Results tagged ‘ Athletics ’

MLB Network’s Top 100 Players Right Now Entering 2014

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As I did last year, and the year before, I’ll be keeping a running list of the Top 100 Players Right Now as they are revealed on MLB Network, eventually compiling the entire list.

They will have revealed all 100 by the end of Friday, February 21st. I’ll update this same space as they reveal the remaining entries.

As always, I will understandably highlight the Brewers players on the list. There were six Brewers on the list entering 2012. Rickie Weeks was 83, John Axford was 77, Yovani Gallardo was 72, Aramis Ramirez was 66, Zack Greinke was 64, and Ryan Braun was too low at number 9. Last year, the Brewers only had three players featured on the list (at the time it was revealed). Yovani Gallardo repeated his position at 72, Aramis Ramirez jumped all the way up to 32, and Braun settled in at 6. Kyle Lohse made last year’s list as well.

My early prediction? The Brewers could have six (6) this year (Braun, Ramirez, Kyle Lohse, Carlos Gomez, Jean Segura, Jonathan Lucroy) but I think Garza falls short for sure. (UPDATE: Looks like the Brewers will only have three again. Ramirez and Lohse both fall off the list and Lucroy gets no love either.)

The criteria for the list remains the same:

  • Emphasized stats from the last three (3) seasons, weighting 2012
  • Projected 2014 performance
  • Defensive position
  • Accolades
  • Intangibles

Here now are the Top 100-1* Players as listed by MLB Network:

100. Derek Jeter – SS – New York Yankees

99. Brandon Phillips – 2B – Cincinnati Reds

98. Torii Hunter – RF – Detroit Tigers

97. Andrelton Simmons – SS – Atlanta Braves

96. Shane Victorino – RF – Boston Red Sox

95. Ian Kinsler – 2B – Detroit Tigers

94. Gerrit Cole – SP – Pittsburgh Pirates

93. Shelby Miller – SP – St. Louis Cardinals

92. Michael Wacha – SP – St. Louis Cardinals

91. Trevor Rosenthal – CL – St. Louis Cardinals

90. Patrick Corbin – SP – Arizona Diamondbacks

89. Clay Buccholz – SP – Boston Red Sox

88. Matt Cain – SP – San Francisco Giants

87. Josh Donaldson – 3B – Oakland Athletics

86. Joe Nathan – CL – Detroit Tigers

85. Matt Wieters – C – Baltimore Orioles

84. Billy Butler – DH – Kansas City Royals

83. Jon Lester – SP – Boston Red Sox

82. Koji Uehara – CL – Boston Red Sox

81. Chase Utley – 2B – Philadelphia Phillies

80. Albert Pujols – 1B – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

79. Pedro Alvarez – 3B – Pittsburgh Pirates

78. Salvador Perez – C – Kansas City Royals

77. Carlos Santana – C/3B – Cleveland Indians

76. Josh Hamilton – RF – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

75. Eric Hosmer – 1B – Kansas City Royals

74. Hunter Pence – RF – San Francisco Giants

73. Michael Cuddyer – RF – Colorado Rockies

72. Justin Upton – LF – Atlanta Braves

71. Anibal Sanchez – SP – Detroit Tigers

70. Jason Kipnis – 2B – Cleveland Indians

69. Gio Gonzalez – SP – Washington Nationals

68. Madison Bumgarner – SP – San Francisco Giants

67. Greg Holland – CL – Kansas City Royals

66. James Shields – SP – Kansas City Royals

65. Matt Carpenter – 3B – St. Louis Cardinals

64. Brian McCann – C – New York Yankees

63. J.J. Hardy – SS – Baltimore Orioles

62. Ian Desmond – SS – Washington Nationals

61. Jose Reyes – SS – Toronto Blue Jays

60. JEAN SEGURA – SS – MILWAUKEE BREWERS

59. Matt Kemp – CF – Los Angeles Dodgers

58. Alex Gordon – LF – Kansas City Royals

57. Cole Hamels – SP – Philadelphia Phillies

56. Jordan Zimmermann – SP – Washington Nationals

55. Hisashi Iwakuma – SP – Seattle Mariners

54. Cliff Lee – SP – Philadelphia Phillies

53. Allen Craig – RF – St. Louis Cardinals

52. Adrian Gonzalez – 1B – Los Angeles Dodgers

51. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF – New York Yankees

50. Jose Bautista – RF – Toronto Blue Jays

49. Jayson Werth – RF – Washington Nationals

48. Ryan Zimmerman – 3B – Washington Nationals

47. Carlos Beltran – RF – New York Yankees

46. Prince Fielder – 1B – Texas Rangers

45. Freddie Freeman – 1B – Atlanta Braves

44. CARLOS GOMEZ – CF – MILWAUKEE BREWERS

43. Wil Myers – RF – Tampa Bay Rays

42. Shin-Soo Choo – LF – Texas Rangers

41. Matt Holliday – LF – St. Louis Cardinals

40. Victor Martinez – C/DH – Detroit Tigers

39. Edwin Encarnacion – 1B – Toronto Blue Jays

38. Zack Greinke – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers

37. Stephen Strasburg – SP – Washington Nationals

36. Jay Bruce – RF – Cincinnati Reds

35. Aroldis Chapman – CL – Cincinnati Reds

34. Joe Mauer – 1B – Minnesota Twins

33. Justin Verlander – SP – Detroit Tigers

32. Adam Wainwright – SP – St. Louis Cardinals

31. Yu Darvish – SP – Texas Rangers

30. Chris Davis – 1B – Baltimore Orioles

29. Manny Machado – 3B – Baltimore Orioles

28. David Ortiz – DH – Boston Red Sox

27. Dustin Pedroia – 2B – Boston Red Sox

26. Craig Kimbrel – CL – Atlanta Braves

25. David Wright – 3B – New York Mets

24. RYAN BRAUN – RF – MILWAUKEE BREWERS

23. Yasiel Puig – RF – Los Angeles Dodgers

22. Bryce Harper – LF – Washington Nationals

21. Adam Jones – CF – Baltimore Orioles

20. Giancarlo Stanton – RF – Miami Marlins

19. Chris Sale – SP – Chicago White Sox

18. Jose Fernandez – SP – Miami Marlins

17. Buster Posey – C – San Francisco Giants

16. Hanley Ramirez – SS – Los Angeles Dodgers

15. Evan Longoria – 3B – Tampa Bay Rays

14. Yadier Molina – C – St. Louis Cardinals

13. Troy Tulowitzki – SS – Colorado Rockies

12. Max Scherzer – SP – Detroit Tigers

11. Carlos Gonzalez – CF – Colorado Rockies

10. David Price – SP – Tampa Bay Rays

9. Paul Goldschmidt – 1B – Arizona Diamondbacks

8. Joey Votto – 1B – Cincinnati Reds

7. Felix Hernandez – SP – Seattle Mariners

6. Adrian Beltre – 3B – Texas Rangers

5. Robinson Cano – 2B – Seattle Mariners

4. Andrew McCutchen – CF – Pittsburgh Pirates

3. Miguel Cabrera – 1B – Detroit Tigers

2. Clayton Kershaw – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers

1. Mike Trout – CF – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

So that’s the list! Sound off in the comments and let me know what you think. Did your favorite player make the list? Was he too high? Too low?

MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Now” Rankings Entering 2014

Each year I compile MLB Network’s “Top 100 Players Right Now” which airs annually before the regular season begins.

This 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 Friday, January 10, 2014 the rankings for both Centerfielders and Shortstops were revealed. (See them below.) On Friday, January 17th both Starting Pitchers and Right Fielders were unveiled. Friday, January 24th brought us Left Fielders and First Basemen. Relief Pitchers and Second Basemen were revealed on Friday, January 31st.

Catchers and Third Basemen will be revealed on Friday, February 7th, so look for a couple more Brewers to make it.


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Centerfielders Right Now”

  1. Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  2. Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
  3. Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies
  4. Jacoby Ellsbury – New York Yankees
  5. Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers
  6. Carlos Gomez – Milwaukee Brewers
  7. Austin Jackson – Detroit Tigers
  8. Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
  9. Dexter Fowler – Houston Astros
  10. Coco Crisp – Oakland Athletics

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 three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Centerfielders was Darryl Hamilton. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Trout, McCutchen, Ellsbury, Gomez, Gonzalez, Jackson, Jones, Kemp, Desmond Jennings (TB), Leonys Martin (TEX)

James: Trout, McCutchen, Jones, Ellsbury, Gomez, Gonzalez, Jackson, Michael Bourn (CLE), Jennings, Denard Span (WAS)

Hamilton: Trout, McCutchen, Jones, Ellsbury, Gomez, Kemp, Jackson, Crisp, Gonzalez, Bourn


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Shortstops Right Now”

  1. Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
  2. Jose Reyes – Toronto Blue Jays
  3. Hanley Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers
  4. Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals
  5. Jean Segura – Milwaukee Brewers
  6. Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals
  7. Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers
  8. Andrelton Simmons – Atlanta Braves
  9. J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles
  10. Alcides Escobar – Kansas City Royal

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 three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Shortstops was Bill Ripken. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Tulowitzki, Ramirez, Reyes, Desmond, Andrus, Peralta, Derek Jeter (NYY), Simmons, Segura, Everth Cabrera (SD)

James: Tulowitzki, Hardy, Reyes, Jed Lowrie (OAK), Simmons, Andrus, Segura, Ramirez, Erick Aybar (LAA), Escobar

Ripken: Tulowitzki, Ramirez, Hardy, Simmons, Desmond, Segura, Stephen Drew (FA), Lowrie, Andrus, Reyes


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Staring Pitchers Right Now”

  1. Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Cliff Lee – Philadelphia Phillies
  3. Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
  4. Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
  5. Jose Fernandez – Miami Marlins
  6. David Price – Tampa Bay Rays
  7. Hisashi Iwakuma – Seattle Mariners
  8. Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals
  9. Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers
  10. Max Scherzer – 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 three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Starting Pitchers was John Smoltz. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Kershaw, Verlander, Lee, Hernandez, Wainwright, Yu Darvish (TEX), Scherzer, Fernandez, Madison Bumgarner (SF), Sale

James: Kershaw, Scherzer, Lee, Wainwright, Verlander, Zack Greinke (LAD), Sale, Jered Weaver (LAA), Hernandez, Darvish

Smoltz: Kershaw, Fernandez, Hernandez, Scherzer, Darvish, Verlander, Jon Lester (BOS), Stephen Strasburg (WAS), Wainwright, Price


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now”

  1. Yasiel Puig – Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers
  3. Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
  4. Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins
  5. Allen Craig – St. Louis Cardinals
  6. Carlos Beltran – New York Yankees
  7. Jayson Werth – Washington Nationals
  8. Shane Victorino – Boston Red Sox
  9. Hunter Pence – San Francisco Giants
  10. Jason Heyward – 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 three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Right Fielders was Mark DeRosa. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Braun, Stanton, Puig, Heyward, Werth, Bautista, Craig, Jay Bruce (CIN), Wil Myers (TB), Pence

James: Braun, Bruce, Stanton, Heyward, Pence, Bautista, Victorino, Beltran, Puig, Torii Hunter (DET)

DeRosa: Beltran, Stanton, Bautista, Werth, Craig, Pence, Bruce, Hunter, Puig, Michael Cuddyer (COL)

You read that correctly. Mark DeRosa doesn’t Ryan Braun in his Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now despite Brian Kenny and Bill James both ranking Braun #1 and the Shredder ranking him second. DeRosa says Braun “should be 1″ but since he has to earn back the respect of fans, his teammates, etc. DeRosa “hopes” he comes back and performs and is #1 next year, but he couldn’t discount other guys.

As for the Shredder, Brian Kenny said he was shocked not only that Braun wasn’t first but that Puig was. I’m guessing Braun was dinged by the Shredder for how many games he missed last year. That’ll happen in an algorithm.

MLB Network’s “Top 10 Left Fielders Right Now”

  1. Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
  2. Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
  3. Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals
  4. Justin Upton – Atlanta Braves
  5. Shin-Soo Choo – Texas Rangers
  6. Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates
  7. Daniel Nava – Boston Red Sox
  8. Carlos Quentin – San Diego Padres
  9. Josh Hamilton – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  10. Brett Gardner – New York Yankees

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 three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Left Fielders was Eric Byrnes. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Harper, Choo, Holliday, Marte, Upton, Gordon, Gardner, Yoenis Cespedes (OAK), Domonic Brown (PHI), Khris Davis (MIL)

James: Choo, Holliday, Gordon, Gardner, Nava, Harper, Upton, Brown, Cespedes, Hamilton

Byrnes: Holliday, Harper, Upton, Choo, Alfonso Soriano (NYY), Gordon, Marte, Hamilton, Nava, Brown

MLB Network’s “Top 10 First Basemen Right Now”

  1. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
  2. Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
  3. Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
  4. Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
  5. Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins
  6. Mike Napoli – Boston Red Sox
  7. Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles
  8. Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
  9. Prince Fielder – Texas Rangers
  10. Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays

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 three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the First Basemen was Sean Casey. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Cabrera, Votto, Goldschmidt, Freeman, Mauer, Fielder, Davis, Encarnacion, Brandon Belt (SF), Ad. Gonzalez

James: Cabrera, Goldschmidt, Votto, Davis, Mauer, Freeman, Encarnacion, Ad. Gonzalez, Napoli, Eric Hosmer (KC)

Casey: Cabrera, Votto, Goldschmidt, Freeman, Davis, Fielder, Ad. Gonzalez, Mauer, Albert Pujols (LAA), Encarnacion

MLB Network’s “Top 10 Relief Pitchers Right Now”

  1. Koji Uehara – Boston Red Sox
  2. Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves
  3. Kenley Jansen – Los Angeles Dodgers
  4. Greg Holland – Kansas City Royals
  5. Joe Nathan – Detroit Tigers
  6. Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds
  7. David Robertson – New York Yankees
  8. Glen Perkins – Minnesota Twins
  9. Luis Avilan – Atlanta Braves
  10. Joaquin Benoit – San Diego Padres

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 three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Relief Pitchers was Dan Plesac. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Kimbrel, Holland, Jansen, Chapman, Uehara, Trevor Rosenthal (STL), Perkins, Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon (PHI), Benoit

James: Kimbrel, Jansen, Chapman, Uehara, Holland, Nathan, Papelbon, Perkins, Rosenthal, Mark Melancon (PIT)

Plesac: Kimbrel, Holland, Chapman, Uehara, Jansen, Nathan, Jim Johnson (OAK), Perkins, Jason Grilli (PIT), Rex Brothers (COL)

MLB Network’s “Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now”

  1. Robinson Cano -Seattle Mariners
  2. Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
  3. Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays
  4. Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
  5. Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies
  6. Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
  7. Howie Kendrick – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  8. Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates
  9. Aaron Hill – Arizona Diamondbacks
  10. Marco Scutaro – San Francisco Giants

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 apparently also provide three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Second Basemen was Harold Reynolds. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Cano, Pedroia, Kipnis, Utley, Hill, Zobrist, Kendrick, Kinsler, Walker, Omar Infante (KC)

James: Cano, Pedroia, Zobrist, Kipnis, Utley, Brandon Phillips (CIN), Kinsler, Infante, Jose Altuve (HOU), Kendrick

Reynolds: Cano, Pedroia, Phillips, Kipnis, Kendrick, Utley, Kinsler, Scutaro, Infante, Walker


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Third Basemen Right Now”

  1. Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
  2. David Wright – New York Mets
  3. Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals
  4. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
  5. Josh Donaldson – Oakland Athletics
  6. Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
  7. Aramis Ramirez – Milwaukee Brewers
  8. Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
  9. Chase Headley – San Diego Padres
  10. Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles

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 apparently also provide three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Third Basemen was Mike Lowell. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Wright, Longoria, Beltre, Carpenter, Donaldson, Machado, Zimmerman, Headley, Kyle Seager (SEA), Martin Prado (ARI)

James: Longoria, Beltre, Wright, Carpenter, Zimmerman, Headley, Machado, Prado, Donaldson, Seager

Lowell: Beltre, Longoria, Wright, Machado, Donaldson, Ramirez, Headley, Carpenter, Zimmerman, Pedro Alvarez (PIT)

Neither Brian Kenny or Bill James included Aramis Ramirez in their personal Top 10.

Best line of the show? Kenny asked James why he put Longoria over Beltre and Wright. James’ response: “Probably fear.” He then admitted that he might be biased by working for the Red Sox.

MLB Network’s “Top 10 Catchers Right Now”

  1. Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
  2. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
  3. Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
  4. Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
  5. Jason Castro – Houston Astros
  6. Jonathan Lucroy – Milwaukee Brewers
  7. Carlos Ruiz – Philadelphia Phillies
  8. Miguel Montero – Arizona Diamondbacks
  9. Wilin Rosario – Colorado Rockies
  10. Wilson Ramos – 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 will apparently also provide three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Catchers was Dave Valle. Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Posey, Molina, Santana, Brian McCann (NYY), Perez, Lucroy, Castro, Ruiz, Russell Martin (PIT), Montero

James: Posey, Molina, Perez, A.J. Pierzynski (BOS), Matt Wieters (BAL), Santana, Rosario, McCann, Lucroy, Jarrod Saltalamacchia (MIA)

Valle: Molina, Perez, Posey, Wieters, Ramos, Martin, McCann, A.J. Ellis (LAD), Lucroy, Castro

So there you have it. All 10 positions worth ranking in MLB by the Shredder and the MLB Network personalities.

There are five Brewers among the 100 names listed by The Shredder. They are: Carlos Gomez (CF, 6th), Jean Segura (SS, 5th), Ryan Braun (RF, 2nd), Aramis Ramirez (3B, 7th), and Jonathan Lucroy (C, 6th)

 

Trade Season Rumor: Two Brewers Drawing Known Interest

Good morning, and happy July, Brewer Nation!

It is officially trade season in Major League Baseball as the Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros were all involved in moves over the past couple of days. Trade winds are beginning to pick up speed all around the league, and as has been documented numerous times by a multitude of baseball scribes, the Milwaukee Brewers could be at the center of a lot of activity. Whether that happens is truly up to some decisions by Doug Melvin (likely with Mark Attanasio’s input) about the short-term goals of the team.

Scouts have begun showing up in earnest at Brewers games, many centering around the starts of Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse. Some of that is due diligence and “normal coverage” but some of it isn’t.

I was made aware of some specific interest in a pair of Brewers players late on Tuesday night which I’m passing along now, but not before the sadly necessary caveat that:

  1. I’M NOT REPORTING IMMINENT TRADES!
  2. I’M ALSO NOT SAYING THAT THERE HAVE EVEN BEEN WORTHWHILE DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN THE TEAMS ABOUT THE PLAYERS YET.

All I’m saying is that these teams are known to have shown interest in the players to which I’m about to connect them.

This first one is easily guessable based on the need of the team and has been discussed by myself and others on Twitter already.

FranciscoRodriguezCelebrate

The Detroit Tigers have shown interest in Francisco Rodriguez.

The Tigers’ bullpen is perilously thin at the back end, what with their desperate attempt to get something out of Jose Valverde this season after initially choosing not to bring him back following his late 2012 implosions. K-Rod has pitched very well for Milwaukee, and he’s on a cheap deal for the rest of 2013. The Brewers should be extra motivated to move Rodriguez to the right bidder given that he’s only on a one-year deal and will likely command a much higher price tag in free agency after the season.

Two teams are tied to the next player I’m discussing tonight.

NorichikaAokiSwinging

Both the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics have shown interest in Norichika Aoki.

Given that Aoki is controllable at an inexpensive rate in 2014, any team acquiring the former multi-time Japanese batting champion will be getting a year and a half of service out of him at the minimum.

In Oakland’s case, they don’t have an immediate need in their outfield but Aoki has proven to be a good hitter that would absolutely be useful for them. It could be a move with an eye on 2014 as well, however, as Coco Crisp is a free agent following this season.

For Tampa, they entered Tuesday just 2.0 games behind in their division and are barely getting any offensive production out of Matt Joyce at this point. Aoki would immediately upgrade their offense out of that lineup spot. Aoki has shown the ability to hit either first or second in a lineup, and both of those spots are currently filled normally by under-performing hitters.

So there you have it. Two ideas to wrap your minds around and see what you think about them. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t know that actual discussions have taken place between these teams and Milwaukee, so I don’t know what (if any) possible return the Brewers could expect from these possible trade partners.

Brewers Acquire Parker In Exchange For Byrd

StephenParkerAFL

The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired third baseman Stephen Parker from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for right-handed pitcher Darren Byrd.

Parker, 25, was selected by Oakland in the fifth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Brigham Young University.  Over four minor-league seasons, he is a career .277 hitter with 43 HR and 262 RBI in 448 games.  His best season came in 2010, when he batted .296 with 21 HR and 98 RBI in 139 games at Class-A Stockton and was a midseason and postseason California League All-Star.

Byrd, 26, spent three seasons in the Brewers’ farm system (2010-12) after signing as a minor-league free agent on June 28, 2010.  He appeared in one game this spring before he was returned to minor-league camp on March 7.

Milwaukee Brewers Announce 2013 Spring Training Schedule

The Milwaukee Brewers today announced the Club’s 2013 Spring Training schedule which opens on Saturday, February 23 at Maryvale Baseball Park against Oakland.  The Brewers will play a total of 35 Spring Training and exhibition games in 2013, including 17 at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix and two games at Miller Park.

The Brewers will play games at Maryvale against NL Central rivals Cincinnati on Saturday, March 16 and against the Chicago Cubs on Friday, March 22.  Other home highlights include a St. Patrick’s Day game (Sunday, March 17) against Los Angeles in Glendale and a matchup versus Team Canada’s World Baseball Classic entry on Tuesday, March 5.

The team has two split squad games scheduled during the spring.  The slate includes Monday, February 25 vs. San Diego (SS) and at Cincinnati, and Sunday, March 24 vs. Colorado and at San Diego.

The final home game at Maryvale Baseball Park for the Brewers is set for Wednesday, March 27 against Kansas City.  The Brewers will return home to Miller Park to play two games against the White Sox to round out the exhibition season, scheduled for Friday, March 29 at 7:10 p.m. and Saturday, March 30 at 1:10 p.m.

All Brewers games played in the Cactus League are scheduled for 1:05 pm starts (Arizona Time), except for Wednesday, March 13 at the Diamondbacks (7:10 p.m. local/9:10 p.m. CT start).

Pitchers and catchers with zero to three years of Major League service time are scheduled to report to Spring Training on Tuesday, February 12.  All position players and pitchers and catchers with three-plus years of Major League service have a report date of Friday, February 15, 2013.

Tickets for the Milwaukee Brewers home Spring Training games will go on sale at 10 am CT on Monday, December 3 via the internet at Brewers.com and by phone at 1-800-933-7890.  Normal business hours are from 9am – 5pm CST.  Sales at the Maryvale Baseball Park Box Office will begin on Monday, February 4, 2013.  Tickets are available in four seating areas: Field Box ($22), Infield Reserved ($16), Outfield Reserved ($13) and Lawn Seating ($8).  Information on Spring Training Season Tickets can be obtained by calling the Milwaukee Brewers Ticket Office at 414-902-4000.

Please note that games and times are subject to change.

Milwaukee Brewers 2013 Spring Training Schedule

Date        Time (local)    (CT)                Opponent                               Place____

Sat, Feb 23

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          Oakland Athletics                  Maryvale

Sun, Feb 24

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          Cleveland Indians (SS)         Maryvale

Mon, Feb 25

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          San Diego Padres                  Maryvale

1:05 pm           2:05 pm           at Cincinnati Reds                  Goodyear

Tue, February 26

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          Seattle Mariners                    Maryvale

Wed, Feb 27

1:05 pm           2:05 pm           at Kansas City Royals             Surprise

Thu, Feb 28

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          Chicago White Sox                Maryvale

Fri, Mar 1

1:05 pm           2:05 pm           at Colorado Rockies               Talking Stick

Sat, Mar 2

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim    Maryvale

Sun, Mar 3

1:05 pm           2:05 pm           at Chicago Cubs (SS)              Mesa

Mon, Mar 4                                         OFF DAY

Tue, Mar 5

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          Team Canada                        Maryvale

Wed, Mar 6

1:05 pm           2:05 pm           at Seattle Mariners                  Peoria

Thu, Mar 7

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          Arizona Diamondbacks        Maryvale

Fri, Mar 8

1:05 pm          2:05 pm          Texas Rangers                       Maryvale

Sat, Mar 9

1:05 pm           2:05 pm           at Cincinnati Reds                  Goodyear

DAYLIGHT-SAVINGS TIME BEGINS MARCH 10

Sun, Mar 10

1:05 pm          3:05 pm          San Francisco Giants            Maryvale

Mon, Mar 11

1:05 pm          3:05 pm          Los Angeles Dodgers            Maryvale

Tue, Mar 12

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at Texas Rangers                     Surprise

Wed, Mar 13

7:10 pm           9:10 pm           at Arizona Diamondbacks      Talking Stick

Thu, Mar 14                                     OFF DAY

Fri, Mar 15

1:05 pm          3:05 pm          Cleveland Indians                 Maryvale

Sat, Mar 16

1:05 pm          3:05 pm          Cincinnati Reds (SS)             Maryvale

Sun, Mar 17

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at Los Angeles Dodgers (SS) Glendale

Mon, Mar 18

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at Cleveland Indians               Goodyear

Tuesday, March 19

1:05 pm          3:05 pm          Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim     Maryvale

Wed, Mar 20

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at San Francisco Giants (SS)  Scottsdale

Thu, Mar 21

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at Chicago White Sox             Glendale

Fri, Mar 22

1:05 pm          3:05 pm          Chicago Cubs                       Maryvale

Sat, Mar 23

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Tempe

Sun, Mar 24

1:05 pm          3:05 pm          Colorado Rockies                  Maryvale

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at San Diego Padres                Peoria

Mon, Mar 25

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at Oakland Athletics               Phoenix

Tue, Mar 26                                       OFF DAY

Wed, Mar 27

1:05 pm          3:05 pm          Kansas City Royals (SS)       Maryvale

Thu, Mar 28

1:05 pm           3:05 pm           at Colorado Rockies               Talking Stick

Fri, Mar 29

7:10 pm                                  Chicago White Sox                Miller Park

Sat, Mar 30

1:10 pm                                  Chicago White Sox                Miller Park

 

• Home games in bold

• Note: Daylight-Savings Time begins on March 10

• All Games/Times subject to change

Want a more colorful look at the Brewers’ 2013 Cactus League slate? Click the image.

2013 Milwaukee Brewers Schedule, Highlights

While there’s still work to be done in 2012, Major League Baseball released it’s preliminary 2013 schedule today.

The Milwaukee Brewers open at home with a three-game set against the Colorado Rockies beginning on Monday, April 1st.

They’re home for six games over seven days before hitting the road where they’ll help the Chicago Cubs open their home season at Wrigley Field on Monday, April 8th.

The biggest changes for 2013 are of course the nearly daily occurance of at least one interleague game on the schedule, a move necessitated by the shifting to the American League from the National League of the Houston Astros.

The Brewers’ first interleague series is a short two-game set against the Texas Rangers on May 7-8 at Miller Park. The Brewers do play the Astros in Interleague play as well, heading to Houston for a three-game series June 18-20.

Their old “natural” rival Minnesota Twins are faced in what’s basically a “home-and-home” pair of two game series between May 27-30. The first two are played at Miller Park with the final two at Target Field in Minneapolis.

In all there are seven Interleague series for the Brewers in 2013. They host the Oakland Athletics from June 3-5. They’ll be in Seattle from August 10-12 before heading to Texas for a pair of games August 13-14. Their last interleague series of the year will be run from August 30-September 1 when Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels come to town.

Milwaukee closes the 2013 season with a seven-game road trip to Atlanta to face the Braves for three games and Flushing where they’ll close the regular season with a four-game set against the Mets.

Click here for a PDF version of the schedule: http://mlblogsbrewers.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/mb-2013-schedule-h-no-allfan.pdf

Trevor Hoffman’s Place In the Top 10 Closers in MLB History

By: Big Rygg

With Trevor Hoffman finally closing in (pun intended) on career save number 600, I wanted to definitely to highlight the forthcoming achievement in some way.

I thought about a career retrospective but decided that would be best left for once his career is actually complete.

I considered a chronicle of his year plus spent in a Brewers uniform, but that too isn’t a chapter that is finished being written.

A listing of accolades for Hoffman could write itself and easily eclipse 1000 words without even trying, and a thoughtful piece about what it must mean for Hoffman to have fallen so hard and fast off of what appeared to be the edge of the Chasm of Old Age only to right his ship, so to speak, and once again be considered as a reliable option just seems like it might be a bit premature.

In other words, that seems like it ought to wait until 600 has actually been reached as opposed to only being somewhere off on the seemingly distant horizon.

So instead, I offer this tried and true format of placing Hoffman in a list of his game-ending brethren because quite frankly whether he never records another save or notches his 600th on Saturday (two games from now since he’s still only at 598), it won’t affect my feelings as to where he places in said list.

Read it, debate it in the comments, call me names, dispute my opinions, offer me new-school statistics to support your points and refute mine…or simply agree with me.

Either way, let’s have some fun with this, okay?

10. John Smoltz

Full disclosure: John Smoltz is my favorite pitcher of all time.

Continued disclosure: if not for injury, John Smoltz never closes a single game.

During his short three-plus seasons as a closer, though, Smoltz saved 154 games.

Perhaps dominant starters make great closers regardless of who they are. Another name you’ll see later in this slideshow, Dennis Eckersley, is a big piece of supporting evidence. Jonathan Papelbon is a contemporary example for you younger readers.

But plenty of pitchers fail at the end of the game regardless of how good they might have been at the beginning of it.

To coin an old cliche, John Smoltz took to the ninth inning like a fish to water. He was simply excellent at closing.

Longevity is a big deal in a list like this, no doubt about it. Sheer dominance and ultimate projectability counts for something too.

And with so many names that could have gone at this spot (and probably would go before Smoltz on many people’s lists) why not reward a guy that was forced into the role and absolutely owned it?

9. Tom Henke

Tom Henke has 311 career saves.

Tom Henke could have had 400 or more had he not inexplicably retired at age 37 after a season of 36 saves and a 1.82 ERA both of which garnered him some MVP votes.

Some of Henke’s other career numbers:

2.67 ERA
1.092 WHIP
9.8 K/9
157 ERA+
Only 14 seasons played

Perhaps there was a different reason that “The Terminator” hung up the spikes when he did, but for being as dominant as he was while he was in the game, he definitely deserves a spot on this list.

8. John Franco

A very different kind of closer, John Franco was as consistent as they come for a very long time. Call his inclusion on this list a lifetime achievement award if you want to, but 424 saves count the same as the those posted by fireballing, high-strikeout pitchers.

Franco pitched for 21 seasons (though only about 14 or 15 years as a real game-finishing option) and has high totals in the counting stats to show for it. He also has a 2.89 career ERA and a 138 career ERA+.

What he lacked in flash, he more than made up for in substance.

Again, he wasn’t always perfect, but got the job done for a long, long time.

As any pitcher will tell you, those final three outs are different. John Franco handled them as well as anybody for the most part.

7. Lee Smith

802 games finished, 478 career saves (third all-time), 10 seasons of 30+ saves (including three consecutive of 43+ saves) in a career that quite frankly lasted two seasons too long.

A 3.03 career ERA that would have been under 3.00 (2.94) if not for his last two years of bloated run totals.

A seven-time All-Star, Lee was a workhorse closer who averaged 68 appearances per 162 games. He set the bar very high during his career and when he retired he was the all-time leader in both games finished and saves.

6. Billy Wagner

Not many left-handed pitchers in the history of the game have been able to tickle triple-digits on the radar gun.

Billy Wagner is one of those few.

…what? Velocity isn’t enough to be included on this list? Look, I understand that completely. I also understand that you might see Billy Wagner’s name and question his inclusion at all, but this is a case where raw numbers don’t lie.

414 career saves (fifth all time and second only to John Franco’s 424 among lefties), a career ERA of 2.35 (perhaps a tick lower after tonight’s scoreless, three-strikeout inning), 1167 strikeouts in only 886.1 innings pitched, and he’s just one lead-preservation away from his ninth 30+ save season out of 14 as a healthy closer…

Do you get the idea?

Wagner has been very good for a long time. The only negative in all of this (other than the basically wasted 2009 season in which he was mostly recovering from elbow surgery) is that he announced earlier this season that he plans on retiring at the end of 2010.

When you’ve got 29 saves (already), an ERA of 1.74 and 75 strikeouts in 52.2 innings pitched, I think you’ve shown that you’re still quite capable of performing at a high level.

For his sake, if he truly is done at the end of the year, I hope he finds a way to record at least 11 more saves down the stretch. A 40-save season to closer things out and to become the all-time left-handed pitcher career saves leader would be a fitting end to a stellar career.

If he plays for a few more years, however, I simply wonder where he’d end up on this list then.

5. Goose Gossage

Despite only compiling 310 saves during a 22 year career, when Gossage was locked in, there might not have been a closer in the game that hitters feared more during his tenure as a stopper.

In a season (1983) in which he appeared in 57 games (zero starts), finished 47 of them and amassing 22 saves, Gossage also went 13-5.

He may have only saved 30+ games in a season twice (33 in 1980 and 30 in 1982), but sometimes raw totals don’t tell the entire story.

Though his 1981 season which saw a 0.77 ERA and an ERA+ of 465 sure looks pretty, doesn’t it?

Suffice it to say that if I needed a closer for my team in the late 70s and throughout the 80s, there isn’t anybody else I’d have picked first. 13 years of intimidation and results is nothing to shake a stick at.

4. Rollie Fingers

Still the owner of the moustache which all others are measured by (and subsequently fall short of), Rollie Fingers was not your kid’s closer. He was most definitely a different breed than what is commonly referred to as the “modern” closer.

Pitching more than one inning in well over half of his career saves, Fingers could be given the ball at any point of the late-going of a game with a lead, and save or not, you were virtually assured of Fingers being able to finish it off.

Fingers pitched over 1700 innings in 944 games during his 17 year career. Total games started? 37.

Yes, a different breed to be sure, but any less good as a closer? You won’t be able to convince me of that.

3. Dennis Eckersley

Dennis “Eck” Eckersley was a great pitcher throughout his 24 year MLB career.

He was a 20-game winner as a starting pitcher in 1978 with the Cleveland Indians as a 23-year-old. He saved 51 games for the Oakland Athletics in 1992 as a 37-year-old.

In 1990 he allowed fewer baserunners than the number of saves he recorded (48 saves for the record). That’s ridiculous.

Had he been a closer throughout his career, there is even a chance that he challenges for the top spot in this list. He was, after all, one of the first names I knew as a kid.

I don’t remember him as an Indian, Red Sox or (shudder) a Cub. He was always in green and gold first to me and I only knew him as a closer.

Just as a closer, though, despite his excellence, he didn’t do it long enough for him to break into the top two.

2. Trevor Hoffman

Here is where we find Trevor Hoffman.

I battled with myself on this slotting simply because Dennis Eckersley was so good while he was a closer, but Hoffman gets this position on my all-time Top 10 list because he has done it so well for so much longer.

As I sit in front of my laptop, Hoffman is no doubt back in Milwaukee where he will get to relax during a second team off-day in four days. I just watched the replay of him entering a one-run game in the bottom of the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals, a team which has had his number a lot in the last two years, and a team which had already driven in two runs in the inning and reloaded the bases off of current Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford.

Three pitches, three strikes (two foul balls and a swing-and-miss variety on the third for the K), and another career save.

It was a thing of beauty after the first pitch which was over the heart of the plate but which Brendan Ryan pulled foul. The second was spotted in the low-outside corner of the strikezone. Ryan swung but harmlessly fouled it back. The third was a signature change up down the middle of the plate that Ryan waved at helplessly.

18 seasons, 598 saves (a Major League Baseball record) 847 games finished (another MLB record he holds)…nobody has done it as well for as long as Trevor Hoffman.

Period.

1. Mariano Rivera

Despite being second on the all-time saves list, Rivera transcends all others in the category of closer.

His career numbers are incredible and his presence in the back of the Yankees bullpen is a major contributing factor to their dominance.

Rivera’s worst season since becoming the full-time closer in 1997 still saw him amass 30 saves with a 3.15 ERA. That’s nearly a third of a run higher than his next worst season ERA as a closer of 2.85.

A career WHIP of 1.001, a career ERA of 2.21, a career ERA+ of 206, over 1000 strikeouts as a relief pitcher (1004 to be exact as of this writing)…these numbers and plenty of others speak loudly.

So again, while he might not be at the top of the Saves list yet, he currently sits at 550 for his career and has shown few signs of slowing down.

Does the ageless one have two more years in his right arm and cut fastball to surpass whatever Hoffman’s total might end up being? Perhaps he does.

Regardless of the final tally, Rivera wins the title of G.O.A.T. as far as closers are concerned.

Spring Training – Game 1 – Milwaukee vs. Oakland

Today is the first full game of the spring. You might not recognize half the names after the 5th inning, but competitive baseball is about to be played again.

The starting lineup for the Milwaukee Brewers for today’s game is as follows:
1. Rickie Weeks – 2B
2. J.J. Hardy – SS
3. Ryan Braun – LF
4. Prince Fielder – 1B
5. Corey Hart – RF
6. Mike Cameron – CF
7. Casey McGehee – 3B
8. Jason Kendall – C
9. Jeff Suppan – P
Yes, it’s only Spring Training, but it’s also Brewers baseball. 620 AM WTMJ (The Brewers Flagship) will be carrying the game here in Milwaukee. I don’t know whether it’s being carried around the state, but I would hope so.
Mr. Baseball Bob Uecker will be in the booth this afternoon and mst fans will also get their first taste of Jim Powell’s replacement, Corey Provus who will be calling the action and no doubt hearing the first of many fantastic baseball stories.
Here we go Brewers, here we go!
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