Posts Tagged ‘Trevor Hoffman’

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.

Strong Finish to Stoke the Hot Stove

Monday, October 5th, 2009

It was real nice to sweep the Cards, even though their fate was already decided. Prince finished his season starting in all 162 games, tied Howard for most RBI’s, and mashed Coop’s record. Gamel got a hit off of a lefty for an RBI. There are some things to look forward to. Let’s check some other news as we prepare for a Brewer-less playoffs, but an important winter.

- Macha and Co. coming back, minus the Bos and the bullpen coach. I think Wille might jet to a managerial job.

- Trevor Time? It’s been reported that the Brewers are already close to another deal with the all-time saves leader.

- Will Pitching Woes turn into Pitching! Woah!?

- Will J.J. be traded? Rickie? Hart? Prince? (First one is possible, second one is slightly possible, and the third one I hope doesn’t happen)

- Will the Brewers re-sign any of their free agents?

- What will the Brewers do in the outfield?

- What will happen to Soup and Loop if the Brewers pick up new starters?

Feel free post your burning questions/thoughts and we’ll keep an eye out for you. Brewmors should be returning.

Roster Decisions - Take 1

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Brewers.com 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:

Options:

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.

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.

Hoff Is an All-Star

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

Just got word from the Brewers media department that Trevor Hoffman was named to the All-Star Game in place of Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton, who is battling a toe injury.

Hoffman, who will make his seventh All-Star appearance, has 20 saves and a 2.05 ERA this season.

Congrats Trevor!

Brewers Fan Favorite Vote - Round 2 Concludes

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Braun and Gallardo blew away their opponents again. It really puts it the Looper beating Suppan in fan voting in perspective; Looper beats Suppan and Looper gets destroyed in popularity by Gallardo, hence Suppan is about as popular as Jose Hernandez’s and Glendon Rusch’s lovechild.

As far from close as those two were, the other two match-ups were the opposite. For awhile, the Cameron/Hart battle was very close, but Hart pulled away late Thursday night. Bush against Villa was decided by less than 10 votes, the slight edge to Bush. Here’s the final results:

Braun DEF Kendall 96% - 4%

Hart DEF Cameron 61% - 39%

Gallardo DEF Looper 97% - 3%

Bush DEF Villanueva 54% - 46%

Round 2 concludes already with these match-ups (including some very interesting pitching ones). Vote away for your favorite Brewers because these polls close on Monday evening.

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Brewers Fan Favorite Vote ‘09

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

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

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

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In the News (2/25)

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

 

Tired of waking up tired...

Brewers News

-SPRING TRAINING GAMES START TODAY!!!!! Brewers v. Athletics. Suppan v. Outman. Braun might play the whole day to get ready for the WBC and Trevor Hoffman is scheduled to make his debut.

- By the way, Macha knows the high expectations for the Brewers this year and if you don’t know much about him or his temperment yet, read this.

- Corey Hart said he was too tired at the end of the season and that’s what caused the slump. He’s also focused on proving people wrong. Kinda like how the fans proved you wrong when you said we don’t stand up for the players…

- Hardy homered in the intrasquad game and Lawrie got some time in at second base.

- Ok Ok, this one is a real banger! So…so, Craig Counsell is all like, older, and Vinny Rottino is like, not, so Craig totally gets one over on Vinny. Check this out, Counsell didn’t want to break in his glove and he was all like “Yo, Vinny, Give me your glove, beeotch” and Vinny was all like “Ah Sh*t Dawg, does I gots to?” So Craig got like all red and sh*t and starting like whining, I don’t really know but it’s what I heard..anywayz he ended up totally getting Rottino’s glove and it was like such a big deal or something ’cause Vinny had to use a glove that, wait for it….WASN’T BROKEN IN!!!!! AWH SNAPPITY SNAP SNAP!!!! Pssht. That’ll teach that rook…er…minor leaguer not to mess with the mini-CC. - Seriously, is this worth reporting?

- Tyler will not approve, but the Brewers already sent four players to the minors (red tagged em?) including Jason Bourgeois and Martin “Not Candy” Maldonado.

- Bleacher Report has 11 guys that need to come through. Rickie Weeks is listed as the second baseman who needs to come through and absolutely no Brewer fan disagrees with that.

- I’m liking this Miller Park Drunk post about how terrible Corey Hart’s batting music is. Maybe he was tired of his song like I was and that’s why he slumped in September…

- Short White Guys believe that the loss of CC and Sheets will be too much to overcome.

- BareKnucks also aren’t crazy about the starting pitching. But then they ask for Odalis Perez and Randy Wolf??? Wolf is back with LA, but I wouldn’t take either over Looper or McClung.

- Brian Anderson lets the “New Guy”, Corey Provus introduce himself. Nice, but we were first!

- You like-a the old MB logo? High Five-ah!!

- Want home opener tickets? Really really want home opener tickets? Want them so bad, you’d let someone poke you in the arm and drain you of your life fluid (for a good cause) just to have a chance at winning tickets? Then go to a BloodCenter of Wisconsin.

 

Minor Leagues

- Baseball America has their Top 100 prospects out!!!!

1-20 (Brewers: 19, Alcides Escobar)

21-40 (Brewers: 34, Mat Gamel)

41-60 (No Brewers)

61-80 (No Brewers)

81-100 (Brewers: 81, Brett Lawrie 100, Jeremy Jeffress)

- The T-Rats have a cool opportunity on April 8th. For $30, you could eat dinner with the new T-Rats at the Wave Bar and Ballroom (For a $300 table, they’ll even send one to sit with you). Gord Ash is the featured guest.

NL Central

- Carlos Zambrano might pitch in the WBC. That’s fine with me…I’m up for some spring training/WBC tantrums.

Other News

- Time to get ready for the season, eh Softball Guy?

- There’s still time to send in your contest entry for a chance to win a free shirt. Just need your top 4 choices, who you think will win, how many votes will be cast (last year there was 3000 total throughout the voting, so take that how you will), your name and address.

- Ben Hendrickson sighting! (Twins)

RFB Offseason Roundtable - More Important Signing?

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

This Week’s Topic: Which signing was more important? Braden Looper or Trevor Hoffman?

Joe -

While the Hoffman signing was more sexy because…well…its Trevor Hoffman, I think the signing of Braden Looper is more significant and important.

While it’s important to have a solid closer, I subscribe to the Billy Beane train of thought when it comes to closers: basically that you can take any solid reliever and make them into solid closer. I also agree with Ken Macha’s thought that the most important inning in a ball game can come at any time. Most people think of the ninth inning as the most important inning of a game, but depending on the situations, the most important, or deciding, inning of a game could very well be in the sixth or seventh inning. You’re not going to see your closer in those situations.

Sure, Braden Looper isn’t a sexy signing. He’s not a type A free agent. But he adds very important depth to the Brewers biggest question mark going into the ‘09 season: starting pitching. Looper will eat innings while maintaining a very respectible ERA of around 4.30. I’ll repeat the stat that Jared found the other day. Only 28 MLB starters threw more innings (199) and had a better ERA (4.16) than Looper last year.

Braden Looper is not another Jeff Suppan as a lot of (obviously casual) Brewer fans have been stating. Melvin signed Looper for less than $5 million for one year with a mutual option for a second year. Suppan was given a hefty long-term deal. Besides, Looper is a better pitcher. Period. Good, safe sign by Melvin.

Jared -

I guess we won’t really know which was the more important signing until the end of the year, but my guess is Hoffman. While the stats might suggest it’s Looper because he’ll pitch a lot more innings and therefore can have a bigger impact, I think solidifying your ninth inning man creates an important domino effect to straighten out the rest of the bullpen. Last year’s early season bullpen struggles are a good example. After Gagne struggled, no relief pitchers had a defined role and it was a battle every game to pick up the innings after the starter exited. Torres brought some relief to that situation, but my hopes for Hoffman are greater than what Torres delivered last year. If Hoffman can come in and lock down most of his save opportunities, he’ll also instill a lot of confidence in the team. With a young team that’s prone to streaks, that’s especially important. So, I’ll go with Hoffman. In the end though, I hope they’re both key figures in the Brewers return to the playoffs.

Bryan -

Both signings were great, especially when you realize that we signed both of these fine pitchers for a little more than we payed Gagne for, but I’m going to tell you why the Looper signing was more important.

For years, we’ve had a closer at the start of the year and many times that closer has faltered. However, there has been someone else to pick up that important role and pick it up admirably. In 2003, struggling closer Mike Dejean was traded to the Cardinals. Dan Kolb came in and was dominant the rest of 2003 and for most of 2004. In 2005, Kolb was traded to Atlanta for Cappellan and the Brewers again didn’t have a closer. The Brewers tried a couple different people, I believe they started with Mike Adams, but eventually found Derrick Turnbow to fill the closer void. In 2006, Turnbow started the year off hot, but by mid-year couldn’t find the strike zone. The Brewers had to trade Carlos Lee by the deadline, so they added disgraced closer Francisco Cordero to the deal. CoCo came in and dominated in 2006 and 2007. CoCo was then offered a large contract, but chose to take the ever-so-slightly larger deal in Cincinatti. The Brewers started 2008 with Eric Gagne, but once he was hurt, Salomon Torres stepped up into the closers role and didn’t look back. As you can see, there’s someone who can step up or step into the closer’s role so even if Hoffman struggles, the Brewers already have backups in Jorge Julio and perhaps Carlos Villanueva. I’m not saying having a good closer is worthless, the opposite in fact, I am saying that your closer is the one reliever on the team who steps up and keeps his head in the game.

Looper, who could close by the way, gives the Brewers some stability and room to move in the starting rotation. As much as I like McClung, I do not believe he is able to be a starter the entire year. He is a solid reliever and an above average injury replacement. Now if there is an injury, the Brewers don’t have to go to Villa (who is not a starter like we thought he would be, but he is an outstanding relief pitcher) or to the minors right away. Looper was also an underrated arm in the free agent market and the Brewers got a steal of a deal for him. The rotation might not have CC and Sheets at the top anymore, but one has to admit that the rotation looks at least solid once again, all because of a couple young budding stars and one  signing.

In the News (1/14)

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

We're Coming to Milwaukee

Brewers News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Minor Leagues

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

Other News

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

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

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