When (or if, depending on the weather) the Brewers take on the Cubs in Arizona today, they’ll have three less arms to consider putting on the mound — prospects Eric Arnett, Kyle Heckathorn, and Alex Periard were sent to minor league camp after yesterday’s “B” game.
Only Periard has appeared in a “real” game this spring, getting roughed up a bit by the Rockies. Arnett threw in the intrasquad game last week, and struggled a bit with his control, walking the bases loaded.
In the end, it was the right move to make. Hopefully the youngsters got some helpful hints from Rick Peterson and the veteran big league pitchers, but they need a more consistent work schedule and didn’t have a chance of breaking with the big league club this year. I’m especially excited to see what Arnett can do in the minors this year, after he was severely limited in rookie ball last season due to the insane amount of innings he threw for the Indiana Hoosiers. Heckathorn is probably more of a project, as the team wasn’t crazy about his delivery and has apparently done some tinkering. Periard also has a live arm, but is a way off from contributing, too.
One thing is sure, though — the Brewers have done a good job of infusing their system with some pitching we can all get excited about. After Manny Parra and Yovani Gallardo graduated to the majors, things were looking a little bare. Sure, we’re a year or two away from seeing some of that talent hit the high minors, but at least there’s a light in the distance.