Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gamel And/Or LaPorta For CC Sabathia? No Thanks

This has become a hot topic amongst Milwaukee sports talk radio show hosts this past week after ESPN's Buster Olney mentioned the Brewers as a top candidate to get last years AL Cy Young winner. The main reason that Onley feels the Brewers have perhaps the best chance is because of the large amount of talent in their minor league system, specifically in AA Huntsville. And even more specifically 3B Matt Gamel and LF Matt LaPorta. The Matt's are two of the biggest prospects in all of baseball. LaPorta was the Brewers first round pick a year ago and Gamel was the Brewers 4th round pick in 2005 (same year they drafted Braun in the 1st round, talk about a nice draft). Both guys have just been ripping the cover off the ball in AA Huntsville this season. Gamel is batting .371, 15 HR, 66 RBI and an OPS of 1.064. LaPorta is batting .294, 19 HR, 59 RBI and an OPS of 1.011. Here is the thing, the Indians if they even decide they want to deal Sabathia and if Melvin asks about him their is no doubt they will want one of these guys plus a guy like maybe Tony Gwynn, that would be a minimum deal. There is a chance they could ask for as high as both Gamel and LaPorta. Personally if they just wanted one of the Matt's, it would be hard not to really consider it. I mean an ace like CC joining Sheets in our rotation would be quite awesome. But Sabathia is a free agent after the season and their is no guarantee he would be more then a 2 month rental. Is that worth giving up one of our future studs on this team? I'm not sure it is and I know for a fact it wouldn't be worth it if we had to give up both players. I guess when it comes down to it I don't want to trade either player, but if it is just one and we did make the playoffs and won the whole fucking thing, I would have to approve and say well worth it. If we make a trade and we don't even get into the playoffs and CC walks, I would have steam coming out of my ears all off-season.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

After 0-2 Start, Brewers Finish Homestand 6-3

After winning 2 straight to finish off a series win over the Baltimore Orioles the Brewers finished off this 9 game homestand 6-3. Not the 8-1 we had hoped for like their last 9 game stand but after losing the first two games to Minnesota To win 6 out of the next 7 was very impressive. The Brewers for the first time all season are 7 games over .500 with their record now 41-34. And on this homestand the HR ball came back in a big way as they now have 99 as a team. Here are their leaders in long balls:

Ryan Braun: 20
Prince Fielder: 16
Corey Hart: 12
Mike Cameron: 11
Russell Branyan: 10
Bill Hall: 10

Some of the other highlights on this homestand would have to be Dave Bush's no-hit bid he took into the 8th inning against the Blue Jays on Thursday, two more strong starts and wins from Seth McClung, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder each with 2-HR games and Salomon Torres continuing to rack up saves now with 12 on the season.

The Crew now heads out on a 10 game road trip going to Atlanta, Minnesota and Arizona. That is a tough 10 games on the road one of which is a AL park meaning we have to use a DH. Of course unlike last time we were in an AL park (Boston) we don't have to worry about Ned using someone like Tony Gwynn as the DH (probably weakest hitting DH of all time, in the history of baseball). I would be thrilled if they are just able to go 5-5 on the trip. Anything less then that would be awful and anything more would be a pleasant surprise. Go Brewers! Catch those Cubs and/or Cardinals!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gagne Close To Returning, Will Set-Up Torres Upon Arrival

I have to give Ned Yost some serious credit. He has already made the decision that when Eric Gagne comes off the DL during the Twins series June 27th he will not be the closer, but will instead be the 8th inning set-up man. Salomon Torres who has been lights out since taking over for Gagne picked up his 10th save today and surley deserves to continue to be the closer for this team until he proves otherwise. I'm as big of a Gagne fan as you will find, but this is flat out the right decision. Gagne had some struggles before this DL stint closing games out and Torres has just been to good to make any kind of move. Now if Torres struggles, sure then maybe you make a change at some point. I don't see Torres all of a sudden blowing up though. I do believe that Gagne can be a very effective 8th inning guy setting Torres up. Guillermo Mota has been the 8th inning guy but has been very inconsistent. I see Yost going with roles of Villanueva in the 7th, Gagne in the 8th and Torres in the 9th. Mix in Brian Shouse anytime you need to get a lefy out in the 7th or 8th and our pen should be set. David Riske, Tim Dillard and Mota will be guys you can go to in the 6th and I would assume Mark DiFelice will now be the long man if a starter struggles early on. The best part about all of this is Gagne is being a true team player and had this to say:

"I'm here to win," Gagne said. "That's all I care about. Salomon has been throwing unbelievable, and if I get upset with that, that would be stupid. That would be selfish. ... All I demanded when I came over here was respect, and they showed me a lot of respect.

"Closing, setting up, [pitching the] third inning, I don't care. That's the last of my worries. I just want to compete, get back on the mound."

Say what you will about Gagne but you have to respect comments like that. Team first.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ryan Braun Wants Your Votes, Campaigns With 2 Homerun Game

Ryan Braun has moved into 4th in NL All-Star voting for Outfielders. He now only trails; Alfonso Soriano (injured), Koskue Fukudome and Ken Griffey. The top three vote getter's make up the starting OF in the mid summer classic. If you have not voted your 25 times online, please do (yes I already have casted all of my votes, I voted for Braun, Burrell and McClouth for the NL OF). Braun has better total numbers then all three of the players in front of him one of which (Soriano) is on DL. Braun currently: .291 AVG, 20 HR, 55 RBI and a .908 OPS. Braun was in full campaign mode last night in the Brewers 7-0 win over the Blue Jays as he hit his 18th and 19th HR's of the season. Braun's star is rising fast not only here in Milwaukee where he is already a superstar but the rest of the league and it's fans are really starting to notice. So go to and cast your 25 votes for Ryan so for the second consecutive season the Brewers can get a deserving player voted in as a starter in the mid summer classic.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

News, Notes And General "Tidbits"

I attended today's Brewers v. Twins game on Fathers Day with my Father. We had a great time, brought back a lot of memories of going to the games when I was young at County Stadium. Shared a great Brewers 4-2 win to avoid the sweep as well as some laughs, beers and brats! We arrived to the park about an hour and a half before first pitch and got to see the Brewers players playing ball with all of their kids on the field. It was neat to see them playing ball with their big league Dads.

Seth McClung (4-3, 3.94 ERA) continues to impress and I continue to have a HUGE man crush on him. Got the win today and pitched 6 strong innings striking out 4 giving up 4 hits, 2 runs both earned but once again walked ZERO. It just shows you once again that if Seth keep the walks at a minimum he can be a very good starting pitcher in this league. His ONLY bad start was against the Braves when he walked 6. It just goes to show ya.

I totally called Mike Cameron's 2-run HR today as I turned to my Dad and said; "after he hits this HR I will forget all about that .215 AVG." Sure enough, he made me forget. For now :)

Although Ryan Braun hit his 18th HR last night, he had an 0-4 today and his average has dipped to .285. The lowest it has been in awhile. I dare to say that Ryan has gone into a "mini slump". Shouldn't be too much of a concern, Braun doesn't go into prolonged slumps because he is that damn good. I expect him to heat up against the Jays and the O's.

Injured relief pitchers Eric Gagne and David Riske are making positive steps in the direction of getting of the DL. Riske threw a few simulated game innings on Saturday and Gagne threw off a mound Sunday morning for the first time since going on the DL. Neither have "timetables" on return dates but both are moving in the right direction and Riske seems closer then Gagne at this point. My hope is the sooner the better. With guys like DiFelice, Dillard and Tavarez wondering our pen I would much rather have these guys out there.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Not Really A Good Way To Start To A 9 Game Homestand

The Brewers quite literally sucked last night. Pretty much in all aspects of the game. Hitting, pitching and Fielding all kind of took the night off. They scored only 2 runs on 5 hits, that's right 5 hits against some guy named Kevin Slowey (what you never heard of him? Yeah me either). Bush didn't pitch horrible but he didn't pitch good either. Gave up 10 hits and 4 runs, 3 earned. Tim Dillard came into the game in the 7th and gave up 5 runs, but none of them were earned because as I said the fielding was awful last night as well. Bill Hall playing 2B had a very costly error (his second of the game) and it opened the flood gates as the Twins poured it on in the 7th. We still have 8 games left on this homestand, but if we want to catch up to the Cubs or Cardinals we need to win at least 7 of the remaining 8. We just had a 8-1 stand and there is no reason to think we can't do that again. JJ Hardy should hopefully back today or Sunday which means Counsell can play 2B and we can get the atrocious Bill Hall off the field. The fans at Miller Park really gave it to Hall last night with the boos as he was 0-3 at the plate and had those two very costly errors which now gives him 15 on the year. You know it's funny, Hall wants to be traded if he doesn't play everyday. He is getting that chance more or less with Weeks on the DL and he is doing nothing with that opportunity. Even if the Brewers wanted to trade him, could they really get anything for him at this point? He has a huge contract and has had a very bad year thus far. Oh and can we PLEASE ditch the retro uniforms yet? Another loss wearing them.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Brewers Have Possible Interest in Orioles 2B Brian Roberts?

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports the Brewers have been scouting the Orioles with specific interest in 2B and very good lead-off hitter Brian Roberts. Here is the link. But according to Brewers GM Doug Melvin the scouts were watching the Orioles as part of their "normal" assignments. I hope Melvin is bluffing because Roberts a "true" lead-off hitter could be a HUGE asset to this team. I would be fine with trading Weeks for Roberts (although with Weeks trip to the DL this seems unlikely now) or trading Hall and spare parts for Roberts. Here are Roberts career stats.

Weeks To 15-Day DL, Iribarren Recalled From AAA Nashville

After taking a dirty, hard take out slide on Friday night from Rockies 2B Jeff Baker Rickie Weeks did not play Saturday or Sunday and today was placed on the DL with a sprained left knee. To take his spot on the roster the Brewers recalled infielder/outfielder Hernan Iribarren from AAA Nashville. Iribarren was called up for a "cup of coffee" back in April and went 2-6 with a double. For the Nashville Sounds he was batting .273 with 15 RBI and 14 Stolen Bases. Hernan will be in uniform Tuesday night for the Brewers in Houston. Not sure how long Weeks will be out for.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

That Crazy Joe D!

I like Joe Dillon. He is everything you could really ask for in a bench player. He does a good job coming off the bench in a pinch hit role. When he gets the opportunity to start he makes the most of it. He can play multiple positions: 1B, 2B, 3B, LF and RF. For the second consecutive Sunday Joe got a start at 2B and batted lead off. He did what a lead off hitter is supposed to do. He got on base and scored runs. A line of 1-2 with 3 walks and scored 2 of the Brewers 3. His batting average for the season now at a very respectable .282, I mean I just love the fact that this guy is on our bench he just seems to get it done when he gets a chance. And as a guy that spent a lot of time in the minor leagues he fights and scratches for everything and never gives away an at bat. And for that I love Joe Dillon. I also have to give some major props today for this 3-2 Brewers win and salvaging of a game in Colorado to Salomon Torres. He got a 5 out save (his 7th of the season) and pitched out of a tough situation when he came into the ballgame in the 8th. Off tomorrow and then it's to Houston for 3 games. Last time we were there, we got swept. Hopefully we can get 2 of 3. Good chance with McClung, Parra and Sheets going in that order. I like our chances.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Colorado Is The New Pittsburgh

Remember when the Brewers would go into PNC Park and play the Pirates and always lose? Well Coors Field in Colorado is fastly becoming the new Pittsburgh. Going back to 2006 the Brewers have lost 6 straight in that park as they lost tonight 7-2. This game was over in the bottom of the 1st when after getting 2 outs very quickly Dave Bush blew up giving up in order: double, walk, walk, HR (grand slam). That made it 4-0 and then he gave up a solo HR and it was 5-0 after the 1st finally ended. The Brewers "battled" back to score 2 in the 2nd which gave a small ray of hope. They had other chances to chip away at that lead but did nothing with those chances which is pretty much par for the course on the road for the Brewers. I just don't know anymore, this team just can't win on the road. And I have no clue why? I mean it's gone on for years now. Is sleeping in your own bed that important? I mean who doesn't love the comfort and feel of their own bed? I sure as hell do, but I don't think it would cause me to pitch worse or hit worse then I would at my home park. In all seriousness this team can play with anybody at Miller Park but, if they don't start winning more games on the road they will never make it to October baseball. The Cubs lost again today which means two days in a row they had chance to gain ground and they flat out didn't get it done. I'm so frustrated right now as a fan(atic) of this team that I could scream. Worst of all is that Jeff Francis, the Rockies best pitcher goes for them tomorrow. If we couldn't beat the two bums they threw the first two games how are we gonna beat their ace?

I Think Smoke Came Out Of My Ears Last Night

Talk about letting one get away? What an awful way to lose a game you should have won. I don't want to get to much into it because it will only make me mad. But I just want to say: Ned Yost, your an idiot sir. Pulling Villanueva after a 10 pitch inning for Mota, just plain stupid. Thanks for costing us a 7th straight win, win #7 for Sheets and moving a game closer to the Cubs and Cardinals who both loss. Mota your not off the hook either, even though you should have never been out there, you still didn't even record a freaking out! Pathetic! I just hope to God we can bounce back tonight with Dave Bush going.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Brewers Draft A Catcher In 1st Round Of 2008 MLB Draft

With the 16th overall Pick in the 1st Round of the 2008 MLB Draft the Brewers took Brett Lawrie a catcher out of Brookswood SS high school in Langley, B.C. Canada. Lawrie is a right handed hard hitting 18 year old who has also played some 3B and 2B. He has plenty of wood bat experience playing for Team Canada's National Junior Team which is a huge reason the Brewers took him. Some compare him to a young Craig Biggio, that sounds pretty good if you ask me. Seems like a good pick, we are not real deep in the system as far as catcher's go. Besides Vinny Rottino in AAA and Angel Salome in AA we are pretty thin so this pick makes sense. Click here for more information on Lawrie. No game today for the Brewers, it's a team off day before they start their 3 game series in Colorado Friday night.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Age Of McClung Rolls On

I'm slowly developing a man crush on Seth McClung. The 6'6" 250 lbs red head is slowly showing that if he doesn't walk guys, he can be a very effective starting pitcher. After that very good start in Washington McClung had a bad outing against Atlanta in Miller Park where in 4.2 innings he gave up 6 earned runs and walked 6. But Seth came back on Tuesday night and was even better then he was in his start in Washington. In 6 innings McClung gave up only 1 earned run struck out 4 and walked none, the second time in a start he didn't walk a batter. So the key for McClung to be effective is to throw strikes and avoid giving up free passes. He has the stuff a mid to high 90's fastball with a good curve and a decent change. The key is being able to throw the curve or change over for a first pitch strike, as long as he can keep doing that McClung will indeed be the answer to our #5 starting pitching woes. Seth took the place of Carlos Villanueva in the rotation and Villanueva has been great going back to the bullpen a position he seems to thrive in because he can be a long guy, middle guy or setup guy. So thus far it is working for both pitchers essentially switching spots. The thing I like about McClung besides the fact that he has been good as a starter so far is he seems to me like he has a real presence on the mound and even a little intimidating to opposing batters. Also how can you not like the fact that dude got 2 hits against a future HOF in Randy Johnson. Right now the rotation seems set as Sheets is dominating, Bush and McClung are looking respectable, Suppan is well Suppan eating up innings and Parra is really starting to show all that promise of being a stud lefty.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Lots Of Tidbits Including Hall Wanting Out

It has been awhile since my last post. Right after we took 2 of 3 from Atlanta I made a post and was pretty happy with that series. Well since then the Brewers swept the Houston Astros and won the first game of their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks and have a 4 game win streak going. Not to mention 8 out of their last 10 and now have a record above .500 at 30-28. But we can't gain any ground on the freaking Cubs because they just keep winning game after game. It might be time to start focusing on the Wild Card instead of the NL Central pennant.

In that three game series with Houston the Brewers held a very good hitting Astros lineup to 3 runs in the entire series! That is insane, considering the players Houston has on offense: Berkman, Tejada, Lee, Pence, etc.

I was at the beat down game Sunday proudly wearing my Braun t-shirt when he crushed the Astros 10-1. It was Ryan Braun bobblehead day and Braun basically pissed on the "bobblehead day curse" and hit a nice opposite field 2-run HR.

So far the call-up of Russell Branyan from AAA Nashville to platoon with Bill Hall at 3B has worked great! Not only has Branyan been very good defensively at 3B but in true Russell "The Muscle" fashion he is crushing ball while walking a lot and striking out a lot. In 7 games this season Branyan is batting .292, 3 HR, 4 RBI an OBP of .433 SLG .750 which is a OPS of 1.183. It's only 7 games, but those are very nice numbers.

And speaking of the other half of that 3B platoon. It appears Bill Hall is not happy about the situation and his agent has asked for a trade for Bill. Terry Bross who represents Hall said it would be best for his client and the team that he be traded instead of put into this platoon role. You know, I like Bill Hall but if he wants to go I think I'm fine with it. He probably isn't an everyday player like the Brewers thought when he had a good 2005 and a great 2006 season. He was maybe just playing out of his head and that got him the nice contract. He just can't hit RHP and that is not good. So if Hall packaged with prospect(s) that are not named Matt Gamel or Matt LaPorta could bring us a nice #2 or #3 type starting pitcher like for instance: Zack Greinkie, Javier Vasquez, Greg Maddux or Randy Wolf. That by all means trade him. Because I think a platoon of Branyan/Dillon would be fine and any one of those pitchers I mentioned could be huge for our staff.