Hellweg, De La Torre join list of camp cuts

Hellweg, De La Torre join list of camp cuts

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Brewers optioned Johnny Hellweg and outrighted Jose De La Torre to Triple-A Nashville on Wednesday, continuing a very busy week of camp cuts.

Hellweg, No. 3 on MLB.com's list of the top Brewers prospects, and De La Torre, plucked off waivers from the Red Sox last fall, were the 13th and 14th players sent to Minor League camp or released since Monday afternoon. Their departure left 43 players, including 21 pitchers, to vie for 25 spots on the Opening Day roster.

His Cactus League numbers -- three innings, six earned runs on eight hits including a pair of homers -- say Hellweg's Spring Training was a scuffle.

"Yeah, if you look at numbers," manager Ron Roenicke said. "I was actually happy with the way he threw the ball. His last two outings, he really got after it, and that's what we were trying to get him to do, instead of the pacing, and your good stuff doesn't show up until the third, fourth, fifth inning. Try to get him to come out and really get after it, and he did. Plus, he's trying to quicken his delivery, and he did."

Hellweg was the 2013 Pacific Coast League pitcher of the year but struggled to a 6.75 ERA in seven starts and one relief appearance for the Brewers. He can he brought up and sent down throughout 2014, but will be out of Minor League options next year.

Of the players released earlier in the week, none impressed more than 23-year-old outfielder Mitch Haniger, who batted .500 (5-for-10) with a home run, five RBIs, two walks and only one strikeout in his first big league camp.

"I told him the whole idea when you come into big league camp and you're not a guy who has a legitimate chance to make a team, you try to impress somebody," Roenicke said. "And I told him, 'You impressed everybody here.' That's perfect for a guy coming in like he did. Who knows? You start off great, and you never know what's going to happen.

"The mental side is really good, and he's a really well-rounded player. He's a good defender, great arm. Offensively, he's a guy that makes adjustments, will put the ball in play when he has to, but he also drives the ball really well."

Haniger, a supplemental first-round pick in 2012 (as compensation for losing Prince Fielder in free agency) topped out at advanced Class A Wisconsin in 2013.

With De La Torre's removal, the Brewers' 40-man roster stands at 39 players.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.