"I think everybody that's in my shoes [plays the numbers game] at this time," said Wooten, who has two Minor League options remaining. "You want to see where you are, and you know there's not a lot of spots open. … Last year, I got into the counting game, and it was a tough one to take."
Wooten survived until the very last round of roster moves before an assignment to Triple-A Nashville. He didn't know at the time he'd be back less than two weeks into the regular season.
"It's something I haven't forgotten, and not in a bad way," Wooten said. "I use it as motivation."
He wound up spending most of the season with Milwaukee, logging 40 appearances (fourth most on the team) and posting a 4.72 ERA in a variety of bullpen roles.
Wooten reported this year with a new weapon. Inspired by left-hander Zach Duke's resurgence last season, Wooten began working on "dropping down" to occasionally throw pitches from a sidearm angle. He tried it with fastballs while pitching on a Major League tour of Japan, and has added sliders this spring.
"I saw how much success [Duke] had with it, and it wasn't like a primary pitch for him," Wooten said. "It just surprised the hitters. You come from up top with four pitches, and all of a sudden you come from [the side] with two more, it's in their mind. I think it's an advantage."
The Brewers' decision is looming. The Brewers' initial decision is looming. Because of his level of Minor League service, the Brewers must pay Perez a $100,000 retention bonus if they want to keep him past March 31.
At the same time, club officials have a close eye on Thornburg and Henderson, who missed most of 2014 with injuries. Particularly Henderson, who has yet to regain all of his previous velocity.
"Wooten is a guy that [gives you] length if you want it, back-to-back-to-back if you want it, he has options, which sometimes is good and bad," manager Ron Roenicke said. "So he's a big part on trying to figure out this last spot in the bullpen."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.