The Milwaukee Brewers made a slew of roster moves following Monday afternoon’s exhibition loss to the Chicago White Sox, sending 11 players out of big-league camp.
First baseman Hunter Morris, first baseman/outfielder Jason Rogers, right-hander Jimmy Nelson and right-hander Ariel Pena were optioned to Triple-A Nashville, while right-handers Brooks Hall and Kevin Shackelford were optioned to Double-A Huntsville.
Milwaukee also returned outfielder Kentrail Davis, infielder Hector Gomez, infielder Taylor Green, outfielder Mitch Haniger and right-hander David Goforth to minor-league camp.
None of the moves came as much of a surprise, as Morris struggled for the second consecutive spring training, while Nelson was a long shot to make the bullpen. The Brewers much prefer to have him start in Triple-A.
Morris came to spring training looking to atone for a rough exhibition season in 2013. While not thought of as the favorite to break camp as the starting first baseman this time around, the 25-year-old is just 2-for-16 (.125 batting average) in Cactus League games.
He picked up both of his hits in Sunday’s game against Cleveland, making him 5-for-42 over the last two spring trainings.
Rogers, 25, got plenty of playing time early this spring, hitting .222 with an RBI in 18 at-bats. Milwaukee’s minor-league player of the year in 2013 will likely begin the season as Nashville’s starting left fielder.
Nelson appeared in two games for the Brewers this spring, allowing two earned runs in three innings for a 6.00 ERA. The 25-year-old will provide Milwaukee with starting pitching depth in Triple-A. Shackelford tossed three scoreless innings in Cactus League games, while Goforth was hit hard (19.29 ERA) in 2 1/3 innings.
Probably the player that’s made the biggest impression this spring is Haniger. The third-best prospect in the Brewers system according to Baseball America, Haniger proved he belonged by hitting .500 (5-for-10) with a home run and 5 RBI in six games this spring.
The former first-round pick will begin the season either at Class-A advanced Brevard County or Double-A Huntsville.
With Monday afternoon’s roster moves and the release of right-hander Michael Olmsted earlier in the day, 44 players remain in Milwaukee’s big-league camp.