Brewers Infielder Yadiel Rivera Discusses His September Callup
It might have escaped your notice, but the Brewers have gotten off to a pretty good start in September. With Sunday’s win over the Cardinals, they’re 7-3 in the month against three potential playoff teams from their own division.
During that span they’ve also added some members to the active roster via September callups, including some but not all of the folks we discussed a couple of weeks ago. One of the players called up that we didn’t discuss in that piece is infielder Yadiel Rivera, who rejoined the team on Sept. 4. Like fellow callups Taylor Jungmann and Damien Magnifico, Rivera is a homegrown product of the Brewers organization: Along with September teammates and pitchers Jacob Barnes, Tyler Cravy and Magnifico, Rivera was part of the 2012 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers team that won the Midwest League Championship. Rivera is featured prominently in the Wisconsin team photo with the trophy that covers an entire wall in the Rattlers’ front office.
Last week we talked to Rivera about his trip back up to Appleton to visit the Timber Rattlers during the 2016 MLB All Star break, the atmosphere in an expanded Brewers clubhouse and pressure to perform at the MLB level down the stretch.
During the MLB All Star break a lot of players go home or visit vacation destinations, but you made the trip up to Appleton to visit the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. What was it like being back there?
It was a great season when we won it all in 2012. It's a great group of guys and staff too. We got the upgrade (Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium underwent a renovation) the next year and I was wondering what it looked like. I had flashbacks to all the memories from 2012.
Now that you’re back in the big leagues for the stretch run, what are some of your goals?
Do what I know how to do. Play good defense, have good at bats and help the Brewers win games. Keep doing what I've been doing through spring training and the season.
What's the clubhouse like with expanded rosters in September? It is different?
We all know each other from spring training, we've got new guys I played with in AAA. We've got a lot of guys around the club, but we have fun. I like to see a lot of guys in here. We talk to each other and we have fun. I don't think it's a big problem to have too many guys in the clubhouse. I think it helps you, gives you more chances to win the game late in the game.
Does being called up with a few weeks left in the season put pressure on you to try to make a good impression down the stretch?
No, they all know what I can do. They see what I did in the fall league and spring training, and the start of the season. Then I went down, and I'm back here and they know what I can do. They give you the confidence that they trust you, and that's why they gave me the call back and I'm here.