Milwaukee Brewers: 5 Potential Mid-Season Callups Worth Considering
The Milwaukee Brewers are fortunate enough to maintain one of the most complete ballclubs in all of baseball. And to their credit, they've backed up the preseason hype of acquiring Zack Grienke and Shaun Marcum by becoming the frontrunners in the NL Central.
Yet despite their success, the Brewers do have a few holes to fill and concerns to address as the season progresses. They can either take to the trade market, or reach down to their farm-system for capable arms and bats.
Since it seems the trade market is out of the question, here are five superstar prospects Melvin should consider bringing up to aid in Milwaukee's postseason efforts.
Follow Alec Dopp on twitter: @doppler9000.
Mat Gamel, 1B/3B, Nashville Sounds (AAA)
Gamel has been absolutely tearing apart opposing pitching this season in AAA Nashville, accumulating a .312 BA, 14 HR, 47 RBI and a .548 SLG.
Additionally, Gamel has already been exposed to major-league pitching in seasons past, which should make him Ron Roenicke's first option should Casey McGehee or Rickie Weeks get hurt in the middle of the season.
However, since health isn't a concern by any means for the Brewers, where will Gamel play?
Is he worth bringing up for the sake of being on the bench?
Prince Fielder isn't going anywhere, and McGehee is starting to get back into his groove as of late.
Nevertheless, you can never have too much talent on your bench once the postseason race heats up, and I expect Gamel to be contributing as August and September draw nearer.
Cody Scarpetta, RHP, Hunstville Stars (AA)
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Scarpetta is one of Milwaukee's top power pitchers currently in the minor-leagues, and I can say with the utmost confidence he'll find the major-league field before the 2011 season is through.
His 2011 season hasn't been the dominating spectacle we expected, though, carrying a 4-3 record and a 3.97 ERA.
The Brewers will need help once rosters expand at the beginning of September, and Scarpetta is a picturesque reliever for Milwaukee heading down the postseason stretch.
Amaury Rivas, RHP, Nashville Sounds (AAA)
Rivas hasn't been the pitching juggernaut we've come to expect of him thus far in 2011 (3.96 ERA, but make no mistake: he will have a lasting impact on Milwaukee's bullpen for years to come).
This year, we might be lucky enough to witness his first appearance in a Brewers uniform.
Milwaukee will use the roster expansion in September for pitching purposes, and Rivas will be one of the first names to be called up from the minors.
Kyle Heckathorn, RHP, Brevard County Manatees (AA)
As we've already mentioned, the Brewers are always on the lookout for pitching, and Heckathorn's 6'6", 225-pound frame makes him a likely candidate for a mid-season call-up.
This season, Heckathorn has struggled to find his ebb and flow, boasting a less-than-impressive 4-5 record and 4.35 ERA. But we shouldn't lose sight of what he brings to the table for the Brewers: power pitching with great relief potential.
In 2010, Heckathorn went 10-6 with a 2.98 ERA in 124.0 innings pitched— enough to make him Milwaukee's best starting pitcher.
If he can get back to his success of old, there will be a spot for him in Milwaukee's bullpen this September.
Tyler Thornburg, RHP, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (A)
The Brewers took Thornburg with the 96th overall selection in 2010's draft, and it would be nearly befuddling to see him in Milwaukee at any point this season.
But, still, the potential is there and you can't put a price on experience, can you?
This season, Thornburg leads all Brewers minor-league hurlers in ERA (1.57), WHIP (1.08), W (7), SO (76) and BAA (.203).
Shouldn't that be enough to call him up for a mid-season stint in an improving Brewers bullpen?