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Inbox: Who's in line for a callup to Milwaukee?

Beat reporter Adam McCalvy answers questions from Brewers fans
August 27, 2018

Who do you think gets called up for September roster expansion? Any new arms possible? -- Deb M. (via Twitter)The short answer is yes, the Brewers will get an influx of arms on Saturday -- and Sunday, when Zach Davies and Corey Knebel are eligible to return after being optioned

Who do you think gets called up for September roster expansion? Any new arms possible?
-- Deb M. (via Twitter)

The short answer is yes, the Brewers will get an influx of arms on Saturday -- and Sunday, when Zach Davies and Corey Knebel are eligible to return after being optioned last week. Many of the names will be familiar: Brandon Woodruff, Jacob Barnes, Adrian Houser and Aaron Wilkerson all have been part of the Triple-A Colorado Springs and Double-A Biloxi shuttle this season, and all are in the mix for a callup with Davies and Knebel.
On the position-player front, it's the same story. Infielders Nate Orf and Tyler Saladino and outfielders Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana are all familiar to Brewers fans and are on the 40-man roster. It's easy to make a case for any of them.
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Catcher will be interesting. Teams always call up an extra backstop in September, but the only other healthy catcher on Milwaukee's 40-man roster is Jacob Nottingham, who hasn't played since suffering a chip fracture in his right wrist in late July. Brewers farm director Tom Flanagan said Nottingham has been rehabbing in Phoenix and will join Colorado Springs in the coming days to go through a hitting progression. He should be game-ready within a week or so, putting a September callup in play. There are two other good options at Triple-A in Jett Bandy (.896 OPS since being demoted) and Christian Bethancourt (19 home runs, .822 OPS). The problem is that neither is on Milwaukee's full 40-man roster.
And speaking of that, another good candidate for a callup is left-handed pitching prospect Quintin Torres-Costa, who has a 1.41 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP between the Double-A and Triple-A levels this season. He could help the Brewers corral left-handed hitters if incumbent Dan Jennings continues to struggle. Torres-Costa needs to be added to the 40-man roster this November, anyway, to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft.
I just named a dozen players if you count one catcher. I doubt very much that the Brewers will call up that many bodies in September, and I also am sure there's a surprise in store, a la Taylor Williams last year.

Woodruff was optioned to Colorado Springs on July 24 and essentially removed from the carousel so he could focus on making consistent starts in case the Brewers had a need in their rotation. With Davies on the disabled list, Woodruff has been Milwaukee's No. 6 starter. I assume he's a bullpen guy again for September, barring need.

  1. The last time we met, I said I thought 90 victories was on the high side if we're talking just about getting into the postseason -- meaning the National League Wild Card Game. Now, with the standings as crowded as they are, that doesn't sound low at all. To get to 90, the Brewers would have to go 17-13 in their remaining games.
    2. Carlos Gomez. I don't think the Brewers will trade for him, but that wasn't the question. He was fun to cover.

I respect the thought you put into this, and I'm sure you'll find some takers. But I'm in the shrinking group that thinks the pitcher should hit. Nine players in the field, nine batters. If you don't want the pitcher to hit, why even mess around with the ninth batter? Just have the eight position players hit.
Again, I realize I'm in the minority there.

No way you navigate 30 remaining games with four relievers. When the Brewers were at their best this year, manager Craig Counsell had five, six and seven bullpen arms he could trust to get outs, and they know they need to get back to that if they are going to play past September. I would argue that means not getting emotional and punting, say, Jennings, after a bad homestand. Or giving up on Williams and Corbin Burnes.
I know you'll say, "But it's a pennant race." I say players are not robots, and if a team panics and gives up on any player who has a bad week, you run out of players.

Mike Moustakas has a $15 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout. I think he genuinely has enjoyed his first month in Milwaukee, but I would be surprised if he's back. After his frustrating free-agent winter last year, I expect he'll want to take another shot at a big multiyear deal, and you can't blame him for that.

I love this question and have some ideas, but I would be curious to hear what you all have to say about it, first. Give me a shout in the comments with your thoughts, and we will revisit this in the offseason. Paul, don't let me forget.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.