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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Brewers’ bullpen melts down again in loss to D-backs

July 5, 2011

6:32p Diamondbacks-Brewers Wrap-Up

Well, before I have to get negative, let me wish everyone a happy 4th of July.

Now for the negative.

The Brewers let another 6-1 lead go in their 8-6 loss to the Diamondbacks. The bullpen melted down once again, as they let the Diamondbacks chip all the way back from a 6-1 deficit.

Things looked to be going well for the Brewers early on in the 3rd inning. After Casey McGehee’s double and Jonathan Lucroy’s single, starter Shaun Marcum bunted up the first base line. McGehee surprisingly tried to score. He would have been out, had it not been for a throwing error by first baseman Juan Miranda. The Diamondbacks immediately answered in the 4th, however, when Miguel Montero hit a solo shot off Marcum.

The bottom of the 4th was the big inning for the Brewers. Corey Hart led off with a solo homer off Diamondbacks starter Daniel Hudson, giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead. Then, after singles by Prince Fielder and McGehee and a walk by Lucroy, Marcum stepped up to the plate with two outs. Sure enough, he crushed a grand slam into the Brewers’ bullpen, giving the Brewers a 6-1 lead.

After that inning, everything went downhill for the Crew.

After Wily Mo Pena’s pinch-hit homer in the 5th, the Diamondbacks scored at least one run in every inning until the end of the game. Marcum was lifted after the 6th. He finished with six innings, while giving up seven hits, four runs, two walks, and had five strikeouts.

In the 7th, Stephen Drew singled off of reliever LaTroy Hawkins, halting his scoreless streak at 22 innings. Then, in the 8th, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke made the mistake of bringing in Kameron Loe. He gave up a run on four hits, but got lucky because of two runners thrown out at third. John Axford came in to record the final out of the inning.

In the 9th, everything fell apart for Axford, which was very uncharacteristic of him. He gave up two runs on four hits, making it an 8-6 Diamondbacks lead. Diamondbacks reliever David Hernandez came in for the bottom of the inning, and struck out the side to record the save.

Kameron Loe sucks.

I vented out on Loe yesterday in one of my posts, as well as earlier today in one of my tweets. Now, I feel the need to again.

He did not take the loss today, but he blew his sixth save of the year. (It obviously wasn’t a save, but blown hold sounds stupid.) He is now 2-7 with a 4.87 ERA. I have no idea why Roenicke is being so stubborn and continuing to use him, despite all those losses and blown saves, when LaTroy Hawkins and his 0.82 ERA are sitting in the bullpen, unused. Not to mention we have Takashi Saito back from the DL. But I guess he’ll be getting the Hawkins treatment as well.

In my opinion, we’d almost be better off cutting Loe and calling up Tim Dillard or Mike McClendon. But that’s NEVER going to happen, at least not as long as Roenicke is manager.

Marcum’s slam wasted by bullpen

I thought after Marcum hit that grand slam off Hudson that we had the game won. But, the bullpen had other ideas, apparently.

Anyway, Marcum’s slam was the first by a pitcher in Brewers history. However, Seattle Pilots pitcher Fred Talbot hit a grand slam in the Pilots’ lone season in 1969 before moving to Milwaukee and becoming the Brewers.

Braun sits again

Now I’m beginning to get a little worried. I was hoping Ryan Braun would be back in the lineup today, but he was out again with his calf injury. His absence in the lineup may be part of the reason that our offense has failed to get rallies going in late innings. Hopefully he’ll be back tomorrow.

McGehee’s slump appears over

McGehee finally appeared to be out of his slump today, as he went 2-for-4 with a double and a single off of Hudson. Sadly, I’m not sure we can consider him completely out of it, considering Hudson has failed to retire McGehee during his entire career. McGehee is 5-for-5 against Hudson in his career.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will see a familiar face tomorrow in Arizona’s Zach Duke (1-3, 5.92 ERA). The Brewers saw a lot of Duke during his days with the Pirates. Duke was traded to the Diamondbacks early last offseason, and is 4-7 with a 6.14 ERA in his career against the Brewers. Randy Wolf (6-5, 3.33 ERA) will go for the Crew, looking for his 7th win of the season. He’s coming off of a solid start against the Yankees. He gave up four runs over seven innings, but received no run support. In his career, Wolf is 10-3 with a 4.47 ERA against the Diamondbacks.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Cardinals are currently leading the Reds 1-0 in the 8th inning. If the Cards win, they will take the division lead.
  • The Cubs lost in extra innings to the Nationals, 5-4. They are 10.5 games back.
  • Pirates defeated the Astros, 5-3. They are 1 and 16.5 games back, respectively. (I can’t remember the last time the Pirates were 1 game back. This is scary.)