2009 Brewers’ roster almost a done deal

With last week’s addition of Craig Counsell as the reserve middle infielder, the 2009 Brewers roster is almost complete–here is how the Opening Day 25-man should look:

Virtual locks (barring injury or trade):

1. C Jason Kendall

2. C Mike Rivera

3. 1B Prince Fielder

4. 2B Rickie Weeks

5. SS J.J. Hardy

6. 3B Bill Hall

7. LF Ryan Braun

8. CF Mike Cameron

9. RF Corey Hart

10. P Jeff Suppan

11. P Yovani Gallardo

12. P Manny Parra

13. P Dave Bush

14. P Seth McClung

15. P Trevor Hoffman

16. P David Riske

17. P Carlos Villanueva

18. P Jorge Julio

19. P Todd Coffey

20. IF Craig Counsell

This would only leave 5 spots up for grabs:

21. Reserve Corner Infielder: Mike Lamb has the edge, but Casey McGehee could win out with a very strong spring training…except Lamb bats lefty.

22 and 23. Reserve Outfielders: Tony Gwynn, Jr., appears to have a slight edge for one of the spots, while Chris Duffy and Trot Nixon will compete as well.  All three bat lefty, so look for two of the three to make the 25-man roster.

24 and 25. Bullpen pitchers: Mark DiFelice and Tim Dillard both have a slight edge for the last two spots, unless Doug Melvin and Ken Macha are so worried about the rotation that they want one to be an everyday starter down in Nashville.  DiFelice was a starter in Nashville for most of last year (5-1, 3.22), while Dillard was a reliever (6-1, 1.99), but was a starter in previous years.  Other longshots competing for these last two spots include Luis Peña and R. J. Swindle from the 40-man, and non-roster invitees Chris Capuano, Joe Bateman, Lindsay Gulin, Sam Narron, and Chris Narveson.  All but Peña and Bateman are lefties, so the southpaws have a slight edge in getting a spot, considering the only lefty option in the pen at this point would be Mitch Stetter…and even that could change if Melvin decides to make a run at Brian Shouse.

 

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