"I don't plan on quitting," he said in closing his Twitter statement. "Anybody that knows me knows I am the ULTIMATE COMPETITOR in anything and everything I do, not just my job. I will continue to work hard and let my performance do the talking."
Cravy and another bullpen candidate coming off a strong spring, Rob Scahill, were told after the Brewers' Spring Training finale that they would not have spots on the Opening Day roster. Only one candidate, Taylor Jungmann, was told he made the cut, meaning the Brewers plan to fill the final opening with an outside acquisition before Sunday's noon ET deadline to set the roster.
"I'd rather just find a 9-5 job where I get treated like a human at this point," Cravy said just after learning of his assignment to Triple-A. "It would just be nice to have the honesty straight upfront, instead of, 'Hey, you're competing for a job,' and then to literally out-compete everyone and be told, 'Sorry, we have other plans.' It's tough. It says a lot about the integrity, or lack thereof, of the guys running the show.
"But, what are you going to do? All you can do is put up numbers, and sometimes it's not enough."
Coming off a 2016 season in which he posted a 0.81 ERA in 18 relief outings for the Brewers, Cravy, 27, pitched 11 times in Spring Training with a 0.60 WHIP, 2.03 ERA and 7.43 strikeouts per nine innings. Scahill, 30, posted a 0.84 WHIP, 0.73 ERA and 5.84 K/9 in 12 spring appearances. Jungmann, 27, had a 1.30 WHIP, 2.45 ERA with 8.59 K/9 in 13 appearances.
Working against Scahill was the fact the he was not on the 40-man roster and a spot would have had to be made to add him. The other two are on the 40-man.
"I felt like I pitched well enough to win a job," Scahill said.
Looking deeper into the statistics, Cravy benefited for a .100 BABIP this spring and a .234 BABIP during his successful '16 callup, both significantly below the Major League average (roughly .300), perhaps casting doubt on whether the numbers he posted would carry over to the Major League level. Jungmann, conversely, had a .286 BABIP this spring after posting a .313 BABIP in the big leagues last season, which, along with his higher K/9 rate, provided more confidence that his baseline statistics are a truer reflection of how he pitched.
Brewers GM David Stearns said he sympathized. Stearns noted that Cravy was in the same position last year, when he was not sent down to the Minors until the day of the Brewers' final exhibition game.
"I certainly understand that players are going to be disappointed when they have performed well and aren't immediately rewarded for that performance," Stearns said. "It happens a lot in this industry. It's one of the more challenging parts of this industry for players, when they perform well and there's not that immediate reward. I certainly understand that disappointment."
But, Stearns noted, "The likelihood is very high that players who have come this far in camp are going to be with this team for a large segment of the season. Certainly, that's no consolation to guys who aren't on the roster on Opening Day. I recognize that."