Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Gomez Hits DL, Recall Made

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The Milwaukee Brewers announced this morning that Carlos Gomez was officially placed on the 15-day Disabled List as a result of the injuring of his right hamstring in the ninth inning of Wednesday evening’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. It was reported that Gomez has a small defect or tear in this hamstring and that he received a cortisone shot.

Gomez was originally hoped to only be out a few days, but an examination by the Brewers’ team doctor in Milwaukee on Thursday revealed the tear and the decision was made to shut Gomez down for the time being.

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To fill Gomez’s spot on the 25-man roster, the Brewers recalled Jason Rogers from his optioned assignment to the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox. In six games with the Sky Sox, Rogers has slashed .360/.429/.640 (1.069 OPS) across 28 plate appearances. He has scored eight times, has collected three extra-base hits (one double, two home runs), and has put up three walks to four strikeouts.

Once a 32nd round draft pick by the Brewers back in 2010, Rogers made his Major League as a September call-up just last season. In limited work he collected just one hit (a double) in 10 trips to the plate.

Rogers has the ability to play first base, third base, and some left field defensively.

He adds a right-handed bat with a quality batting eye to the Brewers bench, something they should find useful.

Your 2015 Brewers Walk-Up & Entrance Music

Brewer Nation:

Because I’m inevitably asked at some point…

Originally posted on Cait Covers the Bases:

For players, the song they choose for their walk-up or entrance music is often an important decision. What brief part of a song is going to send a message to the fans—and what do I want that message to be? Do I keep the same song that I had last year? What’s the hit that is going to produce the most hits? Is it a superstitious thing, do I want fans to sing along, or do I just use my favorite song right now?

If you’re like me and you’re attuned to the tunes, you probably enjoy seeing this list each year—and updating your iPod playlists accordingly.

DID YOU KNOW? Make sure you download the free Ballpark App! In addition to check-in offers, ballpark maps, game updates and more, one of the really cool features is “Ballpark Music.” Like a song you hear? Check it out on Ballpark–and you can even download…

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Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers ’15 – #22 Matt Garza

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Forgive me, but I’m a bit distracted as I write today what with the Wisconsin Badgers trying to win the BigTen Tournament and a pair of Brewers games in split-squad Cactus League action all happening simultaneously.

We’re 22 days away from Opening Day and if you don’t know how “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” works by now, I imagine you haven’t been by the blog before. Well, the man who wears jersey number 22 gets the focus today since we’re 22 days away from the Brewers’ first regular season game. So let’s take a look at…

Matt Garza.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers-Photo Day

Matthew Scott Garza is a 6’4″, 31-year-old, right-handed pitcher. A veteran of parts of nine Major League seasons, the Cal State – Fresno product debuted in The Show at age 22 for the Minnesota Twins. The Twins originally drafted Garza in the first round (25th overall) of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft. Garza has appeared in big league games for five organizations now. In chronological order, they are the Twins, the Tampa Bay Rays (where he pitched a no-hitter), the Chicago Cubs, the Texas Rangers, and the Milwaukee Brewers.

Garza’s contract is something else, with what’s basically a built-in free year in the event that his occasional injury issues pop up too often in Milwaukee. That’s been well-chronicled here and other places, but the short version is that Garza already has a nearly insurmountable task to get his fifth year option to vest. If he misses much more time, there’s a chance that the Brewers could pay him an incredibly team friendly salary in 2018.

For Garza, he’ll be looking to improve on his 2014 numbers which injury avoidance would go a long way in aiding. To that end, Garza has modified his pitching mechanics. He believes that “staying within (himself)” will be key to both maintaining his command and limiting exposure to injuries. (That’s a good article by Adam McCalvy I linked to complete with video and worth your time.)

As for those numbers, Garza posted eight wins and losses in his 27 starts. His ERA was 3.64 in 163.1 innings of work. He had his lowest K/9 rate (6.9) since 2010 with Tampa Bay and saw his walk rate creep back up a little bit. That said, his WHIP was 1.182 and he was nearly as predicted with a 3.54 FIP. Garza continued his full-season streak of above league average performances as well finishing with a 104 ERA+.

Garza has always had the talent to do great things on the mound but being physically able to be out there doing it has been his biggest problem. His last three seasons have seen him pitch in 18, 24, and 27 seasons respectively. So while he’s certainly trending in the right direction lately, he still hasn’t eclipsed 30 starts since 2011 and hasn’t hit 200 innings pitched since 2010. It’s a major tip of the cap to Garza that he realizes this and worked in the off-season to come up with a plan to address it. Hopefully it yields immediate dividends for Garza once the regular season begins.

For the Brewers to compete in 2015, Garza will need to be at the top of his game and on the top of the pitcher’s mound.

Catch up on the countdown!

Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers ’15 – #24 Adam Lind

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Three touchdowns and three two point conversions is all that separates us from the most glorious of days which we call Opening Day. At least I think we do. I’ll have to check whether someone else beat me to it.

That’s right, math majors, we’re 24 days away from Opening Day at Miller Park on April 6 and as such I’m writing today about…

Adam Lind.

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Adam Alan Lind (name courtesy of his parents) is a 6’2″, left-handed hitting and throwing, first baseman who is 31 years old. He was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays out of the University of South Alabama. Some of that information was retrieved from my brain. I learned it along the way from reading and hearing. Some of it came from Baseball-Reference.com and will any statistics I put hereafter.

Up until an off-season trade which sent Lind to Milwaukee in exchange for Marco Estrada, Lind had spent his entire career with the Blue Jays. His best season came in 2009 when Lind played in 151 games and hit .305/.370/.562 with career-highs in almost every statistical category. He even made an appearance in MVP balloting, finishing 15th, while winning a Silver Slugger Award. In the five seasons since, Lind played in 150, 125, 93, 146, and 96 games. That’s due to a variety of factors, but health has always been a dark cloud waiting to rain for Lind.

The 2014 season saw Lind only play in 96 games. He missed the second half of April and first week of May and then missed time again following the first week of July until August 12th. Lind’s overall stats in those 96 games look very good however the truth is in the splits. In a painfully small sample size (for a reason), Lind hit just .061/.162/.061 in 33 at-bats against left-handed pitching. That’s two hits (both singles) and four walks. Against right-handed pitching? That’s a horse of a different color. Lind mashed to .354/.409/.533 in 257 at-bats.

The latter of those two splits is part of what led to the Brewers targeting Lind after the Blue Jays acquired Justin Smoak from the Seattle Mariners, ostensibly making Lind expendable. The former is part of the reason why Lind was available at all. It also led to immediate speculation that Lind would need a platoon partner. The team confirmed that they were thinking about the same and that the plan would be to utilize their All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy some of the time. That said, they also wanted to give Lind a fair chance during Cactus League play to see with their own eyes if he is at all capable of handling lefty pitching.

That plan was delayed when Lind’s back reportedly locked up while fielding grounders at first. Lind missed a handful of days before finally debuting as the team’s designated hitter. He would go 0-for-2 with a walk on Thursday, March 12. Lind’s health could prove to be a pivotal thing in the Brewers’ chances of competing in 2015. They simply need him available far more often than he can’t go if they’re going to capitalize on his abilities.

Time will tell whether the trade was finally the answer to the question that’s plagued the Brewers since Prince Fielder left town following Milwaukee’s deep 2011 playoff run, that of course being who can play first base while being productive at the plate?

The options to question have been numerous but so far unsuccessful. Corey Hart, Mat Gamel, Taylor Green, Alex Gonzalez, Sean Halton, Lyle Overbay, Mark Reynolds, Matt Clark (who the jury is still out on), Hunter Morris. All couldn’t fill in the blank with their name. The Brewers hope they finally have their answer in Lind.

Catch up on the countdown!

The News You May Have Missed From Brewers Spring Training Over the Weekend

We got a boatload of information in tweet form and in longer-form pieces from the Brewers beat writers fortunate enough to already be down at Spring Training covering the Brewers as camp opened up over the weekend.

Here’s a compilation of what you might have missed if you weren’t paying attention.

FRIDAY

P&C weekend began with Brewers.com’s Adam McCalvy reminding us just how beautiful green baseball fields are.

Then the information started coming. We learned that Tyler Thornburg, less than a week removed from being labeled as hopefully a “viable candidate” for the bullpen by Asst. GM Gord Ash, was expecting to open camp with no restrictions.

From there, McCalvy talked to Jonathan Lucroy about the All-Star’s expected workload this spring.

The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel’s Todd Rosiak also spoke to Lucroy along with Kyle Lohse after the Friday morning announcement about the changes related to the game’s perceived “pace of play” issues.

Tom Haudricourt posted a series of tweets with a quote from the talkative Lohse regarding the team’s collapse. Lohse had said at Brewers On Deck that he would talk to his teammates about it when they got to Maryvale and then move on.

Lohse as transcribed by Haudricourt: “Hopefully we have a group of guys that are pissed off about way things ended.”

Lohse: “We had an excellent 4 ½ months. I’m pissed. You don’t get that many opportunities to get to the playoffs.”

Lohse: “When you have it that close, it should help drive you. Let’s learn from it and not let that happen again.”

The official Twitter account of the Brewers Player Development staff got in on the news making by dropping this tweet on Friday.

But of course, we already knew about half of that the night before. (h/t @Mass_Haas)

SATURDAY

Day Two of camp opened with some news about a potential #7 starter in the person of Michael Blazek.

Speaking of starting pitchers, Rosiak told us that Johnny Hellweg, just 9.5 months removed from Tommy John surgery, is throwing off a mound and should be in games before April.

Rosiak also talked to Ash about Thornburg and Jim Henderson.

Haudricourt checked back in on Twitter with a reminder about the backup corner infielder spot.

As for the back-end of the bullpen? Well, at least for now…

Ron Roenicke spoke with reporters. Todd Rosiak tweeted that the hot corner could have more games started by not Aramis Ramirez than in years past.

SUNDAY

Adam McCalvy worked his beat hard on Saturday, and on Sunday we saw the results of some of his efforts. Included among them was this conversation with Dontrelle Willis, who is aiming to make the Brewers on a minor league deal.

From outside the Brewers beat, FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal checked in with this Sunday evening tidbit.

And this clarification…

Rob Deer Bobblehead Revealed

Courtesy of the Brewers

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2015 Brewers Media Guide Cover Image

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Photo courtesy Mike Vassallo

Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers ’15 – #58 Wei-Chung Wang

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Today is Saturday, February 7 and we sit 58 days away from Opening Day on which the Brewers host the Colorado Rockies at Miller Park, April 6.

It’s also late Saturday afternoon as I sit down to write, so let’s get to it.

Wearing #58 for the Brewers during Spring Training will be…

Wei-Chung Wang.

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Wang, just 22, came to the Brewers by way of the Rule 5 Draft in December 2013 at the Winter Meetings. Wang was originally signed as an international free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011, but an injury caused his original contract to be voided. The new contract that the Pirates signed Wang to caused him to be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft much earlier than he normally would have been.

Wang didn’t pitch well at all at the big league level in 2014, but that wasn’t what he was there to do. He was there to mop up some games and just stay on the roster long enough for the Brewers to retain his services in 2015 and going forward. He did those things somewhat well, and I could give you his numbers at the big league level, but that belies his situation. In no way was he ready to pitch to big league hitters. The Pirates knew it. The Brewers knew it. And if Wang didn’t know it, he figured it out pretty quickly.

The problems surrounding the Wang situation were two-fold in my opinion. First, Wang wasn’t pitching like he would have been had he played a full season at a level of competition commensurate with his stage of development. He missed a lot of innings in 2014, ones that he’ll begin making up in earnest during big league camp this year. Make no mistake, Wang is expected to contribute as a member of the Major League rotation down the road. That’s why he was drafted, kept, and eventually stashed.

More on his 2015 outlook at the end of this piece. First, let’s remind ourselves of the other problem with Wang, this one indirectly attributed to him.

Much of the time when Wang was in the bullpen, Ron Roenicke only had six arms he trusted out there. Coupled with the team’s incredible start through the end of April, that meant a ton of early innings for those trusted arms. We saw down the stretch that Will Smith tired out mid-summer before turning it back around and Tyler Thornburg ended up with a season-ending injury to his elbow. Could some of that use and possibly related injury have been avoided with a seventh reliever to eat up some of that work? We’ll never know for sure, but overuse is often blamed when relief pitchers break down physically. There’s no questioning how many innings were split only six ways in April, but again, some of that is because you use your best bullpen guys in games that you’re winning and the Brewers won a lot that month.

As for 2015? Well, Wang will start games as he did while on a minor league rehab assignment last year. He’s could potentially break camp with the Class-AA Biloxi Shuckers, though he might begin with the Class-A Advanced Brevard County Manatees. It will probably depend on whether there’s room at Biloxi once the rest of the assignments are figured out.

If Wang was ready to contribute to the big league rotation by 2017 — he’d still be just 24 when the 2017 season begins — that would be a quality situation for the Brewers scouting and development team who identified Wang as a target and convinced General Manager Doug Melvin to pull the trigger on him.

Don’t expect to see Wang in a big league box score in 2015, or even a Triple-A one. The world he got to experience for a few months of Major League Baseball will benefit him, but he’s still got a ways to go.

Hopefully he gets back sooner than later so that we can once again experience the excellence that was Wei-Chung Wang Wednesdays.

You can follow Wei-Chung Wang on Twitter: @LeftyWang51

Catch up on the countdown!

2015 Brewers Non-Roster Invitees to Big League Spring Training

This is a list I’m parking here, basically for my own reference, because the Brewers.com website isn’t updated yet.

Here is list, broken down by position, of the announced non-roster invitees that will be initially assigned to the big league side at Spring Training 2015. I’ll update the list as players are added and do my best to remember to do the same when they are reassigned.

Pitchers (6)

  • Tyler Cravy
  • Hobbs Johnson (L)
  • Brent Leach (L)
  • Ariel Peña
  • Taylor Williams
  • Dontrelle Willis (L)

Catchers (4)

  • Nevin Ashley
  • Parker Berberet
  • Cameron Garfield
  • Adam Weisenburger

Infielders (1)

  • Pete Orr

Outfielders (2)

  • Matt Long
  • Bryan Petersen

TOTAL: 13

Press Release: Jeff Levering Joins Brewers in Play-By-Play, New Media Role

Will Broadcast Select Games and Provide Content for Brewers.com and Social Channels

MILWAUKEE, WI – The Milwaukee Brewers today announced that Jeff Levering will join the organization as the newest member of the Brewers radio broadcast team.  Levering will serve as a play-by-play broadcaster on select road games on 620 WTMJ and the Brewers Radio Network, as well as provide content for the Brewers online, social and new media channels.

wpid-jeff_levering.jpgIn his new role, Levering will handle three innings of play-by-play as he fills in on games missed by Brewers Hall of Fame broadcaster, Bob Uecker. For days when he is not on the air, Levering will provide video, photo, audio and written content for Brewers.com and various other Brewers social media platforms.

Levering’s first official day with the Brewers will be this Sunday as he will be welcomed on the Main Stage at Brewers On Deck (10 am-5 pm at the Wisconsin Center).

“Jeff will be a great addition to the organization, and this is an opportunity for him to contribute both in the radio booth and in our new media efforts,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “By creating this role, we have a consistent voice filling in when Bob elects to stay home on occasional road trips, and we add resources to our expanding social media outreach. We welcome Jeff to the organization and look forward to introducing him to Brewers fans at Brewers On Deck.”

Levering spent the past two seasons as the lead play-by-play broadcaster of the reigning International League champion Pawtucket Red Sox.  In addition to his game-day broadcasting duties, he hosted the pre- and post-game shows, “PawSox” Insider, a weekly, one-hour radio magazine show; provided video content for the team website and wrote a blog, “45 Miles from Fenway,” which ranked in the Top-15 nationally among Minor League writers.

“I am thrilled beyond words to be joining the Milwaukee Brewers broadcast team as well as their talented front office,” Levering said. “Being part of a radio booth that features the legendary Bob Uecker and Joe Block is a tremendous honor, and a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. Calling games in the Major Leagues has been a dream of mine since I was a kid and to have a chance to realize it is truly amazing. I can’t thank the Brewers enough for their faith in me and allowing me the opportunity to work in such a terrific organization. My family is excited to immerse ourselves in Milwaukee and be diehard Brewers fans.”

Levering received his degree in broadcast journalism from Chapman University in Orange, California where he also played baseball all four years and was the starting designated hitter on the 2003 D-III National Championship baseball team in Appleton, WI.  He and his wife, Ashley, have a son, Brock, who was born in October of 2014.

“We’re excited to integrate Jeff into the Brewers radio broadcast with Bob and Joe,” said Carl Moll, Director of Network Operations for Journal Broadcast Group. “His work in the minor leagues has been impressive and he’s ready to move to the Major League level.”

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