Posts Tagged ‘Craig Counsell’

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.

Melvin’s End-of-Season Media Blitz

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Doug Melvin had his year-end press conference then he went on 620 with Bill Michaels…some highlights of both:

- Melvin basically said Braun and Prince won’t be traded. On 620, Michaels asked if they were going to look into locking up Prince and Melvin said something to the effect of when we have those discussions, it will be quiet like how we approached Trevor about an extension. Does this mean that Melvin will talk huge extension with Boras this offseason???

- Probably not, because right after that he said that he wants to figure out pitching before position players

- That included decisions on Mike Cameron, Jason Kendall, and Craig Counsell he said on 620.

- He said that keeping both J.J. and Escobar would be “very difficult”, which Haudricourt basically believes (and I agree) means “OPEN MARKET ON HARDY”

- Lopez and Weeks were brought up. Listen up, everyone…no matter how many message boards you read or sports talk shows you listen to, Rickie Weeks ISN’T moving to the outfield. Rickie is considered the second base starter right now. Lopez might fall into that group of players that Melvin won’t decide on until some pitching is figured out.

- Finally, Melvin very bluntly said that the Brewers were looking to get two starting pitchers.

Melvin will also be on 620 tomorrow morning for his last Brewers 360 of the year where he will probably rehash all of this…but maybe there will be some new news

Roster Decisions - Take 1

Thursday, September 10th, 2009 had a story about some of the roster decisions for 2010 since this year has been a bust (or an EPIC FAIL). Here’s what I think might happen to some of the current Brewers and why. Feel free to add your takes:


Option on David Weathers for 3.7 Mil - Let him go to free agency or retire. It’s a lot of money to spend on an old reliever who couldn’t get too many people out in Milwaukee this year.

Mutual Option on Braden Looper for 6.5 Mil - Bring him back. Braden’s been a pretty good innings eater…he’s basically what I thought Suppan would be. Plus, here’s the worst-case scenario: You sign an upper level starting pitcher and you put Braden back in the pen where he’s had all kinds of sucess earlier in his career. Also, he then becomes an emergency starter which as you saw this year, is always helpful.

Free Agents:

Mike Cameron - Make a big push to sign him. His leadership and defensive ability is worth it and he still has some pop and speed. I know he disappointed in 08, but he’s done well enough in 09. Plus, who else do you have? As long as he isn’t over 12 large, he should be a Brewer.

Jason Kendall - Goodbye, and thanks for helping our young pitchers. I am in the minority by still believing that Kendall was a good pick up. He helped our young pitching staff and he always busted his a$$. I also believe he has made Mike Rivera into a better game caller. That said, I don’t think it makes sense to bring him back.

Felipe Lopez - Even though he was awesome at getting on base and was possibly the most underrated move of the mid-year, Felipe’s going to be too expensive. Also, the last time he got paid, he hit .245 the next year. I’d like to keep him as a Craig Counsell like player, but he’s going to be too expensive for that.

Craig Counsell - He’s had an amazing year and I have done a 180 on him, but this excellent year might be Craig’s swan song. It also seems that pitchers have figured out the holes in his new swing. The Brewers should feel free to let him go out on top, but if there are a lot of injuries, I’m pretty sure he isn’t a long distance call.

Frank Catalanotto - Frank was a great veteran presence off the bench for the outfield and I’d like him to stay a Brewer. I think he will be re-signed since he’s a left handed outfield bat and the Brewers need a strong backup.

Corey Patterson - Meh…he could have been something, but Corey can be someone else’s reclamation project. There’s an off chance that he will be signed to a minor league deal in the offseason.

Trevor Hoffman - What an amazing year Trevor Hoffman had as a Brewer! He showed San Diego that you still had a lot in the tank (but Heath Bell showed that he deserved the job too). I’d like to keep Hoffman a Brewer, but he’s probably either going to garner too much money/attention or he’s going to retire.

Claudio Vargas - Even though Clardo was the pitcher no one wanted, he was an above average reliever during the second half. I’d give him a shot, but it wouldn’t be for much money. After abusing the arms of Todd Coffey and Mark DiFelice this year, a righty who didn’t pitch too many innings might be nice to have.

In the News (4/22)

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009


Moyer Beat Manny Tuesday

Today’s Game: Brewers 4, Phillies 11
Record: 4-9, Last in the Central


Today’s Game

- Brewers pitching got eaten up again and the Brewers lost a rain-delayed game against the Phillies, 11-4

- Manny Parra and Jorge Julio gave up a combined 10 runs (9 earned)

- At least Ryan Braun showed up…5 for 5 with two home runs!

- Rickie’s face is having a rough April… Rickie collided with JJ Hardy’s shoulder and was taken out due to dizziness. You know it must have been a shot if he was taken out from that and not after being hit in the FACE by a pitch!!

Brewers News

- Cory Provus has a mailbag. I love that he’s kind of an ass to one of the people who sent him an e-mail.

- Parra is underachieving. I don’t know what’s going on…if he’s just not controlling his pitches or what, but the Brewers need him right and fast…and I’m sure you will see more opinions like this in the coming days.

- Man, Bleacher Report is going to hate me…Some guy who isn’t an 8th grader is asking for a catching platoon. First of all, doesn’t a platoon require one player who can hit left handed and another who can hit right handed? Secondly, most people understand Kendall isn’t known for his bat. He’s known for helping young pitchers through hard times and to play solid defense.

- The Brewers have already hit 2 million tickets sold this year

- These guys at BrewerFan are just a little faster than I am, comparing Coffey to former closer Dan Kolb. I had a small blurb in an upcoming post about a Brewer fan thinking that Todd Coffey was the second coming of Dan Kolb.

- The Love of Sports blog lists their favorite batting stances and Craig Counsell is numero uno! He even beat out Jeff Bagwell…impressive.

- FYI, it was April 21st, 1982 that Rollie Fingers became the first pitcher to save 300 games

Minor Leagues

- Gamel lead the Sounds to their fifth straight win…Chase Wright pitched well, also.

- The Brewers signed a catcher, Patrick Arlis, from the Golden Baseball League and designated him to AAA Nashville

- No T-Rats game on Tuesday means doubleheader on Thursday!

- Hoffman isn’t coming to Appleton. I didn’t think he was.

- Rattler Radio brings you up to speed with Cody Scarpetta (who looked real good opening night) and Efrain Nieves.

- Still hungry for T-Rats? How about a video preview?

- Has TGJ finally realized he needs to step it up? Here’s hoping.

NL Central

- The Pirates (4-9) beat Florida again, the Cubs (8-4) beat the Reds (7-6)  7-2, Houston (5-9) beat the Dodgers, and the Cards (9-5) beat the Mets.

- Lance Berkman (or Fat Bam Margera) is in an “uncharacteristic slump”. What a tick…didn’t he slump most of 2007?

- This is embarrassing. Not only did the Pirates sell only 8,700 tickets, but only 4,500 went through the turnstiles.

Other News

- Free Matt Murton? Geoff Jenkins says “Be glad you have a job, kid.”

- An uplifting story about Beloit-born Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer.

- More on Dustin Yount trying to find his way back into an organization.

Brewers Fan Favorite ‘09 - Round 1 Concludes

Monday, March 9th, 2009

This weekend, Villanueva and McClung rolled while the other two races were pretty tight. It was nice to see Chris Capuano get a respectable amount of votes probably meaning that not everyone has given up on the guy. Mat Gamel has the first upset of the Bracket, which tells us that Brewer fans are fed up with Bill Hall and are ready for the future. Mike Cameron was able to fend off the other top prospect, Alcides Escobar, but not by terribly much. Here are the final results:

Cameron DEF Escobar 60% - 40%

Gamel DEF Hall 59% - 41%

Villanueva DEF Capuano 73% - 27%

McClung DEF Riske 81% - 19%

Here’s the updated bracket:

This round might give us some more upsets and close matches:

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Polling for this round, which is the end of Round 1, will end Wednesday Night!

Craig Counsell Kicks Ass

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Pure Determination

Pure Determination

Yes, he looks like he’s 12 years old, and he has the approximate power of a 12 year old as well. Craig Counsell, however, has managed be one of the most consistently underrated players in baseball over the last few years.

In fact, only once since 2002 has he had a bad enough year to be overpaid, which was in 2003. Let’s take a look at another graph that should give you a good idea of why Counsell has been so valuable over the last 6 seasons.

This graph looks solely at Counsell’s production, all pro-rated over a full season (700 PAs) to make the baselines easier to identify. We can see that Counsell, over his career, has always been around the average player mark, which is 0 runs above average (obviously) or 22.5 runs above replacement. Other players who are also around this average baseline include Josh Willingham, AJ Pierzynski, Hideki Matsui, and Adam Dunn, which is pretty decent company for a guy who is only receiving 1 million dollars this year. The difference between Counsell and these other guys, especially Dunn, is that Counsell really excels with the glove as the graph above shows.  The yellow line is fielding (including position), and the blue line is hitting, and the green line is overall production, which is the sum of the two. The gray transparent line is league average, and the black line is replacement level. So we can see here that Counsell has been far above replacement level here, and even though his glove has slipped a little bit (which is partially due to him playing less shortstop and more 2B/3B), he has hit better over the last few years. If he puts up another season with a OBP of .355 and continues to play plus defense for the Brewers, he will be well worth the 1 million we paid him for.

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.’

My Spreadsheet Spits Out Something Ridiculous

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

I’ve finally figured out everything I need to show the results for this post, and the results kind of surprised me.

You can see everything in this spreadsheet.

Here are the lineups that it came up with:

Lineup Slot POS BestLHP Runs POS BestRHP Runs
1 LF Braun 37.37 2B Counsell 55.01
2 2B Durham 62.28 1B Fielder 90.75
3 1B Fielder 27.15 CF Cameron 57.4
4 RF Kapler 48.03 3B Branyan 90.26
5 SS Hardy 44.21 LF Braun 75.03
6 CF Cameron 41.65 RF Kapler 53.85
7 3B Hall 35.75 SS Hardy 52.92
8 SP/PH SP/PH 9.77 SP/PH SP/PH 19.54
9 C Kendall 20.5 C Kendall 38.44
. TOTAL 326.71 TOTAL 533.2

Obviously this isn’t realistic at all, but I think it’s kind of interesting to see what these role players could have done in a perfect world.  Clearly, these lineups aren’t the kind of lineups that would hold up over the course of the season.  However, I think it does show something interesting - the importance of OBP.  The guys with the higher OBPs are the guys that you see higher in the lineup - and are the guys that are just plain better overall.  That’s one of the problems with the Brewers lineup as it is - when players are getting on base, the high SLG guys will knock them in consistently, but when guys aren’t getting on in front of them, they can go completely anemic.

The best lineup posted in the comments was Jared’s, and the worst was Kevin’s.  Kendall’s OBP only looks good compared to his SLG, Kevin.

Lunch Break Quickie: Cameron, Maddux, Sabathia, Counsell

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

- On the last day to do so, the Brewers have decided to exercise outfielder Mike Cameron’s $10 M option for the 2009 season: Cameron is now one of the highest compensated players in Milwaukee, but – unlike others breaking the bank – he has the probability of contributing on an everyday basis. Plus, with a full season to work with, 30 HR, 100 RBI, 20 SB and a plethora of web gems are all definite possibilities for 2009. Good move by Doug and Co.

- Mike Maddux will reportedly leave Milwaukee to take the vacant pitching coach position in Arlington for the Texas Rangers: After five seasons of respectable team E.R.A. and pitchers appearing in all-star games, Maddux was apparently bowled over by Texas’ offer. Doug Melvin said of Maddux’s departure in an interview with the Journal Sentinel, “He’s moving on to a better deal that he couldn’t turn down,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told the newspaper. “They overwhelmed him with a huge deal.”

Maddux is expected to be announced as the new pitching coach sometime this week for a pitching staff that had the highest team E.R.A. in 2008. No immediate word on who will replace Maddux in Milwaukee.

- CC Sabathia officially filed for free agency on Saturday: This doesn’t mean Milwaukee has automatically lost out on CC, as they’re reportedly working on an offer the godly hurler could receive as early as today, but this now begins the bidding process the Brewers will more than likely lose. Farewell Carsten, unless we meet again.

Oldie but Goodie:
- Over the weekend while we were getting wasted dressed as characters from Lethal Weapon not able to post, the Brewers declined “Super Sub” Craig Counsell’s $3.4 M option for next season, opting instead to pay the world’s largest tween $400,000 to not be part of the team: However, the team has expressed interest in retaining Counsell at a lower cost. If the purse is low enough, I guess I personally wouldn’t mind having Counsell’s infield versatility and left-handed bat back on the bench, but if the Counsell era has ended, I shed no tears. The extra cash saved, might clear room to sign or trade for an everyday third base option, who knows?

Hump Day Heckler: An Able Bodied Blast TO the Past.

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

First off, I would like to thank Jeff Cirillo for taking the time out of his schedule to do an interview with Right Field Bleachers. Thanks Rillo! It was a great read. I hope you will be around next year, inside the dugout. I know you have some more in the tank.

Last Friday, Tyler and I were watching the Brewer game against the Dodgers. As you probably know the offense was underwhelming and stifled by Chad Billingsley, not embarrassing…but it begged the question: Why is Counsell starting? Scratch that: Why is Craig Counsell starting so much? When the Brewers called up Russell “The Muscle” Branyan to form a soft platoon with struggling 3B Billy “William” Hall - I thought it made a lot of sense. But with Branyan on the DL, Yost has seemingly decided to keep the platoon in cycle replacing Branyan with middle infielder Craig Counsell. I am not the typical Ned Yost murderer, I actually like the guy. But, does he not see Counsell’s line?


83 191 21 43 10 1 1 12 3 1  2   8

32 .225 .327 .304 68

WTF? Somewhere Phil Garner is rolling in his grave about this waste of a “Power Position”. Bill Hall is hitting .169 against RHP with: 8 HR, 26 RBI and 67 K’s (219 AB). Counsell is hitting at a robust .228 clip against RHP with: 1 HR, 8 RBI and 28 K’s (171 AB). Are you kidding me? Mike Rivera has put up better numbers than Counsell in only 54 AB’s. I can’t speak for you fellow fans but I would do cartwheels to see a Billy Hall watching third strikes and trying to pull balls 6 inches outside all night, just to NOT watch Craig Counsell’s inevitable 4 weak groundouts to short. Maybe it is time CC does what his name suggests, join Cross Country.

I guess these thoughts made me wonder why the Brewers called up Laynce Nix rather than Brad Nelson. You’d think they would have waited to see if Braunie was headed for the DL before pulling the trigger on Nix, who has all but proven himself to be a AAAA ballplayer. Brad can play a decent 3B, has pop, and is a left handed bat. Who does Brad Nelson have to plow to get a call up? If Jay Gibbons gets the call in September over Nelson, I will feel pretty miffed. As should he. Could he be any worse of an option than Dillon? Then I started to think of past Septembers, with the brutal call-ups we’ve had to endure. No matter how thin our bench looks this year at times, can we not all sigh in relief to know that:

The memory of Trent Durrington’s celestial voice is indeed, just a memory. I no longer have to pretend having an ability put up a 10 SB season makes you a viable bench option.

Jeff Liefer will never be called up as an emergency DH. Liefer if you didn’t know, is the guy who got locked in a bathroom before a minor league game, delaying it for 20 minutes. He later was quoted saying “I don’t want to be remembered as the guy who got stuck in the bathroom”…Too late, choad juggler.

Chris Magruder…It is a proven fact that Chris Magruder is the only switch hitter in baseball history to always hit worse on which ever side of the plate he is on. His only strength in a L/R matchup is that if he wasn’t going against a righty, he was guaranteed not to make an out as a lefty.

I will leave some hacks for you to comment on. It is kind of fun looking at the 40 man in retrospect.

Have a good week, and Go Brewers

Insomniac Ink