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.


News from the last few days

November 22, 2012

> The Mariners have reportedly shown interest in Mat Gamel. I’m going to have an article up tomorrow about how that applies to the Brewers and what they could get in return, but for now I’m going to recap the news I’ve missed over the past few days.

> The Brewers added prospects Scooter Gennett, Hiram Burgos, Josh Prince, Nick Bucci, and Khris Davis to their 40-man roster, meaning they’re protected from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.

> The Yankees re-signed Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year deal. I was holding out hope that the Brewers would some how be able to sign him, but it was unlikely the whole time.

> The Royals signed Jeremy Guthrie to a three-year deal. He could have been another option for the Brewers, though he was seeking a three-year deal, and I think he’s too dangerous to commit to for that long.

> 10 teams have reportedly shown interest in Kyuji Fujikawa. The Brewers could be one of those teams, seeing as Fujikawa is a hard-throwing reliever.

> Minor moves: 

Padres: Re-signed Kyle Blanks to a one-year deal; designated Cory Burns for assignment; added Yeison Asencio, Jaff Decker, and Adys Portillo to their 40-man roster.
Royals: Released Ysmelin Alcantara, Henry Moreno, and Jose Rodriguez; designated Adam Moore, Vin Mazzaro, Chris Volstad, Ryan Verdugo, Brayan Pena, Clint Robinson, and Derrick Robinson for assignment; added Chris Dwyer, Donnie Joseph, John Lamb, Justin Marks, Mike Montgomery, and J.C. Gutierrez to their 40-man roster; re-signed Brett Hayes to a one-year deal.
Pirates: Signed Felix Pie, Brooks Brown, Erik Cordier, David Bromberg, Luis Sanz, and Alex Valdez to minor league deals.
Indians: Signed Matt Carson and Cedric Hunter to minor league deals; designated Fabio Martinez for assignment; added Tim Fedroff, T.J. House, Chen-Chang Lee, and Trey Haley to their 40-man roster; outrighted ex-Brewer Matt LaPorta and Brent Lillibridge to Triple-A.
Blue Jays: Signed Bobby Korecky, Jim Negrych, Ricardo Nanita, and Alex Hinshaw to minor league deals; designated Mike McDade, Mike McCoy, and Cory Wade for assignment; added Ryan Goins and A.J. Jimenez to their 40-man roster.
Tigers: Released Ryan Raburn.
Mariners: Acquired Robert Andino from the Orioles; designated Chone Figgins and Scott Cousins for assignment; added Julio Morban, Brandon Maurer, Vinnie Catricala, Anthony Fernandez, and Bobby LaFramboise to their 40-man roster.
Orioles: Acquired Trayvon Robinson from the Mariners.
Mets: Signed Carlos Torres, Scott Rice, and Jamie Hoffmann to minor league deals.
Yankees: Claimed Mickey Storey off waivers from the Astros; signed David Herndon to a one-year deal.
Athletics: Designated Brandon Hicks and Jim Miller for assignment; added Arnold Leon, Grant Green, Shane Peterson, and Michael Ynoa to their 40-man roster; signed Justin Thomas and Darwin Perez to minor league deals.
Rockies: Acquired Ryan Wheeler from the Diamondbacks; outrighted Andrew Brown and Matt McBride to Triple-A.
Diamondbacks: Acquired Matt Reynolds from the Rockies; signed Kila Ka’aihue to a minor league deal.
Cardinals: Signed Jamie Romak to a minor league deal.
Twins: Signed Sam Deduno, Shairon Martis, Luis Perdomo, Esmerling Vasquez, P.J. Walters, Brian Dinkleman, Wilkin Ramirez, James Beresford, Deibinson Romero, Eric Fryer, Tom Boleska, and Jason Christian to minor league deals.
Cubs: Acquired Barret Loux from the Rangers; signed Brian Bogusevic, Alberto Gonzalez, Johermyn Chavez, and J.C. Boscan to minor league deals; outrighted Carlos Gutierrez to Triple-A; designated Bryan LaHair for assignment (I have to wonder when the last time a player was DFA’d following an All-Star season).
Rangers: Acquired Jake Brigham from the Cubs.
Astros: Outrighted Scott Moore to Triple-A.
Red Sox: Signed Jonny Gomes to a two-year deal; designated Danny Valencia, Ivan De Jesus, Sandy Rosario, David Carpenter, and Zach Stewart for assignment.
White Sox: Re-signed Dewayne Wise to a one-year deal; signed Bryan Anderson and David Purcey to minor league deals.
Reds: Signed Emmanuel Burriss to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Signed Fernando Abad and Caleb Clay to minor league deals.
Dodgers: Signed Nick Evans, Juan Abreu, Kelvin De La Cruz, Miguel Rojas, Hector Correa, Wilkin Castillo, and Gregory Infante to minor league deals.

After Maldonado’s HR, Brewers hang on to take series

June 11, 2012

> This win certainly didn’t come as easy as it should have. But in the end, a win is a win; and a much-needed win for the Brewers.

> The Brewers defeated the Padres today, 6-5, in what became a nail-biter in the ninth inning. After Ryan Braun’s two-run home run in the eighth inning, it looked like the Brewers had an easy win that was theirs for the taking. But it didn’t turn out that way in the ninth inning.

It was a dismal start to the day, as Yovani Gallardo promptly gave up a lead-off home run to Will Venable. The ball didn’t appear to be hit that well, but it turned out that the ball was carrying a lot today. Gallardo actually nearly gave up another home run to Chase Headley in that same inning, but it was robbed by Braun in left field. Again, the ball wasn’t very well hit; both of these balls were opposite field home runs (Venable and Headley are lefties) that would have been routine fly balls on any other day. Anyway, Gallardo gave up another run in the second inning. With a man on second, Gallardo attempted to field a grounder from John Baker, but it went through his legs for an error, leaving men on first and third. Everth Cabrera then grounded out to score the run, although it looked like there could have been a play at the plate. But first baseman Taylor Green picked up the ball and just stood there looking at home instead of throwing, and first became his only play.

The Brewers had runners on base against Padres starter Anthony Bass all day, but couldn’t capitalize on their chances until the sixth inning. Norichika Aoki led off the inning with a single. He then stole second but got to third because the throw sailed into center field. Braun drove him in with an RBI single to cut the Padres’ lead in half, 2-1. After Aramis Ramirez and Green both flew out, the Brewers chances that inning weren’t looking very good, but then Rickie Weeks drew a walk. A batter later, Martin Maldonado once again came through in the clutch with a go-ahead, three-run blast, just like in the first game of the series. This gave the Brewers a 4-2 lead. Then, like I said earlier, Braun hit a two-run home run in the eighth that appeared to be just icing on the cake at the time. But it turns out those were two very important insurance runs that won the Brewers the game.

The ninth inning was just flat-out ugly. As far as the relief-pitching goes, it was the Brewers’ fundamentally worst inning of the year. John Axford came in to start the inning, but wound up recording just one out before the floodgates nearly opened. Chris Denorfia hit a one-out single, Venable doubled, and Logan Forsythe walked, all in sequence. Axford then gave up an RBI single to Headley, and followed that up with a bases-loaded walk to Carlos Quentin. The score was now 6-4, and marked the end of Axford’s awful outing. He threw 37 pitches and recorded just one out; more proof that he can’t pitch in non-save situations.

Then Jose Veras came in, which immediately got me thinking that the game was over, in a bad way. But, he struck out Yonder Alonso on eight pitches- all curveballs. Now there were two outs; any kind of out felt wonderful that inning. But Veras came back to walk Jesus Guzman, and now no mistakes could be made. There couldn’t be a walk, a hit, or anything. Veras needed to record an out no matter what. But, Veras came through in the clutch to strike out Baker on a 3-2 count- probably the biggest pitch any Brewers pitcher has made all year. That closed out the Brewers’ 6-5 win, and Veras was rewarded with the save.

This whole ninth inning frenzy sort of sucked up the fact that Gallardo actually turned in a decent outing after his shaky first two innings. He went seven innings while giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits. He walked two and struck out five, earning his fifth win of the year.

> Just a few days ago, I wrote about how we shouldn’t have expected Maldonado to put up very good offensive numbers, at least right away. But he’s proved everyone wrong so far, especially this series. Maldonado has brought his average up to .235 (he was down at .133 just a few days ago, mind you), and has come through when the Brewers needed him to this series. He hit a three-run home run the first game, a go-ahead RBI single yesterday (although the lead didn’t hold), and a three-run homer today. In other words, he’s been by far the Brewers’ biggest source of offense this series. By the way, I already mentioned that both home runs were go-ahead home runs, but that only adds on to his clutch factor.

> Ron Roenicke announced that, when ready, Marco Estrada will step back into the rotation in place of current fifth starter Michael Fiers. After Fiers’ first career start in Los Angeles, I was pumped and hoped he would be the five guy for the rest of the season. But, he hasn’t fared as well in his past few starts, having sub-par outings against both the Pirates and Padres, two of the worst offenses in the National League. Fiers will get at least one more start, but, at this point, I’m fine with Estrada returning to his role when he’s ready. Fiers would probably then move to the bullpen as a long man, or get sent back down.

> And that’s about it. The Brewers have an off-day tomorrow, but will start an Interleague series with the Royals on Tuesday. Here’s what the pitching match-ups are looking like:

Zack Greinke (7-2, 3.13 ERA) vs. Luis Mendoza (2-3, 5.36 ERA)

Randy Wolf (2-5, 5.45 ERA) vs. Luke Hochevar (3-7, 6.57 ERA)

Shaun Marcum (5-3, 3.50 ERA) vs. Vin Mazzaro (3.60 ERA)

As you can see, Greinke is going to be starting against the Royals in the first game. He has never faced them, but is still very familiar with them. He was drafted by the Royals, and spent his entire career with them until he was traded to Milwaukee in December of 2010. Greinke has been great at home since coming to the Brewers, but Kauffman Stadium should feel like home to him.

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

> Box Score

Corey Hart, RF-1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 .253
Norichika Aoki, CF-RF 2 2 1 0 2 1 0 .300
Ryan Braun, LF 3 2 2 3 0 0 0 .311
Aramis Ramirez, 3B 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 .254
Taylor Green, 1B 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 .246
Rickie Weeks, 2B 1 1 0 0 3 1 0 .158
Martin Maldonado, C 4 1 1 3 0 1 3 .235
Edwin Maysonet, SS 4 0 1 0 0 1 3 .200
Yovani Gallardo, P 3 0 0 0 0 2 1 .077
Carlos Gomez, CF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .258
Totals 29 6 6 6 5 9 11


2B: Green (6).

3B: Maysonet (1).

HR: Maldonado (3), Braun (15).

TB: Maldonado 4, Braun 5, Maysonet 3, Aoki, Green 2.

RBI: Braun 3 (40), Maldonado 3 (10).

GIDP: Maysonet.

Team RISP: 2-for-8.

Team LOB: 5.


SB: Aoki (5).


E: Gallardo (1), Weeks (6).

Yovani Gallardo (W, 5-5) 7.0 5 2 1 2 5 1 4.21
Francisco Rodriguez 1.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 4.33
John Axford 0.1 3 3 3 2 1 0 4.37
Jose Veras (S, 1) 0.2 0 0 0 1 2 0 4.18
Totals 9.0 10 5 4 5 8 1

Pitches-strikes: Gallardo 104-64, Rodriguez 22-13, Axford 37-21, Veras 17-7.

Groundouts-flyouts: Gallardo 13-4, Rodriguez 0-2, Axford 0-0, Veras 0-0.

Batters faced: Gallardo 29, Rodriguez 5, Axford 6, Veras 3.

Inherited runners-scored: Veras 3-1.

McGehee, Brewers offense stick it to La Russa, Cards in finale

August 3, 2011

4:15p The game today made me feel much better about the game last night.

Cardinals-Brewers Wrap-Up

The Brewers took down the Cardinals today, 10-5, and answered to all the crap Tony La Russa and the Cardinals pulled last night. Casey McGehee was the star of the offense today, putting his season-long slump behind him to crank out three home runs, all off Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson.

The Cardinals got on the board first against Randy Wolf in the first inning on a David Freese RBI single. The Brewers immediately answered in the bottom half, however, on a solo shot by Corey Hart and a two-run homer by McGehee (the first of his three).

Unfortunately, the Cardinals struck again immediately in the second inning when Rafael Furcal hit a go-ahead three-run shot off Wolf to give the Cards a 4-3 lead.

The Brewers took the lead again in the third inning on McGehee’s second homer of the day, 5-4. The Brewers also got a few runs in the fifth, courtesy of some questionable Cardinals defense. Prince Fielder hit an RBI groundout to score Nyjer Morgan, then, with Yuniesky Betancourt on third, catcher Yadier Molina let a pitch bounce right off his glove for a passed ball, so Betancourt was able to score to give the Brewers a 7-4 lead.Then, in the sixth, Hart hit a bloop RBI single to extend the Brewers lead to 8-5. In the same inning, Morgan struck out swining, but he tried to catch Hart stealing second. The throw bounced past second baseman Ryan Theriot into center field, which allowed George Kottaras, who was on third, to score.

The Brewers would get one more run on McGehee’s third home run of the game in seventh inning.

McGehee is back.

Hopefully McGehee’s three home run game today is a sign that his season-long slump is finally over. He came into today with just five home runs all season, including just three in his last 355 plate appearances. Today, he hit three in just four plate appearances. He also finally got his batting average up to .240 (it was .235 to start the day, and had been hovering around .220 all season).

So, now that we’ve got both McGehee and Betancourt going in the second half, we’re in pretty good shape to make this pennant race interesting.

Tony La Russa is the new Ned Yost

La Russa, who supposedly thought his bullpen was exhausted from an 11 inning game last night, let his starter, Edwin Jackson, get completely hammered today. Jackson labored through seven innings while giving up 10 runs (eight earned) on 14 hits. He walked one and struck out six. He also gave up four home runs (three of them to McGehee).

Anyway, this immediately reminded me of what Ned Yost used to do to Brewers’ starters, and is now doing to Royals’ starters. Yost would leave guys in far longer than they should have been in and just let their ERA get destroyed. Actually, I’ve got a great example of what Yost did to an innocent Royals pitcher earlier this year. Vin Mazarro, who was actually in for a relief appearance, gave up 14 runs in just 2 1/3 innings because Yost just refused to take him out. When I saw La Russa doing that to Jackson today, I immediately thought of that Yost incident with the Royals.

Hawkins annoys the crap out of La Russa

This was probably one of the best parts of the game today. Hawkins, who was in to pitch the eighth inning, did his weird thing from the stretch where he never stops to look at the catcher and just keeps going, almost like a windup. But, he doesn’t do it for all his pitches.

Anyway, La Russa, who had probably been looking for something to complain about all day, came out and started yelling at the umpire that it was a quick pitch. The umpire said something to him, but apparently didn’t care, because he let Hawkins keep doing his quick pitch thing. In fact, Hawkins, who noticed that La Russa was ticked about it, went on to do it four times in a row after La Russa complained. So it was nice to see at least one guy on the Brewers standing up to that joke of a manager.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers have an off-day tomorrow, but will start their next road trip in Houston on Friday. Yovani Gallardo (12-7, 3.89 ERA) will go for the Brewers and look for win number 13. Gallardo has dominated the Astros in his career, going 9-2 with a 3.00 ERA against them. That includes his 2-0 mark against them this year, during which Gallardo has a 2.77 ERA against the Astros.

The Astros will counter with J.A. Happ (4-13, 6.01 ERA), who, as I’ve mentioned before, is having an awful season. He is 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA against the Brewers in his career, including his last start against them, which resulted in a loss.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Cubs and Pirates play tonight at 6:05 PM CT. They are 16 and six games back, respectively. Also, I should mention that the Pirates will fall under .500 if they lose tonight.
  • The Reds and Astros play at 7:05 PM CT tonight. They are seven and 25 game back, respectively.

Box Score

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis Cardinals 1 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 5 11 1
Milwaukee Brewers 3 0 2 0 2 2 1 0 X 10 15 1

Milwaukee Brewers

Corey Hart, RF 5 1 2 2 0 1 2 .278
Nyjer Morgan, CF 5 1 2 0 0 1 1 .328
Ryan Braun, LF 4 2 2 0 0 0 2 .324
Prince Fielder, 1B 4 1 1 1 0 0 2 .296
Casey McGehee, 3B 4 3 3 5 0 0 1 .240
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 .257
Felipe Lopez, 2B 3 1 2 0 1 0 1 .224
George Kottaras, C 4 1 1 0 0 2 2 .219
Randy Wolf, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .179
a-Mark Kotsay, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .243
b-Jerry Hairston, PH 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .267
Total 36 10 15 8 1 6 13

a-Grounded out for Wolf in the 6th.

b-Singled for Hawkins in the 8th.


2B: Braun (27), Kottaras (3).

HR: Hart (15), McGehee 3 (8).

RBI: Hart (38), McGehee 5 (48), Fielder (79).

Team RISP: 2-for-9.

Team LOB: 4.


SB: Hart (4).

E: McGehee (15).

Outfield assists: Braun.

DP: 3 (Betancourt-Lopez-Fielder 2, Braun-McGehee-Lopez).

Milwaukee Brewers

Randy Wolf (W, 8-8) 6.0 9 5 5 2 2 1 3.61
Kameron Loe 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 4.15
LaTroy Hawkins 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1.83
John Axford 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 0 2.41

Pitches-strikes: Wolf 113-72, Loe 10-8, Hawkins 10-7, Axford 22-13.

Groundouts-flyouts: Wolf 6-5, Loe 1-0, Hawkins 1-0, Axford 1-0.

Batters faced: Wolf 28, Loe 3, Hawkins 3, Axford 5.