Results tagged ‘ Johnny Hellweg ’
With apologies to Dayton Buller who was assigned #72, we took the day off in the “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” series because while Buller was at Triple-A last year, he’s really not under consideration for the big league roster and not on the 40-man roster.
That being said, we’re back today as we sit 71 days away from Opening Day. Today’s profile subject is the second of the three pieces received when Doug Melvin traded Zack Greinke away last summer. We’ve already profiled Ariel Pena, and now we take a look at…
Let’s get the first thing out of the way right away. John David Hellweg is listed at 6’9″ and 210 pounds. He’s incredibly tall and quite lanky as a result. For the sake of comparison, 2012 Brewers Kameron Loe is 6’8″ and Jose Veras is 6’6″ but they are listed at 245 and 240 pounds respectively.
The height is an asset in some ways, but can be a hindrance in replicating one’s delivery. That can lead to inconsistency in release point as a result of altered mechanics. That being said, Hellweg certainly is not lacking in the ability to replicate his velocity. It’s that big fastball that will be Hellweg’s ticket to the big leagues so long as he can control it.
The ultimate decision with Hellweg though is what role he will fill in his career. He was largely ineffective as a relief pitcher at times and much better in the rotation. This is an unusual split but not unheard of. If I had to guess, in Hellweg’s case short outings allow him to dial up the heat even farther and as he possibly overthrows his mechanics breakdown leading to wildness and resultant ineffectiveness. And when he knows he has to maintain his stamina and go longer in games, he might wind up being more disciplined. Now that’s not based on seeing Hellweg pitch in person but it’s something that has proven true before with other pitchers in the past.
What isn’t a guess is that when Hellweg moved from the bullpen to the rotation, his career took major strides forward.
In his first three seasons in the minor leagues following his selection in the 46th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, Hellweg started only three games total, all in his first season of pro ball. The results weren’t what you would have hoped for a future star. In other words, ERAs just under 4.00 are just fine when you’re starting at the big league level but when you’re relieving or closing in Rookie ball and Low A, you don’t expect much in the way of a big league career.
But a huge fastball keeps you on the stove top even if you occasionally must move to the back burner.
The native of Ann Arbor, Michigan saw his fortunes turn and his stock begin to rise however once he began to start. In 2011, Hellweg’s first 13 appearances were out of the bullpen. Only five of them were scoreless outings and in three of those he allowed no walks, which is probably more telling. He had only four appearances out of the those first 13 in which he allowed no walks. Once the decision was made to move him to the rotation, he flourished.
He made 15 starts the rest of the way in 2011, and as his stamina increased so too did his innings pitched. Only two of his first seven starts reached 5.0 IP but then six of his final eight did. Hellweg had five scoreless starts and nine more with one or two runs allowed. Oh, and Hellweg did make one more relief appearance along the way. He pitched one-third of an inning and allowed six earned runs on five hits and two walks. It was a full commitment to starting after that.
Now then, as for 2012, Hellweg was a starter for the majority of the season as he pitched for both the Arkansas Travelers (Double-A affiliate of the Angels) and the Huntsville Stars. He made 23 starts in 2012 before the Brewers shifted him to the bullpen to limit his innings somewhat. As a starter Hellweg posted a 3.33 ERA over 129.2 IP. He allowed 111 hits and 69 walks against 98 strikeouts. As a relief pitcher, for the record, Hellweg threw 10.0 regular season innings (2.70 ERA) and 13.0 in the AFL (2.77 ERA). A reminder though was that all of his relief appearances came after a full season of starting and honing his skills in that fashion. That certainly could be a factor in his much better relief numbers in 2012.
I do have to mention that I thought it curious that they then sent him to the Arizona Fall League, albeit as a relief pitcher, where he made an additional nine appearances and threw 13.0 additional innings.The talk was that while Hellweg was going to the AFL as a reliever, he was still viewed as a starting pitcher by the Brewers.
But how committed to that idea are they really? I ask because there was talk from Doug Melvin that Hellweg would be considered for a bullpen role in 2013 with the big league club should he perform well in Spring Training. That might simply be a case of dangling the carrot in front of the horse’s nose, but it seems like an odd declaration to me for a player who clearly has performed better as the first man on the bump. Certainly a situation to watch come February the 12th.
Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:
Thirty-two current Milwaukee Brewers players from the 40-man roster plus a host of alumni, Minor League prospects, coaches, front office executives and broadcasters are scheduled to participate in Brewers On Deck, which is set to take place Sunday, January 27 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Delta Center. The event is presented by Time Warner Cable.
Brewers On Deck is the annual Fan Fest that bridges the gap between winter and Spring Training. Players, coaches and alumni scheduled to attend include the following (all subject to change):
- John Axford (@JohnAxford)
- Burke Badenhop
- Jeff Bianchi
- Ryan Braun
- Nick Bucci (@nickbooch)
- Hiram Burgos (@Burgos196)
- Khris Davis
- Marco Estrada
- Mike Fiers (@Fiers64)
- Yovani Gallardo
- Mat Gamel
- Scooter Gennett (@Scooterg11)
- Caleb Gindl
- Carlos Gomez (@C_Gomez27)
- Michael Gonzalez
- Tom Gorzelanny (@TGorz)
- Taylor Green
- Corey Hart
- Johnny Hellweg
- Jim Henderson (@JimHenderson29)
- Brandon Kintzler
- Jonathan Lucroy (@JLucroy20)
- Martin Maldonano (@Machete1224)
- Chris Narveson (@sleep_trick)
- Michael Olmsted
- Wily Peralta
- Josh Prince (@JoshPrince17)
- Mark Rogers
- Logan Schafer (@LoganS22)
- Josh Stinson (@JStinny19)
- Tyler Thornburg (@TylerThornburg)
- Rickie Weeks
- Ron Roenicke
- Joe Crawford
- Marcus Hanel (@Markoos55)
- Garth Iorg
- Rick Kranitz
- Jerry Narron
- Johnny Narron
- Ed Sedar
- John Shelby
- Lee Tunnell
- Clint Coulter (@ccoulter12)
- Kentrail Davis
- Drew Gagnon (@Dgags24)
- Mitch Haniger (@M_Hanny19)
- Taylor Jungmann
- Hunter Morris (@HunterMorris15)
- Jimmy Nelson (@Jimmy_J_Nelson)
- Victor Roache (@_Heavy28Hitter_)
- Matt Erickson (Mgr.)
- Jerry Augustine (@jaugie46)
- Jim Gantner
- Larry Hisle
- Gorman Thomas
- Bob Uecker
Tickets for Brewers On Deck are currently on sale. Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for children ages 14 and under. Tickets may be purchased at the Miller Park ticket office, by calling the Brewers Ticket office at 414-902-4000, or online at Brewers.com/ondeck. On the day of the event, only cash will be accepted for purchases made at the door. Tickets the day of the event are $20 for adults and $15 for children 14 and under.
Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family. Autographs and photos from Brewers players and coaches, interactive games in the Kids Area, Q&A sessions and game shows with coaches, players and staff, vendor booths with baseball memorabilia, the Brewers Community Foundation Treasure Hunt and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.
The same system for autographs will be used for Brewers On Deck that was used last year. Recipients of any “PREMIER” autographs (players to be announced at a later date) will be chosen through a random selection process. Numbered coupons to be entered into the random selection process will be available the day of the event only and will be distributed beginning at 8 a.m. at the Delta Center. Coupon distribution will be available up to an hour before each designated autograph session. A schedule of players, their session times, and distribution info will be posted later this month.
Fans can receive one coupon per event admission ticket and can use that coupon to enter the random selection process for any one of the select Brewers players. There is no cost for coupons to enter the random selection process; however, those holding coupons that are chosen must pay $25 at the respective autograph stage to collect their player signature. There will be 250 winners for each of the PREMIER autograph sessions.
Players and staff not included in the PREMIER autograph list will not use the random selection process. Each of these players will sign 250 autographs at prices ranging from free to $10. The autograph opportunities are for signatures on photo cards provided by the team; the Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia. For additional information regarding the lottery process, visit Brewers.com/ondeck.
All autograph proceeds benefit Brewers Community Foundation. Please note that cash is the only acceptable form of payment for autographs. The Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia, and personalization of items is solely up to the discretion of each player.
Doug Melvin, General Manager of our beloved Milwaukee Brewers, was on the radio this afternoon on AM 1250 WSSP in SE Wisconsin for a few minutes talking about his off-season plans.
Here is a transcript of the interview (which you can listen to by clicking here):
On speculation connecting the Brewers to certain players (i.e. Josh Hamilton, Zack Greinke):
“Well, I don’t think those are the names that were gonna be involved with. I think this is gonna be a year we’ll take a look at the free agent market, but more than likely I don’t anticipate us being actively involved in free agency. We may try to find different ways to improve our ball club. We do like the current club we have. We were 36-23 with the third best record in the National League after August 1st with some of the young pitchers we brought up. We do have most positional guys back so I wouldn’t get too excited about those kinds of names. I think a lot of it is speculation. It often makes sense. This is the time of year when those kind of things happen.”
On having young pitching after years of waiting for some and if he may have to trade some of it away to acquire a proven starter:
“We feel right now there’s probably a better chance we’re going to hold onto our young pitching. We saw Mike Fiers come up last year. He struggled a little bit later (in the year). We saw Mark Rogers and Wily Peralta both come up with the power arms they showed us in the past. We had Tyler Thornburg. We’ve got Hiram Burgos who’s going to be added to the roster, had a very good year. We’ve had Taylor Jungmann who’s probably going to be at Double-A. We’ve got John Hellweg who’s pitched very well in the Fall League and was just picked by the scouting bureau as the best player on that Phoenix ball club. So, we do have some depth with our pitching. Jimmy Nelson we like; we’re very high on him. Nick Bucci (too) so. We’ve got a chance to have, out of 10 starters in Double-A and Triple-A, we have a chance to have 8 to 9 of them they’re gonna be legitimate prospects we think will pitch in the big leagues. The big league pitchers? It’s time to give Wily Peralta, time to give Mark Rogers that opportunity.”
In discussing fan support following a rough first half and the resultant decisions surrounding trading away Zack Greinke:
“Who’s not to say that if we kept Zack Greinke that we might’ve got back in this thing. You have to make some tough decisions sometimes. When a shortstop was included in a deal for Zack, we just had to make the decision at that particular time. … It’s a credit to Ron, the coaches, the players that they didn’t give up and it’s something that we can learn that in baseball you can be six, seven, eight games out and that can be made up in two weeks time. So, it’s a lesson we all can learn that sometimes you gotta be a little bit patient. It is a long season.”
Asked if there is any way Zack Greinke can be back in a Brewers uniform:
“I don’t know. I’m sorry but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. As much as Zack liked it here and enjoyed it here, there’s a couple clubs that are gonna get heavily involved with him. He is no doubt the number one pitcher out there…from the starting pitching standpoint. I think he’s gonna do very well but I would expect that we may get a phone call from his agent but I think in the end it’s going to be difficult for Zack to come back here to Milwaukee under the amount of money he’s probably gonna be offered.”
Asked if he would like to add a veteran starting pitcher and if any free agents intrigue him:
“Yeah, there’s a few names out there. Obviously we’re gonna lose Marcum and we’re gonna lose Greinke so we’ve talked about adding a starting pitcher. We do have to add to our bullpen too. Edwin Jackson’s another name that’s been out there. I don’t know where he’s headed or what his thought process is. We do have an opportunity; we can go with the current guys we have. The tough part with that is that any kind of injury, then you really tap into not having the depth that’s needed over the course of 162 games. Going with the younger guys and Yovani, Marco Estrada, Mike Fiers, Rogers, Wily Peralta, Chris Narveson will be back and be healthy. The part of that is you really cross your fingers that everybody’s going to stay healthy and everybody’s gonna produce. So you would like to have a veteran that you could put out there in the rotation that could eat up a couple hundred innings, but you also want quality innings. In the past, we’ve had the Jeff Suppan, Randy Wolf. They both came in here when we didn’t have the younger pitching and they gave us innings and that but obviously you’d like to get the quality. Pitching takes a long time to develop.”
On Manny Parra and fans growing impatient:
“He’s on the roster now and we’ll wait and see. I can’t indicate at this time, but…there comes a time when changes of scenery do help players and that happens sometimes. That’s what we’ve talked about before and if you look at Manny’s numbers and break them down, the numbers are there. You’d like to see more consistent performance, so you know, there’s a possibility. Manny right now’s on our roster at this time and we’ll wait and see.”
On arbitration, bullpen changes:
“I think you’ll probably see three to four new faces out there. I think John Axford, Jim Henderson, I think Brandon Kintzler pitched well enough that he can step in and perform in one of those roles. We would like to maybe try to get a left-hander but we also want a left-hander of quality if we can otherwise we’ll just stay right-handed. But I can see where you could turn three or four names over in that bullpen. Also with the starting pitchers there’s going to be one of those guys that will lose out (on a rotation spot) and will probably go to the bullpen and be a long guy.”
On Axford sticking as closer in 2013:
“I’d like to think that John can. As I said in the press conference at the end of the year, he had two months where he had more than one blown Save. He does strike out people. His strike out rate is still one of the best in the game. His walk rate was too high this year and he needs to get that back down. I do like having a closer and a guy in the bullpen that’s gonna strike people out. I think that’s important. That’s why I like a closer that’s gonna get strikeouts so I lean a little bit towards (Axford) but they also have to reduce the walks. We’re confident, in John, the stuff is still there but gonna have to improve on his command and control.”
On how he feels about the hitters:
“We look at it and we feel pretty good about the ball club we put out positional-wise. Offensively, it’s a pretty good ball club. It fits both what Doug Melvin looks for and what Ron Roenicke looks for. I’m a home run and doubles guy and Ron likes the aggressive style. We fulfilled both those (philosophies) leading the leagues in home runs and also stolen bases we were first or second. We were very aggressive on the bases scoring runs, second in the league in sacrifice bunts. We scored runs in a lot of different ways. I do believe with our ballpark we’re always gonna be a team that’s gonna rely on the home runs just because of the facility we play in and that. But I’m pleased with the positional aspect of our game. I think I’m more than pleased in the fact that Maldonado coming on the scene we’re very set at catching. Having a young shortstop in Jean Segura, being young up the middle with catching, shortstop, Rickie bounced back, and then Carlos Gomez in center field. Carlos is a five-plus guy so we’ve gotta determine is Carlos is here over the long haul or is he here for (only) one more year.”
On Alex Gonzalez possibly returning:
“We’ve gotta make that decision yet. Alex is a free agent so he could test the market too. When it comes down to asking players, when you’re a free agent, he’s gonna want to know his playing time. How much time is he gonna play or do we view him as an extra guy and are we going with Segura. We have to answer that question. Jean is playing winter ball right now and is hitting almost .400 and he hit very well the month of September for us. We’re pretty high on (Segura) at this point. We can go with Jean Segura. We just want to make sure that is the right thing to do. Alex would love to return to us but it’s probably going to be about playing time. ‘Are we the right fit for him?’ And if you do bring Alex back, what impact does that have on Jean Segura? We haven’t made that final call yet. Right now we’re probably leaning toward Segura and just letting Jean do the job because we do think the resources are going to be needed for pitching.”
On Josh Hamilton again:
“No. There’s nothing going on. If he wants to sign that “Andre Dawson” contract…that $500 thousand contract that Andre Dawson did for the Cubs. I think it’s about time a player did that so I’m waiting for that one.”
On any off-season proclamation like he did in 2010 before acquiring Greinke and Marcum by stating he was going to go get some pitching:
“I don’t have any right now. I gotta go check the piggy bank.”
Alright, Brewer Nation. What do you think of what the GM had to say today?
Which Brewers Prospects Will Play for the Phoenix Desert Dogs? (Arizona Fall League Rosters Announced)
The initial rosters have been announced for the 2012 Arizona Fall League. Prospects from all over baseball are assigned to affiliates to compete as teams for the league championship but also to continue their development. Sometimes players that missed chunks of the regular season are sent so that they get more baseball played, other times top prospects are sent simply to continue their grooming and advancement.
In recent past, the Brewers prospects sent there played for the Peoria Javelinas. Things have been mixed up this year however and this year’s group of Milwaukee Brewers prospects will instead be suiting up for the Phoenix Desert Dogs this fall along with prospects from the systems of the Atlanta Braves, Oakland Athletics, Miami Marlins, and Tampa Bay Rays.
Here is a list of the players assigned from the various Brewer minor-league affiliates:
- Nick Bucci – RHP – Twitter: @nickbooch - (Highest Minor League level played at in 2012: Class A-Advanced)
- Kyle Heckathorn – RHP – Twitter: @KyleHeckathorn - (Double-A)
- Johnny Hellweg – RHP – (Double-A)
- Santo Manzanillo – RHP – Twitter: @Santo_37 (Double-A)
- Jimmy Nelson – RHP – Twitter: @Jimmy_J_Nelson – (Double-A)
Despite starting this year, Heckathorn and Hellweg will pitch in relief for the Desert Dogs. Hellweg is still viewed as a starring pitching prospect by the organization, however Heckathorn will pitch in relief going forward.
- Hunter Morris – 1B/3B – Twitter: @HunterMorris15 – (Double-A)
- Josh Prince – SS – Twitter: @JoshPrince17 – (Double-A)
- Khris Davis – (Triple-A)
- Brock Kjeldgaard – (Double-A)
***Note: Manzanillo and Kjeldgaard are on the team’s “taxi squad” which limits their availability throughout the short season.***
Over the course of the AFL season, I’ll profile each player for you. That will include looking at their 2012 regular season of affiliated ball as well as scouting reports, etc.
The Milwaukee Brewers today acquired infielder Jean Segura and right-handed pitchers Johnny Hellweg and Ariel Pena
from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for right-handed pitcher Zack Greinke. All three players will be added to the 40-man roster
and assigned to Double-A Huntsville. To make room on the 40-man roster for these additions, the team designated infielder Edwin Maysonet and
outfielder Brock Kjeldgaard for assignment. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Melvin.
“We greatly appreciate Zack’s contibutions to the Brewers,” said Melvin. He will be greatly missed on the field and in the clubhouse. We
wish him nothing but the very best. We are also very excited about acquiring three good young players who are already on the 40-man roster. We
look forward to them joining organization and their future contributions to the Brewers.”
Segura, 22, entered the season as the Angels’ second-best prospect according to Baseball America. He began the 2012 season at
Double-A Arkansas, where he batted .294 with 7 HR, 40 RBI and 33 stolen bases in 94 games before earning a promotion to the Angels earlier this
week. Segura, who particpated in the All-Star Futures Game in Kansas City and was a Texas League All-Star, made his Major League debut on
Tuesday vs. Kansas City, starting at shortstop. His first name is pronounced JEAN (like blue “jean”).
Hellweg, 23, entered the season as the Angels’ fourth-best prospect according to Baseball America. He went 5-10 with a 3.38 ERA in 21
starts with Arkansas this season.
Pena, 23, entered the season as the Angels’ ninth-best prospect according to Baseball America. He went 6-6 with a 2.99 ERA in 19 starts at
Arkansas this season. He also participated in the All-Star Futures Game. Pena held Texas League opponents to a .222 batting average this season
and recorded 111 strikeouts in 114.1 innings.
Sometimes, it’s just fine when things go the other way.
According to multiple reports (but first reported by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosental and Jon Morosi), the Milwaukee Brewers have traded starting pitcher Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for a package of prospects centering around young shortstop Jean Segura. The deal also includes a pair of Double-A level pitchers coming to the Brewers organization.
Segura is a fine centerpiece for a deal for Greinke and it’ll be interesting to see exactly who else is coming along for the ride. Jean Carlos Enrique Segura is a 22-year-old shortstop from San Juan, Dominican Republic. He bats right-handed and stands 5’10″, weighing 165 pounds.
Segura is highly-touted, played in the MLB Futures Game during All-Star Weekend this year and made his Major League debut just four days ago on July 24th.
To begin his career in the Brewers’ system, he (and the two pitchers) have been assigned to the Double-A affiliate Huntsville Stars.
His career minor league slash line over parts of six seasons is .310/.364/.438 along with 26 HR and 135 SB. He is still maturing physically and has been said to have 20 HR potential down the line.
The final report from Texas’ beat writer TR Sullivan is that the Brewers asked for 3B prospect Mike Olt as the centerpiece of a deal but Texas balked at the idea.
Likely what happened was that the larger idea became too complicated with Milwaukee definitely not wanting to move Corey Hart at this time and the Rangers becoming unsure of Profar’s readiness. So, the talks pared down into a smaller framework but the two sides still couldn’t match up in the end.
We’re still waiting word on the identities of the pitchers coming to Milwaukee, and this space will be updated with their information when we learn it.
For now though, thanks to Zack Greinke for the memories of a spectacular 2011 and always being able to count on his performance at Miller Park.
UPDATE (7:23 pm): The minor league pitchers included in the deal to Milwaukee are Ariel Pena and Johnny Hellweg.
Gathering information on them now and will update again in a short bit.
UPDATE (7:32 pm): While gathering info on the pitchers, the news broke on Twitter that the necessary 40-man roster moves to accommodate these acquisitions are that OF Brock Kjeldgaard and SS Edwin Maysonet have been Designated For Assignment.