By Jason Arndt
Brewers Farm Report
Prospects Hunter Morris and Tyler Thornburg will begin the season with Triple A Nashville despite some speculation both would wind up in Milwaukee.
After the Brewers suffered a double-whammy at first base with the loss of Mat Gamel for the second straight season and sudden off-season surgery of Corey Hart, some pointed to left-handed slugger Hunter Morris to fill the void.
However, the Brewers have decided to “grin and bear it” for the beginning of the season by electing to utilize former Nashville Sound Taylor Green and experimenting with Alex Gonzalez at first base instead of stunting Morris’ growth.
It makes logical sense for Morris to further bolster his development with another full season of Minor League Baseball for multiple reasons. Morris is not eligible for the Rule V draft which exposes unprotected players (not on the 40-man roster) with more than four years of service time to other teams.
Adding him to the 40-man roster when it is not needed would cause the Brewers to burn his option years and would not be in the best interest of both the first baseman and franchise.
With Morris and teammate Scooter Gennett providing a strong right side of the infield for Huntsville in 2012, it might beneficial for both to form a stronger bond heading into the 2013 season for the Sounds.
Thornburg was also considered a possibility with the limited amount of starting pitching in Milwaukee but there continues to be concerns regarding his endurance and ability to pitch deep into games.
Milwaukee stood by its decision to limit Thornburg’s outings upon his final demotion to Nashville last season to minimize injury risk and utilizing him for a potential post-season run. The pitcher averaged five innings in all of his starts and historically has been criticized by national scouts for breaking down by the fifth inning.
Nashville’s primary focus will be to stretch Thornburg and will need a lot of work.
Burgos puts Milwaukee in tough position
After a stellar appearance with Puerto Rico in the World Baseball among other accolades, Hiram Burgos is putting himself in the minds of Milwaukee officials in need of finding productive starting pitching.
Burgos received the honor of being the 2012 Brewers Minor League Pitcher of the Year after cruising through the farm system at a quick pace (Began season with High A Brevard County and closed out with Triple A Nashville).
If the 25-year-old starts his 2013 campaign with a bang, there will be serious consideration of putting him in the Major League rotation – unless Doug Melvin already made the decision to keep him on the big club.