J.P. Feyereisen Feels Right At Home With Brewers
Righthander J.P. Feyereisen, a native of tiny River Falls, Wis., didn’t think it could get much better than being traded to the Brewers with one day remaining in his 2019 minor league season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
But it did get better on Nov. 20 when the Brewers added the 26-year-old reliever to their 40-man roster.
"It’s very exciting,” said Feyereisen, a 16th-round pick in 2014 by the Indians out of Division III Wisconsin-Stevens Point. "My agent thought when they made the trade for me, it was a possibility. But you never know until it actually happens.”
A 40-man roster spot was the primary reason that the Yankees, who had acquired Feyereisen in the Andrew Miller deal in 2016, traded him to Milwaukee. They didn’t anticipate they’d have room to protect him as needed from the Rule 5 draft, and the Brewers thought they could.
"We saw a situation where we might have the roster space to protect him and ultimately were able to,” president of baseball operations David Stearns said. "We expect him to be a guy who can contribute at the big league level next year.”
Feyereisen caught the attention of Brewers’ scouts with his best season as a professional. With an uptick in velocity and better use of his breaking ball and changeup, he became a true swing-and-miss pitcher, recording 94 strikeouts in 61.1 innings while recording a 2.49 ERA in 40 appearances, with seven saves and .173 opponent average.
Why was Feyereisen’s stuff so much better? He had a bone chip removed from his elbow after the 2018 season, allowing him to throw his offspeed stuff without discomfort while also gaining some zip on his fastball.
"That freed up my arm,” Feyereisen said. "It just made it feel good every time I went out there.
"I learned how to pitch a little bit more, rather than just throwing the baseball. I’m excited to take the next step and hopefully face some big league hitters, and see how my stuff plays with them.”
Feyereisen is going to get that chance with the Brewers in the spring, a chance he once dreamed of as a kid growing up in Wisconsin.
— Righthander Zack Brown went from being the organization’s 2018 minor league pitcher of the year to being left off the 40-man roster after an ugly season at Triple-A San Antonio. Brown, 24, went 3-7, 5.79 in 25 games, with a 1.73 WHIP and .298 opponent average.
— The Brewers acquired second baseman Mark Mathias from the Indians in a trade for 18-year-old catcher Andres Melendez, who signed out of Venezuela in 2017. The versatile Mathias, 25, played in 115 games at Triple-A Columbus last season, batting .269 with a .355 on-base percentage, 31 doubles, 12 home runs and 59 RBIs, with 13 stolen bases.