Here is a boatload of audio recorded on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at Brewers On Deck in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Right fielder Ryan Braun
Relief pitcher Jim Henderson
Manager Ron Roenicke
New Brewers first baseman Adam Lind
Starting pitcher Wily Peralta
Newest member of the starting rotation Jimmy Nelson
All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez
Second baseman Scooter Gennett
All-Star starting catcher Jonathan Lucroy
General Manager Doug Melvin met with the assembled media
EXCLUSIVE with 40-man pitcher Michael Blazek
Prinicpal Owner Mark Attanasio addressed the media
This is the full audio from one of the Main Stage events, a panel discussion (with fan questions!) featuring Mark Attanasio, Doug Melvin, Gord Ash, Adam Lind, Corey Knebel, and Luis Sardinas
ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick tweeted this a few minutes ago…
DontrelleWillis has agreed on a minor league deal with #brewers. Includes invite to big league camp.
— Jerry Crasnick(@jcrasnick) January 21, 2015
Willis, 33, hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2011 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, though he has spent time in the minor leagues of the Orioles, Angels, and Giants over the past three years. He infamously lost his control at a relatively young age after being dynamic and electric early in his career with the Florida Marlins.
This brings the group of Brewers non-roster invitees up to six when camp opens in February.
It’s been 76 days away from Opening Day all day today, Tuesday, January 20. Unfortunately, sometimes life gets you backed up and you can’t get your release until late in the day. Innuendo aside, let’s dispense with the typically lengthy open and drop right into my profile of the player who will wear #76 in spring training this year…
Michael Joseph Strong is a 26-year-old left-handed pitcher from Minnesota, by way of Oklahoma State University. He was drafted three times as an amateur in three consecutive years. The Chicago White Sox drafted him in 2009 in the 25th round. The Oakland Athletics chose Strong in the 22nd round in 2010. Finally, the Brewers selected as signed the southpaw as a 10th round selection in 2011.
Strong pitched as a rookie in 2011 and had a rough go of things. In six of this 15 appearances, Strong allowed at least 4 ER, with his worst being an 8 ER outing on August 31st of that year with the rookie ball affiliate Helena Brewers. Strong made 13 starts in those 15 games in 2011 and finished with a combined 6.10 ERA.
The next season would find Strong pitching for the Class-A affiliate Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of the Midwest League. 21 regular season games, zero starts, 2.76 ERA. Strong didn’t get going in 2012 until May, but it was enough to earn himself a ring as the Timber Rattlers won the Midwest League Championship! Perhaps the limited games is partly why he repeated Class-A in 2013. 25 games, eight starts and 87.0 IP for Strong in 2013 earned him an off-season promotion to the Class-A Advanced Brevard County Manatees.
It’s 2014 that really paved the way for the situation Strong finds himself in today. That situation, of course, is having been added to the 40-man roster and attending his first legitimate big league spring training. In 2014, as mentioned, Strong began his season by breaking camp with the Manatees. There he pitched in 30 games including six starts, compiling a 2.50 ERA in 75.2 IP. He would strike out 78 hitters while walking 23 and allowing 56 hits. Strong was used in a variety of roles as has been his M.O. to this point in his career. It was a good season for Strong in the Florida State League.
With an eye on sending him to the Arizona Fall League (a proving ground of sorts for up-and-coming players), the Brewers promoted Strong to Class-AA Huntsville for one appearance. He would pitch 4.0 hitless and scoreless innings in relief, allowing one walk while striking out six. After that, Strong would be ticketed for Arizona where he made 11 more appearances, totaling an additional 13.2 IP. Strong was quite good in the AFL, pitching to a 1.98 ERA (3 ER) while striking out 14 and walking three.
Then it became decision time on the lefty. Was he to a point in his development where it made sense to protect him from Rule 5 exposure? The Brewers lost another left-hander recently in Lucas Luetge when the Seattle Mariners plucked him in a Rule 5 Draft. Strong’s case was solid that he deserved at the very least another season of minor league ball in the Brewers system to see what they really have.
Looking ahead to 2015, Strong has an outside chance to impact the big league bullpen out of camp. After carrying four southpaws in their 2014 bullpen at different times, the Brewers currently only have setup man Will Smith coming back in a similar role. And despite Ron Roenicke saying in previous years that he doesn’t feel it a necessity to have even one lefty, I think he enjoyed being able to play matchups when situations warranted. Strong probably isn’t ready for primetime just yet as it relates to full innings of work for Milwaukee, but as a situational lefty who could pitch his way to more responsibility, there’s opportunity.
Still, all likelihood has Strong starting 2014 with the now-based-in-Biloxi Class-AA affiliate, the Biloxi Shuckers. Give him time there, move him up to Class-AAA Colorado Springs when he’s ready, and just maybe Strong ends up contributing down the stretch in September when the Brewers are hopefully looking to save some innings on Smith’s arm.
Bottom line though, Mike Strong is one to watch in 2015. If the Brewers front office thinks he’s worthy of a 40-man roster spot, he’s worthy of our attention.
(I just did that whole thing without one pun on his name. That’s a strong effort on my part.)
Catch up on the countdown!
As first reported by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (and since confirmed by several respected writers), the Milwaukee Brewers are receiving three players in return for Yovani Gallardo who was traded to the Texas Rangers.
The three players are a shortstop, a relief pitcher and an 18-year-old starting pitching prospect.
The shortstop is 21-year-old Luis Sardiñas who was suggested by Ken Rosenthal as potentially being involved as the Rangers had offered the Venezuelan in other trade ideas this off-season. He’s a guy who some still regard highly (7th overall Rangers prospect according to Baseball America) while others (MLB Pipeline, unranked) don’t have him nearly as high anymore. He’s considered a true shortstop defensively which is never a bad thing to have in the system.
The relief pitcher is Corey Knebel, a 23-year-old former 1st round pick (2013, 39th overall) of the Detroit Tigers. Knebel made his MLB debut in May of 2014, appearing in a total of eight games for the Tigers. He was later traded to the Rangers in the Joakim Soria deal. Knebel was listed as the Rangers’ eighth-best prospect prior to the deal. Of Knebel’s abilities, the website says:
Knebel definitely has the weapons and competitive makeup with which to close games. His fastball ranges from 91-98 mph with tailing action, and he uses his height to throw it on a downhill plane. When he stays on top of his curveball, it can be just as nasty as his heater, arriving in the low 80s with sharp downward break.
There’s some funkiness to Knebel’s delivery, but it adds more deception than it detracts from his ability to throw strikes. He flashes a decent changeup, which had the Tigers initially considering trying him as a starter, but his future definitely is as a reliever.
Knebel is 6’3″, was a closer at the University of Texas, and quite clearly skyrocketed through the minors and into The Show. If healthy (he was shut down in August with a UCL injury), he joins a murky if somewhat crowded Brewers bullpen situation.
The youngster of the trio is Marcos Diplan, (20th Rangers prospect, MLBPipeline). He can reportedly touch 98 MPH and sits in the low 90s but has room to add power onto his young frame. Diplan was the consensus top pitcher in the 2013 international class coming out of the Dominican Republic, that coming from MLBPipeline.com.
All told, this is a quality return for the Brewers. There is no surefire superstar in the group, but for one guaranteed season of Gallardo, and a chance to sign him to an extension or at least extend a qualifying offer, this was probably about as strong a return as could have been hoped. Oh, and as I reported yesterday, the Brewers kicked in some money to Texas. Reports have it as $4 million. That could explain some of the delay as a dollar amount of that size would need approval from the commissioner’s office.
Both Sardinas and Knebel were on the Rangers 40-man roster. Gallardo leaving opens one spot.
***UPDATE: To clear the other needed spot, former organizational player of the year Hunter Morris was designated for assignment.***
Another day closer to Opening Day, another ballplayer profiled on “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” 2015 edition.
We’re 11 weeks out from the Brewers opener on April 6. That equates to 77 days for those who were told that there would be no math.
Wearing 77 on his jersey once Pitchers and Catchers report on February 20 is the newest Brewers draftee to be added to the 40-man roster…
This is the first time I’ve had the pleasure of writing a full article on David Paul Goforth. Last season he was announced as a non-roster invitee a full 11 days after his profile otherwise would have been written up. So we’ll go through some background first before getting into his 2014 and outlook for 2015.
The 5’10”, 205lb reliever was drafted by the Brewers in the 7th round of the 2011 draft out of Ole Miss (the University of Mississippi). Unlike yesterday’s subject, Taylor Jungmann, Goforth would sign right away and actually appear in 19 games for the short-season rookie ball affiliate Helena Brewers in 2011. Despite being targeted as an eventual relief pitcher, Goforth began the 2012 season in the Wisconsin Timber Rattler’s rotation. The Brewers use the philosophy that relievers can develop their repertoire and arm strength more quickly by beginning their development as starting pitchers. It’s a path they’ve taken with many players other than Goforth, one that they’ll likely continue to utilize.
Goforth would spend all of 2012 with the Class-A Timber Rattlers, logging 150.2 IP and a robust 4.66 ERA across 28 starts. That wasn’t much of a worry long-term however, given the plan and the development-based goals. The right-hander would begin 2013 with the Class-A Advanced Brevard County Manatees, still starting, but would earn a promotion to (primarily) the Class-AA Huntsville bullpen in the second half of June. While his numbers were never earthshattering, a combined 3.17 ERA and 3.46 FIP in 125.0 IP were enough to garner Goforth’s inclusion among the Brewers contingent sent to the Arizona Fall League. Goforth would make 12 appearances, striking out 15 hitters over 12.0 IP. He performed well enough that I thought he might make the step up and start this past season at Class-AAA Nashville.
Instead, Goforth would spend all of 2014 with Huntsville. In 64.2 IP over 54 games (including 44 games finished), Goforth would record 27 saves. He’d tally just 46 strikeouts, and walk 29 (for an untenable 4.0 BB/9). His ERA was elevated at 3.76 but part of that was no doubt fueled by a .290 BABIP against.
The end of the 2014 season brought with it an incredibly important decision for Goforth. When it came time to determine whether he deserved protection on the Brewers 40-man roster, the front office thought about it for several more hours than the other additions (Jungmann, Michael Strong, and Yadiel Rivera). When the Brewers first announced 40-man roster adds, it was the other three whose names were mentioned. But in the end, Goforth’s profile as a late-inning reliever whose fastball sits in the mid 90s (touching 98 MPH) who carries a trio of secondary pitches (cutter, curve, change) thanks to his time starting was enough to worry the Brewers that someone else might pluck him in the Rule 5 Draft. After all, relief pitchers are the easiest to “hide” in the middle of a bullpen.
Chances are good that he’ll make his Major League debut in 2015, but the bottom line is that while Goforth has a plus fastball and a promising cutter, it’s his command of his arsenal as opposed to its composition that’ll get him to Milwaukee and keep him there. But it all starts again in about a month at Maryvale for the 26-year-old Mississippi-born fireballer. It could be a season that makes his baseball career.
You can follow David Goforth on Twitter (so you should): @DavidGoforth33
Catch up on the countdown!
As first pinpointed by FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi, the Brewers followed through on my report from early last week and are reportedly on the verge of trading away homegrown starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo to the Texas Rangers.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 18, 2015
Gallardo, as you may recall, became the Brewers’ career strikeout leader late in 2014 and was on pace to overtake several statistical categories in Brewers history in the near future. It now appears as though the man we call “Yo” will finish where he currently sits.
I’m writing to discuss why I think this trade went down, some of the logistics without yet knowing all the names involved for sure, as well as my generalized thoughts about trading Gallardo from a macro level.
First, the Brewers are basically maxed out on their payroll as the day begins. Principal owner Mark Attanasio has been flexible over the years in adding payroll in season when the chance to compete is there. Just look at 2014. He authorized acquiring Jonathan Broxton (the likely closer to begin 2015) and Gerardo Parra (a pricey current 4th outfielder) after all. But entering a season where they sit after avoiding arbitration with all three of their eligible players (~$97 million committed to 12 players per Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel beat writer Tom Haudricourt), it’s not that far of a stretch to understand why Attanasio might want to trim a little payroll fat. Gallardo is set to make $13 million in the final season of a six-year, $42.5 million contract he signed before the 2010 season. This is also pretty strong evidentiary support of the idea that the Brewers had no plans to offer Gallardo another long-term contract or even a qualifying offer after the season.
That’s just one of the logistical points of this situation. Another that I’ve been told is that the Brewers might not be moving all of Gallardo’s $13 million. There is chatter that they’ll be paying a portion of his deal. That’s normally done to offset the cost to the acquiring team, thereby increasing the return in quality and/or quantity of players.
But why now? Why move Gallardo at all? He was drafted by the Brewers, after all. I’ve heard all this and more since the trade rumor was first floated out. To those questions, I answer thusly.
Gallardo rebounded a bit in 2014 and actually had a better overall season than many give him credit for. He still struggled against St. Louis, had a poor May after an excellent April and limped through September when everything around the team seemed to be collapsing together, but his season was strong as a sum of its parts. Gallardo’s fastball came back to life and he posted a career-best BB/9 ratio of 2.5 overall. With a full season of control, Gallardo is more valuable to the Brewers to move now than he would be at any other point in 2015. And outside of the money issues, Gallardo is the most moveable piece among the pitchers. He’s the best combination of return, savings, and striking while the iron is hot on the team.
You aren’t moving the cheap Wily Peralta, Mike Fiers or Jimmy Nelson. Kyle Lohse is the oldest of the group and wouldn’t bring as much in return since there’s less projectability left on his arm than that of Gallardo. And after bringing in Matt Garza on an expensive deal, that’s not changing yet, plus the fact that Garza is already on pace to providing an extremely inexpensive contract option.
You also can’t let yourself worry about the fact that he was drafted and developed by the Brewers. So was Rickie Weeks. So was Prince Fielder. So was Corey Hart. There is a time for the vast majority of players in the era of free agency to move on from their original teams. If Gallardo isn’t in the long-term plan and he can bring you back someone who is, you move him. It can be a hard thing for a franchise like Milwaukee to do when homegrown talent under team control is a necessity to win, but when that talent prices themselves out of town decisions must be made regardless of the potential public relations hit. In a perfect world every Brewer is Robin Yount, but a perfect world this ain’t.
As for the return, well that just might be another column once we learn the particulars. Rosenthal speculates that Luis Sardiñas might be involved, but as of Sunday afternoon Gallardo hadn’t even been informed that he’d been traded. A principal agreement could be in place without all the details sorted out. I’m told that Gallardo’s agent leaked the report though so somebody knows something. Understandably, both front offices are upset as the track record exists for both to operate quietly.
In regards to the next step that so many people wanted to jump to on social media already, the agent for James Shields wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t reach out to the Brewers to discern their plan and see if his client might fit. After all, the talk for a bit now is how nobody is in on Shields at the number he wanted. Engaging the Brewers could get things a bit more towards where Shields would like them to be. Then again, the conspiracy theorists point to how shortly after the Gallardo news broke, the Nationals agreeing to a contract with free agent pitcher Max Scherzer came out. They are pointing to the coincidence to indicate that maybe the Brewers desiring to trade for Wisconsin-native starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann and needed to free up a rotation spot and some money to do it and that now that the Nationals feel confident in trading Zimmermann, they could fully engage on Scherzer. While that’s all plausible, it certainly feels like a couple of steps past where things stand as the sun comes up on Monday, January 19th.
Stay tuned. I have a feeling that things could get fun today.
BREWERS ON DECK TO INCLUDE OVER 50 PLAYERS, COACHES, BROADCASTERS & ALUMNI
Event to Feature Community Book Drive; Food Donations Accepted through Hunger Task Force
Nearly 50 Milwaukee Brewers players plus a host of alumni, coaches, front office executives and broadcasters are scheduled to participate in Brewers On Deck, which is set to take place on Sunday, January 25 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center.
Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for children 14 and under. Tickets on the day of the event are $20 for adults and $15 for children 14 and under. A portion of the proceeds from Brewers On Deck will benefit Brewers Community Foundation. Tickets may be purchased at the Miller Park ticket office, by calling the Brewers ticket office at 414-902-4000, or online at brewers.com/ondeck.
This year the event will feature a community book drive that will help support Next Door’s Books for Kids program. The goal of the Books for Kids campaign is to help all children in Milwaukee’s central city, regardless of their family income or education levels, have books they can call their own. Local author Marla McKenna will help host the event. Fans are encouraged to bring new or gently used children’s books to donate. In appreciation for their contribution, fans who donate a book will receive a free copy of McKenna’s newest publication, “Mom’s Big Catch,” a story based upon events that took place at Miller Park.
Once again food donations will be accepted through Hunger Task. Donations can be dropped off at two main entrances to the Wisconsin Center, located at 4th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, and 4th Street and Wells Street.
Players, coaches and alumni scheduled to attend include (all subject to change):
- Michael Blazek
- Ryan Braun
- Juan Centeno
- Matt Clark
- Clint Coulter
- Khris Davis
- Mike Fiers
- Scooter Gennett
- David Goforth
- Carlos Gomez
- Hector Gomez
- Brooks Hall
- Jim Henderson
- Jeremy Jeffress
- Taylor Jungmann
- Brandon Kintzler
- Corey Knebel (just added)
- Adam Lind
- Jonathan Lucroy
- Kyle Lohse
- Jimmy Nelson
- Gerardo Parra
- Wily Peralta
- Shane Peterson
- Jason Rogers
- Luis Sardiñas (just added)
- Logan Schafer
- Will Smith
- Michael Strong
- Tyler Thornburg
- Rob Wooten
- Darnell Coles (Hitting Coach)
- Joe Crawford (Video/Scouting)
- Matt Erickson (Timber Rattlers Mgr.)
- Mike Guerrero (1st Base Coach)
- Marcus Hanel (Bullpen Catcher)
- Rick Kranitz (Pitching Coach)
- Jerry Narron (Bench Coach)
- Ron Roenicke (Manager)
- Ed Sedar (3rd Base Coach)
- John Shelby (Outfield Coach)
- Lee Tunnell (Bullpen Coach)
- Jerry Augustine
- Cecil Cooper
- Craig Counsell
- Rob Deer
- Jim Gantner
- Larry Hisle
Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family. Autographs and photos from Brewers players, coaches and alumni; interactive games in the Kids Area; Q&A sessions and game shows with Brewers players, coaches and broadcasters; vendor booths with baseball memorabilia; Brewers Community Foundation’s Treasure Hunt, a 50/50 raffle, live auction and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.
Details regarding autographs include the following: Recipients of “PREMIER” autographs (players to be announced next week) will be chosen through a random selection process. Each fan in attendance will receive one Premier Entry sheet which may be redeemed at the Random Selection area outside the Main Exhibit Hall of the Wisconsin Center District. The Premier Entry sheet will be exchanged for a numbered coupon to be entered into the random selection process for any one of the select Brewers players. Coupon distribution will be available at 8 a.m. the day of the event and will continue up to an hour before each designated autograph session. There is no cost for coupons to enter the random selection process; however, those holding winning coupons must pay $10 at the respective autograph stage to collect their player signature. There will be 250 winners for each of the autograph sessions. The winning ticket numbers will be posted at the designated autograph stage no less than 30 minutes prior to each player’s session.
Players and staff not included in the PREMIER autograph list will not use the random selection process. Each of these players will sign 250 autographs at prices ranging from free to $10. A schedule of players, their session times, and distribution info will be posted next week. The autograph opportunities are for signatures on photo cards provided by the team; the Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia. For additional information, visit Brewers.com/ondeck.
Autograph proceeds benefit Brewers Community Foundation. Please note that cash is the only acceptable form of payment for autographs. The Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia, and personalization of items is solely up to the discretion of each player.
A detailed schedule of all Brewers On Deck events will be released next week.
***UPDATE! Here is the schedule…***
Recipients of “PREMIER” autographs Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy and Bob Uecker will be chosen through a random selection process. Each fan in attendance will receive one Premier Entry card which may be redeemed at the Random Selection area outside the Main Exhibit Hall of the Wisconsin Center. The Premier Entry card will be exchanged for a numbered coupon and entered into the random selection process for any one of the select Brewers players. Coupon distribution will be available at 8 a.m. the day of the event and will continue up to an hour before each designated autograph session.
There is no cost for coupons to enter the random selection process; however, those holding winning coupons must pay $10 at the respective autograph stage to collect their player signature. There will be 250 winners for each of the autograph sessions. The winning ticket numbers will be posted at the designated autograph stage no less than 30 minutes prior to each player’s session. A schedule is listed below:
PREMIER AUTOGRAPH SCHEDULE
Player Signing Time Stage
Bob Uecker 12:30 – 1:15 5
Ryan Braun 1:00 – 1:45 6
Jonathan Lucroy 2:30 – 3:15 3
Carlos Gomez 3:00 – 3:45 1
Players and staff not included in the above autograph list will not use the random selection process. Each of those players will sign 250 autographs at prices ranging from free to $10.
The autograph opportunities are for signatures on photo cards provided by the team; the Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia, and personalization of items is solely up to the discretion of each player (BOLD ITALICS – Premier Autograph).
Autograph Schedule – MAIN STAGES
10:30 – 11:15 Scooter Gennett ($10)
12:00 – 12:45 Logan Schafer ($10)
1:30 – 2:15 Mike Fiers ($10)
3:00 – 3:45 Carlos Gomez ($10)
12:30 – 1:15 Jim Henderson ($10)
2:00 – 2:45 Gerardo Parra ($10)
3:30 – 4:15 Will Smith ($10)
11:30 – 12:15 Adam Lind ($10)
2:30 – 3:15 Jonathan Lucroy ($10)
3:45 – 4:30 Wily Peralta ($10)
10:30 – 11:15 Brandon Kintzler ($10)
12:00 – 12:45 Rob Wooten ($10)
1:30 – 2:15 Khris Davis ($10)
11:00 – 11:45 Jimmy Nelson ($10)
12:30 – 1:15 Bob Uecker ($10)/Mark Attanasio ($0)
3:30 – 4:15 Jeremy Jeffress ($10)
11:30 – 12:15 Tyler Thornburg ($10)
1:00 – 1:45 Ryan Braun ($10)
3:45 – 4:30 Kyle Lohse ($10)
Players who are not listed above will sign free autographs on the Bonus Stage all day long.
Please note that cash is the only acceptable form of payment for autographs.
The 620 WTMJ Stage will broadcast live from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and will include interviews with Brewers players and coaches.
New this year, fans are invited to stop by the Social Media Stage for fun and games. Fans can also post their photos from the event to Twitter and/or Instagram using the hashtag #BrewersOnDeck for a chance to win prizes such as a trip down Bernie Brewer’s slide, game tickets and more. For contest rules, visit brewers.com/onDeck.
Children are invited to visit the Farm Teams Infield for free batting and hitting clinics scheduled throughout the day. Brewers alumni and players will be on hand for the instructional sessions. Kids can run around the field or try a quick game of ping pong with Brewers players.
Klement’s Main Stage Schedule
10:15 a.m. – Welcome – Brewers television broadcaster Craig Coshun will welcome fans to Brewers On Deck. The winners of the seven T-Shirt Friday designs will be introduced to fans.
11:15 a.m. – Meet the Coaches – Third base coach Ed Sedar will host a Q&A session with Brewers manager Ron Roenicke and his coaching staff.
12:30 p.m. – The Brewlywed Game – Brewers players, coaches, prospects and alumni will participate in a game show to see which pair really knows each other the best. Joe Block will host the show.
2:00 p.m. – Meet the Management and Newest Players – Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio, President of Baseball Operations – General Manager Doug Melvin, Vice President – Assistant General Manager Gord Ash will join the newest Brewers acquisitions – Corey Knebel, Adam Lind and Luis Sardinas – in a question and answer session with Brewers fans. The session will be hosted by Brian Anderson.
3:15 p.m. – Call to the Pen – Brewers players, coaches, prospects and alumni will participate in a game show, similar to Pictionary. Joe Block will host the show.
Each year I compile MLB Network’s “Top 100 Players Right Now” which airs annually before the regular season begins.
Beginning last year, I decided to supplement those rankings by giving you a place to find all of the Top 10 Right Now positional rankings as well.
I’ll add to this post as the episodes air on MLB Network over the next few weeks.
On Thursday, January 15, 2015 the rankings for both Centerfielders and Shortstops were revealed. January 22nd had both right fielders and left fielders. Starting Pitchers and First Basemen will be revealed on January 29th. (See them virtually live as they are revealed below.) The other positions have yet to be announced.
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Centerfielders Right Now”
- Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Yasiel Puig – Los Angeles Dodgers
- CARLOS GOMEZ – MILWAUKE BREWERS
- Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
- Jacoby Ellsbury – New York Yankees
- Adam Eaton – Chicago White Sox
- A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Lorenzo Cain – Kansas City Royals
- Denard Span – Washington Nationals
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Centerfielders was Darryl Hamilton. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Trout, McCutchen, Puig, 4. GOMEZ, Jones, Ellsbury, Cain, Pollock, Eaton, Leonys Martin (TEX)
Hamilton: McCutchen, Trout, 3. GOMEZ, Puig, Jones, Ellsbury, Eaton, Cain, Marcell Ozuna (MIA), Span
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Shortstops Right Now”
- Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
- Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals
- Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals
- Jose Reyes – Toronto Blue Jays
- J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles
- Jordy Mercer – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Erick Aybar – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Alexei Ramirez – Chicago White Sox
- Jed Lowrie – Houston Astros
- Andrelton Simmons – Atlanta Braves
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Shortstops is Bill Ripken. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Tulowitzki, Peralta, Reyes, Simmons, Desmond, Brandon Crawford (SF), Hardy, Jimmy Rollins (LAD), Starlin Castro (CHC), Aybar
Ripken: Tulowitzki, Desmond, Hardy, Simmons, Castro, Crawford, Peralta, Ramirez, Aybar, Rollins
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now”
- Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins
- Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
- Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
- Jason Heyward – St. Louis Cardinals
- Michael Cuddyer – New York Mets
- Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies
- Hunter Pence – San Francisco Giants
- Brandon Moss – Cleveland Indians
- Matt Kemp – San Diego Padres
- J.D. Martinez – Detroit Tigers
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Right Fielders is Cliff Floyd Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Stanton, Bautista, Harper, Heyward, Kemp, 6. RYAN BRAUN (MIL), Shin-Soo Choo (TEX), Pence, George Springer (HOU), Gonzalez
Floyd: Stanton, Bautista, Kemp, Harper, Moss, Martinez, Pence, Kole Calhoun (LAA), Heyward, 10. BRAUN
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Left Fielders Right Now”
- Hanley Ramirez – Boston Red Sox
- Jayson Werth – Washington Nationals
- Michael Brantley – Cleveland Indians
- Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals
- Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners
- Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
- Corey Dickerson – Colorado Rockies
- Justin Upton – San Diego Padres
- Christian Yelich – Miami Marlins
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Left Fielders is Eric Byrnes Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Gordon, Marte, Brantley, Werth, Upton, Ramirez, Holliday, Brett Gardner (NYY), Cruz, Melky Cabrera (CHW)
Byrnes: Brantley, Upton, Werth, Gordon, Holliday, Marte, Cruz, Dickerson, Ramirez, Yoenis Cespedes (DET)
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Staring Pitchers Right Now”
- Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Starting Pitchers is…? Here are their individual Top 10’s.
MLB Network’s “Top 10 First Basemen Right Now”
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the First Basemen was Sean Casey. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Relief Pitchers Right Now”
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Relief Pitchers is…? Here are their individual Top 10’s.
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now”
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will also provide two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Second Basemen is…? Here are their individual Top 10’s.
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Third Basemen Right Now”
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will also provide two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Third Basemen is…? Here are their individual Top 10’s.
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Catchers Right Now”
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will also provide two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Catchers is…? Here are their individual Top 10’s.
So there you have it. All 10 positions worth ranking in MLB by the Shredder and the MLB Network personalities.
There were five Brewers among the 100 names listed by The Shredder in 2014. They were: Carlos Gomez (CF, 6th), Jean Segura (SS, 5th), Ryan Braun (RF, 2nd), Aramis Ramirez (3B, 7th), and Jonathan Lucroy (C, 6th).
Which Brewers will be ranked heading in 2015? Stay tuned to find out!
So a friend reached out early Tuesday and told me that there would likely be transactions over the next handful of days. It was said that the A’s, Braves, Blue Jays and Brewers were all set to be active.
I asked for details, such as whether the teams would be involved in trades together. Details were declined.
I didn’t share because details are important. Then on Wednesday the Braves traded Evan Gattis to the Astros and the A’s traded Yunel Escobar to the Nationals and my curiosity was certainly piqued.
I pressed for anything else specific to the Brewers and was told to be patient. Well…I’ll do my best. Now you can be impatient with me.
Misery loves company.
Several of the newest jersey numbers for Brewers 40-man rosterees were updated last night.
If you’ve read me for any length of time, you probably know what a number nerd I am by now. After all, these numbers are an impetus behind my annual countdown to Opening Day.
Without further ado, here are the number updates which also will be where you can find these players in said countdown.
Logan Schafer, who gave up his #22 when Matt Garza was signed during last year’s Brewers On Deck fanfest, now had to give up his #1 after the team retired it for outgoing commissioner and former owner Bud Selig. Schafer gets #7 for 2015.
Brooks Hall was listed without a number for a time but returns to the 63 he wore last spring as a new 40-man add.
Similarly, Taylor Jungmann returns to the 78 he’s worn as a past non-roster invitee.
David Goforth will wear #77 when pitchers and catchers report to Maryvale in his first spring on the 40-man.
Number 76 now belongs to lefty Mike Strong as he contends for a specialist role in the big league bullpen.
And now for the guys new to the organization…
Big off-season acquisition and new starting first baseman Adam Lind will wear the 24 used by Lyle Overbay last season.
Catcher Juan Centeno has been assigned #66.
Finally for these updates, shortstop Yadiel Rivera will don #65 in his first big league camp.
(As of this writing, new corner infielder Luis Jimenez and new outfielder Shane Peterson hadn’t been assigned a number…at least not ones that were updated on the Brewers website.)