As trade rumors and the deadline approaches for the 2021 Major League Baseball season, it’s easy to forget that most teams have plenty of players waiting in the minor leagues waiting for their shot. The Milwaukee Brewers are in the same boat. The team isn’t perfect, but are on a current hot streak and don’t play a playoff-caliber team until closer to July. They should be competing for the NL Central, which means they will need a few additional pieces.
Yes, trading for players like Jesus Aguilar and Eduardo Escobar would be great. Signing a free agent is also possible. But Milwaukee is also trying to re-stock their minor league system. They have decent players, but would still love to have more young talent or trading chips for down the line.
The Brewers also have several players who haven’t been called up yet and you should still see this season. It’s very possible the team isn’t done trading yet this year. But if they are, here are some players who can contribute this year to the team.
Green was signed to a minor-league contract in December of 2020 as a possible infield utility player. The team also signed Daniel Robertson, Travis Shaw and Pablo Reyes in hopes to find a permanent third base solution.
Shaw had a hot April, but has cooled off since. Robertson was injured. Reyes is now up for the second time after Kolten Wong hit the injured list again. Green, in all likelihood, should be the next player up if Reyes doesn’t play well or another injury occurs. Some people thought he would be called up this week when Keston Hiura was sent back down again. Instead, Jace Peterson was called on once again.
Currently, third base is being split by Shaw, Urias, Roberston and Reyes. Urias, if he can keep a hot bat, could see more and more time over at the corner infield position. Green should definitely get a shot sometime this season as well. He is having a great year in Nashville, and could help out the offense if they start to decline again.
Zach Green's ranks amongst Triple A East hitters:
Home runs – 1st (9)
RBI – 1st (25)
SLG – 3rd (.708)
OPS – 7th (1.037)
XBH – 2nd (13)
TB – 5th (51)
— Brewers Player Development (@BrewersPD) May 31, 2021
Hot off the presses, it was recently revealed that future Brewers starting pitcher Aaron Ashby has been moved to the bullpen in Nashville. It appears he could have a similar role this season that Corbin Burnes had in 2018.
News from the Minors: The Brewers are moving Aaron Ashby to the Triple-A bullpen to position him for an eventual call-up to the Major League club. He'll be a multi-inning guy, Rick Sweet told @JeffHemPBP on the Sounds pre-game show.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) June 9, 2021
So far this year, Ashby has a record of 2-1 and a 2.93 ERA over 27.2 innings. He also has 39 strike outs so far. He struck out 11 alone in his last start. It was a giant question mark if he would make an appearance this year, but it appears his debut is almost guaranteed in 2021.
LHP Aaron Ashby tossed seven innings of two-hit ball on Friday night, allowing just one unearned run. He also punched out 11 enemy hitters and lowered his ERA to 2.93 pic.twitter.com/lqHWB3ZRXj
— Brewers Player Development (@BrewersPD) June 7, 2021
The 29-year-old was acquired in 2019 from the New York Mets along with Adam Hill and Felix Valerio, with Keon Broxton going back to the Mets.
Wahl appeared in three games in 2020 for Milwaukee. He pitched just over two innings and gave up four hits and three earned runs. He was called up on July 23rd, and sent back down just a week later to the Alternate Training Site.
Bobby was pitching well during Spring Training this year and had a 3.00 ERA over four games with a hold, but then sadly suffered a right oblique strain and was put on the 60 day injured list.
Wahl was re-activated on May 31st and optioned to the Nashville Sounds Triple A team. The Brewers have had a rotating group of relievers so far, and Wahl could be the next player up to get a chance. It appears they want him to have some more appearances first before coming back up to Milwaukee.
Black was also acquired via trade in 2019, but was part of a trade deadline deal instead of an offseason one. He came over from the San Francisco Giants with Drew Pomeranz. Milwaukee sent back infielder Mauricio Dubon.
In 2019, Black appeared in 15 games. He ended with a 5.14 ERA, giving up eight home runs and four home runs. He did have two holds and 13 strike outs. During the shortened 2020 season, he appeared in only three games before falling on the 60-day injured list with a right rotator cuff strain.
The 30-year-old was out of options after last season, and the Brewers had to outright him to the Alternate Training Site in March of this year. On May 3rd, he was assigned to Nashville. Black’s injury history seemed to always hold him back. He was recently put on the 7 day injured list back on May 6th.
If Black can be fully healthy, he is another option for Milwaukee’s bullpen. Another player or two needs to arise for the team to be able to compete in September and October if they make it. Someone like Black would be a great pitcher to come in after a starter like Brett Anderson and use his high velocity to throw hitters off.
Outfielder Derek Fisher was traded from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Brewers for cash and a player to be named later in February. Fisher was another utility outfielder option like Billy McKinney brought in by the Brewers in case injuries were to occur.
Every year, the Brewers have too many outfielders and need all of them. Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich have both had stints on the injured list already this year. You can also include Fisher in that list. It appears he has a nagging left hamstring injury that is preventing him from being activated by the Brewers. He was put on the 10 day injured list back in April, and has been sent to three rehab assignments in Nashville since then.
Yelich appears to be healthy. Cain could be down for a bit, but the team still has players like Avisail Garcia, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Tyrone Taylor to help out in the outfield. McKinney was DFA’d and is now with the Mets.
If another outfielder is injured or a trade occurs, you could see the switch-hitting 27-year-old get his shot on the roster soon. He only has a career .194 batting average, but has some pop to his bat that could help drive in some runs.