The Starting Nine is a weekly feature that will post each Monday, including nine items from the past week worth checking out (if you haven’t already) as we get ready for the week ahead.
1. The week got off to an awful start following a terrible act of violence in Las Vegas. Pitcher Bubba Derby was one of those in attendance at the Route 91 Harvest Festival where 59 people were killed and hundreds more were injured by a gunman, but Derby was one of many heroes on the scene, protecting others and helping them to safety. It was a terrible and tragic event and we’d like to offer up our thoughts and prayers to all the victims. And to Bubba Derby, I say, well done young man. We’re proud to have you as a member of the Brewers’ organization.
2. In more pleasant news, the Brewers completed their purchase of their Advanced-A affiliate, the Carolina Mudcats, meaning the Brewers will have one less thing to worry about when it comes time to re-up with their player development contracts.
3. On the field, the Arizona Fall League gets underway on Tuesday as eight Brewers will be taking part for the Salt River Rafters. The seven week schedule runs through mid-November, culminating with a championship game on Saturday, November 18th.
4. One of the players taking part in the AFL is right-handed pitcher Adrian Houser. Kyle Lesniewski of BP Milwaukee profiled Houser as he continues to work his way back following Tommy John surgery which he underwent in 2016.
5. Also in Arizona, the Brewers Instructional League continues and Josh Norris of Baseball America was on hand to see them last week. Nathan Kirby was on the mound for Milwaukee and Norris had a chance to speak with him. He also posted some video of Kirby in action as well.
6. Baseball America also had a story on Brewers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year Corbin Burnes, written by Tom Haudricourt of the Journal-Sentinel, detailing Burnes’ impressive breakout season of 2017.
7. Speaking of the Journal-Sentinel, they filed their player grades for the 2017 Brewers, with third baseman Travis Shaw and closer Corey Knebel earning top grades.
8. Among the list of players who suited up in 2017 are some that likely will not be back in 2018 and five players in particular have already made themselves available to other organizations. Outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis and pitchers David Goforth, Michael Blazek, Rob Scahill and Wily Peralta all filed for free agency, making it more likely than not that they won’t return next season.
9. Finally, here at MPP, we’ve been taking a look back at each of the Brewers’ affiliates and their 2017 season. We wrapped up with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox on Friday and we’ll start a new series, handing out some awards for 2017 later on this week.