PHOENIX -- The Brewers cut three non-roster invitees before Thursday's game, returning catcher Jonathan Lucroy, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and first baseman Scott Thorman to Minor League camp.

Cain and Lucroy, both 22, are two of the team's most intriguing prospects and made the most of their time in big league camp. Lucroy batted only .167 (3-for-18) in Cactus League games, but impressed manager Ken Macha with his handling of Brewers pitchers and his defense behind the plate. Cain, a late addition to big league camp, also hit .167 (5-for-30) but he homered, drove in four runs and scored seven.

"They both were very impressive," said assistant general manager Gord Ash, who oversees Milwaukee's top two Minor League affiliates. "You consider that Lucroy started last season in low [Class] A and Cain started in high [Class] A, and they have come a long way to be participating in big league games.

"Lucroy was working both sides of the plate and handled himself well. Cain had not played much center field in the past, but I think he showed us he can play it. He just needs some experience, though he showed us some patience at the plate."

The Brewers promoted Cain from Minor League camp after Ryan Braun left for the World Baseball Classic and Tony Gwynn Jr. went down with a shoulder injury. Both Cain and Lucroy could be candidates for Double-A Huntsville to start the season, and Cain could start as high as Triple-A Nashville if the Brewers elect to open the season with both Gwynn and Chris Duffy on the big league roster. In that scenario, Nashville would need a center fielder.

Thorman, who inked a Minor League contract with Milwaukee over the winter, batted .300 (9-for-30) in the Cactus League, mostly as a late-innings replacement at first base. The fact he hits left-handed would have been a huge boost in past seasons, but this year, the team is choosing from a crop of four reserve outfielders for the bench, all of whom bat from the left side.

With Thursday's moves, the Brewers have 41 players left in big league camp.