An upset Scott Schoeneweis packed his bags and left Maryvale Baseball Park on Tuesday after team officials informed him he would not make the team. Schoeneweis figures he never had a shot in the first place.
“The only regret I have is that I wasted a month of my time,” Schoeneweis said. “I didn’t have a chance to make the team. That’s what I learned today.”
The Brewers did not officially release Schoeneweis from his Minor League contract but announced to the media that the player, “was advised today that he would not be part of the Major League roster and is free to pursue other opportunities.” General manager Doug Melvin said Schoeneweis would officially be released on Thursday, the date specified in his contract on which he could elect free agency if not added to the 40-man roster.
Schoeneweis was removed from the Brewers’ big league camp roster and so was right-hander Tim Dillard, who was returned to Minor League camp. The team might have one more move later in the day.
Schoeneweis, 36, ostensibly was bidding to be a second left-hander in the Brewers’ bullpen with Mitch Stetter, but the numbers game worked against him. The team is looking at four pitchers for the final two spots in the starting rotation, and to preserve depth at least one of those pitchers will likely begin the season in relief.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told Schoeneweis on Tuesday morning that the team didn’t have a spot for him. Melvin and manager Ken Macha asked Schoeneweis to take an assignment to Triple-A Nashville but he declined.
Schoeneweis is coming off a difficult year at home. His wife, Gabrielle, died suddenly last May while Schoeneweis was pitching for the D-backs. He bounced between home and the team the rest of the season and ended up with a 7.12 ERA, the highest of his career.
“I’m a big league pitcher and I shouldn’t have to prove anything,” Schoeneweis said. “This will be my 12th year in the big leagues and I wasn’t injured [last season], I wasn’t out of the game because my skills diminished. I just had to prove to myself that I wanted to play and [be sure] it was OK with my family. I am OK with all of those things.
“I appreciate the platform to come in and realize those things and to realize that I am a better version of myself than I have been for the last three or four years. It’s just ironic that I can’t get a job because my wife died. It doesn’t make much sense to me.”
In seven Cactus League appearances, Schoeneweis had a 7.71 ERA, but that number can be particularly deceptive in Spring Training for left-handed specialists because they are not used in lefty-on-lefty situations like they would be in the regular season.
Schoeneweis said he would ask his agent, Scott Boras, to see employment elsewhere, hopefully with a team near the west coast so he could remain close to his four children. The family lives in the Phoenix area.
“The positive I take out of this is I realize I can have fun again,” Schoeneweis said. “I haven’t had fun for a long time. I know 100 percent that I am a big league pitcher, bottom line. It would be a shame if this was it for me because I feel like I did when I was 28. If there aren’t any big league jobs out there, then I’ll have to work something out that works for me and my family. I’m not going to toil around in the Minor Leagues.”