Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Spring Training Week 2

The Brewers have a 2 x Gold Glover in Gerrado Parra as their fourth outfielder, which is something most (if not all) teams in the the NL Central or even the NL can say.  It is obvious that Melvin will utilize him in appealing match ups and of course when injuries creep up.  Most importantly, this will hold a fire under Khris Davis' ass to get him going.  His arm out LF is a huge liability, but hopefully his stats will continue to improve off a decent 2014 season.

Taylor Jungmann is penciled in at the 6th pitcher in the starting rotation.

Brewers announced today (3/3) that they have outright Brooks Hall (RHP) to Colorado Springs.

Here is an interesting piece on the awarding bid for Cuban sensation Yoan Moncada (19 years old) that Boston made that will pay him $31.5M.  Milwaukee allegedly made the first or one of the earliest bids at $10M.   The Red Sox will also pay a 100% tax on that figure because it exceeded their "allotted pool".  Big flipping deal when your pay roll is that of Boston's.  This is why small market teams can't compete with larger market teams.  It is an uneven playing field.  Veteran pitcher Drew Smyly of the Rays makes a great point:

Week 1 of Spring Training is officially in the books.  Milwaukee will finally start their games on Wednesday against UW-Milwaukee (5-3) at the Maryvale complex in Arizona; Mike Fiers is scheduled to take to the mound for the Crew.  This is the first time that the Brewers will take on UW-Milwaukee and only the second time every playing a college team (1983 against Arizona State).  Keep in mind that it's not entirely impossible for a college team to beat a Major League team.

DontrelleWillis seems to be a very smart signing by Doug Melvin in more ways than one.  Not only is he competing for a jam packed bull pen spot on the roster, but he is also a veteran leader that is taking to helping the younger players.  It is a pretty interesting concept to have 3 left handed pitchers in the pen (including Willis) heading into 2015.

In our "Where Are They Now" news....
Hey, Corey Hart hurt himself in a hut tub.  Is it minor?  Yes, but it certainly feeds into his trend considering his knee injury with the Brewers and the fact that he only played 42% of the season last year.   We here at Team Wisconsin certainly don't wish harm upon anyone.  But we are more and more happy with the idea Milwaukee not signing him last off season.
Casey McGehee & Nori Aoki are finding settling with their new club, the Giants.  Both are expected to contribute quite a bit with significant playing time.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

K-Rod Sign?

***Update (11:03am)***
K-Rod signed a $13M deal with Milwaukee for 2 years plus a club option for 2017 season.
**Update (9:26am)**
K-Rod has signed a 2 year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers (with a club option for the 2nd year).  **

Plenty of chatter out on the interwebs this morning of Francisco Rodriguez signing with a team.  Rumor also has it that it wasn't with the Marlins or Blue Jays.  All signs point to him coming to an agreement with Milwaukee, in my mind.  Seriously, was there any doubt in your mind?  Milwaukee needs one more arm in that pen competing for the closer role.  You are nuts if you think Broxton is the answer.  Could he be? Perhaps, but if K-Rod did sign with the Crew he will be given the closing role.  Broxton and Henderson can then be solid back-up options.  Again, this is all rumor talk (which is fun, right?) but a K-Rod signing would also mean that Jonathon Papelbon has one less team that is willing to trade for his services.  I would also venture to say that Milwaukee will not be adding another starting pitcher, unless he is plucked off of waivers--which is what Melvin will probably end up doing.  We can all agree that K-Rod loves to give up the long ball, which was 14 last season, but he was still effective and he did save Milwaukee's season (or at least the first 150 games) with his 44 Saves, which was good for 5th best in MLB.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Commence Spring Training!

Well, after last season's disasterous finish I have decided that it would be best for me to fire up this old blog again.  After all, this blog was started in 2008 and was the reason behind Milwaukee's first post season appearance since 1982!  I need to be able to blow off some steam and vent my frustrations during the season....and what better way to do that?  Please keep in mind that I type like crap in the morning (which is when I generally post) and I often times make spelling mistakes.  But that's ok though, because this is a damn blog on the Brewers.  Who the hell is going to read it?   

     This season is all about redemption for the 2015 Brewers.  Ron Roenicke wants to forget all about their last 2 months of play in 2014 and move forward while others like Kyle Lohse want to use it as motivation.  I am of the school of thought that we should feed off that pitiful last 2 months of play and be pissed moving forward.  Let it feed you.

Here are some of my thoughts heading into Spring Training....

     Milwaukee's pitchers and catchers reported to camp on Sunday with everyone relatively healthy. Johnny Hellweg may be slowed a bit in Maryvale due to his recovery from Tommy John surgery last season, but he has reported for duty--which is a good sign.  Tyler Thornburg is back as well and he said on the Hot Stove show on WSSP (Milwaukee) that he is ready to go; his elbow injury is behind him and is excited about the season (2/25/15).  That is good and welcomed news because he will most likely be a very important piece to the team.  Milwaukee will likely have Thornburg stretched out during Spring Training.  Tyler will be the long reliever out of the pen as well as possibly a starting pitcher option if the injury bug hits or Mike Fiers 2012 & 2014 seasons were flashes in the pan.  To me, Thornburg is a vital piece to the Brewers' season in 2015.  He was highly effective last year when he did play by going 29 and 2/3's innings recording a 3.81 ERA while giving up only 1 home run along with 28 strike outs.  This helps qualm some of the worries around camp having few back up options in their rotation should one or two flounder.

The rotation should be as follows:
1. Kyle Lohse
2. Matt Garza
3. Wily Peralta
4. Mike Fiers
5. Jimmy Nelson

     Now I could go on and on about how the Brewers traded Yovani Gallardo last month and failed to land another SP in his place.  I, along with a number of other delusional fans thought Doug Melvin stood a chance of trading for Jordan Zimmerman or signing James Shields.  Well, that neither here nor there; Milwaukee will most likely be set heading towards Opening Day with this rotation.  Some other back up options are Will Smith and Taylor Jungmann.  The latter of two would of course mean that Milwaukee's season would be shot if called upon.

     The bull pen is going to be very strong in my mind, despite not having announced their closer.  As it stands Jonathon Broxton and Jim Henderson will compete for the coveted spot while we monitor the headlines over the coming days/weeks to see if K-Rod is brought back.  Milwaukee will have Will Smith and Neil Cotts as their LHP and  Jeremy Jeffress along with whomever loses out on the closer role as the set-up.

     Offensively, the Brewers will be most vulnerable at the hot corners.  With the 37 year old Aramis Ramirez being injury prone and newly acquired Adam Lind's bum back along with his inability to hit lefties will leave the Brewers scrambling (most likely) early in the season.  Milwaukee has no proven solutions at 3B if/when Ramirez gets injured.  This is a huge question mark that will need to be addressed. Jean Segura is one that we all know about with his struggles off and on the field in 2014.  Keep in mind that he was the only production the Crew got in that horrific last 30 games of the 2014 season. Defensively, he's one of the top short stops in the league.  Milwaukee will live and die by Ryan Braun this season after a piss poor 2014 campaign.  The good news is that his surgical procedure(s) done on his bothersome thumb this off season is reportedly a success; he will not be limited in Spring Traning (yea right....).  This is all very positive though, as he was already taking swings in the middle of October only days after the procedure was done. If he can hit .290 with 30 HR's with 100 RBI the Brewers will be on the right track, especially if Adam Lind can deliver with his power.

     Another troublesome question will be the who is the 5th out fielder?  Khris Davis and Gerardo Parra will be going head to head to get the starting nod.  As it stands, I would anticipate Davis getting the start considering Parra can play all 3 positions in the out field.  Davis hit 22 HR's last season but only hit .244 at the plate; his arm strength is borderline laughable but he is fairly decent defensively.  Meanwhile, Parra is a two-time Golden Glove fielder that hit .268 since being traded from Arizona in July.  Not quite the production Melvin had hoped for when acquiring him, but he's a veteran player now in 2015 that can anchor that defense.  He can provide rest to Braun and platoon with Davis if need be.

As for the batting order....

1. Carlos Gomez
2. Scooter Gannett
3. Ryan Braun
4. Aramis Ramirez
5. Adam Lind
6. Jonathon Lucroy
7. Khris Davis
8. Jean Segura
9. SP

     That's a crazy-good line up and will stack up well against any other line up in Major League Baseball. My projected line up will most likely be off...but no matter which way you look at it, it's a strong....POTENT offense (but with little depth).

     Of course I will be taking a much more in depth look at the club during the coming weeks.  But on the surface this team has the ingredients to be real threat in the NL Central.  They will once again be flying in under the radar due to the preseason picks placing them behind St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and even Chicago.  One thing that is for certain, the NL Central will be the best division in baseball.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2013 MLB Predictions!!!

YES! It's finally the end of March, sort of; that means it's time for my predictions.  Last year was humiliating, but I'll drive on and hit it out of the park this year!

1. Washington DC
2. Atlanta
3. Philly
4. Florida
5. NY Mets

1. Cincy
2. St. Louis
3. Milwaukee
4. Pittsburgh
5. Chicago

1. LA Dodgers
2. San Fran
3. Colorado
4. San Diego
5. Arizona

1. Toronto
2. Tampa Bay
3. Baltimore
4. Boston
5. New York

1. KC
2. Detroit
3. Cleveland
4. Chicago WS
5. Minnesota

1. Anaheim
2. Seattle
3. Oakland
4. Texas
5. Houston

Post Season
NL WC's: San Fran loses to Atlanta
AL WC's: Detroit over Tampa Bay

NLDS: Atlanta loses to Cincy
NLDS: LA Dodgers over Washington DC

ALDS: Detroit over Anaheim
ALDS: KC over Toronto

NLCS: Reds beats Dodgers
NLCS: KC beats Toronto

NL MVP- Jay Bruce
AL MVP- Mike Trout

NL ROY- Zack Wheeler
AL ROY- Wil Myers

NL CY- Yovanni Gallardo
AL CY- Yu Darvish

Friday, March 2, 2012

2012 Predictions

It's that time again!  Time for me to post my 2012 predictions.  I'm doing this a month early in order to post this before we all find out about the decision on Ryan Braun.  So here we go....
Keep in mind folks, I predicted that the Brew Crew would make it to the NLCS only to fall short to the Phillies.  Well, I was half right at least.

NL Wild Card game: Reds over Cardinals
NLDS: Reds over DiamondBacks
NLDS: Brewers over Reds
NLCS: Brewers over Reds

AL Wild Card game: Red Sox over Rangers
ALDS: Red Sox over Angels
ALDS: Tigers over Rays
ALCS: Tigers over Red Sox

Tigers over Brewers

NL East
Their rotation may not be as good as 2011 but they'll have the best bullpen in the NL.  Their prediction relies heavily on Jason Heyward and if he corrects that sophomore slump.
It will be tough for Lee & Doc to repeat what they did last year.  However, Hamels will continue to improve off of a career season.  Their aging line-up will be the biggest question mark and if Howard will not only be ready for the first month--but will he stay healthy?
Ya ya ya...Ozzie and his ban of misfits.  Their rotation's success will go as far as Josh Johnson's health.  Adding Buerhle and Bell to the closers roll will help.  If they can get 100 games out Jose Reyes, I'll be shocked.  Also, I can see Hanley having a huge year both at 3B & SS.
Strasburg and Zimmerman will be on a pitch count and under close observation most of the season.  They have the (tied for) second best bullpen in the NL.  If Ryan Zimmerman can stay healthy and Werth decides to play, they may overtake the Marlins.
This team is in the worst shape possible.  It's like they took a shitty team and made it even shittier.  Complete disaray.  I can see them trading off Wright at the deadline.

NL Central
Sure, they lost out on Prince (120 RBI) and Braun will be feeling like he has to over do it all season to prove he didn't juice.  However, they have the 3rd best bullpen in the NL as well as a top 3 rotation.  Their infield additions should vastly improve their defense and they'll turn to some small ball in order to make up for the lack of power. 
With the second best bullpen and an improved rotation (addition of Latos) the Reds and Crew will be battling back and forth all season long-or-at least from the All Star break on.  Jay Bruce will have an MVP-caliber season while Votto should also have similar 2011 results.  They probably made the best off-season additions in MLB. 
New skipper and ol' weak knees in the outfield (Beltran) will prove to be too big of a void to overcome from losing Alberta. If Wainwright bounces back and Carp continues to eat innings, they'll be fine.  But that bullpen will never be able to repeat without Duncan heading their hurlers.
This team will hope to finish 2nd at the All Star break and then fall apart in the second half.  Clint Hurdle has a stud in McCrutchen, but I don't expect their rotation to compete. 
Holy hell, this team is horrible.  Bud Norris will be most likely be traded in July and possibly look for Wandy to follow.

NL West
Justin Upton will compete with Jay Bruce for NL MVP.  They have outfield depth with Parra (gold glove winner last season) as their 5th fielder.  Ian Kennedy will have a down season, count on it.
Confusing moves this offseason.  Tulo will have his a-typical season and Cargo should hopefully provide enough umph to help them all season.  Their rotation will be their weakness as will their pen.
Kemp will still have a big season, but don't expect the 2011 CY Young to have a repeat performance.  Ethier will be traded by July.
Biggest question mark is Brian Wilson and his health, as well as Posey's.  Cain, Lincecum, and Baumgardner will be solid as usual.  But not enough power in their lineup.
Their park does them know favors offensively, but with the loss of Adams & Bell, someone will step up and be the go-to closer, then flipped at a high price.

AL East
They'll have the best rotation in the NL with Hellickson and Moore pounding out the strikezone.  Expect to see a come-back season by Pena and Upton.
Red Sox*
Crawford will bounce back and Gonzo should bat just fine in that comfy park.  Their rotation will be the biggest question mark.
An aging infield that will be anchord by Cano.  Expect Tex to have a subpar season.  Michael Pinieda will get destroyed in that park and possibly f-up his arm beyond repair. 
Blue Jays
Lawrie will come back down to earth playing a full season in the Bigs-- because he's a meathead.  Romero will compete for the AL Cy Young and Drabek will also dish out the pain.
Hardy's 30 HR season will be a flash in the pan.  There's absolutely nothing to get excited about here.  Although it will be interesting to see how Hamels does (Guthrie trade).

AL Central
Miggie & Fielder, 'nuff said.  Verlander will continue to be the top pitcher in the league.
Far fetched?  Perhaps.  Odorizzi will compete for ROY if he's called up in time.
The bottom 3 teams here are pretty even.  Brantley will have a huge season as will Kotchman.
Mauer and Morneau could suprise us all and the Twinkies could have a huge bounce back season.  But their rotation is weak sauce with too many holes.
White Sox
Adam Dunn will rebound, that's the only good news for this team.

AL West
Pujols will have a huge season batting in the AL West and at DH.  Their rotation will be one to reckon as well.
Yu Darvish will implode and the 46MM will be money foolishly waisted. No clear cut ace here.
Cespedes will flop and Man-Ram will come back from his 50 gamer with guns a blazing....er....ok, maybe he'll get injured right away.
Jesus Montero will be the AL ROY

NL Cy Young - Zack Greinke
AL Cy Young - Rickie Romero
NL ROY - Anthony Rizzo
AL ROY - Jesus Montero
NL Manager of the year - Mike Matheny
AL Manager of the year - Bobby Valentine

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Braun Wins Appeal!!!

Conflicting Reports all at once, but Braun won his case and he will be eligible to play Opening Day!  No 50 game suspension!

WLUK FOX 11 first tweeted that he lost his appeal.  But Tom Haudricourt tweeted shortly after that he won!!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

How did I do on my 2011 predictions?

As typical everyear I post my preseason predictions.  Typically, I have been pretty damn good in years past.  I called that the SF Giants would make it to the World Series, which they won. 

Well, I once again called the NLCS right.  I had picked Milwaukee to make it to the series and lose to the Phillies.  Well, I was half-right, seeing that St Louis came through big down the stretch.  Take a look at how I did.....

World Series 2011

RED SOX win it all
Boston defeats Milwaukee
Well, I'm wrong all-together. 
Milwaukee defeats Philly: NLCS
Boston defeats Minnesota: ALCS
I had one correct team in the CS, Milwaukee
Milwaukee defeats Atlanta: NLDS
Philly defeats Colorado: NLDS
Boston defeats LA: NLDS
Minnesota defeats Tampa Bay: NLDS
Despite the spelling error, I did have Tampa Bay in the ALCS
Likewise with Philly and Milwaukee; So I had 3 out of the 8 teams rightAL East
Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays *
NY Yankees
Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays
I picked Tampa to win the Wild Card, which they did
AL Central
Minnesota Twins
Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox
KC Royals
Cleveland Indians

AL West
LA Angels
Texas Rangers
Oakland Athletics
Seattle Mariners

NL East
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves *
Washington DC Nationals
Florida Marlins
NY Mets

NL Central
Milwaukee Brewers
Cincinnati Reds
St Louis Cardinals
Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates
I picked the Central Division winner right
NL West
Colorado Rockies
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
LA Dodgers
Arizona DBacks
The biggest failure...picking the DBacks last when they actually won it.

Here I wrote a few paragraps about my predictions.  I will highlight the areas where I was right:::

Boston is destined to rebound big time this season with the addition of Gonzo and Carl Crawford as well as a healthy rotation. Tampa will have the 2nd best rotation in the league, but their offense will struggle as they try to form as one with out Pena & Crawford. Baltimore could be the biggest surprise and even bump NY from 3rd place.

Minnesota is the best team in a poor division. They are the first to get bounced in the playoffs, but this season should be different. They have Kirk Gibson that can step up and fill the void if Francisco Loriano doesn't pan out. Detroit is always a threat, but can't compete with the Twins.

The Rangers will prove to be a fluke, even with the addition of Beltre and Brandon Webb. I wonder how their lockeroom will be with a newly appointed GM (Nolan Ryan), letting Feliz get his way in the starting rotation, and their treatment of Michael Young fresh on their minds. Meanwhile, never count out Mike Scosia and his club. They are sleepers and should be able to take the division, although it will come down to the wire.

The Rockies have the youth and the leadership to win the NL West. I truly feel that San Fran will falter down the stretch. They have the risky Barry Zito and a young hurler who could stumble in his 2nd full season (Madison Bumgarner), while Tim Linsecum has shown that he can be sketchy at times. Having a solid bullpen will help though.

Milwaukee and Cincinnati will battle back and forth this season. But Milwaukee pitching depth (yes, you read that correctly) will surpass the Reds. Both teams will run the stat board when it comes to offense, but Prince Fielder is destined to have a career season and Ryan Braun is showing no signs of slowing down. Milwaukee's pitching will be better than Cincy's, bullpens included.

The NL East will have the a repeat of 2010 on their hands when Atlanta and Philly battle it out. Don't count the Nationals out early....they are destined to make a significant jump this season, while the Marlins and Mets drop off.

Obviously, I picked the AL CY Young winner wrong (will go to Verlander), but Halladay has a shot
Long shot, but I could also get the Prince Fielder MVP prediction right.  If he doesn't win, he'll finish 3rd or 4th.
NL ROY will go to what's-hit-nuts from the Braves (the closer) while the AL ROY is unknown.Far-fetched individual awards:
AL Cy Young: David Price
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay
AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera
NL MVP: Prince Fielder
AL ROY: Kyle Drabek
NL ROY: Freddie Freeman