Orioles claim Wheeler; Kintzler to DL

The Orioles claimed Brewers infielder Zelous Wheeler off waivers today, costing the Brewers an interesting prospect but clearing a 40-man roster spot and potential logjam at third base for Triple-A Nashville. That job now appears set for Taylor Green, the lefty-hitting prospect who remains in Major League camp and technically still has a shot at Milwaukee’s Opening Day roster.

Wheeler, 25, is a .271 hitter with a .371 on-base percentage in five Minor League seasons. He’s primarily a third baseman but has also played shortstop, second base and left field, and dabbled in catching during down time in last year’s Arizona Fall League.

The Brewers will need some 40-man spots for non-roster invitees bidding for bench jobs. They include shortstops Cesar Izturis and Edwin Maysonet and utility men Brooks Conrad and Travis Ishikawa.

Also on Thursday, the Brewers placed reliever Brandon Kintzler on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 26, with the right elbow discomfort that derailed his camp. This move was expected, and Kintzler told me this morning that he’s ahead of schedule in his throwing program and threw a successful first bullpen session on Tuesday.

One more move just announced: The Brewers have signed Racine, Wis. native Jason Jaramillo to a Minor League deal. He was released by the Cubs this week. Jaramillo is a catcher who spent parts of the past three seasons in the Majors with Pittsburgh, and with prospect Martin Maldonado slated to be the starter at Nashville, you wonder what this means for catchers Paul Phillips and Mike Rivera.

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