Round ’em Up: Tuesday

8 07 2008

After falling to a little bit of a hangover last night, the Brewers will trot out CC Sabathia to the mound to a sold-out crowd.  Yes, yes…I will be there.  Perhaps I can get a picture of the big guy.  Probably not though, as I will not be close at all to the action.  Who cares?!  The atmosphere is going to be electric.

  • CC Sabathia is very excited to be in Milwaukee.  He is a little worried about his batting average going down – yes, the man has a sense of humor.  The big lefty is saying all the right things on his first day in Milwaukee.  He’s always been a fantastic clubhouse guy who is extremely charismatic.  Can’t complain about that.
  • Here is some audio from the CC press conference.
  • The agent of Michael Brantley and Taylor Green has a blog.  The latest news is that both Brantley and Green are on the table for Cleveland’s PTBNL.  Why would you get rid of Brantley?  He had all the makings to be Milwaukee’s lead-off hitter and center fielder in just a couple years.  I can only hope the fact that he does not fit into Cleveland’s plans (because of Grady Sizemore) steers them towards Green.  Taylor Green is a great player, but he is not as polished as Brantley.
  • Yahoo! Sports has a nice little article about how excited Milwaukee is to have CC Sabathia on the team.  The management is extremely excited.  Giddy, in fact.  I never realized that David Riske and CC were such good friends.  They have been texting and calling each other for over two weeks about the impending trade.  CC may like his time in Milwaukee a whole lot.
  • Jim Powell says Doug Melvin cements his status as one of the game’s best GMs through this trade.  The news about Michael Brantley changed this for me.  If Brantley is the PTBNL, only a playoff berth will ease the pain.  If it is Green, I will be upset…but not heartbroken.  I just do not understand how Doug could even consider giving up two of the “Huntsville 5” to get a 3 month rental.  If CC signs an extension after the year, the deal becomes a steal, even if Brantley is included.
  • Dixieflatline from Brew Crew Ball analyzes how much CC will affect the win-loss record in Milwaukee.  After a some calculations, it comes out to about 10%.  I’ll take that.
  • The Hardball Times has a great breakdown of the trade.  It assumes that Taylor Green will be the PTBNL.  I agree that Cleveland most likely wouldn’t have been able to draft someone of Matt LaPorta’s value next season.  He’s a very advanced bat for his age.  The one issue I have is that the article says CC will provide some wins because it will push Seth McClung to the bullpen and send Randy Choate to the minors.  There is a problem with that logic.  Choate isn’t on the big league squad…
  • In-Between Hops says Brewers fans can thank Mark Attanasio for the Sabathia move.  I couldn’t agree more.  The article mentions something about the Brewers finishing in the red this season, but there is no way that will happen.  Did you see the ticket sales in the first two days after the trade?  Enough said.
  • Right Field Bleachers has their week InReview segment.  I do enjoy the part about Corey Hart.
  • The Brew Town Beat is hoping Yovani Gallardo will be back in September.  I did see the article from Baseball Prospectus that says Yo is already throwing from 45-feet and has a chance to be back in Sept.  Just do not rush him back from his injury.  He is a huge part of the team’s future.  Gallardo will almost certainly come in from the ‘pen if he returns.  There is simply not enough time to stretch his arm out and get him into the starting rotation.
  • Brew Crew Pub has a recap of last night’s game.  The Brewers played flat baseball.  There was no emotion.
  • Brewers Fanatics has a Prospect Watch on OF Cutter Dykstra.  There isn’t much for a scouting report in there, but he is certainly someone to watch down in Helena.  He is showing solid plate discipline already, which is exceptional for a high school prospect.
  • Philly.com says the Phillies could not compete in the Sabathia sweepstakes because they did not have high-caliber position prospects that Cleveland demanded.  They will most likely shift their attention to Erik Bedard.
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates expect SS Jack Wilson to stay exactly where he is.  Reports said the Los Angeles Dodgers backed out of the Sabathia race to focus on Wilson, but it seems that is no longer the case.  If LA wants Alcides Escobar and Zach Braddock, I wouldn’t mind taking Clayton Kershaw off their hands…
  • ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark thinks the Brewers just upgraded their team in a big way, but he still likes the Chicago Cubs in the division.  Oh really?  ESPN went with a big-market team?  Excuse me if I don’t gasp in amazement.
  • A few Brewers fans had been clamoring for a trade for RHP Justin Duchscherer from Oakland during the off-season.  That is unlikely, as Justin wants to sign an extension to stay with the As.  He’s been absolutely phenomenal this season.

On a side note, the big news I promised for the site should happen around the end of the week.  Stay tuned.  I am quite excited.





Round ’em Up: Sunday

6 07 2008

UPDATE 07-06-08 6:05pm – Tom Haudricourt says the deal is done. The Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians have agreed on a deal to send C.C. Sabathia to the Brewers. The word is the package is Matt LaPorta and two-lower level prospects. It does not include Lorenzo Cain, as he has been sent to class-AA to fill the void left by LaPorta.

Welcome to Milwaukee, Mr. Sabathia.

————————————————————————–

UPDATE 07-06-08 3:38 pmThe first reports of the deal being finalized.

Castrovance is a beat reporter for the Indians for MLB.com. It may have some good credibility.

——————————————————————-

Prince Fielder and the Milwaukee Brewers no doubt partied a little bit last night, celebrating their walk-off victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Let’s hope the team doesn’t come out and lay an egg against Zach Duke today. Am I the only one that feels like we’ve faced the exact same pitcher three days in a row now?

  • Over at Brew Crew Ball, roguejim posts an article that says Milwaukee is interested in doing a Greg Maddux for Tony Gwynn Jr. swap. His numbers are average and would probably inflate away from the pitcher-friendly park down in San Diego. This says nothing about his full no-trade clause, however. Even if the teams agree, Maddux can veto the trade. With his brother in Milwaukee, he probably would not knock it down though.
  • The Brew Town Beat addresses this Maddux deal and hopes Doug Melvin gets it done, as well as the C.C. Sabathia deal. I really don’t think Maddux is an upgrade over any of our pitchers though. At least, not a big enough difference to warrant giving away TGJ for a rental. Is Maddux really that much better than Dave Bush? My gut reaction is to say yes, just because Bush is painful to watch sometimes, but Bush has the potential to do what he did last night quite often. Seth McClung has been very solid in the back-end of the rotation. Do we really need Maddux and Sabathia? My guess is that Melvin is kicking the tires in case the Sabathia deal falls through.
  • Jim Powell talks about the Sabathia trade rumors. He says that Taylor Green is better than most people are giving him credit for. Powell also makes a good argument that Yovani Gallardo’s injury probably cost us Matt LaPorta and Green if this deal gets done. If Yo hadn’t gotten injured, Milwaukee most likely would not be searching for a high-priced starter right now. Ah, what if’s.
  • Over at Let’s Go Tribe, many fans are hoping Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro can get both Matt LaPorta and Alcides Escobar in the deal. I think if they add Rafael Perez to the deal, they might have a shot at the two blue-chip prospects. It’s always interesting to see what other teams feel their players are worth. Naturally, some think C.C. Sabathia should garner the team some obnoxious bounty, but that is unlikely to happen.
  • Some have speculated that Tampa Bay is a major player in the Sabathia sweepstakes. That now seems unlikely, as they are preparing to put forth a competitive offer for Brian Fuentes from Colorado. It will take one solid piece for them to get the Colorado closer, and everyone knows Tampa’s farm system is stacked. The Rays won’t have much competition if they truly want Fuentes.
  • THonline.com has an article on Nic Ungs from the Huntsville Stars. He lost his mother to cancer recently, which has given him extra motivation when on the mound. The right-hander has pitched brilliantly in Huntsville the last couple weeks after struggling with Nashville to start the season.
  • Bill Chuck from Baseball Digest Daily gives out his mid-season awards. Nobody from the Crew makes the list, but Ben Sheets gets an honorable mention for the NL Cy Young. It will be interesting to see if Edinson Volquez can keep up his unbelievable season. That Volquez/Hamilton deal this off-season has worked pretty well for both teams, no?
  • Again away from Milwaukee, the Seattle Mariners are trying to prove that a managerial change mid-season does not spell disaster for the team. They have gone 10-5 since the switch, and their once-inept offense is now producing. Don’t look for that to last, however.
  • Chipper Jones has been struggling at the plate as of late. As you can see by the probability chart, his odds of hitting .400 for the season is the lowest it has been for a couple weeks. Perhaps he should just get his average over the .400 mark then get injured and shelved on the DL for the season. That would cement it.




Round ’em Up: Saturday

31 05 2008

It’s a beautiful day, and the Brewers won last night.  Therefore, I’m in a fantastic mood this morning.  Let’s take a look at what the blogosphere has to say today:

  • Backtracking a bit, Jim Powell has some reflections about the Brewers-Braves series.  He especially liked the sequence when Brian McCann got a strike called on him while he was out of the box arguing with the home plate umpire.  I loved that.  McCann had no reason to complain about that pitch, as the home plate ump gave him four chances to step in the batter’s box to hit.  He refused, so he lost his chance to swing.
  • In-Between Hops is still ranting about Prince Fielder and his lack of home runs in 2008.  At least he is no longer blaming it on the lack of meat.  Prince is not hitting home runs at the same rate this season because he is pulling off the ball a lot more.  Pitchers are busting him inside, and he’s not been able to extend his arms.  Hopefully, he’ll be able to adjust.
  • Ned Yost is holding true to his new rule for relievers – no more than three days in a row.  Since Eric Gagne and David Riske got injured presumably from pitching too often, Ned is trying to protect his bullpen.  Really Ned?  It took you three years to figure out that probably wasn’t a good idea?  And people say you should be fired…
  • Milwaukee’s young stud, Yovani Gallardo, is cautious about trying to pitch again in 2008.  As he should be.  Don’t try to rush yourself back, Yo.  Get yourself reading for 2009.  Brewers fans will patiently wait.
  • The Brewers strike out a lot.  That’s not surprising.  You know what else isn’t surprising?  Ned Yost isn’t concerned about it.  Of course he’s not.  Just like it’s still early.
  • A sports economist says that Mark Attanasio and the new Milwaukee Brewers are building their franchise in the correct way economically.  Bud Selig and his regime did not build it.  Well, Mark Attanasio cares more than Bud Selig did about the Brewers.  That usually makes a big difference in the outcome.
  • Al’s Ramblings notes that the Milwaukee Brewers have the 5th best bullpen ERA if you discount Derrick Turnbow’s numbers.  The starting rotation is actually 5th in innings pitched too, despite the short outings compiled by Manny Parra, Carlos Villanueva, and Seth McClungBen Sheets is probably a big part of that.
  • The Brew Town Beat writes a nice piece on Carlos Villanueva.  In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past week or so, Carlos has been flat-out nasty in the ‘pen.  He has yet to give up a run, and he’s striking out far more than he did in the starting rotation.  Perhaps there is something to this Carlos as closer talk.  Not that Salomon Torres should be replaced anytime soon.  He’s been great.
  • Minor League Ball has a 2008 mock draft going on right now.  In the first round, the Brewers selected RHP Shooter Hunt from Tulane.  He’s a very raw prospect, especially for a collegiate pitcher, and he’s an injury concern right now.  I wouldn’t choose him with the #16 pick, but that’s just me.
  • The St. Louis Cardinals have sent OF Chris Duncan to Triple-A to get his swing figured out.  With his power, I thought the Cardinals would give him a little more time to sort things out before dumping him to the minors.  The team called up OF Joe Mather, who has been tearing up Triple-A.
  • RHP Franklyn German refused an outright assignment to the minors after being DFA’d by the Texas Rangers.  With a 2.08 ERA, the Brewers might be wise to give him a look.  He would be a huge risk for Milwaukee, however.  His ERA is stellar, but his WHIP is 1.431.  The right-hander walks far too many batters, but he is definitely worth a look at only 28-years old.  With that said, I don’t think the Brewers do anything with Franklyn.  The bullpen has been solid lately.




Ten Optimistic Things To Think About

20 05 2008

It’s been a couple rough weeks for Brewers Nation (not this site, the fans) with the double sweep in Houston and Florida, the surprising losses at home against the Dodgers, and another sweep in Boston. Trolling through the comments section on sites around the web, one would think that its time to start propping ourselves on the ledge of the US Bank Building in Milwaukee and strongly consider jumping.


As Jim wrote, it’s no fun heading into Pittsburgh looking up at the Pirates in the standings. Being what it is us Brewers’ fans need some lifting up, and I thought I’d put together a post to life the spirits of the Brewers faithful. No calling for Yost’s head or Week’s bat here. The following is ten reasons to still be optimistic about your 2008 Milwaukee Brewers.


* This is not the 2004 Brewers


Granted the Brewers are sitting in last place for the first time since 2004, but this team is certainly not those Brewers. In 2004, the only reliable pitcher on the staff was Ben Sheets and of course he got injured again. Lyle Overbay starred for the offense. These 2008 Brewers are more experienced and talented that the former squad that had a decent season through the All-Star break and then suffered a terrible collapse to finish 67-94.


Of course I could make the comparison that this Brewers squad is not one of many other terrible Brewers teams, but that’s not the point. The point is that rather than looking at the 2004 season as the beginning of something positive we should be looking at the 2008 season as a continuation of the franchise’s growth. Many expected 2008 to be the breakout season for the Brew Crew, but that may or may not be the case.


Either way, compared to four years ago, this year’s team in infinitely more talented. They will not rely on single players to carry the team. People like Jeff Suppan in the rotation and other young (and improving pitchers) will back up Sheets and while Overbay is gone, there are no solo stars on this year’s team. A Prince Fielder is not alone or a Ryan Braun is not alone or a Corey Hart is not alone. The fact that I listed three players (any could more) shows that this offense is not alone in talent like teams of old.


* Its only ¼ way through the season


I’m a teacher so there are not many students that I give up on after just one quarter of the school year. One of the best things that the Brewers have going for them that, at this point, the season is still young. After about 40 games in we are certainly not the perfect position, but certainly not in the worst position either.


Anyone that was also a fan last year knows that strong or weak starts to the season have little bearing on the end result of a season. The Cubs played absolutely wonderful post All-Star break and the Colorado Rockies played out of their minds to close the 2007 season. With almost 120 games to play and any number of combinations of risings and fallings of the various NL Central teams, this Brewers team is by no means finished. The squad has all of the tools to be competitive. The only thing needed is consistency.


* Corey Hart


Speaking of consistency I hear that Milwaukee right fielder Corey Hart is legally changing his name to Corey Consistency. Mr. Consistency has been that and more for the Brewers. If 2008 was supposed to by Rickie Weeks’ breakout season, Hart may have stolen his thunder. Currently batting nearly .300 and getting extra-base hits like they’re going out of style, Corey has been the rock in the Brew Crew’s line up of struggling hitters.


* Braun is on a tear (no sophomore slump)


If you asked me earlier in the season if I was worried that Braun was being crushed under the weight of expectations for his second Major League Season you may have gotten a “yes” out of me, but after a slow start the $45 million dollar man has shown that he will probably avoid the dreaded sophomore slump. His batting average is soaring in the three-hole of the lineup and he is making big time pitchers look like chumps. At this pace he could add a MVP trophy next to the Rookie of the Year one.


* Melvin is on the case


Which is why it’s so important that Doug Melvin nailed Braun down to that eight-year, $45 million contract. Some Brewers fans are concerned that his off-season bullpen moves are not ironing out, but no one can doubt that this GM is trying to establish long-term success while balancing short-term expectations. The Mike Cameron move showed that right now we want success, but Melvin is clearly trying to establish success alongside development with Braun the future of left and possible Hart, Gwynn (although unlikely) and LaPorta being groomed for the outfield.


Melvin is working on signing such players as JJ Hardy, Prince Fielder, and Hart to long-term deals and getting vocal people like Braun to sign first and encourage others to follow suit is the right steps to take.


* Attanasio has got the big bucks and a small ego


All of which wouldn’t be possible except for the support and checkbook of Daddy Warbucks, Mark Attanasio. Time and time again Mr. Attanasio has not only spoken of building a long-term contender, but he has put his money where his mouth is. He has even made comments that said, if need be, he would shell out some money to strengthen the rotation this year.


Attanasio bought the Milwaukee Brewers not just so he could have a play-thing, but because he saw potential in the massive amount of talent the Brewers have and its incredible fanbase. This is not a Steinbrenner owner with fingerprints all over the management decisions. Attanasio is active without being overbearing.


* The young arms will improve


Pitchers like Carlos Villanueva and Manny Parra take a lot of flack because they don’t hold up quite so well the third time through the order, but often times that blurs the fact that these pitchers (along with the injured Gallardo) have great stuff. Part of being a young pitcher is that there is a massive learning curve and just like Fielder has to adjust to not being pitched inside as much these young pitchers are talented and smart enough to recognize that they must (and will) improve to become more dominant as the season goes on.


It’s easier for offenses to focus their lenses on these pitchers because they are studying one player, but our guys have to study countless batters for each game and re-work their pitch selection and delivery to go deeper into games. They will.


* Kendall is not Estrada


So it’s important that a man like Jason Kendall is behind the plate instead of Johnny Estrada. Kendall brings much more talent offensively and defensively than the embattled 2007 catcher Estrada. A hot beginning of 2008 and some great clutch hitting thus far has made Kendall’s 9-hole batting an essential part of many Brewers offensive outbursts. Offensively, Kendall is sniffing around .300 as a career hitter, walks a lot, and strikes out few and far in between. A far cry from the painful hitting of Estrada (who I swear to God only got hits with 2 out and no one on). After playing runner-up to Estrada as the worst defensive catcher in baseball last year, the 12-year veteran has pushed his caught stealing percentage is above 30 percent.


Even more important than the offense/defense numbers is that an experienced catcher that molds well with his pitching staff. This is why I worry less about our young pitchers, because Kendall knows how to call a

game and given his work ethic he will only work harder to improve these kids.



* The defense is stronger


Of course I started writing this part before the six errors in Boston, but I’ve made the point in a previous column that the defense is far and away better than it was last season. Numbers show that they are near the bottom in errors and tops in fielding percentage. Moving Braun away from the hot corner and signing Mike Cameron have been well-documented. Are they perfect? Hell no. But improvement is always a step in the right direction. The point above about Kendall is just one more area of less concern with the 2008 Brewers.


* There’s always next year


This one isn’t so much about the 2008 season (obviously, because I’m saying next year…), but Brewers’ fans need to keep everything in perspective. Expectations were and continue to be massively high for this season. Those expectations may cost someone who shall remain nameless his job and maybe even result in a few Brewers finding new homes, but most sane people realize that harnessing young talent is an on-going process. Melvin and the ownership are working on securing these young lads for the long-term, but not everything works out as quickly as the fan base expects.


Whether or not this season is a wash doesn’t mean all is lost. These are not the Florida Marlins which, in the past, have assembled one year teams and then dissembled them. Teams like the Brewers are being built for the long-term. It has been 26 years since the Brewers have sniffed the post-season so as much as it pains me each year to say it… there’s always next year if this one doesn’t work out.


By: Dan Wiersema





Round ’em Up: Wednesday

14 05 2008

Three wins in a row!  It’s funny how momentum can change for a team once they return home.  Carlos Villanueva upped the quality start streak to four games.  Manny Parra looks to continue that tonight.  That would mean, of course, that Ned has to let him pitch through the sixth inning.  Heaven forbid…

I hope you all like Dan Wiersema’s recap of yesterday’s game against the Dodgers.  Dan is now an official contributor to BrewersNation.  I had some reservations about opening my site to another blogger, but the time commitment proved too much for me.  Dan is a great writer, and I’m excited to have him working on BrewersNation with me.  His addition will help keep a constant flow of information and posts heading your way.  No more dead-time when I cannot make it to the computer for a couple days.  Anyway, let’s take a look at the news for today.

Post of the Day

SI.com follows the young Milwaukee Brewers on their recent road trip.  It captures many behind-the-scenes moments that fans normally are unaware of.  I did not realize that J.J. Hardy is such a good ping-pong player.  I also do not understand why the first picture I see when reading the article has Bob Uecker standing in the background with very short shorts.  Questionable choice in photography right there.

  • In a surprise move by Ned Yost, Eric Gagne returned to the closer’s role last night.  It certainly wasn’t pretty, but he got Juan Pierre to pop out to short to end the game.  Jim Powell has an interview with Gagne after the game.  The relief and happiness in Eric’s voice is evident.
  • In that same vein, David Pinto from Baseball Musings believes that Eric Gagne must have been tipping his pitches.  Nobody has offered any concrete evidence for this, but Yost’s comments do seem to imply that Gagne was doing just that.
  • Michael Hunt from the Milwaukee JS says that hitting is contagious.  I was not aware.  I wonder if winning is too…  Perhaps not hitting worth a darn is contagious?
  • Chris Capuano is going to have his second Tommy John surgery.  Unfortunately, I do not see Cappy being able to come off of this surgery and be anything other than a situational lefty.  His velocity will most likely decrease, and it was not overpowering to begin with.  Then again, it would be impressive if Cappy can bounce back at all.  Tommy John is not a pleasant surgery.  Good luck, Chris!
  • Speaking of surgery, Yovani Gallardo had a very successful operation Tuesday morning.  Here’s to hoping that Milwaukee does not rush Yo back to the mound.  He needs to be 100% next season after Ben Sheets has most likely moved on to another team.
  • The Milwaukee Brewers’ farm system and Brevard County will be getting a very welcome addition tomorrow night.  Jeremy Jeffress has served his 50-game suspension for marijuana use and is scheduled to pitch Thursday night for Brevard County.  I suspect that Jeremy will be out on that mound with something to prove to everyone.  He will have a fantastic season, as he will try to silent all of his critics and doubters.  Unfortunately, all that adrenaline will be difficult to harness tomorrow night.  He may struggle with his command tomorrow, but Jeremy will have a great season.
  • The Baseball Analysts examine NL players that are trying to avoid the sophomore jinx.  Ryan Braun is the first on the list.  He’s been heating up lately at the plate, to the tune of six extra-base hits in the past three games.  His walk rate has dropped to 4.9%, which is so bad it’s almost stupid.  Plate discipline is something Ryan needs to work on very hard.
  • In one of the most interesting posts of the day, The Brew Town Beat suggests that the Brewers should offer Tony Gwynn Jr. to San Diego for Greg Maddux.  It is a very intriguing idea, as Greg would presumably waive his no-trade clause for Milwaukee to work with his brother, Mike Maddux.  With that said, the Brewers pitching staff may be coming around at the right time.  Doug Melvin is not one to fix something that isn’t broken.  That, and the Brewers would need to ask for more than Maddux for Tony Gwynn Jr.  The young center fielder has more value than Maddux because of his upside.  As of right now, I would say no to the trade.  If Greg is struggling in the best pitcher’s park in the majors, how will he do at Miller Park?
  • Gabe Gross scored another game winning run last night for the Tampa Bay Rays.  Dan pointed out to me that it is very uncommon for a player to get mobbed heroically by two separate teams in a single season.  I do not know how often that has happened in the past 10 years or so, but my guess is not many.
  • Eric Farris, the number one rated second baseman in the minors for Milwaukee, made his debut for West Virginia on Tuesday.  He spent time in extended Spring Training rehabbing a tweaked left hamstring.  I am extremely interested as to how Eric will perform this season in West Virginia.  The Brewers do not have many intriguing internal options at second base.  I would not be surprised to see Jack Z draft a second baseman in the first few rounds.
  • Speaking of the draft, John Sickels touches on some of the best high school hitters that will be available in this years draft.
  • This is not Brewers related, but The Hardball Times examines what makes a curveball effective.  The graphs really help elucidate why a good curveball is almost impossible to hit.
  • Jim Edmonds is almost certainly going to sign with the Chicago Cubs in the coming days.  Cubs fans really, really do not like this move.  I cannot understand why.  His sub-.200 batting average helps the Milwaukee Brewers a lot.  I like this move for the Brewers Cubs.




Round ’em Up: Monday

12 05 2008

The Milwaukee Brewers won one for the mothers in the stands yesterday.  Ryan Braun looked to have enjoyed using those pink bats.  Let’s hope they can pull out a series win today against the Cardinals!

  • For more on yesterday’s win, here’s the Milwaukee JS article.
  • Yovani Gallardo will have surgery tomorrow morning.  The team sought second and third opinions on the injury.  Apparently, the team wanted Yo to avoid having the surgery if possible.  That would have been foolish on the team’s part, in my opinion.  You do not take chances with your young ace.
  • Between the Green Pillars discusses the “dreaded Closer By Committee” now happening in Milwaukee.  Ryan seems to believe that the Brewers do not have someone that can consistently be the closer, as he wishes the team would acquire one elsewhere.  Give Guillermo Mota and David Riske a shot before we go giving players away for a closer.  Plus, there is not a quality closer available right now.  Huston Street is struggling, and the only other worthwhile closer would be George Sherrill in Baltimore.  Not impressed?  Me neither.
  • Al’s Ramblings notes that a starter has not been announced for Thursday’s game.  Perhaps this signifies that Seth McClung will get an opportunity to get a spot start for the Crew.  That would be interesting, even though it would not be my first choice.  It may be a long shot, but Thursday would also be near-regular rest for Mark DiFelice.  He’s put up a 3.91 ERA in Nashville thus far.
  • The Brew Town Beat has some suggestions for the Brewers offense.  They like my idea of a Bill Hall/Russell Branyan platoon.  They also suggest that Tony Gwynn Jr. should get more at bats in lieu of Mike Cameron.  Sure, Cameron has not lit the world on fire with his start for Milwaukee, but no one expected him to hit .300.  Mike is someone that can give you 20/20 stats, but will only hit about .240 with lots of strikeouts.  Those who thought Milwaukee was getting something else is either naive, or didn’t know much about Cameron as a player.
  • Also from The Brew Town Beat…they are wondering if Eric Gagne is tipping his pitches.  After Ned Yost’s cryptic comments the other day, I began to think the same thing.  Brew Town makes a very convincing argument.  If that is the case, Eric should be able to get back on track fairly easily.
  • In-Between Hops says that Prince Fielder is not performing as well because of his vegetarian diet.  Either that or he is trying to hit every pitch 500 feet.  I’m tired of the vegetarian talk.
  • Tom Haudricourt has a preview of the 2008 First Year Player Draft.  Actually, he does not really preview anyone the Crew might draft.  The article simply dwells on the fact that Milwaukee has many more picks early in the draft than usual.  That has been well-chronicled here.  I’d like to see some analysis of actual potential-draftees.
  • The Huntsville Times has an article on Matt LaPorta.  This just in: Matt LaPorta can hit very well.
  • MLB Trade Rumors notes that the Chicago Cubs are considering signing veteran centerfielder, Jim Edmonds.  He would replace Felix Pie in the lineup.  Personally, I hope they sign Edmonds.  He has hit .178/.265/.233 in 103 plate appearances.  That would be an improvement for them…




Round ’em Up: Saturday

10 05 2008

Finally!!!  Rickie Weeks comes through last night with a huge hit in the bottom of the ninth.  Unfortunately, I was unable to catch the game last night.  I missed a dandy.  It feels wonderful to get off the losing streak.

  • Derrick Turnbow has accepted his move to Triple-A Nashville.  I figured that Derrick would not be able to forfeit his $3.2M contract just to keep his pride.  Four teams were apparently interested in Turnbow, but a deal could not be worked out.  The teams wanted Doug Melvin to pay for most of Turnbow’s contract and were only offering a middling prospect in return.  That is certainly not worth losing an arm like Derrick’s.  I hope he can figure something out in Nashville.
  • Tom Haudricourt is reporting that Yovani Gallardo should be having surgery next week.  Yo says that he hopes that he can get back before the season is done.  I appreciate the enthusiasm, but the Brewers need him for the next few years.  Yo cannot jeopardize his future with Milwaukee trying to rush back.
  • (Hat tip to Right Field Bleachers) I has been reported, albeit from an unreliable source, that Ryan Braun has signed a long-term contract with Milwaukee.  It appears to be worth between $8-9M per year and will buy out one of his free agency years.  That price tag seems a little steep to me, especially for a player with only one year of experience.  We shall see.
  • The Junkball Blues has my favorite post for today that analyzes the struggles the offense has dealt with.  It outlines the attributes that are taken into consideration for what a good approach at the plate truly means.  Let me give you a little hint, Ryan Braun does not take many pitches and does not walk often.  Shocked?  Check out the rest of the post.
  • Al’s Ramblings believes that Seth McClung should get a shot at the starting rotation.  Really?  I think he’d have to come in during more important situations and prove himself before I give him the ball every fifth day.
  • RHP Amaury Rivas from the West Virginia Power is getting some praise.  This article delves a little into Amaury’s arsenal.  He has a 95mph fastball that overpowers young hitters, and a slider that is big league ready…according to his manager.  It sounds like he still has some control issues, but his stuff is electric.  The 22-year old Dominican will be one to watch out for this season.

    The article also notes that LHP Mike Ramlow will be on his way to Brevard County sometime soon.  The big lefty has shown dominant stuff in West Virginia thus far in 2008.

  • Florida Today writes an article on Brevard County’s CF Darren Ford.  In case you did not know, he’s fast.  He had five stolen bases in a game last week.  He has 21 stolen bases already.  That is seven more than his closest competitor in the entire league.  The article does note that his swing needs some work.  The offense as a whole is not where it needs to be, but Darren does possess some special gifts that will separate him from everyone else in the system.  Don’t blink, you just might miss Darren as he flies up the prospect list.

Don’t forget to comment on Dan’s article from yesterday.  I would really like to know if Dan’s work is something you all would like to see on BrewersNation regularly, and I’m sure Dan would love to get some feedback.  So please, comment on the article below!!!