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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McGehee comes through as Brewers rally against D-backs

July 7, 2011

3:52p Now this is exactly the kind of game the Brewers needed.

Diamondbacks-Brewers Wrap-Up

The Brewers finally snapped a three-game losing streak today in a win against the Diamondbacks. Three good things happened today: Casey McGehee hit a late-inning homer, Yovani Gallardo tossed a gem, and Ron Roenicke finally used LaTroy Hawkins in the setup role.

Gallardo recovered pretty well after giving up a lead-off homer to Kelly Johnson in the first inning, but received no run support through the first six innings. That was because Diamondbacks starter Josh Collmenter finally had a decent start and shut out the Brewers for six innings before handing it off to the Diamondbacks’ inconsistent bullpen.

Reliever Joe Paterson came in to pitch the seventh. After striking out Prince Fielder, Paterson gave up back-to-back singles to Mark Kotsay and Jonathan Lucroy.

Then, the slumping Casey McGehee stepped up to the plate to pinch-hit for Mat Gamel.

Reliever Sam Demel came on to replace Paterson after he recorded just one out. Then, on a 3-2 count, McGehee crushed a three-run homer to give the Brewers the lead, 3-1.

LaTroy Hawkins came in and pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and John Axford struck out the side in the ninth to record his 22nd save of the year. Gallardo finished with seven innings, giving up one run on four hits while walking one and striking out six. It was his tenth win of the year and lowered his ERA to 3.76.

McGehee finally comes through

McGehee has been in a season-long slump so far this year, but he shined today as he hit the go-ahead homer off of Demel in the seventh. McGehee was actually out of the lineup as Gamel made his second start of the season at third base.

I’ve said this a lot, but McGehee is on track to have the worst season of his career this year. He’s hitting just .225 with five home runs and 36 RBIs. Hopefully the homer today is a symbol that he’s finally beginning to break out of his slump. However, he may have just been showing his dominance against the Diamondbacks. Coming into this series, McGehee was hitting .548 against Arizona for his career. He is also 5-for-5 against Arizona starter Daniel Hudson in his career.

Hawkins finally used in the eighth inning role

Roenicke finally used Hawkins in the eighth inning today, the role he was meant for. It seems to me that Hawkins has only been used when starters can’t get out of an inning, or in a mop-up role, which is not what his role actually is. I heard that Hawkins recently talked to Roenicke about being used in a better role in the bullpen, but, up until today, that hadn’t really showed.

Roenicke, for some reason, has been using Kameron Loe for the setup role. Here are Loe’s numbers out of that role so far: 2-7, 4.72 ERA. Great numbers for a setup guy, right? Here are Hawkins’ numbers out of his role, mop-up or whatever it may be: 0-0, 0.78 ERA. As you can see, Hawkins hasn’t even factored in a decision yet, which shows how unused he is. To me, Loe’s numbers and Hawkins’ numbers are the complete opposites of what their numbers should be, given their roles.

Braun sits fourth straight, has MRI on calf

Ryan Braun sat out for the fourth straight game today, and, just to make sure there wasn’t anything extremely wrong with his calf, had an MRI. The MRI should nothing more than an inflammation in his calf. Roenicke said Braun probably won’t be in the lineup tomorrow, but could be on Friday.

Brewers avoid first sweep at home of the year

It appeared that the Brewers were going to get swept at home for the first time this season today with the way Collmenter was pitching. However, McGehee’s late inning heroics changed that, and the Brewers remain unswept (yes, I made that word up) at home this season. Yesterday and the day before marked the first time this season that the Brewers had dropped back-to-back games at home.

Up next for the Crew…

Tomorrow, the division rival Reds will come to town. The Brewers haven’t fared very well against the Reds so far this season, or for the last three seasons at that. The Brewers are 2-7 against the Reds so far.

Homer Bailey (3-3, 3.64 ERA) will go for the Reds. He’s still getting settled in after a few stints on the DL earlier this season. The Brewers will counter with Chris Narveson (5-5, 4.86 ERA), who got knocked around his last start against the Twins. He gave up a career-high 14 hits to go along with seven runs. He didn’t factor in the decision, however, because that was the day of the huge comeback against the Twins. He hasn’t been good against the Reds this season, as he is 0-2 and gave up seven runs in one start, and five in the other. He better win tomorrow, though, since I’m going to be at the game.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Cubs are currently tied with the Nationals, 4-4. To be honest, I could care less whether or not they win, considering how far out of the race they are. It’s just fun to watch the Cubs lose.
  • The Astros are leading the Pirates, 5-2. Is the Pirates lose, the Brewers will move ahead of them in the Central standings.
  • The Reds are destroying the Cardinals, 6-0. If the Cards lose, the Brewers will gain a game on them.