every day at AAA. Factor in that the Brewers are not expected to be very competitive this season and sending them down makes even more sense. They have both earned spots on the 25-man roster based on their play this spring, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see them head to Colorado Springs, at least to open the season. It’s unfair to the talented youngsters for sure, but it may be what’s best for the long-term future of the team.

How long until we see (Orlando) Arcia in Milwaukee? – Mike

I would say sometime later in May at the earliest and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him stay down longer than that. A lot really depends on how he performs in AAA, but as I mentioned previously, the Brewers aren’t in a position to compete for a World Series in 2016, so Arcia will really need to stand out with the Sky Sox and leave the Brewers with no choice but to bring him up. If I were a betting man, I’d say somewhere between June and the All-Star break for an ETA.

Are you surprised to still see (Jonathan) Lucroy in a Brewers uniform? – Greg

Honestly, I am. I thought he’d be dealt by now, but reports are that the Brewers asking price has been extremely high (rightfully so) for their All-Star catcher so to this point there have been no takers. The later we get into the spring, the less likely a deal seems, but even if something doesn’t pop up in the next few days, I still think there’s an 80 plus percent chance he’s gone by the trade deadline.

Nicolas Pierre appeared in 40 games for the Brewers AZL affiliate in 2015.

Nicolas Pierre appeared in 40 games for the Brewers AZL affiliate in 2015.

Where are some of the DSL guys who were stateside last season? I haven’t seen players like Nic Pierre, Carlos Luna or Ignacio Otano in any of the minor league lineups this spring. – Wesley

The team opted to keep many of their young Latin American players at their facility in the Dominican Republic rather than bring them to Arizona for spring training. The plan is to have some of those players like Pierre, Otano, Yeraldy Martinez, etc. work out in the Dominican and then make their way to Maryvale once the locker rooms thin out as full season leagues start. Luna, on the other hand, is in Arizona with the Brewers, but is currently rehabbing an injury.

Any idea where Taylor Williams is at in his rehab? – John

Williams still has a ways to go as he makes his way back from Tommy John surgery. While he suffered the injury during spring training last year, the Brewers first opted to have him try a rest and rehab program. When that didn’t work, he finally went under the knife for TJ surgery in August. It’s usually a full year before guys make it back from that surgery so I wouldn’t expect to see him until very late in the year, if at all.

The Brewers have so many talented outfielders at the lower levels. How do they find at bats for everybody and does it hurt the development of players if they are forced to play a position other than their best? – Evan

It’s going to be tough to find regular at bats for all of those guys and somebody is probably going to stay behind in extended spring training that wouldn’t have in past seasons. Defensively I think we’ll see a lot of rotating, which I think is a good thing. The more versatility a player has, the better. You might see a guy like Monte Harrison in right one day and in center the next but I think that helps his development more than it hurts it. These things tend to have a way of working themselves out and having too much talent is certainly better than the alternative so it’s a nice problem to have.

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Thanks, as always, for all the great emails. If you have questions about any of the Brewers prospects, feel free to email us at millerparkprospects@gmail.com or tweet us @BrewersMPP and we will pick a few of your questions to use in next month’s edition.

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3 thoughts on “Minor League Mailbag: 3/25/16

  1. On Broxton and Rivera – Are we sure that them going to the minors ensures more playing time? thats where i feel the really big question/problem is.

    Broxton plays center, and unlike the other candidates, and doesnt have a corner profile (not that it matter because the others dont have options) but Colorado will already have 4 center fielders in Reed, Phillips, Taylor, and Wren and Broxton probably slides in 4th among them. Maybe you move some guys to double A, like phillips and taylor, but now you are talking about disrupting some top prospects’ development. So, I actually think there are more ABs for him in the bigs and they would be at his best position, center.

    Rivera i guess could play second in AAA, but his greatest attribute as a player is SS defense… he isnt taking ABs from Arcia. You also have hernan perez who will need regular ABs at second also and is also right handed. So again, if hes relegated to playing second there are probably more ABs at the bigs in a platoonish role with scooter and on top of that i see him being able to take more ABs from Villar than Arcia at this

  2. I agree with jared. It maybe better to keep them in the bigs because of the log jam at triple A. I wonder though if rivera shouldn’t work more at 2nd in triple A with arcia. The D up the middle could be absolutely Studley if they wOrkney out together together. We also have to see if Rivera is really turning it around at the plate or if this is is an aberration. He has been quite good since the fall league last year.

    I wouldn’t count Walsh out as scooter’s platoon mate. He gets on base a ton which could translate into runs from the bottom of the order. And it’s pretty obvious that Sterns wants to build an on base heavy team.

  3. You’ve got a valid argument, especially in Broxton’s case. I guess the point I was getting after was that Broxton needs to play every day whether that’s in Milwaukee or the minor leagues. I agree that guys like Phillips and Taylor are priorities, I just don’t want to see guys like Nieuwenhuis, Presley or Peterson getting at bats while Broxton toils away on the Brewers bench.

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