Round ’em Up: Braun, Previews, Prospects

17 03 2008

I apologize for taking a couple days off on the Player Profile series, but I’m working on a full-out bullpen preview. That should be up in a couple days. In the meantime, here are some links to keep you busy while you’re at work:

  • Ryan Braun still has the tight Achilles tendon, and he will be sitting out for a couple more days. This may just be me overreacting, but I’m beginning to get nervous about this situation. Tom Haudricourt says that the consensus seems to be that Braun got this tight Achilles because he wore a new pair of shoes. Let’s hope that Ryan is back and ready for action sometime soon. If he needs a week off, give it to him.
  • Need another dose of those ever-popular NL Central previews? I have you covered. ESPN.com has their preview. The news is simply the same…the Brewers do not have enough pitching, but the Cubs have enough. Apparently, 8 major league caliber starters does not qualify as “enough” depth. Oh, and Ben Sheets needs to stay healthy. I forgot he was important. Thanks for reminding me.RealGM Baseball has the Brewers taking 3rd place in the Central, finishing behind the Cubs and the Reds. This preview does not even have Milwaukee posting a winning record this year. I don’t have too much to say about that other than…really?
  • Baseball Digest Daily has their Top 100 prospects. Three Brewers make the list. Matt LaPorta checks in at number 44, Manny Parra is the 75th best prospect, and Jeremy Jeffress makes the list at number 77. Manny is quite low on this list, in my opinion. Jeffress may be struggling with a marijuana addiction, but he still has the physical tools to be a fantastic pitcher. LaPorta continues to receive high praise after only playing a limited amount of time in professional baseball. Hopefully the new draft class later this spring will infuse Milwaukee’s system with more high-ceiling prospects.Please look at the video for Clayton Kershaw in the #7 slot. That curveball is just nasty!!!!
  • Anthony Witrado writes a complete fluff piece on Jeff Suppan. Give it a look if you want to read about how Soup keeps his life centered.
  • Doug Melvin and Ned Yost will have some very difficult decisions ahead of them concerning the pitching situation. Claudio Vargas and Seth McClung are both out of minor league options. This would mean that another team could pick them up if the Brewers try to send them down to Triple-A. Yost mentions that he might fight for a 13-man pitching staff if he does not want to lose one of his veterans. Of course, this could all be solved if Melvin moves one or two pitchers before Opening Day. It feels like something is going to happen in a week or so, but I have no confirmed source to tell me that. I’m starting to think that Vargas may be the one to go.
  • Aaron Shinsano from MLB Trade Rumors mentions that the Los Angeles Angels could come calling the Milwaukee Brewers for starting pitching help. If you do not remember, I mentioned that exact situation in yesterday’s Round ’em Up after I saw that John Lackey got injured. It seems likely that the Angels will stay in-house to find their answer, but Doug Melvin’s phone could ring a couple times.
  • (Hat Tip to KL Snow for the find on this one) It looks like Kerry Wood will be the Cubs’ closer in 2008. I understand they like his veteran leadership and experience, but Carlos Marmol is flat nasty. Nobody could hit him in ’07. Perhaps Kerry Wood has impressed ol’ Lou this spring. Either way, Howry-Marmol-Wood will be very difficult at the end of games. Wood does have the injury-prone bug to get over still, however.
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