Friday, November 27, 2009

I Finally Broke Down

After saying I would never do it, even though I felt it might be worth the price to read the likes of Law, Gammons and Olney. I have paid for the Insider. But not without a sweet deal, right now till Sunday you can go to and order a year of ESPN The Magazine which comes with a year of ESPN Insider for only $5. Yes, only $5. Even I , who said he would never pay to read articles on the Internet couldn't resist that. Now I can finally read all those Keith Law, Peter Gammons and Buster Olney articles I have wanted to read for the past few years. And the magazine will make for great bathroom reading for the next year.

Reader Poll Results

"Who would you rather see starting at 3B in 2010?"

Mat Gamel: 58% (7 Votes)

Casey McGehee: 41% (5 Votes)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Keith Law Chat 11/20/09

Unfortunately, there were ZERO Brewers related questions/answers in the most recent Keith Law chat. But there were seemingly 564 questions (mostly from Cardinals fans) on Law's NL Cy Young ballot and how he left Chris Carpenter off of it. You may have heard by now he was quite the figure of controversy because his ballot read: 1. Lincecum 2. Vazquez 3. Wainwright. I don't see anything wrong with that ballot, personally I think all three of those guys were better then Carpenter last season. I mean, don't get me wrong, Carpenter had an outstanding season. But at the end of the season Lincecum, Vazquez and Carpenter's own teammate Wainwright were all better. Hopefully this issue will be behind Cardinals fans (doubtful) and in Keith's next chat we can get more questions not about an award ballot. Thanks St. Louis!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reader Poll Results

"Do you believe Carlos Gomez can improve his overall offense?"

Yes: 80% (4 Votes)

No: 20% (1 Vote)

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Curious Case Of Edwin Jackson

As I continue to hear rumors of the Brewers having interest in a possible trade with the Tigers for Edwin Jackson, I continue to be confused on how I feel about that possibility. On one hand, Jackson is a starting pitcher who is still relatively young at 26, has an electric fastball always in the mid 90's and a pretty good slider. He is coming off a career year where he looked very dominate at times. But on the other hand, Jackson struggled A LOT in the second half of the season, still walked a lot of batters struggling with control and wore down. But he wore down mostly because of Jim Leyland abusing him. His final numbers for the season were very solid though:

13-9, 3.62 ERA, 214 IP, 161 K, 70 BB, 1.26 WHIP

But, let's look at the 1st half compared to his second half:

1st Half: 7-4, 2.52 ERA, 121.2 IP, 95 K, 35 BB, 1.06 WHIP
2nd Half: 6-5, 5.07 ERA, 92.1 IP, 64 K, 35 BB, 1.53 WHIP

As the numbers show, he was tremendous in the 1st half and pitched the best ball of his career making his first All-Star team, his 2nd half was more like his career numbers. So the question is, was he a half a season wonder or did he figure it out but just got burnt out in the 2nd half? This is why I am on the fence on if I want the Brewers to go after Jackson or just let him be. He definitely has the stuff to be a solid #2 pitcher and his 1st half of 2009 shows that, he also had a pretty good season for Tampa Bay in 2008. His biggest issue seems to be control and keeping the ball down. I'm not sure what the Tigers would want for Jackson, if it was not Gamel I would probably be willing to listen to what else they might want in return. There was a report before Hardy was traded to Minnesota the Tigers wanted to swap Jackson for him.

Counsell Possibly Rewarded For Career Year In 2009?

I'm sitting at my desk on my lunch break right now and seen a "tweet" from Buster Olney of ESPN and he is reporting that 12 teams are interested in the services of Craig Counsell. And that it is very possible that he could leave Milwaukee for a multi year deal. Of course he goes on to say that possible fits are the Yankees and Red Sox. Of course, go figure. I really would like the Brewers to bring Counsell back, but not at any contract of 3 years or more. Which I suppose some team may be dumb enough to give Counsell. While of he had a very nice season last year getting extended playing time because of the injury to Rickie Weeks I'm not sure how sold I am on his production offensively in 2009. He is on the wrong side of 30 so I am not sure how much more he can improve. It may have been a fluke, but I would love to keep him around on another 1 year or at most a 2 year deal. Should be interesting to see what Craig decides to do.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Keith Law Chat 11/12/09

After a one week layoff, Keith Law was back today for another chat on Here were the Brewers related questions/answers.

Brewers Fan (Milwaukee)

When a GM says that he won't listen to trade offers about a certain player, how true is that in most cases? Like if another GM calls him up and says "Fielder", does Melvin just hang up immediately? Call me crazy, but it seems like a GM is an idiot if he won't at least listen to an offer for anybody on his team or in his system.

Klaw (1:36 PM)

You're not crazy. You always listen. A GM who doesn't isn't doing his job.

Adam (Milwaukee)

KLaw...Completely random trade thought:Prince Fielder, Manny Parra, and either Salome or Lucroy to the Braves for Hanson

Klaw (1:47 PM)

Random = wrong adjective.

Stephen (Knauff)

Reading your analysis of the Hardy/Gomez trade, I got the vibe you feel that neither team got the better of trade, would you say this is accurate?

Klaw (1:48 PM)

I can't excited over either guy. I've never loved Hardy's swing or approach, but Gomez may never see a .330 OBP. I do think Gomez has a chance to be an average regular because of his glove and some small power potential, but ... I'm not saying I don't want him on my team, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get him.

Adam (Milwaukee)

Sorry about the poor English. Could I get your general thoughts on the following trade: Fielder, Parra, and Lucroy for Hanson

Klaw (2:00 PM)
I wasn't correcting your grammar. I was telling you the trade is absurd.

I'm sure Melvin would listen to any offer for Fielder, but to actually pull the trigger he would have to be blown away for a trade. Probably something like Linceum or Cain plus Sandoval for Fielder. Like Keith said, if a GM would not at least listen to an offer on a player he is not doing his job very well. I'm not exactly sure which part of the trade proposal by Adam that Keith thinks is absurd? For me the Brewers giving up Fielder, Parra and Lucroy for Hanson alone would be absurd. Maybe Keith is on the other side, not really sure from what he wrote. I like what Keith said about Gomez and as I wrote is pretty much how I feel, he can at least be average because of his glove/speed and the potential power he could have. If Gomez did have a .330 OBP or higher in 2010 I think I would be delighted.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Free Agent Pitching

I really hope the Brewers do not go after John Lackey as some like Buster Olney of ESPN are reporting. Will cost to much in years and cash, and while he is a good pitcher, he is not a great pitcher. So he is not worth the price tag IMO. I think it would be a much smarter idea to go after Doug Davis and/or Jarrod Washburn in addition to signing one of the low risk/high reward guys like Ben Sheets, Erik Bedard, Rich Harden or even Mark Mulder. Mulder aside, Sheets, Bedard and Harden all have better "stuff" IMO then Lackey but they have that injury history which is a risk. However, if the risk pays off you will get a great reward. It should be very interesting to see how Doug Melvin goes about adding at least two pitchers to this staff that can compliment Yovani Gallardo. Stay tuned.....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lucroy To Possibly Make Jump From AA to MLB

Per Tom Haudricourt of the JS, Doug Melvin is becoming more and more comfortable with the idea of catching prospect Jonathan Lucroy being the Brewers catcher or at least splitting time in half with a veteran catcher in 2010. I have to say that is quite refreshing to hear. Because I am very comfortable with that idea. Since it means we will more then likely not see Jason Kendall and his wet paper towel for a bat catch 150 games in 2010. I know there are some Kendall supporters out there like my buddy Tom who say; "well he plays great defense and calls a great game." Really? Yeah he did in 2008 when he threw out a crazy number of runners and looked good catching Sabathia and Sheets. What about 2009? Yeah, not so much.

I like the idea of Lucroy because he is the future anyway. And if he seems close and ready now might as well get him in there. He had good numbers at AA Huntsville and is doing great in the AFL. His defense is already there, and he seems to have a bat, with some pop in it. Would be nice to see a catcher in our lineup with a slugging % over .305. Which I think Lucroy could do in his sleep. As stated in the Haudricourt article some other good young catchers in the big leagues have made the jump from AA to MLB. The Dodgers Russell Martin, the Dbacks Chris Snyder and the A's Kurt Suzuki. Seeing Lucroy behind the plate in 2010 would actually make me excited about our catcher for pretty much the first in a long time. See Kendall, Jason; Estrada, Johnny; Bako, Paul; Casanova, Raul; Moeller, Chad; Levis, Jesse; Valle, Dave; etc.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reader Poll Results

"Which SP would you rather see the Brewers sign?"

Doug Davis: 40% (2 Votes)

Jarrod Washburn: 60% (3 Votes)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

That Didn't Take Long: Gomez In, Hardy Out

I was at work yesterday sitting in my cubicle when the news came down. It had to be sometime between 10:30am and 11am. All of a sudden my cell phone began to vibrate, pick it up. It was a text message from 540 ESPN. I hit "read" and there it was: "Brewers trade SS JJ Hardy to Twins for CF Carlos Gomez.", my initial reaction was, "what the fuck? Really? We didn't trade him for starting pitching?" Then I immediately turned my thoughts toward the fact that this guaranteed the Brewers would not be bringing Mike Cameron back in 2010 to play CF. Which I was hoping they would, but at a lesser rate then the $10 mill Mike made each of the past two seasons. This made me beg the following question to one of my coworkers: "Will the Brewers still untuck after each victory with Cameron no longer on the team?" Back to that matter at hand, JJ Hard for Carlos Gomez. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about the trade. But I think I like it, mostly based off the fact of the potential of Carlos Gomez and that I think Alcides Escobar is going to be a way better player then JJ Hardy ever dreamed of.

What I know about Carlos Gomez is that he is one of the fastest players in all of MLB, plays outstanding defense in CF, was a major prospect in the Mets organization who was traded to the Twins as the main piece in the Johan Santana trade and he has VASTLY UNDERACHIEVED as a offensive player so far. But he is only 24 (turns 24 in December). So he still has upside and there is still time for Gomez to turn it around offensively. His biggest problem is he strikes out too much for a player of his talents and does not get on base enough (.292 career OBP). With Gomez over Cameron, the Brewers will lose nothing as far as defense goes. They will however lose power, which the same can be said going from Hardy to Escobar at SS. If, and I know this is an "if", they (Escobar/Gomez) can hit for average and get on base they will reek havoc on the base paths by stealing bases and being able to go 1B to 3B and 2B to Home on base hits by other players. But the key will be striking out less and taking more walks. Something hitting coach Dale Sveum will have to stress to these two particular hitters. They also need to try to bunt for hits to get on base more. One more thing on the power drop Hardy/Cameron to Escobar/Gomez, scouts and GM Doug Melvin believe over time Escobar and Gomez could develop more power in their games over time.

Maybe the most exciting thing about this trade has nothing to do with the players involved in the deal. It has to do with the fact that Jason Kendall will now more then likely NOT be back in 2010. There is no way the Brewers can have Escobar/Gomez/Kendall all in the everyday lineup. If you are giving up power for speed at CF and SS you can't have a catcher with virtually no power (.305 SLG, 2 HR, 19 2B from Kendall in 2009) or for that matter even doubles power. So I think Doug will either look to trade for a catcher who has a little pop in his bat (Ryan Doumit?) or Jonathan Lucroy may get the chance to be the everyday catcher. Doug did mention this when on Sportsradio 1250 yesterday. Lucroy would be making the jump from AA to the big leagues but other catchers have made the move before and been successful.

So while the Brewers did not get starting pitching help for JJ Hardy, they did get a exciting young CF with lots of potential. They also saved themselves about $17 mill that would have went to Cameron and Hardy. So they have some more money to spend on a free agent pitcher or a pitcher in another trade. I still think the Brewers will move either Gamel or McGehee and may also move Hart and with Gomez now in the fold I think Lorenzo Cain could be trade bait. So lots of possibilities yet in a very long offseason that is just getting rolling. My final verdict on the trade is that I do like it, but Gomez has to get on base more. If he can get that OBP up to even .340 or .350 that would be huge. Because his speed is amazing and if he can consistently get on base he could be a huge weapon for the Brewers. Time will tell.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Let The (Offseason) Games Begin!

With the Yankees winning the 2009 World Series last night, today November 5th the baseball offseason officially began. For the next 15 days players can formally file for Free Agency and during that time their current teams are the only clubs they can negotiate with. The Brewers have seven players that will be Free Agents. Mike Cameron, Jason Kendall, Frank Catalanotto, Craig Counsell, Felipe Lopez, Claudio Vargas and Corey Patterson. Of those seven players, I would like to see four of them back in Brewers uniforms in 2010. Cameron, Catalanotto, Counsell and Vargas. First off I would LOVE to see Lopez back, but with Weeks coming back next season Lopez has no spot and will most likely be looking for a multi year big money deal in free agency, so he will be offered arbitration and then the Brewers will get a draft pick for him because of his type B classification. Do I need to explain why Patterson should not and will not be back? Yeah I didn't think so. I hope and pray Kendall won't be back, but I have this bad feeling Ken Macha's love affair with Jason coupled with the fact the Brewers are not quite ready to give the position to Lucroy or Salome will give them no choice but to resign Kendall.

I really want Mike Cameron back and starting in CF, but only if he signs for $8 mill or less. Like I have said in a previous video blog I think Cameron would be a great sign at around $6 mill. This will give Lorenzo Cain a full season at AAA Nashville to get ready to take over in 2011. Frank Catalanotto is a great reserve OF to have on your bench, can play both corner spots and always gives you a "professional" AB late in the game as a pinch hitter. Craig Counsell was outstanding last year, I don't know if it was a fluke or if Dale Sveum making him drop his hands was all the difference. But either way, he plays three IF positions with above average defense and like Catalanotto gives you great AB's late in games off the bench. He really is the prototype utility IF. Then we have Claudio Vargas. I never thought I would say I wanted the Brewers to resign this guy. But man, he was great out of the bullpen as a setup man after the Crew aquired him from the Dodgers for Vinny Rottino. I never cared for him when he was a starter here in 2007, he becomes a reliever and seems to have found his niche.

So what do you think? Who do you want back? Who should the Brewers let walk?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ok, Please Explain This To Me

This Saturday MLB Network is going to broadcast the AFL "Rising Stars Showcase". The game will be comprised of an East Team and a West Team, with the best players from the 2009 AFL. The Brewers sent eight players to the prestigious prospect league played every fall since 1992. Three position players: CF Lorenzo Cain, 3B Taylor Green and C Jonathan Lucroy. Also five pitchers: Zach Braddock, Josh Butler, Omar Aguilar, Mark Rogers and Rob Wooten.

Six of the eight players the Brewers sent have struggled for the most part. Two have been very, very good. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy had a line of .385/.407/.615 with 2 HR and 5 RBI and LHP Zach Braddock who has a 1.04 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 6 K's and 2 saves in 8.2 IP. You would think that those numbers would get both Lucroy and Braddock in the "Rising Stars Showcase" on Saturday. Well you would be wrong. The only Brewer to make the team was RHP Mark Rogers. Now don't get me wrong I'm just glad I will get to see one Brewer play regardless of who it is. And I am a big Rogers fan, but he has been terrible this AFL. 12.27 ERA, 2.45 WHIP in 7.1 innings.

So how the hell do the goofs that select the East and West teams leave Braddock and to an even crazier extent Lucroy off the West roster and out of this game? Your guess is as good as mine. I think it is complete bullshit. I was very much looking forward to getting to see Lucroy in action for the first time after hearing and reading so much about how much he is progressing into the Brewers #1 catching prospect. Oh well, gonna have to wait till spring training 2010 I guess.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Red Sox Perfect Team To Gamble On Ben Sheets? Maybe, But Why Not Milwaukee?

Because I still have a tiny glimmer of hope that the Brewers might sign Ben Sheets to a low risk high reward contract to pitch for the team in 2010, I thought I would google Sheets name and check out any news that has recently been written on him. You know to see if there was any new info on his rehabilitation, well I came across this piece written by Evans Clinchy of It actually makes a hell of a lot of sense. The Red Sox were the team who signed three pitchers (Smoltz, Penny and Saito) to their team this past offseason that were coming off injuries like Sheets. So yes, I think the Red Sox would totally make sense for Sheets and it is pretty much on par with how Theo Epstein and their front office work. I still think though that the front runners to sign Sheets are the Texas Rangers. They were close to signing him last year before it was found that Ben was going to need surgery.

Ben Sheets is like crack to me, I just can't quit him. No matter how many times he got hurt, I still believed in him, defended him and wanted him to be a Brewer. So even after missing an entire year of baseball and having surgery on his elbow, I still would love to see the Brewers bring him back. Maybe I'm crazy, but you can't deny the fact that when he is healthy, he is as good as any pitcher in baseball. That includes Lincecum, Santana, Sabathia and Lee. According to Fangraphs, Sheets has been worth more then his contract in all but one (2006) of his MLB seasons. I would really like to see the Brewers brass consider making a run at Ben. Gord Ash even mentioned Ben in the Brewers season ending presser saying that their have been "once in awhile" conversations with Ben's agent.

Perhaps offer him a 1 year deal for $6 mill with an option for a 2nd year or put some performance enhancers in the contract so if he stays healthy and performs he could make more. So, you sign Sheets, trade for a legit #2 type starter and sign either Doug Davis or Jarrod Washburn and you actually have a decent staff built around Yovani Gallardo and not a bunch of #4 and #5 starters. Which as we all know is basically what they had last season. I understand the Sheets signing is a long shot, but I personally would love to see it happen. Take the chance, the risk would totally be worth the reward. If you need evidence of the reward look at Ben's career numbers, it tells it all.

Reader Poll Results

"Which Brewers catching prospect is the future?"

Jonathan Lucroy: 83% (20 Votes)

Angel Salome: 16% (4 Votes)