Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Nieuwenhuis joins Brewers' young Triple-A OF

Counsell assured the club's top prospects will remain priority
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MILWAUKEE -- Kirk Nieuwenhuis is on his way to Triple-A Colorado Springs after accepting an outright assignment on Monday, and it's up to the veteran manager there, Rick Sweet, to figure out how to fit him in.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who spoke with Sweet on Monday afternoon, assured onlookers that Nieuwenhuis' arrival will not cut into the development of outfield prospects Lewis Brinson (No. 1 on MLBPipeline.com's list of the top Brewers prospects), Brett Phillips (No. 10) and Ryan Cordell (No. 16) all off whom are off to great starts. The SkySox also have former top-30 prospect Kyle Wren, at 26 nearly four years younger than Nieuwnenhuis, already in the mix.

View Full Game Coverage

MILWAUKEE -- Kirk Nieuwenhuis is on his way to Triple-A Colorado Springs after accepting an outright assignment on Monday, and it's up to the veteran manager there, Rick Sweet, to figure out how to fit him in.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who spoke with Sweet on Monday afternoon, assured onlookers that Nieuwenhuis' arrival will not cut into the development of outfield prospects Lewis Brinson (No. 1 on MLBPipeline.com's list of the top Brewers prospects), Brett Phillips (No. 10) and Ryan Cordell (No. 16) all off whom are off to great starts. The SkySox also have former top-30 prospect Kyle Wren, at 26 nearly four years younger than Nieuwnenhuis, already in the mix.

View Full Game Coverage

Sweet will somehow wedge in Nieuwenhuis, who was designated for assignment last week after a 2-for-25, 15-strikeout start to the season.

"These situations, it doesn't have to be permanent," Counsell said. "You're taking it day by day. It's clear when you have prospects that there's a priority on those guys. There is the DH there [when the SkySox play at an American League affiliate], but I talked to Rick today and they have a lot of games without the DH coming up, so he's definitely challenged by it. There's going to be some mixing and matching.

"But, obviously, Lewis Brinson is a priority player, and Brett Phillips and Cordell are priority players. It's important that they play."

• Brewers not ready to call up Brinson

Brinson entered Monday leading the team with a 1.052 OPS, Cordell was second at .905 and Phillips fourth at .892. The trio combined for 11 of the team's first 17 home runs.

Nieuwenhuis will not earn his full $900,000 salary in the Minors. He is on a split contract, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, that pays $257,000 in the Minors, and if the organization decides after a reasonable period of time that the Triple-A outfield is too crowded, it could release Nieuwenhuis and owe him only the Minor League figure.

"We have a lot of outfielders there we like and we want to get playing time, so there's going to have to be some flexibility on all parties," Brewers GM David Stearns said. "Rick Sweet is a veteran manager, and he'll do a good job of managing it."

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

Milwaukee Brewers, Kirk Nieuwenhuis