Results tagged ‘ Yovani Gallardo ’
a.k.a. “So, about that tweet…”
During the morning on Tuesday, I tweeted out the following:
— The Brewer Nation (@BrewerNation) December 9, 2014
I promised to expound on it here on the blog because of the nuance involved.
Based on a Nick Cafardo report from prior to the Winter Meetings that said that the Brewers were showing interest in Allen Craig, I reached out to a source who confirmed that the sides had talked about Craig and that Gerardo Parra was a name that came up in those discussions. They were characterized as “preliminary at best” (my wording) but as something that had been discussed.
In addition, it was shared that the Red Sox had inquired about Yovani Gallardo. It wasn’t stated when, but it would make sense if it was in the same pre-Winter Meetings conversation. That would be in line with Doug Melvin’s public comments that as of the end of the day Tuesday, the Brewers contingent hadn’t met with any other team’s representatives in San Diego. Melvin has since admitted to meeting with a team on Wednesday, but wouldn’t say which.
A possible return from the Red Sox was not known (or at least not shared) by my contact. My own deductive thought process believes that the Red Sox probably were and are making many exploratory calls on starting pitchers potentially available in trade as they (correctly, it turns out) expected that they might lose out on Jon Lester in free agency.
The Gallardo option, real or not, it felt to me, was not a top option for the Red Sox…
…and chatter from the Winter Meetings seems to have supported that idea as the Sawx have been linked to Wade Miley (“talks broke down”) and others today. That’s why I tweeted this on Wednesday morning…
If Wade Miley goes to Boston (as is said close by @jonmorosi), that’d basically eliminate one of the two things I heard. Write up tonight.
— The Brewer Nation (@BrewerNation) December 10, 2014
So for now, it’s quiet as kept for the Brewers. Doug Melvin told reporters during his Wednesday evening briefing that he anticipates finding bullpen pieces later in the off-season once prices begin to come down.
Doug Melvin plans to wait to fill out the bullpen. Thinks there will be talent, value available later — like Neshek, Duke last yr. — Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) December 11, 2014
And it has also been echoed by Mark Attanasio that the Brewers aren’t really in much of a position for major free agents as they are pushing the limits of their budget.
With a payroll projected to approach $110mm, #Brewers are near the high end of an acceptable range over a 10-year period, Attanasio said.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) December 10, 2014
So, in all the Brewers are beginning to make Winter Meetings contacts but haven’t yet consummated any deals. With Melvin telling reports that he intends to pass in at least the MLB portion of Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft, the Brewers could very well leave San Diego with no transactions on the books.
It definitely helps that Melvin & Co. brought in Adam Lind early this off-season and retained Aramis Ramirez. Even though it doesn’t, the Brewers could field a capable 25-man roster if the season started tomorrow.
Before fretting, keep in mind that there are still plenty of shopping days until P&C.
***UPDATE*** 9:13pm CT ***UPDATE***
I now see this tweet from Jon Heyman, saying the Wade Miley has been acquired by the Red Sox, so I’d guess that the Yovani Gallardo chatter will never result in anything, let alone ever be confirmed as true.
If you’re otherwise unable to keep up on news as it happens throughout the day (via social media, or however), allow me to catch you up on the all the roster news coming out of One Brewers Way over the past several days.
(I’ve tweeted all of this as it happened, but this is a quick summary so it’s all in one place.)
- October 27th
- 3B Luis Jiménez claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- October 30th
- Five players filed for, and were granted, free agency
- Zach Duke
- Tom Gorzelanny
- Lyle Overbay
- Mark Reynolds
- Francisco Rodriguez
- A report came out that the 2015 contract option on Yovani Gallardo had been exercised
- Five players filed for, and were granted, free agency
- October 31st
- Brewers confirm picking up Gallardo’s option
- Rickie Weeks officially became a free agent when the team declined the 2015 option on his contract
- Brewers officially exercised their half of the mutual 2015 option on the contract of Aramis Ramirez
- Ramirez officially has three (3) days — read Monday — to decide whether he will opt in as well or decline the option to become a free agent
- C Juan Centeno claimed off waivers from the New York Mets
Quick thoughts (because you can get a list anywhere):
Jiménez sounds like a great glove with some power who carries a higher average than Reynolds. Truly feels like Doug Melvin found a player worth replacing the veteran with.
Speaking of the free agents, the Brewers could look to bring back either Duke or Gorzelanny (though likely not both) but there’s certainly a tenable position that with Duke’s performance and Gorzelanny’s recent health concerns that they choose to let both sign contracts elsewhere. I’d lean toward them re-signing Duke of the two, though Gorzelanny could be cheaper. Overbay has said publicly that he’s leaning toward retirement. As for Reynolds, when he was simply passed over down the stretch last season, it felt like he dropped out of favor. He was streakier at the plate than I think the Brewers anticipated.
Gallardo’s option getting picked up makes all the sense in the world. I covered that move specifically here before it was confirmed Friday morning.
Rickie Weeks leaving Milwaukee is truly a notable moment. He’s been in the franchise for a long time, and was really the first of the high draft picks which ultimately led to winning seasons and playoff runs. While he never did realize the level of a #2 overall draft pick due mainly to injuries, he was the consummate professional in his time in Milwaukee. I wish him consistent success wherever his career takes him next.
Wanting to bring Ramirez back makes sense to a degree as the Brewers haven’t yet developed an internal replacement at third base. Should he decline his option to seek a multi-year deal elsewhere, the Brewers could turn to Jiménez or another internal option like Jason Rogers who played there in 2014 for the first time since college, or even, assuming he stays as has been rumored, Taylor Green? (Yes, that’s how thin the hot corner has been for the Brewers.)
Finally, as for Centeno, I haven’t had much of a chance to read up on him but I did see that he was a tremendous defensive season in 2013 in the minors though he reportedly regressed this past season. He hit pretty well in the minors in 2014 though. Without another catcher on the 40-man roster outside of the MLB level duo of Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado, it’s nice to have someone readily available who also has minor league options remaining.
Anyway, there’s your end of October round up of the Brewers roster moves over the past few days. Also noteworthy in roster news is that the Washington Nationals declined their option on 1B Adam LaRoche, making him a free agent. He could be a top target in free agency for Doug Melvin
According to Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com, the Milwaukee Brewers exercised their 2015 contract option on starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo.
Yovani Gallardo’s option has been officially picked up by the Brewers.
— timdierkes (@timdierkes) October 30, 2014
The option, worth $13 million, had a buyout of a mere $600 thousand, but it was universally agreed that the Brewers would not be able to find similar production on the free agent market for that kind of cost.
Gallardo’s strikeout numbers have dropped the last couple of years, but he’s remained a relatively consistent performer by many other metrics including FIP, WHIP, innings pitched, home run rate, and more. The senior member of Milwaukee’s rotation also posted the best full-season ERA of his career at 3.51, over half a run lower than 2013. Gallardo also posted his lowest BB/9 (2.5) at the MLB level.
The Brewers now appear to have four of their five rotation spots secured for 2015 in Gallardo, Matt Garza, Kyle Lohse, and Wily Peralta. Jimmy Nelson and Mike Fiers would seem to be in line to compete for the fifth job and almost certainly other options will be considered come camp. But if everyone stays healthy, four jobs appear set.
There is also the matter of the holes on the team, most notably at first base where both Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay are free agents. Overbay, who said on MLB Network radio that he’s leaning toward retirement, isn’t likely to return. Neither, it would seem, is Mark Reynolds who played quality defense but was either hitting home runs in bunches or hitting nothing at all. If the Brewers decided that there is value in moving an affordable asset to shore up a bigger hole, it’s conceivable that the Brewers could install Fiers and Nelson in their rotation or return to Marco Estrada who is arbitration eligible.
The point is that by picking up Gallardo’s contract option, the Brewers will be picking up other options as well, metaphorically speaking.
Let’s get this out of the way at the top. Thank you, San Francisco Giants! Thank you, NLCS MVP Madison Bumgarner. Thank you, Hunter Pence. Thank you, Santiago Casilla. Thank you, Pablo Sandoval. Thank you, Yusmeiro Petit. Thank you (and congrats), Tim Hudson. Thank you even to Buster Posey.
Thank you, Michael Morse for tying that one game.
Thank you, Travis Ishikawa for walking the birds off the field.
I wouldn’t be as happy as I am today without the efforts and success of the San Francisco Giants. You can drop the #EvenYear hashtag on social media. You can thank a blossomed ace in Bumgarner. You can shower praise on Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff. It’s all deserved. It’s all warranted. “THE GIANTS (WON) THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS (WON) THE PENNANT!”
And as happy as I am today that the senior circuit representative in this year’s Fall Classic plays its home games outside the state of Missouri, my desire for Giant victories ended when that ball left Ishikawa’s bat.
So why am I rooting against them starting tonight? I like the Giants just fine. I like most of their players. Only Angel Pagan really gets my dander up, and he’ll miss this series with injury anyway. So this isn’t about the Giants.
As far as leagues go, I absolutely prefer the National League game to that of its younger brother. The Designated Hitter should be done away with (though I realize it never will be). The strategy and timing of the NL game makes for a beautiful, and sometimes sickening, dance where decisions feel like they loom larger. You can’t always just pitch a guy until he’s done. Maybe you have to lift a pitcher early because of a key offensive spot. Maybe you try to stretch a guy farther because his spot is due up next half inning. Et cetera. There is so much more that goes into it. It’s more interesting and more fun, in my ever so humble opinion.
I’m a stump for the NL way of life. My team plays in the National League, for what that’s worth.
So, again, I ask: Why am I rooting against the Giants?
Well, to be fair it’s about rooting for Kansas City more than it is about rooting against San Francisco.
Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Norichika Aoki. All former Brewers. All good guys who I enjoy watching succeed. But pulling for the Royals is deeper than just that connection. Doug Henry and Dale Sveum. Both former Brewers. Both members of KC’s coaching staff. I like that, and personally like Sveum as a coach, but certainly wouldn’t use that as a reason to cheer for one team over another. Ned? Not even a little bit.
So instead of continuing to tell you why I’m not rooting for them, even though they are fine reasons should you choose to use them, here’s why I am.
I look at the 2014 Kansas City Royals and I see the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers.
It’s not a perfect 1:1 on the field, of course, but the similarities even at that micro level are interesting. It’s more about how they go about their business on the field, the lights out bullpen, trading away young and controllable talent for a shot at the brass ring, the payoff of a long-term plan. You can take it one step farther and compare to 2008 in Milwaukee where the Brewers faltered down the stretch while trying to hold off other teams for the Wild Card. In 2008 there was only the one Wild Card spot available, but the Brewers held off the Mets to win it by just one game. In 2014, Kansas City got the home game by just one game over Oakland (who held off Seattle by just one game).
Kansas City rode years of awfulness to amass a bunch of young talent in their system. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon (drafted the same year as, and ahead of, Ryan Braun, by the way), Wil Myers, the list goes on. In fact, you could almost mark the 2005 draft which got the Brewers the final “homegrown” piece to their playoff runs in Braun as the start of the Royals turnaround. In that way, they’ve been a few years behind the Brewers’ blueprint. Get a bunch of young, talented guys in the system with a goal to hit the Majors at roughly the same time, supplement with free agents, and when the moment is right, make a big trade (or two) at the big league level by sending out minor leaguers to go for it.
Let’s break that down, in case you aren’t agreeing with me.
Milwaukee: Drafted Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, J.J. Hardy, Yovani Gallardo, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun. Traded away Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley (and more)) for CC Sabathia in 2008. Traded away Cain, Escobar, Jake Odorizzi (and more) for Zack Greinke in 2011. Traded Brett Lawrie for Shaun Marcum in 2011. Supplemented with veterans: 2011 -Mark Kotsay, Craig Counsell, Jerry Hairston, Takashi Saito. 2008 – Gabe Kapler, Mike Cameron, Jason Kendall, Ray Durham, (ironically) Counsell.
Kansas City: Drafted Gordon, Hosmer, Moustakas, Billy Butler, Greg Holland. They scouted international amateurs like Salvador Perez, Kelvin Herrera, Yordano Ventura. Traded away Zack Greinke to acquire several young pieces. Flipped Odorizzi with Wil Myers to acquire James Shields and Wade Davis. Supplemented with veterans like Jason Vargas, Jeremy Guthrie, Josh Willingham, and Jason Frasor.
I think I’ve made my point.
Their offensive games differ, to be sure, as the Brewers hit home runs at a great pace in 2011 and the Royals are more about speed and getting hits that raise the ol’ BABIP. But the rotations were similarly solid from top to bottom, but the real crux of what sent me down this comparison exercise are the late inning relievers.
- Closer: John Axford (1.95 ERA / 2.41 FIP / 46 saves / 1.140 WHIP / 10.5 K/9)
- Setup man: Francisco Rodriguez (1.86 ERA / 2.23 FIP / 1.138 WHIP / 10.2 K/9)
- “7th inning guy”: LaTroy Hawkins / Takashi Saito (Combined: 2.28 ERA / 1.200 WHIP / 6.1 K/9)
- (the Brewers used two veterans so as to keep them fresh)
- Closer: Greg Holland (1.44 ERA / 1.83 FIP / 46 saves / 0.914 WHIP / 13.0 K/9)
- Setup man: Wade Davis (1.00 ERA / 1.19 FIP / 0.847 WHIP / 13.6 K/9)
- “7th inning guy”: Kelvin Herrera (1.41 ERA / 2.69 FIP / 1.143 WHIP / 7.6 K/9)
Six inning games are easier to win than nine inning games. Both of these teams had/have that game-shortening bullpen that general managers are yearning to cobble together each and every off-season.
I won’t lie to you though. The former Brewers being on the Royals certainly helps me root for them. In fact, it led to a series of tweets (@BrewerNation) with commentary how the team with the most former Brewers on it was winning every series (and even every game for a while) in the 2014 Postseason.
Market size, payroll relative to MLB’s elite, a fan base desperate for a winner after more than 25 years of missing the playoffs, that their last pennant was won in the 1980’s — these are all comparisons between the two franchises that help me see them in such a similar light.
But when it comes down to it, when all the dust has settled, at the end of the day, when all the clichés have been dropped…
I’m rooting for the 2014 Kansas City Royals because I see the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers and what might have been.
The comparisons can stop there, though, because this Kansas City team won the two games which that Milwaukee team didn’t. The Royals won their pennant and now have a chance to win another World Series, while the Brewers still seek their first championship.
But if these Royals can get the job done, it offers renewed hope that my team can one day get back and accomplish the same.
And that’s worth rooting for more than anything.
The Milwaukee Brewers will formally unveil the “Brewers Wall of Honor” at Miller Park today. The Wall of Honor will commemorate Milwaukee Brewers players that meet a set criteria based on service to the club. A total of 36 former Brewers players will attend today’s ceremony, marking the largest single gathering of Brewers alumni in team history, surpassing the 31 players who came in for the final game at County Stadium in 2000.
A private ceremony for inductees, their families and special guests will take place at 4 p.m. and the wall will be available for viewing to the general public beginning at 6:35 p.m. A pregame ceremony honoring the inductees will take place on the field prior to the game.
The Wall of Honor will be a permanent display outside of Miller Park on a wall on the North side of the ballpark. Players on the Wall of Honor will each have a plaque with their photo and a brief synopsis of their playing career. The plaques are designed by Matthews International, designers of the plaques for the National Baseball Hall of Fame as well as the plaques on the Milwaukee Braves Wall of Honor at Miller Park.
Players who meet any of the following criteria while wearing a Brewers uniform will be inducted into the Wall of Honor:
- 2,000 or more plate appearances
- 1,000 or more innings pitched
- 250 appearances as a pitcher
- Winner of a major award (MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, or Fireman of the Year)
- Manager of a pennant-winning team
- Individuals recognized with a statue on the Miller Park Plaza
- Members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame who have played for the Brewers
Currently, there are 58 persons who meet the above criteria and will be recognized on the Brewers Wall during the 2014 season. In addition to the 58 members of the inaugural class, there are seven active players in Major League Baseball that meet the criteria. Upon retirement, players who meet the criteria will be added to the Wall of Honor.
A total of 38 honorees are scheduled to attend the event six honorees will be represented by family members. The complete list of players who will grace the Brewers Wall of Honor at the unveiling ceremony today is as follows (attendees subject to change, those who will be present for the event are in BOLD, those who will be represented by a family member at the event are in ITALICS and those not able to attend the event are in PLAIN text):
Allan H. “Bud” Selig
Note: John Axford, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Yovani Gallardo, J.J. Hardy, Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks are the seven active players that, as of today, qualify for induction into the Wall of Honor following their retirement. Active players closing in on the thresholds include Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez.
There’s been some “confluence of events” news breaking on Twitter over the past few minutes.
Taylor Jungmann has been promoted to AAA Nashville
— Brewers Player Dev (@BrewersPD) May 23, 2014
That’s big news in and of itself for the former 12th overall pick. But then it was coupled with more…
P Taylor Jungmann — the #Brewers #6 prospect — joins Sounds & will make Triple-A debut tonight; P Jimmy Nelson will not pitch tonight
— Nashville Sounds (@nashvillesounds) May 23, 2014
And given what we know about Yovani Gallardo’s ankle and the likelihood that he’ll miss (at least) one start — his next is scheduled for Sunday in Miami — it sure makes sense that Jungmann will be starting for Nelson tonight for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds so that Nelson can make his season debut for the Brewers on Sunday.
— The Brewer Nation (@BrewerNation) May 23, 2014
Nelson has dominated Triple-A hitters this season, to the tune of a 5-1 record, 1.71 ERA in 58.0 IP, 58 K, and a 57.4% ground ball rate. He’s allowed just 17 walks and 37 hits which gives him a 0.97 WHIP. And while his BABIP against is .245, that’s supported by a 12.8% line drive rate, a 2.41 FIP and a 2.94 SIERA.
This could be just a single spot start, but also a good look at a key piece of the Milwaukee Brewers future rotation.
The only question surrounding the situation is who goes out to bring Nelson up. We’ll find that out either after the game tomorrow or on Sunday morning.
Quick updates to make sure that you’re up to speed on where some players are at.
Gallardo Sprains Ankle, Next Start in Doubt
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
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.
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?
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.
We’re on the precipice of Opening Day, but there are still some decisions awaiting the front office staff of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Most pressing, if not most important, is how they will construct the 25-man roster to begin the 2014 regular season. In this, they’ve got some options.
Let’s assume a couple of things off the top here. First, a standard 13 hitter, 12 pitcher roster split. Second, that we’re all aware that things will change throughout the season and plenty of the players who don’t make the Opening Day roster will don a Brewers uniform at some point in 2014.
I’ll lay out the different roster groupings and then explain what went into my decisions thereafter. Cool?
With that, to the list!
Starting Pitchers (5)
- Yovani Gallardo
- Kyle Lohse
- Marco Estrada
- Matt Garza
- Wily Peralta
I did my best educated guess at the order here too. It was announced that Gallardo has Opening Day honors and that Lohse will follow in Game 2. It was also hinted that Garza could pitch the opener in Boston, but that isn’t for sure yet…at least not publicly. Couple that with how well Estrada has pitched and he’s the superior choice against Atlanta in Game 3 than is Peralta.
The wrinkle here is that the Brewers have the opportunity to start the season with four starters because of the off-days scheduled. They don’t need a fifth starting pitcher until mid-April. If they do that, Peralta would start with Nashville to stay on rotation.
Relief Pitchers (7)
(with one more starting on DL)
- Jim Henderson
- Francisco Rodriguez
- Will Smith*
- Brandon Kintzler
- Wei-Chung Wang*
- Rob Wooten
- Alfredo Figaro (Alternative: Tyler Thornburg)
- Tom Gorzelanny* (DL)
Henderson is the incumbent closer. Rodriguez was brought in on a MLB deal and has the longest track record out of any of the options. Smith has been great this spring after being acquired in trade. Kintzler was very good last year and has a spot locked up. Wang makes it in part because of how well he’s thrown but also because of the Rule V circumstances. Wooten pitched well enough in his time last year that he gets one of my “open” jobs. He’s certainly in a fungible position, though, as he’s got minor league options remaining.
For the final active spot, I’m going with Alfredo Figaro. I know that Tyler Thornburg is under consideration for that job, but I think that they’ll realize that he’s more valuable staying stretched out at Nashville in order to cover the inevitable first injury to the starting rotation than he is in pitching at best every other day in Milwaukee as the long man. Figaro filled the long relief role admirably last year as his stuff played up out of the bullpen.
Wooten, Figaro, and Thornburg all have at least one minor league option remaining so there’s no real consideration of roster depth when making any decisions concering the three. And I think we’ll be seeing all of them pitch at Miller Park in 2014 at one point or another.
As for non-roster invitee Zach Duke, I think that the Brewers have liked what they’ve seen but with Wang making good (so far), there really isn’t room for Duke to begin the season. The veteran lefty is on a minor-league deal, so most likely he’ll simply be assigned to Nashville to start.
- Jonathan Lucroy
- Martin Maldonado
They’re the only two on the 40-man and that’s because they’re the two best in the organization. Nothing more needs to be said here.
- Mark Reynolds
- Rickie Weeks
- Jean Segura
- Aramis Ramirez
- Juan Francisco** (Alternative: Lyle Overbay)
- Scooter Gennett**
- Jeff Bianchi (Alternative: Elian Herrera)
Reynolds was signed to a minor-league deal for roster considerations at the time. He’s got a job. Weeks is the longest-tenured player in the organization right now and isn’t moveable (yet). Segura and Ramirez are obvious inclusions. Gennett comes along if they go with two second basemen, which has been the hottest talk of late.
Despite all the talk to the contrary lately, I still think that if they must choose between them, Francisco’s potential, relative youth, power, and increased patience this spring outweight Overbay’s veteran savvy, locker room presence, and far superior defense. That said, I can absolutely see a scenario in which they trade Francisco for an asset and keep Overbay. Maybe I’m projecting Francisco simply out of hope.
The other hotly contested job has been the utility infielder role. Jeff Bianchi filled the role last year with middling success. The biggest challenger to Bianchi’s incumbency has been the 40-man rostered Elian Herrera, who was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers over the winter. They’ve both hit, they both have defensive versatility. The differences that matter: Bianchi is a better defender at shortstop. Herrera is a much more natural outfielder (which is big when you’ve only got four rostered). Herrera is a switch hitter. Bianchi is out of options; Herrera has one remaining. It is that last point that I think will be the deciding factor. Herrera will start at Nashville and would absolutley be the first man called upon should an injury befall any infielder on the big league roster.
For the record: Should they decide that they can forego two second basemen to start the year to even the roster out a bit a more, I think Herrera would make the club over a fifth true outfielder.
- Khris Davis
- Carlos Gomez
- Ryan Braun
- Logan Schafer**
Another easy prediction. Schafer could see some time starting in left field, but as the only man on the projected roster that can backup centerfield, he’ll likely be providing coverage from the bench more often than not.
* - Throws left-handed ** - Bats left-handed ---
So there you have it.
I welcome feedback and want to hear your opinions. Do you agree? Disagree? Think I’m overlooking an important detail or better player? Look down there…a “Comments” section.
I tweeted this a couple of days ago…
Also, the first fruits of my partnership with @lotfautographs will be announced on Friday evening. Stay tuned for that, Brewer Nation!
— The Brewer Nation (@BrewerNation) February 27, 2014
And here are the details and instructions on how to participate (and possibly win!).
- Be following me (like you probably already do) on Twitter: @BrewerNation
- Be following Legends of the Field (like you should be) on Twitter: @lotfautographs
If you already follow both of us, you’re already entered! Otherwise, accomplish both of those goals by 11:59pm CST on Friday, March 7, 2014 and you’re entered to win. It really is that simple. You’ll be entered to win one of four signed 8×10 photos.
However, what you can also do though is tweet both me and Legends of the Field if you’d like to be considered specifically for one photo over another.
So what are the photos, you ask? Allow me to offer Exhibits A, B, C, D. (I digitally added “smudges” to the computer image so as to discourage downloads/printing. Believe me that the actual photos are beautiful and the signatures are crisp!) If you choose to enter yourself in the drawing for a specific photo, just tweet both of us the letter of the photo you’d like to be entered to win.
We (the Legends of the Field manager and I) will choose the four random winners on Saturday, March 8, 2014 and will announce them publicly here on the blog after we contact you via Twitter direct message. (You must be 18 to win, but if you get selected when we contact you for details on how to ship you your photo, we can deal with a parent or legal guardian.)
A: Jean Segura (white)
B: Scooter Gennett
C: Yovani Gallardo
D: Jean Segura (gold)
I realize that anyone can see this post, including in my Facebook and Google+ communities as well as the general internet. This is a “Twitter Only” contest to kick things off. There will be other community-specific contests down the road, but if you want in this time and you don’t have a Twitter account……well, make one and follow us!
Also, keep your eyes open mid-next week for a special opportunity related to this contest.
Thanks for reading, and good luck!
(You can leave any questions in the comments.)
Welcome back to “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers”, my annual countdown to Opening Day.
We’re seven weeks away from tailgating, bunting (both the good kind and likely the reviled kind), cheering, high-fiving, and (if you’re old enough) day-drinking.
That’s all there is left. Just seven weeks. Seven little weeks. And you already know this because of both simply math and the fact that it’s written right there in the title of the column, but seven weeks left multiplied by seven days per week gives us the knowledge that we’re 49 days away.
What you also already know is who wears #49 for the Milwaukee Brewers. He is the longest-tenured Brewers pitcher who wears #49 in honor of his childhood idol Teddy Higuera. He is…
I stopped short, just now, of even referring to Gallardo as the “staff ace” in Milwaukee. He’s got the tenure and up until last season consistently performed as the best starting pitcher year in and year out (with the exception of parts of Zack Greinke’s Milwaukee tenure) when he was healthy and on the mound. Such was not the case in 2013.
In fact, 2013 was the overall worst statistical season of Gallardo’s seven as a Brewer. He posted an ERA over 4.00 (4.18) for the first time along with just 144 strikeouts in just 180.2 innings pitched. That dropped his K/9 rate to a career-worst 7.2 and despite his downtick in BB/9, he still finished with a career second-to-worst K/BB of 2.18.
This couldn’t be coming at a worse time for Milwaukee as Gallardo’s base salary jumps by $3.5 million this year. They do hold a club option for 2015 at $13 million with just a $600 thousand buyout. Make no mistake, but even less after signing Matt Garza to a four-year contract: How Gallardo pitches in 2014 has an incredible amount to do with where Gallardo pitches in 2015.
But to this point, it’s all been for the Brewers franchise after being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft. Gallardo signed a month after the draft and pitched for both the Arizona rookie and Beloit Class-A affiliates that year. He posted a 0.47 ERA in six starts in Arizona before the promotion. Gallardo spent all of 2005 with Class-A West Virginia making 18 starts in 26 appearances, mostly with the idea of limiting his innings. Gallardo’s progress was accelerated after that, at least in comparison to most Brewers minor leaguers these days. He split 2006 between Class-A Advanced Brevard County and Class-AA Huntsville. He made 13 starts for each and posted very similar lines at both despite the talent difference at Huntsville. Gallardo started 2007 in Nashville until his mid-June callup to Milwaukee. He hasn’t looked back accept for a short rehab assignment to begin the 2008 season after tearing the meniscus in his left knee that March. He did lose almost all of 2008 anyway to an ACL tear in his right knee (which coincides exactly with the beginning of my sports-hate for Reed Johnson), but had pitched very well since then.
What’s more, Gallardo was a model of consistency in the two years prior to last year. He struck out between 200 and 207 hitters in each of the four years between 2009 and 2012. He pitched 207.1 innings in 2011 with 207 strikeouts and 204.0 innings in 2012 with 204 strikeouts. He allowed 27 home runs in 2011 and 26 homers in 2012. There are more examples, but the only thing with a wild fluctuation between the seasons was Gallardo’s walk total. It was just 59 in 2011 but ballooned to 81 in 2012. But in 2013, Gallardo cut his walks back down to a total of 66 (3.3 BB/9) which wasn’t as good as 2011 (2.6) but still better than 2012 (3.6).
So if it wasn’t the walk rate that torpedoed Gallardo last season, what exactly did happen in 2013?
Part of the answer if that we really don’t know for sure. Despite the advances in metrics, measurements, analysis, and the like, these are still human beings trying to live up to numbers. A couple of things with potential impact did happen that we know about for sure. First, Gallardo agreed to participate in the World Baseball Classic for Team Mexico which led to an shorter off-season, earlier ramp up times, and possibly impacted his preparations from a regular season standpoint. It has been mentioned multiple times this off-season, when prompted, that the WBC may have had some impact on Gallardo. Of course, all of last season when Gallardo was struggling it was consistently dismissed as a possible cause. We’ll see what a regular off-season does for Gallardo’s fortunes in 2014.
The other things we know of, although we have no idea how long it may have continued to be a problem or what caused it to happen in the first place, but there was the matter of an off-the-field issue when Gallardo was arrested for DUI in April. It was in the early morning hours of Tuesday, April 16th. Gallardo pitched on the 13th and was scheduled to toe the rubber again on the 18th. That’s not to excuse the timing of the DUI, but at least to offer the factual context.
Gallardo was cited, fined, and admonished for the act. It’s not only poor form, but in a world of multi-million dollar contracts, clubhouse attendants, personal assistants, and a league-sponsored program to provide drivers for players who have had too much to drink on a given night, it’s fairly hard to understand how it could have happened at all. Then again, alcohol has been known to impair judgment a time or two.
The bottom line for Gallardo is that he’s got a job in Milwaukee for 2014 in the starting rotation. Beyond that, he certainly has a lot to prove for someone with his track record. He needs to refind his ability to miss bats, while maintaining the control that he’s demonstrated in the past. If he sacrificed strikeouts in an odd attempt to decrease his walks and reduce his pitch counts, it worked to some degree but he lost much of his effectiveness along the way.
All that said, let me reiterate one point in conclusion: Gallardo has a lot of influence over his 2015 with his results in 2014. One would think that his calm and relatively reserved demeanor would lend itself to his wanting to pitch well so he could stay in Milwaukee.
Let’s just hope he pitches like it.
Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:
- #50 José De La Torre
- #51 Wei-Chung Wang
- #52 Jimmy Nelson
- #53 Brandon Kintzler
- #54 Michael Blazek
- #58 Ariel Peña
- #59 Zach Duke
- #60 Kevin Shackelford
- #61 Jason Rogers
- #63 Brooks Hall
- #64 Mike Fiers
- #65 Irving Falu
- #66 Robinzon Diaz
- BONUS COLUMN: #77 David Goforth, #76 Kevin Mattison, #75 Mitch Haniger, #74 Michael Olmstead, #73 Kentrail Davis, #72 Cameron Garfield, #71 Adam Weisenburger, #70 Dustin Molleken, #67 Eugenio Velez