Haudricourt shoots down Hamilton rumors

October 27, 2012

> Leave it to Tom Haudricourt to crush the dreams of Brewers fans.

Kidding, but he might be right on this one. Yesterday, Jon Heyman clarified some rumors of the Brewers going after free agent Josh Hamilton this offseason. Naturally, Brewers fans- myself included- became hyped around this news.

However, Haudricourt himself interviewed Mark Attanasio last night, and apparently Attanasio “gave no indication that adding a hitter was a priority.”

Attanasio also added: “We’ve got the No. 1 offense in the league. We know what’s working. We have to fix the bullpen. We were last in the Majors. That has to be fixed. We’ve done a lot of work to see what the options are there.”

Fair enough. While I’d love for the Brewers to add Hamilton, it’s almost useless if the bullpen doesn’t improve too. So if that’s where all the money needs to go, so be it; the Brewers could still easily be contenders if that’s the only improvement they make this offseason.

At the same time, though, I wouldn’t completely shut the door on the Brewers signing Hamilton. If the opportunity presents itself and Hamilton doesn’t get any substantial offers from other teams- which he might not, because the “big spenders” don’t need outfield help- why not go for it? Since the departure of Prince Fielder, the Brewers have had a very right-handed dominant lineup, and Hamilton would nicely slot in between Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez at the core of the lineup.

But, as good as the Hamilton rumors have sounded, the bullpen should come first.

(You can read Haudricourt’s full article here.)

THE NEWS

> Not really any major news today, so let’s move right into the minor moves.

Diamondbacks: Claimed Gustavo Nunez off waivers from the Pirates.
Royals: Claimed Chris Volstad off waivers from the Cubs.
Cubs: Outrighted Manny Corpas, who elected free agency; outrighted Joe Mather, Blake Parker, and Justin Germano to Triple-A.
Angels: Signed Angel Sanchez to a minor league deal. (I don’t think I need to tell you why that’s funny.)
Astros: Claimed Che-Hsuan Lin off waivers from the Red Sox; designated Enerio Del Rosario for assignment.
Rays: Outrighted Rich Thompson, who elected free agency.
Orioles: Released Dontrelle Willis.
Padres: Outrighted Dustin Moseley and Tim Stauffer, both of whom elected free agency.

> That’s not a weird MLB highlight video title regarding Sergio Romo. No, not at all.


Brewers hang on after wild ninth

April 30, 2012

> Sorry for the lack of posts lately (it feels like I have to say that too often nowadays). Schoolwork and things like that have been piling up recently, so I just decided to take a bit of a hiatus from Breaking Wisconsin and Reviewing the Brew to make sure I stayed on top of my work. Plus, the Brewers had a three-game losing streak going into today, so it wasn’t like I was missing much, as far as posting goes.

> But I figured today would be a good day to come back. The Brewers managed to salvage one game out of this dismal series with the Cardinals, winning 3-2. Zack Greinke notched his third win of the season, and the Brewers managed to defeat Jaime Garcia at Busch Stadium for once. And, although the offense wasn’t somewhat non-existent for the third consecutive day, it was enough to take down the Cards.

For the second straight start, Greinke didn’t have his best stuff, but managed to pull a win out of his pocket. He went six innings while giving up one run on seven hits. His command wasn’t the sharpest, as he walked four and struck out just two. But, both of the strikeouts came against the Cards’ hottest hitter, David Freese, so it’s nice to know we have someone on the team capable of getting him out.

The Cardinals got on the board first in the second inning on Rafael Furcal’s RBI single. After that, I thought the Brewers were in for another rough day of bad pitching. But Greinke managed to dance around trouble every time he got into a jam after that.

The Brewers finally tied up the game in the sixth on Aramis Ramirez’s RBI single. A few batters later, Jonathan Lucroy hit a go-ahead, two-RBI double to give the Brewers a 3-1 lead that they wouldn’t again give up.

But they had to work for it. John Axford came on for the save in the ninth inning, and it didn’t start well. He walked Matt Holliday to lead off the inning, then gave up a single to Carlos Beltran. That advanced Tyler Greene (pinch-running for Holliday) to third. Axford then rallied to strike out Freese (man did it feel good to see him strike out three times). Axe then struck out another hot-hitting Cardinal, Yadier Molina, and that’s when the drama started. As Molina struck out, Beltran broke for second base. Lucroy threw down to second where Alex Gonzalez caught the ball, and they had Beltran in a rundown. As Gonzalez was chasing Beltran back to first, Greene broke for home in a dangerous attempt to tie the game. Gonzalez then threw back to Lucroy at home, and they tagged out Greene for a shocking finish to the game.

Regardless of all that happened, this was Axford’s 48th consecutive save, and he’s well into elite company at this point. 48 is the fourth longest save streak in Major League history, which is incredible, especially if you know Axford’s back story.

> The Brewers made a couple of roster moves prior to today’s game, sending Mike McClendon back to Triple-A. They called up journeyman Vinnie Chulk, who last pitched in the Majors in 2009 for the Indians.

But it was only a matter of time before McClendon was sent down. I used to have high hopes for this guy, especially when he was called up in September of 2010- he looked great. But now his mechanics are completely out of whack, and he doesn’t have any command. He ate up some valuable innings while he was up, but the 10.13 ERA was too much.

> On a non-Brewers note, Prince Fielder hit a home run today off another ex-Brewer, CC Sabathia. Fielder looked like a fool against CC in Interleague play last year, but the homer he hit today was a mammoth- and I mean a mammoth. But the Yankees still wound up winning, as the Tigers’ recent struggles continue.

> Tomorrow, the Brewers head out to the west coast for the first time this year, and will take on the Padres in a three-game series. Here are the pitching match-ups:

Randy Wolf (1-2, 7.17 ERA) vs. Joe Wieland (0-3, 4.76)

Shaun Marcum (1-1, 4.13 ERA) vs. Edinson Volquez (0-2, 3.60 ERA)

Yovani Gallardo (1-2, 6.08 ERA) vs. Cory Luebke (3-1, 2.61 ERA)

As you can see, Wolf is going tomorrow, and he’s coming off a solid start against the Astros. But he struggled for the most part in his first three starts. Anyway, despite the fact the Padres have close to no offense, Wolf has had a tough time with his former team in his career, going 6-5 with a 5.51 ERA against them. Not quite sure how he has a winning record, though.

The Pads will counter with Wieland, who was called up a few weeks ago because of an injury to Tim Stauffer. From what I’ve seen, he hasn’t pitched particularly bad, but has just fallen victim to the “run support” of the Padres.

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


Gamel shows he’s ready for season with big game

March 31, 2012

> After today, I think it’s needless to say I’m no longer worried about what the Brewers’ offense is capable of doing in 2012. The Brewers defeated the Padres in a slug-fest today, 10-7. The Brewers’ offense was lead by Mat Gamel, who had two home runs- including a grand slam- for a five-RBI day.

Prior to this spring, there were some worries about whether or not Gamel could fill the shoes of Prince Fielder, whom he’s replacing at first base. But I think people were setting expectations too high for Gamel- he doesn’t necessarily need to put up Prince numbers (30 home runs, 100 RBIs) for the Brewers to win. I think if he can hit around .27o-.280, hit 20-25 home runs, and have an RBI total of somewhere between 80-90, that should be good enough. In fact, numbers like that might even be enough for him to win NL Rookie of the Year, because he’s still actually considered a rookie.

Anyways, back to coverage of the game. The Brewers got on the board in the third inning. But simply saying they “got on the board” is an understatement, considering they put up a six-run inning against Padres starter Tim Stauffer. It started with Alex Gonzalez’s solo shot for his third home run of the spring. Then, Nyjer Morgan, on an intended safety squeeze, reached first for what was scored as an RBI single. Then, after a Ryan Braun single, Aramis Ramirez struck out. I thought he would be the one to clear the bases, but then Gamel came up and pulled a first-pitch grand slam into the left field seats of the Padres’ ST complex. All of this made the score 6-0.

The Padres got on the board in the fourth on Jesus Guzman’s three-run home run off Chris Narveson. They got another run in the fifth on an RBI double play- if you can call if that- from Orlando Hudson. But, in the sixth, Gamel hit another first pitch home run, this time a solo shot. Later in the inning, Carlos Gomez hammered a three-run home run to make the score 10-4. The Padres picked up three more runs in the bottom of the inning from Jason Bartlett, John Baker, and James Darnell, but wouldn’t rally any further. The Brewers finished in the ninth, as John Axford picked up his first save of the spring, striking out two Padres in the process.

Narveson, who started for the Brewers today, didn’t have a particularly great outing. He went five innings while giving up seven runs (although only three were earned) on seven hits. He walked two while striking out three.

> One thing I liked about today’s game was that Ron Roenicke finally started all of the projected regulars at once. The lineup was (in order from 1-9) Rickie Weeks, Morgan, Braun, Ramirez, Gamel, Jonathan Lucroy, Gonzalez, Gomez, and Narveson. Gomez wouldn’t normally be a regular, but, if Corey Hart starts the season on the DL (and he probably will), he and Norichika Aoki could see starts at an outfield position.

Anyway, hopefully Roenicke starts doing this more, because Opening Day is now less than a week away, and the starters need to start getting a feel for all being on the field and in the lineup at once.

> Braun is really getting back into the swing of things at the right time. He went 2-for-3 today with two singles to left off Stauffer. And, the only time he was retired was a deep fly ball to center field. It’s good to see that he’s finally finding his groove, and hopefully he can have another MVP-caliber type season in 2012. If only ESPN hadn’t ruined his image…

> And that’s about it. The Brewers play the Giants tomorrow at 3:05 CT as they start to wrap up the Cactus League season. They’ll send Yovani Gallardo (1-2, 4.00 ERA) to the mound, who hopes to have a decent start in what will probably be his last of the spring before his Opening Day assignment. The Giants will counter with their own ace, Tim Lincecum (2-0, 4.26 ERA).

On a personal note, my fantasy draft is tonight. Maybe I’ll post my team when it’s finished just for the heck of it. Also, on another personal note, I still can’t log in to Reviewing the Brew. It’s been almost a week now, so I don’t know what to make of this.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.


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