Monday, July 30, 2012

I Stand With Stan

Today the Milwaukee Brewers decided to make a move they hope will right the ship for their bullpen, firing the bullpen coach Stan Kyles. Much of the Brewer world is upset with this move, including myself. Kyles was a great person for the community, and although partially responsible for coaching his players has no direct influence on their performances.

Someone in the bullpen needed to suffer. After giving up 9 runs in a single game, everyone in baseball should have seen a move coming, but to fire the man who answers the phone and gets players ready seems like the wrong route. It is true, Kyles does have a role in working with bullpen pitchers. You can consider him the assistant pitching coach. But to fire someone in that bullpen who is not directly responsible for giving up run after run makes no sense. Kyles has not thrown a single pitch, he has not blown a single lead, he has not put the Brewers into insurmountable deficits, yet while he was surrounded by players who fit those criteria, he is the one without a job.

Congratulations to Kyles for taking the high road out of town. In his last moments with the media he basically said I understand why they did it. He didn’t whine about being the scapegoat. He didn’t complain like I am doing for him. Really if Stan doesn’t feel the need to fight this, the rest of the Brewers fandom should shut their mouths because when you get down to it, it’s only his battle to fight. I refuse to do that. As a fan it is offensive that they would take away the job of a coach, who has a family to support and does so much for this community, when you can get rid of one of the people directly responsible for the chaos. The pitchers get the message just as well if you get rid of one of them. Showing them that they can lose their job no matter how much credibility they have built up before this year.

I hope this move works. I hope every pitcher sitting in that bullpen, with the exception of Jim Henderson, sits out there and realizes that their poor performance is directly responsible for a man losing his job who didn’t deserve it. I hope they know that every home run they have allowed cost this man a profession he loves dearly. I hope they throw until their arms fall off and make this sacrifice at least worth something. I just hope if they do succeed no one takes it as a sign that this is the right move.

Congratulations to the Brewers front office for playing the villain. You had so many other options and chose the wrong one. I wouldn’t cut any of the coaches, but I would cut and send down almost all of the bullpen. If you’re going to punish someone, punish someone who is directly responsible.


Astros at Brewers Series Preview 7/30 through 8/1

Milwaukee Brewers (45-56) vs. Washington Nationals (35-68)

Miller Park

Probable Starters

Monday July 30th 7:10pm

Game 1

Marco Estrada (0-4 4.52 ERA) vs. Bud Norris (5-8 5.05 ERA)

Tuesday July 31st 7:10pm

Game 2

Yovani Gallardo (8-8 4.07 ERA) vs. Dallas Keuchel (1-3 4.63 ERA)

Wednesday August 1st 1:10pm

Game 3

Michael Fiers (4-4 1.77 ERA) vs. Jordan Lyles (2-7 5.54 ERA)

Good news! The Astros come to town! Better news! Every starter the Astros are sending to the mound had an ERA of 7 or worse in July! Bad news, the Brewers still have the same bullpen they did during the Nationals series, so really no situation is every a good situation after the starter leaves.

The picture for this series: the Astros are bad, very very very bad. But collectively they probably have more talent than our bullpen that can give up multiple leads in one game and nine runs in a matter of 5 innings. The Brewers starters should be looking at going 9 innings to get a win.

The best chance for the Brewers to win? Wednesday with Fiers taking the mound. Fiers has given up ONLY 4 RUNS OVER HIS LAST SEVEN STARTS. They also have a great chance with Yovani going against the Astros. Yo has an 11-2 record with a 2.72 ERA in his career against the ‘Stros.

This is probably the best chance for the Crew to win in a long time, unless major changes come to the ‘pen that are much more significant (and less douche) than firing a bullpen coach that has minimal impact on pitching performance, the Brewers can get swept in any series. I think the Brewers will take 2 of 3. I wouldn’t be surprised if they go 0-3. I suggest every fan stops watching in the seventh. That’s what I started doing and the Brewers are a lot better in my head than they are in real life.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Episode 51 "Jim Henderson Edition"

Breakdown of The Show:

Greinke For Segura/Hellweg/Pena 0:00-18:30
Bullpen Goes From Bad To Total Joke 18:30-29:00
Rotation Rest Of Season? 29:00-43:00
Preview/Around NL Central/Chalet Award Winner 43:00-51:00

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Nationals at Brewers Series Preview 7/26 to 7/29

Milwaukee Brewers (44-53) vs. Washington Nationals (58-39)

Miller Park

Probable Starters

Thursday July 26th 7:10pm

Game 1

Yovani Gallardo (8-7 3.72 ERA) vs. Edwin Jackson (5-6 3.73 ERA)

Friday July 27th 7:10pm

Game 2

Mike Fiers (3-4 1.96 ERA) vs. Ross Detweiler (5-3 3.01 ERA)

Saturday July 28th 6:10pm

Game 3

Randy Wolf (3-6 5.46 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmerman (7-6 2.31 ERA)

Sunday July 29th 1:10pm

Game 4

Zack Greinke (9-3 3.44 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (13-5 3.13 ERA)

And enter the Nationals. Washington has been destroying competition left and right. They have the best record in the National League (by a very small margin) and lead all of baseball in team-ERA at 3.20. They have the likely Rookie of the Year on their team in Bryce Harper. They are just having an amazing year.

The Brewers, on the other hand, are not having the greatest season. They are in sell mode, lost 6 straight, including a lot of blow saves, and have sunk into the depths of MLB sucking. But they do have some good things going for them. They get Jonathon Lucroy back and have a 15-2 record over their last 17 home games against the Nationals, but I should reiterate, they aren’t the same Nationals.

The Brewers best chance to win is Game 2. Fiers looks like he can outpitch anyone in the majors right now. They also have good chances on Game 1 and Game 4, but Greinke’s probably out the door and Yo isn’t a sure thing in any game this year.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Brewers lost all four games. Mainly because of their well documented crappy bullpen. At the same time I can see the Brewers taking 3 of 4 here. The best news for them in this series? It’s 4 games and not a single one is against Stephen Strasburg. Let’s be optimistic, Nats take the series 3-1


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Brewers Are Selling. What's On The Shelves?

This past series against the Reds cemented what almost every fan has known for months, the 2012 Milwaukee Brewers are losers. Yes, it’s true and disappointing, but not only are they losers, they have talent that is good and will be gone soon, or is filling up space in payroll the front office will need to rebuild this team.

So it’s time to take a look at what the Brewers can sell and a few players they should probably think about selling.

Players That Are Available

Zack Greinke- This is the one everyone already knows. Greinke doesn’t want the contract the Brewers are offering right now, so in order to get an immediate return on the pitcher Milwaukee needs to ditch him. This is the most valuable piece they have (obvious statement I know), but most teams won’t pay in top prospects with the new rules of the CBA (restrictions in pick compensation for losing a A or B player). So, unless the Brewers and the team getting Greinke agree to a deal where the other team signs Greinke before a trade is completed I think the Brewers will most likely get AA to A players no higher than top 50 in value. I believe Melvin is looking for better, but might not get it.

Francisco Rodriguez- It’s true he’s the new closer, but K-Rod costs a lot and is gone after this season. Some teams really need a high end reliever at the back end of their bullpen so Rodriguez will probably have some good value, but he is more valuable if the Brewers eat some of his contract. I think a AA pitcher with late inning bullpen pitcher is a great return of K-Rod and something that fills the Crew’s needs for the future.

Nyjer Morgan- With the arrival of Norichika Aoki, I can’t believe Morgan isn’t available. Considering the season Morgan is having, I cannot believe the Brewers can expect much in terms of return for Nyjer. He is cheaper and has another 2 years before he’s a free agent, but considering he isn’t always considered a team player, and has little value outside of defense and speed I think the Brewers could get a mid-level AAA prospect. A role bench player and nothing more.

Players That Are Probably Available

Randy Wolf- The lefty has an option left on his contract and can fill the back end of a rotation. But his value diminished this year with his performance. Not many teams are looking for a starter with an ERA above 5, but his recent performances may have redeemed him to some GM’s. Plus he is probably a lot better as a #5 than most player in the league in that role.

George Kottaras- Every team needs more catching, beside the Brewers. With the arrival of Martin Maldonado the Brewers actually have two plus catchers locked up for a very long time. Teams will probably be interested since he has some pop too, but if they trade Wolf they might need to throw in Kottaras so he has someone to pitch to on his next team.

Kameron Loe- A solid reliever. Probably only low-A return to get anything valuable. Probably a player that could get packaged with someone else.

Players That Should Be Available

Aramis Ramirez- A good investment to start the season but now he’s an old guy eating roster space. Not a rental, still has value and can immediately help a contender. A-Ram is the type of player that can bring back a good return for the Brewers. I don’t think they will sell him because they want a hitter behind Braun.

Corey Hart- See Aramis Ramirez. I think his prominence at first base will make the Brewers much less interested in selling compared to if he was still playing right. If the Brewers sell either of these players it’s only going to be one of them.

If the Team Trades This Guy It’s a Fire Sale

Rickie Weeks- A few years on his contract. When he’s on he’s one of the most valuable second baseman in the league. If he was traded last year, he could get a Dan Uggla type haul. This year he could bring back some nice pieces but nothing completely mind blowing. Unless Melvin can do a great sell job it’s probably better to wait until his value is back up. Maybe even this offseason.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Brewers at Phillies Series Preiew 7/23 to 7/25

Milwaukee Brewers (44-50) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (42-54)

Citizens Bank Park

Probable Starters

Monday July 23rd 6:05pm

Game 1

Randy Wolf (3-6 5.60 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (4-5 3.96 ERA)

Tuesday July 24th 6:05pm

Game 2

Zack Greinke (9-3 3.57 ERA) vs. Cliff Lee (1-6 3.72 ERA)

Wednesday July 25th 12:05pm

Game 3

Marco Estrada (0-4 4.10 ERA) vs. Vance Worley (5-6 3.82 ERA)

This series in Philly is a battle between two teams cursed after losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2011 Post-Season. Philadelphia went from being perennial division leaders for the past 4 years to bottom dwellers thanks to injuries and a decline in pitching.

The Brewers are in a similar decline just the Brewers are coming off one year of success, and they were just swept by a division rival on the road. They most likely are sellers and will be looking forward to the future, not 2012. So setting the table, this is a series of losers vs. losers.

The best chance for the Brewers to win is in Game 1. Wolf is 1-0 with a 4.60 ERA in his last 3 starts. That’s not good, but where it becomes great for the Brewers is in over the course of Halladay’s last 3 starts he is 0-2 with a 7.62 ERA. Along with Wolf’s great career numbers against the Phillies, this is the best matchup of the series for the Crew.

They also stand a good chance in Game 2, what will most likely be the last start Greinke makes a s a Brewer in 2012. Greinke is coming off a long break after starting three games in a row, and if you believe Roenicke and Melvin, that should help him perform better. Greinke’s recent numbers aren’t strong, but it’s in a very limited showing. On the other hand, Lee has been one of the Phillies best starters, but as you can tell by his 1-6 record, his teams isn’t backing him up in those starts.

Overall these two teams look equally matched and the best part? Both rosters could be completely different by Wednesday since they are both rumored sellers. In an equally matched series, I go with the home team to take the win. I’m guessing the Phillies come away 2-1 winning games 2 and 3.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Episode 50 "Chris Spurling Edition"

Breakdown of The Show:

Recharging Greinke's Batteries 0:00-20:00
Axford to K-Rod, Right Move? 20:00-41:00
Lucroy, Marcum Back Soon 41:00-1:01:00
Preview/Around NL Central/Chalet Award Winner 1:01:00-1:10:00

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Episode 49 "Yovani Gallardo Edition"

Breakdown of The Show:

Looking Back 0:00-20:00
Looking Ahead 20:00-43:00
Prospect Talk 43:00-1:00:00
Preview/Around NL Central/Chalet Award Winner 1:00:00-1:14:00