Thursday, March 26, 2015

2015 Predictions

It's that time of year again where I provide my predictions for the up coming season.  So far, my predictions have been featured in such publications as Vegas High Roller, Sporting News, and Playgirl.  These picks are as good as currency because if waged upon, is destined to bring you a solid return.  So gamble away!

AL East
1. Red Sox
2. *Blue Jays
3. Yankees
4. Orioles
5. Rays

1. Tigers
2. *Royals
3. White Sox
4. Indians
5. Twins

1. Mariners
2. A's
3. Angels
4. Rangers
5. Astros

1. Nationals
2. Mets
3. Braves
4. Marlins
5. Phillies

1. Cardinals
2. *Pirates
3. *Brewers
4. Cubs
5. Reds

1. Dodgers
2. Padres
3. Giants
4. DBacks
5. Rockies

AL Wild Card Teams:  Toronto & Kansas City
NL Wild Card Teams: Pittsburgh & Milwaukee

Nationals win the World Series over Blue Jays

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring Training Updates


     As you can see from my previous posts, I hold no real talents in writing.  My grammar is often times suspect and my structuring is pathetically weak.  Hopefully you're smart enough to realize that I'm not claiming to be a legit writer; in fact I'm the farthest thing from it.  My purpose is to simply think out loud by writing my scattered thoughts on this here computer.  I have no co-workers at my office, so in essence--you are all my co-workers and this computer monitor or the phone screen you're looking at is the water cooler.

     Is there really anything to write about during the second week of Spring Training any ways?  Not really. The line up is being messed with to see what combinations work while the rotation is still 7 to 10 days out from being set for Opening Day.

     As for that batting order it will be interesting to see where they put the Braun - Ramirez combo now that they have Adam Lind.  I would imagine that this combo punch would remain batting 3 and 4 with Lind in the 5 hole against RHP's.  However, against LHP's is where  Roenicke could get a little creative....if Lind is out of the line up (rest or injured), they could rotate Gerardo Parra in there at the 5 spot--especially if he is playing 1B.  I realize that batting orders generally like to be the same on a daily basis in order to keep it routine and to play smart baseball in different scenarios/match ups, but what about another idea of bumping Braun - Ramirez down to 4 and 5 against LHP and having Parra hit in the 3 hole?  The top two would remain the same with (what appears to be) Carlos Gomez and Scooter Gennett, although the latter has been getting some consideration at the lead-off spot.  Yes, there is always a chance that Jean Segura could hit lead off, but judging by his production last season (aside from September), that is something that should not be considered quite yet.
     I guess my point is that Milwaukee has a number of different options in designing their line up--as most teams generally do....right?  My argument is that Milwaukee, in 2015, will have more tools and options than they have ever had since their 2011 NLCS run.  Aside from the good idea of adding a veteran pinch hitter/utility man, they have a complete 1 through 9 (excluding the pitcher of course) that should be highly effective barring any injuries.
     Of course, the words 'barring any injuries' is key here.  With Lind most likely making 2 or more trips to the DL this season and probably having to sit out the final game in a series that are day games, this does put some strain on everything.  Sure, they have Parra who can and probably will get some time at 1B as well as Lucroy--in order to give him rest.  Obviously, putting Martin Maldonado in the line up in the 8th spot isn't a bad thing either if Lucroy is resting or playing 1B.  Especially since Maldy off to a hot start in Cactus League play where he is now hitting .500 with a 1.000 SLG.

     Yes, it's Spring ball stats--but it's far better than the alternative (ah-hem, Ryan Braun who is 0 for 7).  Look, I'm not reading into these Cactus stats at all, I'm simply stating a fact that Maldonado is looking good so far in 2015 and this will be another big advantage for the Crew again in 2015.  By having Lucroy play 1B against LHP's and Maldonado calling pitches it will also allow Parra to keep his 2 x Gold Glove in the outfield where he can (possibly) platoon with Khris Davis until the latter proves he's up to the task--offensively.  Ron Roenicke has said he does not consider Parra a 4th Outfielder, which is well and all--but if Davis struggles at the plate, RR will not hesitate to have Parra as their full time starter.  Sure, it will slow Davis' progress and growth, but last time I checked Milwaukee hasn't been to the playoffs in 4 years.  The time to win is now, while they still can...

So, here is my idea of how the line up will look:

1.Gomez (8)
2. Gennett (4)
3. Braun (9)
4. Ramirez (5)
5. Lind (3)
6. Lucroy (2)
7. Davis (7)
8. Segura (6)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Brewers on Television and in the News

     The Brewers released their 2015 TV schedule for the regular season.  Of their 162 games the Crew will be televised all but 12 games.  Now if only we all lived in Milwaukee and could watch those non-televised games on Milwaukee's Telemundo (or at least that's how I watched them when I lived there last decade).  The Crew faces division rival Chicago Cubs 19 times and the Cardinals 17 times; as for inter-league play they will face the AL Central this year.  Oddly enough they play one 1-game series in Cleveland and a 2-game series hosting the Indians.

     Milwaukee kicks off their 2015 television schedule kicks off today at 2:00pm (CT) against the Angels of Anaheim, or whatever they go by now.  Kyle Lohse takes to the mound versus southpaw Hector Santiago.  

Here is the Brewers spring training TV schedule (most games are on MLB Network):
  • Mar. 5 Thursday at L.A. Angels - 2 p.m.
  • Mar. 6 Friday at L.A. Dodgers - 2 pm
  • Mar. 7 Saturday Texas - 2 p.m.
  • Mar. 10 Tuesday  Cincinnati - 3 p.m.
  • Mar. 14 Saturday Chicago Cubs - 3 p.m.
  • Mar. 15 Sunday Oakland - 3 p.m.
  • Mar. 17 Tuesday at San Diego - 3pm
  • Mar. 19 Thursday San Francisco - 3 pm
  • Mar. 25 Wednesday Oakland - 3 p.m.
  • Mar. 28 Saturday Cleveland - 3 p.m
  • .Mar. 31 Tuesday Cincinnati - 3 p.m.
  • Apr. 4 Saturday Cleveland - 2 p.m.
     MLB Network's "30 Clubs in 30 Days"on the Brewers aired last night, and I forgot to video tape it on my VHS.  Which stinks because in years past the station would title the show "30 Club/30 Days" on the channel guide so one could set it up to record.  Now the past 2 or 3 years they have listed under Baseball Tonight which is their daily show.  So you can't plan ahead to record the Brewers special because all you see when you check out their show guide is "Baseball Tonight" and not "30 Days/30 Clubs: Brewers".  Get what I am saying?  It's not easy to schedule your recording of the program, which is first world struggles at its finest.  My guess is that the Brewers were picked to finished 3rd again with only Plesac probably feeling good about them.  But we'll see....

     It was nice to read about Jim Henderson pitching yesterday for the first time since May 2nd of last year.  Henderson walked 1 and struck out 2 batter.  I am still very unsure of where he will fit in with this pen, but it isn't a bad problem to have two back-up options to close out games heading into the regular season.   

     Because you all just love having this brought up on a weekly basis, Biogenesis main man Tony Bosch was handed a 4 year prison term last month for his services provided to major league players.  Despite him signing to the feds about his drug dealing, the money continued to flow to him through different avenues and means, if you get my drift.  To show what a slime bucket he was: 

"Bosch wasn't exactly staying in Motel 6 as he snitched on his ex-clients. In fact, last year he signed leases for one apartment on exclusive Fisher Island, while his girlfriend rented a $700,000 downtown condo."
"....The leases are the latest proof that Bosch took money that Major League Baseball had agreed to provide for his legal team and security detail and, instead, spent it on a luxury lifestyle, says the attorney who introduced the new docs."

You can read the details HERE by the Miami New Times story that was released yesterday.  It's a very good read and you will snicker at just how dirty Mr. Bosch was.  

     In our weekly special "Man, do I miss that guy" here is a cool little piece on Prince Fielder.  I hope he rebounds this year for the Rangers.  Yea yea, it sucked to see him leave but if you did not see that coming at the time, you need to slap yourself.  Hopefully his neck injury is behind and he is ready to have a huge year.  I would also never count out him returning to Milwaukee near the end of his career. 
Gallardo on rejoining his old teammate: 
“He seems like the same guy from what I remember in Milwaukee,” said right-hander Yovani Gallardo, a Brewers teammate of Fielder from 2007 to 2011. “He’s always worked hard, and I think that’s why he’s had a good career."

Read more here:

On a side note, I'm still wondering to myself why the hell Doug Melvin traded Gallardo and not get another pitcher in return or in a trade?  It seems to me they are almost too high on Jimmy Nelson, but we shall see.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Spring Training Week 2

We are now into Week 2 of Spring Training; here is some news from the past week....

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