Posted tagged ‘Brewers’

Donnie Dwyer CBS 58 sports broadcast 4/18/11

April 19, 2011

Check out my broadcast last night on CBS 58 nightly news…

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SB Nation: Marcum and Greinke the key to Brewers season?

March 3, 2011

My favorite baseball writer, Rob Neyer talks about how this year is vital for the Brewers and two pitchers can make that difference.

Via SB Nation:

After two years of good hitting and lousy pitching, the Brewers have finally addressed their biggest need with two big trades. Will newcomers Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum be enough in 2011?

 This one’s easy.

Yuniesky Betancourt #3 of the Milwaukee Brewers poses for a portrait during Spring Training Media Day on February 24, 2011 at Maryvale Stadium in Maryvale, Arizona. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

The Brewers will open the 2010 season with almost exactly the same lineup as they finished 2009. There’s just one change: at shortstop, Yuniesky Betancourt replaces Alcides Escobar. On most teams, replacing anyone with Yuniesky Betancourt would constitute a downgrade, but in this case Escobar was so awful at the plate last season that Betancourt can scarcely be worse. Granted, the Brewers will take a defensive hit, but overall this is roughly a wash.

So the same Brewers who ranked fourth in the National League in scoring last season are likely to do roughly as well this season.

The problem last season wasn’t scoring runs; it was preventing them. Milwaukee finished 14th in the league with a 4.59 ERA, and their starters were even worse: 4.65 ERA, 15th in the National League. And that after a 2009 that was even worse.

Pitchers Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum of the Milwaukee Brewers listen to pitching coach Rick Kranitz during a spring training practice on February 18, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

For two straight seasons, the Brewers featured excellent hitting but execrable pitching, and of course it cost them dearly as they finished below .500 both years. Clearly, whatever they’ve been doing to build a pitching staff — and a rotation, in particular, just wasn’t working. The Manny Parras and the Doug Davises and the Jeff Suppans and the David Bushes just weren’t getting it done.

Brewers fans have been incredibly patient, and last year nearly three million of them showed up to watch a 77-85 squad. But even Cheeseheads might run out of patience eventually, and Prince Fielder’s impending free agency adds just another temporal imperative. The time is now, and so this winter management pulled the trigger on two big trades.

First, they traded second baseman Brett Lawrie — their one truly hot hitting prospect — straight up to Toronto for starting pitcher Shaun Marcum.

Second, two weeks later they traded a quartet of young players to Kansas City for Zack Greinke (and Yuniesky Betancourt, but that was just because if nobody plays shortstop you give up way too many singles and also it’s really hard to turn most varieties of the double play).

The Big Question, then, is pretty obvious: Are Greinke and Marcum enough to get the Brewers’ run prevention into the middle of the National League pack, and thus push the club into real contention?

In a word, yes.

In this case, the math is exceptionally simple. Last season, David Bush, Manny Parra, Doug Davis and Chris Capuano combined for 64 starts, and in the aggregate performed at almost exactly replacement level.

Absent injuries, Greinke and Marcum will make roughly 64 starts, and we may estimate they’ll be roughly eight to 10 Wins Above Replacement … and thus eight to 10 wins better than the pitchers they’re replacing.

At this point the simplicity breaks down a little. We can’t just add eight or 10 wins to the Brewers’ 77 last season, because the other 23 players on the roster are variables, too. We can’t just assume that if Greinke and Marcum are healthy all season, the Brewers will win 85-87 games.

You know what, though?

If you run the math, that’s almost exactly where the Brewers grade out. And with 85-87 wins going in, a few breaks or a canny trade can push you to 90 and Nirvana.

Greinke and Marcum really are the keys. As they should be, considering how much the Brewers gave up to get them. The farm system is now almost completely devoid of top-tier talent, which means the window might well close after this season.

you know it makes perfect sense because when you have a team of Parra, Bush, Suppan, and Capuano it makes you look like the Cleveland Indians of the American League. They now have three top of the line starters and two very good middle of the rotation guys. This season is going to be the year for the Brewers and their fans or else they will have to wait another few years to become relevant again. Everything is in their favor and right now they need to take advantage of it. The team feels confident that they can win throughout camp this week, but let’s see if a dream becomes a reality…

Sweet Spot Blog: Rickie Weeks deal good for the Milwaukee Brewers

February 24, 2011

Another very good blog that baseball fans should go to. My main writer, Rob Neyer used to write for this blog buthas handed it down to the rest of the ESPN writers around the country.

Via Sweet Spot Blog:

After what felt like an eternity of negotiations, the Brewers and second baseman Rickie Weeks finally agreed to terms on a long-term contract Wednesday. Ken Rosenthal first reported the details of the new agreement, which potentially pays Weeks $50 million over the next five seasons. The fifth year essentially acts as an option, as the Brewers can opt out if Weeks isn’t a full-time player in 2013 and 2014.

At close to $10 million per season, the Brewers are paying for fewer than two Wins Above Replacement (WAR) yearly out of Weeks once we account for long-term salary inflation. Weeks produced a whopping 6.1 WAR in the 2010 season, and even though that kind of production may just be a career year, Weeks is a good bet to eclipse the 2 WAR total on a yearly basis. Both his walk rate (10.7 percent over his career) and Isolated Power (.176 for his career) are well above the league average, and these form the basis of his solid .355 career OBP and .429 slugging percentage.

The obvious comparison for Weeks is another second baseman: the Atlanta Braves’ Dan Uggla. Uggla also received a five-year contract extension this offseason, earning an extra $12 million for a total of $62 million. Uggla has the superior bat — a .263/.349/.488 career line against Weeks’s .253/.355/.429 — but a worse defensive reputation (which is saying quite a bit) and less speed on the bases. Uggla is also two years older; Weeks won’t turn 29 until September while Uggla will turn 31 during spring training.

So the $12 million lower price tag for Weeks seems like quite the bargain. However, I think it makes sense given Weeks’s tumultuous injury history. Although Weeks showed no signs of the wrist problems in 2010 that plagued his early career, it remains a worry for many Brewers fans. Last years was the first time that Weeks managed to play more than 130 games in a season — and only the third time in six tries that he competed in more than 100 games. There’s little doubt that Weeks’s extension would be much richer — and perhaps not contain the out clause on the final season — had he not missed more than 200 career games, including much of a 2009 season that looked primed for a breakout.

Overall, though, it’s hard to argue with this deal. The Brewers will be able to escape with relatively little damage should the injury problems strike again, and Weeks is quite likely to be worth much more than his contract while he’s on the field. Much like the deals the Brewers have in place with franchise cornerstones Yovani Gallardo and Ryan Braun, this deal gives the team the flexibility to continue to add talent while retaining a very good player for a long time.

Due to a lack of prospects, the Brewers are set up for the short-term. However, the core talent on the team right now is exceptionally young. Of the team’s regular players this season, only fourth starter Randy Wolf and setup man Takashi Saito are over the age of 30. Outside of Prince Fielder and Saito, every other player is under team control at least through 2012. Deals like the Weeks contract should allow the Brewers to stay competitive while rebuilding the farm system.

…Surprisingly, I disagree with this article for many reasons. Why did the Brewers give him a 5 year deal? He will be 32 at the end of the deal and that is old for a second baseman. He has only played 2 healthy regular seasons and last years was his most productive. I understand what Doug Melvin is trying to do by locking up his young guys, but why not Fielder, Grienke, Marcum, or Axford. I think this deal leaves a lot of question marks. I love Weeks as a player when healthy because he is one of the best leadoff hitters in the game and is a game changer every time he steps up to the plate. But with his poor defense and his injury risk, I don’t think it was worth that much. If he walks a lot more this year, hits a few more home runs, and drives in more runs, this deal will look like a steal for the Brew Crew. But before then, I still put this deal up for question rather than say it was the best thing for the Brewers…

Happy 4th of July!

July 4, 2010

It is the fourth of July and nothing gets better on this day than America’s greatest pastime baseball. 

The heart of Red, White and Blue

Here are the starting pitchers for today’s games:

Sunday July 4
Game Time Team Name Record
1:05 p.m. ET OAK Vin Mazzaro (3-2, 4.25)
CLE Fausto Carmona (7-6, 3.68)
1:05 p.m. ET SEA Cliff Lee (7-3, 2.45)
DET Jeremy Bonderman (4-5, 4.36)
1:05 p.m. ET TOR Brandon Morrow (5-6, 4.50)
NYY Phil Hughes (10-2, 3.58)
1:35 p.m. ET BAL Brian Matusz (2-9, 4.90)
BOS John Lackey (9-3, 4.46)
1:35 p.m. ET NYM Hisanori Takahashi (6-3, 4.24)
WAS Craig Stammen (2-2, 5.13)
1:35 p.m. ET PHI Joe Blanton (3-5, 6.19)
PIT Jeff Karstens (2-3, 4.46)
2:10 p.m. ET TB James Shields (6-8, 4.76)
MIN Nick Blackburn (7-5, 6.02)
2:15 p.m. ET MLW Yovani Gallardo (8-3, 2.56)
STL Adam Wainwright (11-5, 2.34)
2:20 p.m. ET CIN Mike Leake (5-1, 3.30)
CHC Ted Lilly (3-6, 3.12)
3:10 p.m. ET SF Matt Cain (6-7, 2.93)
COL Jason Hammel (6-3, 4.32)
4:05 p.m. ET HOU Brett Myers (5-6, 3.61)
SD Wade LeBlanc (4-6, 3.25)
4:10 p.m. ET LA Chad Billingsley (6-4, 4.25)
ARZ Dan Haren (7-6, 4.56)
5:05 p.m. ET FLA Ricky Nolasco (7-6, 4.84)
ATL Tim Hudson (8-3, 2.37)
8:05 p.m. ET CWS Mark Buehrle (6-7, 4.58)
TEX Scott Feldman (5-7, 5.48)
8:15 p.m. ET KC Anthony Lerew (1-1, 3.63)
ANA Joel Pineiro (8-6, 4.23)

…There are a ton of really good games on the list here ranging from Florida vs. Atlanta, Dodgers vs. D’Backs, and Brewers vs. Cardinals… 

…But the best to me has to be the Mets vs. Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. To play baseball in the nations capital with all the excitment of Strasburg and the way the Nationals have played the last few days. This is a given best game of the day! Everyone should watch and enjoy this game today and honor America… 

Nationals wear the colors on their head when they take the field today

My suggestion for fans is to eat a ton of Hotdogs and Hamburgers and open up a can of brew and Thank America for having one of the greatest pastimes…Baseball.