Monday, August 1, 2016

Milwaukee Lands Three Top 5 Prospects Via Trades

  Another trade deadline has passed and this year proved to be a great one.  The last 45 minutes consisted of big time trades that also involved Jonathon Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress being dealt to the Rangers for two of their Top 5 Prospects in #2 prospect Luis Ortiz (SP) and #3 Lewis Brinson (CF).  Earlier this afternoon the Brewers traded Will Smith to San Fran for their #1 prospect Phil Bickford (SP) and Andrew Susac (C).  That is a pretty decent days work that now has Milwaukee having 8 prospects in MLB's Top 100 Prospect Ranking.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Biloxi Update

Biloxi has the best record (17-7) in Milwaukee's farm system at this point; they are in 1st place in their division and have the best record in the Southern League (AA).  Brett "Maverick" Phillips has 2 home runs and leads the club in that department (tied with two others).  His batting average is down to .250 on the season with a .388 slugging pct and .355 on-base percentage.  Despite all of this, he has 14 runs batted in and leads the team in this category. I for one can't wait until he arrives in Milwaukee in September, when expanded rosters are announced.  This top 5 prospect for the Brewers will continue to develop and hone in on becoming the CF of the future.

A little concerning is how Jacob Nottingham has been hitting at the plate.  His batting average has dropped to .169 and struck out 18 times in 65 plate appearances.  It's still early, so lets hope that our future Catcher can start to get it going.  Nottingham was the center piece of the Khris Davis/Athletics trade.

Victor Roache is having a strong start to the season with a .281 BA and a team leading 7 doubles, which is good for 3rd best in the league.

Josh Hader has been absolutely killing it on the bump for the Shuckers.  The starting 22-year-old LHP has the 2nd best ERA in the Southern League (AA) and has yet to collect a decision in his 5 starts.  Hader has struck out 32 hitters in only 23 innings pitched, which ranks him 3rd in the league.  Best of all is that he's only issued 9 free passes.  Hader was acquired in the Carlos Gomez/Astros deal last summer.

Another starting pitcher to collect impressive numbers so far in the season is Jorge Ortega (0-1).  This 22-year-old RHP has a 1.19 ERA over 4 starts and 22.2 innings pitched.  Despite his strike outs standing at 9 and giving up 22 hits, he has been able to keep the ball in the park (1 HR given up).  

Starting pitchers that have been struggling is Adrian Houser (1-2) with a 7.20 ERA over 20 IP and Jeb Bradley, the former first round draft pick for the Brewers in 2011 has a horrific 12.86 ERA in only 7 IP.

Friday, April 15, 2016

With the ass-kicking that the Brewers received last night, now is the best time to take a look back on the farm and see how David Stearns' trade pieces that he received are doing.  I am only including those currently in the minors.

Carlos Gomez Trade

Brett Phillips 
Our future center fielder is hitting .308 in 7 games so far on the season (7 for 26 at the plate).  Maverick has only collected 1 home run to date in 2016, but the season is only 2 weeks old.  He has dinged 3 doubles however and walked 3 times.

Josh Hader 
The third piece to the puzzle after Domingo Santana & Brett Phillips is off to a relatively good start to the season; in 2 starts he has yet to get a decision but has tallied a 1.00 ERA in 9 innings of work.  Most impressive is his 12 punch outs while limiting mistakes to 1 HR and 3 walks.

Adrian Houser
Houser is the other pitcher that Stearns received in the deal and did not throw well in his first and only start to date in the 2016 season.  Houser was lit up for 10 earned runs in the 6 innings he lasted but did strike out 5 hitters. I am confident he will pull himself together.

Jason Rogers Trade

Trey Supak
Has not played yet in 2016.

Gerardo Parra Trade

Zach Davies 
The RHP has already notched 2 starts but no decisions with a 2.00 ERA over 9 innings pitched for AAA-Colorado Springs.  His workload has obviously been held back because the Brewers knew they would be summoning him to the Bigs once Garza went out with a pulled vag. Best of all is that Davies whiffed 11 batters and only walked 2.  He will hopefully be ready to go for his start Sunday in the Burgh versus the Pirates.

Aramis Ramirez Trade

Yhonathon Barrios, who was obtained in the Aramis Ramirez trade, is still on the disabled list for Biloxi.  He is their closer and would've competed for a roster spot had he not gone down with a 'serious shoulder injury'.  I have not heard if it will require surgery.

Jean Segura Trade

Isan Diaz was the kings ransom in the Segura trade, although Chase Anderson has been literally perfect.  Diaz is 8 for 24 so far in Appleton for the T-Rats and hitting a whopping .333 with 1 home run, 4 doubles and 8 runs batted in (along with 4 walks).  I anticipate Diaz getting up to Biloxi before the season ends.  This 19 year old is one exciting short stop that will hopefully be converted to 2B in order to expedite his ascent and not be blocked by Orlando Arcia.

Oh...and just for shits and laughs, Jonathon Lucroy's kid brother David is playing in Rookie League Ball for the Brewers down in Arizona where his BA is .200.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Checking In On New Prospects

     Now that the trade deadline has come and gone for 2015 now is a good time to check in on the farm to see how Milwaukee's newly acquired prospects are doing.  Gone are Jonathon Broxton, Gerardo Parra, Aramis Ramirez, and Carlos Gomez and in return are the following....

Here are the 4 players from the Carlos Gomez trade:

Brett Phillips
The future (left handed hitting) center fielder for Milwaukee checked in to the Brewers' (AA) affiliate down in Biloxi, MS with the Shuckers.  He was the centerpiece to the Carlos Gomez trade and was ranked as the 2nd best prospect acquired in all of baseball before this season's trade deadline.
He is 3 for 13 in 4 games played (.231 BA) with 1 triple and 3 base hits.  Phillips has struck out 4 times.

Domingo Santana
Another outfielder that Milwaukee received was a right fielder that reported to (AAA) Colorado Springs Sky Sox.  Santana is hitting .357 in 3 games (5 for 14) with 1 double and struck out 5 times.
You can read more about Mr. Santana HERE.

Josh Hader
This guy could be the steal of the trade; a sturdy throwing southpaw that already notched a stellar outing in his first start for Biloxi.  This hurler only weighs a whopping 160 lbs and stands 6-3.  Take a look for yourself on how he did in his debut (picture) and read up on him HERE.

Adrian Houser
The final piece to the deal was starting pitcher Adrian Houser who had his first start for Biloxi as well; he went 5 and 2/3's innings and gave up 3 earned runs on 7 hits (1 HR) for a no decision, he did notched 6 punch outs which is very decent and issued no walks.

Gerardo Parra deal:

Zach Davies
The RHP has yet to appear for the (AAA) Colorado Springs Sky Sox.  Davies was selected to represent Baltimore O's in the Futures Game last month.  HERE is great story on the "little guy".   He was the Orioles 4th ranked prospect.

Jonathon Broxton deal: 

Maik Collymore 
Milwaukee received this young left fielder and have assigned him to their affiliate in Helena, MT.  He has played in 1 game and went 1 for 4 and a walk (.250 BA).

Aramis Ramirez deal: 

Yhonathon Barrios
Barrios is the closer for Biloxi right now and is already 2 for 2 in saves 3 games and 3 and 1/3 innings of work (2 strike outs & 1BB).

So there you have it.  Those that have played have played pretty well.  Sure, this will be a slow, drawn out process before we see most of these prospect in the bigs....but it will be fun.  Some will surely wash out.

Monday, May 4, 2015

RR Out; Let the Craig Counsell Era Begin

* posted on Monday AM...

   Milwaukee has now won 3 of their last 4 games   4 of their last 5 are starting to show signs of life.  The starting pitchers have turned in 3 quality starts in a row and the Crew now has a mini win streak (yes, it's only 2 games).  Too little too late for Ron Roenicke however, as he was let go yesterday after their win in Chicago.  This did surprise me, I will say, not because of the fact that it finally because of the horrible timing of it all.  Once RR (Ron Roenicke) made it through their off day last Thursday, I think most fans--and probably the players--were thinking that they have one last chance to start getting things right before the team is blown up.  Well, they/we thought wrong.  Doug Melvin was trying to get his replacement manager in place and deal finalized, my guess, through the weekend in order to be covered for the transition.  That transition is looking like it will be Craig Counsell taking over managerial duties starting tonight as Milwaukee welcomes the Dodgers to town for a HUGE 4 game series.  Prior this all occurring, I've been saying that Mark Attanasio will most likely give the Crew the 10 day home stand that starts tonight before they start their fire sell and fire RR.  That came a little early, for the latter.

This isn't a complete surprise though.  Warning flares were shot high in the sky when Mark Attansio flew into town for the Cardinals series April 24th, which they ultimately lost 2 games to 1.  The owner didn't lay blame on the skipper or the GM, Doug Melvin. Instead he threw Mike Fiers under the bus by stating that he was the one that gave up the grand slam home run to the Reds at Miller Park last wasn't Ron or Doug.  Ok, fine, you have a point there.  But then more flares were shot off this past weekend, Saturday to be exact, when USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported that the Brewers were letting teams know they're ready to start dealing.  That gave me a feeling that RR might also be on his way out....until they won their last 2 games in Chicago and earned their first series win and back-to-back wins of the season. I figured RR would be safe.  But no.  Doug Melvin decides to fire him ONLY AFTER the team decided to show some life.

Make no mistake about it, this team could still turn things around.  The Cardinals are running away with the NL Central, but let's keep in mind that there are still 2 wild card spots up for grabs.  Both the Pirates, Reds, and especially the Cubs aren't proving too much that they're locks to get them.  Milwaukee will need to dig deep and play .500 ball for most of the season and then hope for a 20 win month this summer in order to start digging out of the hole they're in.  Will it happen?  Probably not...but we do know that they are capable of win streaks by looking at what they did last April & May.

One thing is certain, they can't start their fire sale until they get their trade pieces turned around.  Kyle Lohse is starting to correct things and he's just too good of a pitcher to not turn things around.  Likewise for Matt Garza and his slow start.  Aramis Ramirez had a hell of a game yesterday in Chicago that should hopefully start to show signs of life for him; he went 1 for 3 with the go-ahead home run and the a 2-run single that would eventually win the Brewers the game.  He also hit a home run last week against the Reds.  This veteran third baseman is a huge trading piece.  Sure the buying team would only get a 1/2 season rental from the Brewers, but he is a part of the select few that provides power at the hot corner.

The biggest wild card is Carlos Gomez and the 2 (more) years of team control that come with him.  He's a fan favorite in Milwaukee and the new face of the franchise (along with Lucroy).  But he lacks plate and base running discipline and probably won't mesh well with what will sure to be a far more stern Craig Counsell as the skipper. Milwaukee would be wise to trade him for some high level, major league ready prospects.

I still think Milwaukee will have the rest of this week to show that they have corrected themselves, and now possibly maybe an added week to see how the team responds to Craig Counsell.  So expect to see deals to start being made as soon as this weekend and as late as next week Wednesday (May 13th) once they end their 10 game home stand (Dodgers, Cubs, White Sox).

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Brewers After 8 Games

   Well there isn't too much we can be excited about at this point.  I would argue the only things we can feel good about is one solid start by Jimmy Nelson and the play of Jean Segura (offensively) and Adam Lind. The latter of course is the new addition from this off-season that is hitting a whopping .345, 1 HR, 5 RBI thus far.  Segura meanwhile, who has struggled mightily on defense, is continuing his torrid September of last season into his 2015 campaign by hitting .333 with 3 RBI and a dinger. Outside of those two players, the Brewers offense has been terrible.  Right now the Crew's top hitters are hitting .261 or lower.

  Not listed on this beautiful collage I made in my arts and crafts room is Aramis Ramirez, who is hitting .194 and Khris Davis with .259.  Sure, Braun and Davis aren't awful right now, but lets point out the fact that only 1 one of those pictured above (Gomez) have one home run.  On the flip side of that Gomez does have 4 doubles already (tied for club lead with Lind), but it should also be noted that Lucroy has no extra base hits.  Keep that in mind, considering his impressive season last year when had 53 doubles and was one of the league leaders. 

  Thankfully, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Ed Sedar (coach) was on the Bill Michael's Show on Tuesday saying this low level of hitting will not continue for much longer.  All signs point to them snapping out of this funk because 3 of the 4 pictured here are perennial solid hitters.  What is alarming is the high rate of strike outs that Scooter Gennett already has on the season (9).  He's almost striking out every other at-bat.  We could chalk this up to him being stashed at the bottom of the line up, which is a huge mental challenge considering he was hitting at the top of the order last season.  That's a tough pill to swallow for someone that is young and still learning the game at the Big League level. 

  With Ron Roenicke's butt on the burner I would not hesitate to think that he would flip Hector Gomez (.429, 3 doubles) at 2B while Scooter figures things out.  In fact, I could see this happening by the end of April if things continue this way.  Because let's face it, this season could snow ball out of control if they don't get a handle on things before the middle of May; April brought the Crew 22 divisional games while May has them facing Major League's toughest division....the AL Central.  In May the Crew has to play the White Sox & Tigers as well as the Dodgers, Braves, and Giants.  Milwaukee's offense has to snap out of this horrible start before the end of the weekend when they return home from their first road trip (Pittsburgh is next this weekend).  

Lastly, the Wily Peralta was bad last night, but Pitching Coach Rick Kranitz was even worse.  Willis threw only 70-some odd pitches last night and the Cardinals just tore his ass a new one.  They were jumping at his pitches and most of their hitters only had 3 pitches to them before jumping on the ball.  That has to stop.  How the Brewers didn't make adjustments is beyond me.  

Brewers lost 4-2 to the Cardinals in the second game of the series.  Carlos Gomez is out of the line up for the rubber match today due to leaving the game in the 9th inning with a hamstring injury.  When it rains it pours, Milwaukee. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Prelude to Opening Day

 There has been a lot of news coming out of Maryvale this past week leading up to Opening Day on Monday.  The 25 man roster has now been set and the starters have been coined; there was not any surprises for the positional players that were tabbed to start.  The only real (somewhat) surprise was Carlos Gomez batting first in the order and Jean Segura hitting 8th.  The bull pen really didn't have any shockers either, with the release and then re-signing of Chris Perez and Rob Wooten being sent to (AAA) Sky Sox to get some work, the Brewers decided on suiting up 8 relievers for regular season play.  Some where were caught off guard with Ron Roenicke assigning both Matt Clark and Jason Rogers to Colorado Springs, which may have been a head scratcher due to their success (especially the former) in Spring Training, considering the uncertainty behind Adam Lind's reoccurring back issues.  Lastly, Elian Herrera was optioned to the Sky Sox while Luis Jiminez (infielder), Hector Gomez (infielder) and Logan Schafer (OF) are heading north to Milwaukee.  All in all, there were no late trades that added to the active roster nor was there any last minute signings, like in 2013 when Kyle Lohse signed in late March.  Everything is set....including that back end of the rotation.

  First things first is First Base.  We all know the questions behind Adam Lind and if he can stay on the field long enough to earn his keep.  With that being said, Brian Anderson was with Chuck & Wickett (WSSP) morning show and he had some reassuring things to say about Lind.  For one, it's his thinking as well as his brothers, who is a scout for the Rangers, that Adam Lind will annihilate the ball in Miller Park.  He is destined for a big offensive year in the hitter friendly park and be able to provide that needed power at 1B.  With regards to his back, BA reminded me of something.....that the Brewers have one of the best medical staffs in Major League Baseball and they are known to take great care of ailments and nagging injuries that spur up.  It was nice to hear him back this up with a great example of Trevor Hoffman and when he came to finish his career in Milwaukee for 2 seasons.  That was one of the main reasons he signed with Milwaukee and he still praises them today as one of the best staffs in baseball.  This team of advance medical specialists should (hopefully) be able to set forth a season plan in accordance with Roenicke with regards to days off/rest and subbing him out late in games for defensive match-ups and the like.

   One other reassuring topic that was discussed by Brian Anderson was that Milwaukee will have two solid back up options in Jonathon Lucroy and Gerardo Parra, who just started playing some 1B and has looked way better than expected.  In fact, it is sounding like Parra will find himself playing a lot at the hot corner.  If Khris Davis continues to mature and fine tune his defense, there is simply no room for Parra to play.  Roenicke said 2 weeks ago that it's a given that Parra will be playing a considerable amount.  Which is good, any fair minded fellow would want a 2 x Gold Glover out on the field.  So, when all is said and done with Cactus League ball, I'm feeling far better with Lind moving forward, or, at least the back up plan if he falls.

  Opposite of that is the back end of the rotation.  I am extremely scared about what is going to happen when Mike Fiers and Jimmy Nelson are going to be relied upon to carry the team.  Yes yes, Mike Fiers had his 2 flash in the pan 10 game spans where he was lights out.  That's nice and all, but let us all be real here, can he be consistent and relied upon?  Likewise with Jimmy Nelson and his below average starts that he had last year.  Yes, Nelson is young and did add a third pitch to his arsenal, but the chatter down in Arizona is that he has been spending too much time perfecting that third pitch and not paying much attention to the command of all of his pitches.  This is all chatter I have been hearing from Adam McCalvy and Tim Allen on Wisconsin sports radio.  I am one scared son of a bitch regarding Fiers and Nelson, simply because we don't have that back up plan of Marco Estrada coming in (and giving mad home runs).

  The bull pen looks just fine and should be just fine, in my eyes.  I was thinking Tyler Thornburg would start out in AAA-Sky Sox in order to work on stretching him out for when he's needed as a fill in starter.  But Thorburg should still be able to work on eventually becoming a starter due him being one of the two long relievers in the pen.  K-Rod will be the closer with Jonathon Broxton and Jeremy Jeffress as the set up men.  One would think that Will Smith will not be relied upon and over used as much, like he was in 2014.  If used properly and there aren't too many injuries in that pen--he is destined for a killer season.

  Some are a little upset that Carlos Gomez is going to lead off for the Crew.  Yes he tends to hack a lot and swing for the fences, which we have all seen him do.  However, Ron Roenicke was on the Bill Michaels Show earlier this week and he had some very interesting points to make about Gomez.  One sure fire thing is that Gomez is very disruptive.  Upon hearing him say that I thought to myself that was very rude and not manager-like for him to say such a thing.  But alas, he was simply talking about Gomez at the plate in the lead off spot.  You see, Gomez is like a 7 year old with ADD. You just don't know what the hell he's going to do in that batters box.  One thing that will be going through that opposing pitchers mind will be, "This son of a bitch is going to swing at the first pitch I throw".  Which is exactly what we want him to think.  RR said that he's hoping to see a lot of 1-0 counts that will eventually lead to hitters count for Gomez.  Hopefully Gomez is able show some patience at the plate and wait for ideal pitches in certain situations, which should come with him maturing (he's 29 years old).

   Another thing RR noted was that Gomez is always a threat on the bases and will have the pitcher guessing and worried what this crazy man from the Dominican is up to.  Will he steal?  Is he trying to distract me?  What the hell is this guy doing?  Well, again, it's all little (and often times meaningless) mind games, but in the grand scheme of things--let's hope RR is right and Gomez is disruptive in the lead off spot.  I do like the bottom of the order because you still have some pop down there with Scooter Gennett (7th) and Segura (8th).  Nothing that is power bomb type stuff, but enough potential offense down there that really rounds out this order.  On the surface, there IS NOT ONE SINGLE WEAK SPOT in this line up.  Not one.  In fact, I would go on to argue that this line up is one of the best in baseball, or the potential to be one of the best.  There is just too many headaches in that line up.  As it stands, the only slight question mark is Khris Davis (who has proven to be effective) and the aging Aramis Ramirez hitting clean up.

   All in all, I'm one excited grown ass man.  This team has the ingredients to be a wild card come the end of September.  All eyes are on their individual responsibility of being smart on the bases and at the plate.  That's the one thing that bit us in the ass last season (and the first half of spring training this year).  Here's to a promising season.