Transactions from the past few days

November 29, 2012

> Gord Ash has announced that adding arms– whether they be starters or relievers- is going to be the priority for the Brewers at this year’s Winter Meetings.

> Josh Prince was named to the Arizona Fall League Prospects Team.

> According to Buster Olney, the Brewers are still bidders for Josh Hamilton. But, if his price reaches anywhere around $214 million- the amount Prince Fielder got last offseason- Olney doesn’t think the Brewers will sign him.

> The Braves overpayed B.J. Upton with a five-year contract for $75.25 million. On the bright side, that means they’re out of the running for Hamilton.

> The Angels signed Ryan Madson to a one-year deal to be their closer. He could have been an option for the Brewers, but it would have been a risk, seeing as Madson didn’t pitch at all last year due to Tommy John surgery.

> Yet another relatively mediocre reliever has been signed to a multi-year deal. This time, the Reds gave Jonathan Broxton a three-year, $21 million deal. This means it will only be tougher for the Brewers to bring in a reliever.

> One more relief note: it’s been reported that the Giants are probably going to non-tender Brian Wilson. But he’s one guy who I want to stay away from the Brewers.

> Minor moves: 

Reds: Re-signed Todd Redmond to a one-year deal.
Mets: Re-signed Tim Byrdak to a minor league deal; acquired Brandon Hicks from the Athletics.
Yankees: Designated Eli Whiteside for assignment; re-signed Andy Pettitte to a one-year deal.
Red Sox: Outrighted Ivan De Jesus off their 40-man roster; signed David Carpenter and Jose De La Torre to minor league deals.
Cubs: Signed Scott Feldman to a one-year deal; designated Casey Coleman for assignment.
Orioles: Signed Logan Mahon and Chase Johnson to minor league deals; acquired Danny Valencia from the Red Sox; designated Joe Mahoney for assignment.
Giants: Signed Omar Javier and Guillermo Quiroz to minor league deals.
Twins: Signed Jeff Clement to a minor league deal.
Phillies: Signed Brandon Erbe, Humberto Quintero, and Pete Orr to minor league deals; acquired Wilton Lopez from the Astros.
Astros: Signed Edgar Gonzalez, Trevor Crowe, Sergio Escalona, and Jose Valdez to minor league deals.
Diamondbacks: Signed Mark Teahen to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Signed Bobby Bramhall to a minor league deal.
Indians: Designated Rafael Perez for assignment; added Nick Hagadone to their 40-man roster.
Pirates: Acquired Zach Stewart from the Red Sox; acquired Vin Mazzaro and Clint Robinson from the Royals; designated Matt Hague and Yamaico Navarro for assignment.
Rangers: Acquired Cory Burns from the Padres.
Athletics: Acquired Sandy Rosario from the Red Sox; designated Jermaine Mitchell for assignment; re-signed Pat Neshek to a one-year deal.
Mariners: Released Chone Figgins.

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Greinke hammered as Garza dominates Crew

April 13, 2012

> Remember how in last night’s post I said that Zack Greinke had thrown two good games against the Cubs and one bad?

Well, he evened that ratio out today in the Brewers’ 8-0 loss to the Cubs. They still took three of four in the series, but this isn’t a good way to end it. After tossing seven shutout innings against the reigning World Champ Cardinals, Greinke got shelled by the Cubs, tagged for eight runs in just 3 2/3 innings. His ERA ballooned from 0.00 to 6.75, which is never good, especially if it happens in just one outing.

Greinke was solid the first two innings, as he retired the first six batters he faced. But, the third inning is when things started to fall apart, as the Cubs put up a six-spot on him. Since I was in school during most of the game, I didn’t get to see the third inning. But, judging by the replays I saw, everything looked up in the strike zone. That’s just asking for trouble against a free-swinging team like the Cubs.

But all we can hope for is that Greinke bounces back in his next start. We can’t have him being as inconsistent as he was during the first half of last year.

On the Brewers’ side, there was absolutely no offense. They were shut out on three hits (all singles), all given up by Matt Garza, who went 8 2/3 innings. He probably could have finished the game off, but, in the ninth, he fielded a Norichika Aoki comebacker. He wound up and threw to first base- minus the first base. The ball went sailing into the crowd, and, on one angle of the play shown, it was questionable whether or not he was even trying to throw to first. Anyway, Garza was taken out after that, but Shawn Camp got the final out.

> But back to Greinke. I forgot to mention this yesterday, but he and his new agent have decided to table talks about a contract extension for now. Greinke was probably feeling all high and mighty after that start against the Cards, but hopefully this start opened up his eyes a bit.

> Zach Braddock was once again placed onthe temporary inactive list today, a spot on the roster he visited a few times last year. It still apparently has something to do with his sleep disorder and personal issues, and Gord Ash still won’t say anything beyond that.

I’m really starting to wonder about Braddock, though. He looked extremely promising in 2010, posting a 2.93 ERA in 46 games. But I don’t know if he’ll ever reach that point again in the direction he’s headed.

> And that’s about it. The Brewers will travel to Atlanta tomorrow (actually they’re probably already there) for a three-game set against the Braves. Here are the probable pitchers:

Randy Wolf (0-1, 5.40 ERA) vs. Jair Jurrjens (0-1, 6.23 ERA)

Shaun Marcum (1-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Mike Minor (0-1, 10.80 ERA)

Chris Narveson (1-0, 3.60 ERA) vs. Brandon Beachy (0-1, 1.80 ERA)

As you can see, Wolf is going tomorrow. He’s seen a lot of the Braves over his career, being a former Phillie. But he’s mightily struggled against them, with a 5-12 mark against the Braves with a 5.28 ERA.

Jurrjens, meanwhile, has had success against the Brewers in his career (2-1, 2.95 ERA against them). But he’s one of the more inconsistent pitchers in the game, especially since his injury in the middle of 2011.

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


Brewers rally too late against Royals

March 28, 2012

> The Brewers dropped another ST game today, this time to the Royals, losing 9-7. Yovani Gallardo once again struggled against the Royals, giving up four runs in five innings, though he struck out six. But Gallardo wasn’t the only pitcher who was off today. Jose Veras gave up a run, making his ST ERA 4.82, as questions begin to surround his ability to solidify the seventh inning role. Mike McClendon also gave four runs in two innings, and it may not be long before he’s optioned.

On the bright side, though, the offense wasn’t too shabby for the Brewers, although it wasn’t for the Royals either. The Royals took an early 1-0 lead when Yuniesky Betancourt attempted to make Brewers fans want him back by hitting a solo homer off Gallardo. But, to be honest with you, he could hit 25-30 home runs and I wouldn’t want to see him in a Brewers uniform again. Anyway, the Royals got two more runs in the third on Eric Hosmer’s two-run homer. A Mat Gamel throwing error also gave the Royals another run that inning.

The Brewers finally got on the board in the fifth when Gamel hit another home run, his fourth of the spring. But the Royals answered back in the sixth on Mike Moustakas’ solo shot, making the score 5-1. Then, in the seventh, Hosmer hit another two-run homer. But, in the bottom of the inning, Alex Gonzalez continued his red-hot spring with a two-run blast of his own to make the score 7-3.

But the home run parade wasn’t finished until after Max Ramirez’s two-run homer in the eighth. The Brewers scattered four runs via RBI groundouts and scoring on wild pitches, but they couldn’t come all the way back, with the final being 9-7.

> The Brewers finalized Jonathan Lucroy’s contract extension today, after Ken Rosenthal reported it yesterday. The deal is for five years, and will keep Luc in Milwaukee through at least the 2016 season. The deal also has a 2017 club option that would buy out one of Lucroy’s years in free agency.

Lucroy will make a guaranteed $11 million over the five years, but assistant GM Gord Ash said that a second contract the Brewers are working on could bring it up to $13 million.

But, Lucroy specifically said it wasn’t about the money, which is always what you want to hear. Here’s exactly what he said:

“It’s not all about the money for me. I believe his organization gives me the best chance to get better, just because of the fact that you’re playing with people that care. This works best for me and my family. You really can’t ask for anybody better to work with than these guys and our coaching staff. It’s easy to play, it really is. It was a very fair deal based on what I’ve done, and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

It’s great to see he thinks that way. Even before that quote, I thought of Lucroy as a likeable guy, but this makes it even better. I’m glad he’s here until 2016.

> Norichika Aoki sat against the Royals today with a tight hamstring. It doesn’t sound like a major injury, but Ron Roenicke thought it wasn’t worth putting him on the field today.

> And that’s about it. If I have time, I’ll get up another article on Reviewing the Brew tonight, but if not it’ll come tomorrow. Anyway, 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 is  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.


As season winds down, Brewers make multitude of roster moves

October 26, 2011

It’s that time of year again. There’s only a maximum of two games left in the baseball season- possibly one, if the Rangers can finish off the Cardinals for the crown tomorrow.

But, every other team is looking onwards to next year- and that includes the Brewers. They made several roster moves earlier today to set the stage for this offseason, and the 2012 season.

First and foremost, pitcher Chris Narveson has undergone left-hip surgery, the Brewers announced earlier today. The odd thing is that we- the fans- were never told of a hip injury with Narveson. He was on the DL in late August and early September, but that was due to a freak accident in which he cut open his left hand.

Narveson went 11-8 with a 4.45 ERA in the regular season before being used out of the bullpen in the postseason. He struggled in the postseason, putting up an 11.05 ERA and giving up five home runs in just 7 1/3 innings, but Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash claims that the hip had nothing to do with that performance. Ash also said that the hip injury has been a chronic thing that Narveson has been dealing with for a few years now.

Anyway, onto the next moves. Infielder Josh Wilson and right-handed reliever Mark DiFelice have both been outrighted to Triple-A Nashville. Wilson served as a utility infielder for the Brewers after being acquired off waivers from the Diamondbacks early in the season. He played all four infield positions, and also made a few appearances in left field. At the plate, he hit .224 with two home runs and five RBI.

DiFelice was with the Brewers for a week in late June before being optioned back to Triple-A, and he put up a 12.00 ERA in just three innings of work. After being sent back down, he was plagued with shoulder problems that ruined any chance of him returning in 2011.

Brandon Kintzler has also been reinstated from the DL, and will attend the Arizona Fall League. Kintzler went on the DL on May 13, and had surgery in late July on a stress fracture in his right forearm. In 14 2/3 innings for the Brewers this year, he went 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA before going on the DL.

Lastly, Manny Parra and Mitch Stetter- two left-handers for the Brewers- have come off the DL as well. Parra didn’t pitch at all in 2011 because of several setbacks with his elbow and back, but will hopefully be ready for Spring Training 2012. And, I hate to say this, but if he has any more setbacks, I can’t see the Brewers being this patient with him anymore, and he’ll probably be let go. Hopefully he doesn’t have to endure anymore setbacks, though.

As for Stetter, he pitched seven innings for the Brewers this year before going on the DL, and put up a 5.14 ERA.

Oh, and the Brewers re-signed Minor League infielder Edwin Maysonet to a Minor League deal. He spent all year in the minors in 2011, and hit .290 while there. I don’t know much about this guy, but I’m going to guess he’s probably an Erick Almonte-type player- pretty much just a utility guy.

And I still haven’t heard anything about Zach Braddock, a lefty who was sent up and down and had multiple stints on the DL this year.

Anyway, last night I said I was going to write an article about Chris Carpenter today, bu, instead, I’m just going to give a brief explanation right here. I was going to call him out for using even more profanity last night after getting an out against the Rangers- yeah, the Brewers aren’t the only ones. I’m sorry, but he’s about as un-classy as it gets. After inducing a Mike Napoli fly-out to get out of a runners on first and third jam, he turned around to Napoli and cussed him out. I know some people are making a case that he was yelling to himself, but, after watching a replay this morning, you can clearly see he’s yelling at Napoli- he turned around and started screaming “F*** you!” with spit flying everywhere. But hey- that’s typical Chris Carpenter. I’m just saying you don’t see other aces- most of whom are class acts- such as Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, or Justin Verlander, making reactions like that to getting outs.

Now, I don’t have an issue with a fist pump or maybe a “Hell yeah!” to yourself after getting a key out, but there’s absolutely no reason to turn to the player you just got out and start screaming profanity at him. There’s just no place in baseball for that.

And I know there are going to people comparing Carpenter yelling to the Brewers’ “Beast Mode” to attempt to counter this article- please, don’t even try. There’s a difference between yelling swears at your opponent, as opposed to just having fun.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got. Feel free to leave your thoughts below, and thanks much for reading.



Brewers were interested in lefty Gonzalez

September 2, 2011

Well, it turns out that the Brewers were interested in making an August trade. According to Brewers beat reporter Adam McCalvy and MLB Trade Rumors, the Brewers had been interested in left-handed reliever Mike Gonzalez of the Orioles. The Rangers wound up acquiring Gonzalez, however.

Gonzalez put up solid numbers for the O’s this season, going 2-2 with a 4.27 ERA in 49 games (46 1/3 innings). I guess those aren’t great numbers for a reliever, but he was an assassin against left-handed hitters, holding them to a .211 average. But, righties have gotten some good swings off him, as they’re hitting .300 against Gonzalez.

The Brewers having been looking for a decent lefty out of the bullpen for quite sometime, but continue to come up empty. They were hoping to have three lefties in the ‘pen on opening day- Zach Braddock, Mitch Stetter, and Manny Parra. Parra pretty much immediately went down right when Spring Training started, and has been dealing with shoulder and back issues since. He won’t be pitching again this season due to a screw replacement in his elbow, but should be ready by Spring Training of 2012. Stetter was in the bullpen for the first part of the season, but he eventually went down with a hip injury that he’s struggled to come back from (probably because of his submarine delivery). He also recently underwent season-ending surgery. Then, there’s Braddock, but there are tons of question marks surrounding his situation. He dealt with a sleep disorder earlier this season that was based from a social anxiety disorder (similar to that of Zack Greinke’s), and that disorder would lead to two stints on the DL. When he returned from the second stint, he was just straight-up ineffective and couldn’t get anyone out. Braddock was then sent down because he was dealing with some personal issues, but assistant GM Gord Ash refused to talk about what they were. I don’t know if it has to do with his disorder or what, but I doubt he’ll be back in the Majors anytime soon. And that’s unfortunate, because I see a lot of talent in his arm.