Loe, Morgan, Veras, and Ishikawa likely gone

November 2, 2012

> Schoolwork- endless schoolwork. That’s basically my excuse for getting articles up the past few days. The past three days have been the worst of the year for me. I’m hoping the next few weeks will be at least a bit lighter, otherwise my time to write on BWI will get mercilessly crunched. Anyhow, I’m not going to write a big article today, but all the news I’ve missed should cover that up.

THE NEWS

> So far, the offseason is going as planned- the Brewers are getting rid of the useless players, so to speak, in order to create roster space. The first batch of players to go is Kameron Loe, Nyjer Morgan, Jose Veras, and Travis Ishikawa.

Morgan’s outright to Triple-A (and eventual election of free agency) probably gathered the most national news, especially because of the role he played on the postseason team in 2011. He was responsible for getting the Brewers to the NLCS on that unforgettable walk-off hit against the Diamondbacks in the NLDS, and he ingrained himself into the minds of Brewers fans (and into the minds of other fans, but in a negative way) with all of his aliases. But it just wasn’t Nyjer’s season in 2012. He hit a measly .239, and lost practically all of his playing time so that Carlos Gomez could prepare for a possible starting role in 2013. The emergence of Norichika Aoki didn’t help his cause either. And, with the left-handed Logan Schafer proving that he could possibly play the role of the fourth outfielder in 2013, there just wasn’t a spot for Morgan. So I thank Morgan for all of his contributions in 2011, but his antics and things weren’t fitting this year.

Loe and Veras also elected free agency following outright assignments. Loe was one of the Brewers’ best relievers in 2010, posting a 2.78 ERA. He had a second-half surge after getting off two a rough start in 2011, but it was the opposite this year. He had an ERA below 4.00 for most of the season, but it faded all the way to 4.61 in September. Statistically, Veras was one of the Brewers’ best relievers this year (though it’s not good when a guy with a 3.90 ERA is your best reliever). But he quietly had innings just about as frustrating as some of Francisco Rodriguez’s innings, so I’m relatively glad that he’s gone.

Lastly, Ishikawa was outrighted to Triple-A today, and is expected to elect free agency after he clears waivers. Ishikawa had his moments with the Brewers, but overall was the poster-boy of an extremely weak Brewers bench.

After their 2012 performances, I don’t think any of these players will be missed. However, Morgan will always be remembered: he’s written his legacy into Milwaukee history.

> The Brewers claimed reliever Arcenio Leon off waivers from the Astros.

> K-Rod was charged with domestic abuse for that incident in Wales that popped up two months ago.

Just stay away from Wisconsin, K-Rod.

> Speaking of K-Rod, the Brewers did not give “qualifying offers” to him or Shaun Marcum.

This “qualifying offer” thing is something brought about by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and basically replaced the Type A/Type B free agent system, which usually determined whether or not a team would receive draft picks as compensation for losing key free agents. Qualifying offers now play that role, and they are determined by the average salary of the top 125 player salaries from the previous season. That salary this season was $13.3 million.

As if K-Rod or Marcum are going to get $13.3 million on the market anyway. This was a no-doubter for the Brewers.

Only nine players received qualifying offers from their respective teams: Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton, Rafael Soriano, Nick Swisher, Hiroki Kuroda, Adam LaRoche, David Ortiz, B.J. Upton, and Kyle Lohse.

> Minor moves (and a lot of ‘em):

Tigers: Exercised 2013 options for Octavio Dotel and Jhonny Peralta; outrighted Don Kelly to Triple-A.
Rays: Exercised 2013 options for James Shields, Fernando Rodney, and Jose Molina; declined 2013 option for Luke Scott.
Braves: Exercised 2013 options for Brian McCann, Tim Hudson, and Paul Maholm; claimed Jordan Schafer off waivers from the Astros; outrighted Erik Cordier, J.C. Boscan, and Robert Fish off their 40-man roster.
Astros: Designated Matt Downs for assignment; declined 2013 option for Chris Snyder; outrighted Fernando Abad, Sergio Escalona, Edgar Gonzalez, Jose Valdez, and Kyle Weiland to Triple-A.
Athletics: Outrighted Dallas Braden and Joey Devine, both of whom elected free agency.
White Sox: Signed Jake Peavy to a two-year extension; exercised 2013 option for Gavin Floyd; declined 2013 options for Brett Myers and Kevin Youkilis.
Mets: Exercised 2013 options for R.A. Dickey and David Wright.
Rangers:
Declined 2013 options for Scott Feldman and Yoshinori Tateyama; claimed Konrad Schmidt off waivers from the D-backs.
Cubs: Outrighted Justin Germano to Triple-A, who elected free agency.
Dodgers: Re-signed Brandon League to a three-year deal.
Orioles: Declined 2013 option for Mark Reynolds.
Indians: Exercised 2013 option for Ubaldo Jimenez; declined 2013 options for Travis Hafner and Roberto Hernandez (I still call him Fausto Carmona); outrighted Kevin Slowey and Vinny Rottino to Triple-A; claimed Blake Wood off waivers from the Royals.
Royals: Declined 2013 option for Joakim Soria; acquired Ervin Santana from the Angels; claimed Guillermo Moscoso off waivers from the Rockies; claimed Brett Hayes off waivers from the Marlins; designated ex-Brewer Jeremy Jeffress and Jason Bourgeois for assignment.
Yankees: Outrighted ex-Brewer Casey McGehee to Triple-A, who elected free agency; returned Rule 5 Draft pick Brad Meyers to the Nationals.
Reds: Ryan Ludwick and Ryan Madson each declined his side of his mutual option for 2013.
Pirates: Exercised 2013 option for Pedro Alvarez; declined 2013 option for Rod Barajas; released Hisanori Takahashi.
Blue Jays: Claimed Scott Maine off waivers from the Cubs; designated Scott Cousins and David Herndon for assignment; exercised 2013 option for Darren Oliver; re-signed Rajai Davis.
Diamondbacks: Declined 2013 options for ex-Brewer Henry Blanco and Matt Lindstrom.
Rockies: Ex-Brewer Jorge De La Rosa exercised his player option.
Nationals: LaRoche and Sean Burnett each declined their player options.
Giants: Declined 2013 option for Aubrey Huff.
Twins: Claimed Josh Roenicke and Thomas Field off waivers from the Rockies.
Orioles: Claimed Alexi Casilla off waivers from the Twins.
Padres: Designated Josh Spence and Blake Tekotte for assignment.


Brewers handily take series from Bucs

August 26, 2012

POSTGAME

> It doesn’t matter how good the Pirates are or how bad the Brewers are: history tells us it’s likely the Brewers will always beat the Pirates. That happened again today, as the Brewers KO’d the Pirates 7-0.

Erik Bedard held the Brewers hitless through the first three innings, but the Brewers jumped all over him in the middle innings. Carlos Gomez hit a three-run blast off him in the fourth inning, then Aramis Ramirez hit a two-run shot following a Rickie Weeks RBI single in the fifth. The Brewers’ last run was Norichika Aoki’s sacrifice fly in the sixth.

BUCCOS RUNNING OUT OF TIME

> This is starting to become a common theme for the Pirates. Last year, they were in first place at the All-Star break for the first time since 1992. The quick assumption was that they’d finally reach the playoffs (or at least finish over .500) for the first time since that year as well.

But there was no such luck. The Pirates couldn’t even win 20 games down the stretch, and faded out of contention to a 72-90 record.

This year, the Pirates seemed to have stepped it up a notch, and have been contending for most of the year. But now they may be fading away yet again. They’ve lost 12 of their last 17 games, and have been struggling against the teams that most contending teams would beat (i.e. the Brewers, and they were swept in four games by the Padres prior to this series).

The reason for this happening two years in a row is probably because the young players are putting too much pressure on themselves. A perfect example of that is James McDonald, who had an ERA hovering around 2.20 before the All-Star break. Since the break, his ERA is over 8.00. That’s a sign he’s probably trying to do too much, and the same can be said for other young players on his team.

But the front office isn’t really helping them, either. They traded ex-Brewer Casey McGehee to the Yankees during a stretch in which he was really helping the Pirates win games, then attempted to replace him by acquiring Gaby Sanchez from the Marlins. I didn’t understand that all, considering Sanchez, a former All-Star, was hitting below .200 and had been in the Minors for most of the year with the Marlins. And all the Pirates got in return for McGehee was struggling reliever Chad Qualls. So that was clearly a bad series of moves. The Wandy Rodriguez trade looked good on paper, but Rodriguez has an ERA above 5.00 since joining the Pirates.

And while the Pirates continue to struggle, other teams are pulling away and are simply making themselves better than the Pirates. I want to say the Braves have a Wild Card spot locked up, but I can’t after last year. The Cardinals have pulled ahead of the Pirates in the WC chase as well. And there’s almost no chance the Bucs can compete with the juiced Dodgers.

While I wanted to see the Pirates contend for once this year, I can’t see it happening now. There are just too many teams that are better than them, and their struggles are holding them back.

MY TAKE

> Mark Rogers had a strange start today. He shut down the Pirates, but did so in a rather inefficient way, needing 101 pitches to get through just five innings. His three walks may have contributed to that.

When Rogers was first drafted, some considered him a future ace. At the time, that may have bode true, but after all these injuries he’s gone through, I don’t know if he’ll ever reach that point. That’s not to say he can’t be a solid two or three starter, because his stuff is definitely still there. But now I’m doubting he’ll ever be that true No. 1.

> Gomez is getting far more playing time than Nyjer Morgan nowadays, which I love to see. He’s hitting just .247, but is starting to show that power stroke everyone has been waiting for. With Morgan likely gone next year, I’m excited to see what kind of numbers Gomez will put up as a full-time center fielder.

THE NEWS

> The Brewers might not shut down Mike Fiers. They’ve been going back and forth on the decision regarding shutting him down, and have gone back to the good side.

If the Brewers do decide to shut down Fiers, it likely wouldn’t be until late September. But even Fiers himself has said he “feels fine” and would like to pitch the rest of the year.

> Ron Roenicke is going to stick with Weeks in the two-hole in the lineup. Weeks is just 8 for his last 50, but did get an RBI today.

> Vin Scully, the best sportscaster in history, is coming back to announce Dodgers games in 2013.

> The Orioles acquired Joe Saunders from the Diamondbacks. Not exactly the ace arm they were looking for, but we’ll see if he can help them with a playoff run.

> Roger Clemens went 3 1/3 innings in his first start with the Sugar Land Skeeters yesterday. He needed just 37 pitches and gave up no runs.

THE NUMBERS

> Rogers got his second consecutive win after the bullpen seemingly wouldn’t let him find one for a few starts.

> Jonathan Lucroy went a perfect 3-for-3, raising his average to .333.

> The Brewers have made five errors in their last two games. Whoever was saying defense has been a high point this year apparently jinxed it.

> Here are the probables for the upcoming Cubs series:

Marco Estrada (1-5, 4.23 ERA) vs. Justin Germano (2-3, 4.54 ERA)

Yovani Gallardo (13-8, 3.62 ERA) vs. Travis Wood (4-10, 4.76 ERA)

Mike Fiers (7-6, 2.98 ERA) vs. Jeff Samardzija (8-11, 4.09 ERA)

THE EXTRAS

> Yes. Yes we were.

But, according to this magazine, ESPN has the Packers going 16-0 and winning the Super Bowl. I’d take that.

> Wouldn’t you hate to play for a team called the “Sugar Land Skeeters?”


Braun makes history

February 24, 2012

> After waiting for nerve-wracking months since this shocking news was first reported, we finally got the answer we’ve been waiting for.

Ryan Braun defied the odds and made history today, as news broke that he will not, in fact, receive a 50-game suspension to start the 2012 season. He is the first player in Major League history to successfully overturn a positive drug test. The three arbitrators, led by Shyam Das, voted 2-1 to overturn the suspension.

One of the things Braun’s party used in the case was the two days of custody in which the test was unprotected. Apparently, whoever was going to deliver the test to analysts for further examination found that the delivery store was closed. So, he left the test in his refrigerator for two days, unprotected. I don’t know about you, but to me that’s tampering with the test. (Sorry for the vague explanation of that, I can’t find a specific news article about it, it’s just what I’ve heard from various sources.) Anyway, more details regarding the test- such as what the real results were- should come out within the next few days.

But, of course, someone had to somehow interfere with this good news. And who else but Bud Selig and the Commissioner’s Office to ruin it?

This is the main part of the statement they released following the news: “Major League Baseball vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered today by arbitrator Shyam Das.”

I’m not going to go into all that right now, but let me tell you it really ticked me off. I’m half thinking about putting up a post tomorrow of me ranting about that, and how Braun should take legal action against both the league and ESPN, who first leaded the news back in December.

For now, though, let’s rejoice that one of the best hitters in baseball is back in the Brewers’ lineup. Now, with this whole thing out of the way, I’ll be able to do something I’ve been waiting to do- projecting the Brewers’ possible lineups.

But, Braun has officially won. We can take that tension off our backs.

> Norichika Aoki arrived at Brewers camp in Maryvale, Arizona, today, and had to navigate through a lot of media, both local and Japanese. It’ll be fun to see how he performs, and what role he’ll have during the regular season.

> Rickie Weeks made it clear today that he doesn’t want to hit out of the five-hole this year. After leading off from 2010 to the midpoint of 2011, when Corey Hart took over, Weeks experimented with hitting out of that spot of the lineup, but didn’t have much success. So it doesn’t surprise me that he’d prefer not to hit there.

But the Brewers had horrible luck out of the five-hole last year, no matter who it was. Casey McGehee, Yuniesky Betancourt, Weeks, Hart- none of them got it done hitting out of that spot. Unfortunately, there aren’t many other options aside from Weeks, unless the Brewers are confident that Mat Gamel can take that important spot in the lineup early on.

> And that’s about it. A rather busy news day, capped by the Braun news. We’ll probably hear a lot more tomorrow. But for now, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.


Patterson on board with Minors deal

January 31, 2012

> Earlier today, while I was at school, a random thought came to my mind- what happened to Corey Patterson? I don’t know why this came to me; it just struck me that he was one of the few Cardinals from their 2011 World Series team that wouldn’t have a place there next year.

So, sure enough, a few hours after I get home, I notice that the Brewers had signed him to a Minor League deal. Apparently assistant GM Gord Ash hinted that the deal was in the works at the On Deck event yesterday; guess I missed that piece of information.

Patterson isĀ  a somewhat speedy veteran (he’s 32). He owns a career .252 average with 118 home runs and 218 stolen bases in 1,230 games in the Majors. He’s played for the Cubs, Orioles, Reds, Nationals, Blue Jays, and Cards. He’s actually already spent time with the Brewers- a brief stint of 11 games back in 2009.

I’m not a huge fan of Patterson. It’s not that I have anything against him, but, having watched some of his defense over the past few years, I kind of hope he doesn’t break camp with the Brewers. He’s pretty far past his prime. And, the odds of him breaking camp with the Brewers are very slim, as they already have five capable Major League outfielders in place- Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Nyjer Morgan, Carlos Gomez, and Norichika Aoki.

> The Pirates appear headed to an arbitration case with ex-Brewer third baseman Casey McGehee, who will probably play first base for the Bucs next year.

The Brewers traded McGehee to the Pirates in exchange for Jose Veras after signing Aramis Ramirez. McGehee had a down year in 2011, hitting just .223. But, he hit .301 in 2009 and .285 in 2010, so he could easily bounce back.

> And that’s about it. Slow news day… But I’ll probably post on Reviewing the Brew tomorrow (if I’ve thought up a topic by then). Anyway, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.


Recent signings and trades open, close doors for Brewers

December 13, 2011

> Yesterday was a productive day for the Brewers’ front office. In the morning, they signed free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Then, by night, they traded third baseman Casey McGehee to the Pirates for reliever Jose Veras. Both of these moves will have a huge impact on the Brewers will look next year- and it’s probably going to be much different than they looked in 2011.

> But these moves also opened up a few opportunities for young players, while closing them for other players.

The question at third base in 2012 was obviously answered when the Brewers signed Ramirez. After McGehee, who’d been the Brewers starting third baseman from 2009-2011, had a rough year last year, there were questions about whether or not the Brewers would get decent production from that position. McGehee had been one of the Brewers’ most consistent hitters in 2009 and 2010, hitting .301 and .285 (in the respective years). But, he slumped down to a .223 average in 2011, and, by the playoffs, had lost his starting position.

Despite the fact he’s 33, Ramirez should give the Brewers good production at third base. He hit .306 with 26 homers and 93 RBIs in 2011, and has proved over the years that he can hit 25-30 homers on a consistent basis. Which is what the Brewers needed to fill in the void that Prince Fielder left in their lineup.

Speaking of Fielder. The Ramirez signing pretty much closed the door on the possibility of Fielder returning to the Brewers in 2012. But, as much as we all wanted him back, I think we knew he was as good as gone.

And, with Fielder and McGehee officially gone, that opens an opportunity at one of the most important offensive positions- first base.

The Brewers seem determined to give Mat Gamel a shot at first. Gamel’s been stuck as a “prospect” for awhile now, as he’s torn up the Minors over the past few years. But, he’s been pretty inconsistent at the Major League level when given the chance.

Maybe consistent playing time will do him good, though. When he was given a chance in the Majors, he didn’t get consistent playing time, which probably didn’t help.

Another good thing about Gamel is that he’s versatile. While he’s most likely to play first base, he can also play third and the corner outfield positions, which could give him the ability to be a utility player if he doesn’t win the job at first.

Taylor Green may also be given a chance at first base. We saw a bit of him at the Major League level this year, and it looks like he’ll have a bright future. He’s also torn up the Minors, especially this year, when he hit .336 before being called up at the end of August. Green is also somewhat versatile, as he can play third, second, and first base.

The shortstop question was also answered this week, as the Brewers signed Alex Gonzalez to a one-year deal, and he’s much better than Yuniesky Betancourt. I did an article a few days ago explaining my opinion on why Gonzalez was better than Betancourt, but, to sum it up in one sentence: Gonzalez is a far superior defender to Betancourt.

Onto the bullpen, which appeared to be going downhill when Takashi Saito and LaTroy Hawkins signed with the Diamondbacks and Angels, respectively. The Brewers began to address that last night in acquiring Veras from the Pirates, but I think they’ll need at least one or two more solid relievers to make me feel good about the bullpen, and more help to set up for the 1-2 punch of Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford.

And that’s about it. I think the Brewers did a good job of addressing all of their major needs early in the offseason, which could give them time to ponder additional moves and trades over the rest of the offseason.

> By the way: the Brewers tendered the contracts of all their arbitration-eligible players. That means George Kottaras, Shaun Marcum, Kameron Loe, Manny Parra, Rodriguez, Veras, Carlos Gomez, and Nyjer Morgan all avoided arbitration.

> The Brewers also announced this week that they’re still interested in extending both Marcum and Zack Greinke, another one of their top priorities this offseason.

> I don’t have much to say about the Braun issue today, as most of the news is the same as it was yesterday. But, if you’re worried that he’ll still receive that 50-game suspension, read this article- it definitely made me feel better.

> And one last thing- I heard today that the Rockies are interested in free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran. That has nothing to do with the Brewers, I know- but if a team other than the Cardinals signs him, it’s beneficial to us.

> That’s about it. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.


Brewers reportedly sign Ramirez to three-year deal

December 12, 2011

> Something good had to happen for the Brewers in light of all the horrible Ryan Braun news.

> And it did. The Brewers signed Aramis Ramirez this morning, and the deal appears to be for three years and somewhere between $34-37 million. This helps the Brewers offense a lot, especially because of the departure of Prince Fielder (this deal pretty much closes the door on the possibility of him returning to the Brewers).

Ramirez hit .306 with 26 homers and 93 RBIs last year- not bad for a 33-year old third baseman. He can hit 25-30 home runs on a consistent basis as well, something the Brewers need to help their offense.

Anyway, this move kind of decides the fate of Casey McGehee. He’s either going to play first base next year, be moved into a utility player-type role, or be traded. Unless the Brewers are determined to let Mat Gamel start at first base next year, the most likely option for McGehee is to simply move him across the infield, and hope he has a bounce-back year. However, the Rangers have shown interest in McGehee, and it sounds like the Brewers could get something decent in return from them. So we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

> The Braun issue- day three. I heard yesterday that, in the history of the drug prevention program in the MLB, that the results that Braun had were never seen before. This is because his testosterone level was two times as high as the previous highest testosterone level.

If that doesn’t tell you that this whole thing is “B.S.,” as Braun said, then I don’t know what to tell you.

I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t humanly possible to have a testosterone level as high as the results said Braun’s was (without being extremely sick or dying, of course). But this just proves that the whole thing is stupid and a waste of time, and, if Braun actually receives that 50-game suspension to start 2012, I’m going to be pretty pissed. (Sorry, I don’t usually used language like that on BW, but this has just gotten way out of hand.)

Plus, these preliminary results shouldn’t have even been released in the first place. This is why I hate ESPN- they have to release information that’s probably false before they even know anything about it.

> The Brewers made a few minor moves earlier today, signing catcher Mike Rivera and first baseman Travis Ishikawa to Minor League deals. Rivera saw a little time in the Majors with the Brewers this year, while Ishikawa hasn’t played in the Majors since 2010 with the Giants.

> Zack Greinke reportedly fired his agent(s) today, and hasn’t chosen a replacement yet. Let’s all pray that he doesn’t choose Scott Boras…

And we also have to hope that the Brewers get he and Shaun Marcum extended this offseason, because both hit the free agent market after 2012.

UPDATE- As of about an hour ago, the Brewers have traded McGehee to the Pirates for reliever Jose Veras. I definitely didn’t see this coming- not tonight, and not McGehee going to the Pirates. I feel a bit bad for him…

Anyway, Veras is a decent pickup, I guess. He set up for All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan while with the Pirates last year, but can be a bit erratic at times. But, he’s a hard-throwing right-hander, and can probably be used in a seventh inning role to set up for Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford.

> This move also makes up for the fact that the Brewers aren’t going to be able to bring back Takashi Saito, unfortunately. He’s reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Diamondbacks.

> And that’s about it. Barring any late-night news, that’s everything. So thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.


Gonzalez IS better than Yuni

December 10, 2011

> It was reported the other day that the Brewers have signed shortstop Alex Gonzalez to a one-year deal, and that he’ll take over Yuniesky Betancourt‘s role.

But I’ve really been surprised with the amount of skepticism of this deal from a few major sources, such as MLB Network.

I was watching their show called “Hot Stove” the other day, a show in which a few of MLB Network’s hosts/reporters sit down and talk about the signings/trades of that day, and then give their opinions about them. And, surprisingly, a few of the hosts weren’t very impressed with the Gonzalez signing, as opposed to bringing back Betancourt.

I think it was Harold Reynolds who criticized the move the most. He said something along the lines of, “I’m a little confused here. I thought Betancourt was finally finding his way in the big leagues, and he came up big in situations for the Brewers this year. But now the fans in Milwaukee are rejoicing that he’s gone? Come on!”

Just for the record, Reynolds is actually one of my favorite guys to watch and listen to on MLB Network. But I highly disagree with him on this.

Maybe he didn’t watch too many Brewer games this year, but Betancourt rarely ever came up big. The only time I remember him getting a hit that actually mattered was a game-tying home run against the Rockies in a 14-inning game back in May, but, other than that, most of his hits weren’t very clutch.

And the only month where he truly hit on a consistent basis was his hot stretch in August, in which he brought his average all the way from the .220’s to around .270. I’ll admit, that impressed me, but he couldn’t maintain it for the rest of the year, as his average finished at .252. Betancourt also had a decent postseason, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Brewers from embarrassingly losing to the Cardinals.

Not to mention that, whenever Betancourt came up with the bases loaded, he hit a weak infield pop-up (or into the shallow outfield). It was always a pop-up. Except one time he hit into a double play with the bases loaded to end an inning, but that wasn’t really progress.

And then there was Betancourt’s defense. He made a few highlight reel plays, but then easily misplayed the routine ones.

And that’s the difference-maker as to why Gonzalez is better than Betancourt. Gonzalez is a similar hitter, but a far superior defender. And that’s what the Brewers needed. Casey McGehee, Betancourt, Rickie Weeks, and Prince Fielder made up the Brewers infield last year, and they’re all awful defenders. Weeks and Fielder made up for it by what they did at the plate, and McGehee can too, if he bounces back next year.

Anyway, back to Gonzalez. Last year, his offense was arguably worse than Betancourt’s, but you have to take into consideration that he was hitting in the pitcher-friendly Turner Field for half of the year. His 15 homers last year could translate into a 20-homer year at the hitter-friendly Miller Park.

So that’s my opinion on why Gonzalez will benefit the Brewers more than Betancourt did. Whether or not you agree with all of it, you’ll be seeing better defense at shortstop this year- I guarantee it.

> I read on MLB Trade Rumors earlier today that the Rangers have some interest in McGehee to play for first base for them next year, which I found interesting. Their young first baseman, Mitch Moreland, got injured a few weeks ago, and might miss the first few months of the regular season. But why McGehee?

I’m confident that McGehee will have a bounce-back season next year, regardless of who he’s playing for. I’ve kind of been hoping that the Brewers will keep him, and, assuming they can sign Aramis Ramirez to play third, move McGehee to first base. That puts Mat Gamel out of the picture, but I have no idea what to think of him anymore.

Anyway, if the Rangers end up trying to make a deal for McGehee, the Brewers better get something decent in return, such as a first baseman or third baseman to fill McGehee’s hole.

> The Cardinals re-signed shortstop Rafael Furcal today on a two-year deal. A few days ago, I wouldn’t have been that happy with this, but, now that the Brewers have Gonzalez, I’m fine with it.

> And that’s about all I’ve got for now. Before I go, thanks for the 200+ hit day yesterday- it was the first one in Breaking Wisconsin history (a history that dates back to only June of this year). We also reached the 1,000 hit mark last night, which I was very proud of. So thanks again to everyone who takes their time to read my posts.

It’s still early in the day, so expect updates as the day rolls on. But, for now, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.


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