Only five games this week, so we are working on small sample sizes for our top stories. A 3-2 week is better than a 1-6 week, but today’s loss was tough.
BEST HITTING STORY
As long as we are using small sample sizes, Martin Maldonado makes his first appearance in this category. I wonder why? (Of course, we await only an appearance on the mound to get him into the Best Pitching Story). Maldy went 5 for 9 with a homer, hitting .556, slugging .889, with an OPS of 1.444. He had a three hit game and his pinch homer today pulled the Brewers within 1 in the bottom of the ninth. Playing time, CC...playing time!
Honorable Mention: Kirk Nieuwenhuis was super economical with his hits this week. He had only 3 in 16 at bats, but one was a double and two were homers, and he drove in 4. He even had a GWRBI! He hit .188, but slugged .625. Oh, and of his 12 outs 9 were strikeouts. We need a little more feast and a little less famine.
I guess that’s always the case.
BEST PITCHING STORY
Jeremy Thornburg...er, Tyler Jeffress...well, the eighth and ninth inning guys worked four scoreless and saved all three wins, while giving us some flashbacks to TPOT in the process. There were baserunners, there were threats, there were tense moments, but in the end there was success. May it be ever so.
Honorable Mention: So Jimmy Nelson is having a bad month. In two starts this week, he went 10 innings and only allowed 1 earned run on 7 hits and 6 (count’em) walks. He only struck out 3. Those last two numbers are troubling, but if this is a bad month he could very well be that ace we hope he is.
I don’t know how to configure the roster, but I’d like to see Yadiel Rivera come up and get several starts in a row at short, with Jonathon Villar playing some third and some second. Aaron Hill can also play some at both of those, and Hernan Perez can do his usual shuffle in and out of the infield, and Scoot might even get a day off. Hill has not been getting too many days off, so it might be an opportunity to get him some rest...although he has been hitting solidly.
It would give the Brewers a chance to see how Villar does at his two positions of opportunity, and give us a chance to watch Rivera at short for a stretch. He is such a good fielder that it seems a waste to not have him around. Maybe Hill could wear a duplicate Rivera jersey and hit for him. They could easily be mistaken for twins. Fraternal, not Minnesota.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Junior Guerra's win over the A's on Wednesday had Kyle waxing poetic about his favorite pitcher. The issue of trading the best 31 year old rookie in baseball was discussed. justhestatsman weighed in with his take:
Who's talking about trading Guerra?
Guerra is EXACTLY what the Brewers are trying to acquire and KEEP!
I think he’ll have too much service time to get a 7th year out of him, but it really doesn’t matter. He’s already 31.
The Brewers will have him from 31 through 36 years old… for a total of about $23 Million on the HIGH End… and able to cut him at any time. That is EXACTLY what a small market team wants. Cheap, controllable talent! Even if he’s only a #4 or #5 starter, if he can keep his ERA under 4.00 he’s worth EVERY penny of $23 Million over 6 years.
Having Guerra as a capable starter is what the Brewers need for their future.
Now… it looks like the Brewers have the following spots in the rotation fairly solid…
- - Nelson
-locked up for 4 more years
- - Guerra
-locked up for 5 more years
- - Davies
-locked up for 6 more years
- - Anderson
-locked up for 4 more years
Yes… they would love to bump Anderson out of the 5th spot, but if someone rises up to be the #1 (Nelson, Hader, ??) the rest of the rotation could be good enough to make them a playoff team. If they find 2 guys (Lopez, Hader, Ponce, Ortega, Woodruff, ??) that bump Anderson then they have a cheap, controllable rotation for the next 4 to 5 years. That is up to 2020. They just need Nelson to stay solid, someone currently in the rotation to solidify themselves as a #2/#3 (Guerra/Davies) and find a youngster to jump into the top-3 and they have a pretty solid rotation.