Thursday, January 17, 2008

Please Update Your Links

Due to a small site redesign, the Right Field Bleachers blog will now be located on the front page of RightFieldBleachers.com. Please update your links. Thank you.

Top Prospect Fan Poll

BrewerFan.net posted the 2008 Top Prospect Fan Poll today.

Here are the top 10:

1. Manny Parra, LHP

2. Matt LaPorta, LF

3. Mat Gamel, 3B

4. Jeremy Jeffress – RHP

5. Angel Salome – C

6. Alcides Escobar – SS

7. Cole Gillespie – OF

8. Brent Brewer – SS

9. Taylor Green – 3B

10. Darren Ford – OF

The interesting thing about this list is that, unlike past years, it appears the Brewers will not be relying on much top-tier minor-league talent coming up during the season. Manny Parra is the only guy that appears to have much of a chance of joining the team this season from the top ten and he may start the season on the big-league roster, though that looks less and less likely due to the Brewers abundance of pitching and Parra's minor-league options.

For the rest of the list and a breakdown of every player and the voting, check out the article here: 2008 Top Prospect Fan Poll.

I Should've Asked for This for X-Mas

I've seen this CD on the Web now for a little while and have been meaning to pick it up, but haven't gotten around to it yet. There's a nice article on it today on OnMilwaukee.com.

Could Pitching Surplus Land a Catcher Prospect?

An e-mailer named Tyler (is that our Tyler?) asked MLBTradeRumors.com if the Brewers could use their pitching surplus to trade for a catching prospect. Here's the question and answer:

What do you see the Milwaukee Brewers doing with their pitching surplus? Do you see them maybe using some of their excess pitchers like Capuano and Bush to acquire a young catcher with some upside? - Tyler

We've seen it a million times - these winter pitching surpluses turn into deficits by May. There is certainly a case to be made for the Brewers to just stand pat, though all those arms would be tough to squeeze in given the bullpen acquisitions. MLB.com's Adam McCalvy expects some of the surplus to be traded before Spring Training. I like the catcher idea - Jeff Clement (Mariners), Bryan Anderson (Cardinals), or Taylor Teagarden/Gerald Laird (Rangers) seem like possible matches.

The Mariners (Clement) and Rangers (Teagarden) would be good trade partners if the Brewers are looking for a catching prospect since they both have prospects blocked by starters in the big leagues, but I doubt the Cardinals (Anderson) would trade a prospect within the division and the Brewers probably wouldn't be too excited to improve the Cardinals' rotation either.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Two Late-Night Notes

- Only a day after finding out the Brewers are working on establishing better roots in the Dominican Republic, it is reported that the Brewers are also scouting the Virgin Islands. This little blurb is found in a story on the Virgin Islands Daily News Web site:

ST. THOMAS - The Future Stars Baseball Organization is hosting its annual scout day on Jan. 29 at Lionel Roberts Stadium from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Major League Baseball's New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, Florida Marlins and Minnesota Twins will all have scouts at the event to evaluate the V.I.'s baseball prospects.

It's always nice to hear the Brewers in discussions about foreign prospects. I don't know if the Virgin Islands are technically considered "foreign" since half of the islands are administered by the U.S., but I'll tally it up that way...

- It sounds like Wisconsin native and former Brewers' catcher Damian Miller is leaning towards retirement. This is from a piece in the Coulee News of West Salem about some charity work he is doing:
A Major Leaguer for 11 years, Miller recently wrapped up his third year with the Milwaukee Brewers. Currently a free agent, Miller said he has gotten some offers from other teams, but he might be leaning towards retirement so he can spend more time with his wife, Jeanne, and their two children.

“I’m contemplating retirement,” Miller said. “I believe I can still play; physically, I can do it. But it’s whether I want to get on a plane and travel for eight months for my 19th year.”

DeRosa is not happy

Cubs utility player Mark DeRosa is not happy with the idea of the Cubs trading for Brian Roberts: DeRosa concerned about playing time.

I don't blame the guy and he's completely right, he wouldn't start much (barring injuries) if the Cubs acquire Roberts. Fukudome (RF), Soriano (LF), Roberts (2B), Lee (1B), and Ramirez (3B) would be the regulars at the five positions DeRosa plays. And he actually had a pretty good season last year (.293 BA, 10 HR, 72 RBI, .371 OBP).

As a Brewer fan, I hope the Cubs give up or MLB or MLB-ready pitching to get an aging second baseman since I think it would only marginally improve their team's offense while hurting it's already thin pitching. The original trade rumor had Sean Gallagher and Sean Marshall, two talented young pitchers, going to the Orioles along with SS Ronny Cedeno. The trade allegedly isn't done (and may now be dead) because the Orioles want more: Rich Hill, Felix Pie (who is slotted to start in CF for the Cubs) and OF prospect Tyler Colvin were three names that were mentioned, according to WGN Radio. Cubs GM Jim Hendry said Hill is untouchable. I get the impression Pie is too, at least this season. They want to see what they have in Pie for a full season I think.

My concern would be that if the Cubs did trade for Roberts, they would look to move guys who don't have a clear role on the team like DeRosa and OF Matt Murton for a pitcher, someone like A.J. Burnett, who the Blue Jays are rumored to be shopping aggressively. That would improve their team provided he avoids injury.

Brewers, Vargas avoid arbitration

Vargas signed a $3.6 million, one-year deal with the club, a big raise from his $2.5 million contract last season. More on the signing HERE and HERE.

Hardy, Bush and Capuano are the last three Brewers who are arbitration eligible and not signed. The arbitration hearings are in February if the team and the remaining three players don't reach an agreement.

Vargas is a prime candidate to be traded and his $3.6 million contract should be pretty attractive for a team looking for an effective fourth or fifth starter.