MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers are already planning for 2009 Spring Training.
The Brewers announced Wednesday they had signed four pitchers to Minor League contracts that included invitations to big league camp. They are left-handers Lindsay Gulin, Sam Narron and Chris Narveson and right-hander Joe Bateman.
All four finished the 2008 season at Triple-A Nashville.
Bateman, 28, might have the best chance to make the team. The Brewers selected him from San Francisco in the Minor League phase of last December's Rule 5 Draft, and he went 3-1 with a 2.09 ERA in 49 relief appearances between Double-A Huntsville and Nashville. At Triple-A, he logged a 1.60 ERA (six earned runs in 33 2/3 innings) and held opponents to a .190 average in 23 games while converting all four of his save chances.
Narron and Narveson have been in Brewers camp before. Narron, 27, was bidding for a spot in the Brewers' bullpen in 2005 before he suffered an elbow injury that cost him that entire season, but he tied for fifth in the Minors in 2008 with 15 wins between Nashville and Double-A Huntsville. In his 20 Triple-A games (18 starts), the southpaw finished 9-4 with a 4.80 ERA, including wins in six of his final seven decisions for the club.
Narveson was one of Milwaukee's final cuts in 2008 but then had a somewhat disappointing year at Nashville, going 6-13 with a 5.43 ERA in 28 games (22 starts). He did lead the team with 125 strikeouts, and will turn 27 in December
Gulin was a two-time Pacific Coast League pitcher of the week in 2008 and made the mid-season All-Star team. He went 7-7 with a team-best 3.54 ERA that ranked second in the PCL while leading the league's starters with a .219 opponents' batting average. He turns 32 on Nov. 22.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.