Posts Tagged ‘Doug Davis’

Questions Without Actual Answers Yet

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

It’s the eve before opening day and this year, there are still some important questions with the Brewers team that will need to be figured out quickly:

1) Why are the Brewers commited to starting Suppan?
The news that Parra and Narveson are both being sent to the bullpen wasn’t the bad news…the bad news was that the Brewers are still holding a starting spot for Jeff Suppan for no other reason than “We’re paying him a ton of money” and “He hasn’t pitched out the pen in a long time.” I have a question to go with my first question…Where did your stones go, Brewers organization?

From Major League 2..."You have no marbles!"

2)  Which outfielder is going to divide the fans most? Hart? Edmonds? or Gomez?
From what I’ve noticed, there are many Brewers fans that are fed up with Corey Hart already BUT he still has a loyal following. There’s another group of fans that hate Jimmy Ballgame and feel he’ll be taking valuable at bats from younger players BUT his spring training performance has turned many over to his side. There’s yet another group that hates Gomez and his lack of power BUT there are many people excited for his speed and good performance in spring. So which outfielder is going to divide fans the most? It depends on whichever one does the worst.

3) Will the new starters be better than the old starters?
This one has an answer…sort of…and the answer is “They better not be any worse”. Most preseason predictions I’ve seen has Randy Wolf regressing this year and Doug Davis will always give up some home runs, it’s just a matter of keeping the number down. I believe Bush will be better this year and Yo will be stellar as usual. That fifth spot is concerning

4) Will LaTroy Hawkins be more like Guillermo Mota or Salomon Torres?
All three pitchers were former closers, so where will Hawkins fall? He can still dial it up over 90 and has looked alright so far.

5) Will George Kottaras walk to the mound a lot?
While at the spring training game on Friday, I noticed that George really wanted to be on the same page with his pitchers and walked to have a talk with each pitcher multiple times. It worked, because there were no runs earned by the bullpen! Is he really going to do that during the season? Don’t fix what isn’t broken, George.

6) Is this the year for Rickie Weeks?
If he can stay healthy? Why not?!?!? I still have faith in the guy.

7) Will Macha run with this team?
Not just make a run, but actually steal bases and move runners. There’s so much speed on this team, it’s ridiculous. The 2005 White Sox think this team has a ton of speed, but will that speed turn into production on both sides?

8) When will the Narv-Dog get a legit chance at being a starter?
Not soon enough apparently. I really believe that if you make someone a reliever at the beginning of the year and try to make him a starter later that same year, it won’t work. When has it worked? I can’t think of anyone right now…

The Narv-Dog

9) Who will be the surprise player to step up this year?
Last year it was Casey, before that it was Gabe Kapler. Will Gomez step up? Will Casey prove his doubters wrong AGAIN? Will it be Rickie or even Jody Gerut? Perhaps it will be a pitcher…maybe Parra will take the next step. Perhaps it will be a surprise addition. Maybe it will be a call-up from Nashville…

10) Will this team make the playoffs?
Well, if you believe SI or ESPN, no. They have the Brewers finishing fourth behind the Cards, Cubs, and Reds. And it’s easy to be skeptical after the downer that was last  year, with Macha having his first losing season as a manager. However, I like when the Brewers fly under the radar and I believe this team will be playing meaningful ball looooong into the season.

Now it’s your turn…answer my questions if you can or post your own

Loading up on Lefties?

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Yahoo Sports reports that Dougie Davis is coming back to Milwaukee for about $4-5 Million. Ladies are already prepping themselves for the return of the “anchor” in Milwaukee.

I'm Coming Back?!?

Maybe we can trade him again for a fat, slow catcher again.

According to multiple sources on the web, Ben Sheets looked good in his “open audition”. He hit 90 on the gun and threw a solid Ben Sheets’ Curveball. Since many teams reportedly have interest in the righty, coupled with the Brewers lack of any actual interest, it seems Sheeter will definitely find a new place to call home. Will he get his crazyazz $12 Mil/Per? No. Even Maddux and the Rangers were scared off by his asking price, so I’m guessing there will be a rich and pitching strapped team who will bow down to his minimum of $6-8 Million.

See...my arm bone is connected to my shoulder bone

Finally, if Mahk Moda also signs, there will be 4 lefties competing for the starting rotation. Awesome.

The All-Decade Team

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Happy Holidays everyone! Since we are on the cusp of a new decade, I decided to put out the Milwaukee Brewers All-Decade team! This was quite an up and down decade for the Crew. We saw the end of our beloved Milwaukee County Stadium, but enjoyed the beauty that is Miller Park. We saw the worst of the worst (3 straight years of finishing last in the NL Central including a 100 loss season) and something we hadn’t seen in over 20 years: Playoffs.  We saw managers change (Lopes, Royster, Yost, Sveum, and Macha). We saw fan favorites come and go. We saw the rise of baseball in HD and a rise in Brewers payroll. Yes, it was quite a roller coaster being a Brewer fan in the 00’s. To look back on the decade that was, Here’s my 25-man All-Decade Roster.

Starters

C - The list of Brewers’ catchers from this decade reads like a sick joke: Bennett, Estrada, Bako, Moeller. It was hard to pick, but Damian Miller is my catcher of the decade. In ‘05 and ‘06, he was a solid catcher both offensively and defensively and had a lackluster ‘07 because of the amazingly underwhelming Johnny Estrada.

1B - Prince Fielder - It’s only been since ‘06 that the Brewers have had Fielder as their starting first baseman, but he’s only gotten better over time. He’s even had 2 seasons with over 40 HR’s. He’s been the leader of this team and has shown maturity beyond his years. He even improved his defense!

2B - Ron Belliard - We started off the decade with Belliard at second. He hit alright, but was great at the double play. He was part of turning 129 double plays in 2000.

3B -Ryan Braun - I don’t care how bad his defense was. I don’t care that he’s an outfielder more than a third baseman. He was the best third baseman the Brewers have and I’m putting him here dammit. What else can you say about Ryan Braun? He’s a stud. He does it all. He hits for power and average. He’s the Hebrew Hammer. He likes really ugly MMA shirts. He’s cocky, but says the right things almost all the time. The best thing you can say about him: He’ll be a Brewer far into this next decade!

SS - JJ Hardy - This JJ brought all the ladies to the yard, but behind his female appeal was a great defensive shortstop with a lot of pop in his bat. He made the All-Star team in 2007. His fire continued in 2008 with over 20 home runs again (which is great for a shortstop).

OF - Carlos Lee - We put up with his lazy outfield because you could count on 100 RBI’s. Before Prince was ready for Prime Time, there was Carlos Lee. Even though the Crew only had him for 1 3/4 years, he delivered over 60 home runs and almost 200 RBI’s.

OF - Geoff Jenkins - Roaming the outfield until 2007, Geoff hit 182 home runs and 71 Outfield Assists for the Brewers this decade. Jenks was also voted into the All-Star game in 2004 by the Brewers fans! He ended up having a stellar year that year hitting .296 with 28 HR’s.

OF - Scott Podsednik - Milwaukee’s ROY runner up was the beginning of the resurgence of interest in the Brewers. While he really only had one good year with the Brewers (and only two overall), he set a Brewers record for most SB’s in a year.

Bench

1B - Richie Sexson - While I have never been the biggest fan of Sexson because he would choke under pressure, his numbers as a Brewer don’t lie. He hit 133 home runs in a Brewer, including two seasons with 45 (2001 and 2003). He was  a two time All-Star and was involved in an amazing trade for the Brewers.

1B - Lyle Overbay - OK, so I have three first basemen. The Big O was a doubles machine after coming over in the Sexson trade and bridged the gap perfectly between Sexson and Fielder.

OF - Brady Clark - Most people laugh about Brady, but he was a solid member of the Brewers outfield for 4 years this decade. He hit an average of .283 and was a big part of 2005’s .500 year (which people forget was a big deal at the time)

INF - Mark Loretta - Mark had a really strong run in Milwaukee to start his career. And while most of his career was played in the previous decade, he still played for 2 3/4 of this one. Always one you could count on to get on base,  Mark never had more than 60 strikeouts in a season.

OF - Corey Hart - Hart made his debut in 2004, but didn’t recieve the role of everyday starter until 2007. His speed and his bat make him a dynamic player even though his head has gotten in the way.

C - I guess you need two catchers on a 25 man roster so I pick Jason Kendall. I know there are a lot of fans who hate Kendall (such a strong feeling), but many of those fans don’t remember most of the catchers from this past decade. We didn’t have a Surhoff or a Nilsson. And I wouldn’t mind having a Jason Kendall who busts his ass every day on my team….problem is if this was real, he wouldn’t let me put him on the bench.

Pitchers

SP - Ben Sheets - Ben’s entire MLB career started in 2001 even though it seems like he’s been around for longer. In 2004, he was a finalist for the Cy Young and threw over 1200 K’s this decade. I won’t ever forget the day Jared and I saw Sheeter the night after he threw 18 K’s at a Bucks game (Jenkins had front row and Sheeter was sitting 8 rows back by us). He’s Milwaukee’s first legit ace since Higuera and I’d like to see him back in Brewer Blue.

SP - Doug Davis -Doug Davis isn’t flashy. He isn’t dominant. He isn’t fan friendly. He’s just there. And for 3+ years, he was the team’s dependable workhorse. Doug is the reason most Brewer fans check quality starts because 70% of his 2004 starts were quality, although he just won half.

SP - Chris Capuano - Yet another part of the Richie Sexson trade, Cappie was an All-Star in 2005. What people remember most about Capuano was his insane pick-off move which prompted umpires re-check their rule books about balks. He’s the final part of the MM3 (See Kolb)

SP - Yovani Gallardo - This young star in the making was better than expected in ‘09.  He also was helpful down the playoff stretch in ‘08 (even though a freak accident derailed almost all of that season). I’m excited to see how Yo matures in this next decade.

SP - C.C. Sabathia - Sure he grabbed the cash and left, but before he did, he gave Milwaukee a hero they have not seen in a long time. C.C. delivered the team the playoffs and for that, he will never be forgotten. We were able to see what C.C. would have been like in the playoffs had he not been used up, but most people would agree that the Brewers would have never gotten to the playoffs had he been used more sparingly.

RP - Dan Kolb - There are a group of pitchers I like to call the Mike Maddux Three. These pitchers had their highest levels of success under his tutelage and most came out of nowhere to become All-Stars, then fizzle away. The first of those three is Dan Kolb. Dan was all sorts of mediocre until in 2003 when he had an ERA of 1.99 and saved 21 games. The next year he saved 39 and became an All-Star. The following year, he was traded for Jose Capellan which was a move that benefited NO ONE.

RP -Derrick Turnbow - Turnbow is another member of the MM3. A fireballer picked off of waivers, Turnbow was known as the “Wild Thing”. He had wild hair and a wild streak, but his fastball could touch three digits. This streak caught up with him, but not before he was named to the All-Star game. Sadly, his bobblehead ended his career.

RP - Francisco Cordero - Another in the streak of Brewers All-Star Relievers, Cordero was a name on the Carlos Lee trade that quickly became so valuable, people forgot how bad Kevin Mench was. CoCo came in to Click, Click, Boom and saved 44 games with a 2.98 ERA. He was lost to Cincinatti because they offered him a couple extra million the following year.

RP - Brian Shouse - Lefty specialists are in high demand nowadays and the Brewers had a great one in Brian Shouse. When he was picked up, most people said “Who?”, but this lefty had 2+ strong years in Milwaukee and had a cult following.

RP - Trevor Hoffman - OK, so he only had one year in Milwaukee, but you would agree it was a great one, right? He exceeded expectations and was a highlight in a disappointing ‘09 effort. Plus he was the capper on a decade that saw 6 Brewers pitchers become All-Stars.

RP - I have one more reliever spot and it’s hard to give it to just one person because there were so many players that were similar. They weren’t great, but they were who the Brewers had so my last reliever is Matts DeSkanick. That’s right. A hybrid of Matt Wise, Mike DeJean, Curtis Leskanic, and Brooks Kieschnick. They were all middle of the road relievers, but were necessary or had a small following of fans at the time. (If Jared or Tyler could make a photoshop of this, that would be awesome)

Manager - Ned Yost - Love him or hate him, he’s the man that took the Brewers from awful to competitive.

There you have it! Feel free to post your own! I know we’re all looking forward to another up and down decade of Brewer baseball. I hoped to do a Brewer of the Decade Vote in lieu of a fan favorite vote, but we’ll see if the site is around long enough for that.

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.

J.J. a Jay?

Monday, July 20th, 2009

It’s rare for a team to deal a key member of the team in the middle of a season in which they hope to compete in the playoffs, but the Brewers are in a unique position. With one of the best prospects in baseball, shortstop Alcides Escobar, knocking at the door, the Brewers could choose to deal J.J. Hardy for pitching. It would be a calculated risk that would involve losing a veteran leader and risking clubhouse camaraderie, but it might be in the best interest of the Brewers for this season and possibly beyond.

Danny Knobler of CBS Sports recently reported on the possibility of a Hardy trade:

A team that talked to the Brewers was told that shortstop J.J. Hardy could be available “in the right deal.”

“In a right deal” is a pretty vague term, but one would have to assume a trade involving the Brewers receiving Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay would be the “right deal.” Halladay would give the Brewers the legitimate difference maker in the rotation that they need.

There are many questions surrounding a possible deal involving Hardy, however.

Would Halladay be worth it?

Yes, he’s been one of the most consistent, injury free starters in baseball for the last several years. He’s widely considered one of the best pitchers in baseball and his stats should only improve with a move to the NL.

Could the Brewers afford to go with a rookie at short in place of Hardy if they still want to compete this season?

Hard to say… Escobar might be ready for the jump to the majors right now, but he also might struggle. By all accounts, he is a perennial gold glove talent at short, so the defense should actually improve at least a little (since Hardy is no scrub defensively either). Offensively, Escobar does not have the power or experience Hardy has so there would likely be a dropoff. That said, Hardy is having a bad year at the plate. He’s hitting just .229 this season with only 11 home runs and an OBP under .300. Meanwhile, Escobar, who was once considered a long-term project offensively, has made great strides with the bat in AAA. He’s hitting .295 with three home runs and a .349 OBP for Nashville this season. Those numbers likely wouldn’t translate to MLB at those levels, but one would think Escobar should at least be able to match Hardy’s offensive contributions to this point. He won’t hit as many home runs, but he has a lot more speed (33 stolen bases so far this season). Also, with the recent acquisition of Felipe Lopez, the Brewers have some protection if Escobar were to struggle. Lopez could shift from second base to shortstop in that scenario.

Why not trade Escobar instead of Hardy?

Hardy will be a free agent after next season. As the young Brewers players become free agents over the next couple of years, the team will have to make some tough financial decisions. With Escobar coming at a much lower cost and already on the cusp of the big leagues, Hardy is expendable. The Brewers will control Escobar more cheaply for more years. He is the future at shortstop.

Trading Hardy would also make it a little bit easier for the Brewers to take on Halladay’s big contract (the rest of the $14.25 million he’s owed this year and all of the $15.75 million he’ll get next year).

How much more would it take?

The Blue Jays aren’t going to swap Halladay for Hardy alone. Not even close… They’ll want at least one top prospect and probably two additional high-ceiling types to fill out the deal. I’d say Hardy, third baseman Mat Gamel and two B-level prospects should be close to getting it done. That’s a proven MLB player, one of the top prospects in the Brewers system and two other high-ceiling prospects (probably at least one and possibly both of them being pitchers). The Brewers could afford to trade Gamel since they have some depth at third both in the majors and the minors and there is no guarantee Gamel will stick at the hot corner anyway. The system is thin on starting pitcher prospects in the high levels, but there are a number of intriguing pitching prospects in the lower levels. While it would hurt to lose one or two of the quality young arms the Brewers are trying to build up, it would be worth it for a season and a half of a surefire ace like Halladay.

Will the Blue Jays even want Hardy?

Most reports say that the Blue Jays are interested in Escobar, which isn’t surprising, but the Brewers aren’t interested in moving him. So, would the Blue Jays want J.J.? Hard to say… Hardy has struggled this season so far, but was an All-Star two years ago and had an All-Star-caliber season again last year. He has significant power for the shortstop position and is above average defensively. He’s still young and you have to believe he’ll shake out of this slump at some point, especially since he’s a notoriously streaky hitter. He has one more year of arbitration left after this season, so the Blue Jays would have him through the 2010 season. The Jays could hold onto Halladay through the 2010 season if they wanted, so with Halladay on the trading block right now, it’s unlikely they view 2010 as a season to go for it. That said, the organization needs a shortstop of the future since Marco Scutaro is not a long-term answer. They could view Hardy as the man. While the Jays would have a hard time coming up with the coin to lock up Doc Halladay for the long term, they could likely sign Hardy to a multi-year deal if both sides were interested.

So, what if the Blue Jays don’t want Hardy?

I think Hardy remains the Brewers’ best trading chip (both in terms of what other teams value and what the Brewers can afford to give up), so if the Blue Jays aren’t interested in Hardy, the Brewers should shop him elsewhere.

Would the Red Sox swap Clay Buchholz for Hardy? That deal would benefit both sides as the Sox would upgrade a major team weakness without giving up a player on their MLB roster and the Brewers would get a talented young starter that they’d control for the next several years. Buchholz has proved he’s ready for the bigs again and could have a strong second half in the majors.

A well-known Mariners fan blog suggested last week that a trade of starters Erik Bedard and Wisconsin native Jarrod Washburn, both free agents to be, for Hardy would make sense for both teams. Would former Brewer head scout and current Mariners GM Jack Z actually consider this? If so, that’s a great alternative for the Brewers. They’d get two quality starters and could collect some draft picks when the pitchers leave in free agency after the season.

Asdrubal Cabrera is a pretty nice option at shortstop for the Indians, but he can also play second base, where the Indians don’t have a solid starter. Would the Indians be interested in taking Hardy as part of a Cliff Lee deal?

I wouldn’t give up Hardy for other options that are out there right now (Brad Penny, Doug Davis, Jon Garland, etc.), but who knows what else might happen before the trade deadline. The Brewers should keep all options open.

The Bottom Line

Hardy is a fan favorite and a respected veteran in the clubhouse. Dealing him in the middle of the season would shake up the fanbase and the clubhouse, but if the team can get quality starting pitching for him in a deal, it might be the right move to set the team up for a big second half.

DD headed to DL: RFB well-wishes for former Brewer

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Doug Davis

Following tonight’s start against the Giants, Diamondback’s hurler and former Brewer Doug Davis will head to the disabled list. The reason for the 4-6 week inactive stint; thyroid cancer.

In a game where injury is so heavily scrutinized - and related to a player’s fragility (Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Ben Sheets) - health issues such as this take the cake in their significance because not only is a player’s career in jeopardy, his life is.

Fortunately for Doug, thyroid cancer rarely ends fatally for those diagnosed young. And Davis, 32, seems to have caught the cancer symptoms quite early, so the outlook seems to be good.

My thoughts are with Doug and his family. On behalf of the RFBers who seemed to see Davis as the starter for half of the games we went to in the 2006 season, I hope to see you on the mound again soon.

And though it may hurt the Brewers in an eventual wild card or in post season seeding, I want to see him get a win tonight. He’s facing the Dodgers, so it’s not too unlikley.

Insomniac Ink