Any player who is on the active major-league roster has to be on that team’s 40-man roster. Hence, when callups are made during a season it’s beneficial to be on the 40-man.
Of course, it’s not just prospects on the 40-man but also everyday players, starting pitchers and oft-used relievers.
Every team makes a handful of 40-man moves every offseason – ranging from protecting players in the Rule 5 draft to signing free agents and acquiring players by trade.
With spring training under way, here’s a capsule summary of the players added to the Milwaukee Brewers’ 40-man roster these past few months.
RHP ALEX BETTINGER
A 10th-round pick in 2017 out of Virginia, Bettinger last pitched for Double-A Biloxi in 2019. He made 26 starts that year, throwing a career-high 146 1/3 innings with a 3.44 ERA, 1.066 WHIP and 9.7 K/9. Bettinger spent 2020 at Milwaukee’s alternate training site.
C MARIO FELICIANO
The 2019 Carolina League MVP – when he slashed .273/.324/.477 with 19 home runs in 116 games – just turned 22 in November. Feliciano, who also got into three Double-A games that season (2-for-12), earned a spring training (the first one, in February) invitation last season. Another who was at the alternate site in 2020, Felicano is clearly someone Milwaukee is keen on and could be the catcher of the future.
RHP DYLAN FILE
A 21st-round pick in 2017 out of Dixie State University (yes, Dixie State is in … Utah), File earned a midseason callup to Double-A Biloxi in 2019 and he thrived there. Making 14 starts, File had a 2.79 ERA, 1.103 WHIP and 8.1 K/9. A control pitcher, he owns a career 1.7 BB/9 rate over 330 1/3 innings.
OF DEREK FISHER
A left-handed hitter who can play all three outfield positions, Fisher was acquired by Milwaukee on Feb. 15. He has 168 games of major-league experience with Houston and Toronto. He owns a career slash line of .194/.286/.376 in 458 plate appearances. In 2020 with the Blue Jays he batted .226/.359/.452 in 39 PA. He’s hit well in the minors, owning a career .289/.379/.520 slash line in 238 Triple-A contests.
IF TIM LOPES
The Brewers claimed Lopes, who can play second base, third base, shortstop and the outfield, off waivers from Seattle in December. Lopes appeared in 87 games for the Mariners in 2019-20 (46 of those coming last year) with a slash line of .252/.315/.362. Besides position versatility, Lopes’ main attribute is speed. He stole 26 bases in 95 games for Triple-A Tacoma in 2018 and has 11 steals at the MLB level. Lopes also has shown the ability to get on base, owning a .339 career on-base percentage in the minors, including .362 at Tacoma in ’19.
C LUKE MAILE
Milwaukee signed the defensive catcher as a free agent in December. He just turned 30, but still has minor-league options. Maile has 215 games of major-league experience with Tampa Bay and Toronto. He had signed with Pittsburgh before the 2020 season but did not play, being placed on the 60-day injured list with a fractured finger right before the start of the season. Maile owns just a .198/.252/.304 career slash line but in 2019 threw out 40% of attempted base stealers.
IF DANIEL ROBERTSON
A career utility player with 249 games of MLB experience, Robertson was signed by the Brewers as a free agent in January. In his four seasons, mostly with Tampa Bay, Robertson has played at least 74 games at second base, third base and shortstop. He’s never played more than 87 games in a season and his single-season high in plate appearances is 340 in 2018 with the Rays, which was also his best season (.262/.382/.415 with nine home runs). Over his career, Robertson is hitting .234/.342/.352.
2B KOLTEN WONG
Milwaukee’s biggest splurge this offseason was the signing of the former St. Louis second baseman. Wong brings to the Brewers a strong defensive reputation – he’s won back-to-back Gold Gloves — and a decent bat. He’s had a .350 or better on-base percentage in three of the past four seasons and reached double-digit home runs in three years, with a high of 12 in 2014. In his eight major-league seasons, all with the Cardinals, Wong is batting .261/.333/.384 with 88 steals. Interestingly, he stole a combined 21 bases from 2016-18 then had 24 in 2019. In 2020 he hit .265/.350/.326 with one homer and five steals in 53 games (208 plate appearances).