Tom Haudricourt, of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and JSOnline.com, provides some of Ned Yost’s and Doug Melvin’s thoughts on the upcoming roster decisions on his JSOnline.com blog:
After Ben Sheets and Jeff Suppan, it appears Manny Parra, Dave Bush and Claudio Vargas are the front-runners. We expect to hear later today that Chris Capuano is going on the DL with an elbow problem, and Carlos Villanueva could be headed to Nashville to start there.
On the subject of options, I can clear up some confusion I’ve seen on the blogs in recent days. Bush and Capuano have a minor league option remaining but they both have three years in the majors so they’d have to clear option waivers to go down. That’s a mere formality, however. No team would stake a claim because the Brewers could recall either player from waivers and keep him. Thus, such players usually pass through waivers. And it’s my understanding that both already have cleared waivers. So, that won’t play a factor in the decisions, but I still expect Bush to be kept and Capuano to go on the DL.
Manager Ned Yost told us this morning that he considers Mike Rivera a better defensive catcher and Eric Munson a better offensive catcher. So it all depends which way they want to go. Defense has been a priority in camp but Munson would provide a much-needed left-handed bat. Jason Kendall is going to catch most of the games anyway, so I’m guessing Munson gets the job.
Infielder/outfielder Joe Dillon appears to have won the final roster spot. Yost said he will go with 12 pitchers, which opens up one other position job. “He gives you a good at-bat every time,” Yost said of Dillon.
First, I apologize to readers in that I was unaware that Bush and Capuano would have to clear waivers…I should have realized that Capuano had three years service due to his time with the D-backs, and Bush with his time with the Blue Jays.
Second, I am a bit stunned that Manny Parra will get the nod over Carlos Villanueva. I guess I assumed that Villanueva’s major league experience would give him the nod over Parra, and, as much as I think Parra is going to be a great pitcher for the Brewers, I was thinking that they’d want him to spend more time in the minors. I’m a huge Parra fan (and Villanueva fan), so either decision is great.
Looks like everyone is on the same wavelength with the benefits of keeping Eric Munson and Joe Dillon.
Lastly, if Yost and Melvin opt for only 12 pitchers (Sheets, Suppan, Vargas, Bush, Parra, Gagne, Turnbow, Mota, Riske, Torres, Shouse and McClung), there is still a 5th reserve position spot after Munson, Dillon, Counsell, and Gross or Nix. They could opt to keep both Gross and Nix, or just one of them and Gabe Kapler. My guess is that both Gross and Nix will be kept to start the season.
Three more roster moves will need to be made before the end of April, however–one when Yovani Gallardo comes off the DL, the second when Chris Capuano comes off the DL, and the third when Mike Cameron has completed his 25 game suspension. That would mean two pitchers and one position player will only be with Milwaukee for a month or so. Gallardo should replace Bush, or possibly Parra, while Capuano’s return would likely result in the demotion of the other; Cameron would likely replace the 5th reserve position player, either Nix or Kapler.