Results tagged ‘ Amaury Rivas ’

Brewers make six roster cuts

The Brewers moved six players off the big league camp roster, including one potential fifth starter candidate, in the first round of cuts Sunday. 
That fifth starter candidate is right-hander Amaury Rivas, who was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. He was one of the players mentioned as a potential fill-in for Zack Greinke, who will miss the start of the season with a cracked rib. 
The Brewers also optioned pitchers Dan Merklinger and Cody Scarpetta to Double-A Huntsville and returned pitchers Robert Hinton and Roque Mercedes and catcher Anderson De La Rosa to Minor League camp. 
The first Minor League full-squad workout was Sunday, but all six players were given until Tuesday to report. 
With the moves, 47 players remained in big league camp.
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Brewers sixth starter? Not sure

The Brewers happily traded back-end depth for front-line talent in their starting rotation, but it led to a “what if” that stumped manager Ron Roenicke on Saturday.

With left-hander Manny Parra out indefinitely with a bad back and right-hander Mark Rogers moving along slowly after some early-spring shoulder stiffness, what if one of a member of the five man starting rotation goes down before Opening Day? Who would step in as the so-called sixth starter?

“Do you want me to look at the list?” Roenicke asked, reaching for a roster.

“[Tim] Dillard is there,” Roenicke said, referring to the right-hander and longtime Brewers farmhand who a year ago radically altered his style to a sidearm sling. “[Wily] Peralta is a possibility, even though he’s young. [Amaury] Rivas is a possibility.”

Peralta is a top Brewers pitching prospect, but he is also 21 years old and has made all of eight starts above A-ball. Rivas was the team’s Minor League pitcher of the year in 2009, but would have to make a big leap after spending last season at Double-A Huntsville.

Reliever Kameron Loe could be an emergency option, considering he made 47 starts for the Rangers from 2004-07. But Roenicke indicated he leave Loe in the bullpen.

“When he was with Texas, they tried to tinker with what to do with him, starting or relieving. He never found his niche, and I think he’s found it” in relief, Roenicke said. “I wouldn’t want to mess with that.”

The Brewers’ relatively thin starting ranks are a change from last season, when they entered Spring Training with four established pitchers vying for two rotation spots behind Yovani Gallardo, Randy Wolf and Doug Davis.

In the end, that depth did not translate to success, and the Brewers ranked next-to-last in the National League in starters’ ERA. General manager Doug Melvin spent the winter focused on adding front-line pitching, trading for Shaun Marcum of the Blue Jays and Zack Greinke of the Royals to go with Gallardo, Wolf and Chris Narveson.

“I’ll take our five starters, and we’ll work out the others,” Roenicke said.

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Parra nearing end of rope?

Brewers left-hander Manny Parra, called his fastball command, “consistently terrible.” The team is considering giving someone else a try in September. 
Parra continued to slam headfirst into some sort of maddening, mid-inning barrier in Sunday’s 7-3 loss to the Padres, keeping the game close early before coming unraveled and making a sudden exit. Parra matched his season-high by lasting six innings, but he surrendered seven runs along the way and still has not recorded a seventh-inning out in any of his 16 starts. 
The Brewers are thinking about a change. Manager Ken Macha and general manager Doug Melvin had what Macha called “a brief discussion” on Sunday morning about September call-ups. The team has four young starters already on the 40-man roster in Josh Butler, Amaury Rivas, Mark Rogers and Cody Scarpetta. 
“We talked a little bit about perhaps who’s coming up and maybe giving somebody else a call,” Macha said. “Really, in all three games in this series, our starters haven’t gotten us where we need to get.” 
Parra, who surrendered seven runs on eight hits with four walks, went the deepest into the game of the three. Ace right-hander Yovani Gallardo lasted only 3 1/3 innings on Friday night, and lefty Chris Narveson made it three innings on Saturday. But the Brewers won each of the first two games in the series thanks to some clutch relief and timely hitting. 
Those hits were not there on Sunday. 
If Parra is indeed removed from the rotation, it would be for the third straight season. In 2008, the Brewers moved him to the bullpen for the stretch drive. In 2009, the Brewers demoted him to Triple-A Nashville in June. 
The team faces a very interesting decision with Parra this winter, when he is arbitration-eligible for the first time. Even with his inconsistency, that means Parra’s price tag is about to increase exponentially. 
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Four more camp cuts

A former first-round Draft pick and the Brewers’ reigning Minor League pitcher of the year were among the latest round of camp cuts Monday. 
Right-handers Mark Rogers and Amaury Rivas were optioned to Double-A Huntsville, and left-hander A.J. Murray and catcher Martin Maldonado were returned to Minor League camp. The moves left 48 players on the Brewers’ spring roster. 
Rogers, Milwaukee’s first-round pick in 2004, and Rivas, who won top pitcher honors last season, each appeared twice in Cactus League games. For Rogers, it marked another step on a long road back from shoulder injuries that so far have derailed his professional career. 
“He’s worked very hard,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said. “His delivery is such that he’s a little more on-line — a lot more online. When you start cutting loose on pitches like he did this year, he should feel very good.”
Rogers did not allow a run in a pair of two-inning appearances. It was his second Major League Spring Training camp, but he was unable to pitch last year because he was still recovering from a 2008 season lost entirely to shoulder surgery. 
Last year at Class A Brevard County, Rogers had a 1.67 ERA in 22 starts and one relief appearance. He also pitched in the prospect-rich Arizona Fall League. 
They key, he agreed, it simply staying healthy.
“I’m OK with that statement,” Rogers said. That’s been our goal, to get 100 percent healthy and compete at the highest level. I’ve done that. I’ve been able to prove to [Macha] and everybody else that I’m healthy, and now I have to go do it consistently. There’s more work I can do, but it is already getting more and more comfortable.”
Rogers, 24, was pleased that his parents, Craig and Staphanie, were in the stands for both of his Cactus League outings. They were in town from Maine. 
Rivas is also 24 and was Rogers’ teammate last season at Brevard County, where he went 13-7 with a 2.98 ERA and was honored along with Minor League Player of the Year Logan Schafer. Macha was impressed with Rivas’ change-up, which the manager referred to as a, “plus, plus pitch.” 
Murray and Maldonado were both in camp as nonroster invitees. Murray, who has big league experience with the Rangers, will likely end up at Triple-A Nashville. 
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More cuts coming Monday

Expect the Brewers to announce another round of roster cuts on Monday that will focus on paring the pitching staff down to those with a legitimate chance to make the Opening Day roster.  It could mark the end of the line for prospects like Mark Rogers and Amaury Rivas, who have a bright future but still have some Minor League work to do first. 

Considering that the starters are making their third turn through the rotation and pushing toward the 70-pitch level, it makes sense for the team to make some more moves.  
They next key date is Wednesday, March 17, the last date to request unconditional release waivers on players in order to owe only 30 days’ termination pay, or one-sixth of the players’ salary. The actual deadline for such a move is 1 p.m. CT. 
That deadline does not affect players with multi-year contracts, because those salaries are already guaranteed.
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Cain, Rivas get 40-man spots

Two days before the deadline to protect prospects from next month’s Rule 5 Draft, the Brewers added outfielder Lorenzo Cain and right-hander Amaury Rivas — the team’s reigning Minor League pitcher of the year — to the 40-man roster.

Two others who would have required protection had been previously added. The Brewers gave pitchers John Axford and Josh Butler a taste of the Majors in September, figuring they would need roster protection after the season, anyway. The team also added infielder Adam Heether earlier this month. [That's true, but they didn't have to add Heether to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. He would have been a six-year free agent.]

Cain, 23, impressed Brewers coaches when he filled-in for some injured outfielders during Spring Training but saw his season derailed by a left knee injury in April. He was limited to 60 games at three levels of Milwaukee’s farm system and batted .218 with a .277 on-base percentage.

“When you play with an injury all year it can make you apprehensive, and it did,” Brewers farm director Reid Nichols said. “He had doubts on his knee. He was probably playing a step short the whole time and had a little lack of confidence in what he could do physically. That’s normal, when you can’t go the way you want to go. There’s no doubt he’s a good player. He just has to get that knee as well as his other one.”

Cain is currently making up for lost time in the Arizona Fall League.
Through 17 games, he was hitting .242 with a .375 on-base percentage
and 14 runs scored as the Peoria Javelinas’ leadoff man.

Rivas, who turns 24 on Dec. 20, was 13-7 with a 2.98 ERA at Class A Brevard County in 2009 to win a Robin Yount Award as the organization’s top pitcher. He was at Miller Park to accept the award in September.

With Wednesday’s additions, the Brewers still have five open spots on their 40-man roster.

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Rivas, Schafer top farmhands in '09

The Brewers on Friday named right-hander Amaury Rivas and outfielder Logan Schafer their top Minor Leaguers for 2009. Both players earned a Robin Yount Performance Award, an honor typically bestowed upon home-grown prospects.

That was the case this year with Rivas (who signed as an undrafted free agent in 2005) and Schafer (Milwaukee’s third-round pick in 2008).

From the team’s press release:

Rivas, 23, spent the entire season with Class-A Brevard County where he posted a team-record 13 wins, going 13-7 with a 2.98 ERA (133.0ip, 44er) in 26 games (23 starts).  He finished in the top five in several pitching categories in the Florida State League, including wins (T2nd), strikeouts (T3rd, 123) and ERA (5th).  He was selected to the Florida State League All-Star and Postseason All-Star Teams.
               
Following the All-Star break, Rivas went 9-2 with a 2.26 ERA, including a 5-1 record with a 2.10 ERA in six starts during the month of August.  He recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts at Dunedin in six innings on August 18. …

Schafer, 23, spent the majority of the season with Class-A Brevard County (.313, 6hr, 58rbi, 16 stolen bases in 113 games) and appeared in seven games with Double-A Huntsville, where he batted .217 (5-for-23).  At Brevard County, Shafer earned the league batting title (.313) and finished among the league leaders in hits (2nd, 143), runs scored (2nd, 76) and doubles (3rd, 31).  He was selected to the Florida State League Postseason All-Star Team.

As the team’s primary leadoff hitter, Schafer batted .334 (125-for-374) from the leadoff spot in the lineup.  One of his best games of the season came against Clearwater on August 26 when he turned in a 4-for-5 effort with a home run, double, 5rbi and three runs scored.

Both Rivas and Schafer will be honored at Miller Park on Sept. 19 before the Brewers-Astros game.

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