Results tagged ‘ Tom Gorzelanny ’

Demonstrating a Willingness To Change

A few funny things have happened on the way to June.

While the Brewers have been slogging through a seesaw month of May (two and six in their first eight, five and one in the next six, one and five in the six after that, five and two in the most recent seven games entering play on May 31st), they’ve tinkered and toyed with some things that we simply wouldn’t see — because we haven’t — in recent history.

First, the Brewers posted their May 24th lineup and it featured a major change. After a day off to rest his tweaked oblique, rightfielder Ryan Braun was back in the lineup but he was hitting second. It’s a move that sabermetricians would love as there is plenty of statistical evidence that the second spot in the lineup is the most efficient and productive spot for your “best” hitter. Braun and his offensive brethren would falter in that game from a run production standpoint as they would only score once despite 11 hits. (It was Braun that scored the run, for what it’s worth.) But this would not be a one day trial that manager Ron Roenicke would abandon due to lackluster results in the columns of R or W.

Roenicke explained his thoughts after the game, more or less, and confirmed that this was the plan for a while. Truth be told, it started in phases even though that might not have been by design. Season-long leadoff hitter Carlos Gomez needed a day off two days earlier on May 22. It was that day that Roenicke moved Jean Segura up to lead off for Milwaukee. Segura responded by going 3-for-5 with two runs scored in a loss to Atlanta. When Gomez returend on May 23, Roenicke left Segura at the top and inserted the powerful Gomez in the cleanup position. That was seen as a reaction to Braun being out and moving Jonathan Lucroy up to Braun’s customary third spot. It was seen as a blip and scarcely even mentioned let alone thought deeply about. Then Braun returned on May 24 and Segura, Lucroy and Gomez held their positions as Braun slid in at number two.

The offense has been on a tear since that 22nd of May, tying a franchise record with at least 10 hits in 10 straight games. All this has happened without Aramis Ramirez, and it’s almost June 1, which we collectively know as Aramis Ramirez Day. If he comes back (scheduled for Wednesday in Minnesota and likely DHing) and doesn’t take long to warm up, the offense could really make a splash early in the second third of the season.

But there is more going on than just a significant lineup change.

On that same May 24 in Miami, the Brewers outrighted Jeff Bianchi to Triple-A Nashville after he cleared waivers. Bianchi, who is out of options, has been outrighted off of a 40-man roster before in his career and therefore had the right to refuse this assignment thereby electing free agency. He eventually decided to stay, but the point here is that there was more going on than simply swapping one utility infielder for another (they called up Irving Falu, but you know that).

The Brewers of the recent past would not risk losing an asset, even one grossly underperforming as was Bianchi, by outrighting them. This is a front office displaying more of a sense of urgency than even they themselves did this off-season by signing Matt Garza and bolstering a rotation that many assumed they’d just fill in house with five readily identified arms.

That they were willing to shake up their lineup, one that had been struggling to score runs shortly beforehand, and outright Bianchi at all speaks to the team’s desire to sustain their position atop the National League Central. They are not going to stand idly by, subscribing to the Ned Yost School of Thought that once infamously and dismissively reminded worriers that his Brewers were “still in first place”.

No. These Brewers, while still in first place, were seeing a once large lead begin diminshing as perennial division rivals the St. Louis Cardinals began to find their stride a bit while the Brewers scuffled. Their lead was down to 1.5 games as recently as May 27. Milwaukee is certainly striding right at the moment as they’ve won their last three with St. Louis losing its last three and the division lead entering play on the last day of May was back up to 4.0 full games.

Complacency and status quo are not seemingly in the toolbox of the 2014 Milwaukee Brewers. Kudos to them for yet another day alone in first place (where they’ve been since April 9) but more so they deserve accolades and attention for not just thinking that was good enough.

What’s more? They aren’t necessarily done.

They could consider changes in their first base platoon, including dumping the defensively solid but weak-sticked Lyle Overbay. They could juggle their bullpen pieces a bit which they’ll have to do when Tom Gorzelanny is ready but there’s certainly room for more if they desire. They could certainly continue to tweak their bench and bring in a more powerful option their the currently versatile yet light-hitting duo of Falu and Elian Herrera. And if someone doesn’t perform in that rotation or if they need to use a piece to get a piece elsewhere, they could make the decision to go with Jimmy Nelson at some point.

The bottom line is that if they decide to stand pat this season it won’t be due to a lack of want to change nor will it be due to any apprehension thereof. This is a front office that not only sees the benefits in making moves, but certainly won’t be lured in by making a change for the sake of change.

It’s a different feeling than we’re used to as fans over recent history, but it’s certainly a welcome one.

Injury and Rehab Updates – Gallardo, Henderson, Gorzelanny, Ramirez

Quick updates to make sure that you’re up to speed on where some players are at.

Gallardo Sprains Ankle, Next Start in Doubt

Gallardo esta ganador!!! (Brewers 5, Giants 4)

Yovani Gallardo sprained his left ankle yesterday in the 4th inning of a game he would eventually take the loss in against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday evening. (Vine video: http://vine.co/v/MHtBltPtL5D )

After the game, manager Ron Roenicke suggested that the team veteran might not make his next start and would almost certainly have to push his bullpen session back a day at the very least. Gallardo tried to argue his way into staying in the game but Roenicke (and the team’s head Athletic Trainer Dan Wright) made the correct call to get Gallardo out of the game right away. After all, as Roenicke pointed out during postgame, you don’t want a cascade injury to his arm because he’s altering his mechanics to compensate for the pain.

X-rays were negative for a fracture though, so even if Gallardo misses one start, it could be a circumstance where the Brewers avoid having to place him on the Disabled List.

Henderson Set to Begin Rehab Assignment

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It was reported (and later officially announced) that relief pitcher Jim Henderson would begin a rehab assignment with the Class-AA Huntsville Stars. The Brewers expect Henderson to make at least three appearances in the minor leagues before determining whether he’s ready to be activated.

Henderson was originally placed on the 15-day DL with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. In his last appearance (May 1 at Cincinnati), Henderson had a noticable lack of control and a telltale drop in velocity. That led to his getting knocked around badly (0.2 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 ER, 1 HR) resulting in a season ERA spike from 3.38 to 7.15. He was disabled quickly after the game and it was revealed early on that they wouldn’t rush the big right-hander back before he was 100% healthy.

Gorzelanny Advancing

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The reason that Henderson is beginning his rehab assignment with Huntsville is because Tom Gorzelanny will be continuing his with the Class-AAA Nashville Sounds and GM Doug Melvin didn’t want them on the same roster. That’s likely to ensure that they both get into the games that they need.

In two appearances with the Class-A Advanced Brevard County Manatees, Gorzelanny totaled 4.0 innings pitched while allowing two hits and a walk. He struck out one of the 14 batters he faced. The numbers really don’t mean a ton either way because he’s still simply ramping up like he’s pitching in spring training, but good numbers are certainly better than poor ones. That he was able to pitching two innings in each outing is also an encouraging sign for Gorzelanny as he is rehabbing from off-season shoulder surgery.

Gorzelanny’s rehab assignment began May 14 and at the time we were told that the Brewers expected it to last the maximum 30 days. That puts Gorzelanny on schedule to possibly to return to the 25-man roster in time for a weekend series against the Reds in mid-June at Miller Park.

Ramirez Ready to Run?

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When Aramis Ramirez (15-Day DL, hamstring strain) first was injured, he said he heard a pop and there was talk that this could be quite a bit longer than the minimum 15 day stay on the disabled list. Then while in Chicago for a chilly weekend series with the Cubs, the Brewers began saying that Ramirez, who had never had a hamstring injury to that point in his career, was pain-free walking and would likely attempt light running once the team got to Atlanta and were in warmer temperatures.

I haven’t seen any reports on whether he did or how it went if he did, but it still seems that returning on Memorial Day against the Baltimore Orioles is unlikely to occur. But stranger things have happened.

Injury Updates: Braun, Schafer, Henderson, Gorzelanny

Just a quick item to get those up to speed who might not have been made aware of the happenings over the past couple of days.

Decision Finally Forced on Braun

Ryan Braun was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday morning. The transaction is retroactive to Sunday, April 27th. That means Braun isn’t eligible to return until Monday, May 12th (an off day for the Brewers). He’ll miss the rest of this series against the Cincinnati Reds and both full series against the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees.

Hopefully Braun is ready to go on Tuesday, May 13th against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but having been given no real report on his progress in returning from a strained right oblique, we’re left to wonder and hope.

Return of the Mack

Taking my heading from his choice of walk-up music during home games, Logan Schafer was activated from the disabled list when Braun was placed on it Saturday. Schafer played a handful of games on a rehab assignment, some for Class-A Advanced Brevard County and then for Class-AAA Nashville before returning. He only slashed .133/.222/.200 in 26 combined at-bats, but the Brewers will appreciate getting his steady defense back on the field and his left-handed bat back in the lineup to spell Khris Davis. Davis is struggling pretty hard against right-handed pitching so far this season.

Schafer was originally placed on the DL after straining his hamstring while stretching in the on-deck circle before a pinch-hit appearance on April 17th.

Inflammation Sidelines Henderson

Jim Henderson, who hasn’t pitched in a save situation all season for the Brewers after velocity and command issues plagued him all spring, was placed on the 15-day disabled list following Thursday night’s game against the Reds. Henderson was diagnosed with right shoulder inflammation, which would help explain his reduced velocity in his appearance earlier that night.

The Brewers wanted to get a fresh arm up from the minors anyway — then ended up recalling Rob Wooten — so the timing ended up convenient to that end. Unfortunately it was quite the inconvenience to the outcome of the game as Henderson entered in a tied game and was eventually charged with five earned runs in a rare bullpen blow up.

Once Henderson is actually ready for a rehab assignment, expect the team to take its time in activating him. Given this opportunity, they’ll certainly want to make sure Henderson is finally healthy before rejoining the team.

Steady As She Goes

Tom Gorzelanny, who pitched very well when used out of manager Ron Roenicke‘s bullpen last year, required off-season shoulder surgery and is still working his way back. Gorzelanny still has not begun a minor league rehab assignment after suffering what was called “a little setback” during the second week of April.

Then expected to miss the balance of April, we’re now in May so the question is coming back around as to how Gorzelanny is progressing. With no rehab assignment announced, they’re still looking at a minimum of a couple of weeks.

Milwaukee Brewers 2014 Player Salaries

Here is a listing of the MLB salaries of the 26* men earning MLB-level pay from the Milwaukee Brewers as of Opening Day.

Quick math: The figures below total $101,219,338.00

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Aramis Ramirez $15,137,803

Matt Garza $12,209,424

Rickie Weeks $12,000,000

Yovani Gallardo $11,500,000

Ryan Braun $11,111,111

Kyle Lohse $11,000,000

Carlos Gomez $7,000,000

Marco Estrada $3,325,000

Francisco Rodriguez $3,250,000

Tom Gorzelanny* $3,150,000

Jonathan Lucroy $2,100,000

Mark Reynolds $2,000,000

Lyle Overbay $1,500,000

Zach Duke $850,000

Jean Segura $534,000

Wily Peralta $515,000

Jim Henderson $512,000

Brandon Kintzler $507,000

Logan Schafer $505,000

Tyler Thornburg $505,000

Scooter Gennett $504,000

Khris Davis $503,000

Jeff Bianchi $ 502,000

Martin Maldonado $ 502,000

Will Smith $502,000

Wei-Chung Wang $500,000


*Tom Gorzelanny is on the 15-day Disabled List to begin the season

Source: USA Today

2014 Milwaukee Brewers Opening Day Roster

Here is the breakdown of the Opening Day 25-man roster.

PITCHERS (12)
59 Zach Duke* – LHP
41 Marco Estrada – RHP
49 Yovani Gallardo – RHP
22 Matt Garza – RHP
29 Jim Henderson – RHP
53 Brandon Kintzler – RHP
26 Kyle Lohse – RHP
38 Wily Peralta – RHP
57 Francisco Rodriguez – RHP
13 Will Smith – LHP
30 Tyler Thornburg – RHP
51 Wei-Chung Wang – LHP

CATCHERS (2)
20 Jonathan Lucroy
12 Martin Maldonado

INFIELDERS (7)
14 Jeff Bianchi
2 Scooter Gennett
24 Lyle Overbay
16 Aramis Ramirez
7 Mark Reynolds
9 Jean Segura
23 Rickie Weeks

OUTFIELDERS (4)
8 Ryan Braun
18 Khris Davis
27 Carlos Gomez
1 Logan Schafer

DISABLED LIST (1)
32 Tom Gorzelanny LHP (left shoulder)

STAFF
10 Ron Roenicke – Manager
33 Mike Guerrero – Coach
35 Garth Iorg – 1B Coach
39 Rick Kranitz – Pitching Coach
36 Jerry Narron – Bench Coach
37 Johnny Narron – Hitting Coach
6 Ed Sedar – 3B Coach
31 John Shelby – Outfield Coach
43 Lee Tunnell – Bullpen Coach
56 Joe Crawford – Coaching Assistant
55 Marcus Hanel – Bullpen Catcher

Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers ’14 – #32 Tom Gorzelanny

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FINALLY…”Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” has come back!

When last we joined our heroes, they were standing over the discarded #60 jersey of Wily Peralta, wondering how he had come to this new #38 he now wore on his back. That was nearly a week ago.

TomGorzelannySeriously, though, as we countdown to Opening Day by way of the numbers players will be wearing in camp and in Cactus League games, we just got through a very long drought. That’s because I don’t profile coaches and lots of coaches sport numbers in the 30s.

Regardless, here we are, a mere 32 days away from Opening Day so we’re back on the wagon as we focus on…

Tom Gorzelanny.

Thomas Stephen Gorzelanny is a 31-year-old left-handed pitcher. He is an Illinois native, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003, debuted in the majors in 2005, and has pitched for four franchises in his career.

That’s the short version. For the long version of Tom Gorzelanny’s career arc that landed him in Milwaukee prior to the 2013 season, check out last year’s profile.

As for 2013, Gorzelanny ended up in more of a swing shift than he did in 2012 (one of the best seasons of his career). Some of that was rought out of necessity, but after some limited success in that necessity, the Brewers decided to force the issue and see if Gorzelanny’s successes in the bullpen over the previous year-plus could lead him back into a rotation full-time.

Well, let’s just say that if nothing else, it confirmed that Gorzelanny’s future is the bullpen. He’s effective against hitters of both handedness, so he needn’t be a LOOGy (at least not yet) and can pitch multiple innings in need be, but it’s the second and especially third time through a batting order where he just got trounced. Obviously limiting his exposure by capping him to an inning or two helps to maintain his effectiveness.

In fact, I wrote about getting Gorzelanny back into the bullpen last year while they were struggling through some of his starts. I laid out some arguments, left others on the table because I had made my point, but I failed to mention one key thing that ended up costing Gorzelanny the balance of his season. That being, the injury risk of sending a long-term bullpen pitcher into the rotation for a long run of starting games.

I wrote that article on August 26th. Gorzelanny started again on August 28th and pitched poorly. They tried to put him back in the bullpen finally in September, but the up and down of bullpen-to-rotation-to-bullpen work had finally caught up to him and he was pulled from his first appearance back in the ‘pen.

Gorzelanny was shut down following three weeks of inactivity before attempting a throwing session. Nobody likes to enter an off-season injured, but Gorzelanny would have taken it if that’s all it was.

Instead, Gorzelanny had shoulder surgery in December and his Opening Day was in serious doubt. He had a little bit of a quicker rehab than expected and threw his first bullpen session on Friday, February 21st. He appears back on track for Opening Day at this point.

He’s got a job in this bullpen if he’s healthy, though if he isn’t it gives GM Doug Melvin a little bit of flexibility when he’s trying to make the decisions to get down to a 25-man roster.

Make no mistake though, Ron Roenicke would much rather have him available on March 31st.

You can follow Tom Gorzelanny on Twitter: @TGorz

Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:

Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers ’14 – #59 Zach Duke

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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we’re two months away from Opening Day!

Welcome back in to “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers”, my annual blog series counting down to Opening Day by way of profiling the players wearing the matching number to how far away we are from it. Today is Friday, January 31st and since February is thankfully so short, we are 59 days away from Brewers vs Braves at Miller Park.

 That’s not a typographical error in the title of this post. After a few somewhat starcrossed years as a Brewers reliever, John Axford has moved on to Cleveland. The new owner of #59 is also a relief pitcher, but that’s where the similarities pretty much end.

With that, let’s dive deeper into a welcoming for non-roster invitee…

Zach Duke.

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Zachary Thomas Duke is a 6’2″, 210 lb southpaw who was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates back in 2001. As a 20th round draft pick, it was thought that Duke might be bound for college. Instead, he signed with the Pirates and at the tender age of 19 went 8-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 11 starts with their rookie ball team in 2002. Duke advanced to Class-A Hickory in 2003 and posted good numbers, but not the eye-poppers of the year prior. Those numbers came back in 2004 as the 21-year-old twirled 148.1 innings, struck out 142 batters and walked just 30. All told, Duke had a 1.46 ERA between Class-A Advanced Lynchburg and Class-AA Altoona.

Finally, following a 12-3 record in 16 starts with Class-AAA Indianapolis in 2005, Duke was promoted to the big leagues. He answered the bell in 14 starts with a 1.81 ERA, 233 ERA+, 1.205 WHIP, 2.52 K/BB. Those stats and others resulted in Duke finished fifth in the National League Rookie of the Year balloting along with being dubbed a future ace in Pittsburgh.

Outside of small sample size situations, those 2005 numbers would be career bests.

Duke lasted five more seasons in Pittsburgh, making a total of 159 starts for the Pirates. His ERA as a Pirate would finish at 4.54 which is 0.03 lower than his career mark of 4.57. After his time in the steel city, Duke moved on to Arizona via trade. He made nine starts as a Diamondback and entered out of the bullpen in his 12 other appearances. The results weren’t great and Arizona let Duke walk away following the 2011 season.

He signed with the Houston Astros in January of 2012 but was released on March 27th. Two days later he’d wind up signing with the Washington Nationals. He pitched for the Nationals organization for a season and a half, totaling 20 big league appearances with just one start. The rotation had passed him by and he was fully committed to bullpen work. In 2012, Duke seemed like he’d be just fine as a full-inning or even multi-inning reliever. He showed no adverse platoon split and actually had better numbers against right-handed hitters, though in a very small sample. In the minors in 2012, Duke had a more traditional platoon split but it still wasn’t crazily slanted to LOOGy-dom.

In 2013 at the big league level, Duke allowed an .854 OPS against right-handed hitters and a .728 OPS against lefties. Duke’s bigger splits came between home vs. road appearances. Duke limitied opposing hitters to a .615 OPS at home and allowed a massive .948 OPS on the road. It should be noted that “home” for Duke was also split in 2013 as he began the year in Washington but after being released signed with Cincinnati. Something else to point out in 2013 is that against those same-sided southpaw hitters, Duke walked just one and struck out 14 in 50 total plate appearances. He was less effective that way against righties, walking nine while striking out just four in 92 total plate appearances.

In short (too late!), now is the time for Duke to focus on the specialist role out of the bullpen. There are other left-handed relievers who will be in big league camp this spring including Will Smith and Rule V choice Wei-Chung Wang. Then there’s Tom Gorzelanny who has a spot reserved whenever he’s cleared following his off-season shoulder surgery. Still, Duke’s stuff appears to still be playing up when he has the platoon advantage and he needs to capitalize on that if he is to contribute to Ron Roenicke’s bullpen instead of Rick Sweet’s bullpen in Nashville.

You can follow Zach Duke on Twitter: @zach_duke

Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:

Brewers On Deck to Feature Over 50 Players, Alumni, Coaches, Broadcasters

BREWERS ON DECK, PRESENTED BY TIME WARNER CABLE, TO INCLUDE OVER 50 PLAYERS, COACHES, BROADCASTERS & ALUMNI

Free Admission to All Fans in 2014; Food Donations Accepted through Hunger Task Force

Nearly thirty Milwaukee Brewers players plus a host of alumni, coaches, front office executives and broadcasters are scheduled to participate in Brewers On Deck, presented by Time Warner Cable, which is set to take place on Sunday, January 26 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center.

Admission to this year’s Brewers On Deck is free of charge.  Tickets are not required for the event.  Food donations will be accepted through the Hunger Task Force (peanut butter is requested by the Hunger Task Force, in particular).  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.  Players, coaches and alumni scheduled to attend include (all subject to change):

Players (28)

  • Jeff Bianchi
  • Michael Blazek
  • Ryan Braun
  • Hiram Burgos
  • Khris Davis
  • Marco Estrada
  • Mike Fiers
  • Yovani Gallardo
  • Scooter Gennett
  • Caleb Gindl
  • Tom Gorzelanny
  • Brooks Hall
  • Sean Halton
  • Donovan Hand
  • Johnny Hellweg
  • Jim Henderson
  • Elian Herrera
  • Brandon Kintzler
  • Kyle Lohse
  • Jonathan Lucroy
  • Hunter Morris
  • Jimmy Nelson
  • Mark Reynolds
  • Jason Rogers
  • Logan Schafer
  • Jean Segura
  • Kevin Shackelford
  • Will Smith
  • Tyler Thornburg
  • Rob Wooten

Alumni (7)

  • Craig Counsell
  • Rollie Fingers
  • Jim Gantner
  • Larry Hisle
  • Geoff Jenkins
  • Gorman Thomas
  • Robin Yount

Coaches (10)

  • Ron Roenicke
  • Joe Crawford
  • Mike Guerrero
  • Marcus Hanel
  • Garth Iorg
  • Rick Kranitz
  • Johnny Narron
  • Ed Sedar
  • John Shelby
  • Lee Tunnell

Broadcasters (3)

  • Jerry Augustine
  • Dave Nelson
  • Bob Uecker

— 

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 game shows with Brewers players, coaches and broadcasters; vendor booths with baseball memorabilia; Brewers Community Foundation’s Treasure Hunt and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.

Details regarding autographs include the following:  Recipients of “PREMIER” autographs (players to be announced next week) 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 District.  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 $10 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 next week.  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, 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.

Fans also have the opportunity to enter to win autographs from their favorite players via a #BrewersOnDeck Vine & Instagram contest, which runs through Monday, January 20. The details can be found here: http://brewers.mlblogs.com/2014/01/07/win-an-autograph-from-your-favorite-brewers-player-at-brewers-on-deck/

2013 Winter Meetings Recap Day 1: Laying Groundwork

2013-Winter-Meetings-logo

The 2013 edition of Baseball’s Winter Meetings, at least as they pertain to the Brewers which is why you’re reading, got underway with a flurry of news and notes but no signings.

Here’s your Day 1 recap:

The day began with word that Corey Hart’s agent would be meeting with the Brewers contingent later in the day, and that the Brewers were making a resolution with Hart a “priority.”

Adam McCalvy then chimed in that the Brewers touched base with the Mets about their available first basemen as well, phrasing the communications with the Mets and with Hart’s agent as “groundwork.”

Bad news then came down the pipeline late afternoon. It was confirmed that Brewers LHP Tom Gorzelanny had undergone shoulder surgery. It was considered relatively minor (in the grand scheme of things) with the expectation that Gorzelanny would be pitching again by mid-March. Gorzelanny’s shoulder cost him the end of his 2013 season and further proved, in my opinion, that he shouldn’t have been put back into the rotation last year.

Brewers brass then confirmed that they had met with Hart’s agent and that the two sides had agreed to touch base again during the Winter Meetings. It was suggested that the Brewers would get a chance to react to other offers Hart receives.

I speculated leading up to the Winter Meetings when the Brewers were tied to a handful of other first baseman options at least as a backup plan to if not leverage against Hart. To that end, Hank Schulman (who covers the San Francisco Giants) tweeted that Milwaukee had checked in with San Fran about the availability of 1B Brett Pill.

But, despite all of that, the Brewers aren’t only in Orlando looking to settle one position. General manager Doug Melvin has also made no secret about his desire to add a reliever with “closing experience” to field manager Ron Roenicke’s bullpen. To that, Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun-Times tweeted that the Brewers had talked to Carlos Marmol. Nothing imminent, but still nauseating interesting.

Amongst all of the rest of the newsworthy items was the Logan Morrison situation. That’s the one where the Marlins have said that they’ll be trading him soon but multiple teams denied being close to acquiring him. For what it’s worth, the Brewers have been connected there as a “it makes sense” destination by a handful of scribes.

And finally, my personal contribution to the rumor mill last night about where that “groundwork” may have the Brewers positioned come Tuesday morning, can be read right here: Hot Stove: Pushing The Issue

So there you have it. Day 1 of the 2013 Winter Meetings in a nutshell.

(*Apologies for the lateness of this. I got my rumor last night and only ended up with time to write up the one post. I’ll add in tweets later to fill out this recap, but the info is at least all here.)

Brewer Nation Podcast – Off-Season Primer

Recorded on location last night, here is the latest Brewer Nation podcast.

Check the tags for some of the players mentioned during this hour-long clip.

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