Results tagged ‘ Brewers ’

Roster Shuffle 2: Electric Boogaloo

JeremyJeffress

In the sequel to the pre-All-Star break roster shuffle, the Milwaukee Brewers today announced that they have made a move in an attempt to bolster the big league bullpen.

The move required both a 25-man roster spot as well as a 40-man roster spot. To facilitate those moves, RHP Rob Wooten was optioned to Triple-A Nashville (25-man) and rehabbing right-hander Jim Henderson was placed on the 60-day disabled list (40-man).

All this was done so that the Brewers could select the contract of RHP Jeremy Jeffress.

Jeffress was made headlines more than once in Milwaukee. He was a part of the package of prospects sent to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Zack Greinke. Earlier this season, he chose to re-sign with the Brewers organization after being designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays and electing free agency after clearing waivers. He also was almost out of baseball completely during his first turn in Milwaukee’s system as he was suspended more than once for marijuana use. By multiple accounts, he’s clear of that recreational drug use though, but is now back on a 40-man roster anyway.

Much more importantly than his off-the-field history is his on-the-field production so far in 2014. In other words, there’s a much better reason that he was added to the 40-man roster this time around.

While pitching for Nashville this season, the former first-round draft pick of the Brewers (16th overall in 2006) has posted the following line:

30 G, 1.51 ERA, 41.2 IP, 0 HR, 45 K, 18 BB, 1.224 WHIP

That’s good for a 9.7 K/9 and a 2.50 K/BB, but it’s also worth noting that he’s been even better recently. Jeffress hasn’t given up a run since June 23rd, a span of nine appearances. He’s only given up two runs in his last 15 games and just three total in his last 24 trips to the mound.

Jeffress has always brought the gas on his fastball, but it will be his ability to command his breaking ball that will translate to big league success. He’s shown the other sought-after ability to miss bats at multiple levels as well, something which would serve him and his new team very well moving forward for the balance of 2014.

As for the others involved, Wooten hasn’t been bad and will likely be back up in September if not sooner. In fact, by effectiveness, Brandon Kintzler may have been a better candidate to go down, but Wooten’s option year is already burned and that likely played a part in the decision.

For Jim Henderson, this must be seen as a referendum on where he’s at physically. Recent reports show him lagging behind the needed 97 MPH on his fastball. I haven’t seen any recent accounts of his slider command nor how his “work-in-progress” change up have fared since he got back on the mound, but without the heat I’m not sure the other pitches matter a lot. The timing doesn’t make much difference on his being moved to the 60-day DL though (he’s already spent more than 60 days on the DL having been placed on it on May 2nd), so maybe everything is progressing fine, but you normally wouldn’t make the move with a guy set to return any time soon.

Time will tell, I suppose.

Roster News: Brewers Play Recall, Reassign, DL Shuffle

JimmyNelson

GUESS WHO’S BACK — BACK AGAIN?

While I was eating supper with my parents who are in from out of town, the Milwaukee Brewers made official was has been danced around and toward for some time now.

Jimmy Nelson has been recalled from the minor leagues.

He’ll start on Saturday against St. Louis at Miller Park, his first home start of 2014. With the gap in the National League’s Central Division at 2.0 games (as of publishing on Thursday, July 10) the Brewers brass must have felt that rolling the dice with Marco Estrada against a Cardinal team he’s historically struggled against wasn’t what is best for the business of winning baseball games.

Nelson comes with plenty of acclaim and hope, and hopefully plenty of aplomb as he’ll be thrown right into the thick of a divisional race that is as tight as it’s been in roughly three months.

Around making one spot start — for Yovani Gallardo who sprained his ankle — Nelson has spent his season with the Class-AAA Nashville Sounds. In a nutshell, Nelson was the top vote-getter for the Triple-A All-Star Game and was going to start the same for his Pacific Coast League squad. To go a little deeper, here’s Nelson’s season line at Nashville:

10-2, 1.46 ERA, 111.0 IP, 70 H, 23 R (18 ER),  3 HR, 114:32 K:BB, 0.919 WHIP, .179/.247/.245 slash line against

Some ratios: 0.2 HR/9, 9.2 K/9, 3.56 K/BB

And some more advanced stats: 2.47 FIP, 2.84 SIERA, 57.3% GB%

In summary, Nelson has been a dominant force in Triple-A this season and is clearly ready to try the next level. But let’s be fair to him. He should not be seen as a savior or the next coming. He’s got the goods to compete, and will likely struggle from time to time as he adjusts to the best hitters in the world, but as he showed in that spot start against the Marlins, he has the chance to compete. That’s something that the team hasn’t always gotten out of Marco Estrada, whose spot in the rotation Nelson will be taking.

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ESTRADA LEASES A SPOT IN THE BULLPEN

Speaking of Estrada, of the 4.96 ERA, 5.71 FIP, and MLB-worst 27 home runs allowed, he will be contributing to the team from the bullpen for the foreseeable future.

Estrada should be somewhat useful if he’s able to embrace the role and get all the way back to his strike-throwing, command-heavy ways. Working against him are his splits in the first inning of his appearances so far this season. In his first inning of work in 2014, Estrada sports a 6.00 ERA, having allowed 12 ER in 18.0 IP. Seven of his 27 home runs allowed have come within the first three outs of his appearances and opponents are slugging .653 in the same. And for the sake of full disclosure, Estrada hasn’t walked a batter yet this year in his first innings of work.

But those numbers are why I’ve been a little confused when so many people have touted Estrada for a bullpen job. It doesn’t seem nearly as cut and dried as many say that Estrada will be “so much better” as a reliever.

Time will tell.

WeiChungWang

WANG INJURED, TRULY AND HONESTLY

The other thing time will tell is just how long Wei-Chung Wang will be on the disabled list. That’s right, conspiracy theorists: The Brewers placed Wang on the 15-day Disabled List with left shoulder tightness.

In all seriousness, I don’t believe that the team has made up this injury. Rule V Draft choices are closely monitored so that teams cannot simply stash them on the DL with false injuries.

But that’s beside the point of this article. The point of this article requires me to tell you that they opened up the spot on the 25-man roster to recall Nelson by placing Wang on the DL.

So, there you have it, Brewer Nation.

  • Nelson up and into the rotation
  • Estrada moved into the bullpen
  • Wang placed on the disabled list

Thoughts? Let’s hear ‘em.

Comment here or respond via social media.

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Brewers Get Four All-Stars on Selection Sunday

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The Milwaukee Brewers today had four players selected to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It marks only the fifth time in franchise history that the team has had four All-Stars. Center fielder Carlos Gomez (starter), third baseman Aramis Ramirez (starter), catcher Jonathan Lucroy and pitcher Francisco Rodriguez will represent the Brewers at this year’s Midsummer Classic, which will be played at Target Field in Minnesota on Tuesday, July 15 at 7pm CT.

In addition to the 2014 season, the Brewers had four All-Star selections in 1980 (Cecil Cooper, Paul Molitor, Ben Oglivie and Robin Yount), 1982 (Cooper, Rollie Fingers, Oglivie and Yount), 1983 (Cooper, Oglivie, Ted Simmons and Yount) and 2007 (Francisco Cordero, Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy and Ben Sheets). The Brewers have multiple All-Star starters for the seventh time (1980, 1982, 1983, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2014).

 

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Gomez, 28, has been selected to his second All-Star Game and first as a starter. He was a first-time All-Star last season. Gomez finished second among National League outfielders in fan voting (4,068,745), trailing only the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen (4,519,440) and just ahead of the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig (4,059,746). He is batting .299 with 13 HR and 45 RBI in 80 games this season.

AramisRamirezAllStarBanner2014 Ramirez, 36, has been selected to his third All-Star Game and second as a starter. He started the 2005 All-Star Game as an injury replacement for Scott Rolen. He was also an All-Star in 2008. Ramirez had 2,318,611 votes in fan balloting, finishing ahead of the Mets’ David Wright (1,979,883). He is batting .287 with 11 HR and 41 RBI in 63 games this season.

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Lucroy, 28, has been selected to his first All-Star Game. He was selected via the player vote, finishing first among National League catchers with 420 votes. Lucroy is batting .329 with 9 HR and 44 RBI in 82 games this season. He entered today’s game leading the National League in multi-hit games (31) and among the league leaders in batting average (2nd), doubles (2nd), hits (T3rd), on-base percentage (4th), slugging percentage (5th), OPS (5th) and extra-base hits (5th).

FranciscoRodriguezAllStarBanner2014Rodriguez, 32, has been selected to his fifth All-Star Game. He was also an All-Star in 2004, 2007 and 2008 with the Angels and in 2009 with the Mets. Rodriguez was selected via the player vote, finishing second among National League relievers with 138 votes, trailing only the Braves’ Craig Kimbrel (190). He is 3-2 with a 2.34 ERA and 27 saves in 42 appearances this season while holding opponents to a .187 batting average. His 27 saves tied Kimbrel for the Major League lead entering today’s game.

Happy International Prospect Signing Day

Happy 2nd of July!

(You’re a couple of days early — aren’t you?)

How about Happy International Signing Day!

(Happy what now?)

Okay, let me explain.

I know that for many fans of just the Milwaukee Brewers, July 2nd hasn’t carried a whole ton of meaning until recently, and only recently if you’ve followed the organization’s renewed efforts to identify and sign international (read: latin american) talent. That renewed effort coinciding with the opening of their academy in the Dominican Republic, in a partnership with former Brewer closer Salomon Torres.

The Brewers have signed some players but their first real splashes came last July 2nd when they inked a couple of guys to team record Latin American signing bonuses. Those kids, Dominicans Franly Mallen and Nicolas Pierre then each just 16 years old, were ranked 22nd and 29th respectively on MLB.com’s list of top international prospects. They were signed to contracts worth $800,000 apiece, and the Brewers were seen as players again in the region.

Well, a report all the way back in February from Scout.com’s Kiley McDaniel had the Brewers tied to an even bigger target in Dominican shortstop Gilbert Lara, who he has said is arguably the top international prospect this year.

(Here’s a link to the February column from McDaniel: http://sbb.scout.com/2/1373523.html)

He’s ranked 4th on MLB.com’s international prospects list and is said to have a physically mature body, lending itself to safer projectability. Regardless, he was reported at the time to be a lock to blow the $800,000 franchise record out of the water. In fact, it was seen that Lara could quite easily get $3,000,000 and probably would get a bit more.

While that’s great news for the Brewers, the unfortunate side effect is that since a franchise cannot officially have even a verbal agreement in place prior to July 2nd, the leaked information could put the team at risk of at least having another franchise swoop in to offer more, or at worst costing the organization some sanctions.

While it luckily appears that both of the situations have been avoided because multiple outlets (including ESPN’s Enrique Rojas and MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez) reported that Lara has indeed formally agreed to and subsequently signed a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, something that appears inevitable for now is the Brewers soaring past their “soft cap” for international signings. That number for 2014 is just $2,611800 which would mean Lara alone would already put the Brewers into the realm of financial penalty.

The financial penalties break down thusly (as borrowed from Jesse Sanchez’s MLBlogs.com blog):

  • Teams that exceed the pools by 10 to 15 percent are not allowed to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next signing period and have to pay a 100-percent tax on the pool overage.
  • In the most severe penalty, teams that exceed the pool by 15 percent or more are not allowed to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods in addition to paying a 100-percent tax on the pool overage.
  • Teams that exceed the pools by 0 to 5 percent have to pay 100 percent tax and teams that exceed the pools by 5 to 10 percent are not allowed to sign a player for more than $500,000 during the next signing period and have to pay a 100-percent tax on the pool overage.

For the record, if Lara got the $3.2 million he was reportedly set to sign for today, that puts the Brewers more than 15% over their pool allotment. The Brewers could possibly alleviate some of that by trading for pool space, but that remains to be seen. For now, that’s a worry for 2015.

For the rest of 2014, Lara can be expected to report to the Brewers Academy in San Pedro de Macoris, but per rule he won’t be eligible to play in Dominican Summer League games until next year. Lara is a high-ceiling kid, one whose abilities on the baseball diamond have gained significant attention for a reason. He’s also still just 16 years old and it needs to be understood that even in a great string of events and success, he wouldn’t be playing on United States’ soil until 2016 at the earliest. Still, should he realize the potential that is worth more than $3 million of signing bonus and contract, it will be an investment worth its weight in time and expense.

Brewers Offering “777″ Seating Promotion to July 7th (7/7) Home Game

The Milwaukee Brewers will offer a special ticket promotion tomorrow only in which tickets for the team’s next home game – Monday, July 7 against the Philadelphia Phillies – will be available for just $7 for (most) seating sections that end in “7.”  This includes the following 14 seating sections: 107, 127, 207, 217, 227, 237, 307, 317, 327, 337, 407, 417, 427 and 437 (ticket offer does not apply to section 117).

Tickets for tomorrow’s promotion will be available at Brewers.com/seven.  Tickets will go on sale at 9 a.m. CT tomorrow and will be available for purchase until 9:57 p.m. CT tomorrow (777 minutes), or while quantities last.  There is a limit of eight tickets per person.

The “777” ticket promotion for the 7/7 game is sponsored by Potawatomi.

Brewers Move Up In the Latest All-Star Balloting Update

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You’re not seeing things. Aramis Ramirez has taken over the top spot in the  latest National League All-Star balloting update provided by Major League Baseball. Carlos Gomez has also moved back into starting position and Jonathan Lucroy has passed Buster Posey for second place among NL backstops!

Oh, and how about Jean Segura in second among shortstops and Mark Reynolds and Rickie Weeks both getting on the board at their respective positions in 4th place?

Keep on Voting Brewers!!!

http://brewers.com/vote

Brewers Announce All Three “Day 1″ Picks As Signed

The Milwaukee Brewers today announced the signings of the team’s first three selections in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, including LHP Kodi Medeiros (First-Round selection, 12th overall), SS Jacob Gatewood (Competitive Balance Round A selection, 41st overall) and OF Monte Harrison (Second-Round selection, 50th overall).
 
In addition, the Brewers also signed C Matt Martin (27th round) from Wake Forest University and LHP Carlos Leal (34th round) from Delta State University.  The Brewers have now signed each of their first eight draft selections and 22 overall draft picks from the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. 

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Medeiros, a native of Hilo, Hawaii, went 7-1 with a 0.97 ERA in eight games as a senior at Waiakea (HI) High School.  He struck out 83 batters compared to 17 walks and allowed just 14 hits in 43.1 innings pitched this past season.  As a sophomore, Medeiros helped lead the Waiakea Warriors to their first-ever state championship.  The 6-foot-2, 195 pound left-handed pitcher was selected for the Perfect Game All-American Classic.  He is the highest-drafted player to be selected out of high school from Hawaii. Medeiros, 18, had a scholarship offer to Pepperdine University.

GatewoodSigning
Gatewood, 18, batted .389 (44-for-113) with nine doubles, five home runs and 28 RBI as a senior at Clovis (CA) High School. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound shortstop won the junior portion of Major League’s Home Run Derby at the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field.  A month later, he won the Baseball Factory Home Run Derby at the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field.  Gatewood had a commitment to the University of Southern California.

MonteHarrison
Harrison, 18, batted .429 (36-for-84) with 11 doubles, two home runs, 33 RBI and 24 stolen bases during his senior season at Lee’s Summit (MO) West High School.  Harrison was a 2013 Underclass First Team selection and a 2014 First Team All-American.  A multi-sport athlete, he had a scholarship offer to play baseball and football (as a wide receiver) at the University of Nebraska.  His older brother, Shaquille, plays basketball at the University of Tulsa.

Brewer Nation Podcast – 2014 Draft Special!

The whole thing is finally ready to go!

In this edition of the Brewer Nation podcast we interview Nick Faleris of Baseball Prospectus, and Brewers 2014 draft picks Greg McCall and Kaleb Earls. We then talk roster crunch in our Brewer Nation Roundtable with co-hosts Adam and Cary along with special guest Jeff Miller as well as discussion about the soon-to-be-unveiled Brewers Wall of Honor.

There’s a lot of fun information in here. For example, did you know that the Brewers may have actually saved money on 2nd round pick Monte Harrison? Find out what I mean at the 6 minute mark.

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2014 NL All-Star Balloting Update 3

In the third update of National League voting totals for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game, Carlos Gomez has jumped two positions to move into third place among NL outfielders in the league’s tightest race with 1,192,174 votes. He is less than 67,000 votes behind Giancarlo Stanton (1,259,047) for second place. Yasiel Puig currently leads all NL outfielders with 1,472,717 votes.          
                                                          
Gomez ranks among the National League leaders in a number of offensive categories, including slugging percentage (4th, .554), total bases (4th, 128), extra-base hits (T-4th, 31), runs (T-5th, 42), doubles (T-5th, 17), batting average (7th, .307), home runs (T-8th, 12) and stolen bases (T-10th, 11).  He is one of three players in the majors with at least 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases this season, joining Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon and Minnesota’s Brian Dozier.

Ryan Braun, one of 10 National League players with more than one million votes, is sixth among outfielders with 1,058,680 votes in the tightly-contested outfield race. Jonathan Lucroy remains third among National League catchers with 771,313 votes, trailing the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina and the Giants’ Buster Posey. Lucroy is among NL leaders in multi-hit games (T-1st, 24), doubles (T-2nd, 23), batting average (3rd, .335), hits (4th, 75), on-base percentage (6th, .398) and slugging percentage (10th, .500). 

Jean Segura (567,481 votes) ranks third at shortstop, Aramis Ramirez is now fourth among NL third basemen (615,597 votes) and Khris Davis (459,771 votes) moved up a spot to 13th in the outfield.

Balloting at Miller Park continues through this Sunday, June 15, comprising 23 home dates. Fans can vote for the Major League All-Stars online at Brewers.com through Thursday, July 3 at 10:59pm CT.
 
Brewers fans have the well-earned reputation for filling the ballot boxes with All-Star votes for Milwaukee Brewers players year in and year out. With at least one Brewers player elected to start in five of the last seven All-Star Games since 2007, Milwaukee fans demonstrated that it doesn’t take the largest market to be heard as they voted for their favorite Brewers in almost unheard of numbers.
 
This season, eight Brewers players are featured on the ballot for the 85th Major League Baseball All-Star Game to be held on Tuesday, July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis. Brewers fans will again have the opportunity to show their overwhelming fan support by helping decide which players will be named to the Midsummer Classic through the 2014 MLB In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program and the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot.
 
Brewers players on this year’s All-Star ballot include C Jonathan Lucroy, 1B Mark Reynolds, 2B Rickie Weeks, 3B Aramis Ramirez, SS Jean Segura, OF Ryan Braun, OF Carlos Gomez and OF Khris Davis. 

At Brewers.com, all fans voting 21 or more times for their favorite Brewers will be entered into a drawing to win a prize package that includes: four Field Box tickets to a mutually agreed-upon game, an opportunity to go down Bernie’s slide (restrictions apply), an opportunity to watch batting practice that day from the field and a meet and greet with five-time All-Star Ryan Braun. There is a maximum of 25 votes per email address. More information and rules may be found at Brewers.com. Additionally, fans voting online will be eligible to purchase Field Outfield and Club Outfield seats for select Brewers games at a savings of up to 50% (details available after voting at Brewers.com).
 
Those visiting Miller Park are encouraged to vote early and often via paper ballot at the All-Star Polling District, set up during Brewers home games along the first base concourse. In-park balloting at Miller Park continues through Sunday, June 15, comprising 23 home dates. The Vote Brewers! campaign features event staff decked out at home games in promotional t-shirts, and signage along the Miller Park fascia and behind the plate. In addition, media partners FOX Sports Wisconsin and Newsradio 620 WTMJ will be promoting the initiative on broadcasts, and the World Famous Klement’s Racing Sausages will help distribute voting information around the city. There will also be voting parties staged during the balloting period.
 
With every 10 ballots turned in to the All-Star Polling District, fans will receive one raffle ticket that will enter them in a drawing for the opportunity to win a collector’s item daily, ranging from game-used memorabilia to player autographs. A drawing will be held during every home game through June 15 and the winning ticket will be announced during the game. Rules will be available at the Polling District.
 
Last season, Gomez and Segura represented the Brewers at the Midsummer Classic. Ryan Braun narrowly missed being elected a starter for the 2012 MLB All-Star Game after finishing fourth in voting among National League outfielders to Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers by just over 100,000 votes. Braun was later named a starter to replace the injured Kemp.
 
In 2011, Braun led National League outfielders in voting for the fourth straight season and led all NL players in voting for the first time (5,928,004). He is the only Brewers player to ever be elected to start in four consecutive All-Star Games (did not play in 2011 due to injury). Rickie Weeks was selected to his first All-Star Game as the NL’s starting second baseman and Prince Fielder started and made his third All-Star appearance in 2011. In 2010, Braun and Corey Hart started for the Brewers (Hart was named as a starter after an injury to Atlanta’s Jason Heyward).
 
In 2009, Braun and Fielder joined Trevor Hoffman as All-Stars. In addition to Braun in 2008, Hart was named that year to the National League All-Star team via the Monster All-Star Final Vote. In 2007, Fielder received the second-most votes in the National League en route to his first career All-Star team, becoming the first Brewers player to be voted to the All-Star Game since Paul Molitor was selected at third base in 1988. A complete list of All-Stars in franchise history can be found on page 285 of the 2014 Brewers media guide.
 
Both the National League and American League teams will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers.

Roster News: Brewers DL Thornburg, Understandably Recall Fiers

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Following Saturday’s game, the Brewers announced that they had place right-handed relief pitcher Tyler Thornburg on the 15-day Disabled List. The official cause for the designation was termed as “elbow soreness”. Before the game, manager Ron Roenicke said that it was something that had been there for a little while. That would explain both Thornburg’s limited use lately and lack of effectiveness with Friday’s game as the most glaring example.

In his place, the Brewers have recalled right-hander Mike Fiers. Fiers dazzled for much of 2012 both as a starting pitcher and a reliever before a late season swoon chalked up mostly to workload concerns. 2013 got off to a rough start as Fiers dealt with off-field distractions and was eventually lost almost entirely to injury.

This season has been phenomenal for Fiers at Triple-A Nashville. His season line for the Sounds reads as such:

6-3, 2.53 ERA, 67.2 IP, 11 GS, 54 H, 21 R (19 ER), 5 HR, 9 BB, 92 K, 0.931 WHIP, 12.2 K/9, 10.22 K/B

I have to point out a couple of things again for you.

  • A league-leading 92 strikeouts (ninety-two)
  • A 12.2 K/9 ratio
  • A 10.22 K/B ratio because he’s walked nine (9) in 67.2 innings pitched

I know it’s the Pacific Coast League and not the National League, but these are the kinds of encouraging numbers that belie that Fiers’ command and control are with him this season.

Welcome back to The Show, Mike!

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