Remember when you were a kid and it felt like Christmas would never come? I always had an advent calendar, and while it didn't make Christmas come any faster, at least it meant I got chocolate every day.
Today, the Brewers' pitchers and catchers countdown is at 24 days, meaning it's time to open the first door on our Brewer Advent Calendar, just like we did last year. And while the technology still isn't quite in place for me to give you chocolate every day, I do promise to give you one small note around this time each day for the next 23 days.
So, behind the first door of the 2010 Brewer Advent Calendar we find...Carlos Villanueva!
Villanueva settled his arbitration case with the team yesterday, and will make $950,000 this season to likely sit somewhere between fourth and sixth on the Brewer depth chart in the bullpen, behind Trevor Hoffman, LaTroy Hawkins and Todd Coffey. He's coming off easily his worst season as a major leaguer, posting a 5.34 ERA in 96 innings, including a 4.84 ERA in 67 innings out of the bullpen.
With that said, he's been a pretty effective reliever over the course of his career. In fact, he's been about as good as at least one guy the Brewers spent a fair amount of money on. Consider these numbers as a reliever since Opening Day 2006: