Some things to read while getting the perfect shot.
The Brewers finished off a sweep in Arizona with something that's been increasingly unlikely lately: a Sunday day game victory. The Brewers actually gained three games on the Cardinals this weekend, as they were swept in Atlanta while the Brewers were in Arizona. If that had happened a month ago, it'd be relevant.
The Brewers also recorded several milestones over the weekend: Ryan Braun picked up his 100th home run and Felipe Lopez collected his 1000th hit on Friday, and on Saturday Prince Fielder's solo home run tied Cecil Cooper's franchise record with 126 RBI. Several notes on Fielder today:
- Keith Law doesn't like the Brewers' 2010 chances, and thinks they should trade Fielder this offseason and make an effort to rebuild.
- Casa de Machado thinks Fielder will only hold the franchise RBI record until Ryan Braun hits 158 next year.
- Since Fielder plays and bats fourth every day, he's singlehandedly responsible for the fact that the Brewers have received more production from the cleanup spot than any other team in baseball.
Casey McGehee also had a pretty good weekend. He reached base nine times over three days, and his 4-for-5, two home run performance Friday night tied a rookie franchise record with 6 RBI. I've been accused of loving McGehee since long before it was cool to do so, but I still hope he's building his trade value for the offseason, and not cementing himself at third base for the 2010 Brewers.
Trevor Hoffman said over the weekend that he's hoping to return to the Brewers next season, meaning he would likely record his 600th career save as a Brewer. Hoffman's been a pretty bright spot for the Crew this season and I'd welcome him back, as long as the Brewers don't have to go significantly over his $6 million 2009 salary.
Again, if you're trying to decide on a particular method for evaluating hitters, Jason Kendall is an excellent "smell test." Matthew Pouliot of Circling the Bases attempted to identify 2009's least valuable hitters, and Jason Kendall checked in at ninth.
In the minors:
- The Brewer minor league season officially concluded yesterday, as the Huntsville Stars lost to Tennessee, and were eliminated 3-1 in the Southern League playoffs. The Stars went just 1-12 in their final 13 games.
- The Brewers are going to spend some time this winter considering alternative methods of developing young pitchers. Gord Ash said the team is planning on holding a pitching symposium this winter with pitching coaches from all of the minor league affiliates to consider new ideas.
- The Brevard County Manatees had the best season of any Brewer minor league affiliate, and they also swept the Brewer postseason awards, with Amaury Rivas and Logan Schafer winnning the Robin Yount Performance Awards given annually to the club's top minor leaguers (FanShot). The award is, of course, named after a player who
never playedappeared in just 64 games in the minors.
- Brett Lawrie and the other Brewer minor leaguers playing for Team Canada in the Baseball World Cup suffered their first setback yesterday, as they were held to just one hit and shut out by team USA. Former Brewer R.J. Swindle is also a member of Team Canada, for whatever that's worth.
- Prospects Paradise did a hypothetical 2009 draft, selecting as the Angels, and drafted two players who ended up getting drafted by the Brewers in the real draft: Del Howell (Brewers drafted in the 15th round) and Brandon Sizemore (drafted in the 30th round).
The Brewers held steady at #19 in Baseball Digest Daily's ASTRO Rankings.
Just one roster note around baseball today:
Mariners: Released reliever Stephen Kahn.
Sometimes a player comes along and puts everything in perspective. Take Miguel Olivo, for example. As Driveline Mechanics notes, he nearly never walks, swings and misses at 45% of pitches outside the zone, and as a batter, he's still much more valuable than Jason Kendall.
Here's another potential replacement to consider: Brian Schneider doesn't expect to return to the Mets next season.
I'm not sure which of these stories is stranger: A man arrested in Arizona for impersonating journeyman reliever Kiko Calero or Jeff Francoeur offering to trade his talent for a career as a country singer.
Here's an interesting note from the weekend: Will Carroll cited health as the best predictor of success, noting that seven teams will finish the season with at least six players with 500 plate appearances, and six of them are playoff bound. The Brewers narrowly miss the cut, with five players on pace and Craig Counsell and Corey Hart just below.
Meanwhile, the Yankees are on pace to become just the third team ever with seven players with 400+ PA and OPS+ over 120. The two previous teams to do it were the 1993 Tigers and 1978 Brewers. Both teams missed the playoffs.
Here's a cool idea I wish the Brewers would replicate: The Astros held a Fan Recipe Cook Off on Saturday, with the winner getting their recipe served at the ballpark next season. I'd love to compete in a contest like that. Or judge a contest like that.
On this day in 1975, the Brewers lost to the Red Sox 8-6, but the story of the day was Robin Yount, who went 1-for-5 while appearing in his 242nd game before his 20th birthday, setting a new major league record.
On this day in 1977, Ken McMullen, pinch hitting for Jim Gantner, homered in his final major league at bat as the Brewers beat the Mariners, 8-5. And in 1991, Cecil Fielder hit a home run out of County Stadium.
Happy birthday today to Joe Winkelsas, who appeared in seven games for the 2006 Brewers and turns 36.
That's all I've got today, unless you'd like to hear more about my new cell phone cover.