We’ve Moved!!!

14 07 2008

Hi all!

As promised, it’s Monday and there is big news for BrewersNation.

I was approached by SportsBubbler, and they asked me to move my blog to the front page of their site. The site traffic is obviously higher over there. The partnership looks to be quite beneficial for both sides.

The name of the blog has sadly changed. Unfortunately, it was something that simply had to happen to make the move possible. I won’t go into the particulars, but BrewersNation is now known as Bernie’s Crew.

Nothing about the site’s content is going to change whatsoever, so don’t worry. I sincerely hope you all will update your bookmarks and simply come and read the new blog. It’s an exciting move, and I want all of you to make it with me. You all have been absolutely fantastic.

Here’s the link to the new site.





Round ‘em Up: Sunday

13 07 2008

UPDATE 07-13-08 1:05pm – Take a look at the brawl in the Huntsville Stars game last night!  Also, the error Cole Gillespie has in the highlights is downright embarrassing…(A tip of the cap to Mass Hass at Brewerfan.net for this one)

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(Insert your own witty opening right here.) Let’s jump right into this.

  • Ned Yost says that the defense is drastically improved from last season. He doesn’t want us to look at the number of errors though. That isn’t a realistic representation of the improvement. Yost likes the fact that the outfield has more range than last season. They can get to more balls.Sure, the defense has improved some from last season. It is by no means above-average, however. Bill Hall has a penchant for making the difficult play look easy and botching the routine plays. Ryan Braun may not have an error in left field, but he’s still trying to throw every man out at home and not hitting the cut off man. That allows runners on the basepaths to move up into scoring position after a mere single. Prince Fielder is certainly not above-average at first. The only real improvements are Mike Cameron in center field and Jason Kendall behind the dish. You like how I did that without looking at stats? Ned Yost would be proud.
  • The Brew Town Beat analyzes the trend of the platoon for the Milwaukee Brewers. There is the Bill Hall/Russell Branyan platoon. There is the proposed Dave Bush/Seth McClung platoon. Brew Town suggests a Craig Counsell/Joe Dillon platoon while Rickie Weeks gets sent down to Nashville to work some things out. My guess is Milwaukee is not going to go down that path unless there is a productive trading option – like a Ray Durham.
  • Jon Rauch is receiving a lot of attention on the Trade Market. I would suspect that Milwaukee will or has already kicked the tires. The problem is that Washington is known for trying to screw other teams in a deal. I suspect the asking price will be exorbitant.
  • Battlekow on Brew Crew Ball has a nice overview of the Future’s Game. It actually started about an hour ago, so go check it out on ESPN2. Mat Gamel and Matt LaPorta are playing. Check it out.
  • Vinny Rottino and Lindsay Gulin were named to the PCL All-Star team. Rottino has performed better than expected behind the plate. He may be the back-up in Milwaukee next season. Gulin has been one of the only consistent performers in the starting rotation in Nashville. He has been walking too many people lately, but his ERA is still extremely respectable.Luis Pena was a late addition to the All-Star team as well. As it says in The Sunday Harvest, Pena started out horrendously. He’s turned it on lately though. The right-hander will probably be called up to the big leagues in September, if not before.
  • The Hardball Times analyzes the Rich Harden trade. The article takes the position that the Oakland A’s probably got the better end of the deal because they got a surplus of talent that could become everyday players in the bigs.
  • Dugout Central asks who the most disappointing teams in the AL and the NL have been this season. In the AL, I would say the Cleveland Indians have been the most underachieving team. The San Diego Padres take the cake in the National League, in my opinion.
  • The Junkball Blues wonders why the amount of complete games have gone down so dramatically throughout the history of baseball. You can blame strict pitch counts and high salaries for that.
  • Seamheads looks at the Tampa Bay Rays and their attendance. Even though they are having the best season in their history, they just broke the one million mark for attendance. That’s rough for the management. Perhaps they will be moving sometime soon…




The Sunday Harvest

13 07 2008

Player of the Week: C/OF Eric Fryer

Last 10 Games: .500 BA, 7 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 1 SB

It looks like Eric is making himself comfortable atop The Sunday Harvest.  Since Jonathan Lucroy got promoted to Brevard County, Eric has been making more starts behind the plate.  His bat is too precious to keep out of the lineup everyday though, so WV has also been playing him in the outfield.  They have also moved Fryer to the clean-up spot in the order.  Instead of trying too hard or choking, the young man has only improved his hitting.  He’s doing his best Mat Gamel impression right now with a .360 batting average.  It looks like Milwaukee may have found another diamond in the rough in the coal mines of West Virginia.

Honorable Mention

C Angel Salome – (Last 10: .421 BA, 6 2B, 1 HR, 10 RBI) – With all the talk of Matt LaPorta, Mat Gamel, and Alcides Escobar in the C.C. Sabathia trade talks, Angel wanted everyone to know he’s not going anywhere.  That is, he’s not going anywhere except up the ladder in the Brewers farm system.  He’s still hitting for average and power.  The defense has improved this year, and the young man still has a cannon for an arm.  Look for him in Nashville next season.  Perhaps he will be the starting catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2010 after Jason Kendall moves on.

SS Brent Brewer – (Last 10: .300 BA, 3 2B, 1 RBI, 3 SB) – This stat line may not be impressive at all, but it is a remarkable improvement for Brent this season.  The extremely raw prospect has struggled immensely all season.  His average has hovered around the .200-.210 mark, and he has hit for absolutely no power whatsoever.  The power is obviously still absent, but the batting average has come around a bit in the past week-plus.  Could this mean that Brent has finally started to piece together his skills?  Brewers fans around the country certainly hope so.

2B Eric Farris – (Last 10: .357 BA, 2 2B, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 2 SB) – Eric started off the year in extended Spring Training, rehabbing a hamstring injury.  The 2008 season got off to an extremely rough start for the highly-touted second base prospect, and he kind of got lost in the shuffle in West Virginia.  No more, however.  He has started to breakout, as everyone expected him to do.  His defense is still stellar, but his bat is beginning to turn around.  Eric will never be much of a power threat, but the timely hitting will benefit him very much coming through the system.  I’m excited to see how Eric Farris performs in the second half of the season.

Pitcher of the Week: LHP Chris Cody

Chris dominated in West Virginia, which earned him a promotion to Brevard County.  He struggled to acclimate to his new surroundings at the beginning, and I began to be concerned that Chris was going to be demoted to the bullpen.  That is no longer the case.  In his last two outings, it has been business as usual for the prize of the Jose Capellan trade from last season.  He has gone seven innings in his past two outings, and only given up one run through those fourteen innings.  The strikeouts have returned as well – 13 combined in his past two starts.  Like I said before, business as usual for Chris Cody.

Honorable Mention

RHP Luis Pena – Nashville’s closer had a horrendous start to the 2008 campaign, but has rebounded nicely since then.  In his last 30+ innings, he has had a sub-2.00 ERA.  Many (including Tom Haudricourt) are beginning to think Pena has earned a promotion to the big leagues.  I’m not completely sold, however.  He has walked 8 people in his past 9.2 innings, which will certainly not translate well to the bigs.  His WHIP is 1.54.  You do not need to be a stathead to understand that is not good.  Luis will have to limit his baserunners before getting a call to the big show.  With that said, he is not allowing runs to cross the plate, which is what it all comes down to as a closer.

LHP Troy Cate – Milwaukee acquired Cate as a free agent a couple weeks ago, and teams around the major leagues are probably wondering why they didn’t pick this guy up.  In three starts for Huntsville, Troy has a 2.29 ERA with twelve strikeouts in 19.2 innings.  Let’s hope this becomes the norm, as he struggled a lot for his last team – to the tune of a 7.27 ERA in 17.2 innings out of the bullpen.  Perhaps he only needed to start games?

RHP Roque Mercedes – This week looks to be the “Week of the Comebacks.”  Roque pitched so poorly in the beginning of the season that he became the mop-up guy out of the bullpen.  That has changed recently, as the young right-hander has put together some very fine outings.  In his last 17.0 innings pitched, he has only given up three earned runs.  Roque has never been one to walk many people, but he has been a home run machine in 2008.  He has cut down the home runs.  Success has followed.  Let’s hope it stays that way in the second half.

RHP Robert Wooten – An under-the-table signing of the past month, the former UNC Tar Heel has broken onto the scene as a professional quite nicely.  He has pitched in two outings and has gone four innings.  The young man has given up four hits and one walk, while striking out six.  The Brewers are hoping to fast-track Wooten through the minor league system in the bullpen.  The big league squad could use his arm in a couple seasons.  Expect Robert to be promoted to West Virginia after he gets his feet wet a bit in Helena.





Reds series highlights Brewers shortcomings

12 07 2008

After another devastating loss tonight against the Cincinnati Reds, it’s time to take a look at what has gone wrong. How have the Brewers lost two straight games to a team they are much better than? At home, no less.

These last two games serve as a microcosm for Milwaukee’s struggles in 2008. It’s been the big three for the Brewers.

1) Struggles at the back end of the bullpen – mainly Guillermo Mota and Eric Gagne.

2) Below-average defense.

3) Poor plate discipline and too many strikeouts.

The Bullpen

In tonight’s game against the Reds, David Riske and Brian Shouse simply needed to keep the deficit at 3-2 in the eighth inning. They needed to give the Brewers a chance to put something together against the Cincinnati’s bullpen, as Edinson Volquez dominated through seven innings.

Instead of holding the score 3-2, Riske gave up a one-out double to Jerry Hairston – who has owned the Brewers. Ned Yost then called upon Brian Shouse to strand the runner at second. Thus far in 2008, Shouse could almost guarantee results. He has struggled in the past week, however.

Those struggles continued tonight. After striking out Jay Bruce on three pitches, he gave up an RBI single to Ken Griffey Jr. Shouse has had issues keeping the ball down the past week. The deception of his sidearm delivery can only do so much. He needs to keep the ball down and away from left-handers. That has not been happening, and the team is suffering.

The score is now 4-2 after the Crew couldn’t get anything going against the unimpressive David Weathers. There is still a slim glimmer of hope in the hearts of Brewers fans, however. Maybe the offense can score two off Francisco Cordero in the ninth. Perhaps the Crew can come back against their old teammate. Again, all the bullpen needs to do is keep the deficit the same.

Enter Eric Gagne – the newly-anointed set-up man. Milwaukee’s ten million dollar man has looked extremely solid in his couple outings since coming off the DL. Adam Dunn changed that. Dunn clobbered a 3-2 fastball out of the park to increase Cincinnati’s lead to 5-2. The lead only grew after Edwin Encarnacion went deep to make it back-to-back home runs. Before the inning could end, Gagne gave up four runs on four hits. The lead was now 8-2, and all the hopes of the Brewers winning the game left when Gagne left the game for Guillermo Mota. You know there are problems if you need Mota to get you out of an inning.

Defense

Doug Melvin and the Brewers went out and signed Mike Cameron to a one-year contract to sure-up center field. He has been very impressive patrolling center and has vastly improved Milwaukee’s defense from last year. Bill Hall was forced to learn on the job last season, and Cameron is an obvious improvement with his Gold Glove-caliber defense.

Friday night, however, that exceptional defense was not on display. Cameron got an excellent jump on a ball in the left-center gap (as usual), but he lost the ball in the lights. The ball almost hit the Brewer center fielder in the head, and it resulted in a triple for Jerry Hairston. Did I mention Hairston has owned the Brewers this series? It tied the game up in the seventh.

Then, with a tie game in the eighth inning, Bill Hall fields a routine ground ball at third base. The Brewers moved him to third during the winter to improve on the defense Ryan Braun gave the Crew last season. It hasn’t improved the defense as much as Doug Melvin and the team hoped. Hall rushed his throw and spiked it in the dirt. Prince Fielder was unable to handle the low throw, and the inning continued with two on and one-out, rather than one on and two-out. It turned out to cost the Brewers the game, as Hairston scored on a wild pitch by Salomon Torres.

The sloppy defense directly led to Milwaukee’s loss to the Reds Friday night. If Hall or Cameron could have come up with only one of those plays, the worst the score could have been was a tie game going into the bottom of the ninth. What ifs are pointless, but the sloppy defense does point to a chink in the armor of the Milwaukee Brewers. Doug Melvin certainly improved the defense this off-season, but it is certainly not perfect. The defense will need to improve to catch the Chicago Cubs.

Plate Discipline

Milwaukee has a powerful offense.  No one will dispute that fact.  The team does struggle to score runs when the long ball is not present.  Manufacturing runs does not come easy for a team that strikes out a lot and does not walk very often.  As a whole, the Brewers are too over-aggressive at the plate and make soft-tossing control pitchers like Josh Fogg and Glendon Rusch look like aces.

In Friday night’s game against Fogg, the Reds’ veteran right-hander cruised along the first five innings.  He kept the free-swinging Brewers off-balance by rarely throwing a first pitch fastball and inducing a lot of pop-ups.  You know a team has a strikeout problem when Josh Fogg strikes out six in five and a third.  Fogg threw everything but the kitchen sink up there, and the aggressive Brewers hitters obliged by swinging at difficult pitches.

After Friday night’s offensive struggles against Fogg, the Reds threw out the hard-throwing Edinson Volquez to the mound.  I am not suggesting a bad outing against Volquez is indicative of offensive struggles, as almost every team that has gone against Volquez has struggled immensely.  It is the way the Brewers scuffled that indicates potential offensive problems.

Volquez struck out ten Brewers in seven innings.  He kept hitters off-balance with his exceptional change-up, and the aggressive Brewers swung over it again and again.  J.J. Hardy – who has been one of the hottest hitters in the league the past month – whiffed three times against the NL All-Star.  Strikeouts do not move runners over on the basepaths.  Strikeouts do not even give Mike Cameron a chance to score the tying run from second in Friday night’s game in the ninth inning.  Strikeouts do not allow any sacrifice flies to get runners in from third base with no outs or one out.

Right now, the Milwaukee Brewers live and die by extra base hits.  When the team is going well, they will score in bunches.  The over-reliance on extra-base hits is a recipe for offensive slumps, however.  That is what the Brewers have been unable to overcome the past two games against the Cincinnati Reds.

If the Brewers are going to catch the Chicago Cubs and stay ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals, the defense will need to improve, the bullpen will need to improve, and the offense will need to draw more walks and play more small ball.





Round ‘em Up: Saturday

12 07 2008

UPDATE 07-12-08 12:45pm – The big news for BrewersNation is officially going down on Monday.  Be sure to tune in!

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Sorry about the lack of a game wrap last night. We had some bad storms, and I lost my internet connection for the night. High winds knocked down some trees in the area. Nothing too bad though. I made the trek to the library to write the Round ‘em Up this morning. You can’t say I’m not dedicated…

Not as bad as last night’s game, at least. The defense was absolutely horrendous, and I’m not including Mike Cameron’s error when he lost the ball in the lights. That happens to everyone a couple times in Miller Park. The errors and wild pitches single handedly cost the Brewers the win last night. Not to mention the fact that Josh Fogg dominated the Crew again. Pitchers that are able to use our aggressiveness against us seem to absolutely dominate us. There were a ridiculous amount of weak pop ups last night.

New day today. New game. Brewers win tonight.

  • Morineko from Brew Crew Ball made an interesting observation about Seth McClung, who will take the hill tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers. The big right-hander seems to put together better starts when he is outdoors. He doesn’t like when Miller Park is closed, and he certainly doesn’t like domes (perhaps this is why he never pitched well in Tampa Bay). I think this is more of a statistical anomaly than anything, but we’ll test the theory tonight.
  • Jim Powell has a Brewers Roundtable posted with himself, Anthony Witrado, and Adam McCalvy. I think he must have listened to the podcast Pete put together and got the idea for himself. If only I were that naive and egotistical.
  • Right Field Bleachers has a great recap of the Player To Be Named Later (PTBNL) situation with the CC Sabathia trade. Will it be Michael Brantley or Taylor Green? This situation will probably not be played out until the end of the minor league season. Perhaps Cleveland is simply trying to see who ends the season on a higher note? Either that, or they are waiting for Brantley to come back from his injured ankle to scout him.
  • Team Wisconsin says the Brewers should ditch the retro uniforms. First, the Brewers never seem to win when wearing them. Agreed. Second, the Brewers organization needs to stop dwelling on something that happened a quarter of a century ago. I actually agree with this point a lot. Let this team create their own image. Let them have their own legacy. Stop tying them down by comparing them to the ’82 Brewers. They will never be the same team, nor should they be.
  • Pete from Brewers Fanatics says Dave Bush is starting to step up for the Brewers. I will wait until he puts together a good start on the road before I sing his praises too loudly. Bush teases me with these gems at home, but he cannot duplicate it on the road.
  • Jonathan Lucroy has done nothing but impress in Brevard County. He came in with high expectations because of his performance down in West Virginia. Needless to say, the young catcher did not disappoint. The article even says his defense has looked pretty good behind the plate. It is not mentioned as much as his offense, so I suspect is not up to par as of yet. He has time though.
  • The Texas Rangers should look to the Milwaukee Brewers as a guide for rebuilding their franchise. At least, that is what the Star Telegram says in a recent article. It’s nice to see Jack Zduriencik, Doug Melvin, and Mark Attanasio get some credit for the fine job they have done in Milwaukee. I have never experienced such Brewers fever since I’ve been alive. (A tip of the cap to Team Wisconsin for that one.)
  • Dugout Central asks which ten prospects have the highest chance of being dealt before the deadline? None of the ten are Brewers prospects, but it’s nice to have an idea of the trade landscape before late July comes along. Or maybe it’s just me that likes to track other teams’ prospects…
  • Jason Bay is one of the hottest names on the trading block this July. He has returned to his All-Star form in Pittsburgh, and other teams are taking notice. Sports Illustrated reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks and St. Louis Cardinals are seriously interested in the left fielder. I suspect Pittsburgh would much rather trade Xavier Nady, as Bay is under contract through the ’09 season.
  • Speaking of the Pirates, they shipped Craig Wilson to Seattle for a PTBNL. I highly doubt that PTBNL situation is nearly as frustrating and exciting as the one in Milwaukee. They also swapped a couple minor leaguers with Cleveland.
  • The Brew Town Beat is reporting that Ryan Braun has been placed on the 60-day DL. That is, Ryan Z. Braun, the relief pitcher from the Kansas City Royals, is on the DL. Way to make my heart skip a beat.
  • This is not about the Brewers, or baseball even, but most Brewers fans are de facto Packers fans. Chuckie Hacks has a very refreshing perspective on the Brett Favre situation in Green Bay. I completely agree. Favre has handled this situation very poorly and completely expected to be welcomed back to the Packers with open arms. It hurt his pride when the Pack didn’t roll out the red carpet and welcome him back like a mom with her kid who comes home from college. You retired, Brett. The Packers started to build their team around Aaron Rodgers. You kind of threw a big wrench in the gears when you said you wanted to come back.There is one thing lost in the situation. The Green Bay Packers just motivated Brett to succeed this season by playing hard to get. I would not be surprised if Brett goes to Baltimore or Tampa Bay and rejuvenates the team. I’m still telling myself Brett doesn’t have the heart to go to Minnesota.

    I don’t want to start a comment thread about the Packers, but I thought Packers fans needed to read this post by Chuckie Hacks.





Minor League Boxscores: Saturday

12 07 2008

Nashville Sounds (39-57), 19.5 GB

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New Orleans 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 4 9 0
Nashville 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 5 10 0

LHP Sam Narron – ND, 5.2 IP, 8 hits, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K – 4.43 ERA
RHP Joe Bateman – (W, 1-0) 3.1 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K – 2.61 ERA
C Carlos Corporan – 3-4, HR (1), 3 RBI – .231 BA
3B Adam Heether – 2-4, 2B, RBI, run – .252 BA

Huntsville Stars (14-10), 2.0 GB

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Huntsville 0 0 1 0 4 0 2 2 1 10 17 0
Chattanooga 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 6 1

RHP Nic Ungs – (W, 2-0) 6.0 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K – 2.00 ERA
RHP Steve Bray – (S, 1) 3.0 IP, 0 hits, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K – 4.22 ERA
SS Alcides Escobar – 3-5, RBI, BB, SB (25), 2 runs – .337 BA
3B Mat Gamel – 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, 2 runs – .375 BA
LF Cole Gillespie – 1-4, 2B, RBI, 2 BB, 2 runs – .277 BA
2B Mike Bell - 2-5, 2B, 3 RBI – .259 BA
CF Lorenzo Cain – 2-5, 3B, BB, 2 runs – .286 BA

Brevard County Manatees (7-14), 6.0 GB

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brevard County 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 2
Sarasota 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 X 3 7 0

RHP Jeremy Jeffress – (L, 3-5) 5.0 IP, 6 hits, 3 runs (2 ER), 3 BB, 5 K – 4.68 ERA
SS Brent Brewer – 2-4, 2 1B – .238 BA
C Jonathan Lucroy – 2-4, 2 1B, run – .338 BA

West Virginia Power (17-5), — GB

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
West Virginia 1 0 0 6 0 2 0 0 3 12 13 1
Charleston 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 7 2

RHP Amaury Rivas – (W, 7-3) 7.0 IP, 7 hits, 2 runs (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K – 3.49 ERA
RHP Michael Bowman – 1.0 IP, 0 hits, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K – 0.00 ERA
2B Eric Farris – 2-5, HR (1), 3 RBI, 2 runs – .262 BA
C Eric Fryer – 2-5, 2B, BB, run – .360 BA
3B Zelous Wheeler – 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 BB, run – .283 BA
RF Steffan Wilson – 2-5, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, run – .275 BA
CF Lee Haydel – 2-4, RBI, 2 BB, SB (28), 3 runs – .280 BA

Helena Brewers (11-13), 3.0 GB

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Idaho Falls 2 0 0 8 1 0 1 0 1 1 14 16 0
Helena 3 3 1 0 3 1 2 0 0 0 13 18 0

LHP Brandon Ritchie – ND, 3.1 IP, 6 hits, 7 ER, 3 BB, 3 K – 6.98 ERA
RHP Adam Arnold – (BS, 1)(L, 0-1) 2.2 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K – 2.31 ERA
3B John Delaney – 4-5, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, BB, 2 runs – .244 BA
SS David Fonseca – 2-5, HR (4), 3 RBI, BB – .293 BA
1B Brock Kjeldgaard – 2-5, 2B, HR (6), BB, 2 runs – .278 BA
RF Mike Vass – 2-5, HR (3), RBI, BB, 2 runs – .197 BA
2B Jose Duran – 2-6, 3B, HR (2), RBI – .281 BA

AZL Brewers (3-12), 8.0 GB

Game postponed due to rain.





Round ‘em Up: Friday

11 07 2008

UPDATE 07-11-08 3:04pm – Baseball America picked their minor league All-Star team last week. Mat Gamel, Alcides Escobar, and Matt LaPorta all made the squad. It is amazing how stacked Huntsville is, even with the departure of LaPorta. (Tip of the cap to Aaron for this one)

Dixieflatline from Brew Crew Ball has a great post that takes a look at the horizontal movement of Dave Bush’s pitches and attempts to figure out why he has struggled on the road. Ned Yost says the mound at Miller Park is to Dave’s liking. That could play a big part, as Dave has far more movement on his pitches when he’s at home. Give it a look. It’s great stuff.

I never wish injury onto anyone, but the Milwaukee Brewers get some good luck this weekend. Cincinnati’s Aaron Harang will miss his scheduled start against the Brewers due to a strained forearm. The injury is not serious, but it will allow the Crew to dodge him. Harang has killed Milwaukee when pitching against them throughout his career. In 2008 alone, the big right-hander has two starts and is 1-0. He went eight innings in both starts and only gave up one run in each game. Thank goodness the Crew doesn’t have to deal with Harang this weekend.

The Junkball Blues analyzes the amount of extra-base hits the Brewers hit.  No surprise, the majority of these hitters are extra-base hit machines.  The league average is about 1/3 of the hits to be for extras.  The only players for Milwaukee that do not live up to that are Craig Counsell and Jason Kendall.  No surprises there.

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I know I usually write an NL Central Review on Fridays, but it takes far too long to write. The response is not nearly as high now as it was at the beginning, so I think I will begin to include more NL Central news in the Round ‘em Ups instead of a separate post each week. I apologize if you were looking for the Review today, but I would rather spread the information out through the week and give more continuous attention to the NL Central.

  • In case you did not know already, Corey Hart officially made the All-Star team thanks to your votes! Chuckie Hacks has the video of the Brewers mobbing Corey and giving him a little beer shower during his press conference. You want to know why people say Milwaukee’s clubhouse is great? Take a look at the video. It’s obvious that the guys truly like and respect each other.
  • Bill Chuck from Dugout Central takes a look at the NL All-Star team and has a little commentary after each player. He doesn’t have Corey on the list though, so it must have been written before the final vote ended.
  • ESPN.com has an interview of CC Sabathia with reporter Amy Nelson. It’s nice to see that CC is an articulate young man who is genuinely excited about being in Milwaukee. When asked about how much money it would take to keep him in Milwaukee after the season, however, he gave a very evasive answer. He says he wants a winning team with a great attitude. Perhaps Milwaukee can be that place for him.
  • ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark says Zack Greinke was Milwaukee’s Plan B if they were unable to score Sabathia. This is interesting, as all reports have said Greinke is not on the market and will not be until after the season is over. The reliever idea is intriguing though.
  • Aaron from Brew Crew Pub has a recap of the Colorado Rockies series. Let’s hope the Reds series goes a little better this weekend. The Crew needs to go into the All-Star Break on a high note.
  • SportsBubbler names RHP R.J. Seidel the Prospect of the Week. His change-up is electric. It’s nice to see the LaCrosse native put a couple good outings together. I still see him in a relief role, but it will depend on how he handles Brevard County next season. Eric Fryer is also mentioned in the Three Up category, but they make it sound like he hasn’t done anything until this week. He has raked since being promoted to West Virginia. Get used to the name.
  • The Hardball Times has a great piece that breaks down the mechanics and projectability of RHP Jake Odorizzi and LHP Evan Frederickson. The general consensus is that Odorizzi is something special, and the Brewers were lucky to get him with the #32 pick. I had not heard this before, but Jake is apparently trying out a four-seam fastball and has seen his velocity jump up to 95. With such a wiry frame, he should be able to add a couple ticks to that fastball too.Frederickson, on the other hand, did not receive much praise from THT. The author actually refused to rate Evan because the video being used did not match the reports of him. He was throwing much too slow. His control was still horrible though.
  • The Brew Town Beat gives everyone in the batting order a theme song when coming up to bat. This is a nice light piece to kill some time while you’re at work.
  • The Seattle Mariners finally released former-Brewer Richie Sexson. When you’re as tall as he is, a drop from productivity is a big fall. I suspect he’ll land somewhere. Not Milwaukee though. Don’t get excited.
  • Cardinals Diaspora thinks its time for another NL Central team to negotiate a deal with Billy Beane. This time, the target would be Joe Blanton. If you really want Joe Blanton and his 5.00+ ERA, I will not stop you. St. Louis’ pitching coach, Dave Duncan, has worked wonders with the Cards’ pitching staff in 2008, but this may be asking for a little too much.
  • Do you think the Cardinals aren’t worried about the big moves made by the Brewers and the Cubs this past week? You’d be wrong. St. Louis manager Tony LaRussa is asking for the front office to get him help right now. He does not want to wait for the return of Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright in mid-August. He wants that help right now. It’s nice to make other teams feel nervous.
  • JoeSportsFan.com has the 7 Worst Trades in the last decade. That Aramis Ramirez deal to Chicago remains one of the worst deals that has affected the Milwaukee Brewers. Every time I think about that deal, I just get upset. How did that seem like a good idea at the time? I know hindsight is 20/20, but seriously. What was Pittsburgh thinking?

I promised you all some big news either yesterday or today. I’m still working on it. The news just didn’t quite happen when it was planned. Stay tuned though. I’m not just teasing you all, don’t worry. Something is actually happening, and it is significant.








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