Seven Brewers to participate in WBC

January 17, 2013

> It seems like the list just keeps getting larger. As of right now, seven Brewers are on their respective countries World Baseball Classic rosters: Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy, John Axford, Jim Henderson, Taylor Green, Yovani Gallardo, and Martin Maldonado.

Braun and Luc will play for Team USA (Braun also played for them in 2009). Axford, Henderson, and Green were all selected to Team Canada. Gallardo will play for Team Mexico, and Maldonado for Puerto Rico.

I’m happy for all of these guys, but the one issue with the Classic is that it interferes with Spring Training. I typically don’t have an issue with that, but, as someone on Twitter pointed out earlier today, both of the Brewers’ big league catchers will be participating in the WBC, so the new Brewers pitchers (particularly the relievers) won’t have much time to get familiar with them. That shouldn’t be an issue, but it is something to think about.

Also, the fact that Gallardo will be throwing extra innings due the WBC will probably try and prompt Ron Roenicke to give him some sort of innings limit, knowing his shenanigans. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that.

> The Brewers added righty reliever Rob Wooten to Major League Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. The Brewers’ list of non-roster invitees now stands at 18: pitchers Wooten, Jairo Asencio, Jed Bradley, Darren Byrd, Kelvim Escobar, Donovan Hand, Taylor Jungmann, Arcenio Leon, Travis Webb, catchers Dayton Buller, Anderson De La Rosa, Blake Lalli, Rafael Nada, Adam Weisenburger, infielders Hector Gomez, Hunter Morris, Donnie Murphy, and outfielder Kentrail Davis.

> Four Brewers filed for salary arbitration today: Axford, Burke Badenhop, Marco Estrada, and Carlos Gomez. Axford projects to get the largest contract. The Brewers already avoided arbitration with one of their eligibles, Chris Narveson.

> Minor moves: 

Blue Jays: Signed ex-Brewer Henry Blanco and Adam Loewen to minor league deals; designated Tommy Hottovy for assignment; re-signed Colby Rasmus to a one-year deal; signed Denis Villatora to a five-year deal.
Orioles: Re-signed Nolan Reimold and Tommy Hunter to one-year deals.
Phillies: Signed Rodrigo Lopez, Juan Cruz, and Aaron Cook to minor league deals.
Yankees: Released ex-Brewer Chris Dickerson; re-signed Phil Hughes to a one-year deal.
Angels: Signed Fernando Cabrera to a minor league deal; re-signed Jerome Williams to a one-year deal.
Indians: Released Thomas Neal.
Reds: Signed ex-Brewer Cesar Izturis to a minor league deal.
Pirates: Re-signed Jeff Karstens to a one-year deal.
Diamondbacks: Re-signed J.J. Putz to a one-year deal.
Nationals: Signed Delwyn Young to a minor league deal; signed Rafael Soriano to a two-year deal.
Dodgers: Signed Peter Moylan, Jesus Flores, Deivy Castillo, Ariel Sandoval, Ravel Hernandez, and Miguel Urena to minor league deals.
Mariners: Signed Luis Liberato to a minor league deal.
Rangers: Signed Kyle McClellan to a minor league deal.
Marlins: Signed Michael Wuertz, Nick Green, and Austin Kearns to minor league deals.
Tigers: Signed Don Kelly to a minor league deal.
Rockies: Re-signed Wilton Lopez and Josh Outman to one-year deals.

Advertisements

Looking back at the first week of 2011’s offseason

November 7, 2011

> The first week of the 2011 MLB offseason was rather quiet, with none of the top free agents reaching agreements with new teams (or the ones they were already with). But I guess that wasn’t expected. Anyway, despite this, there were a lot of minor moves, with some more significant than others, and later in this article I’ll try to go through every move made. But, before that, there is one Brewers-related piece of news that I should probably share.

> Dale Sveum is going to be interviewed for the Cubs’ managerial vacancy tomorrow. Ugh.

Over the past few days, Sveum has been considered the front-runner to become the new Red Sox manager, but nothing has been confirmed. And now he’s going to have a chance to become the Cubs’ manager, a team he has seen up close and personally for quite a few years now as the Brewers’ hitting coach.

So the reason I said “ugh” earlier is because, no matter who it is, I find it painful to see someone from a team I like leave for a team I hate. For instance, I was crushed a few years back when Brett Favre left the Packers for the Jets, and eventually the Vikings- a team I despise. (That is, until I figured out what a loser Favre was under the surface, but you still get the point.) Anyway, I’d be happy for Sveum no matter where he goes (if he does end up managing), but let me say I’d be much happier if he went to the Red Sox instead of the Cubs.

> But, with that aside, let’s get to all the moves that occurred during this first week of the Hot Stove. I guess I didn’t realize how much I didn’t cover on BreakingWI, but here’s my chance to redeem myself.

> Frank McCourt agreed with MLB to sell the Dodgers, and hopefully put this divorce-bankruptcy crap behind him and the franchise. The Dodgers suffered that for far too long, and hopefully whoever ends up being the team can right that ship.

> The long expected CC Sabathia opt-out never actually happened, as the Yankees managed to retain him by adding an extra year, worth $25 million, to his already-remaining for years on the seven-year deal he signed back in 2008 (after he left the Brewers). So much for that… I was looking forward to him sticking it up the Yankees’… Er, maybe I shouldn’t go there.

> The Indians acquired 15-year veteran starting pitcher Derek Lowe from the Braves. Lowe has definitely been on a decline in recent years, but the Indians hope his veteran presence can anchor their very young rotation.

> The Phillies successfully signed designated hitter Jim Thome to a one-year deal worth $1.225 million. Oh, wait, they’re a National League team… Apparently they expect him to play a little first base and be a power lefty off the bench, but I can’t see this deal working out very well.

> Cards manager Tony La Russa decided to retire after 33 seasons as a Major League manager. He definitely went out on top, that’s for sure…

> Davey Johnson is going to be the Nationals’ manager in 2012 as well, after picking up where Jim Riggleman left off midway through the 2011 season.

> The Giants exercised their option on lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt, and also signed fellow lefty reliever Javier Lopez to a two-year deal.

> The Dodgers re-signed Juan Rivera to a one-year deal worth $4.5 million after acquiring him from the Blue Jays halfway through the 2011 season.

> The Cubs exercised their half of the option on third baseman Aramis Ramirez, but Ramirez declined his half, thus becoming a free agent.

> The Nationals re-signed starter Chien-Ming Wang to a one-year deal, following three seasons full of injuries- two of which he didn’t even pitch at all. But, before that, he was a dominant starting pitcher for the Yankees.

> The Diamondbacks made a few signings on and off the field, as they locked up shortstop John McDonald with a two-year, $3 million deal, along with a one-year deal worth $1.2 million for catcher Henry Blanco. They also extended GM Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson, both of whom completely turned around what looked to be another disappointing season coming in.

> The Brewers declined their $17.5 million option on Francisco Rodriguez, which was inherited from the Mets. They also declined a $6 million option on shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt (HOORAY!).

> The Mets pretty much came out and said that they’re not going to be able to retain shortstop Jose Reyes. Not that I’m surprised, but it’s sort of odd that they’d come out and say it like that.

> The Braves have announced that they would trade starter Jair Jurrjens and outfielder/second baseman Martin Prado, if given a good enough deal. Right now, the Royals look like the best destination, at least for Jurrjens.

> The Giants are willing to trade starter Jonathan Sanchez. Not sure who would want that walk-machine, unless they really need starting pitching.

> The Cardinals declined their options  on shortstop Rafael Furcal and reliever Octavio Dotel. That was surprising to some (including me).

> The Red Sox picked up their $6 million option on shortstop Marco Scutaro.

> The Nationals appear to be in the running for starter Roy Oswalt, whose option was declined by the Phillies prior to the World Series.

> It sounds like the Phillies are literally dying for Michael Cuddyer, which means they’ll probably have him. But that would pretty much nullify the Thome deal, because Cuddyer could play a similar role, but is so much more versatile.

> The Diamondbacks declined options on starter Zach Duke, second baseman Aaron Hill, and shortstop Willie Bloomquist, but are probably open to re-signing Hill and Bloomquist.

> The Blue Jays picked up their option on outfielder Edwin Encarnacion, but declined their option on reliever Jon Rauch.

> The Royals picked up their $6 million option on closer Joakim Soria, who is coming off a horrible 2011. But, prior to that, he was one of the top closers in the game.

> The Reds picked up their option on second baseman Brandon Phillips, but declined the option on closer Francisco Cordero.

> The Padres declined options on starter Aaron Harang, reliever Chad Qualls, and first baseman Brad Hawpe. I thought it was interesting that they didn’t pick up Harang’s option, because he actually quietly put up a good season.

> The Rays exercised their option  on starter James Shields and closer Kyle Farnsworth, while declining both of those pitchers’ batterymate, Kelly Shoppach.

> Mariners closer David Aardsma, who did not pitch at all in 2011 due to an injury from 2010, has elected free agency. Whichever team that signs him will probably have to wait until at least June for his services in the Majors, however, as he’s still recovering from the injury.

> The White Sox picked up their option on reliever Jason Frasor, who they acquired from the Blue Jays at the Trade Deadline.

> The Indians exercised their option on starter Fausto Carmona, but declined the option on the injury-plagued center fielder Grady Sizemore.

> The Pirates declined options on catcher Ryan Doumit, shortstop Ronny Cedeno, catcher Chris Snyder, and starter Paul Maholm. I thought they should have kept Maholm at least, because he’s good- just doesn’t get run support. But they can do whatever the want to keep themselves from having their first winning season since 1992, for all I care…

> The Rockies declined their option on starter Aaron Cook. That was definitely expected, as he’s been injury-plagued and ineffective over the past two years.

> Lastly, the Rangers exercised their option on Japanese reliever Yoshinori Tateyama.

Well, that took awhile, but thanks for reading. Feel free to leave thoughts on these moves, if you have any.



Brewers reportedly decline Yuni’s option; full list of free agents

October 31, 2011

I didn’t look much at news today because I was busy, but here was the first thing I saw when I finally did- “Brewers decline Betancourt’s option.” My day was instantly made.

That’s right, Yuniesky Betancourt-haters (including myself). He probably won’t be playing shortstop for the Brewers next year, which means better defense at that position and better offense in the lineup- hopefully.

Betancourt had a pretty bad 2011. But it may have been good for his standards, actually. He hit .252 with 13 home runs and 68 RBI. All of those stats are worse than his 2010 season with the Royals, in which he hit .259 with 16 home runs and 78 RBI. Anyway, if you add his 2011 stats to his lazy defense at shortstop, you can see why the Brewers declined his option.

My guess is that Doug Melvin will make a push for Jose Reyes, the Mets’ All-Star shortstop who is now a free agent. His .336 batting average won him the NL batting title (although he technically cheated to get it). Reyes doesn’t hit for much power, but he did lead the NL in triples with 16. His offense, defense, and speed all make him a giant upgrade from Betancourt.

Oh yeah, and the Brewers are also expected to be top contender for lefty starter C.J. Wilson. He went 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA as the ace of the Rangers this year, but he had an ugly postseason, as he went 0-3 with an ERA hovering around 7.00. But, he would make a great addition to the Brewers’ rotation, and would probably push lefty Chris Narveson (11-8, 4.45 ERA) back into the bullpen.

And just a couple more things before I move onto my next topic- the Brewers’ declined reliever Francisco Rodriguez’s $17.5 million option, but that was expected, as there was no way the Brewers would have been able to afford that. Also, Dale Sveum is going to be interviewed as one of the possible managerial candidates for the Red Sox. No idea why they’d want him, unless they’ve already given up on next year.

Anyway, onto the next topic. Here is a list of every free agent from every team, with their respective position next to their name:

Atlanta Braves

Alex Gonzalez, SS

Scott Linebrink, RP

Nate McLouth, OF

George Sherrill, RP

Jack Wilson, SS

Arizona Diamondbacks

Jason Marquis, SP

John McDonald, SS

Xavier Nady, OF

Lyle Overbay, 1B

Baltimore Orioles

Vladimir Guerrero, DH

Cesar Izturis, SS

Boston Red Sox

Erik Bedard, SP

J.D. Drew, OF

Conor Jackson, OF

Trever Miller, RP

David Ortiz, DH

Jonathan Papelbon, RP

Jason Varitek, C

Tim Wakefield, P

Chicago Cubs

John Grabow, RP

Reed Johnson, OF

Rodrigo Lopez, SP

Ramon Ortiz, RP

Carlos Pena, 1B

Kerry Wood, RP

Cincinnati Reds

Ramon Hernandez, C

Edgar Renteria, SS

Dontrelle Willis, SP

Cleveland Indians

Chad Durbin, RP

Kosuke Fukudome, OF

Jim Thome, DH

Colorado Rockies

Aaron Cook, SP

Mark Ellis, 2B

Kevin Millwood, SP

J.C. Romero, RP

Chicago White Sox

Mark Buehrle, SP

Ramon Castro, C

Juan Pierre, OF

Omar Vizquel, SS

Detroit Tigers

Wilson Betemit, SS

Carlos Guillen, 2B

Magglio Ordonez, OF

Brad Penny, SP

Ramon Santiago, 2B

Joel Zumaya, RP

Florida Marlins

Greg Dobbs, 3B

Jose Lopez, 2B

Javier Vasquez, SP

Houston Astros

Clint Barmes, SS

Jason Michaels, OF

Kansas City Royals

Bruce Chen, SP

Jeff Francis, SP

Jason Kendall, C

Los Angeles Angels

Russell Branyan, OF

Joel Pineiro, SP

Horacio Ramirez, RP

Fernando Rodney, RP

Los Angeles Dodgers

Rod Barajas, C

Casey Blake, 2B

Jonathan Broxton, RP

Jamey Carroll, SS

Jon Garland, SP

Hiroki Kuroda, SP

Mike MacDougal, RP

Aaron Miles, 2B

Vicente Padilla, SP

Juan Rivera, 1B

Milwaukee Brewers

Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

Craig Counsell, SS

Prince Fielder, 1B

Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B

LaTroy Hawkins, RP

Mark Kotsay, OF

Francisco Rodriguez, RP

Takashi Saito, RP

Minnesota Twins

Matt Capps, RP

Michael Cuddyer, OF

Jason Kubel, OF

Joe Nathan, RP

New York Mets

Miguel Batista, RP

Chris Capuano, SP

Scott Hairston, OF

Willie Harris, 2B

Jason Isringhausen, RP

Jose Reyes, SS

Chris Young, SP

New York Yankees

Luis Ayala, RP

Eric Chavez, 3B

Bartolo Colon, SP

Freddy Garcia, SP

Andruw Jones, OF

Damaso Marte, RP

Sergio Mitre, RP

Jorge Posada, DH

Oakland Athletics

Coco Crisp, OF

David DeJesus, OF

Rich Harden, SP

Hideki Matsui, DH

Josh Willingham, OF

Philadelphia Phillies

Ross Gload, OF

Raul Ibanez, OF

Brad Lidge, RP

Ryan Madson, RP

Roy Oswalt, SP

Jimmy Rollins, SS

Brian Schneider, C

Pittsburgh Pirates

Derrek Lee, 1B

Ryan Ludwick, OF

San Diego Padres

Heath Bell, RP

Aaron Harang, SP

Brad Hawpe, 1B

Chad Qualls, RP

Seattle Mariners

Josh Bard, C

Adam Kennedy, 2B

Wily Mo Pena, OF

Jamey Wright, RP

San Francisco Giants

Carlos Beltran, OF

Pat Burrell, OF

Orlando Cabrera, SS

Mark De Rosa, 2B

Guillermo Mota, RP

Cody Ross, OF

St. Louis Cardinals

Edwin Jackson, SP

Gerald Laird, C

Albert Pujols, 1B

Nick Punto, 2B

Arthur Rhodes, RP

Tampa Bay Rays

Juan Cruz, RP

Johnny Damon, DH

Casey Kotchman, 1B

Texas Rangers

Endy Chavez, OF

Michael Gonzalez, RP

Darren Oliver, RP

Matt Treanor, C

Brandon Webb, SP

C.J. Wilson, SP

Toronto Blue Jays

Shawn Camp, RP

Frank Francisco, RP

Kelly Johnson, 2B

Jose Molina, C

Washington Nationals

Rick Ankiel, OF

Todd Coffey, RP

Alex Cora, 3B

Jonny Gomes, OF

Livan Hernandez, SP

Laynce Nix, OF

Ivan Rodriguez, C

Chien-Ming Wang, SP


Brewers edge Rockies to split series

July 17, 2011

5:58p The Brewers didn’t win this series at Coors Field, but they didn’t lose it, either.

Brewers-Rockies Wrap-Up

The Brewers defeated the Rockies today in a tight game, 4-3. They managed to split a road series at Coors Field, where they have the worst record of any visiting opponent at the Rockies’ home.

The struggling Aaron Cook was on the hill for the Rockies, and came into the day winless. The Brewers aimed to keep it that way, and they did. They got to Cook in the second inning, when Rickie Weeks led off with a double. He advanced on a George Kottaras groundout, then Casey McGehee drove him in with a sacrifice fly to give the Crew an early 1-0 lead.

The Rockies wouldn’t answer until the fourth, when Brewers starter Shaun Marcum got into a jam. After walking Dexter Fowler and Jason Giambi to lead off the inning, Marcum gave up a single to Seth Smith to drive in Fowler. Weeks nearly caught it at second, but it deflected off his glove, which allowed Fowler to score. Marcum would then strike out Ian Stewart and induce an Eliezer Alfonzo groundout to get out of the jam.

The Brewers, however, immediately answered in the fifth. Cook walked Prince Fielder with one out, then Weeks singled to put men on first and second. Kottaras then took advantage of a sinker that Cook left up in the zone and drove it to left field to score Fielder. Weeks, however, was thrown out at home trying to score a second run. McGehee then proceeded to drive in Kottaras with an RBI single. Reliever Matt Belisle, Cook’s replacement, finally ended the bleeding by inducing a Marcum flyout. Cook went just 4 2/3 innings while giving up three runs on eight hits. He walked three and struck out one. He would have given up more runs, but the Brewers left the bases loaded twice against him.

Mark Kotsay added an RBI single in the sixth to give the Brewers a 4-1 lead.

Marcum came back out for the sixth inning, but would not stay for long. He had made a highlight reel play the inning before to rob Fowler of a bunt single, but, while making the play, landed weird on his shoulder. When he came out for the sixth, he immediately gave up a mile-long homer to Giambi. Marcum was removed from the game after that to make sure he wouldn’t injure himself more, and it was later determined that he had a neck strain.

LaTroy Hawkins came in to finish the sixth, and got himself in and out of a jam.

Marcum’s line finished with 5+ innings pitched while giving up two runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out four.

Takashi Saito pitched a perfect seventh, and Francisco Rodriguez threw a scoreless eighth while working in and out of a jam.

Then, closer John Axford came in to try and keep his save streak alive. It didn’t look like he was going to at first, as he gave up an RBI double to Ty Wigginton to make it a 4-3 game. However, Axford would strike out Troy Tulowitzki to end the game.

McGehee has solid day at the plate

McGehee finally had one of his rare decent days at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. He brought his average up to .225. (Yes, you read that correctly- he brought it UP to .225.)

I’ve noted this in a few posts now, but McGehee is still in a season long slump that hasn’t really ended. He’s been doing slightly better lately, but it’s too late in the season for him to make a complete turn around. It looks he’ll be having the worst season of his career at this point.

Coors Field has “courteous” fans

Remember in the first game of this series when Fielder had to borrow a Rockies fan’s sunglasses because he couldn’t find his own? That was an example of the usually-kind Rockies fans at Coors Field.

Today was a different story. While Saito was pitching the seventh inning, a Rockies fan was supposedly yelling something directly at him as soon as he went into his delivery. This distracted Saito, so he repeatedly attempted to ask the umpires to do something about it. Only one issue- Saito can’t speak English.

It appeared Saito was trying to act out what was going on, but to no avail. He was starting to get booed after a while, and Saito’s translator finally ran out onto the field and must have gotten the umps to do something, because Saito finally started pitching without any distractions.

But, I’m not going to lie about this- Saito looked hilarious. While he was trying to act out what was going on, it looked like he was dancing and laughing, so I don’t blame the umps for not knowing what was going on. That’s the only down-side of Japanese pitchers in America: none of them know how to speak English.

Wilson > Betancourt

Josh Wilson has gotten the start at shortstop for the past two days, and let me say I’ve been extremely impressed with his defense for the most part. He’s making plays that Yuniesky Betancourt would never make, even if he tried (but he would never try anyway). Wilson’s offense has been better than Betancourt’s as well.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will open up a series with the Diamondbacks in Arizona tomorrow. Randy Wolf (6-6, 3.65 ERA) will take the hill for the Brewers. He got knocked around his last start against the D-backs, giving up seven runs in six innings. He is 10-4 with a 4.77 ERA against them in his career.

Josh Collmenter (4-5, 2.92 ERA) will go for the Diamondbacks. He shut out the Brewers for six innings in his only start against them, but was forced to settle for a n0-decision because his bullpen blew the game.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Reds defeated the Cardinals, 3-1. The Brewers now move ahead of the Cards in the division standings and are in first all alone.
  • The Pirates defeated the Astros, 7-5. The Pirates are just a half game back, while the Astros are an astounding 19.5 games back. Wow.
  • The Cubs lost to the Marlins, 7-5. They are 13 games back.

Box Score

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Milwaukee Brewers 0 1 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 4 11 1
Colorado Rockies 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 3 7 3

Milwaukee Brewers

Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Corey Hart, RF 4 1 1 0 1 0 2 .266
Nyjer Morgan, CF-LF 4 0 2 0 0 1 4 .335
Mark Kotsay, LF 4 0 1 1 0 1 3 .257
b- Carlos Gomez, PH- CF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .223
Prince Fielder, 1B 3 1 0 0 2 0 2 .299
Rickie Weeks, 2B 4 1 2 0 1 0 3 .277
George Kottaras, C 4 1 1 1 0 0 1 .226
c- Ryan Braun, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .315
Casey McGehee, 3B 3 0 2 2 0 1 0 .225
Josh Wilson, SS 4 0 2 0 0 0 1 .294
Shaun Marcum, P 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 .114
a- Jonathan Lucroy, PH-C 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .275
Total 36 4 11 4 4 3 21

a- Grounded into a forceout for Saito in the 8th.

b- Lined out for Kotsay in the 9th.

c- Grounded out for Rodriguez in the 9th.

BATTING
2B- Weeks (24), Kottaras (2), Wilson (5).

RBI- McGehee 2 (38), Kottaras (10), Kotsay (20).

Team RISP- 3-for-11.

Team LOB- 11.

FIELDING

E- Wilson (2, fielding).

Milwaukee Brewers

Pitcher IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Shaun Marcum (W, 8-3) 5.0 4 2 2 3 4 1 3.39
LaTroy Hawkins (H, 13) 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.65
Takashi Saito (H, 3) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3.86
Francisco Rodriguez (H, 1) 1.0 1 0 0 1 2 0 3.02
John Axford (SV, 25) 1.0 1 1 0 1 2 0 2.84

Marcum pitched to 1 batter in the 6th.

Pitches-strikes: Marcum 82-48, Hawkins 18-12, Saito 15-9, Rodriguez 20-12, Axford 24-17.

Groundouts-flyouts: Marcum 4-4, Hawkins 2-1, Saito 0-1, Rodriguez 1-0, Axford 2-0.

Batters faced- Marcum 22, Hawkins 4, Saito 3, Rodriguez 5, Axford 6.