With the news of Eric Farris getting the call to the majors to replace the vacant infield spot on our roster that Cody Ransom left when Arizona claimed him on waivers, it got me thinking of who else I'd like to see and who I think we will see in the next few days. News around the club house is that in addition to to Farris, we will likely call up two starting pitchers, one outfielder, and one infielder. Following that criteria, here is my Top 5 Brewers minor leaguers who I think deserve a call up.
5. Eric Farris 2B - Since he got the call already, I'll go over why he got the call up. In Triple A Nashville, Farris is batting .286 with 7 HR, 31 RBI, 63 R, and a team leading 35 stolen bases. His 7 home runs puts him at a tie for his career high he set for himself back in 2009. Another stat that really sticks out is that through 131 games, he only has 56 strike outs. Farris was called up last year when Rickie Weeks went out with his ankle injury, and many thought that Farris had a chance to make an impact on the major league roster. However, the Brewers quickly acquired utility man Jerry Hairston Jr., which put Eric's chance to shame. This year, Weeks has been the only healthy player all year (knock on wood) so we haven't heard much about our minor league second basemen. Eric will likely be used in running situations near the end of games. Maybe see him for a pinch hit of two, but that's about it.
4. Wily Peralta SP - Wily has been on the radar for a few years now as a pitcher the Brewers would likely call up to join the rotation. That time could be sooner rather then later. With many question marks in the air about what our rotation will look like next year, Peralta might be someone with an answer for us. Now, many are going to question if he's ready. It's a fair question, considering his stats for this 2012 season. Posting a 7-11 record with a 4.66 ERA on the year, it's very likely that he''s just having an off year. Or, he may not be ready. But, you might as well test the waters now and see how he does as a starter in the Bigs. Over his last 10 games, he has gone 2-3 giving up 25 earned runs over 56.2 innings and accumulating 64 strikeouts. It seems like Peralta is one of those guys where when "he's on", he's untouchable. But when he's off his game, it's not fun to watch when he struggles. I think at this point he deserves a legitimate look in the rotation.
3. Tyler Thornburg SP - We have seen Tyler a little bit this year already when our rotation had some injuries with Marco Estrada and Shaun Marcum. Tyler struggled a bit during his call up, especially when he got behind in counts. He gave up a lot of home runs with fastballs right down the middle of the plate, which is something he'll learn to fix with more minor league experience. Tyler deserves a second look, especially with the way the Brewers season is looking. Tyler has risen in the ranks quite fast in the Brewers organization, and is honestly a few year away from being fully major-league ready. His record in the minors is around .500 and has a average ERA. With Mark Rogers being shut down for the year and possibly shutting Mike Fiers down as well, there will be spots that will need to be filled and Thornburg is likely to fill them, along with Peralta.
2. Taylor Green 3B/2B/1B - With the exit of Cody Ransom, who really was our utility infielder, it's very likely we call Taylor up to fit in that role to be the go to pinch hitter or be inserted around the infield when Corey Hart, Aramis Ramirez, or Rickie Weeks need a day off. Green was on our main roster a lot this year, but unfortunately sat the bench a lot unless he was called upon for a pinch hit. Since being sent down about 2 months ago, Green has hit 7 home runs for the Nashville Sounds. Green's numbers have been down from last year, where he put up enough numbers to be the Brewers 2011 Minor Leaguer of the Year. Once Aramis Ramirez's time is up for the Brewers, Green will likely be the guy to replace him. It's not a bad idea to get his major league reps in now.
1. Caleb Gindl OF - The Brewers were very high on Gindl during spring training, and he remains one of the Brewers top outfield prospects. Gindl has put up very promising numbers down in Nashville, posting 12 HR, 50 RBI, 54 R, batting .261. This Brewers would like to add a legitimate pinch hit option, even though Travis Ishikawa has done quite well in that role as of late. With Nori Aoki a little banged up and Nyjer Morgan going on too many hot and cold streaks, it would be a good idea to get a guy like Gindl up now to get him some major league reps.
Here are a few guys who deserve a call up, but are not on the Brewers' 40 man roster and would require their contracts purchased from the minor leagues:
3. Khris Davis OF - Davis started 2012 out the year playing for our rookie Arizona team, and quickly rose the ranks. He went to play for Huntsville after spring training and batted a monster .383. A few months back, he got the call up to Nashville, where he is still batting over .300 but not as high as .383. In Nashville, he's batting .313 with 4 HR and 24 RBI in 31 games. Combined in the 3 leagues this year, Davis is batting .350 with 15 HR, 52 RBI, and 53 R. Like Gindl, Davis would give the Brewers a legitimate pinch hitting option.
2. Claudio Vargas SP - Claudio Vargas came out of retirement this season and was quickly acquired by the Brewers during the middle of the season. I always like Vargas, and was pretty glad to see him back in our organization. And, he has come back with an absolute BANG! Since being signed, Vargas has gone 7-1 for Nashville in 20 starts posting a 3.69 ERA. Such success to me deserves a spot on our main roster. I wouldn't put him as a starter, but possibly a relief pitcher.
1. Hunter Morris 1B - This goes without saying, but Hunter is having an absolutely incredible season in Double A Huntsville. Morris is currently batting .303 with 28 HR, 113 RBI, and 77 R. Those numbers would put you into MVP consideration on the majors. He has been tearing the seams off the ball all year, and yes it might be early for a call up, but it is surely well deserved.
Other names to consider for call ups on 40 Man Roster:
OF Logan Schafer
SP Johnny Hellweg
SP Ariel Pena
RP Brandon Kintzler
SP Josh Stinson
That just about does it. Hopefully the gentlemen I listed get the call and produce for the Brewers for the remainder of the season. I just want to quick note that though the chances of the Brewers making the playoffs remains slim, they have been playing some hot baseball lately and are only 6.5 games out of a Wild Card spot. The 2011 St. Louis Cardinals can make any 2012 team a believer. Go Brewers!
Until next time, Beers, Brats, and Championships.
-Andrew Vrchota (@WSB_Andrew)
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