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Comeback Bids for Capuano, Halama Derailed

Before we get to the sad news about Chris Capuano, it’s worth mentioning that the Brewers did find a way to keep Chuck Lofgren in the organization without having to keep him on the 25-man roster.  The team worked out a trade with Lofgren’s old club, the Cleveland Indians, allowing them to keep his rights while stashing him in the minors.  In return, the Indians will get Omar Aguilar.  Aguilar is also a reliever, and was entering his fourth year in the Brewers’ system. After some impressive numbers between high-A and AA in 2008, Aguilar struggled in AA last year (although he continued to have success at the high-A level). For what it’s worth, Aguilar was ranked 32nd in the latest Brewerfan.net Power 50 rankings.

As far as Cappy goes, it looks like his comeback bid from a second Tommy John surgery has hit a brick wall. The Brewers shut him down indefinitely today due to inflammation in his surgically-repaired elbow.  Tom Haudricourt quotes Ken Macha as saying Cappy began feeling discomfort after his second outing of the spring last week.  While soreness is to be expected after such a long lay-off, the fact that they’re calling him out for an “indefinite” period of time probably isn’t a good sign.  It doesn’t sound like he’s calling it quits, but at some point you have to start worrying about whether or not he’ll ever make it back.  As I wrote a couple weeks ago, the list of pitchers who have come back from two Tommy John surgeries is very short, and the ones that have were mostly limited to relief roles upon their return.  This just goes to show that you shouldn’t be counting chickens before they’re hatched — a lot of people were counting on Cappy to slot into the Triple A rotation and act as pitching depth for the major league club.  Here’s to hoping this setback is as minor as he’s making it out to be.

In other pitcher news, non-roster invitee John Halama was given the axe today.  Halama was also trying to make a comeback to the major leagues — the 38-year old hasn’t pitched for a big league club since 2006.  As noted by Adam McCalvy, Halama gave up 20 hits and four runs in only six Spring innings this year.  The move makes sense, considering earlier reports that the Brewers were going to start cutting down their roster to those with a legitimate chance at making the final roster.  It was pretty obvious from the start that Halama wasn’t going to make the big league roster, so today’s move doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

Yesterday, the Brewers optioned Mark Rogers and Amaury Rivas to Double A, and also sent A.J. Murray and Martin Moldonado to minor league camp.  With about 2.5 weeks left in camp, we can probably expect more moves to be made in the coming days.