The 40-Man Entering the New Year: Position Players | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

We'd like to go to the Playoffs, that would be cool.

The signing of Takashi Saito on Monday filled up the 40-man roster. That means that the Brewers would have to designate somebody for assignment before they could add another player. Due to that limitation, the Brewers have had to bid adieu to Chris Capuano, who we wish nothing but the best of luck to in his future.

Let’s take a look at who remains with the team on a position-by-position basis.

Catcher
Starter: Jon Lucroy
Possible backups: Wil Nieves, George Kottaras
Minor leaguers: Martin Maldonado

The only interesting thing here will be to see who wins the backup catcher job out of camp, the defensive-minded Nieves or the solid hitter Kottaras. As I made obvious last season, I’m a big fan of what Kottaras can do with the bat, and I think it outweighs his defensive shortcomings. Nieves’s deal is non-guaranteed, so even if he’s the org’s new guy, he’ll have to show that he’s not a corpse in Spring Training to stick around.

First Baseman
Starter: Prince Fielder
Possible backups: Mat Gamel?

Gamel has an option remaining, so the Brewers won’t be forced to keep him on the 25-man or lose him when the season starts. Right now, Gamel’s future is a complete question mark, as he could be here, at third, or even an option in the outfield. Major playing time at first won’t be an issue unless the durable Fielder hits the DL for the first time in his career.

Second Baseman
Starter: Rickie Weeks
Minor Leaguers: Eric Farris

As with every position besides SS and CF, there’s no debate about the job here. Eric Farris, however, is an interesting player who has put in his time as a minor leaguer. He only hit .274/.311/.345 in Nashville, but TotalZone rates him as a solid fielder. I don’t think he will nor should make the 25-man, but as a guy that can be called up in an emergency situation, Farris has his uses. Basically, he’s the definition of an “organizational guy.”

Third Baseman
Starter: Casey McGehee

I’ve listed Mat Gamel as a first baseman, but obviously everything said about him there applies here, too. With the type of players the Brewers use on their bench, it doesn’t appear that the Brewers will employ a player with third base as his primary role besides McGehee, who continues to be a tremendous waiver pickup by Doug Melvin.

Shortstop
Starters: Yuniesky Betancout, Craig Counsell?
Possible Backups: Luis Cruz

Personally, I love the idea of the Counsellcourt platoon, as Betancourt is actually a decent hitter against left handed pitchers. However, Betancourt is just awful on defense, so I’m holding out hope that an upgrade is found somehow. Cruz also stands a chance of making the MLB roster, particularly if Counsell has to start games as part of a platoon. In that scenario, Cruz would be the backup MIF on some days.

Outfield
Starters: Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Carlos Gomez?, Chris Dickerson?
Possible Backups: Brandon Boggs

All five of these guys will be on the 25-man roster barring a roster move between now and Spring Training. As with the SS position, I’m a major advocate of a L/R platoon with Carlos Gomez and Chris Dickerson in center field. Gomez is a great defender, and his speed will help at the bottom of the order. Dickerson has power, and if he can overcome his strikeout woes, he should be an above average MLB hitter. His fielding doesn’t measure up to Gomez’s, but he’s good by his own right. Boggs should be an effective fifth outfielder. He’s an OK hitter with the speed to play all three outfield spots

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Comments

Tell us what do you think.

  1. jstru says: December 30, 2010

    No chance of Rivera as backup catcher?

  2. Hey, Batter Batter says: December 30, 2010

    Betancourt awful at Short? His stats are middling, not awful. How about that vaunted NL bounce…? ;-)
    And Counsell will be a year closer to retirement. If Weeks is hurt, the Crew may be the weakest team up-the-middle in the MLB.

    • Jack Moore says: January 2, 2011

      Multiple defensive metrics call him -25 runs relative to average… don’t look at fielding percentage here. The problem is the balls he’s not getting to.

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