I do find it remarkably comforting to see the participants in what appears to be the last two spots on the Crew’s 25 man roster. The battles appear to be between Tony Gwynn Jr. and Vinny Rottino for the final position player spot, and Jose Capellan and Greg Aquino for the last spot in the bullpen, assuming there are not any trades or waiver pickups…and with 5 empty spots on the 40 man, I expect to see a couple players claimed, though they may well be Marino Salas types, not major league ready.
If you take a glance at Rotoworld, or other similar sites, you’ll see names mentioned for the 5th starter, and even starting spots that are, to be kind, weak. As long as it is true that both Aquino and Capellan have options left, regardless of who makes the team, they will have the loser of that battle and Dennis Sarfate at AAA Nashville, two players that would probably have made the 25 man roster of over half the teams in the bigs, and probably two of the hardest throwers in AAA that can actually find the plate. My only fear is that Jose is not at full strength and hiding an injury of some sort, suffered in winter ball, as he’s not even been hitting 90.
On the same line of thinking, I think Tony will hit the majors and stay next year, but would prefer he spend ’07 getting 500 PA’s and hopefully, dominating the AAA level, making him at least a platoon option in CF for someone. I do think his overall package is tempting (though as Robert often points out, the 25th man makes little difference), as he would be used as a PR, early innings PH, leadoff PH late, and possible defensive replacement (probably just for Kevin Mench). Rottino is a nice utility guy, as he’s played all 8 spots off the mound, and is decent at 5 of them (all but 2B, SS, CF). He is a nice 3rd catcher, if you’d like to use Johnny Estrada as a PH when Damian Miller is catching, or use a PR for one of them. He’s also a RH bat, he’d actually be the only one on the bench (other than Miller or the switch-hitting Estrada) when a lefty starts. I would go with Vinny myself, but understand that Gwynn may well see more time if he is chosen.
There are probably players that will hit waivers that will tempt the braintrust as well, a RH slugger that could backup 1B/3B is one thing that comes to my mind, as well as that elusive loogy, although I would expect that piece to be added before the deadline in July, and not be a loogy by definition, but rather a solid reliever who happens to throw LH. Regardless, the quality of the 26th and 27th men make me feel pretty good about the strength of the depth that we’ve been hearing about all offseason.
- Brewers Roster Projection
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