Monday’s Round ’em Up

24 03 2008

I have today’s Round ’em Up for you.  The final one before the regular season starts tomorrow in Japan.  Lets see what we have:

  • Tom Haudricourt breaks down some of the roster decisions that Milwaukee will have to make.  Most of them I completely agree with, but I do wish that Carlos Villanueva could make the starting rotation.  I don’t know who he would replace though.  Claudio Vargas needs to be in the rotation because he has no options left.  I would say that he should be the long man in the pen, but Seth McClung seems to have that spot wrapped up.

    It will be interesting to see who gets bumped out when Yovani Gallardo gets back into the rotation.  I feel like Manny Parra may be the victim, as Ned Yost seems reluctant to send Dave Bush anywhere.  Ned does want a lefty in the rotation though, so I’m not completely sure what will happen.  If Manny pitches well for the first couple starts, he’ll be in the rotation when Yo comes back.

  • Beyond the Boxscore thinks that Derrick Turnbow is one of the most unlucky pitchers in the bigs.  The stats say that his WHIP goes way up after runners get on base, and apparently that makes Derrick unlucky.  To me, that simply means that Derrick gets ungodly worse when a runner gets on first.  He’ll obviously have to work on that.
  • Seamheads.com has an NL Central preview.  The problem?  They forgot to pick a winner.
  • If you are interested, RealGM Baseball previews the Chicago Cubs.  Apparently, Kosuke Fukudome and Jon Lieber are going to make a very big difference.  In fact, they think that Fukudome should bat third.  I know the Cubs will be good, but it’s obvious that a Cubs fan wrote this.
  • Are you confused about Chris Capuano‘s injury?  Baseball Digest Daily breaks down the injury and explains what Chris will need to do to rehab his elbow.  It does not sound fun.
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Capuano likely to have surgery

23 03 2008

Everyone thought that Chris Capuano simply had tendinitis in his throwing elbow.  Turns out it is much more than that.

Chris has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow.  He will seek a third opinion from another doctor, but it seems likely that he’ll have season-ending surgery.  It looks to be the same ligament that Chris injured while pitching in Arizona.

I feel really bad for Cappy, as he logged many good innings for the Crew before struggling last season.  Chris sounds very reluctant to go through another rehab session.  It took him 10 months to get back on the mound the last time, and he simply does not want to go through that again.

It looks like the starting rotation decisions just got a lot easier.





JS Notes: Capuano, Weeks, Katin

18 03 2008

Sorry this will be so short this morning, but I have to run.  Perhaps I’ll have time later today to get you a full-out Round ’em Up.  Here are some Journal Sentinel goodies for you:

  • The Brewers wiped the floor with Seattle yesterday, beating them 17-3Chris Capuano left the game in the fourth inning because of soreness in his elbow.  It’s beginning to look more and more like Cappy will either start the year in Triple-A or on the DL.  Either way, it seems clear that Chris Capuano will not be in the starting rotation on Opening Day.

    Brendan Katin had a huge day against the Mariners.  Katin, a former teammate of Ryan Braun at Miami, went 3-6 with a home run and six RBI.  Not a bad day for a player who had not played in a Spring Training game yet in ’08.  I wouldn’t get too excited about Katin though, he’s not played above Double-A and he’s 25 years old.  He has zero plate discipline and strikes out too much, even for a Brewer.

    Corey Hart seems to have found his stroke.  He finished the day 2-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.  Perhaps he’s finding his swing just in time for Opening Day.  Don’t even say “See? I told you so.”  Rickie Weeks is still struggling way too much and is on the shelf with hyper-extended fingers.

  • In the other game, Milwaukee tied the Chicago White Sox after 10 innings.  Neither team was able to break the 4-4 tie, so the game was just called.

    Mike Cameron and Gabe Gross supplied all the offense on a home run a piece.  Cameron hit a three-run shot that tied the game up in the 5th, and it was a pitcher’s duel after that.

    Carlos Villanueva got knocked around for the first time this spring.  He gave up four runs, only three earned, in five innings of work.  Guillermo Mota pitched two scoreless innings to follow that to continue his nice spring.

  • The last article I have for you is about Rickie Weeks and how he is pressing too much.  Surprised?  I didn’t think so.  The interesting information in the article is that Doug Melvin said that Milwaukee will most likely not make a trade this spring if things do not heat up.  He said that people are looking internally to fix their problems.  They don’t want to give up the prospects, which is always difficult to do.




Categorizing Pitchers

17 03 2008

The Baseball Analysts have a great article up today that classifies pitchers according to their strikeout and ground ball tendencies.  Naturally, it says that pitchers who have above-average strikeout rates and ground ball rates are going to be the elite pitchers of the game.  The Brewers, unfortunately, have nobody that makes that category.  Ben Sheets seems like he should make that list because he is an elite pitcher, but he is more of a fly-ball pitcher.  The biggest surprise from that category?  Tampa’s Edwin Jackson.

Milwaukee did have pitchers in the next best category, however.  Ones that have an above-average strikeout rate and a below-average ground ball rate.  Ben Sheets, Yovani Gallardo, Chris Capuano, and Dave Bush make the list here.  Bush’s strikeout rate is why the Brewers have stuck with him for so long.  He has the potential to be a solid starter.  He can simply not get away from the big inning.

Jeff Suppan makes the list as a pitcher who has above-average ground ball rates, but a below-average strikeout rate.  The Brewers defense really hurt Soup last season.  He hasn’t gotten much better this spring, either.

Thankfully, the Brewers did not have anyone in the awful quadrant, below-average ground ball rate and strikeout rate.  These are the pitchers that cannot make people miss, yet they always give up fly balls.  They are very home run-prone.  Surprisingly, Curt Schilling falls into this category.

It’s a very, very interesting article.  You should give it a look!  Who knows…maybe you’ll get some ideas for a good pitcher for your fantasy league this season.  On that note, it looks like there is not enough interest in a BrewersNation Fantasy Baseball League.  Sorry to all those that committed to playing.  We’ll try again next season.





Round ’em Up: Capuano, Yost, Sheet, Parra

12 03 2008

Here’s a little linkage for you today:

  • Tom Haudricourt shoots down the internet rumor that the Red Sox were interested in Chris Capuano. What would the Brewers be getting back? The report said Coco Crisp. That would be one of the stupidest deals Melvin could make. Tom did mention that he is now actively shopping his surplus of pitching. Probably not a coincidence that this report comes out after Yovani Gallardo showed great improvement after throwing off a mound for the first time since his surgery.
  • A little something for all you Ned Yost haters out there. Bobby Cox recently reacted to Yost’s idea to batting Jason Kendall in the ninth slot. What was the quotation?“[Bleeping] Ned, he got into the stats – look out,” said Cox, who loves Yost, but isn’t quite on the same page as the younger manager when it comes to innovative use of stats.

    All Brewers fans know that Yost gets too tangled up in stats sometimes, as we all tend to do. Obviously, Bobby Cox is not a big fan of Ned’s new managerial style. Remember that Yost worked with Cox in Atlanta, so Ned’s not getting high praise from his mentor.

    Credit goes to KL Snow at Brew Crew Ball for the find on this link.  If you don’t include him in your daily reads, you’re missing out!  Check his work out!!!

  • The Sports Bubbler has an article from the fan’s perspective in Maryvale. It loosely follows one person’s experience visiting Spring Training.
  • Ben Sheets is still working on that elusive change up. The Brewers organization says that he’s working on it every single year, but he never throws it in game time situations. Ned Yost says to look for that to change this year, as Ben’s change up looks the best it ever has.
  • Manny Parra gets some more love from the sports world. Today, Dugout Central goes over the best prospects in Spring Training, and Manny gets the nod for the Brewers. The “Manny Movement” is growing by the day.




Today’s Links: 3/11

11 03 2008

Well, I’ve just finished rounding up some links for you all this morning.  There are a good amount today, but I’m going to cram them all into one post.  Enjoy!

  •  Corey Hart is getting some love today in the blogging world.  John Sickels from Minor League Ball does a great write-up on Corey, tracking his career through the minor leagues and projecting where he’s going to go afterwards.  John does mention that Corey has been compared to many Hall of Famers.  Not a projection, he says…just something to think about.

    Baseball Digest Daily also did a little profile piece on Corey.  They say that most Brewers fans forgot about him during the year and focused on Braun and Fielder.  This may be true in some sense, but the true Brewers fan understands how vital Corey is to the Brewers’ success.  Give it a look.

  • People around baseball are starting to notice Manny Parra.  We Brewers fans have been singing his praises since last year.
  • Tom Haudricourt talks about how Jason Kendall has gotten much better at throwing runners out at second base.  Yost’s mechanical change must have helped Jason a lot, as he was downright awful last season with the A’s and Cubs.  I’d also like to point out that he’s handled the bat pretty well this spring too.

    Tom’s article also notes that Alcides Escobar has been incredibly impressive defensively at shortstop this spring.  Sveum says that he’s never seen a shortstop with as strong of an arm.  Does that assessment include Rafeal Furcal?  Alcides is proving that he’s big league ready in the defensive department.  He simply needs to work on his plate discipline and hit the weight room a bit more.

    Jon Heyman of SI.com also gets the nod for the obligatory “Jason Kendall sucks” link of the day.  I won’t even go into saying why I think Heyman’s wrong, but you can give it a read anyway.

  • Adam McCalvy checks in with some news for us.  Lou Palmisano will undergo surgery on his knee to repair some torn cartilage.  I think everyone knew that was coming after his knee hadn’t been getting better.  The real interesting part of the article is that Ned Yost mentions that Lou is on track to be a big league player in a short time.  That kind of outright praise from Ned is not all that common.  Hopefully Lou gets better and back on the field in a few months.

    Adam also notes that Ryan Braun will be batting behind Prince Fielder this season.  Yost wants to make sure that pitchers do not pitch around Prince.  I like this idea.  It also let’s Ryan use his speed to his advantage when getting on the basepaths.  Last year, teams would just walk Prince if Ryan stole second.  They will not be able to do that this year.  Braun’s plate discipline and walk rate will have to increase this season to make this move work, however.  Yost said that he’ll pull the plug on the idea if Braun cannot draw more walks.

  • The last couple reads are NL Central Previews.  Guess who is predicted to win them both?  Yep, the Chicago Cubs.  Way to think out of the box.

    Dugout Central and No Bias Baseball both have nice short previews of everyone on the Central.  The general consensus is that Milwaukee’s starting rotation will hold them back from improving on last year’s performance.  Really, though?  You really think that Chris Capuano and Jeff Suppan can pitch that much worse than they did last year?  Capuano may physically not be able to pitch any worse, actually.  Add a full season of Yovani Gallardo, a healthy (at least to start the year) Ben Sheets, and perhaps Carlos Villanueva or Manny Parra, and I cannot see how the rotation can do much worse than last year.  Milwaukee’s rotation has a much, much higher upside than that of the Chicago Cubs, but most prognosticators don’t care too much about that.

    Oh, and Dugout Central picks Ryan Braun to be Milwaukee’s breakout player of the year.  NL Rookie of the Year and 30+ home runs without playing the first month isn’t good enough for you?

I’ve been getting more interest in the BrewersNation Fantasy Baseball League, but I need to know for sure if you are interested.  Email me at jimmyb1799@aol.com if you are interested, and I can give you the information you need.  There ARE still spots open, so you should email me to play!!!





More News: 3/10

10 03 2008

I promised you all earlier that I would have some more news for you.  Here’s what I’ve got:

  • Baseball Musings does an analysis of the Brewers starting pitching staff.  It uses the Marcel Projection System, which is very simplistic and just uses averages to predict what is going to happen.  I wouldn’t put too much faith in what these projections have to say, but it is still very interesting.

    There are a couple interesting things about this evaluation though.  First, it has Manny Parra in the starting rotation, along with Dave Bush.  This leaves Carlos Villanueva out to dry, presumably in the bullpen.  Secondly, the article notes that the success for the Brewers starters is going to depend on the amount of innings the youngsters get.  The author seems to think that Yovani Gallardo and Parra are going to be instrumental to the success of the rotation this year.  I would agree with that, as Parra will give Milwaukee the best chance to win this season, but I would put Villanueva in the rotation before Bush.  It may just be favoring young upside over proven big league experience, but Bush and Chris Capuano have shown that they cannot get away from the big inning.  I still maintain that Claudio Vargas will be traded before Opening Day.

  • Adam McCalvy checks in with a mailbag and an article about the progress Eric Gagne has made this spring.

    In the mailbag, McCalvy says that the Brewers will have more speed in their lineup than they’ve had in the past few years.  It should help the defense immensely in the outfield, and you can expect the Brewers to run a lot more this season.  Oh, and we get the standard Jason Kendall cannot function in the big leagues comment from a fan.

    Eric Gagne is working at his own pase, just working on his fastball and getting his pitching motion in a repeatable rhythm.  He says that as long as he doesn’t get hurt, it will be a successful spring.  He knows that his stuff will be there come April.  Also of importance, Eric says that knowing his role on the Brewers helps more that people know.  He does not have to switch focus or try to prepare for everything.  I think he’s referring to his stint in Boston, when he had to switch out of his comfortable role as a closer.  It may just be talk, but I would imagine that having a set job would be very comforting to a pitcher.

  • It’s not Brewers news, but this article is very interesting.  Apparently, baseball has another “no-name” pitch.  We already have the Gyroball, but this new pitch does not have a name yet.

    Baltimore’s Rule 5 draft pick, Randor Bierd, is throwing something that neither his coaches nor his catchers can understand.  It is a mix between a change up, but somehow has the characteristics of a forkball.  Someone else said that it is a mix between a splitter and a change up.  One of his catchers said that it is “Johan Santana” type of change up.  I want to see this thing.  A splitter, forkball, and a change up in one?  Impressive.

  • I know I’ve asked this before, but do we have any more takers for a BrewersNation Fantasy Baseball League?  We need more people to make this a possibility, so let me know!!!!