Posts Tagged ‘Brad Nelson’

Who’s the Hack Now, Tyler?

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

As a blogger, you’ll quickly find that to be even mildly interesting you have to have opinions and sometimes those opinions will make you look stupid. For example, I predicted David Ortiz would be the AL MVP last year… Well, along those same lines of epically horrible takes, I think it’s a good time to point out Tyler’s post on Casey McGehee from this spring.

To be fair, Tyler said he didn’t really have any concrete reasons to dream of a Brewers roster devoid of McGehee. The rookie just rubbed him the wrong way, wasn’t one of his irrationally adored scrubs (see: Nelson, Brad and Rottino, Vinny) and had an annoying name. No one (including myself) jumped to McGehee’s defense, save a couple overzealous fans from Casey’s hometown. But I think it’s time to give the former waiver wire addition some much-deserved props.

The Brewers have not been playing great baseball lately (not even in that three-game sweep of the Tribe), but McGehee has been shining.

In close to 100 plate appearances this season, McGehee is hitting .349 with a .414 OBP and .500 slugging (.914 OPS). Yeah, he’s not THAT good, but this is the same guy Tyler was literally begging to not make the team as Spring Training got underway. The 26 year old is proving to be more than adequate offensively, including putting up some remarkably consistent splits (.340 against righties, .345 against lefties).

Aside from his contributions at the plate, McGehee has been a solidifying defensive addition as well. The former Cub, who played exactly seven games at second base in the minors and zero in the majors before this season, has played 15 games at second this year and has more than held his own while becoming a regular in the everyday line-up. He has also played a handful of games at third base, a couple at designated hitter and even logged an inning in right field.

Does McGehee’s production make up for the loss of Rickie Weeks for the year? It’s hard to say, but unlikely. Rickie was on pace for a hell of a year. But McGehee has certainly helped ease the pain. The guy has been an outstanding addition to the team and has more than earned my respect (maybe even Tyler’s?). In fact, he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite guys on the team to root for.

Drink Up!!! (Even if Only to Avoid this Image)

Friday, May 15th, 2009

It’s Friday, and you know what that means. If you said  ”We’re all just another day closer to the conclusion of our largely - in the widened view of things - meaningness lives,” I’ll give you half credit (and a much-needed hug). But the answer I was looking for was Friday meaning RFB tag-teaming another Out of Right Field at The Daily Drink.

In this week’s column, Jared and Bryan touch on:
• Kaiser buns • Spicoli • Medieval aversions of camel toe • The Happy Youngster… aka The Pathetic Old Guy • Grenn Braggs.

Be sure to read all The Daily Drink’s news, guest columns and sweet link dumps when avoiding work today. Drink author Dan Walsh even has the scoop on Brad Nelson’s decision to become a free agent (best of luck, Brad).

In the News (3/25)

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Braden Looper is aiming to be Milwaukee's Starting Pitcher for the Home Opener

 

Brewers News

- Here’s a nice piece on Brad Nelson by the Globe Gazette. Brad made his case and he’s on the team…book it.

- In 2006, Braden Looper and his wife started the process to adopt a child from China. In 2009, Looper finally got a child.

- Haudricourt tries to figure out who’s going to make the team when the Brewers break camp in two weeks. I’m almost sure Nelson will make the team. I think McGehee is making his case over Lamb, and it’s a toss up between Duffy and Gwynn Jr (slight edge to TGJ just because he’s out of options). Haudricourt might say nay on my pick of McGehee, I think it could work with Counsell replacing SS and 3rd base positions. McGehee will back up 2nd and Brad Nelson will be a 1B and Outfield replacement. That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if they started the year safe with Lamb instead of McGehee. What would surprise me is if Julio makes the roster.

- A Bleacher Reporter believes the Brewers need to make a run for Jake Peavy. That’s what we said this offseason too, but don’t think for a second that he will be as dominant as CC I think that trade and stretch by CC was unlike anything we’ll ever see again.

- Batters Box Interactive has 12 questions about the NL Central. Problem is they don’t answer most of them. They do, however, believe it’s time for the Brewers to give up on Rickie Weeks. He may have pissed everyone off for two years in a row, but I still don’t think you can completely give up on the guy.

- Chuckie Hacks has some pictures from Maryvale. Nothing too amazing, but man, the sun looks great after two days of rain and cold here.

- This Bleacher Report writer is expecting Kendall to hit about .275. Hey, if that happens I’d be ecstatic!

- David Chalk at Bugs & Cranks has a “Your Team Ain’t S**T compared to the Rays” thing going. Here’s the Brewers one. It’s pretty funny, just enjoy it while you can Rays fan.

- FSN WI Twittered or Tweeted their new Promo’s featuring Braun and Fielder…it’s nothing exciting, pretty bland actually.

- You thought it was going away…MLBTR has Keith Law from ESPN on why he’s still talking about Escobar’s situation:

 

MLB Trade Rumors: On occasion, you’ve revealed information in chats about a player’s off-the-field troubles that was not publicly known or hadn’t gotten much press.  How has this been received by your readers, bosses, and front office contacts?

Keith Law: Some readers get annoyed because they don’t want to believe it. My bosses know that I’m meticulous about information like that - I only write about these matters if I believe they are substantially or wholly accurate. For example, the Alcides Escobar story - I have a copy of his daughter’s birth certificate with his name as the father, I spoke to the attache at the U.S. Consulate in Panama who has helped Escobar’s wife, and so on. I think the Brewers would just like the story to go away, frankly, but it’s not going to unless it’s addressed.

NL Central

- Midwest Swing takes a look at the Cubs’ depth. They feel Cubs Fans should be a little concerned

- The Concern is matched by Wasting Away in Wrigleyville.

- John Canning Jr., a minority owner of the Brewers, came up short on his bid for the Chicago Cubs this offseason. He says he’s actually a little relieved, since he’s a White Sox Fan.

- The Cardinals are lowering their expectations on Troy Glaus this year already. So have most Brewer fans on the positive impact of Billy Hall’s eye surgery…

Other News

- So the WBC is done and Japan won again. I know many Americans didn’t care and it was really cool not to care, but to me, these games are just a little bit of added fun before the season. It was nice to have both Spring Training games and WBC games, plus it also gave some players a few more at bats or pitches with the big names off to the WBC.

The 4th Outfielder Competition

Friday, March 13th, 2009
We all love him, but is he ready?

We all love him, but is he ready?

One of the major storylines entering Brewers camp this year is the competition to fill Gabe Kapler’s spot as the 4th outfielder.  The four competitors at this stage of spring training are Chris Duffy, Tony Gwynn Jr., Brad Nelson, and Trot Nixon

The two homegrown kids out of this group are Tony Gwynn Jr. and Brad Nelson.  With TGJR, much of the issue rests with the fact that he is out of options, and will likely be put on waivers at the end of spring training if he does not break camp with the team.  Unfortunately for the Brewers, they will likely not receive anything more than a C level prospect for him, if anything.  Gywnn has not shown any ability to hit like his father, failing to post a batting average above .260 in either of his 3 short stints with the Brewers.  Gwynn’s best stint, in 2007, resulted in a .260/.331/.317 line.  Pro-rated over 600 plate appearances, this line comes out to 19 runs below the average hitter, or right around replacement level. PECOTA and ZiPS see Gwynn as a -16 run hitter, while CHONE pegs him at -18.  Gwynn does have a history as a solid fielder in the minor leagues, posting a Total Zone (devloped by Sean Smith) score of 8 runs above average in AAA.  However, CHONE projections do not like Gwynn’s prospects as a CF, projecting Gwynn as 11 runs below average in CF and 1 run below average in the corners.  Let’s be generous and assume Gwynn is +5 in CF (which is highly unlikely).  Then Gwynn is worth

-17 (offense) + 20 (replacement) + 2.5 (position) + 5 (fielding) = 10.5 runs above replacement over 600 plate appearances, or 1.05 wins.

That’s not bad.  However, pro-rated to the 200-300 plate appearances that Gwynn would be likely to receive, that pushes his value back to the .5 win range.  Still, all his value is dependent on if he is a +5 fielder.  If the CHONE projection is correct, he’s worth -.5 wins per 600 plate appearances, and has no value whatsoever.

Brad Nelson was the Brewers big first base prospect before Prince Fielder.  Now he may get a chance to break camp with the big club.  The big question here is his defense.  Can he play RF?  Also, if he plays and Cameron sits, that forces Hart to RF, because Big Brad is NOT playing center field.  Let’s look at projections for Nelson.  PECOTA has Nelson at -4 runs hitting, ZiPS has him at -8, and CHONE has him at -3.  The average of these projections is -5, so we’ll use that.  With fielding, it’s hard to say where Nelson will be.  I find it unlikely that he will be average - I think he’d fall somewhere in the -10 to -5 range over a full season, at best.  For our purposes, we’ll use -7.5.  This puts his value at

-5 offense + 20 replacement - 7.5 position - 7.5 fielding = 0 runs above replacement, or 0 wins.

Nelson clearly needs another year to develop, because at this point, he has no value at all to the Brewers.  His hitting would be fine at a premium position, but it doesn’t work at any of the positions he plays just yet.

Next, we look at the veterans, Duffy and Nixon.  Chris Duffy is a Pirates castoff who has speed and a good glove in the outfield, but not much of a bat.  Over his career with the Pirates (160 games), Duffy hit .269/.328/.361, but stole 41 out of 48 attempted bases (this is worth ~4.17 runs) and has a career UZR of +4.5 runs.  Since fielding peaks early and Duffy didn’t play in the majors last year, let’s slot him in as a +2 CF.  For hitting, CHONE has Duffy at -7.5 runs/600 plate appearances, and PECOTA and ZiPS don’t have him listed, so I’ll just use CHONE for Duffy.  This assumes he’d play most of his games in CF, but this assumption should work for the corners anyway because he’d be about 10 runs better in a corner, whereas the position adjustment is 10 runs lower.

-7.5 offense + 20 replacement + 2.5 position + 2 fielding = 17 runs above replacement, or 1.7 wins over 600 PAs.  Assuming 300 PAs, Duffy coming off the bench would be worth .8-.9 wins.

Trot Nixon is another veteran name, this time coming over from the Red Sox, where he patrolled right field for 11 years.  Nixon is the best hitter of this group, with a lifetime .841 OPS.  PECOTA projects him as a +6 hitter, ZiPS has him at -2.5, and CHONE has him at +2.5.  The average of these 3 projections places Nixon as a +2 hitter.  However, as the oldest, he is likely a liability in the field.  For his career, Nixon averaged +6 runs per season in RF, but in his last stint with the Indians in ‘07, he posted a -6.6 UZR in 87 games.  CHONE projects him at -1 in the corners this year, which seems reasonable given his above-average track record - it’s likely the -6.6 was a fluke.  So we have

+2 offense + 20 replacement -7.5 position - 1 fielding = 13.5 runs above replacement or 1.35 wins above replacement, or roughly +.6-.7 WAR over 300 PAs.

Summarizing, in table form, we have:

Player Offense Replacement Position Defense Total WAR/600 WAR/300
Gwynn -17 20 2.5 5 10.5 1.05 0.53
Nelson -5 20 -7.5 -7.5 0 0 0
Duffy -7.5 20 2.5 2 17 1.7 0.85
Nixon 2 20 -7.5 -1 13.5 1.35 0.68

It appears that Duffy is the best choice, according to the numbers.  Just thinking about it, I agree.  I prefer to have a 4th outfielder who has the ability to play all 3 outfield positions at a plus level, and I think that Duffy is the only one who is able to do that (I don’t think Gwynn is a +5 CF, or even an average CF).  He doesn’t kill you with the bat like Gwynn does, either.  However, if Nixon has a Kapler-esque resurgence, he wouldn’t be a bad choice either.  Nelson clearly needs another year in AAA.

In the News (3/11)

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Coming Up to Milwaukee?

Today’s Game: No Game

Brewers News

- Well, kind of a game today. The “B-Squad” played against Texas. McClung and Swindle both looked good, but nothing much else that I can find.

- This is what I’m taking away from this report: It sounds like Mike Lamb and Brad Nelson are punching their tickets to Milwaukee.

- Hey, it’s someone else who respects the Bush! I would agree that with everyone paying attention to Gallardo and Parra,  Bush might have a career year.

- Benny is rehabbing in Texas…and the Rangers say it’s just a coincidence and it doesn’t mean anything…even though this news article is on their website. I hate to say it, even being the Ben Sheets apologist I am, but I’m pretty much over it.

- Here’s some interesting numbers on other 21 year old pitchers like Yo from Brew Crew Ball. Hopefully he doesn’t go the way of Nick Neugebauer.

- Actually, I had this thought yesterday, but figured it wasn’t feasible. It probably still isn’t plus Gamel isn’t ready and would Brewer fans rather have Lamb by himself or Lamb backing up Hall? Probably the latter.

- An Atlanta Blog listed their all-under-25 team. Prince and Braun are respected on the list.

- Hey Miller Park Drunk…Probably the Major League Baseball Marketing Dept. and I totally snagged one on clearance for 10 bucks. It sits on my TV. It pretty much rules.

- Also, nice little Gagne remembrance. I laughed at the last picture, but where’s the picture of George Mitchell?

- B!B!KTUTH can’t believe that anyone would want Escobar to start over Hardy. I agree, J.J. has proven himself with a bat and glove and even though Escobar will be awesome, let’s live in the now for a little bit.

- They should post these numbers to go along with their argument. Basically, J.J rules.

- Thanks for the (Cub Killer) Mention in your top 10 non-baseball things to look forward to.

NL Central

- Again, a Houston blog is awarding points for each position to find out which team in the Central is the front runner for the year. The Brewers were awarded the second most points for second base in the Central? I looked at the argument and never realized how collectively poor offensively the NL Central’s second basemen were.

- SI says forget about that flop, the Cubs will be even better. It’s possible, but the 2008 Mets and Tigers were supposed to be awesome too…

- The Cubs sure like their dramatic outfielders. It seems that Milton Bradley liked to call in sick while at Texas and it has Bleed Cubbie Blue a little concerned.

- Oh, and Sweet Lou enjoys rubdowns from Fukudome’s trainer and is taking a hot air balloon ride. So, he’s riding himself?

- Former Brewer, Current Cub hopeful Luis Vizcaino might not make the roster.

Other News

- Former Brewer Geoff Jenkins may have worked on his swing in the offseason, but Philly is talking about trading him if Jayson Werth proves he can be consistant for an entire year.

Brewers Fan Favorite Vote ‘09

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

The top seeds cruised comfortably, with the closest race being Manny Parra beating out Mark DiFelice by 70%. Usually here is where I try to analyze some of the voting, but I think we all knew the top seeds would get out of the first round. Here’s the updated bracket:

Alright, now it’s time for the 3rd and 4th seeds to try and beat out the 13th and 14th seeds. Vote for your favorites! Voting for this round will conclude on Friday.

[polldaddy poll="1425984"] [polldaddy poll="1425989"] [polldaddy poll="1425997"] [polldaddy poll="1426004"]

Hump Day ReHeckler: The Reprised Rants of a Working Class Enemy of Lameness. A Spirit to Behold.

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Shit, Brewers! How are you going to play me like that, girl?!?

As was the case with most other literate followers of the Brew Brew Dolls, that was – verbatim – my reaction in reading that Milwaukee was most likely done adding parts this offseason. But don’t mistake my sentiment here; my displeasure lies not in Milwaukee’s refusal to sign another recognizable name… quite the opposite in fact.

I’ve actually been largely impressed with the Brew Man Groups’ winter transactions. The Chris Capuano minor league deal was one hinged on pure upside and will undoubtedly see a more than worthy return. The bullpen moves straight up gave me wood – all of them, I’m literally pitching a sequoia over here. Shit mengala, even the arbitration figures (to date) and Fielder signing went over better than I expected.

I’ve been raised to suck the flabby, unimpressive teat of fiscal savvy. It didn’t take DM saying “absolutely not” to Oliver Perez to let me know Milwaukee was absolutely not in on him. Adam Dunn… doubtful. It’s simply in my nature as a fan of this organization to accept past-prime or pre-payday pieces to comprise one unified team that, when fully operational, can flirt with the prospect of being above average.

But sometimes I get greedy and expect my wasted years of emotional attachment to something that gives approximately zero shits about me to be rewarded with the employment of a sideshow, a representation of the proletariat – a fan favorite. And what do we get? Menasha’s own, badass, metalhead, salt of the Earth, gash-slamming, son of a bitch bastard Eric Hinske? No, assclowns, you must’ve forgot Craig “jailbait” Counsell was a free agent. Apparently $1M (plus incentives) is better served for employing a light-hitting tween than it is a left-handed masher with equal versatility. Now Hinske is probably signing with Pittsburgh as I write this, and will taunt me like 15 times this season.

Preseason predictions
Eric Hinske: 15 spuds, 50 ribs, 8 swipes, 6,000 beers, a legacy left.
Craig Counsell: Apt defense, unnecessary eyeblack, Nutcracker performance… and (if it’s a breakout year) maybe puberty.

You mean, I didn't make the team, Skip? (everyone else laughs)

 If anything, I guess this means Brad Nelson will make the team and Casey McGehee will hit the bricks, which shows there are at least glimmers of justice on this unforgiving rock from time to time. How can I be so sure Casey McGehee won’t make the team in January? Because he’s number 52 and is neither a relief pitcher nor CC Sabathia. The only way you’ll hear anything about McGehee come April is if the other four infinitely more capable hotcornermen competitively eat peanut butter, or you attend a Sounds game and Scott Thorman gets the shits for the better part of a month and/or kills someone.

Where was I? Oh yeah, Ben Sheets. As popular as this candle (sincerely lit) light vigil over the 5 percent chance Milwaukee is even interested in Ben Sheets, I am fucking sick of Ben Sheets. Yeah, he was a Brewer. OK, when going well, he can be considered above average. But how often do those two factors warrant a multi-year deal for a cat that makes Chris Carpenter seem durable? I think I know why Milwaukee only won a single playoff game in the past 26 years – 1. Dave Bush is tits city and won that game himself, and 2. The organization lets go of its greatest players too early (and, until somewhat recently, get too little in return) while letting hacks whose throwing arms resemble poorly-made spaghetti to milk a limited payroll and fashion undeserved pedestals to ward over a hardworking fan base brainwashed into thinking they’re top-tier players.

Let Sheets go everyone. You’ll be happy you did. I’d rather be allegedly married to Alcides Escobar than hold my breath for another 2004 from Ben Sheets.

And yeah, I know I misspelled “Deux.” DON’T EVER QUESTION MY ART!!! Oh, and have a good weekend.

- This Heckler brought to you by Tyson Any’tizers. Please don’t bring up our random apostrophe. Adam in marketing said it’d help sell in Santa Fe. Tyson - E’at some ‘’’’Now.’

In the News (1/14)

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

We're Coming to Milwaukee

Brewers News

- The Brewers made the Trevor Hoffman deal official. The only player to really comment so far is Jason Kendall who gave him a ringing endorsement.

- Guillermo Mota will reportedly sign with the Dodgers. For all the bitching about Mota, he turned out to have a better year than Johnny Estrada.

- The Hardball Times does a focus piece on new acquisition Trevor Hoffman. Basically says that Hoffman will still be great at deceiving hitters, but the Brewers better hope he doesn’t get even worse against lefties.

- I know this is old, but reading the rumors at ESPN.com infuriated me. Prince Fielder for Clay Bucholz and Mike Lowell doesn’t make sense for the Brewers. It would be a TERRIBLE trade…bah I really hope there’s nothing to the rumors at all.

- The Brewers sent people to look at Chad Cordero. Good.

- Eli’s MLB Rumors believes that the Padres should look at Ray Durham. You know who else should??? The Brewers Should!!! Could someone tell me who the Brewers have as an insurance policy for Rickie “Potentialriffic”  Weeks? Hernan Iribarren? Yeah, because he’s better than Durham…

- After losing out on Lowe, the Mets might start becoming interested in Ben Sheets…

Minor Leagues

- Bernie’s Crew talks about Brad Nelson while Between the Green Pillars gives those who will see Rattler games a little preview of Erik Komatsu

Other News

- Richie Sexson still doesn’t have a job. Even the Orioles didn’t want him.

- Adam Dunn is looking for 4 years, 56 Million. That’s why it’s quiet on the Dunn front.

Insomniac Ink