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Who starts the 2019 season on their bench?

The Milwaukee Brewers opened the 2018 season with 14 position players on their roster. They’ll likely start the 2019 season with 13 or 12, depending on how they construct their roster. Who’s in line to make the team right now?

While upgrades at catcher and second base can still happen, the starters at most positions are obvious. Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, and Ryan Braun will patrol the outfield. Travis Shaw, Orlando Arcia, Jesus Aguilar will start in the infield. But what about the other seven or eight position players who will make the Milwaukee Brewers roster?

Who backs up the outfielders in 2019?

Keon Broxton is with the New York Mets, and Domingo Santana is with the Seattle mariners. They won’t influence who makes the Milwaukee Brewers bench for 2019. Ben Gamel is a virtual lock to make the Brewers as the fourth outfielder. It doesn’t look like the team will carry five outfielders right now, but that could change with the right deal or two.

How about the catching tandem?

It’s a three-man race between Manny Pina, Jacob Nottingham, and Erik Kratz unless an upgrade is signed or traded for. Pina and Nottingham make the most sense right now, but two right-handed catchers hurt the Milwaukee Brewers from a platoon standpoint. A left-handed catcher as a backup or a starter would be a great addition at this point.

What about the infield?

Eric Thames, Tyler Saladino, Corey Spangenberg, and Hernan Perez are virtual locks to make the roster at this point. Unless the Milwaukee Brewers can find a trade partner to take Thames, he has to make the Opening Day roster.

Mauricio Dubon or Keston Hiura may push the Brewers to make a move early in the year, but neither will make the team out of Spring Training.

The addition of Brian Dozier, Josh Harrison, or any of the remaining free agent second baseman would push Saladino to Triple-A or free agency. However, he’s safe at this point.

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There are about five weeks remaining until pitchers and catchers start to trickle in to Arizona for Spring Training. As a whole, the Milwaukee Brewers bench looks thinner than last year. In 2018, they started the season with Aguilar and Santana on the bench. Aguilar is now a starter, and Santana is in Seattle. Jonathan Villar and Eric Sogard have also moved on. There is still time to add a key everyday starter at second base or catcher, and the Brewers could also add a few non-roster invitees to compete for a spot on the 25-man roster. The guys who are safe in early January may end up elsewhere in late March.

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