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.