Feature Photo: Edgar Santana, RHP, Pirates
You know those huge mid-season blockbuster trades teams make where a whole slew of players change hands, uniforms and destinations and said teams’ travel secretaries tear their hair out?
Well, sometimes the lesser-known names in those deals “make good”, and sometimes they even click at the same time. This week, we saw two such players, both involved in the same July 30, 2015 trade that saw six players (and the ever-popular “other considerations”) exchange their uniforms between the Houston Astros and the Milwaukee Brewers, both make their big league debuts for the Brew Crew: outfielder Brett Phillips and left-hander Josh Hader. (Phillips and Hader, along with righty Adrian Houser and right fielder Domingo Santana, were sent to the Brewers in exchange for Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez and righty right-hander Mike Fiers).
And to make things even more exciting for the Brewers (and their fans), the club followed up Hader’s recall one day later with the promotion of outfielder Lewis Brinson, a former first-round pick by the Rangers who automatically became Milwaukee’s No. 1 prospect when he was dealt to the Brew Crew in another blockbuster trade-deadline deal last summer, with Milwaukee trading catcher Jonathan Lucroy and right-hander Jeremy Jeffress to the Rangers for Brinson, right-hander Luis Ortiz, and a PTBNL.
This marks the first time in a long time in your humble scribe’s recollection (which is admittedly not always as on point as she would like to be) that a club promoted its No. 1 and No. 2 prospects virtually together (rankings courtesy of Baseball America).
So while things were bubbling up the most in the brew in Milwaukee, a grand total of 14 players made their first appearances in an MLB box score this week, the most in a single week since the opening week of the season, bringing the tally to 104 for the season.
Interestingly, while we seemed to be “behind the pace” for the past month or so compared to 2016, we are now making up for lost time, as 2016’s 100th debut was made by White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson on June 10, whereas Yankees right-hander Domingo German was our 100th debutante this year, coming in on the afternoon of June 11, literally minutes before Baltimore right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis became No. 101 (as German debuted in the top of the seventh in the Yankees’ 14-3 win over the Orioles, while Yacabonis came on in the bottom of that inning).
In fact, we’re now one debut ahead of last year at this time: Through June 11, 2016, we had had 103 players (of an eventual 258) make their MLB debuts.
And yes, the pesky Arizona Diamondbacks remain the only club that has yet to bring a debutante to the ball in 2017. Come on, guys, stop being wallflowers.
We head into Week 11 with a clean slate, as every call-up last week had gotten into a game by the end of Sunday’s slate.
(Reminder! The MLB Debut table is also found by clicking the Spotlights Tab on our home page, and scrolling to the top sub-menu selection.)