Rule 5 still has me (and Doug Melvin) worried

A few weeks back, I did a post on the Brewers’ promising AAA pitchers. While everyone was watching the Francisco Cordero circus, Doug Melvin quietly added pitchers Tim Dillard and Luis Peña to the 40-man roster.
ESPN.com published the rules of Rule 5:

Eligibility: A player not on a team’s Major League 40-man roster is eligible for the Rule 5 draft if: the player was 18 or younger when he first signed a pro contract and this is the fourth Rule 5 draft since he signed, OR if he was 19 or older when he first signed a pro contract and this is the third Rule 5 draft since he signed.

Recall, also, the comprehensive list of arms that could compete for the Brewers’ bullpen in ’08 that I published a few weeks back, updated with the addition of Mota, the loss of Linebrink, and those on the 40-man with a ‘*’ after their name:
1. Greg Aquino*
2. Steve Bray
3. Dave Bush*
4. Chris Capuano*
5. Mark DiFelice
6. R.A. Dickey
7. Tim Dillard*
8. Zach Jackson*
9. Ray King {not on roster but UFA}
10. Scott Linebrink
11. Seth McClung*
12. Manny Parra*
13. Adam Pettyjohn
14. Brian Shouse*
15. Mitch Stetter*
16. Derrick Turnbow*
17. Claudio Vargas*
18. Carlos Villanueva*
19. Matt Wise*
20. Randy Choate*
21. Luis Peña*
22. Marino Salas
23. Guillermo Mota*
Therefore, Bray, DiFelice, Dickey, Pettyjohn, and Salas could all be unprotected for the Rule 5 draft (I say “could” because I don’t have definitive information yet on each one that tells me if they do or do not meet the above eligibility requirements). While Salas was in AA for most of last year, the other four showed some signs of success…and could be attractive to other teams. I’ll try to find out more if these five are indeed eligible.

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