Brewers in talks with All-Star closer

The Milwaukee Brewers had arguably the best bullpen in Major League Baseball last season. How could they improve in the pen? Craig Kimbrel could be the answer to that question.

According to Ken Rosenthal and Robert Murray of The Athletic, Kimbrel is currently in talks with the Brewers.

Can you imagine a relief-crew that includes Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress, Corey Knebel and Kimbrel? That would strike fear in the best lineups MLB has to offer.

Kimbrel rejected a one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer earlier in the off-season. Milwaukee has been buyers this winter. They added Yasmani Grandal and brought back Mike Moustakas. Their odds to win the World Series would certainly improve if they can add Kimbrel on a one-year deal.

The veteran reliever had a 2.74 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings last season.

We can all dream of seeing Kimbrel on the Crew, but Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel doesn’t think this has moved to any serious stage yet.

The Brewers spoof ‘Mean Girls’

The Brewers continue to show why they are one of the coolest teams in the league. They previously created the “Sandlot” parody and now gave their take on the movie “Mean Girls.”

This is just another example of the great team chemistry the Brewers possess. They all get along with each-other and enjoy having fun together.

The video starred manager Craig Counsell, newcomer Yasmani Grandal and pitchers Brent Suter, Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress.

Brewers option Adrian Houser and Jacob Nottingham

The start of the MLB season is almost here. The Milwaukee Brewers made some roster moves with only about a week to go before opening day.

Right-hander Adrian Houser and catcher Jacob Nottingham were optioned to minor-league camp. Also, right-handers Miguel Sanchez and Burch Smith and infielder Jake Hager were reassigned to minor-league camp.

Houser is expected to make an impact on the major league roster this season. He had a solid spring training going 1-0 with a 2.16 earned run average in seven appearances (8 1/3 innings) with seven strikeouts in Cactus League play.

Manager Craig Counsell indicated that Houser will bounce back and forth between the minors and majors this season. Houser is a versatile pitcher who could see time as a starter and reliever.

I think if you look at seasons like Brent Suter, like Brandon Woodruff, that’s likely to be what Adrian’s season is going to look like.

Nottingham is unlikely to see significant time in the major leagues this season with the addition of Yasmani Grandal. That could be a blessing in disguise for the 23-year old catcher as he should get a full season as the starter in Triple-A. This could give him a big boost coming into the 2020 season.

Brewers name their Opening Day starter

Milwaukee’s top pitcher in 2018 will get the ball to open 2019.

Manager Craig Counsell told reporters Thursday that Jhoulys Chacin will take the mound on Opening Day against the St. Louis Cardinals on March 28. It’ll be Chacin’s third time getting the ball to open the season, having done so with the Colorado Rockies in 2013 and with the San Diego Padres in 2017.

The righty had one of his better seasons a year ago, going 15-8 with a 3.50 ERA and a career-high 156 strikeouts. He limited the Chicago Cubs to just one run in Game 163 to help the Brewers win the NL Central and then gave up just two runs over 12 1/3 innings in the postseason.

In three starts this spring, Chacin is 1-0 with a 1.04 ERA over 8 2/3 innings.

Counsell also said this week that Jimmy Nelson will not be on the Opening Day roster. The righty is coming back from shoulder surgery that cost him all of 2018. He returned to the mound in a game for the first time earlier this week. Counsell said that Nelson is healthy and will get on a schedule that will have him throwing every five days.

Brewers P Jeremy Jeffress to resume playing catch Monday

The Milwaukee Brewers’ bullpen was one of the best in Major League Baseball last season. Jeremy Jeffress was a huge reason why.

Opening Day may not be in the cards for Jeffress this season. He left his first spring outing after only three pitches on Wednesday, March 6th when manager Craig Counsell noticed his fastball velocity was way below his standards.

Jeffress has spent the last several days focusing on strengthening his shoulder. He will begin playing catch on Monday.

The Brewers and Jeffress don’t expect this to be a long-term problem. “I don’t care if it’s April 10. I don’t care. I’ve got to be right,” Jeffress said. Milwaukee will need him this season if they want to make another deep postseason run.

Jimmy Nelson to pitch in a game for the first time since shoulder surgery

Milwaukee Brewers’ pitcher Jimmy Nelson hasn’t pitched in a game since injuring his right shoulder Sept. 8, 2017 in a game against the Chicago Cubs. He is now on track to return to the mound.

Manager Craig Counsell said on Friday that Nelson will throw an inning on Monday against the Chicago White Sox.

Nelson made an appearance in a simulated game on Thursday. Counsell thinks everything is going well.

We changed the conversation yesterday to pitch execution (from health, etc.). I think that is a real sign that we’re going in the right direction. Now, it’s pitch, learn from it, build up, be sore like you’re supposed to be sore, those kinds of things.

If Nelson can get back to be the pitcher he was in 2017 (12-6, 3.49 ERA) the Brewers will be in really good shape going forward.

Brewers reliever suffers torn ACL

It was all about the bullpen for the Milwaukee Brewers during last season’s run. They had so many arms step up in big moments. This season, they added to that stacked pen with hopes of repeating their 2018 success.

One of those new names however will likely miss the 2019 season. Hard-throwing righty Bobby Wahl managed to tear the ACL in his right knee while throwing a pitch Friday against the Mariners.

It’s a rare occurrence for a pitcher to tear his ACL while throwing a pitch. Wahl’s injury is one of the rarest in MLB history. According to GM David Stearns, Wahl is only the third pitcher in MLB’s central injury database to tear the ACL in his push-off knee.

The Brewers added Wahl in early January from the Mets in exchange for OF Keon Broxton. MLB.com currently ranks him as Milwaukee’s 26th best prospect.

Stearns did not give a possible return date, but a torn ACL will likely keep Wahl out for the entire season. If rehab goes well, he could be on the Brewers’ radar as a September call-up.

Lawrie officially returns to Brewers, won’t participate in spring training

The Milwaukee Brewers officially announced Brett Lawrie’s minor-league deal on Sunday. Lawrie announced his return to the organization on Instagram about two weeks ago. The minor league deal included a team option for a second year.

According to David Stearns, Lawrie won’t participate in spring training. He simply isn’t in baseball shape after being out of Major League Baseball since 2017.

Brett’s undergone a really comprehensive performance evaluation. The plan right now is that he will spend the next six weeks here really not doing baseball activities but putting his body in the best position to succeed going forward.

It’s a long period, but we’ve got time. There’s no rush here. This is a player who hasn’t played in the major leagues for two years, and he recognizes that there’s a significant amount of work to be done before he can get back on the field, and then progress to baseball activities.

It may take a while for Lawrie to return to action, but he seems committed to making this comeback work at the age of 29. In 588 games in the majors, he is a career .261 hitter with a .315 on-base percentage, .734 OPS, 71 home runs and 253 home runs.

It’s a low-risk, high-reward move for the Brewers.

Brewers sign Moustakas to one-year deal

The Moose is back. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Milwaukee Brewers have signed free-agent Mike Moustakas to a one-year deal. There is a mutual option on a second year. Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 (108 OPS+) with 28 home runs overall for the Royals and Brewers in 2018.

The Brewers acquired Moustakas from the Royals at last year’s trade deadline in exchange for OF Brett Phillips and RHP Jorge López. The move forced manager Craig Counsell to move Travis Shaw to second base.

Counsell wants to see this Spring Training if Moustakas can play second base.

Another thing to remember is that the Brewers will now not need to rush their top prospect, Keston Hiura, to the big leagues. The deal gives GM David Stearns flexibility for another season while Hiura continues his development.

Milwaukee came within one game of the World Series last season. The goal is to get there this season and Moustakas can help them do it.

Brewers sign pitcher Jay Jackson

The Milwaukee Brewers have signed Jay Jackson to a minor-league deal. Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the deal will be for $1 million if Jackson cracks the major-league roster.

The 31-year old right-hander spent the last three seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball and became one of the league’s top relievers.

Manager Craig Counsell said Jackson will compete for a spot in the bullpen.

He’s been pitching in Japan. He wanted to come back so he’s a candidate in our bullpen. We thought highly of things that we saw from him in Japan and so with him coming back there is a fit.

The Brewers will hope Jackson can mirror the success of their last overseas signing, Eric Thames.