Posts Tagged ‘Carlos Villanueva’

McClung, DiFelice, and Rivera all gone! Counsell signed

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

The Brewers non-tendered RHP Seth McClung (which was a bit of a surprise, but probably means they’re moving Suppan into a long relief role if they can), RHP Mark DiFelice (who won’t be pitching for all of 2010, but was a great surprise last season), and C Mike Rivera (which I admit, I was wrong about. I really thought he’d be given a fair shake, but such is not the case). All three are now free agents.

The Brewers did tender contracts to Dave Bush, Todd Coffey, Carlos Villanueva, Corey Hart, Carlos Gomez, and Jody Gerut.

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And JSOnline is reporting that Craig Counsell accepted a contract by the Brewers for next season. And Kevin Correia is staying in SD.

Let’s Make a Deal (of Some Kind)

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Whether you take a half empty view of the Milwaukee Brewers who have lost 15 of 22 or a half full view of a team who, though struggling of late, still sits a mere four games from the NL Central driver’s seat - one thing is apparent… the Brewers need to make a trade.

A week ago, certain awesome Web sites were buzzing with mention of Milwaukee’s interest in Roy Halladay. At worst, Doug Davis or Erik Bedard seemed possible targets of an above .500 and Wild Card contending team. This past weekend found the Brewers dropping two games to Atlanta; suddenly Jarrod Washburn floated into the picture. And with the month that was(n’t) in Brewers baseball encapsulated in Monday’s embarrassing 14-6 bedshitting against the laughable Nationals, selling may seem a better option if trades are to be made.

I don’t intend my use of that nasty word “sell” we’ve all been introduced to during our purgatories lives as Brewers fans to indicate I personally want to sell parts and gear up for next season. I still think the team is a small part or two short of making some noise and knocking on the division’s door - and the acquisition of Felipe Lopez proves Milwaukee’s front office wants to address that. But I do admit the prospect of, well, prospects is crossing my mind a bit more of late. 

I for one am glad Melvin and Co. seem to have backed off the Roy Halladay bidding war. Based on reports of Toronto’s bartering with Philadelphia, it’s not a transaction worth Milwaukee (or anyone) getting into. But beyond the anti-Halladay sentiment I know I possess, I teeter ever more on the fence of wanting the Brewers to remain “buyers” or become “sellers” with every lost series.

Smart Shoppers
• If a 4th place team who intends to start Carlos Villanueva (IN AN ACTUAL GAME IN LATE JULY) intends to add a pitcher, you can be sure it probably won’t be one of astonishing variety. Jarrod Washburn is about the biggest name I’d expect to float in to town, but I don’t even expect that kind of name.

• Oakland’s Justin Duchscherer should be rehabbed and ready to pitch within two weeks. He earns under $2M this season, will be a free agent after this season (Type B possibly?) and can reportedly be had for “a modest prospect”. The risk of trading for a player coming off injury is certainly there, but losing a “modest prospect” to get a cheap No. 2 or 3-caliber rental could be a rewarding move.

• Lure Paul Byrd or Kenny Rogers out of retirement. What’s that? Kenny Rogers isn’t retired!?! Oh. Keep an eye out for some recently waived or newly-retired pitcher to join Milwaukee in its pennant race. I don’t see it as likely, but The Moustache’s milkshake has managed to bring many a retired boy to the yard before.

Buyer Beware
• When names like Mike Burns and (pukes while crying) Carlos Villanueva are being scribbled on lineup cards, names like Jarrod Washburn, Doug Davis and Carl Pavano suddenly look a lot better. But deep down, you know these guys aren’t good pitchers and eventually the marvelous carriage that is their suddenly average pitching skill will revert to its true rotten pumpkin/bloated salaried self. Is it these pitchers you want? Or rather, is it the random change giving the illusion of helping a team that you crave? JARROD WASHBURN IS NOT GOOD. Trust me.

• A little known fact about the process of trading: Both teams involved in a trade must surrender something of value to the other team. Though the Brewers may inexplicably harbor interest in any or all of the aforementioned pitchers, so may many other teams - thus rendering the demand for these marginal players greater which, in turn, drives up the value for said marginal players. Think to yourself, “Self, do I truly think getting (insert name of lackluster pitcher on trading block) is worth losing one or some of Alcides Escobar, Taylor Green, Mat Gamel, J.J. Hardy, Angel Salome, Lorenzo Cain, Jonathan Lucroy, Cody Scarpetta or Brett Lawrie?” The answer would surprise you. It’s “no” … or “maybe” in the cases of J.J. Hardy and Brett Lawrie.

Seller now or Cellar in 2012
• We all know the world will end in 2012, but that doesn’t mean our last season of Brewers baseball has to be bad. If the Brewers don’t see the playoffs as being likely, they may as well try to unload a soon-to-be free agent to ensure a more promising future. Al notes Mike Cameron, Braden Looper and Trevor Hoffman will all be free agents going into 2010 (Looper has mutual option). Cameron netting a decidedly rebuilding Brewers club a few decent minor leaugers and some salary relief is more than he’d give them when he’s declining a lowball Brewers offer this offseason and playing elsewhere. In terms of a Hardy or Hart trade though, I’d assume they would be more valuable to teams this offseason.

If at First you don’t Succeed, Trade, Trade Again
• It is quite possible the Brewers front office has no F-ing clue whether the team is of the buying or selling variety at this point, and won’t be Friday’s trade deadline. I mean, I have no clue… I’ve written 1,000 words about this. Luckily, trades (of sorts) can be enacted after the deadline through waiver claims - a la the Adam Dunn trade to the Diamondbacks last season. After July 31, more teams will better know their playoff fate, and values of unsold hacks will reduce to near fair levels presently unseen. Just because the trade deadline elapses doesn’t mean the Brewers are standing pat with their roster.

And if they do go trade free for the remainder of the year, who knows, maybe they’ll get their heads out of their asses and make the playoffs anyway. As is, it’s not a bad team.

Party of Five: Completing a Rotation

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

The fateful day is approaching for Milwaukee’s starting rotation. Following Manny Parra’s demotion last week, the Brewers have relied on off days to make a temporary four-man rotation possible. But with Dave Bush likely to miss his next start due to arm fatigue and no off days until July 6, a decision must be made in the coming hours. Someone has to take that 5th spot.

To be frank, I’m not in love with any of the in-house options at hand, but some are certainly better than others, and capable to hold down the job in the short term. The following list details some of the potential suitors for the job Parra inaccurately threw himself out of.

Seth McClung- The fire-balling firecrotch has started games for the Devil Rays and, last season, for the Brewers. In 2009, he’s posted a very respectable ERA (3.32) and is 6th on the team in innings pitched. Endurance shouldn’t be an issue.

Carlos Villanueva - Another option on the 25-man roster, Villy began as a starter - but didn’t perform to standards in the role. Moving either he or McClung from reliever roles doesn’t bode well for an already overworked, under-performing and (mostly) young bullpen. I’d shy away from giving the ball to Carlos as a starter.

Mike Burns - The Sounds starter has some big league experience in past seasons, and pitched four scoreless frames for Milwaukee in the Marlins series. The link provided up top indicates he’s scheduled to pitch for Nashville on Thursday, so he could - instead - go for the Brewers in the Twins finale. He has a 2.55 ERA in 77 2/3 frames for the Sounds this season.

Tim Dillard - It seems like T-Dilly’s name is always thrown around when any pitcher gets hurt or demoted. He pitched well for Milwaukee late last season and is throwing fairly well for the Sounds this season (7-3, 4.31 ERA, 28 BB, CG).

Chase Wright -The prize claimed in the Eric Fryer trade is proving as a Sounds starter that he’s not the same pitcher who gave up homers to four consecutive Red Sox hitters in 2007. Wright pitched Sunday to the tune of 7 1/3 innings, 6 hits and 1 earned run. His ERA is an impressive 3.82, but having started Sunday makes him an unlikely promotee for the time being. I like Wright a lot.

Manny Parra - In his first start back on the farm (6/18), Manuel tossed 6 innings and fanned fanned 4, while surrendering just 4 hits and a single run. I’m personally under the assumption the Brewers want to leave him in Nashville a bit longer to work out those pesky control/confidence issues.

Lindsay Gulin - See Dillard, Tim and subtract Major League experience.

Trade for Jarrod Washburn or sign Pedro Martinez - Just kidding.

A decision will probably be made later tonight or tomorrow, when Moustache, Whitey and Gord Ash’s bald nugget are expected to discuss the matter. What do you think the best option is?

In the News (4/15)

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Tuesday’s Game: Brewers 1, Reds 6
Record: 2-6, 5th Place

Tuesday’s Game

- Once again, the Brewers can’t hit the ball out of the park or with runners in scoring position and they fall again…at home nonetheless.

- Positives: Except for Villa, the pitchers did quite a nice job keeping the team in the game. J.J Hardy is hopefully warming up.

- Negatives: Can’t get a clutch hit. Giving up more runs again at the end of the game making it seem hopeless to overcome a deficit. Only four hits against Bronson Arroyo? And More Walks?!?!?

Brewers News

- WTMJ has some stats that won’t make you feel any better about the team one week in.

- Suppan is having his next start pushed back to Sunday. My guess is that Macha hopes that the Mets throw out a Lazy Sunday lineup like Yost used to.

- Good interview with Garth Iorg. I didn’t realize he could be so interesting.

- Junkball Blues: The Brewers are giving away more home runs than they are taking and striking out more at the plate than the pitchers are striking out the other team.

- Still miffed about the weekend series? This video might help just a smidgen. Watching them freeze at their home opener helps a little too.

- Miller Park Drunk is calling it a season. They also want Wilco to stay the hell away from Miller Park. I agree…so overrated…

- Weekly Power Rankings: CBS has the Brewers at 20th, ESPN has them at 26th

Minor Leagues

- The T-Rats pitching has been great, but their offense hasn’t been. They’re confident the hitting will turn around. They lost again Tuesday night 3-2.

- Huntsville’s bats are cold too.

- In fact, Gamel might be the only one in the organization not ice cold.

NL Central

- Nightly NL Central Wrap-up: Cubs (5-2), Astros (1-6), and Pirates (4-3) didn’t play. The Cardinals (6-3) lost to the Diamondbacks. They may have also lost Chris Carpenter.

- I found this funny, but others may get riled up. Some Reds fan named Matt hates a lot of things…including the Brewers. You know why I don’t hate the Reds? They’re not even worth the time or energy to bash. I tap Joe to respond to this, if anyone does.

- Even more funny: Things that have more patience than Rick Ankiel.

- Kevin Gregg will be limited to one inning because of problems with his knee.

- Milton Bradley is working to change his image. With the name Milton Bradley, that’s not very likely. His image will forever be one of board games.

- Goat Riders believes the Cubs will win 110 games and the World Series. What Cub fan doesn’t think this? However, interesting note that they will make a run at Roy Halladay…I could see that…

- The Cardinals don’t think that Troy Glaus is re-upping on the ‘roids during this recovery stint. Then again, the manager for that team doesn’t believe McGuire was using PEDS…

Other News

- MLB is searching for an Honorary Bat Girl for the Susan G. Komen foundation. While anything that raises money and awareness for this cause is a good thing, I can’t help wonder why there aren’t bat girls on a more regular basis. It doesn’t seem like it should be a big deal who does the job.

- We have God on our side in New York…or at least the Archbishop.

- RFB is happy to say that the New Glarus Brewery has made both top 50 Breweries lists. Congrats and we will personally work on making you climb higher on the list.

In the News (4/9)

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Boom, Outta Here

Wednesday’s Game: Brewers 4, Giants 2
Record: 1-1

Today’s Game

- Mike Cameron and Yovani Gallardo (!) hit home runs last night and that’s all the Brewers would need this time as the pitching was solid. Yovani went 6 and 2/3 strong allowing only two runs and striking out six. Then Todd Coffey and Carlos Villanueva closed the door.

- The big story is, of course, the Gallardo home run against Randy Johnson with two strikes on him! He was the first pitcher to take the Unit deep. Check out this clip: Yovani HR

- Recaps from MLB, ESPN, JSOnline

- The Brewers are continuing the Untuckem Tradition:

- Quote of the Night:

“I told him(Hoffman) every time I get a save for [Gallardo] he has to give me $1 million,” said Villanueva, filling in as the Brewers’ closer while Trevor Hoffman is on the disabled list. “He said whenever the team gives him $10 million for every win, he’ll give it to me.”

Brewers News

- Got this from a message board, but it’s worth posting: In Suppan’s last 29 innings, he has given up 31 runs, 13 home runs and opponents are batting about .400. Who else thinks that his bobblehead will be more of a voodoo doll or something to chuck at the wall rather than a collectible?

- Yesterday, we told you Prince was 2K Sports’ cover athlete for “The Bigs 2″, now here’s the trailer.

- Chuckie is now hacking from the sportsbubbler and compares Bush’s beard to Peter Griffin’s beard. You be the judge:

- From here:

When it comes to hot dog’s close cousin, the sausage, no one is in the same ballpark as the Milwaukee Brewers. It is projected that 430,000 sausages will be served this year at Miller Park - the only park in all of Major League Baseball where sausages outsell hot dogs. Many of the park’s sausages and hot dogs are dipped in Milwaukee’s-own special “Stadium Sauce” before being placed in the bun.

Minor Leagues

- It’s official…Brett has landed.

- Fox 11 did a little blurb about the Rattler’s star power…but it’s basically more about Lawrie and Dykstra.

- Oh, and the T-Rats sold out their home opener! I don’t believe anyone thought that this arrangement wasn’t going to make money.

- Two of the Brewers organizations have “can’t miss” promotions. The T-Rat bobblehead and Huntsville’s “Desperate Househusbands”. Apparently, they will take your picture at the game, send it to your wife and this frees you up to, I don’t know, go get a lap dance or screw the babysitter or something.

- First-round pick Jeremy Jeffress added a two seamer to his repertoire.

NL Central

- NL Central Wrap Up - The Cubs (1-1) beat the Astros (1-1) 11-6; The Pirates (2-1) beat the Cardinals (1-2) again at Busch 7-4. Finally, the Mets had to use their brand new bullpen again to beat the Reds (0-2) 9-7.

- Cubs catcher Geovany Soto is having nagging shoulder problems. Not good for the Cubbers. Good for the Brewers. He will be day to day for the first series at Miller.

Other News

- Robin Yount’s kid was dealt from Lincoln to Tuscon in the Independent League.

- Angels, A’s must be serious stuff. A man died in a fight on opening day at the Angels stadium.

Brewers Fan Favorite - Round 2

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

OK, so it wasn’t very close after all. Stetter beat out current-non-Brewer Gagne easily as was expected especially once Gagne was released. What was a little surprising was seeing how badly Suppan lost against Braden Looper, the newest pitcher who hasn’t thrown one pitch as a Brewer. Overall, most of this week’s winners won by about 30%. Final results:

Stetter DEF Gagne 89%-11%

Looper DEF Suppan 65%-35%

Weeks DEF Gwynn 63%-37%

Kendall DEF Counsell 68%-32%

Here’s how the bracket looks as we start round 2. Most everybody who filled out an entry is still in it.

For the second round, we’re keeping the schedule the same. That said, vote away…Polls close on Friday! Keep your Favorite Brewers in the Game!

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Brewers Fan Favorite ‘09 Continues

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

All the top seeds advanced again, but at least Brad Nelson made it interesting for awhile. The final scores were:

Hardy DEF Rivera  87% - 13%

Hart DEF Nelson 65% - 35%

Hoffman DEF Julio 97% - 3%

Bush DEF Coffey 89% - 11%

The Bracket currently stands like this:

Will we have our first upset this weekend? Vote away for your favorite Brewers once again!

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This round of voting closes Monday Night!

Unpopular Opinions: Starting Rotation, Gagne, WBC, Hinske

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009


Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve heard more than enough about that plane crash in the Hudson River. I will admit that the pilots responsible for making a very difficult landing and saving everyone’s life should be commended for doing their job the right way. I’m glad everyone made it out relatively unscathed and tragedy was averted. What I’m not happy about is how much press this thing is getting.

This should’ve been a 30-second end of the newscast type thing, but to hear some fauxhawked choad’s prideful proclamation on Headline News that “this is the kind of thing you see in a movie!” as stock footage is incessantly looped – that’s too much. There have been so many more significant aviation incidents. Make a movie, for real? This Hudson River splashdown is like the “Corky Romano” of airline mishaps. It’s a cool soft news story, but let’s move on already.

Also, TGI Fridays (and all like franchises) sucks mandick. I’d honestly rather eat Tyson’s Any’tizers for the rest of my life than ever set foot in a Friday’s again. “Where every day is Friday!” More like, where every day is the food equivalent of your grandmother’s funeral.

Anyway, in unpopular baseball opinions –

McClung and/or Villanueva should be considered for the last spot in the rotation:
I’ve recently converted to the school Brewers fans who support a Braden Looper signing. For the money Milwaukee seems willing to spend on a starter, he’s about the best option out there. Jon Lieber would be a nice option to split time between the rotation and the pen based on need, but if neither of those are signed, I suggest Milwaukee just bump either Seth McClung or Carlos Villanueva into the No.5 spot and allocate the money set aside for a starter to bring in another bullpen arm. If either (or both, if alternated) of those two can string together a season even near what a low ceiling free agent would, it’d be worth it. A small sum of money can purchase a much better reliever than a starter.

Eric Gagne - Future past Brewer? It doesn’t have to be so:
After a season both he and most Brewer fans would like to forget, Eric Gagne has something to prove. Though he’s rumored to be close to a deal with the Twins, I wouldn’t be against Milwaukee making him a cheap, one-year offer to pitch in middle relief. He seemed to find his stride in the second half of last year, and could turn into a quality low-risk signing. Fans treated him like shit here (perhaps rightfully, I’m not the booing type), so I doubt he’d be interested, but why not dangle a line of redemption out there and see if he bites?

World Baseball Classic – It is what it is:
Not since Fidel Castro’s controversial nude scene on “Veronica’s Closet” has something that so few people watched inspired such controversy. If it’s not A-Rod playing for a country he’s never stepped foot in, it’s Brewers 25-man bubble-sitters opting to compete or Yovani Gallardo pitching for Mexico after missing most of 2008. My view is, it’s up the player. If Yo wants to risk injury and future earnings to will Mexico to a likely 3rd place finish, it’s his call. If Mark DiFelice, Rob Swindle, Vinny Rottino and Adam Stern want to punch their tickets to Nashville before Spring Training ends, let them. Trot Nixon will just take all of their spots.

Hinske Hintskes and a message to Tom:
I’m pretty sure Haudricourt has poached from us, among other evil blogs with our collective lack of access and, thus, knowledge. Whatever, meng… take what you want, misuse your MVP and Hall of Fame votes and continue to look like you’re on the verge of tears all you want, just do me this one solid. Drop some Hinske Hintskes to Doug Melvin and Gord Ash the next time you call them. Just slide in some comments during unrelated interviews or something…

TH: “Doug, do you think Trot Nixon has what it takes to be this year’s Eric Hinske – a versatile bench option that can hit 20 homers and steal 10 bases? Oh shit, Stash, now that I mention it… I just obtained a story from a blog I didn’t link to on my post that detailed how Hinske is available and is still the max tits. You should probably sign him now.”

DM: “That sounds a boot right!”

Make it happen.

It’s Mustache Mania!

Friday, April 25th, 2008

April must be bring back the awkward mustache month.

Some players have been sporting new styles of facial hair. These styles are all retro and all strange.

Prince Fielder - It looks like a Winston Zeddmore from Ghostbusters’ mustache, but with massive chops. Some have said it looks more ’70’s adult films-esque or that he’s trying for the Samuel L Jackson from Pulp Fiction look.

Fielder

Corey Hart - He shaved off the caveman beard and replaced it with a ’stache a la Brandon Flowers of the Killers, except that it’s blond.

Brandon Flowers

Carlos Villanueva - I didn’t recognize Carlos when I first saw him with his newfound facial hair. I’m not sure exactly who he reminds me of, but I’m sure I have a baseball card of it somewhere from 1991

Villanueva

Jason Kendall - His mustache, which may be best defined as caterpillar-like, is even more prominent without a matching beard. I truly believe he could be able to pull off the handlebar.

When I find more pictures of Mustache Mania ‘08, I will update this post!

UPDATE: Nevermind…all the Brewers (except Prince) are clean on the face tonight

Villanueva Locked in to Rotation?

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Carlos Villanueva


It’s starting to sound more and more like Carlos Villanueva is slotted for a spot in the starting rotation. Doug Melvin and Ned Yost have made several comments over the offseason indicating Villanueva has “earned” the spot with his performances as a starter over the last two seasons. I completely agree.

Here are Melvin’s latest comments from a column in the Capital Times:

“There’s still an argument on whether Villanueva will help us more in the bullpen or starting. But he deserves a chance to start. He’s had 12 starts and a 3.6, 3.5 ERA.”

If Villanueva joins Sheets, Suppan and Gallardo in the rotation, that leaves Capuano, Bush, Vargas and Parra to battle for a spot in the rotation. I get the impression the team plans to start Parra in AAA this season and one of Capuano, Bush and Vargas will likely be traded. That would leave the remaining two to battle for the last spot in the rotation during spring training with the loser likely going to the bullpen.

If I had to guess now, I think Vargas will be traded with Capuano getting the nod for the rotation and Bush moving to the bullpen. Capuano would be the only lefty in the rotation and figures to bounce back this year and put up similar numbers to 2005 and 2006 with an ERA around 4. He should feel less pressure this year since he no longer needs to be a number two pitcher. He’ll be a bottom-of-the-rotation starter for a powerful offensive team. Bush was a closer in college and has a bulldog mentality, but his slow starts would be cause for concern in the bullpen.

Some fans speculate that Capuano’s greatest value to the Brewers would be as a reliever. He is tough as nails and would likely thrive in the role. Plus, the Brewers only have one left-handed reliever in the bullpen, Shouse, at this time. It’s fair to assume, however, that Capuano would be opposed to such a move. He could probably net a four- or five-year contract of close to $10 million per year as a left-handed free-agent starter despite his bad 2007. I believe he has one year of arbitration left after this season and he’ll probably net a nice free-agent contract after that. Cappy seems like the kind of guy that would do anything for the team, but I’d be surprised if he embraced a move to the bullpen. He’s been a solid pitcher for the organization, aside from last season, and I expect he’ll get a shot to rebound in 2008.

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