ZEBULON, N.C. - Several former Carolina Mudcats, including infielder Keston Hiura, outfielder Trent Grisham, catcher Yasmani Grandal and pitcher Freddy Peralta, could all play major roles in tonight's National League Wild Card Game between the Milwaukee Brewers, Carolina's Major League affiliate, and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Hiura, Grandal, Grisham and Peralta are also among the nearly two dozen former Mudcats overall who could potentially appear in this year's playoffs across eight of the 10 MLB postseason eligible teams.
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The Brewers boast the highest total of former Mudcats with seven players in all available for the playoffs, and four players listed on the current NL Wild Card Game roster ahead of tonight's post-season opening game. The active players include Grandal (2011 Mudcats), Hiura (2018 Mudcats), Grisham (2017) and Peralta (2017). At season's end the Brewers regular season active roster also included former Mudcats pitchers Corbin Burnes (2017) and Devin Williams (2018). Starter Gio Gonzalez, who started as part of a rehabilitation assignment with the Mudcats this past-season, is also postseason bound for the Brewers. Hiura, Grisham and Williams each made their MLB debuts with Milwaukee earlier this season.
A plethora of former Mudcats, meanwhile, are spread out across the potential playoff rosters for the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves. Five former Mudcats could crack the Yankees postseason roster, three could see time with the Rays in the playoffs and two could see time with the Braves.
The Yankees could potentially use former Mudcats including closer Aroldis Chapman (2011), reliever Ben Heller (2014), outfielder Cameron Maybin (2008) and infielders Didi Gregorius (2011) and Gio Urshela (2012). Former Mudcats on the Rays include first baseman Jesus Aguilar (2012), infielder Joey Wendle, reliever Cole Sulser and infielder Yandy Diaz (2014). Diaz, however, is currently on the Tampa Bay injured list. The Braves, Carolina's parent club for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, could potentially use former Mudcats including infielder Dansby Swanson (2016) and reliever Chad Sobotka (2016). The Braves roster also includes former Mudcats including infielder Johan Camargo (2015) and reliever A.J. Minter (2016). Both Camargo and Minter are on the Atlanta injured list.
Pitcher Anibal Sanchez, who played for the Mudcats in both 2006 and 2008, was the lone former Mudcat on the Washington Nationals end-of-season roster. Utility man Kris Negron, meanwhile, was the lone former Mudcat on the Los Angeles Dodgers regular season roster at season's end. The Brewers would play the Dodgers in the NL Division Series should they advance beyond the Wild Card Game tonight versus Washington.
Much like the Nationals and Dodgers, only one former Mudcat would be available for both the playoff bound St. Louis Cardinals and Minnesota Twins. Left-handed reliever Andrew Miller, who played for the Mudcats briefly in 2008, is available for St. Louis and infielder/outfielder Ryan LaMarre, who played for the Mudcats in 2011, is available for the Twins.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.