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27 05 2008

Sorry for the lack of a Round ’em Up this morning.  I wanted to give the interview with Jonathan Lucroy a little more face-time at the top of the blog.  There are a couple of important things that happened today though.

  • The Milwaukee Brewers have officially signed RHP Julian Tavarez and activated him today.  The corresponding move was sending LHP Zach Jackson back down to Triple-A.  It only leaves the Brewers with one lefty in the bullpen, but Zach hasn’t been overly successful as a “left-handed specialist.”  Lefties hit .229 against him in the minors, which is not awe-inspiring.  It’s not terrible by any means, but it is certainly not anywhere near Brian Shouse’s .147 opponent batting average against lefties.  Plus, that .229 BA is in the minors.  Major league hitters are presumably a little better than minor league hitters.

    A lot of Brewers fans are up in arms about the Tavarez signing.  I don’t quite understand the displeasure.  It is the type of low-risk, high-reward move that Doug Melvin needs to make.  The organization cannot warrant dishing out cash to better pitchers unless the team proves it can be competitive.  The Brewers will only be paying Tavarez $390,000, which is the pro-rated minimum.  Julian is a ground ball pitcher who could find success with a little change of scenery.  It’s not like the Brewers are paying him $10M (ahem, Gagne).

  • Tom Haudricourt is reporting that Bill Hall is very upset with the situation at third base.  That is, he feels he should be an everyday player, and Russell Branyan should have not been called up.  In fact, Billy is downright livid about this situation.

    Again, I just do not understand.  How does Bill Hall justify his claim that he should be playing everyday?  Is it his blistering .158 BA against right-handing pitching?  How about his .222 OBP against righties?  I just don’t get it.  Ned Yost and Doug Melvin are not there to be friends with the players.  They are there to get the most production out of their players.  In this case, it involves platooning Bill Hall with Russell Branyan.  On that note, don’t judge Branyan on his 0-5 performance yesterday.  It was just one game.  The previous game he performed very well.

    You have to play better before you can start making demands, Bill.  I’m truly sorry the Brewers have bounced you around from position-to-position in the past few years, but you’ve been given the chance to succeed in the infield this season.  You are where you want to be, and you still cannot produce.  I’ve rooted for you for so long, and I feel like I deserve some sort of gift in return.  Would a .240 BA against righties be that difficult?  If it is, I don’t feel Ned Yost should continue to throw you out there at the hot corner.  At some point, you have to produce.

    Oh, and to anyone wondering, Bill Hall is a perfect example of why small market teams do not throw out long-term contracts.  The Brewers rewarded him after a productive season in 2006, but he has not returned the favor.  Now the Brewers are stuck paying a platoon-caliber player $4.8M this season, $6.8M in 2009, and $8.4M in 2010.  The Brewers will likely look to unload his contract soon.




4 responses

27 05 2008
Dan Wiersema

Agreed, Jim. I’m sympathetic to Hall because he’s been pushed around a lot, but the hard feelings/ guilt for any Brewers fan or management has to end when a player isn’t performing up to expectations (financial or otherwise). Hall has been disappointing offensively since his big deal over the last two seasons. If he can’t get it done that he has no one to blame, but himself.

One has to wonder what the leash looks like for other struggling offensive players now? A warning shot across the bow for others?

27 05 2008
orville reddenbrewer

guys — any thoughts on what we could get for him or who would want him? one and a quarter seasons is more than enough for a guy to prove he can hit consistently in mlb.

27 05 2008

After tonight’s game, bIlly proved why he is valuable to this team, and hopefully this platoon idea angered him and he is going to start playing like the player we hoped he could be when we signed him to his contract.

27 05 2008

I am surprised that due to all the bouncing around Hall has had to do they weren’t more patient with him, after all they have let Weeks play everyday this whole time. Then again, there is not much behind Weeks to replace him.

I’m still not sold on Branyan, he has proven previously in the majors that his swing is too long. If he guesses the right fastball, its going to be a home run, but if he faces a pitcher that can scout him and keep him off track with breaking balls and change-ups hes going to strike out all the time.

Agreed on Tavarez being a good singing, he is going to come in handy at the end of the season if we are back in the playoff race, as he has been there before, as Dillard, DiFilece and Jackson have not.

Something that needs to be pointed out that I saw on the Brewers homepage, is that before the Nationals series we had played more than 80% of our games against teams with winning records at the time, this might mean our end of the season will be easier. I could be wrong on this, but it was interesting enough to put out there.

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