Monday, September 8, 2014

There Is Hope Brewers Fans | 2014 Playoffs Are Still An Option

The Milwaukee Brewers are in the middle of one of the worst runs by any contending team this late in the season across Major League Baseball in recent memory. Milwaukee is just 3-14 in their last 17 games, and 1-11 in their last 12 games. The pitching which has been magnificent all season has all of a sudden fallen apart, and the offense which has played so well all year, has all of a sudden gone silent.

Despite all of that everything that has happened, there is still hope. The Brewers sit just a half a game out of the second wild card spot. Milwaukee is in the middle of an 11 game home stand. Yes it didn’t start well losing three out of four this weekend to St. Louis, but were talking about the Cardinals here. When the lights go on in September and October, the Cardinals are at their best. Doesn’t mean the Brewers can’t win the wild card and go on a postseason run though. The next seven games are all at home and they are four against Miami and three against Cincinnati. If the Brewers are going to turn this around, they must go, at the bare minimum, 4-3 in these games, but they will need to go 5-2, possibly 6-1 to make a difference. After that they have six huge road games, three in St. Louis and three in Pittsburgh. They will need to go 4-2 in those games. Then to finish the season they have three on the road against Cincinnati and three at home against Chicago. They will need to go 4-2 bare minimum in those games.

If they are going to right the ship the starting pitching needs to get back to where it was the first 4.5 months of the season. Someone actually said they need to replace Jimmy Nelson in the rotation. Let me tell you this, Jimmy Nelson is the least of their concerns right now in the rotation. Garza and Lohse need to stop giving up home runs as does Yovani Gallardo. I believe the Brewers missed their chance to trade Gallardo before the start of the last season, but that is a different debate for a different post, right now this is about the Brewers postseason chances. They also need Carlos Gomez’s wrist to heal fast, if Gomez can’t get back in the lineup and perform well by the end of this home stand, it’s over. The situation is desperate, but there is still hope.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Brewers Bullpen Options For Last Month of 2014

Brewers Bullpen
News broke last week that relief Pitcher Jim Henderson is out for the season. This means the Brewers could be searching for another bullpen arm for the stretch. Here are some ideas for arms they could find who could help.

Carlos Torres/RHP/New York Mets- Torres is a decent cheap relief pitcher who can get guys out. Torres is having a decent season with an ERA of 3.38 and a WHIP of 2.38, both near his career averages.

Buddy Carlyle/RHP/New York Mets- the other Met on this list is the veteran Buddy Carlyle. Buddy has been around for a long time and is have a nice season at the age of 36. In 20 innings pitched this season, he owns an ERA of 1.33 and a WHIP of 0.89, both well below his career averages. This one has bad idea written all over it.

Matt Belisle/RHP/Colorado Rockies- Belisle is having a solid season in Colorado, owning an ERA of 4.80 and a WHIP of 1.89. Remember, those numbers are inflated in the Rocky Mountain climate. Belisle is a veteran who can get people out.

Javy Guerra/RHP/Chicago White Sox- Guerra is having a great season on the South side. As stands, Guerra is sporting a 2.88 ERA and a WHIP of 1.31 on the season, both right exactly at his career averages. Guerra would make a lot of sense for Milwaukee.

Tony Sipp/LHP/Houston Astros- Sipp is having a magnificent season in Houston, sporting a 2.41 ERA and a WHIP of 0.78 in 41 innings pitched. Sipp is very available and I am surprised Melvin hasn’t made a move for him yet.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Last Call For Trades Before The MLB Deadline

MLB Trade Deadline
The 2014 Major League Baseball trade deadline is upon us, which means the rumor mills are spinning once again. This trade deadlines hopes to be more lively than last years. In fact, Oakland got the party started early when old Billy Beane through us another curveball, trading for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. Let’s examine the trade market for other big names.

Jon Lester- It appears as if the Red Sox will not be able to extend Lester before the trade deadline. With the Red Sox all but out of it, a trade seems both likely and imminent. Big news broke last week when it was reported that the Red Sox and Dodgers are discussing a one for one trade, Jon Lester for Matt Kemp. Other fits for Lester include the Brewers (unlikely, but technically still a fit), Atlanta, Seattle, and St. Louis.

David Price- speaking of St. Louis, if the Dodgers trade for Matt Kemp it places the Cardinals as the sole front runners for David Price, and the only team with the pieces necessary to trade for Price. Other teams could inquire, such as the Angles and Braves, but only St. Louis has what the Rays are looking for.

Giancarlo Stanton- This is the biggest bat on the market, literally. Stanton has as much pure power as anyone in baseball history. Being so young, the asking price for Stanton will be sky high. The Pirates and Reds are both interested, as are the Yankees. However, the Marlins will ask for the world, and probably won’t get it, which means Stanton stays.

Chase Ultey- This one is kind of difficult, as Ultey has afull no trade clause. I personally disagree with these, as they make it hard to run a baseball team. So the question is will Ultey wave it and for whom? As I’ve said all along, the Cardinals make too much sense here. St. Louis has a huge need at second base and they can’t hit right handed pitching. Both problems solved in one shot.

Troy Tulowitzki- This is the most unlikely out of all, as Tulowitzki has a albatross contract and is injured. The Pirates and Cardinals are both interested, but a move seems unlikely.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bullpen Arms That Could Help Milwaukee In 2014

The Milwaukee Brewers beat the St. Louis Cardinals, to retake sole possession of first place again heading into the All Star Break, but they have not been playing well at all the last several weeks. Many analysts are saying it’s only a matter of time before they are out of first place. Still, they will be contenders, and even though they don’t have the pieces to make a significant trade, and even if they did they shouldn’t, they could still add a bullpen arm that could help in the 6th- 7th inning. Here is a list of potential arms they could go after.

Tony Sipp/LHP/Houston- Sipp is having a solid season. He has an ERA of 2.77, and a WHIP of 0.85, both of which are better than his career averages. For his career, Sipp has an ERA of 3.74 and a WHIP of 1.26.

Chad Qualls/RHP/Houston- Sipp’s teammate, Qualls, is having a magnificent season for the Astros. For the season, Qualls has an ERA of 1.95 and a WHIP of 1.08, both better than his career averages. For his career, Qualls has an ERA of 3.71 and a WHIP of 1.27.

Brian Duensing/LHP/Minnesota- The Twins are in a youth movement, much like the Astros, and so the 31-year-old Duensing’s time in Minnesota may be coming to an end. He is having a good season, with an ERA of 2.52 and a WHIP of 1.32. For his career, he has an ERA of 4.32 and a WHIP of 1.39.

Brad Zielger/RHP/Arizona- Basically every member of the Diamondbacks team except Paul Goldschmidt is available. Zielger has a unique release that gets the job done. This season, Zielger has an ERA of 2.42 and a WHIP of 1.06. Both numbers are right around his career averages. He could be a little pricey though for Milwaukee’s liking.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Brewers Dominate Pirates In Early 2014 Season

Pirates and Brewers
In recent years, the Milwaukee Brewers have dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates. That dominance continued this weekend as the Brewers took 3 out of 4 this weekend in Pittsburgh.

The first game of this four game series was defined by one inning, the bottom of the 8th for the Pittsburgh Pirates. When the game entered the bottom of the 8th, the score was just 5-2 and the Brewers were still hanging around. However 20 minutes of non-stop hitting by the Pirates changed all of that. A home run, a single, a double, and a three-run bomb by Pedro Alvarez later the Pirates led 11-2, and that was the final score. The pitcher who gave up all of those runs? We—Chung Wang, who’s ERA ballooned to 27.00 after this outing.

Game two went a little better for Milwaukee. Kyle Lohse continued his strong early season performance in this game. Loshe pitched 6.1 innings, gave up three walks, four hits, three runs, two of them unearned, and struck out five. The Brewers bullpen was excellent to finish this game, giving up just two hits, walking one batter, and not giving up a run.

Game three was somewhat of a slug fest. Matt Garza, the Brewers big off season free agent signing, had another below-average outing. Garza pitched 5 innings, walked three batters, gave up 8 hits, and 6 runs. His counterpart, Wandy Rodriguez, did not fair much better. Rodriguez pitched just four innings, gave up six hits, and was scored on four times. The offense was the story of this game. Ryan Braun was three for five with a pair of home runs. All five of Braun’s home runs this season have come against the Pirates. Jonathan Lucroy was three of five as well with two RBI’s. The final score was 8-7 Milwaukee.

Then came Sunday and was Sunday’s game ever interesting. Both pitchers had great starts on Sunday, especially Gerrit Cole, who went 8 strong innings, giving up six hits and just one run. However Cole will not be remembered for his pitching performance today but rather what happened in the third inning. Carlos Gomez stopped to watch to see if he had hit a home run, he didn’t and ended up on third with a triple. Gerrit Cole confronted Gomez at third base. This resulted in a bench –clearing brawl in which Gomez and Pirates outfielder Travis Snider were ejected. The game ended up going 14 innings, with the Brewers winning 3-2. The story of this game was not the win, but the brawl.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Brewers Need to Make More Moves Before 2014 Season Starts

Well it appears as if the Milwaukee Brewers are done making moves this off season, although one could say they didn’t really make any to begin with outside of one signing, which is true. But, in all seriousness, we do know this will be the roster the Brewers head to Spring Training with. Despite the Matt Garza signing, I will tell you this isn’t a playoff roster, and if Melvin is smart, he will move some more veterans in season at the trade deadline for prospects. Below are a list of names I believe could get traded.

Aramis Ramirez/3B- It seems as if the veteran Ramirez has been a trade candidate for a long time now. Well, now is the time to trade him, especially if he has a good productive season. Where will he get traded? Well, a lot of that will depend on who could use a veteran bat at the trade deadline. Right now one such possibility could be Baltimore.

Jim Henderson/RP- I know a lot of you may think I’m insane for wanting to trade Henderson. However Henderson reminds me of a young Latroy Hawkins- big fastball, and not much else. If you think we way to the beginning of Hawkins career, he was a closer for a while based on that fastball. Teams began to wise up to it and hitters began to sit back and time that big fastball in the 9th inning. I think it would be wise for Melvin to trade Henderson before everyone else realizes this.

Rickie Weeks/2B- I know a lot of you may read this and say “Yes Please!.” Let me remind you though that somebody would want him in order for the Brewers to trade him. Right now, it appears as if Milwaukee couldn’t give him away if they wanted to. Nobody wants that contract. Well, if they can build value for him somehow, enough that they could dump him on somebody, they will move him as soon as they do.

Kyle Lohse/SP- Kyle Lohse was the confusing signing for 2013. Milwaukee gave up a first round drat choice to sign him. Right now,. Lohse has value, and if he can hold that value or possibly build on it the first half of the season, it would be wise for Milwaukee to move him and try to regain the value in that first round draft choice they lost.

Yovani Gallardo/SP- What a difference a year makes. A year ago today we were talking about Gallardo being maybe the most coveted free agent starting pitcher in major league history. We were saying he could have gotten 10/200 if he hit the market in stride. One year later, his value has gone through the floor. A year ago Milwaukee could have gotten the world for him, now they would be lucky to get one elite prospect. However, it is far from over here. If he can get back to where he was before last season, he could get right back to being that coveted pitcher we were talking about, and it would be smart for Milwaukee to move him at that point in time. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Doug Melvin I Had You All Wrong | Attanasio Might Be To Blame

Brewers GM and Owner
If you have followed this blog over the last 18 months, you would know that I have been very hard on the general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, one Doug Melvin. I have blamed Melvin for the mess that the Brewers are in, claiming him to be a bad GM who doesn’t know how to run a small market baseball team.

The more I examine the situation, the more I begin to realize that maybe he isn’t the problem. After all, he is a baseball professional, he does understand that although each has their own philosophy and way to run a baseball team, there are certain decisions that a team can make that are widely accepted to be, plain and simply put, stupid and any baseball man knows to simply not do these things. Many of the moves the Brewers have made the last handful of years are considered by the baseball world to be just plain stupid. Emptying your farm for one magical season is considered to be stupid. Signing a pitcher in late March and giving up your first round draft choice in the process is considered to be just plain stupid. Signing a player to a long term contract extension when he is already under team control for the next half a decade with any arbitration even being involved pretty much takes the stupid cake.

I started to think about this for a while and I thought to myself, no GM, no matter how bad they are, could possibly be this dumb. Then I began to think. Maybe it’s not him. After all, it is widely known the owner of the Brewers, Mark Attanasio, does make himself very “available” to the Brewers front office when it comes to personnel decision making. Now that I think about it, maybe it’s not Doug Melvin. After all, no baseball professional could possibly be make these moves and still call himself a professional. Maybe the finger can be pointed at Mark Attanasio, who appears to be one of these owners who think that simply spending money and resources will equal success.

Think back the 2008 season. Yeah, the Brewers first postseason appearance in 25 years. They had a crop of players who stock couldn’t possibly be any higher. I believe now that Doug Melvin was ready to trade some of those players. I believe he was ready to show Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Carlos Villanueva, Bill Hall, and Rickie Weeks the door while their stock was at all time high. Believe me when I tell you this, I was just as informed of what was going on then as I am now, Melvin could have gotten the world for that bunch I just listed. After all, any common sense baseball man would be prepared to do just that. However I feel that Attanasio may have stepped in and said “no, you are not doing that. I want to win now”.

In reality though, you know how these small market teams win? They don’t win by spending money; they win by having a pair of core players, an ace pitcher, and a franchise position player, on the roster, and using a deep farm to continually supply the rest of the roster with talent. Don’t tell me you can’t rely on young players come September. Other small market teams do it all the time and they have no issue with it.