Have we seen enough?

Posted by Steve

Have we seen enough of Yuniesky Betancourt?

Everyone knew he was terrible. In three games, all he’s done is reinforce that. He’s made one error and is 0-11 so far. Today in four plate appearances, he saw ten pitches. He’s lazy defensively. He has horrible plate discipline. Why is he the starting shortstop?

Have we seen enough of Mark Kotsay?

Kotsay can’t run anymore, doesn’t have any power anymore, and doesn’t play good defense anymore. It’s an absolute joke that Kotsay/Eric Almonte are starting over Nyjer Morgan. Morgan should be playing every day against right handers. Eventually Kotsay will play his way out of the lineup, but he shouldn’t have needed to do that for the Brewers to know he’s not a starting caliber player anymore–and hasn’t been for a few years.

Have we seen enough of Wil Nieves?

Okay, so with Lucroy out, it’s fine that he’s on the team for now. But why has he started two of the three games? Are they really going to keep him over George Kottaras? There isn’t one projection system that forecasts even a .300 OBP for Neives.

Have we seen enough of the Reds?

The Brewers have now lost 14 of their last 17 against Cincinnati. Sure, it’s only three games, but these three games illustrated the difference between the two teams. The Brewers have a few great players, and then too many bad ones. The 6-7-8 of Kotsay-Bentancourt-Nieves has to be the worst in the majors right now. The Reds don’t really have any bad players in their lineup. They don’t have the star power to match Braun, Fielder, Weeks, Greinke, etc., but they have a much deeper team. They don’t have one pitcher as good as Gallardo or Greinke, but they have five starters who are league average or better. And the Reds certainly don’t have four or five replacement level players on their team like the Brewers currently do.

There’s no need to panic after just three games, but the Brewers need to improve on the likes of Kotsay, Betancourt, and Nieves soon, or it’s really going to start costing them.

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9 responses to “Have we seen enough?

  1. I’m with you on Betancourt and Kotsay, but I think there are too many defensive holes as-is to make Kottaras the starting catcher.

  2. Valid point. Thing is, if you sub Morgan in for Kotsay, you’re making an enormous defensive upgrade, so that offsets it somewhat. The bottom half of the lineup is a black hole right now, and they really need to use their best hitters.

    Hopefully Craig Counsell gets a start at short pretty soon, too.

  3. Nieves’ career defensive WAR is -1.0 in like 760 at bats. I think people assume he’s good defensively because he’s such a god-awful hitter. I know he’s better than Kottaras at throwing out base runners, but is it worth it when he’s so bad offensively?

  4. The The Reds certainly don’t have a pitcher that is as good as Grienke, but they have 3 pitchers that are as good, and maybe just a little better than Gallardo. Arroyo, Wood and Cueto. Of course the Brewers also have Marcum.

  5. Glenn, my short answer: No.

    KJ, I have to disagree. None of the Reds’ pitchers are as good as Gallardo. Volquez hasn’t had one season as good as Gallardo’s was last year, and Volquez has thrown 112 innings total in the last two seasons. Cueto had a nice season last year, but it wasn’t as good as Gallardo’s either. He’s never had the season Yo had last year.

    I do like Travis Wood a lot, and I think there’s a good chance he ends up as their best pitcher this season, but he only came up midway through last year. He doesn’t have the track record of Gallardo yet.

    I’ll take Greinke, Yo, and Marcum over those three. The Reds’ 4-6 starters are better than the Brewers though, which goes back to the fact that the Reds are a deeper team all around.

  6. Steve- Cueto had a better season than Gallardo last year. He had a better ERA and a better WHIP, while pitching in a much tougher park. His ERA+ was 7 points higher than Gallardo’s.

    Arroyo’s ERA was nearly identical and his ERA+ was identical to Gallardo’s, but his WHIP was significantly better than Gallardo’s. His peripherals were better than Gallardo’s

    Small sample size, but Wood’s stats have all of these guys beat.

    I never mentioned Volquez, but your statement that “Volquez hasn’t had one season as good as Gallardo’s was last year,” is just plain wrong. Volquez posted a 3.21 ERA and a 138 ERA+ in 196 innings in 2008, and made the AS game. Much, much better than Gallardo’s 2010 season.

  7. I suppose it depends on what you look at. Cueto’s FIP last year was 3.97; Gallardo’s was 3.02. Cueto’s xFIP was 4.09; Yo’s was 3.29. Cueto’s k/bb was 2.46; Yo’s was 2.67. And Cueto’s WARP was 2.8, while Yo’s was 4.6.

    As for Arroyo, what peripherals were better? Yo had him handily beat last year in all the categories I listed above.

    Volquez in 2008: 3.6 FIP, 3.84 xFIP, 2.22 k/bb, 4.2 WAR–all worse than Gallardo last season. And that was Volquez’s only good year.

  8. Worst 6-7-8 in baseball has to be Seattle’s Jack Wilson, Brendan Ryan and Michael Saunders.

    [i]Jack Wilson[/i] is hitting 6th for an American League team.

    I still can’t believe Erick Almonte is back in the majors. I find it impossible to believe he’s already logged two starts in right field for the Brewers. Last I knew he was a utility infielder.

  9. Worst part? I’d take Jack Wilson as the Brewers’ shortstop right now.

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