Round ’em Up: Saturday

14 06 2008

UPDATE 06-14-08 – This comes to you courtesy of our own Dan Wiersema.  The Milwaukee Brewers have been known for converging in the outfield for a jumping high five.

Yahoo! Sports writes an article about how the Brewers are saving the game by not falling into the fad of the “hip bump.”  Not only does that just sound stupid, but the Brewers are just too good for it.

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I apologize for not getting up a game wrap-up for last night’s game. I was unable to watch the game, as I got together with some friends I hadn’t seen in a long time. It was a nice evening, and by the looks/sounds of it, I didn’t miss much of a game at all anyway.

Here’s a couple game wraps for you – SportsBubblerMilwaukee JS.

Let’s move on to the stories of the day:

  • J.J. Hardy has a strained rotator cuff. The consensus is that he will be out for the whole Twins series, but the Brewers shortstop will be ready to go for the opening game of the Toronto Blue Jays series. It’s just a hunch…but Brewers players are always out for longer than originally reported. I wonder if Milwaukee will put J.J. on the DL “just to be safe.”
  • The Junkball Blues is quite concerned with the increased workload Ben Sheets has been getting in his past few starts. I have been surprised that Ned Yost would ride Sheets so hard early in the season, but he’s the Brewers ace. He has had injury problems in the past. The injuries have never been arm problems, however. Sheets has a relatively stress-free delivery for a maximum-effort pitcher. There is no cause for concern until Benny begins to lose velocity. He’s still popping the glove with a 95-96 mph fastball at pitch 115. His arm clearly isn’t overly fatigued.Sure, it would be nice to see Ben have an efficient outing his next time out, but his arm doesn’t need it. He’s also been injured the last few seasons. His arm is still relatively fresh in comparison to other pitchers his age, as he hasn’t thrown so many innings.

    Here’s something else. It may just be a little cynical on my part, but some of me wants to believe Ned is using all he can get out of Ben Sheets now. He won’t be with the team past this season. Why not let it all hang out with Sheets this season? Like I said, that’s quite the cynical view.

  • Brew Crew Pub has a list of the Five Things the Brewers Need to Do to Make the Playoffs. Most of them are obvious, but there are a couple points that are a bit off.I hate to break it to Brewers fans, but the Brewers organization is not going to call up Mat Gamel this season. It would stifle his defensive development. The Crew needs Mat to be a polished player when he gets called up. There is no need for him to learn on the job. That was fine when the Brewers were a sub-.500 team. The team needed to have Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun, and Prince Fielder learn the ins-and-outs of baseball while playing every day. The 2008 Milwaukee Brewers do not need that. Mat needs to get his defense polished up so he can make a run at the starting lineup for the 2009 Milwaukee Brewers. Give the kid a chance to marinate down on the farm a bit.

    Not all the problems can be solved through trading or calling prospects up to the big leagues. When things are not going well for a team, it is only natural to clamor for changes to spark a turn-around. The great thing about the Brewers is that they are not scuffling anymore. They have their flaws, sure, but the team is playing pretty good baseball as a whole right now. You can look on the down side and ask when the home runs are going to stop coming, but the fact is the Brewers are a home run hitting team. We will live and die by the long ball. It’s not desirable, but it’s a fact of life in Milwaukee right now. If that needs to be changed, Brewers fans will have to wait until the off-season.

  • Dugout Central has a list of 12 Outfielders the author would rather have than Ichiro Suzuki. That’s a bold statement right there, but number one on the list is Ryan Braun. Understandable. Pat Burrell though? C’mon…
  • Some of the newest Brewers are in Arizona having a quick rookie “training camp” before the Rookie League season starts. The article catches up with 5th-round pick Maverick Lasker who seems to have his head on straight. He sounds ready for business. 20th-round pick, Liam Ohlmann, however appears to be a deer in the headlights. He’s so in awe of everything that his first few outings are going to be rough. I can tell that already.
  • The Charleston Daily Mail has an article on West Virginia infielder, Steffan Wilson. He has the reputation of a big power threat in the line-up, and he’s proving that again this season with 11 long balls already. I would like to see his average climb a bit (and so would he), but he’s shown the ability to hit for average too last season. His versatility in the infield will also be a big advantage for him moving up the ladder in the minors. He’s an interesting prospect to watch, as he has “breakout” potential. If he can get a bit more consistent at the plate, he will be one to watch.
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8 responses

14 06 2008
Aaron

You made a great point that you’re overlooking. “We will live and die by the long ball.” That is not a playoff team by any stretch of the imagination. If you rely on the long ball and don’t do so with runners on, you’re in trouble.

I understand that Gamel isn’t going to get called up, but I don’t believe the Brewers can make the playoffs unless they get him up here while getting rid of the two worst players on their team in Bill Hall and Dave Bush. The article wasn’t a thought about what would happen, but what has to happen if the Brewers plan on making any kind of move that doesn’t include Zambrano taking a line drive to the face.

By the way, this team hasn’t been playing good baseball. They’ve been lucky enough to get all their homeruns in two games while giving up 6 runs in both. If you need 9 homeruns to win two games, you are in BIG big trouble. Furthermore, their defense has been atrocious and has lacked consistency: 7 errors in the last 6 games.

14 06 2008
Jim Breen

I understand your points.

Living and dying by the long ball is not a good thing, but it’s who we are. I’m not saying it’s desirable. The Brewers don’t have the makeup to have high OBP guys, which is why I thought we should have signed Lofton over Mike Cameron in the off-season. It’s not a good thing, but we cannot be something we’re not.

Good baseball, bad baseball, whatever. We’re 15-8 since getting swept by the Boston Red Sox. At some point you just have to sit back and enjoy winning games instead of nitpicking every flaw. Every team has them and no team will be perfect. We’ve won every series but the Colorado series since being swept, so it’s tough to say we’re not playing good baseball. It may not be perfect, but it’s production. I’d rather win ugly than play well and lose.

14 06 2008
Aaron

I guess that’s where we differ. I can’t handle playing bad baseball and getting away with it. 15-8 is a good record, but if you’re playing bad baseball and it’s what your team is, there’s a problem. Low OBP teams with poor defense won’t make the playoffs. Above .500 is not a goal. The playoffs are, and these guys seem to think they can get away with playing like this and it’s going to consistently win ball games. I want a good consistent team, and that’s not what they are right now, especially at the plate. The pitching will come and go, but the approach at the plate never should.

I appreciate the winning because at the very least it’s bringing revenue that Attanasio can use in the future. But I also believe that this kind of baseball leads to terrible slumps like we were in May because one play starts to make every single ball game. You can call it nitpicking if you wish, but in my opinion, it’s not nitpicking if I continue to refer to the same things during wins and losses, which I have. We don’t walk and we swing for the fences. That’s entertaining sometimes but it’s not bringing championships. Show me one team that was a straight shot homerun team that made the WS, and I’ll maybe give up on the argument.

14 06 2008
Jim Breen

Whoa there partner. Didn’t mean to offend anyone here.

I was just saying that you lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink it. You can try to get the Brewers to take walks and have plate discipline, but it just seems like they won’t do it. I’ve been saying the same things you have for the entire year, but at some point it’s just beating the idea to death. You can’t ask players to be something they are not and change their style after one game. I wish you could. That’s what I meant by just embracing what the team is.

There are a lot of changes I would like to make on the team, and I point them out regularly. There are things players on the team need to improve upon, and I point them out regularly. Today, however, I just feel like giving them a break. That’s all.

14 06 2008
Aaron

I haven’t been offended. If it came off as such, I apologize. You say just embrace the team for what it is, and that’s not a playoff team. This is why I wrote the article. They need to make the changes and make them now if they plan on giving me any hope. Bill Hall and Dave Bush are the biggest culprits. We missed the playoffs last year by two games with Ryan Braun at third. As far as I can tell, Gamel is possibly ahead of Braun goes as far as range and plate discipline. If Gamel comes up and hits half as well as Braun this year, we become a better team than last year, which to this point, we are not.

Until then, I’m still going to go to games and I’m still going to whine because I want a playoff team, not just the expectations. Imagine this lineup.

Weeks
Gamel
Braun
Fielder
Hart
Hardy
Cameron
Kendall
PItcher

No holes as far as I’m concerned and 2-5 is a scary combo of on-base and power that can more than make up for a few pitching blunders.

14 06 2008
Aaron

Half as well as Braun last year is what I meant.

14 06 2008
bernie carbo

Gotta love the firey debate on brewersnation….Aaron and Jim-you guys give Bewer fans like me something to be proud of because I spend probably way too much time reading Yankee and Red Sox bantering threads quietly hoping for a Brewer one.

Aaron….I have alot of confidence in your opinion and I gotta tell you, I’m on cloud nine with your praise of Gamel to the point of saying he “possibly might be further along than Braun in range and plate discipline.” That is extremely encouraging considering the numbers Braun has posted in the streakiest of ways.

Jim’s acceptance of the Brewers personality might be the healthiest approach because we are alredy playing June baseball. I don’t see Bush and Hall as the culp[rits…..rather I see the Melvin-Yost blue print that we all seem to agree had and still has some serious flaws.

Hall is a superior utility player. The Brewers considered him not only a full time starter, but a full timer at three different positions rather than pursuing other options.

I missed the boat on Bush…completely. I was blinded by his promising 2006 year. My hunch is that Bush lacks confidence and command and I don’t think you can have the second without the first. We are asking way too much from him, but I still think he has the stuff to be a #4 starter.

And lastly, Aaron…don’t you think the Brewers would stick with Gwynn if they were serious about raising the team OB%. Gwynn is certainly not Mr. Discipline, but I would think he works a count to three four balls on average which is relatively high comparred to other hitters.

We bring in Kendall because he works a count and gets on base ….but then we sign Cameron and entrust Hall with alot…..frustrating contradiction.

14 06 2008
Aaron

Besides Weeks, Cameron was the only guy on the roster who in his career averaged more than four pitches. Cameron is really underperforming a ton. If he was being straight average, we would see a .360 guy doing the job.

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