Saturday, February 28, 2009

Crew Tops Oakland, 8-5

The Brewers beat Oakland, 8-5 on Friday. Manny Parra pitched two solid innings and Angel Salome had the lone homerun of the game. The Brewers had five steals. Prince Fielder is still looking for his first hit during Spring Training. Recap

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cubs beat Crew 7-4

Cubs beat up on Seth McClung for four runs and won 7-4. Recap

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Brewers & Athletics End in Tie in Extra Innings

The Brewers and Athletics game ended in a tie for the first spring training game of the season for the two clubs. The score was 3-3, and the game ended in the 10th frame. Jason Kendall, Corey Hart, Craig Counsell, Brad Nelson, and Scott Thorman all batted 1.000 for the Crew. Hart also had a steal. Recap.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rotation set for Spring Training

I could not be more displeased with the rotation for Spring Training. It is not so much of what it is in Spring Training, it is the fact that this could probably be the rotation when the regular season begins.

Jeff Suppan
Yovani Gallardo
Manny Parra
Braden Looper
Dave Bush

Macha couldn't be more off on this rotation (I could care less if this is the Spring Training rotation, but I am worried it will be the regular season). Macha did emphasize that he does not mean they will line up like that in the regular season.

First off, Suppan is awful and will only do well as the fifth person in the rotation. Bush is much better than a No. 5, Looper should be the No. 1. I agree with having Gallardo as the No. 2 until the All-Star break. Although, he is clearly the Brew Crew's ace and should probably just be the ace right away. I would move Parra down one spot to No. 4 and put Bush as the No. 3. Having Suppan as our ace is a disaster in the making. The man can't keep the ball in the park and pitches well about one of every five games. I like him as the No. 5 but nothing more than that.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Can Brewers chemistry rope in a NL Central Division Crown?

The Milwaukee Brewers by far have one of the best (if not the best) chemistry's in the MLB. The crop of youth in Milwaukee has played years of baseball with each other- Rickie Weeks, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, JJ Hardy, Yovani Gallardo, Manny Parra, Tony Gwynn Jr. etc. These guys are all around the same ages. They have tremendous chemistry and enjoy playing with one another. Where other teams bring in new talent every year like the Yankees and Red Sox, the Brew Crew bring em' through the Minors. Talent has a lot to do with making a pennant run but it doesn't mean everything (look at Tampa Bay coming out of the woodworks last year). Guys that can play with each other and have smaller egos are going to work better with each other and have more fun playing. Talent isn't everything (look at last year's Yankees. I am going to go out on a limb, but I think it will be the same for this year's Yankees- they will make it to the playoffs but won't make it far.)

The Brewers made a big step last year as the Wild Card team, but will chemistry and a heap of talent finally take them to a Division pennant? My answer is no unless the Cubs completely fall apart. But, I love watching how much fun they have playing together. I just don't think the pitching will be strong enough to put it all together to take first place. I still give them second place and think the Brewers offense will have a break-out season. They are a legit candidate at another Wild Card birth especially if Capuano comes back around June 1.

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Fielder dropped some pounds over off-season

Prince Fielder came into camp noticeably slimmer after receiving a new contract. The Brewers said he is much more cheerful and easy-going after dropping the weight and with his new two-year contract. He vows to keep off the weight in 2009. It is unknown how much he weighs right now because he doesn't like scales. Video and article of Fielder here.

I'm feeling pretty good about Prince this year. I think having some economic security right now will help Fielder concentrate on only baseball. He said that he has been very happy. I think his stats will translate into what he did his rookie year.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rest for the Weary

Jason Kendall may see more bench time this season. Kendall led the Majors with 149 starts last season at catcher. Skipper Ken Macha would like to have backup Mike Rivera start at least once every time through the rotation. He does not want Kendall slowing down at the end of the season.

I think this would be a great idea for the Brewers to put Rivera in the lineup more. Rivera is a solid catcher who should have seen more time last year, especially when Kendall's numbers started to drop off. Kendall won't be happy to see any bench time but that is Macha's decision. Rivera batted .306 with 14 RBI in 62 at-bats.

I am starting to love Macha who has already made a few decisions that I wanted to see done last year. Former manager Ned Yost was not a good coach, putting pitchers in at the wrong time and never really vocalizing with his players to tell them what they did wrong. Macha is a big step up because he is not afraid of displeasing his players and he adds some much needed toughness, exactly what this young team was lacking a year ago.

To see more about this, check out: Milwaukee Brewers homepage

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Gag(me) Gagne is back!

According to JSOnline, Eric Gagne is back with the Brewers. He signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring camp. The terms of his contract are yet to be disclosed.

Gagne will compete for the setup role. Last season he went 4-3 with a 5.44 era, and 10 saves in 17 chances. He was stripped of the closer position for Solomon Torres who retired after the season.

Minor league deal? No risk, but there won't be any reward. I don't see him on the Brewers roster this year unless he somehow shakes his funk.

There's a guy that steroids did wonders for. It's like having Derrick Turnbow back on the team. Just a complete waste of roster space if he actually makes the team but might as well give him the chance, in case there is that small-miniscule chance that he redeems himself.

Gallardo not the No. 1 Guy?

According to reports, the Brewers head coach Ken Macha, doesn't want Yovani Gallardo as the opening day starter. He doesn't want too much pressure on his young star, especially after missing most of last season with injury. New signee Braden Looper and Dave Bush are two contenders to be the ace. Macha also said that after the All-Star break, if Gallardo is pitching well enough, he will most likely take over as the ace.

Maybe it isn't such a bad idea to put the veterans in the front part of the rotation. Macha might have something there... I would still have Gallardo in the front part of the rotation, probably as the No. 2 guy until the All-Star break. He can flat-out pitch and I don't know if I like Looper and Bush going back-to-back in the rotation.

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Brewers Looking at Chad Cordero Tomorrow

According to, the Brew Crew reportedly have interest in closer Chad Cordero. Cordero, who was injured almost all of last season (pitched just 4.1 innings due to shoulder surgery), is holding workouts for interested clubs. Milwaukee has been interested in the 27-year-old for awhile. They will be one of several teams to take a look at Cordero's throwing session on Wednesday.

Milwaukee previously signed Trevor Hoffman this offseason to shore up the closer role. But, with Hoffman's age (plus only a one-year deal), the Brewers would like to have a closer for the future and Cordero would fit that role. Milwaukee has yet to discuss anything about where Cordero fit's in the relief position. My speculation is that they would start him off slow since he missed a year and than slowly work him back as the setup man. That is unless Seth McClung (who I think will be the setup man to start the season) is doing a great job. If the Brewers sign Cordero and he pitches well through the season, I wouldn't be surprised if they gave Hoffman a few games off either, so they don't wear him out.

Cordero has impressive stats and would be a great signing for the Crew: 20 Wins, 14 losses, 320.2 INN., 292 K, 11 HLD, 128 Saves - 24 Blown Saves, 2.78 ERA.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Brew Crew's Starting Lineup Theme Songs (Not actual theme songs for this year)

Here's my theme songs for Brew Crew's everyday lineup:

1. Rickie Weeks

Theme song: Under Pressure- Queen & David Bowie

Why? One more campaign of under achieving won't look so good when he sends out his resume.

Backup Song: When I Come Around- Green Day

Still waiting for that one to be heard but he has shown signs of greatness...

2. J.J. Hardy

Theme Song: Anyway You Want It- Journey

Why? Hardy can do it all and is going to be a great player for years to come. He is small but versatile. Can hit the homerun (as a shortstop), has gold glove potential, doesn't strike out often and puts the ball into play. He's a hard worker and a team player. The lyrics, "Anyway you want it, that's the way you need it" rings in my head when I look at him.

Backup Song: It's In The Way That You Use It- Eric Clapton. He is small guy but has an immense amount of talent for his build.

3. Ryan Braun

Theme Song: Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours- Stevie Wonder

Why? Seven-year contract last year, that's why. No better feeling for Brewers fans than knowing that we have an incredible outfielder locked up for many years to come.

Backup Song: Danger Zone- Kenny Loggins. Pitcher's beware: Don't throw it in his wheel house because he will take advantage. It's something I like to call the Danger Zone- well put Kenny Loggins. Look for Brauny to be a MVP candidate this season.

4. Prince Fielder

Theme Song: Encore- Jay-Z ft. Linkin Park

Why? Have you ever seen Fielder hit a homerun or play pickle in the middle with a catcher? It is one of the greatest spectacles you'll ever see in baseball. The homeruns are monsterous and well when you get into a rundown with a heavy set man that can sprint pretty well for his size, your going to get a concussion and possibly end up dead. Ask a former San Francisco Giants catcher Todd Greene and he'll let you know how it feels to be run over by Fielder. Or ask Brewers Manny Parra if he will ever say any smart comment back to Fielder. "Now can I get an encore, do you want more?" Yes, I do. Video of Fielder and Parra-

Backup song: Hungry Like the Wolf-Duran Duran. Is this a fat joke? Yes it is. Another backup is I Won't Back Down- Tom Petty. Don't mess with him.

5. Corey Hart

Theme Song: I Wear My Sunglasses at Night- Corey Hart. No not the baseball player, the singer.

Why? Why not? They have the exact same name. Hart is good enough and cool enough that I give him permission to wear his sunglasses at night.

Backup Song: The Stroke- Billy Squier. Forget what the lyrics actually mean, the guy has a sweet stroke at the plate. He is a strong hitter and most of the time puts the ball in play. He has amazing speed and has a great glove in right field.

6. Mike Cameron

Theme Song: I'm Alright- Kenny Loggins

Why? Because he is an alright player and veteran enough that nobody has to worry about his progression. He pretty much puts up the same statistics every year but he is better than alright in the center field- he is tremendous. You know what you are going to get from him year in and year out. "I'm alright, don't nobody worry 'bout me."

Backup Song: Paranoid- Black Sabbath. He has to be a little paranoid after almost getting traded to the New York Yankees twice. Talks died for awhile than heated back up. I'd be a little paranoid, wondering will I stay or will I go?

7. Bill Hall

Theme Song: Drive me crazy- Fine Young Cannibals

Why? Because he drives me crazy, simply put. He strikes out way too much and the Crew need to get rid of him after this season. Given that this song is about how much a girl drives a guy crazy in a good way the lyrics can be spun around and made negative: "He drives me crazy, like no one else. He drives me crazy (ooh ooh) and I can't help myself."

Backup song: Big Yellow Taxi- Counting Crows. Because I want him to be out of the every day lineup. I like him especially in the field and how he has handled moving to so many different positions. But, it is time to part ways and put him in a Big Yellow Taxi. I thought about using Fly me to the Moon- Frank Sinatra- but he isn't that bad.

8. Jason Kendall-

Theme Song: When You Were Young- The Killers

Why? Well is much older now but when he was young he was one of the best hitting catcher of all time. Now all of a sudden his defense has picked up and his hitting has declined. Weird how that happened. Still a valuable asset to a team that needs veteran leadership.

Backup Song: A Pirate Looks at 40- Jimmy Buffett. Not just a crack at his age but is it just me or does Kendall look like a cross between a pirate and Charles Manson? Creepy.

I would like to publicly thank Kenny Loggins for having great theme songs from Top Gun and Caddyshack that fit right into the Brewers theme songs.
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Monday, February 9, 2009

Looper Super!

According to Milwaukee's official website, the Brewers are closing in on a deal and nearly have Braden Looper signed to a contract but nothing is official yet. Milwaukee has said they were most likely done with picking any free agents up but decided to pull the trigger on Looper. A smart move on GM Doug Melvin's part because Milwaukee needs some depth. The move will likely take Seth McClung out of the rotation and move him to a setup role for closer Trevor Hoffman.

Looper would be a big addition in Milwaukee. He is a ground ball pitcher and rarely is injured. It is uncertain if the 34-year-old will get more than a one year contract, Melvin has yet to comment on the subject.

Here is how Looper stacks up with the rest of the Brew Crew's rotation:
Looper: 12
Parra: 10
Suppan: 10
Bush: 9
McClung: 6

Looper: 14
Bush: 10
Suppan: 10
Parra: 8
McClung: 6

Looper: 199
Bush: 185
Suppan: 177 2/3
Parra: 166
McClung 105 1/3

McClung: 4.02
Looper: 4.16
Bush: 4.18
Parra: 4.39
Suppan: 4.96

Parra: 147
Bush: 109
Looper: 108
Suppan: 90
McClung: 87

Looper is top three in all of those categories but leads the worst category with 14 losses. However, a 4.16 era is not deserving of a 14-loss season. But than again it is baseball, anything can happen. There is no doubt who the ace of the staff is in a young Yovani Gallardo, he is the future of the Brewers. He had injury problems last season but is dynamic on the mound and has a great bat to go along with it. Both Dave Bush and Manny Parra showed flashes of brilliance last season. Bush heated up down the stretch while Parra cooled off considerably (most likely because of the pressure and he was inexperienced). Another year on Parra makes him wiser and you can't argue with his stats- 166 innings pitched and 147 strikeouts. I look for Parra and Bush to surprise a lot of people this year. I personally have a hard time taking Seth McClung out of the rotation but I think he will exceed in the setup role. McClung had very solid numbers last season and is underrated. He had a 4.02 era, 105 innings pitched to 87 k, pretty solid stats. If I could take anyone out of the rotation it would be Jeff Suppan because, well, he is high-priced garbage. The guy gets it done every once and awhile but too many times the other team takes advantage and drills him for homeruns.

So, what would my rotation be?
1. Gallardo
2. Looper
3. Parra
4. Bush
5. Suppan

I would put McClung as the setup man at least for the beginning part of the season and see what Soup can do. If Soup messes up and gets pegged than bring McClung into the rotation. Suppan can go to middle to long relief depending on what they need and move reliever Jorge Julio to the setup role. I think Suppan will do alright especially if he pitches as a number five but the Brewers won't have him that far back in the rotation.

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Braden Looper a Brewer?

Reports that Braden Looper will be signed before Spring Training are heating up. Brewers lost two crucial starters in CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets but still have a decent rotation if they stay healthy. That is the cause for concern after Yovani Gallardo was out for most of last year. Everyone else on the Brewers stayed healthy for the most part.

If it were up to me I would pull the trigger and sign Looper to be a long reliever and if anyone gets injured the Brewers still have a viable pitcher to take whatever spot in the rotation. Chris Capuano may be an option but he hasn't pitched for awhile and unless he stuns the Brew Crew during Spring Training will part with Milwaukee and head down to Nashville. I look for him to be up in Milwaukee contributing at some point during the season.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Let's say every player in Major League Baseball was put in a free agent pool and your team is up. For one reason or another you have to pick a former Brewers player. You skim the names and discretely go back and forth through the names and you narrow it down to five names. Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, JJ Hardy, Corey Hart, and Yovani Gallardo.

If you were a general manager who would you pick?

My pick...Simple- I have to go with Ryan Braun. His numbers speak for themselves and he strikes out a lot less than Fielder. I have a lot of faith that Gallardo (if healthy) can win a CY Young in the next few years but his health is my issue. Hardy and Hart are studs but they aren't going to put up the big numbers I am looking for.

Damaged Goods

It's official: Ben Sheets is damaged goods...WHAT?! I know hard to believe right? It turns out that Sheets had surgery to repair his elbow and has yet to sign with a team, although the Rangers are closing in. In eight seasons with the Brew Crew, the ace has been put on the disabled list six times. Since Sheets has yet to sign with a team, the Brewers will be stuck paying his medical bill. The Rangers will most likely sign in in the upcoming weeks. It could be worse for the Brewers, they could be paying his salary for missing most, if not all of next season. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, his rehabilitation could take more than nine months to heal. So Brewers fans, Milwaukee may be stuck with the med bill but optimistically the Brewers are done hoping Sheets will be the same person that struck out 16 batters against the Braves or the one that pitched so well last year that he was named the ace in the All-Star game. That false hope that the Brewers can get to the World Series with a healthy Ben Sheets. Sheets like Mark Prior both were two of the most talented pitchers and it is disappointing that injury problems took away from the world seeing just what those two healthy could do. But, when someone has arm injuries as a pitcher more than likely they fail to make a full comeback without something happening along the way. His free agency could not have happened at a more opportune time. Like Brett Favre jetting to New York, it is time for the Brewers to look at life without Sheets and once again start building for the future, this time a rotation. They aren't the Brewers of old, they have the talent in the big leagues to make the playoffs and even make a deep run. But they need one more piece to the puzzle. Sheets just isn't the right fit anymore.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Milwaukee Starting Lineup/Pitching Rotation

Given that the Milwaukee Brewers do not make any transactions before the season begins, here is what I think the starting lineup and starting rotation will be (Some of them I don't agree with but I think that is how it will shake out):


1. Rickie Weeks
2. JJ Hardy

3. Ryan Braun
4. Prince Fielder
5. Corey Hart
6. Mike Cameron

7. Bill Hall
8. Jason Kendall
9. Pitcher

Best two players off the bench: Craig Counsell and TBD. My thoughts are Tony Gwynn or possibly Brad Nelson (if either makes the show). Mat Gamel and Alcides Escobar will get strong looks during camp and could possibly make the team. Escobar is a stronger possiblity because Gamel still has much work to do on his weak defensive play. If he wasn't a weak third baseman Gamel would be the Brewers everyday third baseman and Hall more than likely would have been traded already.

Starting Rotation:
1. Yovani Gallardo*
2. Manny Parra
3. Jeff Suppan

4. Dave Bush
5. Seth McClung

Closer: Trevor Hoffman
Setup: Jorge Julio

My everyday lineup if I was Ken Macha:

1. JJ Hardy

2. Mike Cameron
3. Ryan Braun
4. Prince Fielder

5. Corey Hart
6. Rickie Weeks

7. Bill Hall
8. Jason Kendall
9. Pitcher

I would bat Hardy in the leadoff spot because he is one of the few Brewers who doesn't strike out much and is a great contact hitter. Cameron could also bat leadoff but I like him better in the two hole. I would move Weeks down to six because he strikes out too much and until he shows that he can make good contact and raise his batting average he can't bat in the leadoff spot. Hall is a decent player but his best days are behind him and I look for him to get traded at the deadline. He did have lasik surgery so hopefully that will help him get back to the player he was a few seasons ago. It also helps that he is actually staying put at third base this year and doesn't have to get readjusted to another position.

My starting rotation if I was Ken Macha:
1. Yovani Gallardo

2. Manny Parra
3. Dave Bush

4. Jeff Suppan
5. Seth McClung
Closer: Hoffman
Setup: Either Julio or possibly Carlos Villanueva. Although Villanueva has proven that he can eat up innings in the bullpen so I think I would stay with Julio.

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