2013 STATS: .227, 18 HR, 48 RBI, 32 BB, 138 K in 348 at-bats and 124 games with Atlanta and Milwaukee COMMENT: With Mark Reynolds a safe bet to make the roster, Francisco will likely be competing with Lyle Overbay to be the other first baseman on the roster. Francisco has shown he will hit home runs and strike out in high volumes if given at-bats. While spring training numbers can be deceiving for a guy like Francisco, he can do things to help his cause like improving defensively and working on plate discipline. There isn't room for Overbay and Francisco on the roster. Ultimately it will come down to the defensive option in Overbay or the power bat in Francisco.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY SportCharles LeClaire
LHP Wei-Chung Wang
2013 STATS: 1-3, 3.23 ERA, 4 BB, 42 K in 12 games, 11 starts and 47.1 IP in Rookie level COMMENT: The Brewers took a chance on Wang, hoping the 21-year-old Taiwanese lefty will become the first Rule 5 draft pick to stick with on their roster since Jeff Bennett in 2004. Wang was slated to sign an international free-agent contract with the Pirates in 2011 but a physical revealed a torn elbow ligament. He signed with Pittsburgh for less money, sitting out the 2012 season before debuting last year in the Gulf Coast League. The jump to the big leagues would be a gigantic one for Wang, but the Brewers love his potential. Regardless of his stuff, Wang needs a nice spring training to be considered for a roster spot. If he doesn't make it, the Brewers must work out a trade with Pittsburgh or offer him back. The Pirates would almost certainly take him back.
2013 STATS: .282, 7 HR, 43 RBI, 48 BB, 76 K in 408 at-bats and 108 games for Triple-A Albuquerque COMMENT: A quick glance at the Brewers bench situation makes it clear a utility infielder is going to have to make the roster. The two main options for that spot are incumbent Jeff Bianchi and Herrera. While Herrera spent most of last season in Triple-A, he has 222 at-bats with the Dodgers over the last two seasons. Herrera hit .251 in 67 games in 2012 and has big-league experience at second base, shortstop, third base and all three outfield spots. Bianchi enters camp with a leg up and is the more experienced shortstop, meaning Herrera will really need to impress to earn one of the final bench spots.
Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY SportsJoy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
RP Michael Blazek
2013 STATS: 0-1, 5.71 ERA, 13 BB, 14 K, 17.1 IP in 18 games for the Cardinals and Brewers COMMENT: Acquired late last August in the John Axford trade, Blazek posted a 3.86 ERA in seven games for Milwaukee. He has the stuff to be a solid reliever, but is unproven at the big-league level. Blazek will head into spring training fighting for one of what appears to be just two open bullpen spots with Rob Wooten and Alfredo Figaro as his main competition. Command is the main concern with Blazek, as he had 13 walks in 17 1/3 innings last season. But he also struck out 10.2 batters per nine innings in the minor leagues last season and features a power fastball with a slider and curveball.
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY SportsDaniel Shirey
RP Donovan Hand
2013 STATS: 1-3, 3.69 ERA, 21 BB, 37 K, 68 1/3 innings in 31 games, seven starts COMMENT: Hand was designated for assignment to clear up a 40-man roster spot for Francisco Rodriguez, making the right-hander a long shot to make the roster. But the 27-year-old cleared waivers and will now be a non-roster invitee to big-league camp, leaving Hand a chance to earn his way back to the Brewers in spring training. Hand doesn't have overwhelming stuff, but he got the job done when given the opportunity last year. The fact he's no longer on the 40-man roster hurts his chances, but Milwaukee has to be pleased he's still in the organization. At minimum, Hand will provide depth at Triple-A.