Brewers’ lineup appears set

March 4, 2012

> It’s a little early to say for sure, but it sounds like the Brewers lineup and starting rotation for the regular season is set.

Ron Roenicke debuted the lineup earlier today during an intrasquad game, and he talked a bit about how the rotation would look. The lineup should look something like this: Rickie Weeks, Nyjer Morgan, Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez, Corey Hart, Mat Gamel, Alex Gonzalez, Jonathan Lucroy, and the pitcher. That’s how I expected it to look, although we’ll have to see what happens with the leadoff spot. Weeks and Hart have both expressed interest and liking to the spot, but Weeks specifically said that he didn’t want to hit fifth, which leaves him leading off.

Then there’s the rotation. Here’s how it’ll go: Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke, Randy Wolf, Shaun Marcum, and Chris Narveson. The reason Wolf is ahead of Marcum in the rotation is because of the opening series of the season against the Cardinals. Wolf has been solid against the Cards in his career, and pitched well against them in the postseason last year. Marcum, meanwhile, was pounded by them during the postseason. Marcum and Narveson will pitch the first two games in the next series against the Cubs. Both pitchers have had success against the Cubs in their career (I believe Narveson is 6-1 with an ERA below 3.00). To be honest with you, I almost wish Gallardo was pitching against the Cubs and Narveson was pitching against the Cardinals, though. Gallardo gets mauled by the Cards every time he pitches against them, although the departure of Albert Pujols may help a bit. And Gallardo is a strikeout machine against the Cubs. Narveson, meanwhile, has a career ERA under 2.00 against the Cardinals. One of my favorite things to watch in all of baseball is Chris Narveson pitching against the Cardinals, because I find it hilarious how they can’t hit him at all, and they’re the ones who drafted him. Hopefully the two get matched up sometime later in the season.

Also, the starting pitchers for tomorrow’s Spring Training game against the Giants have been announced. Wolf will start and pitch a few innings, then Greinke will pitch a bit as well in relief. Madison Bumgarner will be starting for the Giants.

> Bench coach Jerry Narron brought back his Japanese lineup card writing for Norichika Aoki during today’s intrasquad game. Narron has been doing this ever since 2001 when Ichiro Suzuki arrived in the Majors, and he says he does it “out of respect.” Aoki said this helped him “fit in” to the clubhouse better.

Narron also did this for Japanese reliever Takashi Saito, who pitched for the Brewers last year. Unfortunately, he left via free agency for the Diamondbacks.

> One more thing before I go- I put up another article on Reviewing the Brew earlier today. I can’t remember if I’ve explained it on this blog before, but, if I haven’t, here’s how it works. The six writers (including me) at RtB are doing a collaborative project in which we pick one Brewers prospect to watch during Spring Training, and then write articles about that player’s progress throughout spring. My pick was starting pitcher Amaury Rivas, who I’ve been avidly watching for about three years now. I thought this would be a good choice since I’ve already got a bit of background knowledge about Rivas, and he’s arguably my favorite Brewers prospect. Anyway, here’s a link to the article.

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


Brewers hire another Narron to be hitting coach

November 29, 2011

> This isn’t exactly the situation I expected as far as the Brewers’ search for a hitting coach goes.

> The Brewers have hired another Narron to be part of the coaching staff- Johnny Narron. He will take over Dale Sveum‘s place as hitting coach, and will be “reunited,” so to speak, with his brother (and Brewers bench coach) Jerry Narron.

Johnny is most famous for turning Rangers All-Star Josh Hamilton into the player he is today, from the days Hamilton was with the Reds. I’m hoping he can do the same for a couple struggling Brewers, such as Casey McGehee and Yuniesky Betancourt (if he comes back, which I’ve heard he might).

And I don’t know what it is about the Brewers and the Narrons. The Brewers also have a Minor League pitcher- Sam Narron, who I think is the nephew of Jerry (or something along those lines).

> The Astros are apparently trying to revamp their front office. That started today, as the released president Tal Smith and GM Ed Wade. But, it’s just one of those situations where something has to be done after an awful season.

And it wasn’t only Smith and Wade. Last week, Drayton McLane handed the Astros over to Jim Crane. So, by the beginning of next year, the Astros’ front office is going to look completely different- just in time for their move to the AL West.

> The Cardinals are discovering that more and more teams aren’t going to be contenders for free agent Albert Pujols. It’s been reported that they aren’t going to bump up their offer to him, which is supposedly for nine years and around $210 million. And they shouldn’t. Bidding against yourself for the best free agent on the market doesn’t sound very logical to me.

The only other “serious” contenders for Pujols are the Marlins. But honestly, can you see Pujols in a Marlins’ uniform?

> And that’s about it for today. Not much news (and not much to say about the news that there is), but, assuming there isn’t any tomorrow, I should have an article-style post up tomorrow. Anyway, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.


Brewers’ coaching staff all invited back for 2012

November 9, 2011

> Today was just another typical day in the 2011 offseason thus far- the Brewers had close to no news to talk about. I get it, it’s still early on, so not many huge moves are going to be made yet. But honestly, it’s every blogger’s nightmare to have nothing to write about…

> The Brewers did stir a little today, though- they announced that the entire coaching staff has been invited back to serve under Ron Roenicke for the 2012 season. So that means at least bench coach Jerry Narron, pitching coach Rick Kranitz, bullpen coach Stan Kyles, third base coach Ed Sedar, first base coach Garth Iorg, and “eye in the sky” John Shelby will be back.

The only question mark on the Brewers’ coaching staff for 2012 is hitting coach Dale Sveum, who has interviewed for the job of manager in both Boston and the north side of Chicago. Sveum has been passed over twice for the managerial role for the Brewers, first after serving as the interim manager for 12 games in 2008, then before this year, when Roenicke was hired.

But, for some reason, I have a feeling that Sveum isn’t going to be back next year. He clearly wants to manage, and this is probably his best chance.

Anyway, with that aside, onto the Hot Stove news…

> The Phillies are apparently close to a deal with closer Ryan Madson. Reports are saying that they’re working on a four-year, $44 million contract for the veteran reliever.

This offseason’s theme must be to overpay relief pitchers as much as possible. Just the other day, the Giants signed Javier Lopez to a two-year deal worth $8.5 million, and picked up Jeremy Affeldt’s $5 million option. And now we see the Phillies pouring it on Madson. In my opinion, especially with a veteran like Madson, it’s better to sign him to a short-term deal (1-2 years). But apparently they haven’t been paying attention to the closing collapses of Trevor Hoffman, Jonathan Broxton, and Ryan Franklin. Honestly, it seems like they can just lose it overnight nowadays.

> Terry Francona interviewed for the Cardinals’ managerial vacancy today. I expected this, and everyone else probably did, too. Francona was cut loose by the Red Sox after their historical September collapse that cost them the postseason, despite the fact it wasn’t his fault- it was the guys having fried chicken and beer in the clubhouse’s fault.

Anyway, Francona is still a great manager, and the Cards probably want someone exactly like him to fill in the void left by a future Hall of Fame manager.

> I’ve recently been hearing that the Nationals and Marlins, the two teams sulking at the bottom of the NL East, are interested in pretty much every big name free agent on the market. The Nationals are reportedly showing interest in Tsuyoshi Wada (a Japanese starting pitcher), Yoennis Cespedes (a defected Cuban outfielder), C.J. Wilson, Mark Buehrle, Roy Oswalt, Jose Reyes, Prince Fielder, and Albert Pujols (as unlikely as it is to happen). And the Marlins are interested in most of the same players.

But every big name free agent is going to want to sign with a team that will have to compete with the Phillies every year in the East, right?

> So yeah, another slow news day. But, before I go, I have one thing to announce about the blog itself- we’re now part of El Maquino’s correspondents, something he started today to try and get news about every MLB team in one place. There’s going to be one representative (or more, I guess I don’t know yet) blogger for each team, and I’ve got the Brewers. So I’m looking forward to becoming part of that.

> Anyhow, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts/comments, if you’ve got any.