Thursday, October 29, 2009

Keith Law Chat 10/29/09

It's time for another Keith Law chat transcript featuring Brewers related questions/answers. And in this chat, Keith even used a question from yours truly! I'm going to start making this a regular feature on the blog recapping any Brewers stuff from Keith's chats.

Jon (Dallas)

Would Conger, Bourjos, Reckling be enough for MIL to trade Braun to LAA? Angels would then have 4 above average starting pitchers, full infield if you count Wood, and full outfield under contract/control for three more years. Pretty decent window of opportunity isn't it?

(1:35 PM)

That isn't even close. Look at the rest of your question - you're talking about how good it is for the Angels, with no thought as to whether it's anything other than insane for Milwaukee.

JD (Germantown, WI)


First off, are you ever going to write a book? Second, Rickie Weeks got off to a great start in 2009 before injuring his wrist and going on the DL. If healthy all of 2010, how good do you think Weeks will be? Where would he rank among NL 2B?

(2:13 PM)

I did write one manuscript, showed it to a few people in and out of the industry, but decided it was better to start from scratch than rewrite. I'm a bad rewriter regardless of the subject. I've been a Weeks believer beyond any rational point for years, so why stop now? He'll be a borderline All-Star offensively. He was actually going to have a huge second half this year if he'd been healthy. You can't prove otherwise!

An absolutely laughable question from Jon in Dallas. Braun for Conger, Bourjos and Reckling? Keith pretty much summed it up best calling it "insane". Of course, Tony Witrado might think it was plausible and a good idea. Maybe Tony was posing as Jon. The fact of the matter is Ryan Braun is not going anywhere. He is the franchise and anyone even mentioning trade rumors and questions about Braun being traded just isn't thinking very logically. At least, in my opinion.

As for my question about Weeks, Keith has always been a fan of Rickie's. And I agree with his answer, Weeks if healthy should border on the line of being an All-Star 2B in the NL. But he has to play a full season. Something he really hasn't done. I'm just hoping that it happens in 2010 for Rickie and for the Brewers. We need him.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Just Thinking Out Loud Here: Possible 2011 Lineup

After Keith Law's comment in his recent chat about Brett Lawrie possibly moving to the OF if his glove is not good enough at 2B, it got me to thinking. If he would move to LF and we keep Weeks around to play 2B long term, what would that lineup look like? Well with a few other prospects probably another year away from the big club, this could be the Brewers opening day lineup in 2011. This is under the assumption that Fielder is kept around and not traded, even if he does not sign an extension. Remember, he is under team control through 2011. I have to say, this lineup make me giddy looking at it on paper.

1. Alcides Escobar- SS
2. Brett Lawrie- LF
3. Ryan Braun- RF
4. Prince Fielder- 1B
5. Rickie Weeks- 2B
6. Mat Gamel- 3B
7. Lorenzo Cain- CF
8. Jonathan Lucroy- C

It would be a pretty young lineup, but one with a good combination of speed and power. Lawrie, Cain and Lucroy would all be in their first years but should all be ready to contribute to the big club in 2011. Braun, Fielder and Weeks are your veterans (young ones at that) and Escobar and Gamel will both have 1+ years of MLB experience as they should be starters in 2010. You look at this lineup and it is very young, but I think loaded with potential and the talent to win right away. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From 30 to 2: Yankees vs Phillies In 2009 Fall Classic

Tomorrow night, the 2009 Fall Classic gets underway. And on paper it looks like it could be a classic, but then again they don't play baseball games on paper. They play them on a diamond n a park. Two very good and very talented teams will square off. In my preseason predictions I had neither team even making the playoffs. I had the Red Sox winning the AL East and the Tampa Bay Rays winning the AL Wild Card. I thought the New York Mets would win the NL East and the Brewers would take the NL Wild Card. My World Series was the Red Sox over the Mets. Wow, was I way off! But clearly as the season played out the Yankees were the best team in all of baseball and the Phillies were not far behind. Both teams have high powered offenses who can hit the long ball, both have very good starting pitching with an ace. But the Yankees clearly have a better and more consistent bullpen. And it could very well come down to the bullpens. Here is my position by position breakdown and who has the advantage. I have also posted each players WAR next to their name.

1B: Mark Teixiera (5.2) vs Ryan Howard (4.9)

Two of the best 1B in the game right now, the only two that might be better are Pujols and Fielder. Both were fantastic in the regular season. Teixiera is better defensively, but Howard is hitting better in the postseason and the only player that might be hotter is A-Rod.

Advantage: Push

2B: Robinson Cano (4.3) vs Chase Utley (7.7)

Cano is a top 10, maybe even top 5 2B in MLB right now. But Chase Utley is the best at the position and has been for a few years now.

Advantage: Phillies

3B: Alex Rodriguez (4.6) vs Pedro Feliz (1.2)

This really isn't even a question. And for the first time ever, A-Rod is producing at a very high level in the postseason. He has been the best player hands down this October.

Advantage: Yankees

SS: Derek Jeter (7.4) vs Jimmy Rollins (2.4)

Rollins is a former MVP and one of the best and most exciting players in the game. But he has had a down year. Jeter keeps plugging away and had a fantastic season. And even though I hate throwing "intangibles" around, Jeter has them all.

Advantage: Yankees

C: Jorge Posada (4.0) vs Carlos Ruiz (2.2)

I would love to have a catcher like Ruiz on the Brewers. Good defensively, handles the pitchers and has a little pop in his bat. But I would really love to have Posada. Does the same things as Ruiz but better.

Advantage: Yankees

LF: Johnny Damon (2.8) vs Raul Ibanez (4.1)

Damon had himself a nice contract season, and was heavily aided by the short porch in RF at New Yankee Stadium with his power numbers. I guess some could say the same about Ibanez at Citizens Bank Park. It's pretty close, but Ibanez better fielder and arm.

Advantage: Phillies

CF: Melky Cabrera (1.6) vs Shane Victorino (3.4)

Pretty similar players if you ask me. Cabrera with a little more power, Victorino with a little more speed. Victorino also the better overall hitter and defender.

Advantage: Phillies

RF: Nick Swisher (3.7) vs Jayson Werth (4.7)

I was surprised to see Werth's WAR was only 1 point higher then Swisher's. Both have power, Werth the better hitter for average and has more speed. Pretty even defensively. If someone said I could have either on my team, I'm taking Werth.

Advantage: Phillies

Bench: Matsui, Hinske, Hairston, Molina, Gardner vs Bruntlett, Stairs, Francisco, Bako, Dobbs

Matsui will DH in New York. Not sure who Philly will use, I would assume Stairs. Hairston and Bruntlett are both solid utility guys and you can't go wrong with Bako or Molina as your #2 catcher. I like both teams benches. Too close to call.

Advantage: Push

Starting Pitching: Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte vs Lee, Martinez, Hamels

Each team has their legit #1 ace in CC and Cliff the former teammates in Cleveland. Burnett and Hamels are #2's that could be #1's on a lot of teams. Pettitte and Martinez are the gritty veterans who have been here and done this plenty of times before. I think the Yankees will stick to a 3 man rotation but the Philles may use Joe Blanton or JA Happ in game 4.

Advantage: Push

Bullpen: Rivera, Hughes, Chamberlain, Coke, Marte, Gaudin vs Lidge, Madson, Park, Eyre,Durbin

I think this is a no brainer. The Yankees pen has pretty much been money all year long, Rivera is an ageless wonder who is probably the best ever at what he does (with all respect to Trevor Hoffman) and has the two young flame throwers Hughes and Chamberlain setting him up. Lidge and Madson have been very erratic a season after they were as good as you could get for a closer and setup man. I also would take Coke, Marte and Gaudin over Park, Eyre and Durbin.

Advantage: Yankees

Final Tally's: Yankees 4, Phillies 4, Push 3

As you can see, these two teams are about as evenly matched as two teams could be. As a fan of baseball I think we are going to be in for a real treat of a World Series. After seeing the last three World Series end so quickly (5 games in 2006, 4 games in 2007 and 5 games in 2008), I think we are in for a 7 game classic. I just believe that these teams are too close together in talent to have one team just roll over the other team. I can't wait.

Final Prediction: Yankees in 7
MVP: CC Sabathia

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ketih Law Chat 10/22/09

Keith Law is one of my absolute favorite baseball writers. He is very smart, informative and kind of funny in a snarky kind of way. I read as much of his stuff as I can, although without a ESPN Insider subscription that can be difficult. Keith does these chats and in his most recent there were a few Brewers related questions/answers. Check them out:

James (Kenosha,Wi)

What is your take on Jonathan Lucroy do you think he would be ready to take over the Brewers catcher spot by June?

(1:15 PM)

They've got an interesting dilemma with him and Salome. Neither one looks like a star; Lucroy is definitely a catcher, probably a 50 (solid average regular), while Salome has more bat potential but may not be able to catch. I'd probably let Salome start 2010 in the majors and send Lucroy to AAA. (By the way, how awful was that Trevor Hoffman extension? Extremely fluky HR rate gets you $8 million? 10% or more of the team's payroll for a one-inning closer, and not a good one? Wow.)

Russ (Balt Md)

Bret Lawrie question. Is he an impact bat in MLB? Ive heard he's playing 2B, is this Big News for his value, if true?How is he progressing? 2011 callup?

(1:18 PM)

He really has no position. Good bat, potentially a special bat, but he might end up in LF.

Ryan (madison,wi)

Who says no: Fielder for Kemp?

(1:35 PM)

Dodgers. With howls of derisive laughter.

He seems right on about Lucroy and Salome. I personally like Lucroy more. Think he will be better defensively and be fine offensively. As for his side note on Hoffman being a bad signing I couldn't disagree more. $8 mill for a proven closer who is coming off a fantastic year when you have no option around even close to as good, I don't see any issue with that. Maybe he doesn't remember what the Brewers went through with Gagne/Torres in 2008, you were never safe with a lead. With Hoffman I feel safe.

Brett Lawrie may very well end up in LF, with Braun moving to RF at some point. But for now I think the Brewers intend to keep him at 2B. He had some issues there, I went to a few Rattlers games this past season and he played really well in the game I saw. Turned two well and showed good range. When I hear the term "potentially special bat" with Lawrie it sure gets me excited for what this kid might turn out to be. He is only 19. A Fielder for Kemp trade? He says Dodgers would laugh at the Brewers. Why? Yes Kemp is a 5 tool talent, but Fielder is one of the top 5 hitters in all of the game. That would be a pretty even deal I think. But I don't think either team would do it at this point. It's a hypothetical deal. Not even a rumor to it.

Reader Poll Results

"Who do you want starting in CF in 2010?"

Mike Cameron: 100% (9 Votes)

Corey Hart: 0% (o Votes)

Lorenzo Cain: 0% (0 Votes)

Sign a Free Agent: 0% (0 Votes)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A True Degenerate

I think it is official. I'm 100% a fantasy sports, and specifically fantasy baseball degenerate. Today I have been searching Google for 2010 fantasy baseball ranking position by position. The draft for the league I run won't be for another four and a half months. But I'm already excited and looking to see where players rank to get a step ahead in my draft strategy.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Just For The Record

My preseason predictions on the playoff teams was awful. I only got two teams correct that are currently in the playoffs. The Dodgers and the Red Sox. And I had the Red Sox in as AL East champs, of course they won the Wild Card. My World Series was the Red Sox over the Mets. Of course that Mets prediction didn't work out so well, but if the Red Sox win it all I can still hang my hat on that pick.

Here is the link to that preseason prediction post.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Braun and Fielder 2009

Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder who are now the best 1-2 punch in MLB and who I like to call the modern day Aaron and Matthews end the season with these lines:

Ryan Braun: .320/.386/.551, 32 HR, 114 RBI, 20 SB, 203 Hits (Led NL)

Prince Fielder: .299/.412/.602, 46 HR, 141 RBI (Led MLB)

Simply amazing seasons from both guys. With these two leading the charge and the other good supporting offensive cast, all we need is some decent pitching and the Brewers should be back in the playoffs in 2010.