Archive for the ‘ Rumors ’ Category

Breaking News: Jungmann Promoted, Nelson Scratched, Gallardo To Miss Start?

JimmyNelson

There’s been some “confluence of events” news breaking on Twitter over the past few minutes.

First:

That’s big news in and of itself for the former 12th overall pick. But then it was coupled with more…

Second:

And given what we know about Yovani Gallardo’s ankle and the likelihood that he’ll miss (at least) one start — his next is scheduled for Sunday in Miami — it sure makes sense that Jungmann will be starting for Nelson tonight for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds so that Nelson can make his season debut for the Brewers on Sunday.

Nelson has dominated Triple-A hitters this season, to the tune of a 5-1 record, 1.71 ERA in 58.0 IP, 58 K, and a 57.4% ground ball rate. He’s allowed just 17 walks and 37 hits which gives him a 0.97 WHIP. And while his BABIP against is .245, that’s supported by a 12.8% line drive rate, a 2.41 FIP and a 2.94 SIERA.

This could be just a single spot start, but also a good look at a key piece of the Milwaukee Brewers future rotation.

The only question surrounding the situation is who goes out to bring Nelson up. We’ll find that out either after the game tomorrow or on Sunday morning.

Updated Details on Carlos Gomez’s Suspension Appeal Hearing

GomezSafeAtThird

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news.

Despite a report earlier today that said the appeal of Carlos Gomez‘s suspension would be heard on Monday, May 5th, in actuality…

So yeah, basically all that other stuff I said at that link up there? Forget it.

Here’s the new basic fallout surrounding the Gomez appeal.

  • Gomez will have his appeal heard during the day on Friday, May 9th
  • Any suspension that remains (and it’ll be at least one game, and likely two) will likely begin being served immediately after the hearing.
  • That would mean that Gomez would not play on Friday, May 9th against the New York Yankees.
  • …and he could still miss the entire series against the visiting Bronx Bombers.

As for the roster situation, the need to get Logan Schafer back isn’t as immediate as it previously seemed. He’s still reportedly “on track” to return Saturday in Cincinnati, but it needn’t be at the expense of Ryan Braun taking a trip to the disabled list yet. Braun still has until that first game in the Yankees series to get healthy enough to play before Carlos Gomez will be lost and the Brewers could be back down to just two healthy true outfielders as they were Thursday night against the Reds.

Assuming everybody else stays at least as healthy as they are right now, then Schafer and left fielder Khris Davis will be starting once Gomez is suspended. If Braun still isn’t ready to play, then one would think that Caleb Gindl would be there to fill in.

Even if Gindl is optioned back down to Nashville tomorrow, he’d be eligible to return if Braun does ultimately wind up on the disabled list. Normally, for those not aware, you must spend a minimum of 10 days back down in the minors from when you are optioned before you’re able to be called back up. The exception is when said optioned player is recalled as an injury replacement.

Therefore, fellow Brewers fans, it’s best not to let the situation worry you and instead just react to whatever ends up happening. After all, this could be put to bed on Saturday if they simply keep Gindl and put Braun on the DL in order to reinstate Schafer.

The bigger worry is just how many games Gomez ultimately serves of a three-game suspension levied as punishment for the Easter Sunday skirmish.

Though, if Gomez gets all three and Braun is placed on the DL (retroactive to Sunday, April 27), then they could both miss the entirety of the series against the Yankees.

And that certainly wouldn’t impact the Brewers chances in a positive way.

Player News: Never Stop Getting Better

The Milwaukee Brewers entered play on Saturday, April 19th with the best record in Major League Baseball. There are some inconsistencies at times, but for the most part the team is playing well.

There have been a couple of roster moves, one based on injury and one based on paternity, but stability has also been a calling card so far during this young season.

It’d be easy to rest on those laurels, but the Brewers are continually looking for ways to get better — either on the 25-man roster or in the minors.

JEFFRESS RETURNS

The Brewers recently signed back free agent RHP Jeremy Jeffress, who was their 1st round draft pick in 2006. Jeffress had some issues with drug suspensions (for marijuana) and if he’s caught one more time he receives a lifetime ban from MLB. That’s certainly a risk, however one that the Brewers have deemed worth taking as the 26-year-old still has a big fastball and late-inning relief potential. Jeffress would likely have been with the Brewers for his entire career if not for his being a part of the package sent to the Kansas City Royals in return for Zack Greinke prior to the 2011 season.

Jeffress was signed to a minor-league contract.

TOMMY JOEL

The Brewers also were confirmed to have attended the workout for free agent relief pitcher Joel Hanrahan, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. He could be ready to sign soon and if he regains the form he had in the years prior to injuring his UCL, he could be a major addition at the right time.

Hanrahan, 32, recorded 76 saves between 2011-2012 as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He could absolutely upgrade one of the bullpen spots were he to be added to the Brewers.

As always, breaking news hits Twitter first so follow me at @BrewerNation for the quickest announcements and then return to this space for expanded analysis and commentary.

2014 Milwaukee Brewers 25-Man Roster Projection

Milwaukee Brewers

We’re on the precipice of Opening Day, but there are still some decisions awaiting the front office staff of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Most pressing, if not most important, is how they will construct the 25-man roster to begin the 2014 regular season. In this, they’ve got some options.

Let’s assume a couple of things off the top here. First, a standard 13 hitter, 12 pitcher roster split. Second, that we’re all aware that things will change throughout the season and plenty of the players who don’t make the Opening Day roster will don a Brewers uniform at some point in 2014.

I’ll lay out the different roster groupings and then explain what went into my decisions thereafter. Cool?

With that, to the list!

Starting Pitchers (5)

  • Yovani Gallardo
  • Kyle Lohse
  • Marco Estrada
  • Matt Garza
  • Wily Peralta

I did my best educated guess at the order here too. It was announced that Gallardo has Opening Day honors and that Lohse will follow in Game 2. It was also hinted that Garza could pitch the opener in Boston, but that isn’t for sure yet…at least not publicly. Couple that with how well Estrada has pitched and he’s the superior choice against Atlanta in Game 3 than is Peralta.

The wrinkle here is that the Brewers have the opportunity to start the season with four starters because of the off-days scheduled. They don’t need a fifth starting pitcher until mid-April. If they do that, Peralta would start with Nashville to stay on rotation.

Relief Pitchers (7)

(with one more starting on DL)

  • Jim Henderson
  • Francisco Rodriguez
  • Will Smith*
  • Brandon Kintzler
  • Wei-Chung Wang*
  • Rob Wooten
  • Alfredo Figaro (Alternative: Tyler Thornburg)
  • Tom Gorzelanny* (DL)

Henderson is the incumbent closer. Rodriguez was brought in on a MLB deal and has the longest track record out of any of the options. Smith has been great this spring after being acquired in trade. Kintzler was very good last year and has a spot locked up. Wang makes it in part because of how well he’s thrown but also because of the Rule V circumstances. Wooten pitched well enough in his time last year that he gets one of my “open” jobs. He’s certainly in a fungible position, though, as he’s got minor league options remaining.

For the final active spot, I’m going with Alfredo Figaro. I know that Tyler Thornburg is under consideration for that job, but I think that they’ll realize that he’s more valuable staying stretched out at Nashville in order to cover the inevitable first injury to the starting rotation than he is in pitching at best every other day in Milwaukee as the long man. Figaro filled the long relief role admirably last year as his stuff played up out of the bullpen.

Wooten, Figaro, and Thornburg all have at least one minor league option remaining so there’s no real consideration of roster depth when making any decisions concering the three. And I think we’ll be seeing all of them pitch at Miller Park in 2014 at one point or another.

As for non-roster invitee Zach Duke, I think that the Brewers have liked what they’ve seen but with Wang making good (so far), there really isn’t room for Duke to begin the season. The veteran lefty is on a minor-league deal, so most likely he’ll simply be assigned to Nashville to start.

Catchers (2)

  • Jonathan Lucroy
  • Martin Maldonado

They’re the only two on the 40-man and that’s because they’re the two best in the organization. Nothing more needs to be said here.

Infielders (7)

  • Mark Reynolds
  • Rickie Weeks
  • Jean Segura
  • Aramis Ramirez
  • Juan Francisco** (Alternative: Lyle Overbay)
  • Scooter Gennett**
  • Jeff Bianchi (Alternative: Elian Herrera)

Reynolds was signed to a minor-league deal for roster considerations at the time. He’s got a job. Weeks is the longest-tenured player in the organization right now and isn’t moveable (yet). Segura and Ramirez are obvious inclusions. Gennett comes along if they go with two second basemen, which has been the hottest talk of late.

Despite all the talk to the contrary lately, I still think that if they must choose between them, Francisco’s potential, relative youth, power, and increased patience this spring outweight Overbay’s veteran savvy, locker room presence, and far superior defense. That said, I can absolutely see a scenario in which they trade Francisco for an asset and keep Overbay. Maybe I’m projecting Francisco simply out of hope.

The other hotly contested job has been the utility infielder role. Jeff Bianchi filled the role last year with middling success. The biggest challenger to Bianchi’s incumbency has been the 40-man rostered Elian Herrera, who was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers over the winter. They’ve both hit, they both have defensive versatility. The differences that matter: Bianchi is a better defender at shortstop. Herrera is a much more natural outfielder (which is big when you’ve only got four rostered). Herrera is a switch hitter. Bianchi is out of options; Herrera has one remaining. It is that last point that I think will be the deciding factor. Herrera will start at Nashville and would absolutley be the first man called upon should an injury befall any infielder on the big league roster.

For the record: Should they decide that they can forego two second basemen to start the year to even the roster out a bit a more, I think Herrera make the club over a fifth true outfielder.

Outfielders (4)

  • Khris Davis
  • Carlos Gomez
  • Ryan Braun
  • Logan Schafer**

Another easy prediction. Schafer could see some time starting in left field, but as the only man on the projected roster that can backup centerfield, he’ll likely be providing coverage from the bench more often than not.

* - Throws left-handed
** - Bats left-handed
---

So there you have it.

I welcome feedback and want to hear your opinions. Do you agree? Disagree? Think I’m overlooking an important detail or better player? Look down there…a “Comments” section.

Hot Stove Report: What’s Holding Up Garza’s Contract?

MattGarza

We all know the timeline by now.

The news broke that Matt Garza and the Brewers were nearing agreement on a deal. It was reported that the contract, one for $52 million over four years, was agreed to in principle with physical examination pending.

Then the delays started happening and the Brewers commented publicly about being in negotiations with Garza but denying that a deal was agreed to.

The speculation began whether it could be related to Garza’s injury history and therefore the medical review that pesky physical. Gord Ash inadvertantly added to that conspiracy theory when he declined comment about whether the delay was related to that physical.

Then we thought perhaps the physical was just delayed and Garza hadn’t taken it yet. But then the reports about how he had indeed taken it came out along with assurances that the delay wasn’t medically related.

The only other thing I could think of was that it then had something to do with the contract language so I reached out to a source who confirmed that it was at least part of the situation if it wasn’t all of the snag.

The issue, according to a source, is that the Brewers and Garza are haggling over the distribution of the contract. In other words, how much is paid in which seasons.

They agree on the length and overall value (which they met in the middle on, I’m also told, as the Brewers originally hoped to pay 4yr/$48MM and Garza wanted 4yr/$56MM), but they haven’t yet come to an accord on how the money will be paid out.

Garza is asking for a mostly even average value (which precisely would be $13 million per year) and the Brewers are looking to backload the deal somewhat in order to pay more of it when it’s more affordable. That of course being when the contracts of highly-compensated players like Rickie Weeks and Aramis Ramirez should be off the books.

This hang up in negotiations was described to me as “overcome-able” but deals have also fallen apart over less so nothing is official until the contract is formally announced.

Assuming that this is actually at least part of the issue, I’ll be paying attention to which side “won” though once the year-by-year breakdown of the contract is revealed.

Hot Stove Report: Brewers Reportedly Closing in on Free Agent Starting Pitcher

Well this morning just got a whole lot less productive.

I received a message this morning that the Milwaukee Brewers were advancing in their negotiations with a free agent. Amazingly enough, it isn’t a first baseman on a minor-league deal. (Shocking, I know.)

On the contrary, in this case the player in question — again, according to the message from a source — indicated that the Brewers were working on signing a free agent starting pitcher.

His name?

Matt Garza.

I don’t have time to get into Garza’s 2013 or the rest of his career at this point. And his throwing problems when fielding ground balls are well-documented on the interwebs as well.

Here’s a link to his Baseball-Reference page: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/garzama01.shtml 

I’ll add details as I have the opportunity to do so.

***UPDATE (12:14 PM CT)***
Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal being negotiated is believed to be 4yr/$52 million.

***UPDATE 2 (12:19 PM CT)***
Rosenthal has confirmed the deal, pending a physical.

Hot Stove Report: Brewers Making Push to Sign Free Agent 1B

First mentioned on Twitter by Joe Polek, a radio personality who blogs about the Baltimore Orioles (among other interests), the Milwaukee Brewers were stepping up their pursuit of a certain free agent first baseman.

It’s a player who once called Baltimore home, which is where I would think Joe’s connection to his knowledgable source springs from.

Much more recently, both Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (and more importantly both MLB Network insiders), picked up on the advancing negotiations.

The player? 30-year-old, and veteran of seven Major League seasons, Mark Reynolds.

MarkReynolds

Here is Joe Polek’s original tweet…

Originally a 16th round draft pick, Reynolds broke into the big leagues back in 2007. He’s got a lot of power…when he hits the ball. That’s not always the easiest thing for Reynolds to do though as he owns four of the top 12 strikeouts seasons in Major League Baseball history, including three of the top six, two of the top three and the single-season record of 223 set in 2009 as an Arizona Diamondback.

Reynolds brings a low batting average, resultant pedestrian on-base percentage, from the right side of the plate…but that power sure is fun from a pure enjoyment standpoint.

(Then again, as Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus reminds us, with everything Reynolds has had to overcome in his career… It’s breathtaking. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=19409 )

Most recently, Adam McCalvy says he’s confirmed with a source that Reynolds should be signed as the everyday first baseman for the Brewers.

But, for the sake of discussion, Ken Rosenthal is saying that he’ll have to earn that job as he’s hearing Reynolds will be signing a Minor League deal.

Brewers Sign Three

Word came down from various sources today that the Brewers recently made a handful of signings. No word on the exact day when the contracts were signed, but word first came down about all of them today.

Here’s a quick look at all three players, in alphabetical order by surname.

Brad Mills – LHP – 5’11″, 185lbs

BradMills

Not the former manager of the Astros, this Brad Mills is a former 4th round draft pick (2007, Toronto) out of the University of Arizona. Mills will be 29 years old by Opening Day and provides another left-handed relief option for manager Ron Roenicke to consider this spring.

Milwaukee will be Mills’ fourth MLB organization (Blue Jays, Angels, Rangers) and his fifth overall after finishing the 2013 season in Japan pitching for the Orix Buffaloes.

And check out this GIF to see what Mills looks like when he pitches, as with Orix last year.

Milan Post – C – 6’0″, 167lbs

(Height/Weight as listed in a November 2012 scouting video when Post was 18 years old)

milanpost

The news of Post’s signing came as somewhat of a surprise given that Baseball America originally had him signing a pro contract with another MLB club. However, in a post discovered by the sometimes unbelievable (like this morning) Jim Goulart, it translates out to Post having actually signed with Milwaukee.

Post expects to begin the season with the Rookie League Brewers.

Not knowing much about his game, here is the scouting video I referenced above so you can see a little of what he’s got going through drills.

R.J. Seidel – RHP – 6’5″, 225lbs

rj seidel

Seidel, 26, is a native of La Crosse, Wisconsin and the Brewers organization is the only one he’s ever known as a professional.

Originally a 16th round draft pick in 2006 out of La Crosse Central, Seidel’s first season was in 2007. After two full seasons with Double-A Huntsville, he finally reached Triple-A Nashville for the first time last season but was then a minor-league free agent at year’s end.

Seidel has both started and relieved, with almost an exact 50/50 split (171 games, 85 starts), and his results in those games speak to his being an “org guy” more than a likely contributor at the MLB level. Then again, this is the same organization that has given multiple big league starts to guys like Mike Burns. It’s safe to say Seidel can navigate a lineup better than ol’ Burnsy.

The Seidel and Mills news was broken by wunderkind Chris Cotillo. Seidel confirmed the news of his signing to me directly. The Brewers have not publicly confirmed any of the three signings as of this publishing.

Hot Stove Report: A Pair of Conversations

I woke up this morning to a text message saying that the Brewers met with the Atlanta Braves last night. Despite the previous talk this off-season about the Braves coveting Kyle Lohse, the part of the conversation I was alerted to dealt with another Brewer. That’s not to say there wasn’t more and differing topics on the table, but I was just told what I was told.

Then, later in the morning the same player was brought up in that the Brewers were discussing him with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The player in question is second baseman Rickie Weeks.

The Braves conversation was just that. The sides talked. No word on whether they made progress toward anything.

The conversation with the Blue Jays, however, got a little more specific. I was told that there was a trade discussion centering around Weeks and 1B Adam Lind. While I worked on corroborating that, a Twitter follower let me know that something similar was discussed on Canadian radio. That seemed to puff up to a three-team deal with Lind still coming to Milwaukee but Weeks heading to Kansas City and Billy Butler moving north of the border.

The Weeks part of that equation does make sense. If you recall the Royals expressed some interest in acquiring Weeks during this past season. Also, Ned Yost still manages in K.C. and we all know his affinity for Weeks.

This afternoon though, I was told that currently nothing is building with Toronto as they are reportedly posting a high asking price. To me that sounds like Toronto wants more than just a straight up swap, whether that be two-way or three.

Still, it’s telling that there would be conversations about the veteran second baseman during the Winter Meetings. It may not lead to a deal before the Brewers report to Maryvale, but as they say: feeding your grass before the snow falls often yields a lush lawn come springtime.

BREAKING: Corey Hart Agrees To Sign Elsewhere (Pending Physical), So Where Do Brewers Turn?

As first reported by Jon Heyman via Twitter, free agent Corey Hart has agreed to sign a contract with the Seattle Mariners for the 2014 season.

A source independently confirmed the agreement, but said that the “Pending Physical” part of the equation isn’t seen as a 100% certainty.

What this means for the Brewers is that they move onto their backup plans which were being put into place over the past couple of days. Those plans include three names we know about.

Ike Davis

As I reported Monday night, the Brewers were a finalist to acquire Ike Davis in trade from the New York Mets before the Mets decided to bump up their asking price. With Hart no longer available, you can assume that the Mets won’t be motivated to move off of that demand. However, the Mets would very much like to unload Davis and don’t have a ton of trade partners available to them.

Logan Morrison

Listed as one of many teams that “checked in” on Logan Morrison, the Brewers were seen as out as recently as last night but this morning I was told (and yes, tweeted first for those that care), that the Brewers were viewing LoMo as the top fallback trade option should Hart spurn their advances. Since he did, that could certainly get things moving again here.

UPDATE: As I was typing, it came down that the Mariners and Marlins agreed on a trade to send Morrison to the Pacific Northwest as well in return for Carter Capps. So, no mo LoMo… (I’ll show myself out.)

James Loney

As of this morning, Adam McCalvy first reported that given the current state of flux surrounding the Hart situation, the agent for Loney proactively reached out to Melvin. As we all know, Melvin loves it when a player expresses a desire to play in Milwaukee. Watch for this one to take shape especially if Loney can be talked off of his current desire to get a three-year deal.

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