Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mike Lamb, Boom, Outta Here!

Today Mike Lamb was informed he would NOT be making the club and will be placed on waivers at 1pm on Wednesday. There is still some question on if it will be release waivers or outright waivers, depends on if he would accept a job at AAA Nashville. This news means Casey McGehee, the guy I wanted to make the team all spring has earned a 25 man roster spot. YES! It's not that Lamb is a terrible player, I just preferred McGehee because of his versatility, youth, right handed bat off the bench and he just raked this spring. One thing I am a bit concerned about is that McGehee has not walked once this spring if my memory serves me correct. With Counsell, Nelson and either Gwynn or Duffy making the team Rivera would have been the only right handed stick off the bench which could have caused some late inning pinch hit problems. The Brewers management made the right choice with Nelson and now McGehee for bench spots. Will they make the right choice again and choose Chris Duffy over Tony Gwynn Jr.? We shall see. Something tells me they can't let go of TGJ for some reason and will send Duffy to AAA.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ken Rosenthal Thinks Yovani Gallardo Is Pretty Good

Over at foxsports.com Ken picks Yovani to win the NL Cy Young in 2009. Says Yovani could be this seasons Cliff Lee. I wouldn't say he his quite like Cliff Lee, yes like Lee it would be kind of a shock if Yovani won the award. But here is the thing, Lee was a virtual cast off and nobody, got demoted to AAA by the Indians. Gallardo at 23 is the Brewers ace and most people/fans around MLB know about Gallardo and how special he is/will be. I have to disagree with Ken, I doubt Yo will win the Cy Young this year (but he will win a couple at some point in his career), although it would be cool. What I think he will do is be very good, win at least 16 games have an ERA under 4, WHIP around 1.20, 200 K's and 180-190 inning pitched. Any which way it's always nice to see a national baseball reporter give a Brewers player some props. Thanks Ken.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Way To Be Accurate Anthony

This is the first time I have ever touched on this but have noticed it before on my own and through other Brewers blogs. Anthony Witrado from the JS makes a lot of mistakes. I can't believe how inaccurate many of his postings are at the JSonline Brewers blog and how his bosses at the JS put up with it to be honest. Here is the latest blunder:

"Dave Bush had a nice start against the Rangers tonight, going 6.2 innings and allowed four runs, two earned, on nine hits. He struck out six and walked three."

He was right, Dave did have a very nice start but actually struck out four and walked zero. Good job Tony, way to properly inform your readership. Now I actually like Haudricourt which I know many don't, but I'm not a fan of Witrado's at all.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Beards, They Grow On You And Dave Bush

Being someone who has had a beard for the better part of the last five years I appreciate good facial hair. And I must say, Dave Bush has one hell of a fantastic "Bushy" beard. We have seen Dave with a fu-manchu before and a regular beard, but the hair growing off his face this spring blows both of those away. Dave seems to be going for the "mountain man" beard look. And it works and with it he has pitched great this spring. With the results Bush has had and how superstitious ball players can be, perhaps Dave will bring his bad ass beard north with him for opening day.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Braun Had An MRI Today

Haudricourt reported on his JSonline blog that the MRI showed no structural damage to Ryan. Which means no cracked rib or any kind of tears. After I read that I let out a GIGANTIC sigh of relief, as I'm sure the rest of Brewers Nation did when or if they read the news somewhere. If Braun would have had some kind of damage who knows how long he could have been out with an injury like that. But he still does have "tightness" in that area and is now day to day. This means and it is probably a good idea that Ryan will not play again until he feels no "tightness". If that means he doesn't play till opening day I'm completely okay with that. In fact I would prefer it. I do wonder thought if he sits out the rest of spring training and it is still feeling "tight", will they DL him or let him miss some of the beginning of the season? It's a good question and I can't even speculate on the answer. All I know is Ryan is VERY important to the clubs success this season and for years to come. Stay tuned.....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Not Good At All

Today in his first game back with the Crew, Ryan Braun left the game against the Dodgers after two AB's with more "tightness" in his right side (intercostal, ribs, whatever you wanna call it). First of all I don't understand why he was even in the lineup when he said he was not 100%? I have a bad feeling this is going to linger all season and as good as Ryan is we saw how much it affected him last September when he batted like .200 something (maybe less then the Mendoza line)? Yes he hit the big grandslam against the Pirates and the game winning bomb against the Cubs to clinch the Wild Card but he was not the Ryan Braun we all know and love because of that intercostal injury. I would say he has to be shut down the next 12 days before opening day and hope that much rest will totally heel his right side or at least make it not feel as "tight". Bottomline is he shouldn't have played Sunday night for team USA or today for the Brewers. I just have an awful taste in my mouth that this is going to be a year long thing and that is going to suck for all of Brewers Nation.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reader Poll Results

"Who do you consider the "franchise" for the Brewers?"

Ryan Braun: 78% (15 Votes)

Prince Fielder: 0% (0 Votes)

JJ Hardy: 10% (2 Votes)

Corey Hart: 5% (1 Vote)

Rickie Weeks: 0% (0 Votes)

Yovani Gallardo: 5% (1 Vote)

If You Have Options You May Be Punished

I got a little upset when I read this Haudricourt blog post today. It looks as though Chris Duffy and Casey McGehee are in danger of NOT heading north with the Brewers simply because they have options left. That is bullshit. So because Duffy and McGehee who have looked awesome this spring at the plate and in the field have minor league options left they may be going to Nashville while Tony Gwynn Jr. and Mike Lamb, two guys who have done nothing this spring (Gwynn hurt most of camp) might head north because they have no options and would have to go through waivers to go to Nashville. Unreal, I still stand by my comments that the only reason anyone even cares at all about Tony Gwynn Jr. is because that is his name. If his name was Tony Smith Jr. no one would think twice about him. He is not and will never be even half the player his Dad was. Duffy is a much better player overall. As for Lamb if you take him over McGehee you will have one right handed hitter on the bench at all times and that would be Mike Rivera the backup catcher. Oh and Lamb sucks, where McGehee is younger with more potential and he can play 3B, 2B, 1B and serve as an emergency catcher. Options or no options I want the best players on the Brewers I don't care if we lose Lamb and Gwynn through waivers. I guess one good thing is it seems Nelson is safe since he like Lamb and Gwynn have no options. And the Brewers know Nelson would be claimed since most teams like power hitting left handers who take walks on their bench. Maybe I'm getting worked up over nothing and Melvin and Macha will take the guys who deserve to be on the team, but it could well happen that Gwynn and Lamb make the team over Duffy and McGehee and that would be a crime.

Monday, March 23, 2009

If Hoffman Starts The Year On The DL.....

Seth McClung my get the save opportunities. This according to ESPN's Buster Olney. I really hope this is true. Before the Brewers signed Trevor Hoffman and it was up in the air on who would be the closer I was very outspoken that McClung should get the opportunity. Then we signed Hoffman and I was happy with that. But with Hoffman possibly missing the first few weeks of the season with this oblique strain I think Seth should be option one. He has the closer mentality and the closer "stuff". This would be a great little audition for McClung so after this season or next when Hoffman is gone we could have our closer in waiting. Of course best case scenario is that Hoffman recovers quick and doesn't have to go on the DL. But right now that seems unlikely from everything I have heard and read.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Weeks/Kendall Leadoff Problem, Solved In 2010

Well I have seen a lot of discussion on various sites, blogs and message boards about the Brewers batting order and specifically leadoff with Rickie Weeks and now potentially, at least sometimes Jason Kendall batting leadoff. I don't have a huge problem with Kendall doing it for certain match ups, I mean the guy has batted leadoff more then any other spot in his career and he is good at working the count. But with his best offensive days behind him I would hate to see him batting anywhere but 8th to often. As for Weeks, yeah he probably shouldn't be batting leadoff but he is the closest thing we have to a leadoff hitter so he kind of gets put there by default almost. What I'm getting at here is that next season I don't think we will have to have these kind of debates. Why you ask? Well Lorenzo Cain should be the starting CF in 2010 and he would seem to me to be a clear cut choice to bat leadoff, this would allow Weeks to move down to 2nd or around 6th or 7th. This is assuming Cain progresses enough at AAA Nashville this season to take the step up in 2010, which many feel he will. And it would be perfect timing as I don't see Mike Cameron retained after this season.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I Swear.....

If Casey McGehee does not make the final 25 man roster I'm going to be royally pissed at both Doug Melvin and Ken Macha. Another big day from Casey today 2-5 with 2 RBI and his 4th HR this spring, now batting .410. Oh and he played his third different position this spring playing at 1B today. I have said it before and I will say it again McGehee has to make this club. We need at least one other right handed bat off the bench besides Mike Rivera and Casey is versatile and has performed to well this spring to not make the team over an older Mike Lamb. Do it Doug!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Gallardo Lookin Sharp

I think if anyone got "worked" up about a week ago about Yovani Gallardo only going 2/3 of an inning vs the Royals, they can settle down now. After Yo got rocked in that start he has pitched 9 scoreless innings. The first four against the Royals that roughed him up the last five happened today against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Not only did Yo not allow a run today, he didn't allow a hit. 5 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 3 BB's and 3 K's. A very nice line. Gallardo has looked to be blunt awesome this spring spare for that outing against KC. I'm just so excited to see what Yovani can do in a full season. Actually I will probably feel as excited for each start Gallardo makes as I did for any Sabathia start last year. But me getting excited for a Yovani start is nothing new since I did in 2007 when he got called up and last year before and after the missed time with the knee injury. The knee seems to be no problem at all and I expect big things from Yovani this year, the guy is just a special pitcher who could have a very special career. I agree 100% with what Jason Kendall said, this guy will win a couple of Cy Young awards before his career is over. And that is not exaggerating.

My 2009 Fantasy Baseball Team

I think I got a shot to win my 12 team league this season. What do you think of this team?

C- Ryan Doumit
1B- Mark Teixiera
2B- Robinson Cano
SS- JJ Hardy
3B- Evan Longoria
OF- Matt Holliday
OF- Carlos Beltran
OF- Curtis Granderson
Utility- Adrian Beltre

Bench- Jose Lopez: 2B, 1B
Bench- James Loney: 1B
Bench- Chris Young: OF
Bench- Jerry Hairston Jr.: 2B, SS, OF

SP- Jake Peavy
SP- Yovani Gallardo
SP- Matt Garza
SP- Gil Meche
SP- Aaron Cook
SP- Justin Duchscherer
RP- Bobby Jenks
RP- Heath Bell

Monday, March 16, 2009

Braun Has Another Right "Intercostal" Strain, Brewers Nation Gasps

The same side that bothered Braun last season and really slowed him down in August and September has hit him again. Damn. Yesterday Braun was lifted in the 8th inning of the USA's game vs Netherlands in the WBC. Braun went 2-4 in the game and is now batting .429 in the tourney one of the few US players hitting on a consistent basis. He is not day-to-day with the injury and will probably not play tomorrow night. Braun will stay with the team in Miami for now and be examined by the Team USA trainers.

You know, I have been a huge advocate of the WBC and still am since injuries can happen in spring training games just as they can in this tournament. And I have loved seeing Braun rake for Team USA in the WBC, but he is too important to the Brewers and with as much as the injury slowed him last season I think it would be best for the Brewers to have Braun come back the Arizona and shut down for a week or two to totally heal up the "intercostal". Braun's swing looks good and he is really hitting so I don't think the time off will hurt him. We need him 100% going into the season can't take any chances. The one good thing is that any which way it does not seem serious at all but he still probably needs some time off to rest it.

Reader Poll Results

"Which non-roster player do you want on the 2009 Brewers?"

Chris Duffy- OF: 95 % (21 Votes)

Trot Nixon- OF: 4 % (1 Vote)

Scott Thorman- 1B: 0% (0 Votes)

Chris Narveson- P: 0% (0 Votes)

Friday, March 13, 2009

News And Notes 3/13/09 Edition

Nice to see Yovani get back on track today vs the Royals. After getting rocked last week Sunday against them today we saw the Yo we are all expecting and in short time have gotten accustom to. 4 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 5 K's and 0 BB's. I still believe his shelling last week was mostly due to some "squeezing" if you will by that days home plate ump and it was all kind of set off my that miss play by Weeks at 2B screwing up the DP ball.

In my 25 man roster projection a did a few days ago I was under the impression Looper would open the season on the DL. That is not the case anymore as they now think he will be fine and will actually make his first Brewers start at the Home Opener vs the hated rivals from the south on April 10th, great news. And with that I have a change to my projected roster. Move Looper to the starting rotation McClung to the pen and Julio off the club. DiFelice has looked too good this spring and in the WBC for Italy to not make the team, he needs to stay. And I still would stick with Coffey over Morlan.

Duffy, Nelson and McGehee continue to play well and it seems more likely everyday that they will all make the club and join Counsell and Rivera on the Crew's bench in 2009. If Nixon and Lamb can't find other gigs I would love to have them in AAA for insurance, but right now I can't take either over any of the previous three I mentioned.

A couple days ago Manny Parra threw another 4 scoreless innings. Call me crazy and maybe having wishful thinking but maybe "it" finally clicked for Parra. We have all been told and have seen at times last year the great "stuff" he possesses. And I know it's just spring training games but dude has been dealing. With having four pitches to be able to throw if he continues to pound the zone and not walk guys he could be very special just like Gallardo. I heard someone the other day refer to Gallardo as a "bulldog" and Parra as a "poodle" but maybe Manny is getting that "bulldog" in him.

Jeff Suppan, well he still sucks. And that is all I'm gonna say. Actually I'm gonna say right now that I'm probably going to dread watching every single game he starts this season. He if officially the $42 mill mistake. My luck is every game I attend at Miller Park this season he will happen to be the starting pitcher. And then I will puke each time I see his +5 ERA on the scoreboard and awful WHIP.

Sunday night is my fantasy league's draft. I'm picking 11th out of 12. Kind of sucks, but then I also have the second pick in round two. I have my eye on a few guys that might be available at 11. Let me know your thoughts if you have any, also who I might want to take in round 2. I'm thinking one of the top pitchers, Santana or Lincecum.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Casey McGehee Must Make This Club

Let's go back, shall we? To this post I wrote way back in October. I said that signing Casey McGehee was a really small signing for the Brewers. Well it still and probably won't ever qualify as big but it sure is looking like a good pick up by Doug Melvin because McGehee should and probably will now make this club as a major player off the bench.

McGehee continued his hot spring by going 3-3 against the White Sox today in Cactus League action. He is now hitting .450 this spring (9-20) with 2 HR's and 5 RBI. Doing all this while Mike Lamb, who seemed to be almost a sure shot to make the club as a bench player and possible platoon with Bill Hall at 3B has hit just .190.

To me and probably to Ken Macha and Doug Melvin it just makes too much sense to take McGehee over Lamb on the final 25 man roster. Casey hits LHP and RHP about equally as well, if you want to start a left handed batter at 3B for Hall once in awhile you already have Counsell (no need for Lamb), we will more then likely have a left handed bat heavy bench with Counsell, Nelson and Duffy which would leave Rivera as the only righty and he is the backup catcher, then there is the versatility of McGehee he not only plays 3B but could play some 2B and could serve as an emergency catcher. So there you have it, all the reasons it Casey McGehee needs to be a Brewer in 2009 and why Doug Melvin may have found a bench diamond in the rough. Oh and one who was a former Cub who Chicago gave up on.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My 25 Man Roster Projection

Well, we are less then a month away from Opening Day on April 7th in San Francisco so I wanted to make my prediction on how the 25 man roster will look on that day for the Crew.

C - Jason Kendall
1B - Prince Fielder
2B - Rickie Weeks
SS - JJ Hardy
3B - Bill Hall
LF- Ryan Braun
CF - Mike Cameron
RF - Corey Hart


C - Mike Rivera
IF - Craig Counsell
OF - Chris Duffy
IF/OF - Brad Nelson
IF - Casey McGehee

Starting Pitchers:

SP - Yovani Gallardo
SP - Manny Parra
SP - Dave Bush
SP - Seth McClung
SP - Jeff Suppan

Relief Pitchers:

RP - Carlos Villanueva
RP - David Riske
RP - Mitch Stetter
RP - Mark DiFelice
RP - Toddy Coffey
RP - Jorge Julio
CP - Trevor Hoffman

DL- Braden Looper

Sunday, March 8, 2009

News And Notes 3/8/09 Edition

Eric Gagne was releases today. Basically his shoulder is really messed up and he needs surgery. The Brewers have said they would possibly sign him again if and when he is ready to pitch. But with the injuries he has who knows how long that could be. Gagne was signed to a minor league deal so the Brewers lose nothing by cutting him. Had he been able to pitch and they added him to the roster he would have made $1.5 mill and possible incentives. Too bad for Eric, as he is a good guy who really wanted to redeem himself for his poor 2008 after signing that $10 mill deal.

Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo got lit up today. I did not see or hear the game but he only went 2/3 of an inning. Rickie Weeks messed up what would have been a double play after the first two batters reached and then the flood gates opened from that point. It did sound like Gallardo may have been "squeezed" a bit by the home plate ump. This doesn't bother me, sometimes you it just isn't your day and today it was not Yovani's. He is still the man, lets move on.

Braun went 0-4 in his first game for Team USA yesterday in the WBC. But the US did defeat the Canucks from the north 6-5. Ryan did make a hell of a catch in LF going back on a well hit ball and smoked a ball down the left field line but right at Canadian 3B Mark Teahen. Hopefully Ryan can get some hits tonight as the US takes on Venezuela. Winner of that game will advance to round 2 of the tourney.

Reader Poll Results

"Do you like new Brewers radio announcer Cory Provus?"

Yes: 60% (6 Votes)

No: 10% (1 Vote)

Too early to tell: 30% (3 Votes)

Who is Cory Provus?: 0% (0Votes)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Braun Going "Late Night"

Ryan will be on "Late Show with David Letterman" on Thursday night. He along with a group of players from Team USA will take part in his famous "Top Ten" list. Of course the topic: "Top ten reasons to watch the World Baseball Classic."

Others appearing with Braun will be Derek Jeter, David Wright, Chipper Jones, Jimmy Rollins, Dusitn Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Curtis Granderson, Roy Oswalt and Adam Dunn.

I'm not a regular Letterman viewer, I do watch once in awhile if I'm up yet during the week and I think about it. But since Ryan will be on the show you can bet I will stay up to see this episode. It's cool to see Braun get more and more national attention. Been a long, long time since we could say that about any Brewers players. Just another reason Braun is "The Franchise".

Team USA takes on Canada in their first WBC game on Saturday Noon CST on ESPN.

45 Worst (Current) Contracts In Baseball

Of course, Jeff Suppan and Bill Hall make the list. As well they probably should. As you look through the list it's obvious Suppan and Hall are not close to being the worst contracts, but since they are the only Brewers on the list they are the worst to me and all that really matter.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I Understand It's Just Spring Training, And Early But....

Jeff Suppan still looks like shit. Picking up right where he left off last year in game 4 of the NLDS, today in Suppan's second start he gave up a 3 run HR in the first inning. His line on the day was 3 innings, 3 hits, 3 runs all earned 2 BB's and his ERA at 7.20. Suppan is making a strong case to surpass guys like Jeffrey Hammonds and Franklin Stubbs as the biggest free agent signing bust in Brewers history. I think if Suppan was getting money that a #5 starter normally gets this really wouldn't be a big deal, but he is getting more like #2 or #3 starter money and he sucks. If he continues to get rocked in spring and Braden Looper ends of being fine, at some point does Ken Macha go with McClung, Green or even DiFelice as the #5 starter? It's a fair question I think, kick Suppan to the pen.

While Suppan is sucking it up early in spring, Corey Hart and Brad Nelson continue to impress. Hart was 3-3 today with 2 RBI's and a HR, now hitting a cool .700 in Cactus League action. After Corey struggled so much in the second half last year and specifically in September it's great to see him raking. Nelson is getting rave reviews from Macha, was 1-3 with an RBI while playing LF. Macha is now giving Nelson consideration for a reserve OF spot. And why not? Look at the others fighting for that spot; Gwynn (hurt and really is nothing more then a AAAA player), Duffy (doing well, should be considered), Nixon (old, not hitting a lick) and Thorman (hitting well, but really just a 1B). Nelson is also more of a 1B, but has played OF in the minors.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Looper Seeing Doctor Monday

Braden Looper is gonna see a Doctor tomorrow in Phoenix to see how serious the oblique injury is that he felt minutes before his start on Saturday. He felt the pain on the left side of his lower back while warming up in the bullpen before the game vs the Angels. As soon as he told the club he was feeling the pain he was scratched. And rightfully so, why risk damaging whatever it is more this early into spring training. Hopefully this is nothing serious and they are just be cautious. Besides Trevor Hoffman, Looper was the only major signing the Brewers made in free agency this offseason so it would be a major blow if he was out a long period of time.

Just in case though, better get McClung ready and Wright, Green and Capuano on standby.

Reader Poll Results

"Who should start Opening Day vs the Giants April 7th?"

Yovani Gallardo: 55% (11 Votes)

Manny Parra: 10% (2 Votes)

Braden Looper: 5% (1 Vote)

Dave Bush: 20% (4 Votes)

Jeff Suppan: 10% (2 Votes)