Brewers roster and schedule
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Milwaukee Brewers roster and schedule for 2020 season

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The 2020 MLB season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. First up: The Milwaukee Brewers roster and schedule:

BREWERS ROSTER (projected)

When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Brewers roster to begin the season:

Catchers:

Omar Narváez
Manny Piña

Infielders:

Justin Smoak
Logan Morrison
Keston Hiura
Brock Holt
Eric Sogard
Jedd Gyorko
Orlando Arcia

Outfielders:

Christian Yelich
Lorenzo Cain
Avisaíl García
Ben Gamel
Ryan Braun

Starters:

Brandon Woodruff
Brett Anderson
Adrian Houser
Josh Lindblom
Corbin Burnes

Relievers:

Josh Hader
Corey Knebel
David Phelps
Brent Suter
Freddy Peralta
Eric Lauer
Alex Claudio
Ray Black


BREAKDOWN:

Any discussion of the Brewers‘ potential starts and ends with outfielder Christian Yelich, who won the NL MVP Award in 2018 and finished as a runner-up to Cody Bellinger last season. Yelich hit an outstanding .329/.429/.671. His slugging percentage and OPS (1.100) were best in baseball while his average, on-base percentage, and adjusted OPS (179) led the NL. The slugger hit 29 doubles, nailed 44 dingers, knocked in 97 runs, scored 100 runs, and stole 30 bases. There are few players in baseball as complete as Yelich and he might not have hit his peak yet as he’s only 28 years old.

The Brewers are without some of their other big contributors from last season, as Yasmani Grandal, Eric Thames, and Mike Moustakas each found new homes in the offseason. They’ve been replaced, respectively, by Omar Narváez, Justin Smoak, and an Eric Sogard/Jedd Gyorko platoon, respectively. Not only will they be expected to produce, shortstop Orlando Arcia will need to finally hit up to expectations and outfielder Lorenzo Cain will need to improve on last year’s .697 OPS.

As with the offense, the Brewers’ starting rotation has seen some turnover. Out are Zach Davies, Chase Anderson, Jhoulys Chacín, and Gio González, who combined for 94 starts last season. In are Brett Anderson and Josh Lindblom. The No. 5 spot could see Corbin Burnes as well as Freddy Peralta and Eric Lauer. Woodruff is really the only sure thing in the rotation. In his first full season last year, the right-hander went 11-3 with a 3.62 ERA, 143 strikeouts, and 30 walks over 121 2/3 innings.

Hader provides the star power out of the bullpen. The hard-throwing lefty continued his dominance in 2019, recording 37 saves with a 2.62 ERA, 138 strikeouts, and 20 walks in 75 2/3 innings. His 47.8% strikeout rate was by far the best mark among qualified relievers. You can count on Knebel, Phelps, and Suter, as well as the starters that miss out on the No. 5 spot, to work ahead of Hader.

BREWERS SCHEDULE:

Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

  • July 24-26: @ Cubs
  • July 27-29: @ Pirates
  • July 31-August 2: vs. Cardinals
  • August 3-4: vs. White Sox
  • August 5-6: @ White Sox
  • August 7-9: vs. Reds
  • August 10-12: vs. Twins
  • August 13-16: @ Cubs
  • August 18-20: @ Twins
  • August 21-23: @ Pirates
  • August 24-27: vs. Reds
  • August 28-31: vs. Pirates
  • September 1-2: vs. Tigers
  • September 4-6: @ Indians
  • September 8-9: @ Tigers
  • September 11-13: vs. Cubs
  • September 14-16: vs. Cardinals
  • September 18-20: vs. Royals
  • September 21-23: @ Reds
  • September 24-27: @ Cardinals

The entire Brewers schedule can be seen here.

Angels’ Andrelton Simmons opts out of final 5 games

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has opted out of the remainder of the Los Angeles Angels’ season.

The Angels announced the four-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop’s decision Tuesday before they faced the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles (24-31) is still technically in the playoff race with five games left in the regular season, and Simmons clearly caught the Angels by surprise, although the club said it respected his decision.

The 31-year-old Simmons, who can be a free agent this winter, is finishing his fifth year with the Angels. After spraining his ankle in late July and missing 22 games, Simmons is currently batting .297 with 10 RBIs while playing his usual stellar defense, albeit with four errors in 30 games.

“At this time, I feel this is the best decision for me and my family,” Simmons said in a statement. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming and making us feel at home.”

Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged he was caught by surprise when general manager Billy Eppler told him about Simmons’ decision Monday night after Simmons went 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the Angels’ home finale. Maddon texted Simmons, but hadn’t heard back by Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve really enjoyed this guy a lot,” Maddon said. “I’m a big fan. This guy is a good baseball player, and I’ve enjoyed the conversations, too. It’s just unfortunate. He’s really a big part of what we’re doing right now.”

Simmons is a favorite of Angels fans for his defensive wizardry, and owner Arte Moreno has described Simmons as perhaps his favorite player to watch on the roster. Simmons has batted .281 with 36 homers and 281 RBIs during his five seasons with Los Angeles, and he won the Gold Glove in 2017 and 2018.

“He’s a thinking kind of a player, and I’ve enjoyed him a lot,” Maddon said.

Simmons will be a free agent this winter, and the Angels have an obvious replacement for him in David Fletcher, who has a .374 on-base percentage while regularly hitting leadoff for the Angels during his breakout major league season. Fletcher has been playing second base since Simmons’ return from injury.

But the Angels haven’t publicly closed the door on Simmons’ return, and he could be given a qualifying offer. Maddon has repeatedly said he would like Simmons to return in 2021 if possible.

The Angels haven’t had a winning season during Simmons’ five years in Anaheim, although Simmons said last week he wasn’t discouraged by the lack of team success. Simmons played his first four major league seasons in Atlanta, and he hasn’t appeared in the postseason since 2013.

Simmons also said he hadn’t been involved in any recent contract talks with the Angels, but he had enjoyed playing for the club. When asked if he wanted to return to the Halos, Simmons said he would have to “plead the fifth.”