Brewers release former first rounder Arnett

The Brewers on Friday cut ties with former first-round Draft pick Eric Arnett, a right-handed pitcher who came off the board one spot after the Angels selected Mike Trout but never advanced past the Class A level.

Brewers officials have suggested in the ensuing years that they were planning to take Trout had he slipped one more spot, but instead spent the 26th overall pick on Arnett, a 6-foot-5 power pitcher from Indiana University. He could not maintain his velocity in the professional ranks, and went 8-20 with a 5.18 ERA in 96 appearances, 40 starts, over five seasons.

In 2012, Arnett was moved to relief and had some success. But he underwent surgery in February 2013 for a torn ACL in his right knee and was limited to 10 games last season.

“Simply put,” assistant GM Gord Ash said in a text, “the organizational depth of pitching has improved and Eric has not gotten to the next level and has been surpassed. We were prepared to continue working with him but he chose to move on.”

The Brewers also on Friday announced the retirement of right-hander Andre Lamontagne, Milwaukee’s 11th round pick in the same 2009 First-Year Player Draft. Lamontagne was considered a Top 20 Brewers prospect after logging a 3.01 ERA for three Brewers affiliates in 2010, but missed all of 2011 with a shoulder injury that led to surgery in 2012.

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