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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Mets begin life without Neil Walker in win over Phillies

Walker knew he might be traded. Still, he did not act like a man on the move, a display of practiced cool that comes only with time. But one day later, Walker was suiting up for the Brewers, and the Mets plugged along without yet another veteran who had helped set the agenda in the clubhouse. Such is the reality of the phase the Mets have entered over the final weeks of this season.

The start of the Subway Series Monday night may provide a little extra intrigue in a season long lost to injuries. But manager Terry Collins didn’t bother manufacturing over-the-top enthusiasm for the annual meeting of crosstown rivals.

Said Collins: “They’re games we’ve got to go play.”

Walker has about 5 million left on his deal, but the Mets are sending the Brewers some money. Mets are saving money and getting a “PTBNL” back.

Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: August 13, 2017 at 07:18 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, mets, neil walker

Monday, August 07, 2017

Counsell: Crew isn’t built to rely on small ball

Counsell remained candid during the media scrum in the visitors’ clubhouse at Target Field on Monday, prior to his club’s series opener with the Twins. The Brewers have 27 sacrifice bunts this season, below the National League average of 29. In addition, 23 of their 27 bunts have been recorded by pitchers.

“If I put on a bunt sign, it’s not a 100 percent guaranteed success,” Counsell said. “I think people say, ‘Well, he’s a big league player and he should bunt.’ I don’t think that’s a fair thing to say; it’s just not true. I can’t make a decision based on something that’s not true.”

Only four position players on the Milwaukee roster have actually laid down a successful sacrifice bunt this season, including Manny Pina. With the score 1-1 in the top of the ninth inning on Sunday, Pina was at the plate with runners on first and second and no outs. Counsell opted against the bunt following a pair of singles. Pina has a total of 25 sacrifice bunts in 12 Minor League seasons.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2017 at 10:17 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, bunting, craig counsell

Monday, July 31, 2017

Rangers trade Jeremy Jeffress to Brewers

The Brewers have acquired right-handed reliever Jeremy Jeffress from the Rangers for Double-A reliever Tayler Scott, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick and Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Jeffress, 29, was previously with Milwaukee from 2014-16 but was part of a multi-player deal that sent him and Jonathan Lucroy to the Rangers at the deadline last year. He’s struggled this season with the Rangers, posting a 5.31 ERA and 1.67 WHIP with 29 strikeouts and 19 walks in 40.2 innings.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 31, 2017 at 02:32 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, jeremy jeffress

OTP 31 July 2017: Here’s What Christie Said to Heckler

No, not Margaret Heckler.

Brad Joseph told a Milwaukee TV station he was at the game rooting for the visiting Chicago Cubs when a nachos-toting Christie “got in my face” after he heckled the governor.

“I called him a hypocrite,“Joseph said. “I thought it needed to be said. He then turned around and got in my face for what seemed like a long time but was probably only 30 seconds or a minute.”

Joseph said Christie initially said, “‘Why don’t you have another beer?’ which I thought was a decent comeback, and I thought that was kind of funny. Then he started calling me a tough guy.”

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

BDC Posted: July 31, 2017 at 10:13 AM | 2052 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cubs, nachos, new jersey, politics

Thursday, July 20, 2017

THT: A Joyful Celebration of Baseball

Good reporting by Sarah Wexler on the 19th annual induction day for the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals.

The first honor bestowed was the 2017 Hilda Award, named, of course, for Hilda Chester, and intended to especially honor noteworthy fans.

This year’s recipient was Cam Perron, a 22-year-old Tulane University business management graduate. Perron’s life’s passion is the preservation of Negro League history. At the age of 12, he began writing retired ballplayers for autographs, sending 20 to 40 letters a week to former major leaguers and former Negro leaguers. He found that the Negro league alumni tended to be quite enthusiastic in their responses, often sending replies that were two or three pages long. Perron started including his phone number in his letters, and often ended up having hours-long conversations with players.

...At the age of 13, he teamed up with Dr. Layton Revel, founder and executive director of the Center for Negro League Baseball Research in Carrollton, Texas, whom he describes as his “best friend.” The two have organized Negro Leagues reunions in Birmingham, Ala., for each of the past eight years.

Perron was also instrumental in getting MLB to launch a Negro League pension program, which provides anyone who can prove they played Negro League baseball for four or more years with a yearly $10,000 pension — a sum which, in Perron’s words, “really makes a difference” for a lot of guys. Perron has been featured twice on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, given a TED-Ed talk, and is currently in the process of working on a feature film based on his efforts.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Likely destinations for all the top stars on the block

The Brewers may be the most aggressive team pursuing Gray, who pitched three years for Brewers pitching coach Derek Johnson at Vanderbilt. The Brewers, whose rebuild has suddenly been accelerated by their first-place status in the NL Central, not only have the prospects, but also a fiery owner wanting to land him….

The Astros, 62-30, actually may be the team that most needs Gray. Sure, they’ll cruise to the AL West title with or without him, but with the way the Astros have dominated this year, anything short of a World Series berth will be a disappointment.

The Astros would prefer to land Detroit Tigers All-Star Michael Fulmer, and likely would include No. 1 prospect Francis Martes for him, but they inquired, just like the Cubs, and came up empty. If Fulmer is traded, the Tigers say, it won’t be until this winter when everyone can make a bid.

The Astros realize that Gray is the ideal front-line starter in this market to make a run for their first World Series title in franchise history, giving them a dynamic rotation with All-Stars Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr.

Prediction: Gray goes to the Astros for starter Joe Musgrove, prized pitching prospect Forrest Whitley and outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Brewers Are Winning by Being the Anti-Astros – The Ringer

A bunch of good stuff in this article.

“Depth isn’t often talked about,” Stearns says. “But I think we’re seeing throughout the industry how important depth can be within an organization, and certainly it’s something that we’ve talked about internally. And as we look at our roster this year, one of the really rewarding things for us and for our organization as a whole is how many different guys have contributed.”

We can quantify depth. Adam Guttridge and David Ogren, cofounders of the Neifi player-evaluation system — and, coincidentally, a former full-time employee of and consultant to the Brewers, albeit before Stearns’s hiring — have developed a measure of depth that adds up each player’s projected full-season wins below the halfway point between replacement level and average, and then combines those individual totals into a cumulative team figure. Anyone above that threshold (which is meant to approximate the talent level of a serviceable bench player) doesn’t detract from the team’s depth rating. The lower the number, the less dead weight the team is carrying on its roster. By this metric, the Brewers have the fewest holes (if not the highest highs) of any NL team.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 20, 2017 at 02:46 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, david stearns

Monday, June 12, 2017

Projecting Brewers Center Fielder Lewis Brinson | FanGraphs Baseball

Brinson’s come a long way since his early days as a professional, especially in the strikeout department. He struck out an alarming 38% of the time in Low-A back in 2013, but has hacked several percentage points off that mark since. His 22% strikeout rate in Triple-A this year is still a bit high, but not alarmingly so. He’s made this improvement without giving up much in other categories, either. His 20 extra-base hits, seven steals, healthy walk rate, and center-field defense more than outweigh the remaining strikeout risk.

KATOH adores Brinson, projecting him for 6.3 WAR over his first six seasons by the traditional method and 8.8 WAR by KATOH+, which incorporates his Baseball America ranking. The latter makes the No. 20 prospect in all of baseball. Both are up noticeably from the preseason. My model saw him as a no-doubt top-50 prospect over the winter, and he’s only improved his stock since.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 12, 2017 at 06:56 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, katoh, lewis brinson, prospects

Friday, June 09, 2017

Unbalanced: It’s Time to Revisit Eric Thames, Human Cyborg

I like the idea of evaluating the impact of injuries by logically assessing what will change and confirming that in the stats. It’s just a small piece of this article, and here it’s applied just to Thames; but on a larger sample of players having similar injuries it could be a good thing.

villageidiom Posted: June 09, 2017 at 06:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, eric thames, milwaukee, milwaukee brewers

Monday, June 05, 2017

Brewers promote Phillips for MLB debut | MiLB.com News

Brett Phillips before Lewis Brinson?

Jim Furtado Posted: June 05, 2017 at 02:56 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brett phillips, brewers

Full Count » The Tyler Thornburg trade just got more expensive for Red Sox

The Red Sox announced that they were sending 18 year old middle infielder Yeison Coca to the Brewers as the player to be named later in the deal that already sent Travis Shaw, Mauricio Dubon and Josh Pennington to Milwaukee.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 05, 2017 at 12:04 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, red sox, trades, tyler thornburg

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Dodgers tie MLB record by striking out 26 Brewers

“The Milwaukee Brewers reached a special level of futility in Friday night’s 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, becoming only the third team in Major League Baseball history to strike out 26 times in a single game.”

Kershaw:  7 innings, 2 hits, 1 run, 14k, no decision.  The Won/Loss Gods are furious ..

Lest we forget Posted: June 03, 2017 at 03:35 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, dodgers, records, strikeouts

Friday, June 02, 2017

Brinson smashes two homers for Sky Sox | MiLB.com News

“So far this year, he’s done everything the organization has asked of him,” Colorado Springs’ hitting coach Al LeBoeuf said. “He’s got all the tools that you’d want and the most important one is his mind. His mind is progressing every day and getting in the right place to allow his athletic ability to take over.”

“I think the mental side of my approach has been a work in progress throughout my career,” Brinson added. “These past few years, I think I’ve got a lot better at taking it one at-bat at a time and not chasing hits. Instead, I’m just trying to get the barrel on the ball and the results will come on their own.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2017 at 06:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, lewis brinson

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Brewers Stir A Little Beef By Suggesting That Cubs Called Rainout For Reason Other Than Rain

A few hours before the scheduled first pitch, the Cubs called to reschedule yesterday afternoon’s game against the Brewers due to rain. But when the original game time rolled around, it was no longer raining—and things stayed pretty dry for the rest of the day. An ordinary display of caution by the Cubs? A simple judgment error? Not according to the Brewers!

Per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, general manager David Stearns stopped short of accusing the Cubs of any “actual shenanigans.” But he accused them of having a bad forecast, different from anything that the Brewers were looking at, and said he had already talked to the team directly about his frustration:

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 21, 2017 at 01:40 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cubs, postponement, rain

Dance-off for NL Central title!

Let’s see David Ross top this!

Walt Davis Posted: May 21, 2017 at 02:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cubs, dancing

Monday, May 15, 2017

Eric Thames and the Transformative Power of Boredom | FanGraphs Baseball

On the benefits of boredom.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 15, 2017 at 01:18 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, eric thames

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Brewers’ Eric Thames mashes home runs vs. Reds | MLB.com

With five April games left to play, Thames has a Major League record within reach. Albert Pujols hit a record 14 April home runs in 2006, and Alex Rodriguez matched that in 2007.
Has Thames ever had more fun playing baseball?

“I would say the last three years. When I actually started to let go,” said Thames, referring to his time in Korea. “When I was a prospect and [breaking into] the big leagues, I stressed out a lot. I drank a lot. I was just like, ‘Oh my God, I have to hit a home run or I’m going back to Double-A and Triple-A.

“Now, in Korea and here, I’m just like, ‘OK, I’m going to do my job, I’m going to work as hard as I can, and when it’s time for game time, just relax and let it all go.’ It’s amazing when stress levels decrease and you start to actually have fun and be loose and be able to react. It’s crazy.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 25, 2017 at 06:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, eric thames

Friday, April 21, 2017

Brewers’ Eric Thames adjusts to attention | MLB.com

He is used to this kind of attention. In South Korea, where Thames averaged 41 home runs over three seasons, fans nicknamed him “God.” He still has a pile of T-shirts somewhere with that word written on them in Korean, a gift Thames sheepishly accepted. He went on a date one night and was out on the street kissing a girl when a fan tapped him on the shoulder and asked for an autograph.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2017 at 08:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, eric thames

Thursday, April 20, 2017

How is free swinger Eric Thames crushing his second act?

The problem? He swung at everything. And it almost cost him everything. But he’s back and emerging as the biggest surprise of the 2017 season. How did he climb back for this second act that most players never get?

“Plate discipline,” Thames said, simply. “I learned in Korea that they won’t challenge you as much as they do in the minor leagues and [majors]. And maintaining the strike zone and swinging at strikes, that’s like the ultimate goal for everybody.”

Thames signed with the NC Dinos of the South Korean League, then spent the next three seasons putting up Ruthian numbers on the other side of the globe. All told, he hit .349/.451/.721 with 124 homers, 382 RBIs and 64 steals in Korea, but Thames wasn’t just dominating lesser competition; he was working on his game, making it more pliable for a return to the States. Part of it was metrics. Or at least one metric: Thames started to track the number of pitches he chased out of the zone, and mixed that with a little self-motivating tool.

“Starting in Korea, every time I chase, I put a dollar in the pot and I donate it at the end of the year,” Thames said. “It’s a challenge. I was a guy that swung at everything, so many balls out of the zone early on in my career. It’s a big thing. That’s why I couldn’t handle it in Seattle. It’s why I got sent down.”

He’s been really impressive to watch so far.  I also like how this article is framed around comparing this approach with Tim Anderson.


Sunday, April 09, 2017

Haudricourt: Rebuilding a team leads to roster roulette

“Inexperienced rosters are going to be more fluid,” said manager Craig Counsell, whose job is to put the puzzle back together every time the pieces change.

“There are challenges, certainly. The challenging thing is making roster decisions when it’s not always about performance. That’s because we have to manage 25 players (in the majors), 40 players (on the protected roster), options, bullpen availability, small injuries.

“It doesn’t always come down to performance. It comes down to how do we get through this day the best way to have a chance to win the game? And how do we preserve guys for the long term that have growth potential or ceilings? That’s part of David’s job.

“From my end, you are aware of it. Guys who are young in their careers are aware of it. It’s one of the hurdles that young players face in their careers — the insecurity about, ‘Am I here? Am I there?’ It’s part of the challenge they face. It’s a mental challenge more than anything. We all want to know where we’re going to be; we all want security.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 09, 2017 at 12:35 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, rebuilding

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Eric Thames is a legend in Korea, now he’s restarting his career with the Brewers

The Babe Ruth of Korea is a Jesuit prep school graduate who is built like Terry Crews, wears a beard down to his chest, and was nicknamed God. But Eric Thames’s rock star life in Changwon reached its most outrageous point one late night last year.

“I was on a date,” he says. “We were on the street kissing, and a fan came up, hit me on the shoulder and was like, ‘Hey, can you sign?’ I’m like, ‘I’m with a girl right now! Get out of here.’ I was blown away.


“Wouldn’t matter if it was six in the morning, three in the morning, a dark alley or what. It was crazy. Because of my look—the beard, the tattoos—and because of what I did on the field, I couldn’t go anywhere.”

This year Thames said goodbye to South Korea, where for the past three seasons he put up video game numbers for the NC Dinos (.348 with 124 homers in 388 games), to take his second crack at fame in major league baseball. His first stint here, in which he bounced among the Toronto, Seattle, Baltimore and Houston organizations, was nondescript. Now, at age 30, he has a rebuilt swing, a newly found love of meditation and visualization, and the security of a three-year, $16 million contract to play first base for the Brewers.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 06, 2017 at 10:48 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, eric thames, korean league

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Brewers reliever ponders job in which he’s ‘treated like a human’ after not making roster

Brewers 27-year-old reliever Tyler Cravy thought he had a realistic shot at cracking the team’s 25-man roster coming out of spring training, but those hopes were dashed on Saturday when he was cut. To hear Cravy tell it, the Brewers’ front office informed him and fellow reliever Tyler Scahill that they’d be competing for a bullpen spot in Milwaukee. As it turns out, Cravy and Scahill each had a strong spring training—2.03 ERA and 0.73 ERA, respectively—but along the way the team’s plans changed

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 01, 2017 at 11:45 PM | 191 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Scooter Gennett waived by Brewers, picked up by Reds

Gennett was put on waivers by the Brewers despite having a minor-league option available. His contract for the 2017 season was $2.525 million, which will be picked up by the Reds. The transaction opens up a spot on the Brewers’ 40-man major-league roster.

Gennett, a Cincinnati native, was drafted in the 16th round by the Brewers in 2009 and played four seasons in the majors with the ballclub. In 2016, he batted .263 (.317 OBP) with 14 homers and 56 RBI in 137 games.

Brewers general manager David Stearns said the team tried to trade Gennett but nothing materialized.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 28, 2017 at 01:55 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, reds, scooter gennett

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ryan Braun pleads case to special panel Thursday trying to avoid 50-game suspension

I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to play this game, and I am appalled that you would begin a three-member panel inquiry with a topic like that!

Ryan Braun, the National League’s Most Valuable Player, pleaded his case Thursday before a three-member panel that will decide whether he faces a 50-game suspension for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone.

The appeal came just two days before Braun will accept his MVP award at the New York Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s dinner Saturday night at the New York Hilton, sources familiar with Braun told the Daily News.

A decision by the panel, which includes MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner, MLB executive vice president for labor relations Rob Manfred and independent arbitrator Shyam Das, is not expected to come before Braun accepts his award. It was unclear if the hearing would continue into Friday.

...The Milwaukee outfielder, however, is playing a game that no major leaguer has won; despite conflicting reports, no player has ever seen a suspension overturned by the arbitration panel, according to people familiar with the process.

It is possible for a player to test positive for a banned substance and see his case dismissed in advance of arbitration because of chain of custody or other issues, without the public ever learning of his positive test. But Braun is past that point, and is looking to the arbitration panel as his final chance to avoid suspension.

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 10:42 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, rumors, steroids

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