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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

MIL Journal-Sentinel: Braun sent to minors

With his bat continuing to send balls to the gaps and over the fences, all rookie third baseman Ryan Braun would have needed was just an average defensive camp to make the Milwaukee Brewers’ opening day roster.

In the end, he didn’t have an average camp on the defensive side and Braun was sent out to the team’s minor-league camp late Monday afternoon… Braun went out having exhibited the two things that defined his camp: great offense and shaky defense.

He hit a three-run pinch homer in the sixth inning of the Brewers’ 11-7 loss to the Chicago Cubs, then followed it with his fourth throwing error of the spring in the top of the seventh inning.

Braun’s five Cactus League homers came in four games and he made a throwing error in each of those games.

“He’s really done a nice job offensively, but he still needs to polish some of his defense,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said of the team’s 2005 first-round pick.

It was sort of comical; after I saw online that Braun hit a homer today, I figured a throwing error would follow shortly thereafter… and it did.

MLB.com: Braun, Sarfate to Minors camp

NTNgod Posted: March 20, 2007 at 12:36 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brewers

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   1. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 20, 2007 at 01:13 AM (#2314428)
It's obvious that Braun has a serious bat. But I can't quibble too much with the Brewers decision in that breaking into the majors is a tough thing to do. Should Braun start the season in the majors by kicking baseballs all over the place then it is likely his ENTIRE game would go south. That and the pitching staff needs to know its guys can catch and throw. I strongly suspect that Rickie still has to earn their trust. Tossing Braun into the mix just complicates things.

Let him get his sea legs and when he is hitting .365 with ten homers call him up in mid-May.
   2. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 20, 2007 at 01:17 AM (#2314430)
Honest question: How do you teach a minor-league third baseman to throw with accuracy?
   3. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: March 20, 2007 at 01:22 AM (#2314433)
Honest question: How do you teach a minor-league third baseman to throw with accuracy?
Smart Ass Answer: Shift him to first base
   4. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 20, 2007 at 01:37 AM (#2314441)
Braun has never played even 60 games in the same league. And he knows it will be his bat that will get him to the majors. Given a bit of focus and some sense of stability I am sure the throwing problems will decrease significantly.

Like Rickie, he will never be a "special" defensive player. But he can be solid.
   5. Gold Star for Robothal Posted: March 20, 2007 at 02:18 AM (#2314453)
Maybe they need a bigger target over at first? Send your recipes Cecil!
   6. Srul Itza Posted: March 20, 2007 at 02:24 AM (#2314454)
Honest question: How do you teach a minor-league third baseman to throw with accuracy?

Practice?
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 20, 2007 at 02:42 AM (#2314457)
Honest question: How do you teach a minor-league third baseman to throw with accuracy?

Trade him to San Diego?
   8. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 20, 2007 at 02:51 AM (#2314461)
Trade him to San Diego?
Ricky Bones could not be reached for comment...
   9. pyrite Posted: March 20, 2007 at 03:55 AM (#2314478)
Question for the Brewer faithful: what are the chances of Yovani Gallardo being the 2007 version of Verlander? How committed are they to Claudio Vargas as the 5th starter? PECOTA loves him and has him almost a full run below Vargas. Could we see both Gallardo and Braun come late-May/early-June?
   10. NTNgod Posted: March 20, 2007 at 05:06 AM (#2314494)
How committed are they to Claudio Vargas as the 5th starter?

Probably not very, but Carlos Villanueva*, at least, is ahead of Gallardo in the pecking order.

* acquired from SF a few years back for Wayne Franklin, hehe
   11. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: March 20, 2007 at 05:17 AM (#2314497)
I thought "Steve Braun?" which makes me the oldest person ever.
   12. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 20, 2007 at 05:34 AM (#2314501)
I thought "Steve Braun?" which makes me the oldest person ever.
Steve is one of the most experienced coaches in the Mercer County, New Jersey area and wants to train you!

Don't sell yourself short, Steve...
   13. lincarnate Posted: March 20, 2007 at 06:59 AM (#2314509)
I seem to remember Baseball America and others praising Braun's defense and questioning his bat after he was drafted. Interesting how things change.
   14. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: March 20, 2007 at 01:13 PM (#2314546)
Sorry, but I'd suggest that you remember incorrectly, lincarnate.

BA praised some of Braun's defensive tools (arm in particular), but noted that he was error-prone and that teams doubted his infield actions and footwork. Conversely, they liked his bat (noted that he had a hitch in his swing and an "unconventional finish", but that his hands were quick enough to make it work).
   15. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: March 20, 2007 at 01:20 PM (#2314550)
Question for the Brewer faithful: what are the chances of Yovani Gallardo being the 2007 version of Verlander?


Not good.
   16. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 20, 2007 at 01:33 PM (#2314555)
"How do you teach a minor-league third baseman to throw with accuracy?"

Work on footwork, if he's got a strong enough arm, you can have him slot his arm angle down a bit. I haven't seen the guy play at all, but those are two things I had to work on in college when I shifted to 3rd.
   17. foop Posted: March 20, 2007 at 01:34 PM (#2314556)
In yesterday's televised game it looked like he made a great pick but was never able to plant his feet before the throw. Is this representative of his defensive game, or is he just all-around awful?

If the Brewers organization has stuck with Braun at 3rd base, can you imagine how much worse Corey Hart must have been?
   18. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 20, 2007 at 01:36 PM (#2314557)
bk and NTN are absolutely correct and possibly even understating the focus Milwaukee management has on keeping Gallardo at Triple A.

--Gallardo's success last year was something of a surprise and Melvin and Co. are from Missouri. Basically, they want the lad to replicate the performance to some degree before promoting him to the big leagues.

--Doug Melvin was EXTREMELY disappointed in how the young pitchers performed last season. While Gallardo is not Ben Hendrickson the fact remains that Melvin is human and just can't disassociate last season's debacle from assessing the promise of this season.

--Gallardo acted his age in Spring Training that just cemented the front office's convictions that Gallardo needs to spend a year at Triple A. Not that he was holding massive keggers with teammates but that he was wild, grooved pitches when he got behind in the count, and didn't show a lot of poise.

Carlos will get the first shot should somebody falter. If not Carlos then Jackson. And so on. The Milwaukee pitching staff will have to experienced a collective Chernobyl style meltdown coupled with a few cases of plague before YG gets the call.
   19. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: March 20, 2007 at 06:19 PM (#2314792)
"How do you teach a minor-league third baseman to throw with accuracy?"


Put videos of David Wright manning the hot corner in his ipod and suggest this is what not to do.

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