Saturday, July 29, 2017

Brent Suter, Brewers Vs Cubs 7/28/17

It was a game in late July, but last nights game vs the Cubs at Miller Park felt like a playoff game. As I watched the game with friends at my neighbors house everyone watched it with the intensity of a playoff game, hanging on every pitch. The atmosphere at Miller Park through the TV was electric and felt like a game with it all on the line in October. The Brewers came into the game after a BRUTAL 2-8 East Coast road trip that saw them lose their grip on 1st Place in the NL Central and actually fall 1.5 games behind the Cubs. You have to give it up for Brent Suter. He was outstanding. Easily the best start of his career. 7 shutout innings, 5 K, 1 BB, only game up 4 hits and had a Game Score of 73. Suter showed some serious #want and #rig on the mound in a game the Brewers desperately needed to win and needed a strong start and with the offense only scoring 2 runs, the margin for error was thin. Suter has now started 7 games this season and has been really good in 5 of them. And one of the two he wasn't so good in, was the game he had to start in an emergency vs the Cardinals when Brandon Woodruff hurt his hamstring in pre game warmups. What I'm getting at here is that Brent Suter has earned his right to stay in the Brewers rotation once guys like Garza and Anderson come off the DL. Once those two guys are back healthy it should be a rotation of Nelson/Anderson/Garza/Davies/Suter. Junior Guerra should go to the bullpen (where he could actually be pretty good) once everyone is back healthy.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Brewers @ Nats 7/26/17

Well, that was a tough loss to swallow. Maybe the toughest of the season. I know there have been at least a handful of other games that have been this hard to take, specifically another game that Jimmy Nelson started against the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw when he out pitched Clayton Kershaw. But we're not talking about that game. We are talking about tonight's game, when Jimmy Nelson dominated again, against a really good lineup and has nothing to show for it. I don't blame Counsell for pulling Nelson after the lead off walk in the bottom of the 8th. Barnes came in and looked okay, got a couple of ground balls but they got through. I do have an issue with pulling Hader after he got Harper to strike out on four pitches. Is Counsell planning to use Hader as a LOOGY now? I guess the right on right match up of Hughes vs Zimmerman makes sense, but it also could be seen as some over managing. Getting to cute. Of course hindsight is always 20/20 and if he leaves Hader in and he blows it we bitch that he should have gone to Hughes or another RHP. I guess to me, Hader has been so electric and looked so dominate in his time with the big league club that its hard to turn away from him in that spot. I'm a Craig Counsell guy, so while I will question the move, it certainly doesn't make me think he's a bad Manager or can't manage a bullpen. I think that's crazy talk personally.

On a positive note it was great to see Lewis Brinson hit his 1st big league HR. Man that was a shot and a thing of beauty. Hopefully that is the first of many. And with Brett Phillips being sent down to AAA to make room for Anthony Swarzak on the active roster it seems that Brinson will be the everyday CF at least for the time being. Needless to say I'm pretty pumped about this as I think he can really help the club now. With this now being his second stint in the big leagues and getting that 1st HR out of the way hopefully he can relax, slow the game down and just play. As impressive as the HR was, I might have been more impressed with the walk he took in his second AB. He spit on two very tough pitches on ball 2 and 3 in that AB and worked a walk. It was really good patience, if he can show that on a regular basis and pitchers and forced to throw him strikes he could be huge down the stretch. See what they can do against Scherzer tomorrow and get ready for the Cubs this weekend and the battle for 1st place.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Swarzak Trade

It looks like the Brewers have made their first of hopefully a few upgrades to their bullpen today. Jon Heyman tweeted that the Brewers and White Sox had an agreement in place for RP Anthony Swarzak. Later Dan Hayes tweeted that the Brewers would be sending the White Sox minor league OF Ryan Cordell to complete the trade. Swarzak figures to slide right into a late inning role setting up for closer Corey Knebel. Big question will be to make room for Swarzak who do the Brewers give the boot to? Torres? Drake? Peralta? Blazek? Hard to say, Blazek is the only one with an option which could determine what Stearns does. I think most fans would like to see Torres or Drake gone.

Hard to not like this trade for the Brewers. They fill a need for another quality RP on the big league club and deal from a organizational position of depth in the OF from the minor leagues. Swarzak is 31 yo and enjoying the best season of his career. 48.1 IP, 2.23 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 2.34 FIP, 52/13 K/BB, 1.8 WAR. That is a pretty impressive line. He will be a free agent after the season. Cordell who came to the Brewers as the PTBNL in the Lucroy trade with the Rangers is a nice OF prospect who was not in the Brewers top 10, but easily a top 20 guy. I liked Cordell and thought he could be a nice 4th OF for the Brewers at some point, but with all the other OF prospects they have it's not a huge loss. And for a quality arm like Swarzak to give this bullpen a boost it certainly seems worth it on paper. One more bullpen arm would be real nice; Neshek, Wilson, Reed or Ramos. We'll stay tuned.

Monday, July 24, 2017

I'm Not Feeling Gray About It

Ken Rosenthal just tweeted that per sources the Brewers were fading in discussions for Oakland Athletics SP Sonny Gray. Needless to say I am not upset about this. Gray is a fine pitcher and would have been a nice little upgrade for this Brewers pitching staff. But in a sellers market for SP, the price was going to be pretty high and I am glad that GM David Stearns stuck to his guns and was not willing to pay what will probably be a high price for Gray similar to what the Cubs paid to the White Sox for Jose Quintana. In my opinion this is not the time to send away a bunch of highly touted prospects you just spent three years accumulating for a pitcher like Gray. Still in first place, stay the course with what you have and got you here. Chase Anderson should be back in a few weeks and you could turn to Brandon Woodruff at some point. I do hope the Brewers look to add a quality RP or two yet before the deadline. *Fingers crossed for Pat Neshek*

Friday, June 10, 2016

The VFBC Brewers 2016 Minor League All-Star Team!

It's been a very exciting year in the Brewers minor league system this year. After last year's prospect refresh, the system is loaded with talent at all levels and has had some pretty amazing performances. Not only has it been a great year for Brewers prospects so far, but some of the best players haven't started playing or have only played very little because they are playing in rookie leagues, have only been on teams for a very short period of time or have been injured for a majority of the year. So here it is!

Catcher: Manny Pina, Colorado Springs Sky Sox
.349/.388/.566, 4 HR, 30 RBI, 22 R
Pina has had an amazing year at Colorado Springs. The 29-year-old catcher is pretty old for the level, his potential in the majors is most likely as a back up, but that doesn't make his contributions any less impressive or important at the AAA level.

First Base: Garrett Cooper, Biloxi Shuckers
.304/.365/.418, 0 HR, 17 XBH, 28 RBI, 13 R
Cooper has split his time among several positions but has spend a good chunk of his games at first for the Shuckers. Another prospect that's a little old for his level, his development was slowed in the past by injuries and 25 isn't THAT old for hitting prospects. The only disappointing thing about Cooper is his lack of power over the fence, but he's still had big contributions for the team overall ranking in the top 5 on the team in RBI and OPS.

Second Base: Blake Allemand, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
.321/.387/.440, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 17 R
Allemand was drafted last year and has some decent potential as a major league utility player. After a disappointing start to the year at Brevard County (along with basically ever hitter at Brevard County), Allemand was moved to Wisconsin in need for depth and has had great success. I thought about going with Nate Orf here, but Allemand has been significantly more valuable to the T-Rats than Orf has been to the Shuckers or Sky Sox.

Third Base: Garin Cecchini, Colorado Springs Sky Sox
.280/.346/.404, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 24 R
Garin was an offseason acquisition by David Stearns and a former top prospect. The 25-year-old has had a very good year at AAA after a slightly slow start. While having a good year at a park that really helps its hitters, he's also the only organizational third baseman having a good season. I was tempted to put Wisconsin third baseman Jake Gatewood here, he's had a decent season in the power department but has more than his fair share of strikeouts and errors.

Shortstop: Orlando Arcia, Colorado Springs Sky Sox
.298/.335/.408, 4 HR, 25 RBI, 34 R, 9 SB
There is a lot to like in the organization at shortstop, but there's no doubt Arcia is the best one. Even with Angel Ortega having a great year at Brevard County, he doesn't have nearly the OPS Arcia has. The organization's top prospect has been having a very good season and if Jonathan Villar wasn't playing out of his mind right now, would be breaking down the door to get onto the Brewers' roster.

Brett Phillips, Biloxi Shuckers
.253/.338/.461, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 31 R
A lot of outfielders have been having decent seasons but even after a stint on the DL, Phillips leads most of the offensive categories on a very good Biloxi team. Phillips has even kept up with the power boost he saw last year that helped propel him into top 100 prospect status -- although he was helped by a three homer game. He continues to be very exciting and a huge grab in the Carlos Gomez/Mike Fiers trade.

Keon Broxton, Colorado Springs Sky Sox
.269/.365/.521, 7 HR, 18 RBI, 21 R, 16 SB
Broxton was acquired in the offseason from the Pirates and has bounced between AAA and the bigs. While his performance at the major league level has been very disappointing, Broxton has absolutely destroyed AAA pitching. Even though he has half the games of most the other players eligible, he's had insane levels of success that make it very hard to deny putting him here.

Elvis Rubio, Brevard County Manatees
.282/.327/.408, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 8 R
Rubio has had a pretty solid year between two levels this year. In fact, he's one of the few players finding offensive success in Brevard County. It also helps that there is a really big drop off in performance in the OF after Rubio. He's one of a growing number of intriguing international prospects in the Brewers' farm system.

Starting Pitchers:
Josh Hader, Colorado Springs Sky Sox
2-1, 0.95 ERA, 57 IP, 73 K, 19 BB
If you've been paying attention this year, you know Hader has had huge success at Biloxi. The only complain is that he isn't going that long into some of his starts due to control issues. Either way, he's on the leader board for minor league baseball, not AA, minor league baseball in a lot of key pitching categories. Hader is probably the Brewers' minor league player of the first half.

Marcos Diplan, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
5-1, 1.89 ERA, 47.2 IP, 64 K, 24 BB
Marcos was acquired in the Yovani Gallardo trade, had an ok year in rookie ball last year, and is now having a fantastic season at A-ball. The most impressive is Diplan's strikeout rate, higher than it's ever been in his career. Another important detail, Diplan is only 19.

Jon Perrin, Brevard County Manatees
1-5, 2.66 ERA, 71 IP, 77 K, 7 BB
Perrin has had some struggles with the Manatees, but has still had a good year, especially once you combine his stats with the first part of his year at Wisconsin. Perrin has been a nice surprise and has some big league potential for the future. He was a 27th round draft pick last year and is moving very quickly through the minors.

Jordan Yamamoto, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
3-2, 2.25 ERA, 52 IP, 53 K, 10 BB
Yamamoto has been a very pleasant surprise for the year. He's struggled up until this point in his pro career but is starting to put it all together. Not only has he been able to limit runs, he's been striking players out and limiting walks.

Drake Owenby, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
2-1, 2.91 ERA, 43.1 IP, 38 K, 12 BB
Another Wisconsin pitcher and 2015 draft pick, Owenby has been having a good amount of success. Being a college pitcher and getting to pitch against high schoolers help but it's still been a good year for Owenby.

Stats come via Baseball Reference. If you have any players you think should be on the list, let us know on Twitter or in the comments!

The Brewers Top 10 Prospects: After the First Two Rounds of the Draft


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

View From Bernie’s Chalet Brewers’ Draft Twitter Poll Tourney

The finals are here! It's been chalk up to this point, but now we have the two best prep pitchers in the draft class going head-to-head.

Jason Groome: A hard throwing lefty with a group of plus pitches and control Groome is regularly ranked as the best prospect in the class and by all accounts, should be available when the Brewers pick on Thursday.

Riley Pint: The top prospect heading into the year, Pint has fallen off a bit due to concerns about his mechanics. He struggles to consistently throw strikes, but who cares when you're throwing 102 MPH and already have 3 average or better pitches before you've graduated high school?

Vote below and let's see if the prospect the Brewer make on Thursday is the pick the fans want!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

View From Bernie’s Chalet Brewers’ Draft Twitter Poll Tourney

The View From Bernie's Chalet Brewers' Draft Twitter Poll Tourney is moving into round two! All of the favorites won, with the closest race being between Kyle Lewis and Mickey Moniak, but none of the winners had less than 70% of the vote.

Round two sees Jason Groome against Kyle Lewis and Riley Pint against Delvin Perez. Groome is regularly ranked as this draft's best prospect. A high school left-handed pitcher with huge potential, he has ace written all over him if he can put his skills together. I've seen complaints that his control is lacking for the value some teams are placing on him. Kyle Lewis is a potential major league center fielder ranked as having five average or better tools. Many scouts rank his power ability fairly high and say he has a chance to hit for a pretty high average to go with it, along with decent speed on the bases.

On the other side of the bracket, we see two of the draft's most exciting prospects. Riley Pint is a high school right-handed pitcher who reportedly hit 102 mph with his fastball early in the year. Pint's pitches are already regarded as plus or better, and he shows an advanced changeup for his age, however scouts worry about his aggressive throwing motion. They believe it will make it very hard for the talented prep-star to ever consistently throw strikes. Then there's Delvin Perez, one of the prospects most frequently linked to the Brewers in mock drafts. Perez is one of the youngest players in the draft and has a gigantic ceiling to go with no negotiating leverage, which could pay huge dividends when the Brewers are trying to draft high-stock players in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. A slick fielding shortstop out of Puerto Rico, Perez has the chance to develop a well-above average hit tool and even a little bit of pop. It's pretty fun to imagine partnering him at maxed potential alongside current top prospect Orlando Arcia.

So here's the bracket. The voting will be open for two days, and the Twitter polls can be found below. Let's see if the Brewers fanbase can get this pick right!