The Milwaukee Brewers have had a lack of top prospects at several positions in the organization over the last few years for a variety of reasons.
Through trading away a couple of upper-echelon players (i.e. 1B Matt LaPorta and OF Michael Brantley), having a few guys rise quickly through the system (i.e. Ryan Braun, Alcides Escobar, etc.), or just some late-round draft choices proving why they were late-round draft choices, the Brewers haven't had many true roadblocks set up at the big league level.
One position that has continued to be blocked for a few years now by the often-injured Rickie Weeks, however, is the same natural position for now former Brewers prospect Hernan Iribarren.
Iribarren is no longer a Brewers prospect because he was claimed today off of waivers by the Texas Rangers organization. These are the same Texas Rangers from which the Brewers claimed Joe Inglett, whose presence perhaps added fuel to the fire of Iribarren not making the 25-man roster for yet another season.
This hasn't been a problem for the Brewers or the 25-year-old Iribarren over the past three seasons because Iribarren still had minor league options available.
This spring, however, Iribarren was out of options, and when it became clear that he wasn't going to win the job on Milwaukee's bench, the Brewers front office tried to pass him through waivers to allow them to assign him to Triple A Nashville where he could once again continue his maturation with the Sounds.
The Rangers, however, have had need of a utility infielder since Khalil "Don't Call Me Spicoli" Greene had a relapse of his social anxiety disorder and decided not to report to spring training with Texas. Ironically, had Greene decided that sooner then there is a good chance that the Rangers never would have exposed Inglett to waivers and perhaps Iribarren would still be training at Maryvale today.
Instead, Iribarren finds himself headed to Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz., where he will compete for a bench spot behind his good childhood friend, Ranger shortstop Elvis Andrus, and second baseman Ian Kinsler, who recently hurt his ankle. Iribarren should get plenty of work over Kinsler's recovery period.
Should Iribarren fail in his quest again this year, perhaps the Rangers will have better luck at getting him to Triple A, where he would play for the Oklahoma City RedHawks.
After years of manning the keystone for Nashville, however, I'm sure Iribarren will simply welcome a change of scenery to a place where he has a better chance to break through to the Show.
Best of luck to Hernan Iribarren. Here's hoping for plenty of success for the native of Venezuela.
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