Posts Tagged ‘Mike Lamb’

In the News (4/1)

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Prince Hugs Eckstein

Tuesday’s Game: Brewers 5, Padres 6
Record: 18-10-3

Tuesday’s Game

- Braden Looper still looked a bit rusty at times leaving many pitches in the center of the plate, but overall did alright for his second outing of the year. In 4 innings he gave up 4 runs, 2 earned but also gave up 2 home runs.

- Ryan Braun had a fly ball hit him on his right hand and he left the game in the second inning. X Rays came up negative and he has a right thumb contusion. Still sounds painful.

-Tony Gwynn Jr. looked lost in center…

- Hart was hitting second and Hardy was hitting fifth…it’s a lineup Macha is considering.

- The young Brewers got a run off and a runner on third off of Heath Bell, but he got out of the jam.

Brewers News

- Mike Lamb was designated for assignment Tuesday and the next move is up to him…

- Vinny Rottino has been sent down to AA Huntsville to be a Third Baseman. Tyler must have had a rough night…

- Bill Hall wants another trip to the postseason and a 30 HR season. So do we, Billy, so do we….

- Two Fisted Slopper takes a slight note from Jack and agrees that Rickie is alright and is “too big to fail”. So is Prince. Who isn’t too big to fail? Casey McGehee and Craig Counsell are my guesses.

- Sportsbubbler uses numbers to answer the question “If the Brewers are losing out on 60 runs by losing CC and Sheeter, how do they get those runs back?“

- Prince for MVP? We were chanting it in 2007, so I suppose it’s possible.

- More info on Tyler’s favorite Brewer now that Lamb might be on the outs…Casey McGehee

- Brew Crew Ball is having an over/under contest (with prize TBD). I might have to give it a whirl.

- Al from Ramblings says that those who want to keep Hardy over Escobar are like the people who wanted to keep Overbay over Fielder: Shortsighted.

- If you keep reading down, you’ll find that the Brewers are keeping tabs on the Jason Hammel/Jeff Niemann battle. Both are young arms with major league experience…worth a peek.

- SI picked the Brewers to finish 2nd in the Central, ESPN Mag predicted them to finish worse…

- More NL Central Preview from Luke Kohler and Vigilante Sports. And Wheelhouse Radio (Brewers in 5th Place).

Minor Leagues

- The T-Rats have a Fan Fest next Tuesday, April 7th and will scrimmage members of the UW-O Baseball team. Soda, pizza, hot dogs and popcorn will be free.

NL Central

- David Chalk at Bugs & Cranks is still doing the “Your team ain’t S**t compared to the Rays” and it’s the Cubs turn. Tyler again gets a couple words in and it’s a fun read.

- The Astros believe their pitching will be solid.  In related B.S., the Rangers aren’t interested in Ben Sheets, the Cards aren’t worried about their closer or second base situations and Carlos Lee hustles for every fly ball.

- Fukudome’s struggles have continued into the spring and he might be on a “short leash.” $48 Million doesn’t buy you much anymore, does it?

Other News

- In ‘Bout Damn Time News, the Tigers are done with Sheff and are eating his salary. Gary is one home run away from 500. You know, if he never hits another home run again, I call that justice.

- Geoff Jenkins has been released by the Phillies. MLBTR believes the Marlins are interested.

- Turnbow’s going back down to the minors.

- Scotty Po got cut by the Rockies

- Get your tax return ready, 95 Brewer games in HD this year from FSN!

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

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Here it finally is! No more delays! The entries are in! This year is bigger and better. Let’s find out if Ryan Braun can repeat…here’s the first day of the first round! Voting for these four matchups close on Wednesday, so vote for your favorites!

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The Milwaukee Brewers Should Sign Joe Crede

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

I realize that this is probably unlikely given the team’s signing of Mike Lamb as the platoon partner for Bill Hall, as well as the imminent rise of Mat Gamel to the Major League level as soon as this year. However, I think having those two players as potential replacements makes taking a risk on Joe Crede an even better idea.

With Russell Branyan leaving us for Seattle, it’s clear that we need another player to take on the role of platoon. One would expect that this replacement would have to be, like the muscle, left handed, such as Lamb or Gamel. However, there are two things that should be taken into consideration here. First, defense. A player that hits right handers better than Hall and plays solid (average or better) defense at third base would be worth platooning with hall. Secondly, and the reason that a Hall/Crede platoon would be viable, is reverse platoon splits. Although it is rare, occasionally a player comes around who hits same-handed pitchers as good or even a little bit better than he hits other pitchers. Crede certainly fits this mold over the last few years, having a better AVG, SLG, OPS, and wOBA against RHP over each of the last 3 years. This is pretty consistent with his overall career numbers. To see the complete numbers, see here

To see the actual value of a Crede/Hall platoon, I ran a Marcel-type analysis on Crede’s vs. RHP numbers, much like I did with Mike Lamb and Hall in this post. I’ll throw in the numbers from that one here for easy comparison.

Name VS. PA wOBA BRAA FRAA POSADJ REPADJ RAR WAR
Crede RHP 484 0.341 8 7.33 1.73 13.83 30.89 2.94
Lamb RHP 484 0.329 0 -8.94 1.73 13.83 6.62 0.63
Hall LHP 216 0.369 7.51 2.21 0.77 6.17 16.66 1.59
Hall/Crede Both 700 - 15.51 9.54 2.5 20 47.55 4.53
Hall Both 700 0.325 -2.43 -1.08 2.5 20 18.99 1.81
Hall/Lamb Both 700 - 7.51 -9.27 2.5 20 20.74 1.98

The difference between the Crede/Hall platoon and the Lamb/Hall platoon is 2.55 wins, and the Crede/Hall platoon is 2.72 wins better then just Hall alone. This adds up to somewhere around 10 million dollars or more for the Brewers, as well as increasing their current win expectation from the 83-85 win range to the 85-87 win range.  So we can see that a Crede/Hall platoon is potentially quite valuable for Milwaukee. The only question mark with this platoon is whether or not Crede can stay healthy enough to record the 450-500 PAs necessary to fulfill his duties with the platoon, and I feel that’s where most of the reprehension that Brewers fans (and more importantly, the Brewers front office) would have towards Crede would come in. This feeling, however, is likely spread across all of MLB, and could potentially drive his value down low enough where the risk would be worth offering a one year deal to. Personally, I feel like Joe Crede could be the Mike Cameron of 2009 if given the chance, and I think he would be perfect for the same type of deal that Cameron received in the winter of 2008. He could, ideally, be the bridge to Gamel in a year or two.

In the News (12/09)

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Brewers News

- As stated earlier, Mike Lamb was signed for a year at the rate of 400K

- Bill Hall didn’t make a pitch for C.C. to stay. Way to stay un-clutch William.

Rumors and Speculation

- C.C. has been rumored to have met or to meet with many teams including the Brewers, Yankees, Red Sox, Giants, Dodgers, and Angels. And believe it or not, all the teams feel they have a legitimate shot at him. That’s how good his agent is doing so far.

- ESPN is madly fueling rumors of Prince Fielder on the trading block. Both Peter Gammons and Buster Olney have said as much. Steve Phillips on the ESPN Winter Meetings Blog has even asked the question of a Prince for Putz trade. I’d say “Are you f**king kidding me? No way in hell do the Brewers do a deal in which the centered around J.J. “I Swear it’s Pronounced Pootz” Putz.” Rattler Radio also has some thoughts on bringing in Putz that do not involve Fielder.

- Somebody told Andrew Baggerly of the San Jose Mercury News that the Brewers are emerging as the front runners for C.C. Sabathia, but then doesn’t say anything to back up his source.

- According to a nice, information filled post on the Boston Globe, the Brewers might not bring back Gabe Kapler because they are in need of left handed bats. If that’s true, it would be sad. If you’d bring in the switch hitting Punto for the infield, then maybe…(I know, I know, not happening, get over it)

- Last night, a deal was imminent for Peavy to go to Chicago and now, reports are that a deal is not even remotely close. The Cubs are also looking at Milton Bradley. Cubs are also rumored to be willing to part with fan favorite Mark DeRosa and ship him to Philidelphia. This move would be seen as a way to free up money to bring in Bradley and Peavy. Well, they already bankrupt the Trib, why not more?  UPDATE: ESPN rumor page has the Peavy deal “close” again. It’s the equivilant of a see-saw and it’s making me sick.

- Yankees might offer Ben Sheets a contract. Maybe the All Star performance was an open interview?

- A couple names that fans were interested in are off the table. The Dodgers swept up Casey Blake and Mark Loretta.

NL Central

- The Reds had a busy day. They were reported to have signed veteran pitcher Livan Hernandez, which was later retracted and later traded Ryan Freel and prospects to Baltimore for Ramon Hernandez.

- Are the Pirates going to sell off some goods? Many teams are inquiring about Paulino, Maholm, and Snell.

Other News

- BrewCrewBall runs the numbers on Soup, then runs him through the shredder. They also gave some projections on how the Brewers bullpen is shaping up.

- Closer News: K-Rod is probably going to the Mets and former Cub Kerry Wood is close to a two year deal with the Indians.

- It’s interesting, but unconfirmed: On a Brewers message board, it was posted that the Brewers were interested in Rick Ankiel. While a left-handed centerfielder makes sense, I don’t see it happening.

Brewers to Re-Sign Mike Lamb

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

JS’s Tom Haudricourt reports the Brewers will announce they’ve signed free agent third baseman Mike Lamb today.

Haudricourt said he spoke with Doug Melvin this morning and Melvin confirmed the signing and said it will be officially announced soon.

Lamb, 33, was picked up by Milwaukee in early September after being released by the Twins. In his last 10 games for Milwaukee in ‘08 Lamb hit .300 and only struck out once. He has a career .333 OBP and as a left-handed hitter, he will surely spell platoon mate for Bill Hall - if not provide veteran insurance in case of a Hall trade.

No word yet on years or money, but I’d assume it’s likely a one-year deal worth - at tops - $2M after incentives. Jared or myself will provide updates on this as they come.

Update: It’s official. And, Lamb will make the minimum from Milwaukee. Minnesota will be on the hook to pay the rest of Lamb’s $3M salary for 2009. Even if you hate this signing, you have to like the combo of upside and affordability.

More: One-year/$400K. Melvin says Gamel will get a chance at third in Spring Training… which, I guess, isn’t exactly saying much.

Evaluating a Bill Hall/Mike Lamb platoon.

Monday, December 8th, 2008

When I read “In The News” today about the potential idea of a Mike Lamb/Bill Hall platoon at 3B, I knew immediately that I would not be a fan. The fact of the matter is that Mike Lamb is just not the kind of hitter that you’d like making up the lefty side of the platoon. One problem is Lamb’s hitting, but I’m more worried about the fact that Lamb is on a heavy decline at 3B. Looking at UZR, we see totals of 7.5, 0.2, -17.2 for the last 3 years, with no reason to think that it would climb above average. CHONE projects him as a -12 run fielder over the course of 150 games.

However, we do have to consider the fact that Billy has had some mighty struggles against RHPs lately. So I decided to take a look at what kind of leverage we could gain by using Lamb and Hall in a strict Lefty/Righty platoon. The first question I asked myself when I examined this was what kind of PA numbers to expect for each player in a strict LH/RH platoon. I took a look at Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder’s splits for PAs, as they were the least likely to be pulled for a pinch hitter or benched because a certain-handed pitcher was pitching. and these are the kinds of numbers the Brewers saw last year.

Braun: 478 vs. RH, 185 vs. LH
Fielder: 461 vs. RH, 233 vs. RH

Naturally each of them sees relievers that match their handedness a little bit more, so this makes sense. For simplicity’s sake, let’s just take the average and scale it to 700 total PA. (Note: I used ratios, not absolute values for this. The difference is minimal.)

Total: 484 vs. RH, 216 vs. LH

The next thing to do is to project each player’s splits. I used a system similar to that of Marcel: Weight each of the 3 previous seasons 5/4/3, and then add in 2 seasons of 650 PAs of the league average. Here’s what I come up with.  I have not looked at Lamb’s vs. LHP splits because I don’t want to cry.  The defensive projections are from CHONE.  The replacment adjustment for the NL is 20 runs per 162 games.

BRAA = Batting Runs Above Average, FRAA = Fielding Runs Above Average, POSADJ = Positional Adjustment, REPADJ = Replacement Adjustment, WAR = Wins Above Replacment.

Player Vs. PwOBA PA BRAA FRAA POSADJ REPADJ WAR
Lamb RHP 0.329 484 0 -8.94 1.73 13.83 0.63
Hall LHP 0.369 216 7.51 -0.33 0.77 6.17 1.35
Platoon Both - 700 7.51 -9.27 2.5 20 1.98
Hall Both 0.325 700 -2.43 -1.08 2.5 20 1.81

So it turns out that if these projections hold, we stand to gain .17 wins by using this platoon.  Using a market value of 4.84 M$/win, that’s worth 828K.  So if Lamb is signed for any more than this, I’m not a fan of the signing.

The main problem is that Lamb can’t play defense.  That, compounded with the fact that Lamb’s numbers vs. RHP are actually below average for that of a left-handed hitter (they’re average overall, but below average just isolated for lefties), it’s clear that Lamb isn’t the man for the job.  Either we need to sign a guy like Eric Hinske, whose splits vs. RHP are above average, or we need to sign a guy like Joe Crede, who doesn’t have stellar numbers against RHP but can field like crazy.

To Those No Longer With Us

Monday, September 29th, 2008

With Milwaukee’s playoff push going down to the final moment of the season before being ultimately made good upon, it took the contributions of many to be delivered – some of which who will not accompany the club into the playoffs.

With the roster to again dwindle down to its usual 25 men, I thought it appropriate to recognize the efforts of two players who were brought in to help bring a team to the next level, a level they knew without doubt they would not be a part of.

On Sept. 5, five days after roster expansions, the Brewers announced the acquisition of Mike Lamb. In 81 games with the Twins this season, Lamb hit an embarrassing .233 with just 32 RBI before being handed his walking papers. When Lamb was brought in, many fans wondered why he was brought in, and why he was brought when only eligible to be on the roster for less than a month.

Lamb didn’t exactly dazzle in limited opportunities, but he didn’t make idiots of Brewers management either. In just 11 ABs, he had three hits, two runs, a walk here and there, and kept the ball in play in all but one plate appearance, as he struck out just once. A .273 clip in 11 at bats wasn’t anywhere close to deciding Milwaukee’s fate, but I felt better pinch hitting him in the pennant race over a less proven, or equally unflattering option. In all, he proved a no-risk option yielding some reward. 

Todd Coffey makes a much easier case as a wise playoff-ineligible signing. The aged ginger hurler stunk his way out of Cincinnati with a 6.05 in 17 Emerald City appearances this season. He was then brought in on Sept. 10 to add depth and experience to a fledgling Brewers bullpen. 

 Coffey posted a 0.00 ERA during his nine appearances (spanning 7.1 innings). He gave up just six hits, two walks while vastly improving on his career K/IP ratio in chalking seven punchouts in almost as many frames of work. These numbers were not obtained in garbage time or meaningless games. Coffey was thrust into the flames bases-loaded jams and hearts of orders, only to work out of each scenario unscathed.

Though these players will be watching the team they shared champagne with at home this October, they should look at themselves and know they had a hand in what this team has done, and in what the team still has the opportunity to do.  

Mike Lamb and Todd Coffey were brought in too late, but in my opinion, it’s better late than never.

Brewers Sign Mike Lamb

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Milwaukee agreed to terms with veteran third baseman Mike Lamb, who was released by the Twins on August 25. To make room for Lamb on the club’s 40-man roster, Milwaukee designated Brevard County catcher Lou Palmisano for assignment.

Though having an off year, Lamb is a career .277 hitter in nine seasons with the Rangers, Twins and - most notably - the Astros. He is a left-handed bat who can be called upon for pinch hit and hot corner platoon duties. He has more offensive pop than Craig Counsell and (arguably) a better glove than Bill Hall.

Because he signed after August 31, Lamb is NOT eligible to be part of Milwaukee’s postseason roster - but will probably be relied upon a fair amount in the month of September. Last season Milwaukee made a similar move in acquiring Ray King from the Nationals after the Aug. 31 deadline.

In all, this move is nothing huge. You can’t really hate it; Milwaukee had room for five additional players on its present roster, one has to assume the terms of the deal were nowhere near financially crippling, and no one third baseman of Hall, Counsell or Joe Dillon has played like they deserved the full-time 3B gig.

And though I’m with the masses in being exciting to see Mat Gamel man the basepaths at Miller Park, I’d rather ride my hand on a (somewhat) proven player than one who’s inexperienced, even if that player will one day outplay Lamb by leaps and bounds.

In all, I like the signing and, if anything, those who don’t only have to watch him play part-time for less than a month.

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