Posted tagged ‘Milwaukee Brewers’

CBS 58: Donnie Dwyer Live Shot at Miller Park

September 17, 2011

CBS 58 Sports Intern Donnie Dwyer goes down to Miller Park to discuss the key game between the Rockies. Ryan Braun hit a game winning home run in last nights ball game to bring the Magic Number down to 8 and he talked about his game winning blast…

Vote: What is the best play in baseball so far this season?

May 21, 2011

Hey baseball fans, I have watched a lot of baseball growing up and I have to say that this season has been the year of the glove. There have been a ton of fantastic plays from a lot of teams around the league and they have been very fun to watch. My question to you the fans is which one is the greatest? VOTE BELOW to decide which one is the best.

Roger Bernadina?

Brewers Double Play?

Cabrera Double Play?

Phillips throught the legs?

Prince Fielder is everything you want in an athelte

April 20, 2011

This is a great article from one of my favorite writers in baseball in Tim Kurkjian. Follow him on ESPN or on twitter @Kurkjian_ESPN 

Via ESPN:

Here’s what we know about Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder: He’s one of the game’s premier hitters; he’s 26; he can be a free agent after the season; the Brewers are going to try to win it all with him this year, but if they’re out of the race by the end of July, they’re going to have to trade him because they know they don’t have the funds to re-sign him after the season.

“So,” Fielder said, “give it all you got every day so you can sleep at night.”

Not everyone knows this about Prince Fielder: He’s even stronger than you think. A former Brewers coach, Rich Donnelly, once said that Fielder’s arms “are so big, you could tattoo a map of the United States on one of his biceps and still have room for Argentina.”

“He is the strongest man in baseball, no doubt, and I really think he could hold his own in the World’s Strongest Man competition,” said Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun. “His arms are bigger than my legs.”

“He is stupid strong, stupid strong,” said Milwaukee third baseman Casey McGehee. “We were just in Pittsburgh. He hit 20 balls in the water in batting practice in two days. The rest of us are blowing snot bubbles trying to hit one as far as him, and he’s just getting loose.”

Jerry Narron, one of the Brewers’ coaches, was among many Brewers who were asked to stand up and tell something about themselves to the team in spring training. “I told them that one of the highlights of my career was hitting a home run into the upper deck in Detroit one day,” Narron said with a healthy laugh. “Prince said he did that when he was 12.”

Indeed. Fielder went out to plenty of American League parks at that age, tagging along with his father, Cecil, one of the game’s best power hitters in the early 1990s.

Not everyone knows this about Fielder: He’s a good athlete, above average defensively and a decent runner. But, at 5-foot-11 and 275 pounds, he gets labeled as a slug, which isn’t the case.

“I could dunk a volleyball in high school,” Fielder said. “I didn’t play football because I knew they were going to put me at a fat-guy position and I didn’t want to do that. I am athletic.”

Said McGehee: “If he played football, I don’t want to say he’d be a lineman because it has a negative connotation, but he’d be a quick, athletic guard that pulls, then flattens someone. He is way better than people think on defense [in baseball]. Some of the shifts we play leave him 45 feet away from the bag, but he’s quick enough to get over there for the throw.”

Cecil Fielder was a far better defensive first baseman than he was given credit for, had great hands and good feet, and could easily dunk a basketball despite his size: 6-3 and 230 pounds.

“I’ve always liked playing defense,” Prince said. “But, nothing against my dad, but when I’d come home from a game, he’d ask, ‘How did you hit?'”

Garth Iorg, a Brewers coach who runs the team’s defense, said, “The way Prince charges a bunt — I haven’t seen the whole league — but I can’t imagine someone being that much better.”

Not everyone knows this about Fielder: He plays hard every play. He really cares.

“He is so much fun to manage,” said Ron Roenicke, the first-year manager for the Brewers. “On a routine ground ball to the first baseman, he is in full sprint. On a shallow fly ball to the outfield, he is in a full sprint. He takes ground ball after ground ball. He works.”

Milwaukee utility man Craig Counsell, 40, said, “It is a sign of mental toughness the way he plays — so, so hard. He’s not going to give in on anything. He’s not going to give up on anything.”

Fielder has always been that way. “I did it [not running hard] once; I was watching a runner instead of going all out,” Fielder said. “Robin Yount was with us [as a coach]. You know Robin. He looked at me. I never did that again.”

Said Narron: “Prince has a great attitude about the game. You know how many star players get their two at-bats in a spring training game, pack everything up and leave right after that? I never saw him this spring not stay for at least two or three innings on the bench.”

Added Braun: “He is so durable [Fielder holds the Brewers’ club record for consecutive games played with 327, breaking Yount’s record]. He’s never been on the disabled list in his career. We are in a sport where you are judged by production. How many guys are more productive than him?”

Not many. He has 195 home runs. Since the start of the 2007 season, only Ryan Howard has more home runs (174) than Fielder (165). When Fielder hit 50 home runs in 2007, he became the youngest player (23 years, 139 days) to hit 50, breaking the record held by Willie Mays. When free agency comes around in November, Fielder will be in great demand by several teams (how would he look in a Cubs uniform?) but likely not the Brewers. Not because they don’t want him, but because they can’t afford him at what likely will be about $20 million a year. That price tag could go up with another huge year. Off to a great start, he leads the major leagues with 17 RBIs and is hitting .338.

The demand for Fielder will be there not just because of his age — he is roughly 4½ years younger than Howard and another free agent-to-be, Albert Pujols — and not just for his track record, but for everything else he brings to a team. And what he brings to a team is a lot more than people realize.

Prince is one of the strongest people in the league and you can definitely see that from his stats. But one thing you can tell from reading other players thoughts is that he is a class man who can play the game the right way. They rave about his athleticism and about his will to win and I think Milwaukee needs him to stay based on that. This Brewers team needs to win now to generate more revenue to pay this guy the big dollars because he deserves it. He has done everything right for this ball club and if Milwaukee wants to stay competitive for a few more years, they are going to need a prince to lead the empire…

Prince Fielder with BBTN crew discussing season

March 1, 2011

This video is great. It is so Prince Fielder because he is very laid back and didn’t want to show himself or anyone up on national television. He understands that to win right now, they are going to need him to have a big year. With a 15 million deal good until the end of the season, he is not sure what is next for him. Well in Milwaukee, they definitely are going to want to see #28 in a Brewers uniform for many more years…

Sweet Spot Blog: NL Central has got some upgrades on the mound

February 28, 2011

Via Sweet Spot Blog:

In 2010, the NL Central finished the season with only six of the top 40 starting pitchers based on ERA. Three of those pitchers belonged to one team, the St. Louis Cardinals (Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia.) The other three were Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez (Houston Astros) and Johnny Cueto (Reds). This means the Cubs, Pirates and Brewers were without a starter in the top 40 ERA’s in the league by the end of 2010. The potential was there, but it was never realized. Fast forward to 2011 …

The Brewers made the first move this offseason when they picked up Zack Greinke in a trade with the Royals. They gave up little for what will be their staff ace. FanGraphs projects Greinke’s 2011 stats to be about 14-15 wins and an ERA in the mid 3.00’s. The Brew Crew did not stop there, acquiring Shawn Marcum, who cobbled together a nice 2010 for Toronto in the tough AL East after missing all of 2009. These two additions, along with future Cy Young candidate Yovani Gallardo make the Brewers a contender for the NL Central crown in 2011.

The Cubs’ offseason answer to their pitching staff questions came in a trade with Tampa Bay. Matt Garza was acquired in exchange for a slew of prospects. While the big question is how Garza will fair in Wrigley, it goes without saying he is an upgrade, and makes a fine middle-of-the-rotation addition. FanGraphs projects something like 11 wins and a high 3.00 to low 4.00 ERA. He gives the Cubs a very solid top three along with Ryan Dempster and a “newly cured” Carlos Zambrano. What if Randy Wells can get his 2009 form back? Any Cubs fan can tell you that 2010’s failure came from a lack of offense. If this staff gets even a hint of support, the NL Central is well within reach.

We can’t discuss the Cubs without touching on the Cardinals. Year in and year out the Cardinals seem to have pitching, or at least starting pitching. Yes, Wainwright is gone for the 2011 season, and while this is a big blow, I don’t see it being the end of their 2011 season. Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan are unbelievable at squeezing water from a stone. Duncan got production from Todd Wellemeyer for crying out loud. Every year the duo of La Russa and Duncan seems to pull a starting pitcher out of a hat. I am sure somebody will fall in place to pick up at least some of the wreckage left behind by Wainwright’s injury. They still have Carpenter and Garcia to lean on. Let’s also not forget the sinkerball pitcher, Jake Westbrook, who I am sure Duncan will turn into a Cy Young candidate before long. Oh yes, the Cardinals are still in the hunt … even when they lose their best pitcher.

The sneakiest staff might be Houston’s. Rodriguez and Myers will once again anchor this staff. Don’t count out J.A. Happ, as he fit in nicely coming over from the Phillies in a trade last season. While I don’t see the Astros contending this year, mostly because of their offensive woes and bullpen, these three guys make for a nice base to a starting staff. Rodriguez and Myers were both in the top 40 ERA’s for starting pitchers last year, and Happ has the stuff to be included in that conversation someday, too.

Alongside these teams sit the Cincinnati Reds. Youth would be the operative word here. The potential in this starting rotation is enormous for 2011 and beyond. Yes, Bronson Arroyo is 33, but after that you have Edison Volquez (28), Cueto (25) , Homer Bailey (25) and a fifth starter in Travis Wood (24) or Mike Leake (23). There is also the tease that Cuban fireballer Aroldis Chapman (22) might one day become a starter. With the exception of Chapman and possibly Wood, all of these pitchers have seen significant success at the major league level in a starting role. The only thing keeping the Reds from a return to the playoffs is the fact that every team in the division upgraded with exception to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The NL Central has always had a few good pitchers sprinkled about its rosters. What’s new to the past decade is the depth of each team’s starting staff, not to mention the potential for more in the future. While the Astros, and more so the Pirates, have some ground to make up in this category, the remaining four teams are finding strength and depth from their starters.

…This division will be very interesting because there will be three teams in the race for first and then the Astros will be competitive and then the Pirates will try to ruin teams playoff chances. But overall, the pitching in this division is sick. I think right now the Brewers have a one up because of their three #1 starters in Gallardo, Grienke, and Marcum. Second is the Reds with their young core listed above and then Third is the Cardinals who recently lost Wainwright for the year. But fans, do not give up on the Cardinals. They always find a way to win. They might find another Jeff Weaver, Joel Pineiro, or even a Jeff Suppan. You don’t know. Maybe for the Cubs, Zambrano and Garza can win 20 each and become super stars. You can never just predict what can happen in any given major league season. Look at the Padres last year. You know? That is why it is so interesting to see how it will be. I am excited to watch the Brewers and Reds this year because I know they basically have the same team and strategy over the past few years. Hey, we might even have a Dontrelle Willis sighting in Cincinnati…

Kameron Loe agrees to 1 year deal with Brewers

January 25, 2011

Right-hander Kameron Loe and the Milwaukee Brewers have agreed to a $1.25 million, one-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration.

The reliever was 3-5 with a 2.78 ERA in 53 appearances for the Brewers last season, becoming a key member in stabilizing a bullpen that struggled early in the year.

Beyond his base salary, Loe can receive up to $115,000 in performance bonuses: $25,000 for 50 games, $30,000 for 55, $35,000 for 60, $10,000 for 76 and $15,000 for 78.

The 29-year-old asked for $1.65 million when salary figures were exchanged last week. The Brewers offered $1,055,000.

Shaun Marcum and Rickie Weeks remain in arbitration with the Brewers.

Kameron Loe is my favorite baseball player because his sinker is dominant and his pitching motion along with his movement reminded me of myself when I used to pitch in the little leagues. He used to be a starter in Texas and I still wish he was but he is doing much better in the bullpen. He has a dominant hard sinker and is looking to be the 8th inning guy in Milwaukee. He should have a good year and set up Axford and maybe even the Brewers to the NL Central title…

Trevor Hoffman retires as a Milwaukee Brewer but is he a Hall of Famer?

January 19, 2011

Via ESPN.com Rob Neyer’s Sweetspot Blog:

May 18, 2010.

That was the day on which Trevor Hoffman stopped being a closer, and started being something else. On the 18th of May, Hoffman turned a 4-1 lead over the Reds into a 5-4 loss. It was his fourth blown save of the young season, his ERA was 13.15, and manager Ken Macha had seen enough. Exit Hoffman, enter rookie John Axford.

Hoffman was 42. Most closers don’t make it that long, and nobody lasts forever (though Sinatra gave it a shot).

The problem was that Hoffman was four saves short of 600, and we do like our round numbers. A couple of months later, Hoffman got No. 597. Eleven days later, No. 598 (after a couple of poor outings). Eleven more days later, a quick (and exceptionally easy) two-out save against the Pirates for 599. And 10 days later — noticing a pattern here? — Hoffman pitched a solid ninth inning against the Cardinals to hit that big round number.
I wish I could say that one of Baseball’s Greatest Mysteries is why the Brewers and Hoffman didn’t stop right there. After all, would there be any number more memorable in this era than Trevor Hoffman’s 600 saves, if he’d stopped right there?

Alas, it’s not much of a mystery. In this case, utility (and perhaps a bit of sentiment) trumped roundness. On the 29th of September, the Brewers played two games against the Mets. In the first game, Milwaukee took an 8-7 lead with two runs in the eighth. In the bottom of the ninth, young John Axford — who had taken over as the Brewers’ closer, and with great success — retired the Mets in order to earn the save.

If there hadn’t been a second game, that probably would have been that.

But there was a second game, and even though Axford had thrown only 14 pitches in the first game, Hoffman got the call to protect the Brewers’ 3-1 lead and pitched a perfect ninth of his own. Goodbye, 600; hello, 601.

Milwaukee would play four more games, but there was only one more ninth-inning save situation and Axford converted it; Hoffman didn’t pitch again. Happily, while that last save pushed him above 600, it also dropped him below 6; entering that last appearance, Hoffman’s ERA for the season was 6.02, but afterward it was 5.89.

So he’s got that going for him.

Not that he really needed it. Those 601 saves should be plenty. I don’t think Hoffman’s Hall of Fame chances will be hurt by Mariano Rivera any more than Alan Trammell’s were hurt by Cal Ripken, or Tim Raines’ were hurt by Rickey Henderson.

OK, bad examples.

Still, it’s hard to predict exactly what will happen when Hoffman appears on the Hall of Fame ballot. It will be an exceptionally crowded ballot. Hoffman will still be No. 1 or 2 on the all-time saves list … but how much good did that do Lee Smith, who pitched exactly 200 more innings than Hoffman and finished with roughly the same ERA.

When it comes to relief pitchers, Hall of Fame voters should be exceptionally picky. They weren’t with Rollie Fingers and Bruce Sutter, but Sutter had the splitter and Fingers had the handlebar. They’ve been picky with Smith, and were picky for many years with Gossage.

Things don’t always happen the way we think they will. Hoffman had to sweat for No. 600. He might be sweating again, five years from now.

These question arise because John Franco who is fourth in closing games with over 400 saves got eliminated from Hall of Fame contention. I will miss hearing “Enter Sandman” as he leaves but what he has done for baseball and the closers position is remarkable. He could have retired after one of his best seasons but gave a crack at it and did not succeed like he wanted to but got to 600 saves. He is a true gentleman and a huge hall of famer and will be on the first ballot. Soon they will be calling his name in Cooperstown with his San Diego Padres cap and a day to remember…