With the Brewers on an off-day in the midst of the playoff hunt, let's dive into some of your questions about the team in this edition of the Inbox.Who are some September call-up names to watch?
-- @nkatz92 on TwitterWhen I asked about call-ups last week, Brewers general manager David
With the Brewers on an off-day in the midst of the playoff hunt, let's dive into some of your questions about the team in this edition of the Inbox.
Who are some September call-up names to watch?
-- @nkatz92 on Twitter
When I asked about call-ups last week, Brewers general manager David Stearns suggested the Brewers may do them in waves -- promote a small number of players on Sept. 1, then add as needed once the Triple-A or Double-A seasons end. Triple-A Colorado Springs making the playoffs added a welcome complication to matters. Another factor to consider: The 40-man roster is full after last week's waiver claim of right-hander Aaron Brooks.
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So, who will arrive from the Minors? We know Brandon Woodruff is all but a lock to rejoin the starting rotation at some point, perhaps as early as Sunday, when the Brewers next need a fifth starter. Left-hander Brent Suter is another option to make September starts, as he nears a return from a rotator cuff injury; if he doesn't start, he could help in the bullpen.
Suter is a left-hander, but he doesn't fit the bill of lefty specialist. Manager Craig Counsell will surely get a southpaw or two to use alongside Josh Hader, and Wei-Chung Wang and Tyler Webb are candidates with Suter for those opportunities.
Two right-handers probably deserve a call-up in recognition for their strong showings in Triple-A: Taylor Jungmann has gone 8-2 with a 2.77 ERA in his 84 1/3 innings for the SkySox, and Junior Guerra posted a 2.45 ERA in his first five starts since a demotion from Milwaukee.
Some of those pitchers will probably start with the SkySox for their first postseason appearance since 1997, so it opens opportunity for another righty with big league time: Jorge Lopez. Now pitching exclusively in relief, Lopez has a 1.42 ERA in his first 10 appearances in August.
Teams always add an emergency catcher, and the Brewers' 40-man choices are limited to a pair of players on the 10-day disabled list. Jett Bandy (fractured rib) and Andrew Susac (strained trapezius) are both expected to be September options.
I realize I have not named any hitters. With Lewis Brinson sidelined by a hamstring injury, Brett Phillips is a strong contender to come up and bolster the bench. The question is whether the Brewers will pry him from Colorado Springs at the start of the month, or wait until that team's season ends.
There's a handy explanation of that and other rules over at the MLB.com mothership. Generally, players must be on the 40-man roster or the 60-day DL as of midnight ET on Aug. 31 to be eligible for the postseason roster.
The danger in answering this question is that teams have "internal thoughts" about everything. That's what baseball people do -- they debate stuff like this.
But the answer is yes, there are some on the inside who think Hader's best value in the long-term is precisely the role he is growing into now. Hader pitched back-to-back days for the first time last week when the Brewers were in San Francisco. That felt significant. If he can prove durable in that role, Andrew Miller-style, that's a tremendous weapon.
But Stearns has been consistent in his public remarks, saying the organization views Hader as a starting pitcher in the long term. If that holds, then Hader would be a part of next year's rotation.
Nyjer Morgan called me "A-Mac," which is boring -- but at least it won't take long to affix to the back of my jersey. As much as I want to slap Tom with "Haudocorrect," he is and always will be "The Prince of Darkness," which I believe came from Phil Garner. Rosiak is a tough one. He could be "The Collector" for his boyhood spent chasing autographs, but that sounds weird in today's era of drug testing.
If this was a ploy to score a plug for the Western Massachusetts Baseball Hall of Fame's class of 2017 induction ceremony on Jan. 26 at the La Quinta Inn & Suites, 100 Congress St., Springfield, Mass., then, well, congratulations. Robidoux was a sixth-round pick of the Brewers in 1982 who made it to the bigs as a September call-up at the end of a monster Minor League season in '85. His Wikipedia page says you can now find him umpiring high school baseball games.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.