Brewers protective of prospect Williams

Arm injuries have slowed talented 25-year-old's development

Brewers protective of prospect Williams

PHOENIX -- Taylor Williams, the Brewers pitching prospect attempting a comeback from two seasons lost to elbow woes, is "full-go" in camp, manager Craig Counsell said Wednesday as pitchers and catchers took the field for the team's first formal workout.

Then Counsell offered an amendment.

"We're going to keep him on a little separate program, but he's healthy," Counsell said. "He's going to throw bullpens and stuff like that."

One cannot blame the Brewers for being protective of the 25-year-old Williams. He was the early star of 2015 Spring Training, drawing raves from the likes of Ryan Braun and comparisons to then-Braves closer Craig Kimbrel after an especially impressive live batting practice session.

But Williams' effort to impress that spring led to a sore elbow, which led to two lost seasons punctuated by Tommy John surgery in August 2015. He was healthy in time to pitch in the 2016 fall instructional league, and impressive enough -- touching 97 mph in one outing, according to Baseball America -- that the Brewers felt compelled to protect Williams from the Rule 5 Draft by making him a surprise addition to the 40-man roster.

"The reason we are keeping him a little separate is he has worked so hard to get to this point," Counsell said. "Everybody that's taken care of him on the [rehab] side is so proud of how hard he's worked.

"You get put into a new environment, the natural tendency is to try to impress. So we're kind of trying to take him out of that environment and give him an easy environment."

Barrios on comeback trail

Barrios' first career strikeout

Right-hander Yhonathan Barrios moved into the big league clubhouse at Maryvale Baseball Park on Wednesday morning after spending recent months on the Minor League side, which remains open year-round for players rehabbing injuries. Barrios underwent rotator cuff surgery in August.

Acquired from the Pirates for Aramis Ramirez, Barrios finished the 2015 season in the Brewers bullpen but missed all of 2016 with the injury. He said he is still at least two months away from completing his rehab.

"You never know with surgery," he said. "I'm not worried about [the timeline]. I'm just doing my best to get ready to pitch."

Last call

• Delaware North Sportservice, the Brewers' concessionaire, will host a job fair for part-time seasonal positions at Miller Park on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT. Approximately 250 positions are open for concession stand attendants, servers, bartenders, runners, bussers, culinary support and retail store cashiers.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.