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.
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.