Thursday, January 28, 2010

Base Stealing

Milwaukee added an outfielder yesterday by picking up Joe Inglette off of waivers. Reliever Chris Smith was designated for assignment to make room for the versatile IF-corner outfielder. His career batting average is .293 in 211 career games. Even at 31, Inglette should provide even more speed on the bases and a little added pop in the line-up when used.
Doug Melvin did say that he was working on something addition to his latest addition. Know-it-all websites were thinking of Gabe Gross as that possible target; but Melvin seems to be looking for a player who would sign a minor league-contract with an invitation camp next month as his next deal.

Base Stealing: Not since the Phil Garner's days has Milwaukee been able to witness a base stealing team. It was Phil's first year (1992) when he took a team that had little offensive power and turned them in to a winning team by being aggressive on the bases. That first season saw every single start in the line-up steal at least 10 bases and they were lead by ROY Pat Listaches' 54. That year they finished in 2nd place in the competitive AL East.

The 2010 team may not be as fast as the '92 Brewers, but they will be a vast improvement from the past couple of years that saw Corey Hart as the fastest player on the team. Carlos Gomez (14 in 2009), Alcides Escobar, Ryan Braun (20), and Hart (11, short season) should be able to jolt Milwaukee's base running and lead the team to 100+ stolen bases. Am I out of my mind? Perhaps, but manager Ken Macha knows that they need to provide enough run-support for an unproven rotation. In 2009 the Crew had 79 stolen bases and they were led by Ryan Braun's 20. That should not be a problem to beat, in my opinion. This team knows that they have to be aggressive in order to position themselves to score more runs. If they want to earn 8-10 more wins and get closer to 90 wins, they need to score more runs and help the rotation as much as possible. Barring any injury, stealing 100 bases shouldn't be too hard.

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