MILWAUKEE — On August 30, the Milwaukee Brewers acquired veteran pitcher Don Sutton from the Houston Astros in a blockbuster deal for three unnamed players. No reason was ever given for why the names of those players were not immediately released even though they were known by both clubs. We now know.
Brewers general manager Harry Dalton confirmed that the three heading to Houston are outfielder Kevin Bass and pitchers Frank DiPino and Mike Madden.
All three were players who were held in high regard in the organization. Bass, 23, was viewed as the future heir to right field, the one offensive weakness of this current team. He starred for Vancouver this season, hitting .315 with 17 homers, 65 RBI and 23 stolen bases. On the flip side, he didn’t get a hit in nine at bats for the Brewers and was eventually sent down in favor of Marshall Edwards.
Though the 25-year-old DiPino never played on the Brewers’ roster this season, he actually made two appearances last season, pitching 2 1/3 hittless innings. In his second season with Vancouver, he was solid though unspectacular, going 13-9 with a 4.03 ERA.
The 25-year-old Madden impressed this spring, but he struggled mightily in Vancouver. He went 3-8, entirely as a starter, with an ugly 7.03 ERA and 60 walks in 80 2/3 innings. It was actually his second disappointing season after cruising through two years of A ball.
Will Brewers fans regret giving up any of these players? Only time will tell. But if Sutton can take the team to the playoffs and beyond, these names will be forgotten.