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

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Interleague Recap

July 4, 2011

10:54p Well, the Brewers rough Interleague schedule came and went as advertised, and it turned out pretty bad.

I remember last year, sometime towards the end of the year, I was watching a Brewer game. Brewers announcers Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder somehow got to the topic of Interleague, and then Anderson said he was going to show the Brewers’ 2011 Interleague schedule on the screen after the next commercial break. Being a huge fan of Interleague play, I was excited to see who we were playing. When the commercial break ended and Anderson showed the Interleague schedule, my excitement went away.

Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Twins.

At that point, I knew this was the most unfair Interleague schedule in baseball, and that remained correct. I don’t know of any team with a rougher schedule than that.

I remember a lot of people saying that we would have a 14-game losing streak during Interleague. I didn’t think it would be that bad. And, after we acquired Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, I thought we had a shot at those tough teams of the AL East. Turns out that Greinke and Marcum didn’t help us in Interleague at all- Greinke had two disaster starts (against the Yankees and Twins), and one great start (7 IP, 1 ER effort against the Rays), while Marcum pitched just 9 innings total because of a hip injury he suffered in Boston.

The final Interleague record? 6-9.

That was the opposite of last year, when we went 9-6 against the much easier AL West (Rangers, Angels, Mariners, and rival Twins).

It started with a series against the Red Sox- at Fenway Park- where we lost two of three to the Red Sox. Too bad we couldn’t have gotten them at Miller Park, for two reasons. One, we’re just plain better at home. Two, no DH for the Sox (so, in other words, no David Ortiz). But, hey, that’s the luck of the Brewers. The one game they actually won was behind a great effort from Randy Wolf. If I had to have chosen one of the games that the Brewers would have lost in that series, I would have chosen that one. But, Marcum and Yovani Gallardo both faltered in the other starts, and Wolf proved me wrong.

Then, the series at home with the Rays. I thought we would fair better against them, but we didn’t- another lousy one of three series for the Brewers. The one win came on one of Greinke’s rare decent starts, when he held the Rays to one run over 7 strong innings. We actually got kind of lucky in that series, because the Rays didn’t have the DH and had to use Johnny Damon in the outfield. We should have fared better because of his joke for an arm, but I guess it didn’t have that much effect on the outcome of the series.

Next came a much-needed sweep of the Twins at home. Randy Wolf, Yovani Gallardo, and Chris Narveson all picked up wins. Again, the Twins had no DH at Miller Park, so, despite the fact Jim Thome was finally returning from the DL, he could not be used, except for in pinch-hitting roles.

The tables would turn for the Brewers during the next series as the made their first trip to Yankee Stadium since 1997. They were swept at the hands of the Yankees, and the most embarrassing game of all was when Greinke gave up 7 runs in 2 innings- ballooning his career ERA at Yankee Stadium to 11.31.

Then came the series that just ended today, against the Twins at Target Field. Gallardo had a below-average performance and Greinke had another awful start. Narveson also got knocked around, but that was covered up because of the incredible comeback win that the Brewers pulled off against Twins closer Matt Capps.

So, those are a few of my thoughts on the Brewers’ disappointing Interleague series. We still somehow ended it tied with the Cardinals for first in the Central, which we should be thankful for considering we were up against the three top teams in the AL East.

By the way, sorry for venting out on Greinke so much. But he has just disappointed me so much this year. His injury in spring training gave him a bad impression immediately, and his 5.66 ERA isn’t making him look any better. I really hope he picks up the pace soon, because if we want to make a real run at the Central, we need Greinke to do it.


Rays hammer Cards, 8-3

July 3, 2011

3:54p Well, here’s some pretty good news for the Brewers. The Cardinals lost to the Rays today, 8-3. It was a pretty tight game until the 8th inning, when the Rays finally put the game away on Johnny Damon’s base-clearing triple. The Cards couldn’t muster up much against Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson, and even though Yadier Molina and Lance Berkman both homered, Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse could not hold down the Rays.

So, if the Brewers can take down Matt Capps in the 9th inning again today, they will have first place all to themselves for the time being. If not, they’ll remain tied with the Cards in first.