Who of Duffy, Gwynn and Nelson is the odd man out?
As the Brewers prepared to break camp on Thursday, the team’s roster decisions were down to three players — Chris Duffy, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Brad Nelson — for two reserve outfield spots.
Gwynn and Nelson are on the 40-man roster and out of Minor League options, so either player would have to be exposed to waivers before being demoted. Duffy is in camp on a Minor League contract and would have to be added to the 40-man if he makes the team. The Brewers do have one open spot.
In terms of performance, Duffy and Nelson have the clear advantage. Duffy entered Thursday’s game, the finale of the Brewers’ Arizona Spring Training schediule, hitting .315 in a team-high 73 at-bats and Nelson was hitting .356 with a .429 on-base percentage.
Gwynn, meanwhile, was limited early in camp by a sore throwing shoulder and then batted .160 (4-for-25) with eight strikeouts in 13 games. It’s very interesting that he did not play at all in Wednesday’s game against the D-backs. He’s not in the lineup again today, and if Gwynn once again does not appear, it could be a very strong indication that some sort of roster move is in the works.
Club officials technically are not allowed to discuss when players are placed on waivers. Just thought I would mention it for those fans following today’s game on television or the MLB.com webcast today.
Duffy was happy with his performance in camp, and rightly so.
“I stayed healthy, and that was the No. 1 thing,” said Duffy, who missed big chunks of the last two seasons with injuries, most notably a shoulder injury that required surgery. “This might sound crazy, but my mindset wasn’t totally to make the team. I wanted to stay healthy and get ready for the season, wherever that was going to be. That helped me not put pressure on myself. I can’t control what they think or what they want, but I can control my own mindset.
“I don’t know what they’re going to do. At the end, it comes down to the fact that this is a business and that can affect the different decisions that are made. I’ve been around long enough to understand that.”