Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Brewers Off Season Moves | Ryan Braun Needs To Go

Brewers off season moves 2014
As The Milwaukee Brewers playoff hopes fade into the abyss, Pittsburgh won last night so that means one more Brewers loss or one more Pirates win and it’s a done deal, it is time to take a look into the Brewers off season. Here are some items they need to address this off season, and we will delve deeper into them after the season is over.

Who will play first base? The Brewers decided to go with a platoon of Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay this season, but that is not a good long term strategy. Matt Clark has lay well in his September call up, but that is no guarantee he will be a good major league first basemen. I believe the Brewers are ready to wash their hands of Hunter Morris, who was never able to take that final step and make it to the major league roster. Jason Rodgers played a little bit of first, but he is not considered to be a first basemen by any stretch of the imagination. For now, Clark is the first baseman heading into the off season.

What about third base? It is safe to say that Aramis Ramirez’s career is coming to a close, as age has finally gotten the best of him the last couple of years. That happens and that is expected, but it is time to move on without him. The Brewers do not have much behind him in the system, so for now Jason Rogers is the third basemen entering into the off season. Expect the Brewers to look outside of the system for this answer.

Can Milwaukee get Jean Segura back on track? After a historic start to his major league career, Segura came crashing back down to reality in 2014. Segura batted just .239 this season and Hector Gomez is getting a long look in September as a result. Segura may need to compete for his job in the spring with Gomez.

Braun Needs To Find A New Ball Club In 2015

What to do with Ryan Braun? This has been some story, hasn’t it? Braun is having about the worst possible season he or the Brewers could have asked for coming back from the suspension. It appears as if Braun is not the player that the Brewers think he is. This off season, if they can find a taker, someone, anyone, to just dump his salary onto, they should take the deal and run.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Brewers Playoff Chances In 2014 | Cardinals Take Over The NL Central

Brewers Playoff Chances 2014
The Milwaukee Brewers entered this last week looking to make one last gaps at getting back into the postseason picture. They had six road games, three in St. Louis, and three in Pittsburgh. They needed to win a bare minimum four out of six to stay in it, and most likely five out of six. Instead, they lost four out of six, and probably should have lost them all if you look at the two games they won. The offense has gone completely silent. This is interesting because all of us analysts to begin the season said what will get the Brewers this season is that they will not hit some, but not enough to overcome their bullpen problems. However, we didn’t think they would go silent like this. More on that next week. For now, let’s take a look into the postseason now that the picture is clearing up.

For as bad the Brewers meltdown was, the Oakland Athletics was far worse. In fact, advanced analytics say that Oakland’s collapse is the worst statistically in the live ball era. Wow. Still Oakland holds the first spot in the wild card play in game. That is the good news. The bad news is that both the Royals and the Mariners sit just one game back of them. It will likely be Jon Lester who goes in the wild card play in game for Oakland if they get there. If the Mariners get one of the spots, Felix Hernandez will start the game for them. If Detroit ends up in the wild card play in game, it will be David Price or Max Scherser that goes for them. If Kansas City ends up in the wild card play in game, big game James Shields will go for them. No worries for Baltimore or the Los Angeles Angels though. They both won their divisions last week and are sitting pretty entering the postseason.

Over in the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals have taken control of the NL Central and have secured a postseason spot. Pittsburgh sits three games behind them but holds that second wild card spot by 4.5 games over Milwaukee. At this point, it looks as if Pittsburgh will play San Francisco in the wild card play in game and the only two teams who can mathematically interfere with that are Atlanta and Milwaukee. The Braves are about mathematically out of it, as they have just a 0.1% chance of making the playoffs at this point as one more loss or win by either Pittsburgh or San Francisco will finish them off. The Brewers sit 4.5 out of the wild card play in game and have just a 3.0% chance of making the postseason. Washington holds the best record in the National League a 14.5 game lead in their own division, which obviously means they won it a long time ago. In fact, the National have a chance largest margin of victory in terms of games won by in the division since the 2002 Atlanta Braves who won the NL East by 19 games.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

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

Brewers versus Cardinals
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.