Davies among Brewers' latest round of cuts

19th-ranked prospect optioned; Anderson on track to make rotation

March 19th, 2016

PHOENIX -- Right-hander Zach Davies headlined the latest round of Brewers cuts Saturday, leaving 41 players active in camp and further cementing Chase Anderson's spot in the Opening Day rotation.

Davies, who ranks 19th on MLBPipeline.com's list of the top Brewers prospects, was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs along with reliever Junior Guerra, third baseman Garin Cecchini and first baseman Andy Wilkins. At the same time, three non-roster players were returned to Minor League camp: pitchers Hiram Burgos and Daniel Tillman and catcher Adam Weisenburger.

"It's just the business of baseball," Davies said. "There's not enough spots for every person in the clubhouse. Unfortunately, I'm one of [the players sent down], but hopefully I can prove that I belong here at some point in the year."

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Acquired last July in a trade with the Orioles, Davies impressed in six September starts and was positioned for his first Opening Day roster before the Brewers made a Jan. 30 trade with the D-backs that included Anderson. Both are right-handers with similar talents, and Anderson has pitched parts of two years in the Major Leagues.

"We're in a great place with who our sixth starter is," manager Craig Counsell said of Davies, "and that's what I shared with him. It's a guy that's going to be a part of our team this year. The way seasons go, you know he's going to be a part of the team at some point."

Davies posted a 3.60 ERA in four Cactus League outings. Anderson, meanwhile, owns a 10.13 ERA after allowing 20 hits, including four home runs, in 10 2/3 innings.

Asked about the decision to stick with Anderson over Davies despite the latter's superior spring performance, Counsell said, "I would point to the [267] innings that Chase Anderson has in the big leagues. Look, for every player, this is a performance business. But Chase is one of our starters, and Spring Training hasn't changed that one bit for me."

The other notable camp cut on Saturday was Cecchini, a former top prospect acquired in a Winter Meetings trade with the Red Sox. He'd been competing for backup duties at third base and first base, and went 3-for-15 in the Cactus League.

"First of all, he is an incredibly great person to have around," Counsell said. "And I don't say that to diminish his baseball ability. I saw that because he is truly a fun person to be around. He loves baseball and it shows up every single day.

"I think a fresh start is going to be great for him. He's a left-handed hitter and a big guy, but I think his patience and his strike zone discipline is his best trait. He's worked hard and he's going to be largely at third base, but he's going to move around the diamond.

"It's like a lot of these guys -- the message for him was that if we have a need at some point in the season, if you're playing well, you'll certainly be in the equation."