Results tagged ‘ Giants ’

MLB Network’s Top 100 Players Right Now Entering 2014

Top100RightNowLogo

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?

Full 2014 Brewers Schedule (All Game Times Released)

Milwaukee Brewers

Here is the entire Milwaukee Brewers regular season schedule, complete with all but one game time announced. That game is Saturday, August 20th in San Francisco against the Giants. I’ll update this space when I notice that game time having been set.

All times listed are CT.

March/April

Monday, March 31: Atlanta Braves, 1:10pm
Tuesday, April 1: Atlanta Braves, 7:10pm
Wednesday, April 2: Atlanta Braves, 12:10pm

Friday April 4: at Boston Red Sox, 1:10pm
Saturday, April 5: at Boston Red Sox, 6:10pm
Sunday, April 6: at Boston Red Sox, 12:35pm

Monday, April 7: at Philadelphia Phillies, 2:05pm
Wednesday, April 9: at Philadelphia Phillies, 6:05pm
Thursday, April 10: at Philadelphia Phillies, 6:05pm

Friday, April 11: Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:10pm
Sat, April 12: Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:10pm
Sunday, April 13: Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:10pm

Monday, April 14: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Tuesday, April 15: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Wednesday, April 16: St. Louis Cardinals, 12:10pm

Thursday, April 17: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Friday, April 18: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Saturday, April 19: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Sunday, April 20: at PIttsburgh Pirates, 12:35pm

Monday, April 21: San Diego Padres, 7:10pm
Tuesday,, April 22: San Diego Padres, 7:10pm
Wednesday, April 23: San Diego Padres, 7:10pm

Friday, April 25: Chicago Cubs: 7:10pm
Saturday, April 26: Chicago Cubs: 6:10pm
Sunday, April 27: Chicago Cubs: 1:10pm

Monday, April 28: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm
Tuesday, April 29: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm
Wednesday, April 30: at St. Louis Cardinals, 12:45pm

May

Thursday, May 1: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Friday, May 2: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Saturday, May 3: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Sunday, May 4: at Cincinnati Reds, 3:10pm

Monday, May 5: Arizona Diamondbacks, 7:10pm
Tuesday, May 6: Arizona Diamondbacks, 7:10pm
Wednesday, May 7: Arizona Diamondbacks, 12:10pm

Friday, May 9: New York Yankees, 7:10pm
Saturday, May 10: New York Yankees, 6:10pm
Sunday, May 11: New York Yankees, 1:10pm

Tuesday, May 13: Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:10pm
Wednesday, May 14: Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:10pm
Thursday, May 15: Pittsburgh Pirates, 12:10pm

Friday, May 16: at Chicago Cubs, 1:20pm
Saturday, May 17: at Chicago Cubs, 1:20pm
Sunday, May 18: at Chicago Cubs, 1:20pm

Monday, May 19: at Atlanta Braves, 6:10pm
Tue, May 20 at Atlanta Braves, 6:10pm
Wed, May 21: at Atlanta Braves, 6:10pm
Thursday, May 22: at Atlanta Braves, 6:10pm

Friday, May 23: at Miami Marlins, 6:10pm
Saturday, May 24: at Miami Marlins, 3:10pm
Sunday, May 25: at Miami Marlins, 12:10pm

Monday, May 26: Baltimore Orioles, 1:10pm
Tuesday, May 27: Baltimore Orioles, 7:10pm
Wednesday, May 28: Baltimore Orioles, 7:10pm

Friday, May 30: Chicago Cubs, 7:10pm
Saturday, May 31: Chicago Cubs, 3:10pm

June

Sunday, June 1: Chicago Cubs, 1:10pm

Monday, June 2: Minnesota Twins, 7:10pm
Tuesday, June 3: Minnesota Twins, 7:10pm
Wednesday, June 4: at Minnesota Twins, 7:10pm
Thursday, June 5: at Minnesota Twins, 7:10pm

Friday, June 6: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Saturday, June 7: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 3:05pm
Sunday, June 8: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 12:35pm

Tuesday, June 10:  at New York Mets, 6:10pm
Wednesday, June 11:  at New York Mets, 6:10pm
Thursday, June 12: at New York Mets, 6:10pm

Friday, June 13: Cincinnati Reds, 7:10pm
Sunday, June 14: Cincinnati Reds, 6:15pm
Sunday, June 15: Cincinnati Reds, 1:10pm

Monday, June 16: at Arizona Diamondbacks, 8:40pm
Tuesday, June 17: at Arizona Diamondbacks, 8:40pm
Wednesday, June 18: at Arizona Diamondbacks, 8:40pm
Thursday, June 19: at Arizona Diamondbacks, 2:40pm

Friday, June 20: at Colorado Rockies, 7:40pm
Saturday, June 21: at Colorado Rockies, 3:10pm
Sunday, June 22: at Colorado Rockies, 3:10pm

Monday, June 23: Washington Nationals, 7:10pm
Tuesday, June 24: Washington Nationals, 7:10pm
Wednesday, June 25: Washington Nationals, 1:10pm

Thursday, June 26: Colorado Rockies, 7:10pm
Friday, June 27: Colorado Rockies, 7:10pm
Saturday, June 28: Colorado Rockies, 3:10pm
Sunday, June 29: Colorado Rockies, 1:10pm

July

Tuesday, July 1: at Toronto Blue Jays, 12:07pm
Wednesday, July 2: at Toronto Blue Jays, 11:37am

Friday, July 4: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Saturday, July 5: at Cincinnati Reds, 3:10pm
Sunday, July 6: at Cincinnati Reds, 12:10pm

Monday, July 7: Philadelphia Phillies, 7:10pm
Tuesday, July 8: Philadelphia Phillies, 7:10pm
Wednesday, July 9: Philadelphia Phillies, 7:10pm
Thursday, July 10: Philadelphia Phillies, 1:10pm

Friday, July 11: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Saturday, July 12: St. Louis Cardinals, 3:10pm
Sunday, July 13: St. Louis Cardinals, 1:10pm

Friday, July 18: at Washington Nationals, 6:05pm
Saturday, July 19: at Washington Nationals, 6:05pm
Sunday, July 20: at Washington Nationals, 12:35pm

Monday, July 21: Cincinnati Reds, 7:10pm
Tuesday, July 22: Cincinnati Reds, 7:10pm
Wednesday, July 23: Cincinnati Reds, 1:10pm

Thursday, July 24: New York Mets, 7:10pm
Friday, July 25: New York Mets, 7:10pm
Saturday, July 26: New York Mets, 7:10pm
Sunday, July 27: New York Mets, 1:10pm

Monday, July 28: at Tampa Bay Rays, 6:10pm
Tuesday, July 29: at Tampa Bay Rays, 6:10pm
Wednesday, July 30: at Tampa Bay Rays, 11:10am

August

Friday, August 1: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm
Saturday, August 2: at St. Louis Cardinals, 6:15pm
Sunday, August 3: at St. Louis Cardinals, 1:15pm

Tuesday, August 5: San Francisco Giants, 7:10pm
Wednesday, August 6: San Francisco Giants, 7:10pm
Thursday, August 7: San Francisco Giants, 1:10pm

Friday, August 8: Los Angeles Dodgers, 7:10pm
Saturday, Aug .9: Los Angeles Dodgers, 6:10pm
Sunday, August 10: Los Angeles Dodgers, 1:10pm

Monday, August 11: at Chicago Cubs, 7:05pm
Tuesday, August 12: at Chicago Cubs, 7:05pm
Wednesday, August 13: at Chicago Cubs, 7:05pm
Thursday, August 14: at Chicago Cubs, 1:20pm

Friday, August 15: at Los Angeles Dodgers, 9:10pm
Saturday, August 16: at Los Angeles Dodgers, 8:10pm
Sunday, August 17: at Los Angeles Dodgers, 3:10pm

Tuesday, August 19: Toronto Blue Jays, 7:10pm
Wednesday, August 20: Toronto Blue Jays, 1:10pm

Friday, August 22: Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:10pm
Saturday, August 23: Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:10pm
Sunday, August 24: Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:10pm

Monday, August 25: at San Diego Padres, 9:10pm
Tuesday, August 26: at San Diego Padres, 9:10pm
Wednesday, August 27: at San Diego Padres, 9:10pm

Friday, August 29: at San Francisco Giants, 9:15pm
Saturday, August 30: at San Francisco Giants, TBA
Sunday, August 31: at San Francisco Giants, 3:05pm

September

Monday, September 1: at Chicago Cubs, 1:20pm
Tuesday, September 2: at Chicago Cubs, 7:05pm
Wednesday, September 3: at Chicago Cubs, 7:05pm

Thursday, September 4: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Friday, September 5: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Saturday, September 6: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Sunday, September 7: St. Louis Cardinals, 1:10pm

Monday, September 8: Miami Marlins, 7:10pm
Tuesday, September 9: Miami Marlins, 7:10pm
Wednesday, September 10: Miami Marlins, 7:10pm
Thursday, September 11: Miami Marlins, 7:10pm

Friday, September 12: Cincinnati Reds, 7:10pm
Saturday, September 13: Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Sunday, September 14: Cincinnati Reds, 1:10pm

Tuesday, September 15: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm
Wednesday, September 16: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm
Thursday, September 17: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm

Friday, September 18: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Saturday, September 19: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Sunday, September 20: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 12:35pm

Tuesday, September 22: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Wednesday, September 23:: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Thursday, September 24: at Cincinnati Reds, 11:35am

Friday, September 25: Chicago Cubs, 7:10pm
Saturday, September 26: Chicago Cubs, 6:10pm
Sunday, September 27: Chicago Cubs, 1:10pm

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)

 

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.

What The Heck Happened There? (Thoughts on the Hank Aaron Award)

The Hank Aaron Awards were given out recently. One winner from each league is chosen and, prior to Game 3 of the World Series, the respective American and National League winners of the award were honored in an on-field ceremony at Detroit’s Comerica Park.

Fittingly enough, the home team’s third baseman, Miguel Cabrera, was selected as the winner in the American League. He earned the Triple Crown in the AL which no doubt factored in heavily.

The winner in the National League was also present, of course, but because he was set to play in the game that evening as well. Buster Posey of the NL Champion San Francisco Giants was named as the winner for the senior circuit, much to the confusion of yours truly.

Don’t get it twisted, Buster Posey had a fine year. A year which arguably saw him as the most valuable player in his league. But “value”, as it is argued in baseball circles, is not the goal of the Hank Aaron Award. The Hank Aaron Award is described thusly, as lifted from MLB.com:

“This coveted honor is awarded annually to the best overall offensive performer in both the American League and National League. Originally introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th anniversary of Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, the Hank Aaron Award was the first major award to be introduced in 30 years.”

Did you catch that part about the “best overall offensive performer”? It’s right there in the first sentence. If you missed it, go ahead back and read it again.

Buster Posey, ladies and gentlemen, was not the National League’s best overall offensive performer in the 2012 regular season. He “won” the batting title after his teammate Melky Cabrera asked to be made an exception to the qualifications of the title, this is true, but as we all know from 2011 simply winning the batting title doesn’t garner you the Hank Aaron Award. Otherwise Jose Reyes would have been shaking hands with Hank Aaron instead of Matt Kemp.

So how exactly does one get selected as the “best overall offensive performer” anyway? Well, part of the problem is that there isn’t anything “exact” about it.

As currently constructed, fan voting counts for 50% of the vote while a five-man panel that consisted of Aaron, and fellow Hall of Fame members Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan and Robin Yount make up the other half.

We all know after the debacle that was the All-Star Game voting this year that Giants fans know how to stuff a ballot box, but the fact that the fans can even influence this award at all is ridiculous. Fans are biased.

“But aren’t you just being a biased Brewer fan by writing this in the first place?”

Fair question, but that helps make my point. In it being a necessity to have evidentiary support for my point as to maintain some semblance of neutrality in this matter, the statistics do all the backing up needed.

Here are the full-season stat lines for both Braun and Posey. See if you can guess which line was produced by which player.

Player A: .336/.408/.549, 178 H, 24 HR, 103 RBI, 39 2B, 1 3B, 69 BB, 96 K, 172 OPS+, 1 SB, 78 R
Player B: .319/.391/.595, 191 H, 41 HR, 112 RBI, 36 2B, 3 3B, 63 BB, 128 K, 159 OPS+, 30 SB, 108 R

Again I’ll state that Posey, Player A above, had a terrific offensive season. He really did. However, when comparing Posey’s line to that of Braun’s (yes, Player B), how can you argue superiority for the Giants’ catcher?

The biggest issue is that we’ll never know how close it was nor how the voting played out among the five-man panel, but in the opinion of this avid baseball fan, there are shenanigans afoot.

It seems obvious that the collective consciousness of certain individuals is still flawed as it is at best heavily influenced by a scientifically-invalid urine sample from 12 months ago.

That’s a shame and those men who have allowed it to cloud their judgment, influence their analysis, and apparently ultimately impact their award voting should be so ashamed.

Those last two sentences apply even more so to the BBWAA members charged with honoring a player as most valuable.

We’ll just have to see where the winter takes us and when another year of excellence is produced by a certain Brewers superstar, perhaps the fog of confusion can begin to dissipate.

For now, the results of the 2012 Hank Aaron Award voting has left me under that same fog’s veil.

Who Has Asked About Whom, Including Greinke’s Phone Suitor

I don’t know, nor will I come close knowing, all the teams that will inquire about players currently on the Brewers roster.

I will follow along the rumors on the internet as best I can from the people that make money to spend time chasing down leads. I will relay that information to you as quickly as I can.

But from time to time I’ll also hear stuff on my own. I’m here right now to offer some of that.

For example, the Angels have called on Greinke, but they also have talked to Milwaukee about Corey Hart and George Kottaras.

Speaking of the Greek column, Kottaras has also had interest shown in him by the Mets and Indians. Probably others have inquired that I don’t know about, but I do know about them.

Furthermore, the Orioles, Tigers, and Giants have all picked up the phone to check on the availability Hart.

As for the Giants, it was reported that they asked about Francisco Rodriguez but I have a hard time imagining they’re still interested after the Phillies series.

There were rumors that the Yankees might inquire about Aramis Ramirez but as far as as I could find out, that conversation hasn’t taken place. At least not yet.

Zack Greinke, of course, is the hottest chip on the market for Milwaukee right now. He’s been linked to numerous suitors including one who kept Doug Melvin on the phone for “over an hour” trying to come up with creative offers. Nothing pending, at least as of a couple of hours ago, with them though.

What’s that? You want to know who bent the Brewers’ ear that long? Okay fine. It was the White Sox.

Many people don’t feel that they have enough of a system to get a deal done straight up with Milwaukee but they are said to covet Greinke badly. And if there’s one thing Kenny Williams is, it’s creative.

Stay tuned!

What the Hamels, Phillies Extension Could Mean for Greinke, Brewers

It was reported on Twitter early, early Wednesday morning by FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal that LHP Cole Hamels is close to completing an agreement on a six-year contract extension with the Philadelphia Phillies worth “more than” $137.5 million.

Why am I posting news about the Phillies? Simple.

Hamels and Brewers RHP Zack Greinke were considered to be the two best pitchers potentially available on this year’s trading block with the lefty generally (and rightfully) garnering higher praise.

If Hamels finalizes an extension to keep him firmly entrenched with Philadelphia then Greinke becomes numero uno on the wish lists of pretty much any team looking for a starting pitcher.

Sure, Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Josh Johnson, and possibly even Cliff Lee could all be on the move like Wandy Rodriguez was Tuesday evening, but the prize piece would now currently call Milwaukee home.

Teams like the Texas Rangers, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Washington Nationals, whichever team of the Atlanta Braves or Los Angeles Dodgers doesn’t land Dempster, the Chicago White Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Baltimore Orioles…they all want to add starting pitching. Now not all of them match up in projects but enough do that a good ol’ fashioned bidding war could erupt around Greinke giving Brewers general manager Doug Melvin close to what he’s asking for in return for the enigmatic Greinke.

The stars certainly seem to be aligning a bit for a handsome package to be offered to and accepted by Melvin and subsequently presented to Brewer Nation in an attempt to maintain enthusiasm and ticket sales.

Could a Hamels extension force the Rangers to spend more than they want in terms of prospects? Possibly. They certainly have pieces at positions Melvin is said Rio be looking for. But then the Angels can’t possibly stand by while their division rival adds a front line starter, not when they themselves need help in the rotation.

The White Sox don’t have enough in their own farm system to deal directly for Greinke but perhaps their GM Kenny Williams could orchestrate a three-team deal. After all, the Detroit Tigers did just acquire Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez from the Miami Marlins.

The Nationals, who had a deal worked out with the Kansas City Royals to acquire Greinke back in the winter of 2010, could also use another piece on their quest to win the NL East. We already know they like Greinke.

Could the Dodgers view Greinke as a piece to get them over the hump in the West to beat out the San Francisco Giants?

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. If not, suffice it to say that things could get very interesting at One Brewers Way over the next couple of days.

And for the record, I know several people are demanding or at least suggesting that Greinke be traded before tomorrow’s game, but I think Melvin should slow play the hell out of this. Let the bidding war develop over the next three days and make the suitors sweat and hopefully panic their way into doing something irrational.

Buckle up, Brewer Nation.

Brewers Offer To Greinke, Two Scoutings to Note

No need for much build up here.

On the heels of Monday’s Rumor Roundup, I wanted to bring you all some more information which I’ve learned.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that a deal at least at the Brewers magic number of $100 million over five years and as high as the Matt Cain extension which was signed during Spring Training could be on the table for Brewers starting pitcher Zack Greinke. When asked by the local media, Greinke himself confirmed that an offer had been made by Milwaukee but only said that Heyman’s report was more or less accurate.

Well, I was told a bit more specifically what the terms were in Milwaukee Brewers offered contract extension to Zack Greinke which was reported by the media over the weekend.

The base offer, as of last week Friday, was the $100 million over five years but with incentives that could push it near the Cain deal in terms of total compensation. Those incentives were tied to All-Star Games and Cy Young Award voting.

If Greinke ends up rejecting those terms, the Brewers could always modify their offer. Perhaps they already have. But those were the basic terms in what was offered.

I guess, in a way, I’m doing what many other people do and basically confirming parts of Heyman’s original report but I am offering more specifics about where the base salary in the offer is, how the money is structured, and how Greinke can increase the compensation.

As for the scouting, I have learned that the Brewers recently scouted a pair of Giants farmhands. They’re both pitchers, one currently at Triple-A and one currently pitching at the Double-A level.

Those pitchers are Yusmeiro Petit and Chris Heston, respectively.

It’s possible that this is somehow “normal coverage” that we’ve been told to expect, but I mention it because of two reasons.

1. It’s trading season
2. The Giants were one of the teams I was told showed specific interest in Corey Hart.

Hart has been linked to the Giants before, a couple of years back, so we know that GM Brian Sabean likes him as a player.

Petit doesn’t exactly blow my skirt up. He’s 27, only controllable for what appears to be maybe two seasons, and despite decent numbers at Triple-A this year he’s got a poor MLB track record.

Chris Heston excites a little more based solely on his numbers and age. He’s 6’4″, 190lbs, 24 years old, 7-4 with a 2.30 ERA and and has only allowed 2 HR in nearly 105.2 IP this season. His ground ball to fly ball rate for outs is 1.67 and he also misses bats as he’s tallied 95 K to this point.

Again, as with anything I post about trades and rumors, take this for what it’s worth but most of all only read what is actually written.

Nothing has been set in motion necessarily. I’m not reporting that any kind of a deal has been made with San Francisco nor am I implying that this would be for only these players or even both of them. Could be neither, if something happens at all. I’m just reporting a set of circumstances which could maybe lead to something…maybe.

Enjoy your Tuesday. I hope to be back with more later this evening.

Opening Day Is Upon Us!!! (or is it…?)

By: Big Rygg

First, let me say that our weekly podcast (a lengthier one than normal, hence the delay) has been readied for download and is available at:


With that formality out of the way…

IT’S OPENING DAY!!!!!!!!!!!

milsf040709.jpg
The day that we’ve been waiting for since that agonizing night at Miller Park in October whence we lost to the eventual World Champion Philadelphia Phillies is here.

Everybody is 0-0! Everybody can go 162-0! Everybody can…

Wait, what? What do you mean 24 teams have already played and that it would have been 28 teams if not for bad weather in Chicago and Boston? You mean this would have been Opening Day for just the Brewers and Giants had all things gone as scheduled?

As annoyed as I was at the Giants for the scheduling idiocy, I must admit that it would’ve been kind of cool to open the season by ourselves in a way. Yes, a lot of other teams would’ve been playing too, but it still would’ve been an opener for just us and Giants.

Having said that, at least today is definitely the day for us! There’s no way we won’t play today! Jeff Suppan! Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum! Dueling like only two Opening Day starters can!

Oh come on! What do you mean that there’s an 80% chance of precipitation in San Francisco today? Let me guess, the heaviest rain is supposed to be coming down during our game isn’t it? Oh, only from 11am until 4pm. Great. Maybe we’ll be able to play an evening season opener. Stupid Giants.

But look, all kidding aside, it is Opening Day for your Milwaukee Brewers and I couldn’t be happier. Pitchers and Catchers Day is when optimism springs anew, Spring Training is nice, amassing an NL-best 22-10-3 record is encouraging, but nothing beats Opening Day (except of course the home opener should they happen to be different days). The team takes the field for a fresh season where anything can happen!

Who could have predicted last year that Yovani Gallardo goes down for nearly the entire season due to a freak injury suffered while hustling to cover first base on a play where everybody except for Reed Johnson did the right thing?

Who could have predicted last April that the Milwaukee Brewers would be in a position to acquire CC Sabathia nearly a month before the trading deadline and how well he would pitch for us in carrying us through the month of September and into the post season for the first time in 26 years?

Nationally who could have predicted that the Tampa Bay R
ays would not only win what is arguably the most top-heavy division in baseball but would then advance through the American League playoffs to win a game in the World Series?

And wo could have predicted last April that Ned Yost would get fired during the season and that his replacement would right the sinking ship?

Okay, so that last one was a bad example.

But the point is that anything can happen in baseball. That’s why pitchers throw every fifth day. That’s why hitters get back into the box every time their spot in the lineup is due. That’s why batting practice and side sessions take place. That’s why film study and trend analysis is completed. In short, that’s why they play the games.

Does Baltimore defeat the mighty Yankees 10-5 yesterday on paper? Nope.
Does Pittsburgh start the season 1-0 at the expense of Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals on paper? Don’t think so.
Do the Rockies and Diamondbacks, on paper, combine for 8 Opening Day home runs against a pair of starters that had the highest ground ball to fly ball ratios in the league last year? Survey says: Not bloody likely!

The phrase “any given Sunday” is used in profession football to infer that any team can beat any other team on a given day regardless of how the match up looks on paper. Baseball is the same way…but they play 162 “Sundays”…and then several “Super Bowl Sunday-esque” games in the playoffs.

Well, Sunday #1 is here for Milwaukee and San Francisco. Perhaps we get underway in just over nine hours, perhaps in about a dozen, or worst-case scenario maybe in about 29. But regardless of the actual time of the first live pitch from Tim Lincecum to Rickie Weeks one thing will always be the same…the feeling that we get from our national past time.

Last year the Brewers swept the Giants in the season series outscoring them over the six games by a combined 49-18. Looks good on paper. Tim Lincecum won the Cy Young Award last year, as previously mentioned, by compiling a record of 18-5 supported by an ERA of 2.62. Looks good on paper. Against the Brewers, in his career Lincecum is 1-2 with an ERA of 5.65. That doesn’t look so good on paper for San Francisco.

Then again…what does paper have to do with any of it anyway?

Pray For Rain

By: Big Rygg

First of all…Happy Birthday to me!

With that out of the way, I can move on to other topics.

Do you know the old expression in baseball “Pray for rain”? For example, when a team has , for instance, two dominant starting pitchers and the others on the staff are terrible or at least sub-par, the expression is used by that team’s fans to indicate that they have supreme faith in their big two and want them to pitch every game. Like the year the Diamondbacks won the World Series, it could have easily been “(Curt) Schilling, (Randy) Johnson…and pray for rain.”

Obviously that can’t happen in baseball because there are far too many games, and everyone knows this, but it’s a fun sentiment either way.

I bring it up, not because I don’t have any faith in Jeff Suppan or Sethid McBush (the name I’ve given our hybrid 5th starter since Ned Yost has decided to try the home/road platoon with Seth McClung and Dave (David) Bush for the time being), but because I believe our opponents will start using it in a very different manner soon, if they haven’t already.

Yes, I believe that our opponents will soon be saying “Suppan, McBush, and pray for rain.” This phrase of course meaning that they’ll hope they face our pitchers that have actually been hittable from time to time and then the third game of the series will be rained out so that they don’t have to face CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets or Manny Parra.

Allow me to discuss a case-in-point…

Brewers 9, Giants 1
The Brewers opened up the second “half” of their season last night in San Francisco, California. The opposition, if you could even call them that last night, were the flu-affected Giants. Their starting second and first basemen were out sick with the same flu-like symptoms that kept Tim Lincecum from pitching in the All-Star Game.

But all that aside, Giants Manager Bruce Bochy still filled out his lineup card with nine big leaguers. One of those was young strikeout artist Matt Cain who toed the rubber for San Francisco. He lived up to his own billing for six innings before running into trouble in the 7th. He allowed two base runners in without recording an out in the frame which his relief then allowed to score. Prior to that, the only run he gave up was when Brewer starting pitcher Sabathia scored after his second hit as a Brewer (a double to right-center).

Speaking of Sabathia, he was amazing again. We all know that the Giants don’t exactly have a good offense, and they’re even worse when Cain is on the hill for some reason, but they looked foolish Friday night. Sabathia pitched a 110-pitch complete game near shutout, cruising through everyone and everything except for a bad pitch to Aaron Rowand to start off the 8th inning. 78 of his pitches were thrown for strikes, which is a strong ratio. Sabathia even helped out with his bat as I had mentioned already. He scored the Brewers first run.

Yes, the Brewers blew it open late once Cain tired and the Giant bullpen faltered, but two runs were all Sabathia needed to win his third game in three starts for Milwaukee.

Today, the Giants face Ben Sheets. Come on Sheets…how about a series win as a nice birthday present for me?

San Francisco? If I were you, I’d start praying.

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