Boyer, Flores make Brewers' roster

Boyer, Flores make Brewers' roster

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Right-hander Blaine Boyer made his case for a spot on the Brewers' Opening Day roster long before he reported to Maryvale Baseball Park. Sometimes, track record supersedes Spring Training performance.

Boyer, 34 and coming off a season of 68 appearances and a 2.49 ERA for the Twins, was one of two players (with outfielder Ramon Flores) informed Sunday he'd made the Crew's cut.

Brewers Spring Training info

"He's gotten Major League hitters out for the last two years," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said, explaining the Boyer pick. "I think he's good at what he's good at, if that makes sense. He knows what he's good at, he's not going to be spooked by the situation. There's a sense of a little bit of stability, I think. He's done it and knows what to do.

"We have a young bullpen. It's going to be a young bullpen."

It will get older in the coming days, when either Chris Capuano or Franklin Morales -- or both -- make the team as well. They are the only two left-handers in the running.

"Experiencing what [Boyer] has in the game, the plusses, the minuses, it levels you out, I think," Counsell said. "It makes you better."

Boyer has experienced both. Drafted by his boyhood team, the Braves, Boyer bounced to the Cardinals, the D-backs, the Mets, the Pirates and the Cardinals again before walking away from baseball in 2012. He launched a comeback with the Royals in the spring of 2013 but didn't make the cut, so Boyer pitched in Japan instead, parlaying his success there into stints with the Padres in 2014 and the Twins in 2015.

Now, after a tense week during which he wondered if he would make the cut, Boyer is headed to Milwaukee.

"You know, that's what I've done my whole career," he said. "I haven't had anything given or handed to me. It's one of those sweet moments in your career, when somebody gives you a head nod like that."

Investing in the future

Flores, meanwhile, made the roster on promise, not past performance. He turned 26 on Saturday, was out of Minor League options, and was in the early stages of rehab from a serious ankle injury when the Brewers acquired him for infielder Luis Sardinas in a Nov. 20 trade with the Mariners.

Flores can play all three outfield positions, plus first base, where he will be one of the Brewers' backups for Chris Carter.

"We acquired Ramon because he's shown something in the Minor Leagues that we think is going to translate here," Counsell said. "He's a contact-oriented hitter. The big thing that jumped out for me is he walked more than he struck out last year."

Flores walked 50 times and struck out 49 times in 87 Triple-A games last season in the Yankees and Mariners systems. He was red hot for Triple-A Tacoma before suffering a fractured right ankle on Aug. 14.

On Sunday, Flores said he was back to 100 percent.

"I'm excited, because this is going to be my first Opening Day," Flores said. "I didn't know anything until today. It was a surprise to me. I spent my offseason working on my rehab and trying to get 100 percent, and when they said to me I made the roster, I was proud."

Last call

• Right-handed reliever Yhonathan Barrios said he was traveling to Miami on Monday for an in- person second opinion of his shoulder injury. Whether or not he requires surgery for the undisclosed ailment, Barrios will begin the season on the disabled list, and faces an extended absence.

• After serving as the designated hitter during the second half of last week, Brewers No. 2 prospect Brett Phillips made his spring debut in center field in a Double-A game on Sunday. Phillips' stint in big league camp was cut short by a left oblique strain.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.