Round ’em Up: Wednesday

9 07 2008

Those are a couple of pictures I got of CC Sabathia during his pre-game warmup. They’re not very big on here, but program I’m using doesn’t let it get much bigger.

The atmosphere inside Miller Park was absolutely electric last night, and the Brewers did not disappoint. The Crew sent the fans home happy with a 7-3 victory over the suddenly hot Colorado Rockies.

In the first inning, Ryan Braun launched a 430′ home run into the left field bleachers. The guy behind me one row and two guys to the left caught the ball. I was about three feet away from getting my glove on it. How awesome would that have been? Oh well. Another day, another time, maybe.

Let’s get into the news.

  • Jim Powell says CC Sabathia delivered in a big way last night. The “Sabathia era” is now in motion, no matter how short of a time it would be. He has some audio from Sabathia himself, Doug Melvin, and the in-game audio from last night. In Sabathia’s post-game comments, he said he was overly excited and tried to overthrow a bunch of his pitches. I agree with that completely. It’s understandable that he was trying to impress the Miller Park crowd that gave him two or three standing ovations before even throwing a pitch.
  • In some other trade news, Ken Rosenthal from FOX Sports is reporting that Milwaukee is showing interest in San Francisco’s second baseman Ray Durham and lefty reliever Jack Taschner. Durham makes a lot of sense for the Brewers, as Rickie Weeks is struggling again to find his swing. Taschner, on the other hand, is a little bit of a mystery to me. Mitch Stetter has better stuff than Jack, and Mitch is much younger. I would much rather Doug Melvin target someone like Jon Rauch from Washington. That would also deepen the bullpen past this season.
  • Milwaukee finally signs second-round draft pick RHP Seth Lintz. There was a bit of confusion last month, as a report had been leaked that Lintz had signed with the Crew when he hadn’t. That’s all inconsequential at this point. The young man went 9-0 with a 0.57 ERA in high school down in Tennessee last season. That’s not too bad. He will report to AZL Brewers very soon.
  • Driving home from the game last night, I turned on ESPN radio to see if the Cubs won or lost last night. After learning that they pulled out a win, I found out they traded for Rich Harden from the As. What?! That was quick! Chicago gave up Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, Eric Patterson, and minor-league catcher Josh Donaldson. The Cubs also received reliever Chad Gaudin to ease the load on Carlos Marmol. Not many Brewers fans are going to admit this after the big Sabathia trade, but this move by the Cubs hurts. I really thought they were going to be stuck with A.J. Burnett. By giving up Gallagher, however, their starting pitching depth is extremely thin. They cannot afford for Harden to get injured, and that is obviously no guarantee.
  • I never thought I would write this in 2008, but FOX Sports’ Dayn Perry actually wrote something positive about the NL Central. In fact, he even says good things about the Brewers! I’ll give you a second to catch your breath. He still gives the edge to the Cubs down the stretch, and it is very hard not to. Perry is right about something else, too. This is going to be a fun ride to the end of the season.
  • How did the Brewers react to the Rich Harden acquisition? Exactly as they should. Ned Yost couldn’t care less, and Doug Melvin loves the competition. The article also quotes Mark Attanasio saying that Doug Melvin is going to be looking for another piece before the trade deadline. Don’t get too excited though. Milwaukee simply cannot afford another big-name player. Their payroll is extremely high right now, and their is no room on the roster to add someone.
  • The Brew Town Beat is reporting that contributor for Milwaukee said on the radio this morning that the back-end of the rotation will be a platoon once Jeff Suppan returns from the DL. Seth McClung is going to pitch on the road, and Dave Bush will take the ball at home. The statistics would argue that is a perfect solution, but I think McClung should move to the bullpen. It is extremely unlikely they will both be able to stay fresh pitching every 10th day or so. Give the ball to Bush every fifth and move McClung to the ‘pen. His control has improved greatly and could thrive in a late-inning role.
  • In-Between Hops takes a look at the Home Run Derby swing curse. It has long been suspected that the Home Run Derby messes up a player’s swing for the second half. Case and point, Bobby Abreu. This post, however, says it is a myth and gives some convincing statistics to back it up. Let’s hope Ryan Braun doesn’t come back from the All-Star Break trying to hit a home run every at-bat. Prince Fielder already does that.
  • Chuckie Hacks has an update on Derrick Turnbow in case you forgot about him.
  • Dugout Central hands out the mid-season Cy Young awards for both the NL and the AL. The clear-cut favorites are Edinson Volquez for the National League and Cliff Lee for the American League. There are others in the discussion, however. I just don’t understand how the article cannot even mention Ben Sheets in the Cy Young mix. That 10-2 record with a 2.77 ERA not doing it for you? Yes, Volquez has been better, but give Sheets his due. Mention him in the discussion.



9 responses

9 07 2008

The Cubs’ pitching depth wasn’t really affected, because Gaudin is very good, and he would be the guy who steps in if Harden goes down. He is basically replacing Gallagher. Gaudin is the reason I think that this is a very good trade for the Cubs.

9 07 2008

Agreed. Don’t forget about Sean Marshall as well. At least I don’t have to hear about Rich Hill’s curveball anymore.

9 07 2008

I heard the McCalvey interview this morning. The idea is an interesting one. McCalvey suggests the pitcher would take the long relief role in between starts to stay sharp on their 10 day switcharoo. I’m guessing Bush will be handed the spot because of his love affair with Ned.

9 07 2008

Why Taschner’s an upgrade:
1. He has more experience in the big leagues (do not underestimate the situations Taschner has faced versus Stetter).
2. San Fran’s defense has a lot more holes in it. The league is generous with fielding errors often chalking them up to hits. I understand every pitcher/team experiences, but with SF as bad as they are, I can’t help but feel like it affects Taschners ERA a more than it would Stetters.
3. Taschner is a native who would love to play for the Brewers. How many left handers would love to play for a small franchise in the mid-west?! Happiness= performance in any occupation.

9 07 2008

Bernie asked about what Rickie has done in games after a day of rest or more. Here’s this year’s numbers. I can check last year’s if you really want me to.

Rickie has played in 15 games this year in which the team has either had the day off the night before or Rickie has simply been given the night off himself. During that time he’s hitting .250/.338/.383 with two HRs, 5 RBIs, 6 Ks and 7 BBs in 68 PAs and 60 ABs. Not really telling at all.

9 07 2008

Oh and just for fun. He got on base at least once in 14 of the 15 games.

9 07 2008

The numbers for Rickie from last year are pretty interesting. Rickie played in 118 games last year and 24 of them came with at least one day of rest. In those games he batted .286/.400/.452, with 14 BBs, 27 Ks, 2 HRs and 10 RBIs. As expected Rickie didn’t reach base only three of those games. Rickie’s numbers that year were .235/.374/.433 with a considerable amount of injuries.

I don’t think it says anything, but it’s interesting.

9 07 2008
Jim Breen

Nice job checking up on that Aaron.

The numbers may not play it out so well, but I really do feel that Rickie comes out with a little something to prove after a day off. Or it could be just a coincidence that I am projecting on the stats.

Great comments, Dani. I just think it would be foolish to replace a guy that has a 2.21 ERA on the year. Opposing hitters are only hitting .147 against him. Righties, who are supposed to murder left-handed pitching, are only able to hit .171 against him. I will readily admit that the control is an issue with Stetter, but is Taschner’s alleged improvement really be so monumental that Milwaukee should get rid of a Brad Nelson or Tony Gwynn Jr.? I do not think it is. Stetter may not be as good as Taschner, but he is just fine considering the minimal upgrade.

If a top-notch arm like Rauch or Sherrill were brought in, I will be singing a different tune.

9 07 2008

I like the pictures used in this post. Could you perhaps use a few more in future posts?

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