7 Brewers make Opening Day roster for first time

7 Brewers make Opening Day roster for first time

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers offered no surprises Sunday morning in setting their 25-man roster for Opening Day, awarding Ariel Pena the final bullpen job and Keon Broxton and Kirk Nieuwenhuis the two remaining openings in the outfield.

Reflecting the Brewers' headfirst dive into rebuilding, the roster includes 15 players who were not with the team for last year's opener, including seven players poised for their first Major League Opening Day.

The full roster looks like this:

Starting pitchers: Chase Anderson, Matt Garza, Taylor Jungmann, Jimmy Nelson, Wily Peralta.

Relief pitchers: Michael Blazek, Blaine Boyer, Chris Capuano (L), Jeremy Jeffress, Pena, Tyler Thornburg, Carlos Torres.

Catchers: Jonathan Lucroy, Martin Maldonado.

Infielders: Chris Carter, Scooter Gennett, Aaron Hill, Yadiel Rivera, Jonathan Villar, Colin Walsh.

Outfielders: Ryan Braun, Broxton, Ramon Flores, Nieuwenhuis, Domingo Santana.

Six players will begin the season on the disabled list: Yhonathan Barrios, Rymer Liriano and Sean Nolin on the 60-day DL; and Zack Jones, Corey Knebel and Will Smith on the 15-day DL.

Those injuries, in part, shaped the team, particularly the bullpen, where Smith and Knebel were projected for high-leverage roles.

In the outfield, the Brewers chose Broxton and Nieuwenhuis, who were both on the 40-man roster, over Alex Presley, a non-roster invitee. Broxton, Nieuwenhuis and Flores will all get starts in center field; Broxton, who bats right-handed, could be the choice for Opening Day against Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner.

As the Brewers set their roster Sunday morning, other teams were making their final cuts. Among the notable players made available over the weekend were outfielder Michael Bourn, designated for assignment by the Braves, and lefty reliever Sean Burnett, released by the Nationals.

Is there a chance of further additions for the Brewers?

"I guess the best thing I can say is we're active," said first-year GM David Stearns. "We're always going to be active and talking to other teams and other players to see if there is a way we can improve our roster. At this point, there is certainly nothing imminent, but we are having talks to see if there is anything out there for us.

"I think it's a balance. At some point, you need stability, and stability helps. At the same time, when there are opportunities to add talent, we have to take advantage of it. We're cognizant of that balance."

Opening Day is Monday against the Giants at Miller Park. Wily Peralta's first pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. CT.

"We're excited to get the season going," Stearns said. "We got out of the spring what we wanted, and we're happy with that. And now it's time to turn the lights on and go for real."

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.