Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Brewers 2016 Position Questions Still Unanswered | Brewers Spring Training



Brewers 2016 Roster
Over the past week, players have begun reporting for Spring Training for all 32 teams. Our own Milwaukee Brewers are beginning a full rebuild and have many questions to answer before opening day. Here are some of those questions.

Who will play center field? We know that Ryan Braun will move back to left field and Domingo Santana will play right field. But who will play center? There are a ton of players in the mix. Right now, I would say they are going to give Michael Reed the first chance, and he should technically enter Spring Training number one on the depth chart, although this early in camp, and with this many players in the mix, that doesn't mean much. If he falters or proves to be not ready, look for them to give Shane Peterson the next opportunity. After Peterson the former New York Met Kirk Nieuwenhuis will get a shot. After him, look for the likes of Keon Broxton, Rymer Liriano, and Ramon Flores, three interesting younger-ish players the Brewers have. After them, it's non-roster invitees Alex Presley and Eric Young Jr. Last would be 21-year-old Brett Phillips, who has a very outside chance, but isn't ready yet, and since the Brewers are just beginning a rebuild, I don' think they would want to start his service clock just yet.

Who will play shortstop? With the trade of Jean Segura, the name the comes to people's minds first and foremost is the Brewers own mega-prospect, 21-year-old Orlando Arcia, the little brother of Minnesota Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia. However, he isn't quite ready yet, so as the Brewers hold of starting his service clock as long as possible, the list of names that could get the opening day start is long. I would say that the first chance goes to Yadiel Rivera, a Brewers farmhand who isn't nearly as talented as Arcia, but is a little farther advanced. After Rivera look for the former Houston Astro Jonathan Villar. After them it opens up a little. Colin Walsh, and non-roster invitees Hernan Perez and Jake Elmoe. If none of those names emerge, look for the trusty veteran Aaron Hill, who came over on the Jean Segura trade, to get the job for the time being.

Who will play third base? This one is not as complicated as the first two questions. There are two names here that will get every opportunity to win the job. Garin Cecchini will get the first chance. He will compete with the former San Diego Padre and Boston Red Sox who will be given the opportunity to try and recapture his 2012 form. After that, the list includes many of the names from the shortstop list, but that is only if Cecchini and Middlebrooks prove to be that bad this spring.

Who will be the closer? With the trade of Francisco Rodriguez, the Milwaukee Brewers closer role becomes wide, WIDE open. In fact, since they are beginning a rebuild, and having a good closer is not really necessary at this stage, the team may take this one on a week to week basis during the season. The hard throwing David Goforth will begin camp as the closer by default, although that means nothing at this point. Former Brewers prospect Jeremy Jefress, who has had his ups and downs, could also get a chance. Tyler Thornburg, another former prospect, could get a shot. I would look for Ariel Pena, whom scouts say has a closers arm, to get his fair chance as well, and could very well end up being the long term solution.

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