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Why Yan Gomes’ Shoulder Injury Might Just Matter to the Brewers

Here’s a snippet of what I originally wrote for Today’s Knuckleball. Find the full article here: http://www.todaysknuckleball.com/around-the-diamonds/yan-gomes-injury-could-impact-lucroy-and-the-rangers/


The seemingly seized Jonathan Lucroy trade market might have gotten some grease from an unlikely source yesterday.

Cleveland’s starting backstop, Yan Gomes, separated his shoulder on Sunday in a tumble at first base. It’s a potentially season-ending injury, one that could quickly see his front office searching for a fill-in if not a straight upgrade.

After all, while Gomes is a terrific defender (receiving, game-calling, throwing, blocking) his offense this season has left much to be desired. Gomes has a .165/.198/.313 slash line in 262 plate appearances.

Let the record once again reflect that this is a position player. By the somewhat simple and somewhat flawed OPS statistic, Gomes (.511) is behind such notable sluggers as Madison Bumgarner, Jason Hammel, Jake Arrieta, Patrick Corbin, Zack Greinke, Adam Wainwright, Francisco Liriano, Joe Ross, Noah Syndergaard, Carlos Martinez, Robbie Ray, Jose Fernandez, Gerrit Cole…

That list is conspicuous in that it contains all starting pitchers. And with the plaudits heaped on the relative offensive prowess of Bumgarner, Syndergaard, and Corbin, the platitudes which can be assigned to that of Gomes are stark in their divergence.

Cleveland enters the day at 54-37 which not only positions them with the best winning percentage (.593) in the American League, but is also good for a 6.5 game lead in the its Central Division. They aren’t desperate — they’ll tell you as much if you ask them — but whether they actually think they’re best served by hoping Roberto Perez will be able to fill in for Gomes is something they would understandably keep closer to their collective vest


Again, view the full article here: http://www.todaysknuckleball.com/around-the-diamonds/yan-gomes-injury-could-impact-lucroy-and-the-rangers/

 

Brewers Claim Scahill

ScahillSkySox.jpg

The Milwaukee Brewers just announced that they have been awarded a waiver claim on right-handed relief pitcher Rob Scahill, late of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

Scahill, 29, has made 28 combined appearances during the 2016 regular seasons of the Pirates (15 games) and their Triple-A affiliate the Indianapolis Indians (13). He’s combined to post a 4.19 ERA in 34.1 IP. (That’s a 4.00 ERA in 18.0 Triple-A innings and a 4.41 ERA in 16.1 IP in MLB this year, for the record.)

Following a 147 ERA+ (100 is league average) in 2015 where Scahill allowed just nine earned runs in 30.2 MLB innings across 28 games, the Illinois-native is somewhat ironically producing some better peripherals but with a much higher resultant ERA his ERA+ in 2016 is just 95. Not bad but certainly not as good.

One could likely assume that the Brewers’ pro scouting department sees some rebound capability in Scahill based on these statistical comparisons.

  • 2015: 4.50 FIP | 2016: 3.85 FIP
  • ’15: 4.7 BB/9 | ’16: 3.3 BB/9
  • ’15: 7.0 K/9 | ’16: 7.2 K/9
  • ’15: 1.50 K/BB | ’16: 2.17 K/9
  • ’15: .309 BAbip | ’16: .347 BAbip

So like I said, good peripherals, better than 2015, but lesser results to this point. About the only thing working against Scahill is line drive percentage (up to 32% from 24%) which does explain some of the other results, but that could be correctable.

Along with the announcement of the claim — which once again fills the Brewers’ 40-man roster — is the news that Scahill was immediately optioned down to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Scahill is also no stranger to that rare air having pitches in the Rockies organization for six seasons after being drafted by them in the 8th round in 2009. Scahill pitched parts of three minor-league seasons for the Sky Sox.

More Thoughts on the Aftermath of Hill Shipping Up to Boston

First, here’s how the official press release announcing the trade of Aaron Hill was written, in case you haven’t seen it.

OFFICIAL RELEASE

The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired right-handed pitcher Aaron Wilkerson and second baseman Wendell Rijo from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for infielder Aaron Hill and cash. The announcement was made by General Manager David Stearns.

“In Aaron Wilkerson, we are adding a starting pitcher who has had tremendous success in the minor leagues and could be an asset to the Major League team in the near future,” said Stearns. “Wendell Rijo adds even more young talent and strength up the middle to our organization.”

Wilkerson, 27, had been pitching this season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he was 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA in 9 games (8 starts). He was holding International League opponents to a .223 batting average (41-for-184, 5hr) with 54 strikeouts in just 48.0 innings pitched. He also pitched at Double-A Portland this season, going 2-1 with a 1.83 ERA in 8 starts. While at Portland, he held Eastern League opponents to a .175 batting average (28-for-160, 2hr) with 48 strikeouts in just 44.1 innings pitched.

Wilkerson, who was signed by Boston as a non-drafted free agent on July 18, 2014, owns an impressive career minor-league record of 22-7 with a 2.52 ERA in 54 games (44 starts). He has produced 293 strikeouts in just 279.0 innings pitched.

Prior to joining the Red Sox organization, the product of Cumberland University (TN), pitched the 2013 season for three independent league teams: Fort Worth – United League Baseball; Florence – Frontier League and Grand Prairie – American Association.

Rijo, 20, began the 2016 season at Double-A Portland, where he appeared in 51 games. He was transferred to Class-A Salem in late June and appeared in 11 games there prior to today’s trade.

Born in La Romana in the Dominican Republic, Rijo was signed by Boston as an international free agent on July 6, 2012. He owns a career batting average of .250 with 16 HR, 129 RBI and 50 stolen bases in 333 minor-league games (2012-2016). Following last season, he was ranked as the 15th-best prospect in the Red Sox organization and 19th-best prospect in the Carolina League by Baseball America.

Hill, 34, was acquired by Milwaukee last January 30 from Arizona, along with right-handed pitcher Chase Anderson, shortstop Isan Diaz and cash, in exchange for shortstop Jean Segura and right-handed pitcher Tyler Wagner. He batted .283 (72-for-254) with 8 HR and 29 RBI in 78 games with the Brewers, making 71 starts (55g at 3B, 16g at 2B).

“Along with his statistical contributions, we thank Aaron for his veteran leadership and versatility during his time as a Brewer,” said Stearns.

For my thoughts on the trade both from the viewpoint of the Red Sox as well as the Brewers, check out my article over at Today’s Knuckleball by clicking here.

What I didn’t say there because it really didn’t fit is how this move is just the first salvo in what should be an incredibly busy month for David Stearns and company.

They have a plethora of movable assets and of those many that teams should desire to varying degrees. He even has assets that he’ll get calls on but shouldn’t move as they have a chance to be key parts of the future contender.

Here’s a quick list (alphabetical by last name) with a blurb as to why each could be moved. Oh, and let me say here that I’m not including Braun because I don’t believe he’ll be moved and I don’t feel like writing up a section about why Stearns would move him.

  • Blaine Boyer
    • Why you would move him: Really playing well (outside of San Francisco) and has shown the ability handle higher-leverage innings. Wasn’t expected to give you much when signing as a non-roster invitee to Spring Training so anything you could get in trade is a bonus from that aspect. All relief pitchers, middle relievers chief among them, are volatile meaning capitalizing on their value when you can should be considered. Plus, Boyer turns 35 next week so you can’t count on him as a part of the future here in Milwaukee.
    • Why you wouldn’t: I guess you wouldn’t if no one asked you to. Really, in Boyer’s case where he was a flier on a team looking for roleplayer bullpen arms Boyer has positioned himself to potentially be of value to a contender who isn’t getting enough mileage out of their current group (like the Cubs, for instance). There are a bunch of teams who could use an arm like Boyer’s.
  • Chris Carter
    • Why you would move him: Having a good bounce-back year as he desired when signing here, has shown he can play everyday defense at 1B. Would be more expensive next year (though under team control for a time yet) and could cool off limiting trade value in the off-season or next year.
    • Why you wouldn’t: He’s still quite inexpensive for the level of production he’s giving even with the 2nd year of arbitration eligibility looming (using this year’s one-year price as the starting point should temper the bottom line) and while there are some intriguing first basemen in the system, no one is exactly busting down the door to take the job in 2017. Carter could be move next July the same as this July plus most contenders who would covet the kind of power Carter would add to a lineup have solutions at first base already so the return might not enough during the year when the trade partner pool is limited.
  • Matt Garza
    • Why you would move him: He hasn’t performed particularly well over the last year and a half when healthy enough to pitch. He still has talent though and a change of scenery and pitching philosophy (despite there being a new pitching coach with Milwaukee this year) could benefit him. Garza is a competitor in the truest sense of the word and might subconsciously lock in if pitching in games that mean more. The main reason though is that despite his veteran leadership, the Brewers have been amassing a handful of knocking-on-the-door starting pitchers would need to be given big league chances (in some cases second chances) before 2018. Moving Garza frees up a spot for that to happen. The pool of available starting pitching isn’t exactly a robust one this year either so that could lead someone to giving Garza a shot like James Shields to the White Sox.
    • Why you wouldn’t: If Stearns couldn’t get what he considers to be fair value, then you can give Garza more time this season to prove what he still has left in the tank. He’s a guy who is tradeable come August so you don’t have to force the issue this month.
  • Junior Guerra
    • Why you would: He’s come out of seemingly nowhere to be the most consistently good starting pitcher the Brewers have run out there this season and, again in a down market for starting pitching, that could translate to serious value if someone is willing to strike while the iron is hot.
    • Why you wouldn’t: If the Brewers think he’s really for real then three years of league minimum-ish salaries and up to six years of team control mean you could conceivably control all of Guerra’s remaining effectiveness. Even if he’s never more than a mid-rotation guy, this season is proof positive that even that role can be a challenging one to fill.
  • Jonathan Lucroy
    • Why you would: He’s cheap, plays a premium position at a very high level, and could fetch the club a drool-worthy return in prospects.
    • Why not: He’s cheap, plays a premium position at a very high level, and you could still trade him in the off-season if you aren’t going to extend him.
  • Kirk Nieuwenhuis
    • Why you would: He’s not exactly a long-term solution, especially when you have guys like Maverick Phillips on the way. He’s arbitration-eligible for the first time this coming off-season.
    • Why not: He knows how to succeed at the big league level, especially defensively, and his role in mentoring a guy like Phillips (and to a lesser degree guys like Ramon Flores and Domingo Santana) is a valuable job. Plus he’s still under team control for three seasons if you want him
  • Carlos Torres
    • Why you would: See many of the reasons listed for Boyer. Torres is a quality enough arm to be valuable, quality enough to have played for the NL Champion Mets last year.
    • Why not: Again, no real reason not to if you can get something of value. Let Torres play for a contender if there’s one who wants him and get something back that can help the future.

For another group of players, the write-ups would look extremely similar. You would trade them because they have value and performing well right now but you wouldn’t because they’re young enough with some ceiling still to reach (to varying degrees), and controllable/cost-effective that they could still be a part of the next contending roster. This group includes: Jacob Barnes, Michael Blazek, Jeremy Jeffress, Jimmy Nelson, Will Smith, Tyler Thornburg, and Jonathan Villar. That said, the return on packages containing those players or even straight-up on some of them would be intriguing.

I know I’ve only been going through names on the 25-man roster right now, but let me make one other point.

Anybody can be had for the right price and that’s what makes Stearns a good General Manager. He’s willing to listen — even on someone he 99% would never move. Look, I want Orlando Arcia to be the shortstop here in Milwaukee for the next decade-plus. That said, if the Angels were to extend Mike Trout for the next decade and offer him to Milwaukee straight up for Arcia (while paying 90% of Trout’s contract themselves), you shouldn’t and wouldn’t say no.

That example is wildly inequitable but I use it to illustrate that yes, even Orlando Arcia is tradeable under the right circumstances.

All this said, I expect a handful of players to probably be wearing other uniforms by August 1st. I also expect that anyone who leaves will do so to the betterment of the long-term goal which is to bring sustainable success to the home clubhouse at Miller Park.

Brewers Announce Nine International Signings

OFFICIAL RELEASE

BREWERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH NINE INTERNATIONAL
The Milwaukee Brewers have agreed to terms with nine players from the international signing period, which began today.  These agreements, announced by Brewers Director of Latin American Scouting Manny Batista, include the following:

  • RHP Jeison Medina, 12/06/1996, San Cristobal, Dominican Republic
  • RHP Brayan Salaya, 02/13/2000, Caracas, Venezuela
  • C Roberto Molina, 12/07/1999, Merida, Venezuela
  • SS Victor Maria, 09/22/1999, San Francisco De Macoris, Dominican Republic
  • SS Jean Carlos Cruz, 10/27/1999, Bani, Dominican Republic
  • SS Jean Carmona, 10/31/1999, Sosua, Dominican Republic
  • OF Pablo Abreu, 10/19/1999, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • OF Francis Florentino, 10/13/1999, Cotui, Dominican Republic
  • OF Anderson Melendez, 05/31/2000, Barquisimeto, Venezuela

 Abreu, 16, is rated as the 29th-best prospect on MLB.com’s Top 30 International Prospects list, while Carmona, 16, is ranked as the 30th-best prospect on the same list.

Brewers Announce Extension of Double-A PDC

BiloxiShuckersOnWhite

OFFICIAL RELEASE

The Milwaukee Brewers have announced a two-year player development contract extension with the Biloxi Shuckers. The new agreement ensures that the team’s Double-A affiliate will remain in Biloxi through the 2020 season.

“The Brewers and Shuckers have a great partnership and we are excited about this extension,” said Brewers Farm Director Tom Flanagan. “MGM Park is one of the premier ballparks in all of Minor League Baseball and we look forward to playing there for years to come.”

“We are extremely proud to announce the continuation of this partnership between the Brewers and Shuckers,” said Shuckers President Ken Young. “We have developed a great relationship with the Brewers over the past two years and the impact of the players and coaches on the field and in the community has been tremendous.”

Biloxi has been the home of the Brewers Double-A affiliate since the start of the 2015 season. The Shuckers have seen 19 members of the organization be named All-Stars in just two years. Last season, the team clinched a spot in the playoffs when they were crowned the Southern League South Division First-Half Champions. Biloxi made it to the Southern League Championship, but ultimately fell in the final game of a five-game series.

2016 Draft Recap Podcast

Ray

It’s here! With the draft come and gone I have once again put together a podcast for your listening pleasure.

I talk to two of the Brewers draft picks this year, a tradition I started several years ago at this point, as I had the chance to interview top pick Corey Ray and 6th rounder Payton Henry. You’ll also hear some audio from the Director of Amateur Scouting for the Brewers, Ray Montgomery, as well as MLB veteran Curtis Granderson who has been a mentor for Corey over the last couple of years.

I might post a follow-up interview that I wanted to conduct but haven’t yet had a chance to complete due to scheduling conflicts but I wanted to get this up for now without it just in case it never happens.

But for now, listen to this and let me know what you think.

Official Release: Brewers Make Three Selections on Day One of 2016 First-Year Player Draft

Team Selects OF Corey Ray, 3B Lucas Erceg and C Mario Feliciano

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Brewers made three selections during day one of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft.  The team selected outfielder Corey Ray (University of Louisville), third baseman Lucas Erceg (Menlo College) and catcher Mario Feliciano (Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy) with the fifth, 46th and 75th picks, respectively. The announcements were made by Vice President of Amateur Scouting/Special Assistant to the General Manager Ray Montgomery.

Ray, a junior at the University of Louisville, batted .319 with 55 runs, 16 doubles, a triple, 15 home runs, 60 RBI, 44 stolen bases, a .396 OBP and a .562 slugging percentage this season. He was previously drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 33rd round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Simeon Career Academy, but chose to enroll in college instead. The left-handed hitter is majoring in exercise science. He was scouted by area scout Jeff Simpson and regional supervisor Tim McIlvaine.

Erceg, 21, is a junior at Menlo College. He hit .308 (70-for-227) with 47 runs, 15 doubles, 20 home runs, 56 RBI with a .351 on-base percentage and a .639 slugging percentage in 56 games this season. He was scouted by area scout Joe Graham and regional supervisor Corey Rodriguez.

Feliciano, 17, is a senior at the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy. He was a 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game 2nd Team All-American and was scouted by area scout Charlie Sullivan and national supervisor Doug Reynolds.

The Draft will resume tomorrow at 12 p.m. CT with rounds 3-10. Day three of the Draft will begin at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday with rounds 11-40.

Official Release: Brewers Announce Donation of Over 20,000 Bat & Ball Sets and Books to Local Children

Effort is Part of “Play Ball Weekend,” Sponsored by Chevrolet

The Milwaukee Brewers announced the donation of over 20,000 plastic bat & ball sets to every student, grades K-5 through the 2nd Grade, in the Milwaukee Public School system. The announcement was made earlier today at a press conference at the Brown Street Academy by Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. Members of the team’s front office including Manager of Youth Outreach Larry Hisle, Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools Dr. Darienne Driver, Brown Street Academy staff, local officials, Chevrolet (sponsor) representatives as well as players Chris Capuano, Chris Carter and Alex Presley were on hand for the announcement and ensuing mini-clinics.

Each child will receive a brand new “Play Ball” bat and ball set, delivered to each Milwaukee Public Elementary School, courtesy of the Brewers and Chevrolet. In addition, the team announced that 125 schools all over the city will receive a set of baseball-related books. The effort is part of “Play Ball Weekend,” a Major League Baseball initiative, which is taking place today through Sunday.

Major League Baseball and USA Baseball launched “Play Ball” as the sport’s largest effort to encourage widespread participation in both formal and informal baseball activities.  The goal of the program is to give kids the opportunity to enjoy the game in a fun environment by highlighting the many ways baseball can be played and introduce kids to the sport who otherwise may not have the chance to experience it. Additionally, the program offers a healthy and active lifestyle option where many of those opportunities are offered less frequently.

“The goal of this program is to get kids engaged with the game by giving them the tools to play and the resources to learn about the sport,” said Schlesinger. “It doesn’t take nine kids to play the game, and it doesn’t require expensive or elaborate equipment. Major League Baseball and the Milwaukee Brewers are committed to connecting with area children through the ‘Play Ball’ program, and we look forward to what we know will be a fun and successful long-term initiative.”

Following the press conference, the players engaged with the children and put on a mini-clinic. The players demonstrated basic skills and taught useful lessons about the game.

In addition to today’s press conference, the team will continue to celebrate “Play Ball Weekend” with an on-field ceremony prior to tomorrow’s contest against the San Diego Padres. Nine players from the local Milwaukee RBI program will join Brewers players as they go to their respective positions on the field. The players will then present the kids with one of their very own Brewers caps.

For more information about Play Ball Weekend, the RBI Program or the Brewers involvement in the community, please visit Brewers.com.

2016 Organizational Opening Day Rosters

What follows are the announced rosters for the parent club Milwaukee Brewers as well as each of the full-season minor-league affiliates of the same, broken down by position group.

Milwaukee Brewers
MLB Parent Club (Twitter: @Brewers)

Manager: Craig Counsell

25 Total Players (excluding disabled list)

Pitchers (12)

Catchers (2)

Infielders (6)

Outfielders (5)

Disabled List (5)

SkySoxPrimary

Class-AAA Affiliate (Twitter: @skysox)

Manager: Rick Sweet

28 Total Players

Pitchers (14)

Catchers (3)

Infielders (6)

Outfielders (5)

BiloxiShuckersOnWhite

Class-AA Affiliate (Twitter: @BiloxiShuckers)

Manager: Mike Guerrero

28 Total Players

Pitchers (14)

Catchers (4)

Infielders (7)

Outfielders (4)

BC Manatees

Class-A Advanced Affiliate (Twitter: @BCManatees)

Manager: Joe Ayrault

28 Total Players

Pitchers (14)

Catchers (2)

Infielders (6)

Outfielders (4)

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

Class-A Affiliate (Twitter: @TimberRattlers)

Manager: Matt Erickson

28 Total Players

Pitchers (14)

Catchers (3)

Infielders (6)

Outfielders (5)

Brewers Announce Opening Day Roster

Milwaukee BrewersPITCHERS (12)

57 Chase Anderson
54 Michael Blazek
48 Blaine Boyer*
39 Chris Capuano*
22 Matt Garza
21 Jeremy Jeffress
41 Taylor Jungmann
52 Jimmy Nelson
58 Ariel Peña
38 Wily Peralta
37 Tyler Thornburg
59 Carlos Torres

CATCHERS (2)
20 Jonathan Lucroy
12 Martin Maldonado

INFIELDERS (6)
33 Chris Carter
2 Scooter Gennett
9 Aaron Hill
29 Yadiel Rivera
5 Jonathan Villar
7 Colin Walsh

OUTFIELDERS (5)
8 Ryan Braun
23 Keon Broxton%
18 Ramon Flores%
10 Kirk Nieuwenhuis
16 Domingo Santana%

DISABLED LIST (6)
50 Yhonathan Barrios (right shoulder – 60-day)
75 Zack Jones (right shoulder – 15-day)
46 Corey Knebel (left oblique – 15-day)
79 OF Rymer Liriano (face – 60-day)
53 LHP Sean Nolin (left elbow – 60-day)
13 LHP Will Smith (right knee – 15-day)

STAFF
30 Craig Counsell – Manager
11 Darnell Coles – Hitting Coach
36 Derek Johnson – Pitching Coach
40 Jason Lane – Coach
49 Pat Murphy – Bench Coach
6 Ed Sedar – Third Base Coach
31 Carlos Subero – First Base/Infield Coach
43 Lee Tunnell – Bullpen Coach
56 Joe Crawford – Coaching Assistant
55 Marcus Hanel – Bullpen Catcher

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