Monday, March 26, 2007

Ryan Braun to be Demoted Despite Leading Team

The good news is that 23-year-old prospect Ryan Braun is leading the Brewers in homers: five: and slugging, .912. The bad news is that Braun also has the most errors -- four -- of any of five players who have started at third base during more than five weeks at spring camp.

An announcement is forthcoming from the team's Cactus League headquarters in Maryvale, Ariz., that will disclose that despite his huge bat, Braun's defensive play has convinced the team that he must start the year in the minors. Coaches want Braun to work on throwing accuracy and footwork around the bag.

This means that the team will open the season at third base with a lefty-righty platoon of veterans Craig Counsell and Tony Graffanino.

It also means one more roster spot will remain open -- for now -- presumably to be used for one of a glut of outfielders, including: Geoff Jenkins, Kevin Mench, Cory Hart, and Billy Hall, all of whom are guaranteed a spot; and Brady Clark, Gabe Gross, Laynce Nix and Tony Gwynn Jr.; all still trying to make the team.

Barring a trade, look for Clark to win the fifth outfielder spot, Nix to open the season on the injured list and Gross and Gwynn to be sent down with Braun.