The Milwaukee Brewers added five players from the minor leagues when the active roster limits increased from 25 to 40 on September 1st. One other player, infielder Eric Farris, was acquired from Triple A Nashville September 1st, but he technically took Cody Ransom's place when Ransom was picked up on waivers by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The pitching staff is already being retooled for 2013, so it's no surprise that four of the five call-ups are pitchers. Here's a look at these players.
Right handed reliever Brandon Kinsler was 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA in 14 2/3 innings with the Brewers in 2011 before injuring his arm. He began this season at Class A Brevard County and advanced through Double A Huntsville and Triple A Nashville all the way back to Milwaukee. His combined won lost record was 0-4, but he had an ERA 2.87 and nine saves in 45 appearances. Considering how bad the Brewers' bullpen has been in 2012, he's definitely worth a look. He pitched a scoreless inning September 3rd against the Marlins in his first appearance since being recalled.
Hard throwing right handed starting pitcher Tyler Thornburg returns to the Brewers after a couple of brief stints earlier in the season. He had problems giving up the long ball in his earlier appearances, allowing seven home runs in 14 innings of work that included two starts and three relief appearances. Thornburg, who turns 24 on September 29th, is a good strikeout pitcher (160 in 2011 and 113 in 112 2/3 minor league innings in 2012) who has a shot at next year's starting rotation if he can cut down on the home runs.
Highly regarded right handed starter Wily Peralta was 7-11 with a 4.66 ERA in 28 starts for Nashville, though he pitched better later in the season after a poor beginning. He was 11-7 with a 3.17 ERA in 26 minor league starts in 2011. Peralta took over Mark Rogers' place in the starting rotation, and won his first major league start on September 5th in the Brewers' 8-5 win over the Marlins. He allowed three runs in six innings. Peralta will have four or five more starts, and an impressive September showing will make him a serious candidate for a spot in the 2013 rotation.
I was surprised that 24 year old right hander Josh Stinson was one of the pitchers called up, as he had not played at the Triple A level at all this year. Stinson spent the entire season at Huntsville, and was 11-9 with a 3.16 ERA in 29 games including 24 starts. Stinson was picked up from the Mets organization, where he both started and pitched in relief. I believe the Brewers are more interested in Stinson as a reliever than as a starter, possibly as a long reliever assuming Marco Estrada stays in the starting rotation next year.
Center fielder Logan Schafer is back for his second September call-up. His batting average dipped a bit (.315 in 99 games for three minor league teams in 2011, .278 in 124 games at Nashville in 2012) but I believe he's viewed by the Brewers as being ready for the jump to the majors. Schafer had an excellent spring training, but with a platoon of Carlos Gomez and Nyjer Morgan in center, plus Norichika Aoki as a reserve, there was no room on the roster for him. Morgan's production dropped off considerably, and I think it's unlikely he'll return in 2013. That creates an opening for the left handed hitting Schafer to platoon with the right handed hitting Gomez in center next season.
Mark Hudziak is a Featured Contributor in Sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and a longtime fan of the Milwaukee Brewers going all the way back to the days of Tommy Harper and Danny Walton.
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