Results tagged ‘ Ryan Braun ’

What’s In a Name?

“Hey, what about Braun?”

If you’re a fan of movies, music, or even sports talk radio, chances are you like someone whose given name you don’t know. People use names publicly that aren’t on their tax forms, in part to maintain a shred of privacy (however fleeting) but also because a name chosen can be just plain cooler for the industry they’re in.

Some stage names are chosen simply. (Tom Cruise? Cruise is his middle name. His legal last name is Mapother.)

Some have little if anything to do with their real name. (Jay-Z is Shawn Carter, for instance.)

For those of you in the Milwaukee market as I am, well let’s just say that Michaels is as much Bill’s last name as it is Shawn’s.

Ah yes. Shawn Michaels — given name Michael Shawn Hickenbottom — is a retired professional wrestler who flipped his first and middle name (and added an s) to get something a bit better. Also there happened to be a pretty famous Michael already and individuality in that game is important as well.

Professional wrestling, or rather “sports entertainment” if you prefer, has a long history of athletes using fake names. Back in the 1960s though it was important that fans not be able to find your home when you were a loathed “bad guy” who would receive death threats and have everything from insults to beer cans hurled at you.

“Adam…isn’t this the Brewer Nation blog? Why are you talking about this?”

If that’s running through your head, let me cut to the chase.

Friday night at Miller Park the Brewers took on the Pittsburgh Pirates. They lost but that’s beside this point. During the game a celebrity guest was in the house. He was visiting family in Wisconsin for a couple of days and decided to catch a game at Miller Park. As a Brewers fan, it just made sense.

But there was another reason for his visit, and that was to meet his namesake. The WWE Superstar’s name is Adam Scherr, but you’ve probably never heard that name before. It’s his stage name that you’ll know if you’ve watched any WWE programming over the last few months. That stage name comes, in part, courtesy of a certain former NL MVP.

Seriously. As the man tells it, it was late in the day where a hard deadline existed. They had to pick a stage name by the end of that day. No exceptions. All the options they were given to discuss fell flat. Nothing had the right hook to it. As he and those helping him decide were sitting around, they had SportsCenter on in the background. Baseball highlights were happening and Ryan Braun was on the TV.

“Hey, what about Braun?”

That simple question, along with a slight modification to the character’s last name, is how WWE Superstar Braun Strowman came to be.

If you don’t know Strowman, he’s significantly larger than Ryan. Listed at 6’8″ and 385 pounds, Braun Strowman is a real monster in the ring as a member of the Wyatt Family.

“I’ll take the over, ” said Ryan Braun when asked about his meeting with his namesake. “That’s one of the largest human beings I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Strowman’s physical stature matches that of Braun’s play on the field. Both are doing big things at age 32 (Strowman is Ryan’s senior by about two months) and while Ryan is long established as elite in his sport at this age, Strowman is still an up and comer in his.

So, “What’s in a name?” A tie that binds perhaps as Ryan thought it was very cool that Strowman found inspiration in him.

After all, it’s not a bad thing to have a guy like Braun Strowman in your corner. I mean, just look at him.

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Braun Strowman meets his namesake Ryan Braun after a game at Miller Park on August 26, 2016. – Credit: Mike Vassallo

More Thoughts on the Aftermath of Hill Shipping Up to Boston

First, here’s how the official press release announcing the trade of Aaron Hill was written, in case you haven’t seen it.

OFFICIAL RELEASE

The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired right-handed pitcher Aaron Wilkerson and second baseman Wendell Rijo from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for infielder Aaron Hill and cash. The announcement was made by General Manager David Stearns.

“In Aaron Wilkerson, we are adding a starting pitcher who has had tremendous success in the minor leagues and could be an asset to the Major League team in the near future,” said Stearns. “Wendell Rijo adds even more young talent and strength up the middle to our organization.”

Wilkerson, 27, had been pitching this season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he was 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA in 9 games (8 starts). He was holding International League opponents to a .223 batting average (41-for-184, 5hr) with 54 strikeouts in just 48.0 innings pitched. He also pitched at Double-A Portland this season, going 2-1 with a 1.83 ERA in 8 starts. While at Portland, he held Eastern League opponents to a .175 batting average (28-for-160, 2hr) with 48 strikeouts in just 44.1 innings pitched.

Wilkerson, who was signed by Boston as a non-drafted free agent on July 18, 2014, owns an impressive career minor-league record of 22-7 with a 2.52 ERA in 54 games (44 starts). He has produced 293 strikeouts in just 279.0 innings pitched.

Prior to joining the Red Sox organization, the product of Cumberland University (TN), pitched the 2013 season for three independent league teams: Fort Worth – United League Baseball; Florence – Frontier League and Grand Prairie – American Association.

Rijo, 20, began the 2016 season at Double-A Portland, where he appeared in 51 games. He was transferred to Class-A Salem in late June and appeared in 11 games there prior to today’s trade.

Born in La Romana in the Dominican Republic, Rijo was signed by Boston as an international free agent on July 6, 2012. He owns a career batting average of .250 with 16 HR, 129 RBI and 50 stolen bases in 333 minor-league games (2012-2016). Following last season, he was ranked as the 15th-best prospect in the Red Sox organization and 19th-best prospect in the Carolina League by Baseball America.

Hill, 34, was acquired by Milwaukee last January 30 from Arizona, along with right-handed pitcher Chase Anderson, shortstop Isan Diaz and cash, in exchange for shortstop Jean Segura and right-handed pitcher Tyler Wagner. He batted .283 (72-for-254) with 8 HR and 29 RBI in 78 games with the Brewers, making 71 starts (55g at 3B, 16g at 2B).

“Along with his statistical contributions, we thank Aaron for his veteran leadership and versatility during his time as a Brewer,” said Stearns.

For my thoughts on the trade both from the viewpoint of the Red Sox as well as the Brewers, check out my article over at Today’s Knuckleball by clicking here.

What I didn’t say there because it really didn’t fit is how this move is just the first salvo in what should be an incredibly busy month for David Stearns and company.

They have a plethora of movable assets and of those many that teams should desire to varying degrees. He even has assets that he’ll get calls on but shouldn’t move as they have a chance to be key parts of the future contender.

Here’s a quick list (alphabetical by last name) with a blurb as to why each could be moved. Oh, and let me say here that I’m not including Braun because I don’t believe he’ll be moved and I don’t feel like writing up a section about why Stearns would move him.

  • Blaine Boyer
    • Why you would move him: Really playing well (outside of San Francisco) and has shown the ability handle higher-leverage innings. Wasn’t expected to give you much when signing as a non-roster invitee to Spring Training so anything you could get in trade is a bonus from that aspect. All relief pitchers, middle relievers chief among them, are volatile meaning capitalizing on their value when you can should be considered. Plus, Boyer turns 35 next week so you can’t count on him as a part of the future here in Milwaukee.
    • Why you wouldn’t: I guess you wouldn’t if no one asked you to. Really, in Boyer’s case where he was a flier on a team looking for roleplayer bullpen arms Boyer has positioned himself to potentially be of value to a contender who isn’t getting enough mileage out of their current group (like the Cubs, for instance). There are a bunch of teams who could use an arm like Boyer’s.
  • Chris Carter
    • Why you would move him: Having a good bounce-back year as he desired when signing here, has shown he can play everyday defense at 1B. Would be more expensive next year (though under team control for a time yet) and could cool off limiting trade value in the off-season or next year.
    • Why you wouldn’t: He’s still quite inexpensive for the level of production he’s giving even with the 2nd year of arbitration eligibility looming (using this year’s one-year price as the starting point should temper the bottom line) and while there are some intriguing first basemen in the system, no one is exactly busting down the door to take the job in 2017. Carter could be move next July the same as this July plus most contenders who would covet the kind of power Carter would add to a lineup have solutions at first base already so the return might not enough during the year when the trade partner pool is limited.
  • Matt Garza
    • Why you would move him: He hasn’t performed particularly well over the last year and a half when healthy enough to pitch. He still has talent though and a change of scenery and pitching philosophy (despite there being a new pitching coach with Milwaukee this year) could benefit him. Garza is a competitor in the truest sense of the word and might subconsciously lock in if pitching in games that mean more. The main reason though is that despite his veteran leadership, the Brewers have been amassing a handful of knocking-on-the-door starting pitchers would need to be given big league chances (in some cases second chances) before 2018. Moving Garza frees up a spot for that to happen. The pool of available starting pitching isn’t exactly a robust one this year either so that could lead someone to giving Garza a shot like James Shields to the White Sox.
    • Why you wouldn’t: If Stearns couldn’t get what he considers to be fair value, then you can give Garza more time this season to prove what he still has left in the tank. He’s a guy who is tradeable come August so you don’t have to force the issue this month.
  • Junior Guerra
    • Why you would: He’s come out of seemingly nowhere to be the most consistently good starting pitcher the Brewers have run out there this season and, again in a down market for starting pitching, that could translate to serious value if someone is willing to strike while the iron is hot.
    • Why you wouldn’t: If the Brewers think he’s really for real then three years of league minimum-ish salaries and up to six years of team control mean you could conceivably control all of Guerra’s remaining effectiveness. Even if he’s never more than a mid-rotation guy, this season is proof positive that even that role can be a challenging one to fill.
  • Jonathan Lucroy
    • Why you would: He’s cheap, plays a premium position at a very high level, and could fetch the club a drool-worthy return in prospects.
    • Why not: He’s cheap, plays a premium position at a very high level, and you could still trade him in the off-season if you aren’t going to extend him.
  • Kirk Nieuwenhuis
    • Why you would: He’s not exactly a long-term solution, especially when you have guys like Maverick Phillips on the way. He’s arbitration-eligible for the first time this coming off-season.
    • Why not: He knows how to succeed at the big league level, especially defensively, and his role in mentoring a guy like Phillips (and to a lesser degree guys like Ramon Flores and Domingo Santana) is a valuable job. Plus he’s still under team control for three seasons if you want him
  • Carlos Torres
    • Why you would: See many of the reasons listed for Boyer. Torres is a quality enough arm to be valuable, quality enough to have played for the NL Champion Mets last year.
    • Why not: Again, no real reason not to if you can get something of value. Let Torres play for a contender if there’s one who wants him and get something back that can help the future.

For another group of players, the write-ups would look extremely similar. You would trade them because they have value and performing well right now but you wouldn’t because they’re young enough with some ceiling still to reach (to varying degrees), and controllable/cost-effective that they could still be a part of the next contending roster. This group includes: Jacob Barnes, Michael Blazek, Jeremy Jeffress, Jimmy Nelson, Will Smith, Tyler Thornburg, and Jonathan Villar. That said, the return on packages containing those players or even straight-up on some of them would be intriguing.

I know I’ve only been going through names on the 25-man roster right now, but let me make one other point.

Anybody can be had for the right price and that’s what makes Stearns a good General Manager. He’s willing to listen — even on someone he 99% would never move. Look, I want Orlando Arcia to be the shortstop here in Milwaukee for the next decade-plus. That said, if the Angels were to extend Mike Trout for the next decade and offer him to Milwaukee straight up for Arcia (while paying 90% of Trout’s contract themselves), you shouldn’t and wouldn’t say no.

That example is wildly inequitable but I use it to illustrate that yes, even Orlando Arcia is tradeable under the right circumstances.

All this said, I expect a handful of players to probably be wearing other uniforms by August 1st. I also expect that anyone who leaves will do so to the betterment of the long-term goal which is to bring sustainable success to the home clubhouse at Miller Park.

Brewers 30 Clubs/30 Days Video Clips

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These are the archived videos aired on MLB Network on March 4th as Greg Amsinger and Milwaukee’s all-time Saves leader Dan Plesac visited Brewers’ camp at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix, Arizona as a part of the Network’s “30 Clubs in 30 Days” series previewing the 2016 season.

GM David Stearns sits down with Amsinger & Plesac

Ryan Braun talks about his bounce back 2015 and looking ahead to 2016

Jimmy Nelson with Dan Plesac

Domingo Santana talks about his fresh start

Will Smith on the bullpen

Ryan Braun demos base running/stealing with Plesac

Chris Carter talks to Greg Amsinger

Lucroy talks 2016 with Amsinger

Matt Garza talks youth and rotation with Plesac

Counsell with Plesac

Brewers Prospects with Jonathan Mayo

Brewers Fan Vote

Brewers Predictions

Brewers On Deck Attendees Announced

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List is subject to change but here’s the original list as released by the Brewers.

Players:

  • Orlando Arcia (canceled 1/30 due to illness)
  • Jacob Barnes
  • Yhonathan Barrios
  • Michael Blazek
  • Ryan Braun
  • Keon Broxton
  • Chris Carter
  • Garin Cecchini
  • Trent Clark
  • Clint Coulter
  • Tyler Cravy (canceled 1/30 due to illness)
  • Zach Davies
  • Ramon Flores
  • Matt Garza (added 1/20)
  • Scooter Gennett (removed 1/26 due a conflict)
  • David Goforth
  • Junior Guerra
  • Josh Hader
  • Adrian Houser
  • Jeremy Jeffress
  • Taylor Jungmann
  • Corey Knebel
  • Jorge Lopez
  • Damien Magnifico (canceled on 1/29 due to illness)
  • Martin Maldonado
  • Jimmy Nelson
  • Shane Peterson
  • Brett Phillips
  • Michael Reed
  • Domingo Santana
  • Will Smith
  • Tyler Thornburg
  • Jonathan Villar (added 1/20)
  • Tyler Wagner (traded to ARI 1/30)
  • Colin Walsh

Coaches/Manager

  • Craig Counsell
  • Darnell Coles
  • Joe Crawford
  • Derek Johnson
  • Marcus Hanel
  • Jason Lane
  • Pat Murphy
  • Ed Sedar
  • Carlos Subero
  • Lee Tunnell
  • Matt Erickson (Timber Rattlers manager)

Alumni

  • Don August
  • Jerry Augustine
  • Jeff Cirillo (added 1/21)
  • Rollie Fingers
  • Jim Gantner
  • Larry Hisle
  • Davey Nelson
  • Ken Sanders (added 1/20)
  • Gorman Thomas
  • Greg Vaughn
  • Paul Wagner (added 1/20)
  • Robin Yount (canceled 1/22 due to personal conflict)

*UPDATE*

Here is some additional information from the official release about Brewers On Deck:

Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for children 14 and under.  Tickets on the day of the event are $20 for adults and $15 for children 14 and under.  On the day event, cash is the only accepted form of payment for admittance. A portion of the proceeds from Brewers On Deck will benefit Brewers Community Foundation. 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 through Friday, January 29.

Once again, food donations will be accepted through Hunger Task Force.  Donations can be dropped off at two main entrances to the Wisconsin Center, located at 4th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, and 4th Street and Wells Street.

Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family.  Autographs and photos from Brewers players, coaches and alumni; interactive games in the Kids Area; Q&A sessions and Klement’s Main Stage game shows with Brewers players, coaches and broadcasters; vendor booths with baseball memorabilia; Brewers Community Foundation’s Treasure Hunt, a 50/50 raffle, live auction and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.

During the event, the Brewers will unveil a new book – Explore MKE: Your Neighborhood Our City. The Book is published by SHARP Literacy, Inc. and is sponsored by Brewers Community Foundation and Ryan Braun.  It tells the story of two children who share their differing experiences of Milwaukee and are attempting to figure out how they fit in.  It also features informational sections that weave together iconic Milwaukee institutions and neighborhood-based landmarks with important themes in common.

SHARP Literacy, Inc. is a non-profit organization that enhances future life success by energizing urban children and motivating them to identify themselves as confident, capable scholars and lifelong learners by inspiring engagement in reading, writing and research through hands on interaction and visual arts.

Details regarding autographs include the following:  Recipients of “PREMIER” autographs (players to be announced at a later date) will be chosen through a random selection process. Each fan in attendance will receive one Premier Entry sheet which may be redeemed at the Random Selection area outside the Main Exhibit Hall of the Wisconsin Center.  The Premier Entry sheet will be exchanged for a numbered coupon to be entered into the random selection process for any one of the select Brewers players.  Coupon distribution will be available at 8 a.m. the day of the event and will continue up to an hour before each designated autograph session.   There is no cost for coupons to enter the random selection process; however, those holding winning coupons must pay $25 at the respective autograph stage to collect their player signature.  There will be 250 winners for each of the autograph sessions.  The winning ticket numbers will be posted at the designated autograph stage no less than 30 minutes prior to each player’s session.

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. A schedule of players, their session times, and distribution info will be posted later.  The autograph opportunities are for signatures on photo cards provided by the team.  For additional information, visit Brewers.com/ondeck.

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.

MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Now” Rankings Entering 2016

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

Beginning in 2014, 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 continued that last year with the 2015 rankings.

I’ll add to this post as the episodes air on MLB Network over the next few weeks.

On Thursday, January 14, 2016, the rankings for both Centerfielders and Shortstops were revealed. With January 21st came First Basemen and Starting Pitchers. On January 28th we’ll get Third Basemen and Left Fielders. February 4th and February 11th will reveal the remaining positions of Second Baseman, Right Fielders, Catchers, and Relief Pitchers.


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Centerfielders Right Now”

  1. Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  2. A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks
  3. Lorenzo Cain – Kansas City Royals
  4. Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
  5. Jason Heyward – Chicago Cubs
  6. Adam Eaton – Chicago White Sox
  7. Kevin Kiermaier – Tampa Bay Rays
  8. Randal Grichuk – St. Louis Cardinals
  9. Carlos Gomez – Houston Astros
  10. Adam Jones – 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 also provides at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Centerfielders is Eric Byrnes. On the CF show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of two of the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Trout, McCutchen, Cain, Pollock, Jones, Heyward, Gomez, Joc Pederson (LAD), Kiermaier, Eaton

Byrnes: Trout, McCutchen, Pollock, Cain, Jones, Jackie Bradley, Jr. (BOS), Heyward, Kiermaier, Kevin Pillar (TOR), Eaton

James: Trout, McCutchen, Pollock, Jones, Heyward, Cain, Kiermaier, Eaton, Charlie Blackmon (COL), Gomez

Gennaro: Trout, McCutchen, Pollock, Cain, Eaton, Heyward, Bradley Jr., Kiermaier, Jones, Grichuk


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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Shortstops Right Now”

  1. Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians
  2. Troy Tulowitzki – Toronto Blue Jays
  3. Carlos Correa – Houston Astros
  4. Brandon Crawford – San Francisco Giants
  5. Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals
  6. Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox
  7. Addison Russell – Chicago Cubs
  8. Marcus Semien – Oakland Athletics
  9. Andrelton Simmons – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  10. Didi Gregorius – 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 at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Shortstops is Bill Ripken. On the SS show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Correa, Crawford, Tulowitzki, Bogaerts, Simmons, Peralta, Corey Seager (LAD), Lindor, Erick Aybar (ATL), Gregorius

Ripken: Crawford,  Correa, Tulowitzki, Lindor, Russell, Bogaerts, Ian Desmond (free agent), Seager, Peralta, Simmons

James: Correa, Bogaerts, Tulowitzki, Lindor, Simmons, Andrus, Desmond, Crawford, Cabrera, Jose Reyes (COL)

Gennaro: Correa, Lindor, Crawford, Bogaerts, Simmons, Tulowitzki, Seager, Adienny Hechavarria (MIA), Russell, Peralta

Petriello: Correa, Crawford, Bogaerts, Lindor, Tulowitzki, Simmons, Seager, Russell, Peralta, Gregorius


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

  1. Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
  2. Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
  3. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
  4. Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
  5. Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays
  6. Jose Abreu – Chicago White Sox
  7. Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
  8. Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
  9. Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles
  10. Brandon Belt – 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 also provides at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the First Basemen is Carlos Peña. On the 1B show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Goldschmidt, Votto, Cabrera, Rizzo, Abreu, Encarnacion, Freeman, Gonzalez, Davis, Belt

Peña: Goldschmidt, Cabrera, Abreu, Rizzo, Encarnacion, Votto, Eric Hosmer (KC), Gonzalez, Davis, Albert Pujols (LAA)

James: Goldschmidt, Cabrera, Rizzo, Votto, Encarnacion, Davis, Freeman, Hosmer, Gonzalez, Abreu

Gennaro: Goldschmidt, Votto, Rizzo, Cabrera, Encarnacion, Davis, Freeman, Hosmer, Belt, Abreu

Petriello: Goldschmidt, Rizzo, Votto, Cabrera, Encarnacion, Davis, Abreu, Freeman, Gonzalez, Hosmer


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

  1. Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Jake Arrieta – Chicago Cubs
  3. Zack Greinke – Arizona Diamondbacks
  4. David Price – Boston Red Sox
  5. Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
  6. Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals
  7. Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians
  8. Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros
  9. Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
  10. Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals
**Note: Jose Fernandez does not have enough innings pitched over the last two seasons to qualify for the Shredder’s list.

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 at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Starting Pitchers is John Smoltz. On the SP show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Kershaw, Arrieta, Greinke, Sale, Scherzer, Keuchel, Jose Fernandez (MIA), Jacob deGrom (NYM), Wainwright, Matt Harvey (NYM)

Smoltz: Kershaw, Arrieta, Scherzer, Keuchel, Greinke, Price, Madison Bumgarner (SF), deGrom, Sale, Harvey

James: Kershaw, Greinke, Scherzer, Arrieta, Bumgarner, Price, Sale, Kluber, Jon Lester (CHC), Cole Hamels (TEX)

Gennaro: Kershaw, Greinke, Arrieta, Sale, Bumgarner, Fernandez, Gerrit Cole (PIT), Keuchel, Carlos Carrasco (CLE), Scherzer

Petriello: Kershaw, Greinke, Arrieta, Sale, Keuchel, Scherzer, deGrom, Price, Cole, Fernandez


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

  1. Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays
  2. Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs
  3. Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
  4. Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles
  5. Justin Turner – Los Angeles Dodgers
  6. Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies
  7. Jung Ho Kang – Pittsburgh Pirates
  8. Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals
  9. Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners
  10. Todd Frazier – Chicago White Sox

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 also provide at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Third Basemen is Mike Lowell. On the 3B show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Donaldson, Bryant, Machado, Beltre, Arenado, Carpenter, Seager, Matt Duffy (SF), David Wright (NYM), Frazier

Lowell: Donaldson, Arenado, Machado, Bryant, Carpenter, Frazier, Beltre, Seager, Mike Moustakas (KC), Evan Longoria (TB)

Vince Gennaro (President of SABR): Donaldson, Arenado, Machado, Bryant, Carpenter, Frazier, Beltre, Duffy, Moustakas, Kang

Bill James: Donaldson, Arenado, Machado, Bryant, Carpenter, Seager, Longoria, Beltre, Frazier, Duffy

Mike Petriello: Donaldson, Machado, Arenado, Bryant, Carpenter, Beltre, Seager, Moustakas, Duffy, Longoria

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

  1. Michael Brantley – Cleveland Indians
  2. Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates
  3. Justin Upton – Detroit Tigers
  4. Yoenis Cespedes – New York Mets
  5. Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals
  6. David Peralta – Arizona Diamondbacks
  7. Christian Yelich – Miami Marlins
  8. Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
  9. Corey Dickerson – Tampa Bay Rays (traded from COL 1/28)
  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 at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Left Fielders is Cliff Floyd. On the LF show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Marte, Gordon, Upton, Cespedes, Brantley, Holliday, Gardner, Peralta, Kyle Schwarber (CHC), Yelich

Floyd: Cespedes, Upton, Brantley, Marte, Gordon, Peralta, Schwarber, Khris Davis (MIL), Yelich, Gardner

James: Upton, Brantley, Cespedes, Marte, Peralta, Melky Cabrera (CHW), Gardner, Yelich, Gordon, Colby Rasmus (HOU)

Gennaro: Brantley, Gordon, Cespedes, Holliday, Peralta, Upton, Schwarber, Yelich, Marte, Gardner

Petriello: Cespedes, Gordon, Marte, Upton, Michael Conforto (NYM), Schwarber, Yelich, Brantley, Holliday, Peralta

Also, for what it’s worth, Brian Kenny said that Khris Davis “just, just missed” his Top 10.



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

  1. Wade Davis – Kansas City Royals
  2. Dellin Betances – New York Yankees
  3. Aroldis Chapman – New York Yankees
  4. Andrew Miller – New York Yankees
  5. Zach Britton – Baltimore Orioles
  6. Mark Melancon – Pittsburgh Pirates
  7. Ken Giles – Houston Astros
  8. Tony Watson – Pittsburgh Pirates
  9. Darren O’Day – Baltimore Orioles
  10. Craig Kimbrel – Boston Red Sox

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 two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Relief Pitchers is Dan Plesac. On the RP show, they also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Davis, Betances, Chapman, Giles, Miller, Kimbrel, Melancon, Britton, Watson, O’Day

Plesac: Davis, Chapman, Betances, Miller, Jeurys Familia (NYM), Britton, Kimbrel, Melancon, Kenley Jansen (LAD), Trevor Rosenthal (STL)

James: Davis, Kimbrel, Chapman, Rosenthal, Melancon, Betances, Giles, Miller, Familia, Allen

Gennaro: Britton, Jansen, Miller, Chapman, Allen, Betances, O’Day, Giles, Davis, Familia

Petriello: Chapman, Davis, Jansen, Kimbrel, Britton, Miller, Betances, Allen, Familia, Melancon


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

  1. Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
  2. Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners
  3. Joe Panik – San Francisco Giants
  4. Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
  5. Josh Harrison – Pittsburgh Pirates
  6. Ben Zobrist – Chicago Cubs
  7. Neil Walker – New York Mets
  8. Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
  9. Dee Gordon – Miami Marlins
  10. Logan Forsythe – Tampa Bay Rays

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 also provide at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Second Basemen is Harold Reynolds. They also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Cano, Altuve, Zobrist, Jason Kipnis (CLE), Kinsler, Walker, Gordon, Pedroia, Brian Dozier (MIN), Howie Kendrick (LAD)

Reynolds: Cano, Altuve, Kinsler, Pedroia, Brandon Phillips (CIN), Gordon, Dozier, Zobrist,  Rougned Odor (TEX), Walker

James: Altuve, Cano, Pedroia, Kinsler, Forsythe, Dozier, Gordon, Kipnis, Walker, Zobrist

Gennaro: Kipnis, Altuve, Panik, Kinsler, Gordon, Pedroia, Zobrist, D.J. LeMahieu (COL), Cano, Kolten Wong (STL)

Petriello: Altuve, Cano, Kipnis, Gordon, Zobrist, Kinsler, Pedroia, Panik, Walker, Odor



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MLB Network’s “Top 10 Catchers Right Now”

  1. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
  2. Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays
  3. JONATHAN LUCROY – MILWAUKEE BREWERS

  4. Francisco Cervelli – Pittsburgh Pirates
  5. Stephen Vogt – Oakland A’s
  6. Brian McCann – New York Yankees
  7. Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
  8. Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
  9. Derek Norris – San Diego Padres
  10. Travis d’Arnaud – New York Mets

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 also provide at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Catchers is Dave Valle. They also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

Kenny: Posey, Martin, LUCROY, Perez, Molina, Vogt, d’Arnaud, McCann, Cervelli, Yasmani Grandal (LAD)

Valle: Posey, Molina, Perez, Martin, LUCROY, Grandal, McCann, d’Arnaud, Jason Castro (HOU), Vogt

James: Posey, Perez, McCann, Martin, Molina, LUCROY, Miguel Montero (CHC), Norris, Vogt, Cervelli

Gennaro: Posey, Molina, Martin, Grandal, LUCROY, d’Arnaud, Cervelli, Montero, Vogt, Perez

Petriello: Posey, Martin, Grandal, Cervelli, McCann, Perez, Yan Gomes (CLE), Molina, LUCROY, d’Arnaud


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

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 also provide at least two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Right Fielders is Eric Byrnes. They also revealed the Top 10 lists of all the members of what they call the “SABR Super Panel” which includes sabermetric pioneer Bill James, Vince Gennaro (President of SABR), and Mike Petriello.

Here are their individual Top 10’s.

  1. Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
  2. Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins
  3. Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
  4. Mookie Betts – Boston Red Sox
  5. J.D. Martinez – Detroit Tigers
  6. Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners
  7. George Springer – Houston Astros
  8. Yasiel Puig – Los Angeles Dodgers
  9. Miguel Sano – Minnesota Twins
  10. RYAN BRAUN – MILWAUKEE BREWERS

Kenny: Harper, Stanton, Bautista, Betts, Martinez, Sano, Springer, Hunter Pence (SF), Cruz, Shin-Soo Choo (TEX)

Byrnes: Harper, Stanton, Bautista, Carlos Gonzalez (COL), Martinez, Springer, Curtis Granderson (NYM), Betts, Pence, Cruz

James: Harper, Bautista, Stanton, Betts, Martinez, Cruz, BRAUN, Gonzalez, Kemp, Jay Bruce (CIN)

Gennaro: Harper, Bautista, Stanton, Cruz, Martinez, Granderson, Betts, Gonzalez, Springer, Pence

Petriello: Harper, Stanton, Bautista, Cruz, Betts, Springer, Sano, Choo, Gonzalez, Martinez

Milwaukee BBWAA Chapter Announces Brewers Team Awards

Each season, every city’s chapter of the Baseball Writer’s Association of America votes on team awards for the respective clubs based there. Milwaukee is no exception. As such, the seven members of the Milwaukee BBWAA chapter voted on the standard awards as they always do. The winners of the same were announced this morning.

Here is a breakdown of the voting (where provided in the official press release) for each of the five awards.

Most Valuable Player – Ryan Braun

  1. Ryan Braun (Seven (7) 1st place votes – 35 points – Unanimous)
  2. Adam Lind (Six (6) 2nd place, One (1) 3rd place – 19 points)

Most Valuable Pitcher – Franciso Rodriguez

  1. Francisco Rodriguez (35 points – Unanimous)
  2. Jeremy Jeffress – (14 points)
  3. Jimmy Nelson (11 points)

Top Newcomer – Adam Lind

  1. Adam Lind (31 points)
  2. Taylor Jungmann (22 points)

Unsung Hero – Jeremy Jeffress

  1. Jeremy Jeffress (24 points)
  2. Will Smith (15 points)

“Good Guy” Award – Jonathan Lucroy

  1. Jonathan Lucroy (35 points – Unanimous)
  2. Kyle Lohse (14 points)
  3. Scooter Gennett (12 points)

Ryan Braun’s Franchise Record-Setting 252nd Career Home Run

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Congratulations, Ryan!

Video: Ryan Braun’s Franchise Record-Tying 251st Career Home Run

MLB Network’s Top 100 Players Right Now Entering 2015

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As I did last year, and the year before, and the year before that, 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 27th. I’ll update this same space as they reveal the remaining entries.

As always, I will understandably highlight the Brewers players on the list. The Brewers had six players 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. Entering 2013, 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. As for 2014, just three players once again. Jean Segura checked in at 60, Carlos Gomez debuted at 44, and Ryan Braun dipped to 24.

The criteria for the list remains the same:

  • Emphasized stats from the last three (3) seasons, weighting 2014
  • Projected 2015 performance
  • Defensive position
  • Accolades
  • Intangibles

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

100. Joe Mauer – 1B – Minnesota Twins

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

98. Justin Verlander – SP – Detroit Tigers

97. Prince Fielder – 1B – Texas Rangers

96. Yordano Ventura – RP – Kansas City Royals

95. Pablo Sandoval – 3B – Boston Red Sox

94. Ben Zobrist – 2B – Oakland Athletics

93. Adam Eaton – OF – Chicago White Sox

92. Gerrit Cole – SP – Pittsburgh Pirates

91. Devin Mesoraco – C – Cincinnati Reds

90. Russell Martin – C – Toronto Blue Jays

89. Jake Arrieta – SP – Chicago Cubs

88. Lance Lynn – SP – St. Louis Cardinals

87. Kenley Jansen – CL – Los Angeles Dodgers

86. Jose Reyes – SS – Toronto Blue Jays

85. Andrelton Simmons – SS – Atlanta Braves

84. Nolan Arenado – 3B – Colorado Rockies

83. Chris Carter – 1B – Houston Astros

82. Jeff Samardzija – SP – Chicago White Sox

81. Starling Marte – LF – Pittsburgh Pirates

80. Jose Fernandez – SP – Miami Marlins

79. Christian Yelich – LF – Miami Marlins

78. Julio Teheran – SP – Atlanta Braves

77. Alex Cobb – SP – Tampa Bay Rays

76. Jayson Werth – LF – Washington Nationals

75. J.D. Martinez – RF – Detroit Tigers

74. Todd Frazier – 3B – Cincinnati Reds

73. Neil Walker – 2B – Pittsburgh Pirates

72. Carlos Santana – 1B – Cleveland Indians

71. Salvador Perez – C – Kansas City Royals

70. Sonny Gray – SP – Oakland Athletics

69. Stephen Strasburg – SP – Washington Nationals

68. Doug Fister – SP – Washington Nationals

67. Freddie Freeman – 1B – Atlanta Braves

66. Nelson Cruz – DH – Seattle Mariners

65. Alex Gordon – LF – Kansas City Royals

64. Josh Harrison – 3B – Pittsburgh Pirates

63. Ryan Braun – RF – Milwaukee Brewers

62. Yasiel Puig – CF – Los Angeles Dodgers

61. Aroldis Chapman – CL – Cincinnati Reds

60. Matt Harvey – SP – New York Mets

59. Masahiro Tanaka – SP – New York Yankees

58. Adrian Gonzalez – 1B – Los Angeles Dodgers

57. Kyle Seager – 3B – Seattle Mariners

56. Yan Gomes – C – Cleveland Indians

55. Matt Kemp – RF – San Diego Padres

54. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF – New York Yankees

53. Anthony Rizzo – 1B – Chicago Cubs

52. Dustin Pedroia – 2B – Boston Red Sox

51. Evan Longoria – 3B – Tampa Bay Rays

50. Cole Hamels – SP – Philadelphia Phillies

49. Edwin Encarnacion – 1B – Toronto Blue Jays

48. Hunter Pence – RF – San Francisco Giants

47. Hisashi Iwakuma – SP – Seattle Mariners

46. Matt Holliday – LF – St. Louis Cardinals

45. Yu Darvish – SP – Texas Rangers

44. Jason Heyward – RF – St. Louis Cardinals

43. Jon Lester – SP – Chicago Cubs

42. Carlos Gonzalez – RF – Colorado Rockies

41. Jhonny Peralta – SS – St. Louis Cardinals

40. Greg Holland – CL – Kansas City Royals

39. Wade Davis – RP – Kansas City Royals

38. Carlos Gomez – CF – Milwaukee Brewers

37. Justin Upton – LF – San Diego Padres

36. David Ortiz – DH – Boston Red Sox

35. Jordan Zimmermann – SP – Washington Nationals

34. Craig Kimbrel – CL – Atlanta Braves

33. Victor Martinez – DH – Detroit Tigers

32. Joey Votto – 1B – Cincinnati Reds

31. Anthony Rendon – 3B – Washington Nationals

30. Jose Altuve – 2B – Houston Astros

29. Ian Desmond – SS – Washington Nationals

28. Zack Greinke – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers

27. Hanley Ramirez – LF – Boston Red Sox

26. Madison Bumgarner – SP – San Francisco Giants

25. David Price – SP – Detroit Tigers

24. Bryce Harper – RF – Washington Nationals

23. Jonathan Lucroy – C – Milwaukee Brewers

22. Adam Jones – CF – Baltimore Orioles

21. Michael Brantley – LF – Cleveland Indians

20. Adrian Beltre – 3B – Texas Rangers

19. Yadier Molina – C – St. Louis Cardinals

18. Josh Donaldson – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays

17. Troy Tulowitzki – SS – Colorado Rockies

16. Johnny Cueto – SP – Cincinnati Reds

15. Corey Kluber – SP – Cleveland Indians

14. Adam Wainwright – SP – St. Louis Cardinals

13. Paul Goldschmidt – 1B – Arizona Diamondbacks

12. Jose Bautista – RF – Toronto Blue Jays

11. Max Scherzer – SP – Washington Nationals

10. Robinson Cano – 2B – Seattle Mariners

9. Jose Abreu – 1B – Chicago White Sox

8. Buster Posey – C/1B – San Francisco Giants

7. Miguel Cabrera – 1B – Detroit Tigers

6. Andrew McCutchen – CF – Pittsburgh Pirates

5. Chris Sale – SP – Chicago White Sox

4. Giancarlo Stanton – RF – Miami Marlins

3. Felix Hernandez – SP – Seattle Mariners

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

1. Clayton Kershaw – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers

Ryan Braun has been revealed as the 63rd best player in Major League Baseball “Right Now” entering 2015. As the criteria for the rankings weights 2014 the most and pretty much only relies on the last three years of stats at all, this is an understandable position for Braun right now. I have a feeling though that at this time next year Braun will have rebounded a bit.

Carlos Gomez moves up six spots from 44 last year to check in at 38. I’d rather have Gomez than Justin Upton at 37.

And due to a Twitter tease, we know (or at least Brewers fans do) that Jonathan Lucroy will be number 23 when they get there.

I’ll update more once I see who is around the Brewers, but that’s the only three I expect to make the list.

Brewers On Deck 2015 – The Interviews

Here is a boatload of audio recorded on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at Brewers On Deck in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Enjoy!!

Right fielder Ryan Braun

Relief pitcher Jim Henderson

Manager Ron Roenicke

New Brewers first baseman Adam Lind

Starting pitcher Wily Peralta

Newest member of the starting rotation Jimmy Nelson

All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez

Second baseman Scooter Gennett

All-Star starting catcher Jonathan Lucroy

General Manager Doug Melvin met with the assembled media

EXCLUSIVE with 40-man pitcher Michael Blazek

Prinicpal Owner Mark Attanasio addressed the media

This is the full audio from one of the Main Stage events, a panel discussion (with fan questions!) featuring Mark Attanasio, Doug Melvin, Gord Ash, Adam Lind, Corey Knebel, and Luis Sardinas