To while away the time between now and Opening Day, the gang here at Brew Crew Ball is going to baldly steal a feature from Royals Review. As often as we feel like it, we're going to post five fun facts about a Brewers player. Today, let's kick things off with one of our new starters, Claudio Vargas.
1. In his first appearance of the season last year, Vargas faced the Brewers and shut us down. Six innings, no runs, two hits, and a lone walk. Oddly enough, future Brewer Greg Aquino and former Brewer Luis Vizcaino appeared in the game for the Diamondbacks as well. Jose Valverde pitched the ninth inning, so I would imagine he's on Doug Melvin's radar as well.
2. Speaking of "Valverde," Vargas's hometown is Valverde Mao in the Dominican Republic. Also born there: Pedro Borbon. (Not to mention Pedro Borbon.) If you ever make it to V.M., be sure to check out the five-star Comedor Celeste.
3. Vargas is dangerous, and he is consistent. In his first three years in the league, he plunked exactly seven batters. Last year he hit eight. Watch out, NL Central hitters: he's getting vicious.
4. The most recent offseason trade was the second mega-deal of which Vargas was a part. Midway through 2002, he was one of the eight players in the trade that sent Cliff Floyd to the Expos and Carl Pavano to the Marlins. Other players to be involved in deals with Floyd: Sun-Woo Kim and Joe Orsulak.
5. Twice in his four-year career, Vargas has been among the top ten pitchers in the league in wild pitches. Last year, he out-WP'd every Brewers pitcher but uncorked five fewer than his league-leading teammate, Miguel Batista.