Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Braun & Gallardo, Not Quite Ready For Prime Time...

On Monday, March 19, I had the pleasure of watching the Brewers take on the hated Chicago Cubs. Let me tell you, it wasn't very pretty. For those of you watching on TV (I know you turned it off after the first inning), you missed a long game. Yovani Gallardo, the Brewers top pitching prospect has not looked good this spring. It may be nerves, or it might just be that teams are knowing what to look for. Check that, when you can't throw strikes, teams just wait for the meat over the plate. Most of his pitches on Monday were high and the ones he got down were hammered by the Cubs, most of whom won't be playing in Chicago in April. The kid is going to be a very good pitcher, but for 2007, look for Gallardo to start the season in AAA, with a possible late season call up if this spring didn't hurt his confidence.

As for the Cactus League's leading home run hitter, Ryan Braun, fans got to see a glimpse of the talent, and got to see a glimpse of why he won't be heading north this spring. Ryan came in to the game in the 6th inning as a pinch hitter with two runners on, and the Brewers down 10-4. Some kid named O'Malley was on the bump for the Cubs and while he wasn't serving left over green beer, he was serving up a big fat pitch that Braun deposited over the center field wall. Ryan shows so much confidence at the plate, he really does look like a seasoned vet. However, in the 7th inning, he showed why he won't be going north with the club. He made a great diving stop on a ball hit to his left, got up, and did what he's being doing all spring, rushed his throw and sent it into the Brewers dugout. His feet weren't set, and he did what a lot of young players do, they make the great glove play and then think they don't have any time and rush the throw. It reminded me a lot of when Rickie Weeks was playing with the Brewers in 2004, you could see the talent, but there just needed to be more time spent on his defense.

Ryan is going to be a very good player for the Brewers, and with an infield of Fielder, Weeks, Hardy and Braun, people are going to remember this team like people think of the LA Dodgers infield of the 70's with Garvey, Lopes, Russell and Cey. They really have a chance to be that good.

While fans will be chomping at the bit to have Braun head north with the club, I have faith that the Brewers will take their time and let Ryan start the season in the minors with a mid season call-up.

FYI, if we see Corey Koskie in a Brewers uniform doing something other than sitting on the bench I'll be VERY surprised.

Word has it, that Mr. Jenkins is very unhappy with Mr. Yost over his treatment this spring. With the hot seat that Yost is on this year, he is showing everyone that he'll go out on his terms. We'll see if it backfires on him.

The Doorman

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