Missions player possibilities for 2020

Missions outfielder Tyrone Taylor chases down a fly ball at Wolff Stadium last summer. - photo by Joe Alexander
Missions outfielder Tyrone Taylor chases down a fly ball at Wolff Stadium last summer.
If and when the 2020 major league and Triple-A seasons get underway, here is a look at who might be playing for the San Antonio Missions:

These Milwaukee Brewers transactions from March list players the big club sent to San Antonio:

Brewers optioned 3B Ryon Healy to Missions.
Brewers optioned 2B Mark Mathias to Missions.
Brewers optioned SS Ronny Rodriguez to Missions.
Brewers optioned C David Freitas to Missions.
Brewers optioned CF Corey Ray to Missions.
Brewers optioned RHP Trey Supak to Missions.

The following players have minor-league contracts with the Brewers and were invited to spring training with the big club. They could end up in San Antonio and include six of last season’s Missions:

LHP Clayton Andrews
RHP Zack Brown
3B Andres Blanco
3B Lucas Erceg
C Payton Henry
RHP Thomas Jankins
RHP Mike Morin
C Mario Feliciano
RHP Drew Rasmussen
RHP Miguel Sanchez
LHP Ethan Small
RHP Aaron Wilkerson
1B Logan Morrison
C Tuffy Gosewisch

Other 2019 Missions who were in the Brewers’ minor league spring training were:

P Bubba Derby
C Skyler Ewing

Outfielder Tyrone Taylor had his 2019 season with the injured slowed by injuries. He is on the Brewers’ 40-man roster by wasn’t playing in spring training while he recovered from surgery.

Update on Friday, Feb. 27, 2020:

The Milwaukee Brewers optioned the following players to the San Antonio Missions:
C Jacob Nottingham
LHP Angel Perdomo
RHP Bobby Wahl
RHP Eric Yardley

Missions watch: Corey Ray

The Brewers' Corey Ray in right field in a spring training game Feb. 26 at Scottsdale Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Brewers’ Corey Ray in right field in a spring training game Feb. 26 at Scottsdale Stadium.
One in a series on players with ties to the San Antonio Missions as we get ready for the 2020 baseball season.

One thing we know Corey Ray can do is chase down fly balls.

Ray has been roaming center field and right field in the Milwaukee Brewers’ first Cactus League games of spring training.

The hope is he regains the form that made the 2016 first-round draft pick a rising star in the Brewers’ minor league system. In 2018, Ray hit .239 and showed his power with 27 home runs in 135 games with Double-A Biloxi.

As a San Antonio Missions center fielder in 2019, he was limited to 53 games due to injuries and had a tough time getting in a groove at the plate for most of the season. He was on the injured list from May 23 to July 3. From there he spent a week on a rehab assignment, then went to Double-A Biloxi.

Ray didn’t rejoin the Missions until Aug. 1, when the Pacific Coast League season was more than half over. He batted .188 for the year with seven home runs.

The 25-year-old from Chicago looks healthy enough to have a sunnier 2020 based on his showing in early Cactus League games. Ray was a late-inning sub in the Brewers first spring training game of 2020, taking over in center field on Feb. 23 at American Family Fields of Phoenix.

He was in the starting lineup the next day. He started in right field on Feb. 26 when the Brewers played at the San Francisco Giants’ home field at Scottsdale Stadium. He has gone 1-for-10 to start the spring, but the one hit was a home run.

Adam McCalvy of MLB.com projects Ryan Braun, Avisail García, Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich and Ben Gamel as locks to be outfielders on the Brewers’ opening day roster. That might leave room for a spot for Ray, who is currently on Milwaukee’s 40-man roster.

If not, the 25-year-old from Chicago would probably start the season tracking down fly balls at Wolff Stadium for the second year in a row.

Corey Ray on Twitter

Tyrone Taylor, Corey Ray homer as Missions roll into showdown with Express

The San Antonio Missions' Tyrone Taylor hit his 13th home run of the season in the first inning on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Tyrone Taylor hit his 13th home run of the season in the first inning on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
Tyrone Taylor stayed hot with a home run for the second night in a row as the San Antonio Missions beat the Oklahoma City Dodgers 4-0 Sunday night at Wolff Stadium.

Sunday marked the Missions’ last home game before the Pacific Coast League playoffs.

The Missions, who swept the three-game series against the Dodgers, are one game behind the Round Rock Express in the American Southern division. The Missions and Express open a crucial four-game series Monday in Round Rock.

The Missions got the jump on the Dodgers when Taylor hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the first inning.

It was was the 13th homer of the season for Taylor, who is on a 12-game hitting streak. Since Aug. 12, Taylor has hit five home runs and his batting average has climbed from .238 to .275.

The Missions’ other run came when Corey Ray hit his sixth home run of the season in the seventh inning.

The San Antonio Missions' Corey Ray hit his sixth home run of the season in the seventh inning on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Corey Ray hit his sixth home run of the season in the seventh inning on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander

Nate Orf, Tyrone Taylor power Missions past OKC

The San Antonio Missions' Nate Orf watches his fourth-inning grand slam sail out to left on Saturday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Nate Orf watches his fourth-inning grand slam sail out to left on Saturday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
Nate Orf hit his first professional grand slam and Tyrone Taylor added a home run as the San Antonio Missions pounded the Oklahoma City Dodgers 15-3 Saturday at Wolff Stadium.

The Missions are two games behind the Round Rock Express in the Pacific Coast League American Southern division. The Missions play their final home game of the regular season on Sunday at 6:05 p.m.

Orf’s 10th home run of the season came in the fourth inning, when the Missions scored six runs and batted around. That turned the game around, changing a 3-0 Dodgers lead to a 6-3 Missions advantage.

The Missions also put up six runs in the seventh inning. Taylor’s 12th home run of the season came in the eighth inning with one on and accounted for the Missions’ final runs of the game.

Orf finished with two hits, three runs and five RBIs. Taylor had three hits, three runs and four RBIs.

Corey Ray and Jacob Nottingham had two hits each for the Missions.

Trey Supak pitched the first four innings for the Missions and did not get a decision. He allowed three runs on five hits.

Missions reliever Jake Faria (1-0) pitched the fifth and sixth innings to earn the win. He did not allow a run on one hit and one walk with four strikeouts.

The San Antonio Missions' Tyrone Taylor had three hits including a home run Saturday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Tyrone Taylor had three hits including a home run Saturday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander

Bubba Derby helps Missions overpower Baby Cakes

Bubba Derby was the San Antonio Missions' starting pitcher and also drove in a run on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
Bubba Derby was the San Antonio Missions’ starting pitcher and also drove in a run on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
Bubba Derby had a run-scoring double and also started off a combined shutout as the San Antonio Missions beat the New Orleans Baby Cakes 8-0 Sunday at Wolff Stadium.

Derby (6-7) pitched five scoresless innings to earn the win. He allowed three hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

Miguel Sanchez followed with 1 2/3 innings, allowing two hits with one strikeout. Angel Perdomo pitched the last 2 1/3 innings, allowing one hit with four strikeouts and one walk.

Tyler Austin, playing first base and starting for the second time with the Missions, had two hits including a fourth-inning home run. Troy Stokes Jr. and Corey Ray also had two hits each.

Miguel Sanchez was the first pitcher out of the San Antonio Missions' bullpen on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
Miguel Sanchez was the first pitcher out of the San Antonio Missions’ bullpen on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
Angel Perdomo entered in the seventh inning and finished the game on the mound for the San Antonio Missions on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
Angel Perdomo entered in the seventh inning and finished the game on the mound for the San Antonio Missions on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander

Corey Ray back in Missions outfield

Missions outfielders Troy Stokes Jr. (8), Corey Ray (1) and Tyrone Taylor (15) stand for the National Anthem before Thursday's game at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
Missions outfielders Troy Stokes Jr. (8), Corey Ray (1) and Tyrone Taylor (15) stand for the National Anthem before Thursday’s game at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
The San Antonio Missions’ outfielders have been bogged down by injuries this season.

Corey Ray, Tyrone Taylor and Troy Stokes Jr. – the opening day starters – have all spent time on the injured list.

Ray was back in centerfield on Thursday night at Wolff Stadium. Ray went hitless in a 3-2 loss to the Sacramento River Cats, but looked solid on defense.

Here is a look at Ray’s recent transactions this season from milb.com:

– August 1, 2019 CF Corey Ray assigned to San Antonio Missions from Biloxi Shuckers.

– July 11, 2019 CF Corey Ray assigned to Biloxi Shuckers from San Antonio Missions.

– July 3, 2019 San Antonio Missions sent CF Corey Ray on a rehab assignment to AZL Brewers Gold.

– May 23, 2019 San Antonio Missions placed CF Corey Ray on the 7-day injured list.

– May 7, 2019 San Antonio Missions activated CF Corey Ray from the temporarily inactive list.

– May 4, 2019 San Antonio Missions placed CF Corey Ray on the temporarily inactive list.

– May 3, 2019 San Antonio Missions activated CF Corey Ray from the 7-day injured list.

– April 17, 2019 San Antonio Missions placed CF Corey Ray on the 7-day injured list.

Ray has played in 42 games so far this season – 26 for the Missions, 11 at Double-A Biloxi and 5 in the Arizona League.

Lucas Erceg, Tyler Saladino homer as Missions pound Redbirds

The Missions' Tyler Saladino watches his three-run homer sail over the right-field fence in the sixth inning against the Redbirds on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Tyler Saladino watches his three-run homer sail over the right-field fence in the sixth inning against the Redbirds on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
The San Antonio Missions lashed out 15 hits including two home runs in a 9-3 victory over the Memphis Redbirds on Sunday at Wolff Stadium.

Lucas Erceg hit his sixth home run of the season, a two-out solo shot in the second inning.

Tyler Saladino hit his eighth homer of the season with two runners on base in the sixth inning.

Erceg, Saladino and Blake Allemand had two hits each for the Missions.

Missions starting pitcher Aaron Wilkerson (2-0) went six innings for the win. He allowed one unearned run on two hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.

It was the fifth straight win for the Missions, including the first four games of the current series against the Redbirds. The teams conclude their series with an early game Monday at 11:05 a.m.

Missions center fielder Corey Ray back in San Antonio lineup

Missions center fielder Corey Ray was back for Tuesday’s game at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
Corey Ray started the San Antonio Missions season as the starting center fielder.

Just when it looks like Ray was ready to get on a hot streak at the plate, he was out for about two weeks with a finger injury. He had two hits in two of the last three games before he was sidelined.

And when the first-round draft pick from 2016 was activated off the injured list to return, he missed a few more days when he and his wife had a baby.

Tuesday night Ray was back at the top of the Missions’ batting order and playing center field. He had one hit in the Missions’ 1-0 10-inning victory over the New Orleans Baby Cakes at Wolff Stadium.

Note: Jerry Briggs (twitter.com/BriggsMissions) reports Casey Donte Ray (8 pounds, 8 ounces) was born Saturday morning.

Missions play musical outfielders and shuffle their catchers

David Freitas, like all the Missions' catchers, also plays first base. - photo by Joe Alexander
David Freitas, like all the Missions’ catchers, also plays first base. – photo by Joe Alexander
Among the oddities on the roster of the Triple-A San Antonio Missions:

There is currently only one active player on the roster listed as an outfielder and there are four players listed as catchers.

Tyrone Taylor was the Missions’ only active outfielder on Sunday. And he didn’t start in Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Oklahoma City Dodgers at Wolff Stadium.

Corey Ray and Troy Stokes Jr. are listed on the roster as outfielders, but are both currently on the injured list. Ray was the Missions’ main center fielder to start the season. Taylor played primarily in right, but had been playing center with Ray out.

Sunday’s starting outfielders on Sunday were Jake Hager in left, Cory Spangenberg in center and Nate Orf in right. All three are listed on the roster as infielders.

Spangenberg has seen action all over the field this season. He has played first base, third base, shortstop, left field and now center field.

While the Missions are short on players listed as outfielders, they have four active players listed as catchers: Skyler Ewing, David Freitas, Tuffy Gosewisch and Jacob Nottingham. All four got into the game on Sunday. All four have also gotten work as first basemen this season.

Twice during Sunday’s game, three of them batted in a row and the other was coaching first base. The Missions use a player as a first base coach, so that part of the equation wasn’t unusual.

Freitas was the No. 7 batter in the order on Sunday and played first base. Nottingham was No. 8 in the order and played catcher.

In the fifth inning, after Freitas and Nottingham batted, Gosewisch went to the plate as a pinch-hitter. Ewing was coaching first base.

In the seventh inning, after Freitas and Nottingham batted, Ewing went to the plate as a pinch-hitter. Gosewisch was coaching first base.

Sounds win series finale against Missions

Lucas Erceg had two hits including a two-run homer. The Sounds beat the Missions 10-5 Monday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
Lucas Erceg had two hits including a two-run homer. The Sounds beat the Missions 10-5 Monday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
The Nashville Sounds had 10 hits including four home runs to beat the San Antonio Missions 10-5 on Monday at Wolff Stadium.

The Missions play their next seven games on the road beginning Tuesday night against the Memphis Redbirds.

Willie Calhoun, Jett Bandy, Hunter Cole and Matt Davidson homered for the Sounds.

The Missions had 15 hits. Tyrone Taylor had four hits, one RBI and one run scored. Lucas Erceg had two hits including his third home run of the season.

Keston Hiura had a double and a triple. Corey Ray also had two hits.