Bill Castro, Pitching Coach
As a player: Pitched in over 300 games over 10 seasons, almost exclusively in relief (9 career starts) and almost exclusively for the Brewers (250 of 303 games) over a big league career spanning from 1974-1983. Posted an ERA+ over 100 in six of his ten seasons, over 150 in three, and over 200 in two.
As a coach: Worked as a scout for the Brewer organization from 1985-1987, spent four seasons as a Minor League Pitching Coordinator for the Brewers from 1988-1991, finished the 1991 season as pitching coach for AAA Denver. Was hired to serve as bullpen coach in 1992, and has been there ever since, with the exception of a few months as interim pitching coach in 2002.
As a manager: No experience.
If not for Bob Uecker, Bill Castro may very well be the longest tenured Brewer employee. He's the only coach on the Brewer staff who coached for the Crew at County Stadium. Obviously there's loyalty there and a lot of positive connotations, but there's also an important note: Bill Castro has coached some terrible pitching staffs. Here are the team ERAs, with their league rank in parentheses, during Castro's term:
1992: 3.43 (1st)
1993: 4.45 (10th)
1994: 4.62 (8th)
1995: 4.82 (9th)
1996: 5.17 (9th)
1997: 4.22 (4th)
1998: 4.63 (12th)
1999: 5.07 (14th)
2000: 4.64 (10th)
2001: 4.64 (12th)
2002: 4.73 (15th)
2003: 5.02 (14th)
2004: 4.24 (9th)
2005: 3.97 (5th)
2006: 4.82 (15th)
2007: 4.41 (9th)
2008: 3.87 (2nd)
If you missed the point or skimmed past the numbers, here's the short version: The Brewers have ranked ninth or worse in their league in team ERA in 12 of Castro's 17 seasons. Obviously, not all of that is his fault, but does at least some of the blame fall on him? I guess we'll find out. Either way, with Mike Maddux gone, giving Castro a shot makes sense.
There's not a lot on the web about Bill Castro, but a quick Google search turned up some information on some other Bill Castros:
Here's a guy named Bill Castro's LinkedIn profile
And a Facebook Page
There's even a Bill Castro with a profile on IMDB.
None of those are the same Bill Castro we're talking about.
Ed Sedar, First Base Coach
As a player: Ed Sedar spent eight seasons in the minors but never appeared in a major league game.
As a coach: Sedar served as Minor League Outfield and Baserunning Coordinator from 1992-2006, and Minor League Field Coordinator from 2002-2006.
As a manager:
Ogden/Helena (Rookie) 1998-2001, 2003, 2005-2006: 257-224
So what makes a good first base coach? Is it the ability to pick up and hold onto lots of pads and protectors? At least I know a third base coach waves his arm occasionally. At any rate, if you know more about Sedar, you should consider editing his Wikipedia entry, which is currently one sentence long.
Google Ed Sedar and you may stumble across the following:
Four Blocks to Miller Park, an apparently defunct blog, comments on the way Sedar looks in his uniform.
There's a picture on Flickr of Sedar at work.
Miss Pronunciation wants to make sure you know how to say his name. Yes, it sounds like it looks.
Brad Fischer, Third Base Coach
As a player: Fischer pitched just one season in the minor leagues (1979), and a couple of emergency appearances years later (1983 and 1984).
As a coach: Fischer spent 29 years as part of the A's organization, including working as a minor league instructor from 1991-1993, spending two years as the assistant director of player development, and he bounced back and forth between the bullpen and first base coaching jobs for the A's between 1996 and 2007.
As a manager: Fischer managed for 11 seasons in the minors with Medford (A-ball), Madison (also A), Huntsville (AA), Tacoma (AAA) and State College (A), where he spent 2008. Overall, he's compiled a 752-726 record with seven playoff appearances in 12 seasons.
Coming to Milwaukee is something of a homecoming for Fischer, whose family lives in McFarland, WI. Obviously, he's seen a fair amount of baseball in thirty years in the game. He worked under Ken Macha in Oakland and has a B.S. degree in Industrial Education from Western Michigan University. He's spent decades working with young players, so perhaps he can help some of the Brewers youngsters continue to grow.
If nothing else, Fischer is an interesting story. A Google search on his name led me to this story from the Centre Daily Times talking about the rough season Fischer endured in State College in 2008, where he coached the team with the worst record in professional baseball through a dismal season.
So, pending the hiring of a bullpen coach, these are your Brewer coaches for 2009. I'm pretty excited. What do you think?