Results tagged ‘ Wes Littleton ’

Brewers set pitching staff with latest cuts

The Brewers made another flurry of camp cuts on Monday that essentially set the team’s 12-man pitching staff for Opening Day and further clarified the three bench spots still up for grabs.

Milwaukee optioned infielder/outfielder Hernan Iribarren Triple-A Nashville, returned super-utility man Vinny Rottino to Minor League camp and informed nonroster pitchers Lindsay Gulin and Wes Littleton and catcher Carlos Corporan that they will not make the Opening Day roster. Gulin, Littleton and Corporan will travel with the team to Los Angeles for a pair of weekend exhibitions with the Dodgers and will also take part in team workouts in San Francisco next week before reporting to Triple-A Nashville to start the season.

The moves had a number of implications:

- The subtraction of Gulin and Littleton, combined with the news Monday that closer Trevor Hoffman had been placed on the disabled list with a ribcage injury, left the Brewers with 12 pitchers in camp. That meant roster spots for both Mark DiFelice and Jorge Julio, right-handed relievers who were competing for the final bullpen job.

With no additions from outside the organization over the next week, the staff will consist of starters Jeff Suppan, Yovani Gallardo, Manny Parra, Braden Looper and Dave Bush (in that order to start the year) plus relievers Todd Coffey, DiFelice, Julio, Seth McClung, David Riske, Mitch Stetter and Carlos Villanueva.

- Three bench roles are still up for grabs. The Brewers will chose two outfielders from Chris Duffy, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Brad Nelson and one infielder from Mike Lamb and Casey McGehee. The Lamb/McGehee battle has been a good one, but both will make the cut if Craig Counsell, who was back in the lineup Monday after playing the previous two days in Minor League camp, has a setback and needs surgery to repair the torn meniscus in his right knee. 

- Gulin will join a starting rotation at Nashville also expected to include Chase Wright, Nick Green, Sam Narron and Tim Dillard. Left-hander Chris Narveson will be assigned to the bullpen, and the organization will make decisions on two other Triple-A pitchers — Richie Gardner and Matt Ginter — on Tuesday. Both of those pitchers have bullpen experience, Ash said.

Gameday: March 30 vs. M's (Braun, Counsell back in)

Left Fielder Ryan Braun (ribs) and infielder Craig Counsell (right knee) return to the “A” game lineup today, when the Brewers host the Mariners at Maryvale Baseball Park.

“I’m back,” Braun declared after meeting with manager Ken Macha

Macha set his lineup just before the clubhouse was closed to reporters, and here it is:

Rickie Weeks  2B
Corey Hart  RF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Mike Cameron  CF
Bill Hall  3B
Craig Counsell  SS
Mike Rivera  C
Manny Parra  LHP

Relievers Carlos Villanueva and Mitch Stetter are scheduled to follow Parra, so Stetter apparently will not head to Minor League camp to face a series of left-handed hitters, after all.

In news this morning, general manager Doug Melvin infomed pitchers Lindsay Gulin and Wes Littleton and catcher Carlos Corporan this morning that they will not make the Opening Day roster. All three players will travel with the Brewers to Los Angeles for a pair of exhibitions against the Dodgers, and will also participate in team workouts in San Francisco on April 5 and 6 before reporting to Triple-A Nashville.

Brewers release Nixon; option Gamel

The Brewers released veteran outfielder Trot Nixon on Wednesday in their latest round of roster cuts. 

The team also optioned third baseman Mat Gamel, one of its top prospects, to Triple-A Nashville, and announced that recently-acquired reliever Wes Littleton had cleared waivers and been optioned to Nashville. Littleton, though, will remain in camp, ostensibly to compete for a bullpen job. 

Nixon signed a Minor League contract over the winter and the Brewers hoped he would be this year’s Gabe Kapler, a fellow former Red Sox who had a solid 2008 season as a backup outfielder in Milwaukee. Instead, Nixon batted .105 in 20 Cactus League games and fell behind fellow competitors Chris Duffy, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Brad Nelson in the chase for two spots on the bench. 

While the rest of the team warmed up for a game against the Dodgers on Wednesday, Nixon was packing up his belongings in the Brewers clubhouse. Through a club spokesman, he declined to speak to reporters. 

“That was tough for me,” said Brewers manager Ken Macha, who was Nixon’s Minor League skipper from 1995-98 and said he put his “heart and soul” into developing Nixon as a big leaguer. “I explained to him that his career has meant as much to me as to him because I spent so much time with him. I’m proud to say he was a player with me in the Minor Leagues because of his professionalism and the career that he has had.” 

Nixon indicated to Macha that he still wants to play and was not mulling retirement. That’s why Macha encouraged Brewers general manager Doug Melvin to make the move early, instead of waiting for the final week of Spring Training.

Brewers swap bullpen arms

The Brewers added one new arm to the bullpen competition Tuesday and subtracted another when the team claimed right-hander Wes Littleton off waivers from the Boston Red Sox.

To make room for Littleton, a 26-year-old who has made 68 career relief appearances for the Texas Rangers, the Brewers designated Rule 5 pick Eduardo Morlan for assignment. Morlan, 23, posted a 6.43 ERA in five Cactus League appearances and it had become clear to club officials that he was not going to win a spot on the Opening Day roster.

The side-arming Littleton has been awful in Spring Training games, allowing 11 earned runs and eight hits, including three home runs, in just 5 1/3 innings over six appearances. The Red Sox acquired him from the Rangers in an offseason trade.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t have the faintest idea what happens next for Morlan. There has been some talk about the Brewers working out a trade with Tampa Bay that would allow them to stash him in the Minors this season, but I need to check with GM Doug Melvin about the procedure for a Rule 5 pick who is designated for assignment.  

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