As expected, the Milwaukee Brewers traded pitcher Zack Greinke July 27th after they could not sign the right hander to a new contract . Greinke will be a free agent after the season, and made it clear he wanted to test the market. With the Brewers essentially out of the playoff race, a trade was inevitable, so Greike was dealt to the Los Angeles Angels. While it is hard to part with a talented player like Greinke, I agree with the move, and I like the three players that general manager Doug Melvin obtained from the Angels in the deal. The trade was made with an eye toward 2013 and beyond, and Melvin obtained some of the Angels' top prospects. All were assigned to Double A Huntsville.
Ever since the Brewers sent shortstop Alcides Escobar to the Kansas City Royals in the trade that brought Greinke to Milwaukee, the Brewers have been searching for a shortstop. One of the players obtained in the trade is 22 year old shortstop Jean Segura. Segura had recently been called up to Los Angeles, but he's spent most of the season at Double A Arkansas. I think Segura has good shot at being the Brewers' regular shortstop in 2013, if not at the beginning of the season, then certainly at some point later in the year. Besides filling a need at shortstop, the Brewers may have their leadoff man of the future in Segura. He hit .294 in 94 games at Arkansas, and had 33 stolen bases. If he can put up those kind of numbers at the major league level, he would bring some stability to the top of the batting order. I think it's almost certain Segura will get a September call up to the Brewers and I look forward to seeing him in action.
The Brewers also received two 23 year old right-handed pitchers, both of whom were at Arkansas. Johnny Hellweg has a record of 5-10 but an ERA of 3.38 in 21 starts. Hellweg pitched almost exclusively in relief until 2011 when he was converted to a starter. Considering the state of Milwaukee's relief pitching this season, I think the Brewers should put Hellweg back in the bullpen. It's probably his fastest path to the majors. Ariel Pena, the other pitcher in the deal, has been a starter who throws a lot of strikeouts throughout his minor league career. He was 6-6 with a 2.99 ERA and 111 strikeouts at Arkansas in 2012. He had 180 strikeouts in 27 games at Class A Inland Empire of the California League in 2011. Though it's possible one or both of these pitchers will get a September call up, I think it's more likely we'll see them get invited to Spring Training in 2013.
Mark Rogers called up from Nashville
Greinke's departure has provided an opportunity for Mark Rogers to show he belongs in the majors. Rogers was a first round draft pick in 2004, but his career injury filled career has been disappointing . He started slowly at Nashville in 2012, but has pitched very well in his last three starts with the Sounds, allowing just two runs in 19 innings. With Randy Wolf and Shaun Marcum unlikely to return next season, Rogers has a great opportunity to move into the starting rotation in 2013. It's time to see if the 26 year old right-hander can pitch effectively at the major league level.
A Featured Contributor in Sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Mark Hudziak has been a fan of the Brewers since they moved to Milwaukee in 1970.
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