Brewers Have Holes To Fill

MILWAUKEE—Upon losing outfielders Sean Halton and Kentrail Davis in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft, the Brewers' depth chart at that position and level was a bit thin.

As in zero. The Brewers already had decided to sell the rights to Jeremy Hermida to Japan after allowing Caleb Gindl and Eugenio Velez to exit as minor league free agents. So, where did that leave the Brewers in the outfield at new Triple-A affiliate Colorado Springs?

“We really don't have any," said Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash. “We have to get to work and sign some free agents."

Ash already had been talking to agents about acquiring Triple-A outfielders and the opportunity certainly was there at hitter-friendly Colorado Springs. And the plan all along was to accommodate Halton and Davis by exposing them in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft to allow a change of scenery.

“We placed them on the Double-A roster for a reason and that was to give them an opportunity to catch on with another organization," said Ash. “They were not thought of as major league help for us."

On Dec. 18, the Brewers acquired center fielder Matt Long and lefthander Jarret Martin from the Dodgers for catcher Shawn Zarraga and on Dec. 23 claimed outfielder Shane Peterson off waivers from the Cubs.

Davis' exodus continued the mess atop the Brewers' 2009 draft, where he was taken as supplemental first-rounder. First-rounder Eric Arnett flopped and is out of the organization. Supplemental pick Kyle Heckathorn has not developed into a big league prospect. Second-rounder Max Walla recently was released after trying to switch from the outfield to pitching.

But the Brewers did get left fielder Khris Davis in the seventh round of that draft, second baseman Scooter Gennett in the 16th round and righthander Mike Fiers at No. 22.

“It doesn't matter where they come from," said Ash. “If you can get guys to the big leagues out of a draft, you're doing OK. You'd like to do better at the top end."

“Certainly, there was hope for Davis. He did a nice job at times with on-base percentage but never developed the power you need from a corner guy."


• Infielder Luis Jimenez, claimed off waivers from the Angels after the season, will be given the chance in the spring to show he can back up at both first base and third base at the big league level.

• Righthander Jorge Lopez was having a banner campaign in the Puerto Rican Winter League. Through six starts, he had compiled a 1.73 ERA.