Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Also, please vote in the new reader poll, the first non Brewers/baseball question in our reader polls. What is the best comedy on TV right now? I'm going to mostly make this baseball related questions but will occasionally drop these random polls questions.
Between Escobar, Weeks, or Gomez (yeah right) do the Brewers have anybody that can get on base enough to hit at the top of their lineup ahead of Prince and Braun?
Klaw (1:10 PM)
Weeks has always worked the count well when healthy. Escobar is impatient and Gomez would swing at strike zero.
Do you see the Brewers making anymore additions to starting pitching before the start of the season? Wolf was a nice start. I have heard Mulder rumors? Would that push Suppan out of the starting rotation? Please say yes because I cannot take another year of seeing his stuff, even as an end of the rotation guy.
Klaw (1:26 PM)
I have no problem with them taking a flyer on Mulder, but I'd have no expectations of him, either. Guy hasn't been healthy and effective in a long time. They do still need one more starter if they want to compete in that division, though. I like Parra's arm but banking on him to become a #3 would be foolish.
Hey Klaw. I just wanted your thoughts on the Brewers signing of Wolf and Hawkins. Three years too long for Wolf? Can Hawkins help solidify the bullpen? Something obviously had to be done to improve their pitching and I'm just wondering if you believe they are at least on the right track. Thanks
Klaw (2:19 PM)
A year too long on each guy, but if they've decided to try to contend in 2010, they had little choice but to over commit on arms. It wouldn't be my strategy for the team.
Ken Rosenthal: 20% (2 Votes)
Peter Gammons: 30% (3 Votes)
Jon Heyman: 0% (No Votes)
Buster Olney: 10% (1 Vote)
Tom Verducci: 0% (No Votes)
Keith Law: 40% (4 Votes)
Jayson Stark: 0% (No Votes)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Lucroy had a very nice season at AA Huntsville in 2009 and put up a good line of .267/.380/.418, 9 HR and 66 RBI's. On defense Lucroy threw out 40% of base stealer's and had a .991 fielding % with 7 errors. Lucroy had started 2009 as the Brewers #2 catching prospect behind Angel Salome, but after his strong season for Huntsville as well as a very good showing in the AFL (.310/.354/.483, 2 HR and 10 RBI's), Lucroy has jumped Salome in many fans minds as well as the Brewers organizations mind as the #1 catching prospect and more then likely should be the starter in 2011.
Salome regressed some in 2009 while playing at AAA Nashville after having a monster year in 2008 at AA Huntsville, but he also battled some injuries playing in only 82 games. His line was .286/.334/.413, 6 HR and 44 RBI's. On defense Salome threw out just 30% of base stealer's with a fielding % of .976 and 10 errors. The thought seemed to be that Salome was better on offense while Lucroy was better on defense, but it seems that Lucroy is catching up on offense and still the better defender and that is why he has jumped Salome.
George Kottaras was claimed off waivers early this offseason after playing 45 games for the Boston Red Sox in 2009. His line was .237/.308/.387, 1 HR and 10 RBI's. Defensively Kottaras threw out just 16% of base stealer's with a fielding % of .992 and 8 errors. He was used often as the catcher for knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Kottaras like Gregg Zaun is a switch hitter at the plate.
So there you have the three candidates. Kottaras has something the other two don't, a good chunk of big league experience. But Lucroy and Salome have more talent and more future potential. It sounds as if it will be an open competition between the three and whoever performs best in spring may break camp with the job. As of right now I would like it to be either Lucroy or Kottaras. Lucroy could use a season as the backup learning the ropes behind Zaun before taking over in 2011 as the starter. If they don't go that route I would like to see Kottaras get it, Lucroy start at AAA and Salome traded. Stay tuned.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Shortly after Wolf's presser he did an interview via phone with ESPN 540's Steve "The Homer" True. You can listen to the interview here. Good listen, Wolf is a big movie buff and a bit of a Star Wars nerd. Once again, I'm very glad to have him here, really like him and Gallardo at the top of the rotation for the next few years.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
First and foremost they need to get one more starting pitcher. Wolf was a big signing but they still need a guy to slot behind Wolf but in front of Parra and Bush. A couple of guys that come to mind are either Erik Bedard, Doug Davis, Jarrd Washburn, Justin Duchscherer, Chien Ming-Wang (if non-tendered) or Kevin Correia (if non-tendered). If they can go and sign one of these guys I really like our rotation of Gallardo, Wolf, (Free Agent), Manny Parra, Dave Bush. That would be far and away better then last season. And if Bush stays healthy and Parra improves it could be very good. Second the Brewers need to resign Craig Counsell, and if they don't they need to find another veteran utility infielder that can spell 2B, SS or 3B. I hope they can resign Counsell, I would even be willing to give him a 2 year deal. He is coming off his best offensive season and his defense and intangibles are very important to a young club.
Those are really the only two things I think they need to resolve. Maybe a 4th and or 5th OF if they non-tender Jody Gerut. But really after they get that second SP and get their utility infielder they pretty much have all the other players already in the 40 man roster, it will just be a matter of who wins battles in Spring Training and what their roles will be on the club in 2010. So far I like what they have done and its nice to see the rest of the NL Central not doing much. I really believe that this Brewers team and compete with any of the teams in the NL Central.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Both players are a little older Wolf being 33 and Hawkins 36. So that might be a little worrisome. But overall I like both signings. In my opinion and many others Wolf was probably the second best SP on the market behind John Lackey (you could make a case for Harden, Sheets or Bedard but there are health issues there), he is coming off back-to-back seasons where he was stellar and made 30+ starts. While he is somewhat of a finesse pitcher who gets a lot of fly balls, he can strike guys out which is something Brewers pitcher other then Gallardo didn't do much of in 2009. While he is not quite the #2 we wanted behind Gallardo, he is a damn good #3, better then anyone else we had in 2009 other then Gallardo. Some people want to say this was a "Suppan Deal", I don't look at it that way. Wolf is a far better pitcher then Suppan and we signed him for less years and money (there is a 4th year club option). In this day and age you have to somewhat overpay for pitching because there just is not that much good pitching out there. And with as bad as the Brewers rotation was in 2009, Doug Melvin had to do something and is probably not done as far as starting pitching is concerned.
As for Hawkins, he should fit in perfectly as a setup man for Trevor Hoffman and during the course of the year and can serve as a closer if Hoffman needs a rest or God forbid Hoffman spends anytime on the DL. Right now as it stand with Hoffman as our closer I like how the pen shapes up in front of him with Hawkins, Vargas (deal is close as reported today by McCalvy and Haudricourt), Coffey and Stetter. OF course a few spots will be up for grabs between Villanueva, Smith, Narveson, etc. All in all a successful start to the offseason in my eyes with the trade of Hardy for Gomez and now the signings of Zaun, Wolf and Hawkins. Now lets go get another starter and lock up Counsell to be our utility infielder. Do it Doug!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
No word has been made yet if Peter is just leaving ESPN or if he is actually retiring. I'm really hoping that he joins MLB Network and writes columns on MLB.com. Peter, please do all of us baseball fans who need your knowledge and join MLB Network. Baseball just won't be the same without your expertise.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
You can be sure if any Brewers moves are made, I will have my reaction here at View From Bernie's Chalet. So check back throughout the week for updates.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Now that I got my Kendall bashing out of the way let me say I love the move to sign Gregg Zaun to be the starting catcher for the Brewers in 2010, how can you not? The guy has his own website www.greggzaun.com that plays Rush's "Limelight" before you enter the homepage. 1 year deal worth $1.9 mill with a second year club option. Zaun is a solid vet who has in my opinion been a pretty underrated catcher for quite a few years. While Zaun is certainly no Joe Mauer or Brian McCann, he is a switch hitting catcher who does a good job of getting on base (.345 OBP in 09') and can actually hit for a little power (8 HR/.416 SLG in 09'). He also does a decent job throwing runners out and is one of the best at blocking balls in the dirt. Kendall struggled MIGHTILY in both those categories in 2009. While I would have been okay with the Brewers letting prospect Jonathan Lucroy take over as the starting catcher in 2010, this is probably better for the club. Now you can give Lucroy a whole season at AAA to further develop his game before becoming the starting catcher in 2011.
The Brewers also still have Angel Salome down in AAA, recently signed off waivers George Kottares and arbitration eligible Mike Rivera. My guess is that Salome is traded in some package for pitching, Kottares wins the backup job and Rivera is non-tendered. Nice to see Doug make a good signing for a need of the team early in free agency this season to get the ball rolling. Hopefully during the winter meetings next week he can start getting the pitching help we need to really contend in 2010.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Do you think Manny Parra would benefit from starting the season in the minors or do you think he will finally put it all together out of Spring Training?
Klaw (1:03 PM)
I think it's time to think about putting him in the pen.
What do you think of Casey Mcghee? Do you really think he is the Brewers future at third? Is it wise for the Brewers to shop Gamel? What kind of return could he get?
Klaw (1:09 PM)
I don't think either guy is the future at 3rd. McGehee isn't going to hit enough, and Gamel can't play it.
I could see Parra being a good lefty out of the bullpen, but with his stuff I wouldn't give up on him as a starter and if I did I would trade him before I stuck him in the pen. As for the question on McGehee and Gamel, I like them both. I like Gamel more long term because of his potential with the bat but he has to improve his defense which he has shown signs of, but the jury is still out. It would be interesting to see what McGehee could do starting a full season with a healthy knee, see if 2009 was a fluke or if he is for real. His minor league numbers say it was a fluke. That doesn't mean it was. The Brewers have an interesting situation with those two players.