Predicting the Brewers Opening Day roster

Predicting the Brewers Opening Day roster

Editor's Note: MLB.com took a stab at the Brewers' Opening Day roster before the start of Spring Training, and again at the halfway point of Cactus League games and with 10 days to go. Here's one last look before it is official on Sunday:

MILWAUKEE -- With the final pitch of the Brewers' exhibition season in the books, the roster battles were over and the Opening Day roster was down to one mystery addition.

Taylor Jungmann was informed Saturday he'd won a spot in the bullpen, while Tyler Cravy and Rob Scahill were went to Triple-A. That brought the Brewers down to 24 players, meaning GM David Stearns was poised to make a last-minute addition for the second straight year. Last year, he signed reliever Carlos Torres about 48 hours before the first pitch of the regular season, and Torres went on to lead the team in appearances and relief innings.

"The roster is never set until it's actually set," manager Craig Counsell said.

With that in mind, here's where things stood as of Saturday:

Catchers: Jett Bandy, Manny Pina

(Pre-Spring Training prediction: Bandy and Pina)

Andrew Susac was knocked out by a neck injury, so this became an easy call.

First base: Eric Thames

(Pre-Spring Training prediction: Thames)

Jesus Aguilar's red-hot spring earned him some playing time here, too, but Thames remains the regular after signing a three-year contract to return from the Korean Baseball Organization. Thames could also see some time in the corner outfield spots to get Aguilar into the lineup.

Aguilar's epic three-run homer

Second base: Jonathan Villar

(Pre-Spring Training prediction: Villar)

He went 7-for-38 in Spring Training, but a stint on the bench for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic might have played a role in cooling Villar's bat. He says he is aiming to win the Gold Glove Award at second base.

Third base: Travis Shaw

(Pre-Spring Training prediction: Shaw)

Half of Shaw's four Spring Training home runs came against left-handers. That bodes well as he moves into Miller Park, a great place for left-handed hitters.

Shortstop: Orlando Arcia

(Pre-Spring Training prediction: Arcia)

No debate here. The Brewers hope Arcia takes a big step in his first full season.

Arcia's nice stop on chopper

Outfielders: Ryan Braun, Keon Broxton, Domingo Santana, Kirk Nieuwenhuis

(Pre-Spring Training prediction: Braun, Broxton, Santana, Nieuwenhuis)

Perez and Thames provide coverage here, too. Nieuwenhuis will play at all three spots, so it made more sense to list him all along with the regulars.

Bench: Hernan Perez, Aguilar
(Pre-Spring Training prediction: Perez, Aguilar, Scooter Gennett)

Like Nieuwenhuis, Perez figures to play so much that it may be unfair to label him as a bench player. He is the only extra middle infielder on the roster, and showed last season he can play all three outfield positions as well. Because the Brewers opted for an extra reliever, Counsell will start the season with only four extra position players each day.

Perez's solo homer to left

Starting pitchers: Junior Guerra, Zach Davies, Wily Peralta, Chase Anderson, Nelson

(Pre-Spring Training prediction: Guerra, Davies, Nelson, Peralta, Matt Garza)

Garza's groin injury opened a spot for Anderson, and Nelson was slotted in fifth to he could pitch the opener of the Brewers' home series against the Cubs beginning April 7.

Bullpen: Neftali Feliz, Torres, Corey Knebel, Barnes, Jhan MarinezTommy Milone, Jungmann, TBD

(Pre-Spring Training prediction: Feliz, Torres, Knebel, Barnes, Marinez, Michael Blazek, Anderson)

Stearns had a move in the works as of Saturday evening, but said he could not discuss it publicly. If it is a reliever, the Brewers would open the season with an extra bullpen arm, which could come in handy as the team plays 23 games in the first 24 days. MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported late Saturday that Milwaukee was nearing a deal with ground-ball specialist Jared Hughes, who was recently released by the Pirates, though the Brewers did not confirm that report.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. 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.