One of the best things about spring training baseball are the non-roster invitees each team have. Usually, these players are veterans who have had success in the league but are now fighting for a roster spot. It’s fun to watch when one of these types of players stick especially if they can back to their old ways. Below are the list of five non-roster invitees Brewer fans should watch on their team this spring training.
- Mike Morin
Mike Morin has been pitching in the majors since 2014 and has played for 5 different teams. Morin has showcased numerous times that he has the “stuff” to be a relief pitcher for a good team but he has always been inconsistent. For example, in 2014 when he was pitching for the Angels, he pitched in 60 games and had a 2.90 ERA in 59.0 innings pitched with 54 strikeouts. However, the very next season, in 47 games, Morin had a 6.37 ERA, leaving the Angels to question what happened. This has been Mike Morin’s whole career, some very good stretches balanced out by some horrible ones. Last season, Morin pitched for the Twins and the Phillies. For the Twins, Minnesota got the good Mike Morin when he pitched in 23 games and had a 3.18 ERA. Unfortunately, when the Phillies were able to obtain Morin, he turned a 180 and had a 5.79 ERA in 28.0 innings.
Looking at Mike Morin in spring training is smart for the Brewers because they will be able to tell early on which Morin is showing up this season. If the Brewers find themselves with the good Mike Morin, they will be able to deploy another solid piece out of their bullpen.
- Justin Grimm
Justin Grimm hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2018 when he had a 10.38 ERA in 21 games. However, this isn’t what the Brewers are focused on. What they are focused on is if Grimm can regain his form from 2015 when he was one of the best relievers for the Cubs World Series team. In 2015, Grimm pitched in 62 games and accumulated 49.2 innings. In those innings, he had a 1.99 ERA with 67 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.148.
Since the 2015 season, Grimm has struggled with his command. He has electric stuff but walks have been becoming more and more of a problem each year. If the Brewers can find a way to eliminate Grimm’s walks problem, then they will be getting a game changing relief pitcher for the 2020 season.
- Logan Morrison
It’s no secret that the Brewers are going to be piecing together the first base position next season. The loss of Eric Thames in free agency will leave a sizable hole in Milwaukee’s lineup. This is the main reason why the Brewers signed Logan Morrison this offseason as a spring training invite. Like Justin Grimm, Logan Morrison is living off one very good season which he had in 2017. That season, Morrison batted .246 with an OPS+ of 133. He also hit 38 home runs that year, 22 doubles, and batted in 85 runs. Since that season, the big lefty has hit .187 with 17 home runs and 42 RBIs in 124 games.
Logan Morrison certainly has elite power but that’s not all he’s going to need to make the Brewers 2020 squad. If Morrison can limit the strikeouts and raise his OBP while hitting for power, there will definitely be a spot for him with the Brewers. However, it’s not looking good for him considering the Brewers are most likely going with Justin Smoak and Ryan Braun at first base in 2020.
- Keon Broxton
The once Milwaukee fan favorite, Keon Broxton, will be back with the Brew Crew during spring training. Defensively, there’s a spot on any team for Broxton but it’s his offense that will need to improve if he wants to find himself back in Milwaukee. In fact, since he debuted in 2015, Broxton has been one of the worst offensive players in the entire MLB. His best season, which came in 2017, saw him have an OPS+ of 85 meaning he was 15 points worse than a league average hitter. He did hit 20 home runs in 2017 but when looking at his numbers, it seems to be a fluke season. Since the start of 2018, Broxton has played for 4 different teams and has played in 151 games. In those games he has hit an abysmal .170 with an OBP of .253.
A lot of Brewer fans were happy and optimistic to have Broxton back with the Brewers for spring training but it would be the upset of the decade if he made the regular season team.
- Shelby Miller
Shelby Miller is the most intriguing prospect for the Brewers to look at this spring training. When he first came into the league at 21-years-old in 2012, Miller was the top pitching prospect in the league. Although, his career has been a tale of two halves. From 2012 through 2015, Miller was one of the better pitchers throughout the entire National League. In that span, he pitched in 102 games and had a 3.22 ERA in 575.1 innings. Miller was good enough to even make the 2015 All-Star game.
After making the All-Star game, Miller’s career took a nosedive. Since 2016, Miller has had a 6-21 record with an astronomical ERA of 6.89 in 183.0 innings. Currently, at 29-years-old, Shelby Miller still has hopes to return to his old form. He’s still young enough to turn it around and if he can find himself pitching the way he did from 2012-2015, Milwaukee will have themselves a solid 6-man rotation.