The Good, the Bad, and the Yuniugly

Posted by Steve

A lot has gone well for the Brewers over the past few weeks. Winning 15 of 19 games before yesterday is a great stretch, but I want to focus on a few individual performances that have stood out to me recently.

The Good

Ryan Braun

Over his career, Braun has been elite at every offensive skill except plate discipline. Now it seems he’s finally got that down as well. Braun has already drawn 31 walks, which is more than he drew his entire rookie season. His career OBP before this season was .364. So far this season, it’s an amazing .417. He’s having his best season yet, which is really saying a lot. If he keeps up this pace, he’ll finish as one of the three or four best hitters in the game this season.

Yovani Gallardo

I’ve been critical of Yo this season, but he seems to have righted the ship. Yo’s biggest problem has been nibbling too much. It results in more walks, higher pitch counts, and ultimately, shorter outings. Over his last 5 starts, however, he’s averaged 7 innings, walked only 12 while striking out 34. His low strikeout totals early in the year have disappeared, and he’s been more efficient with his pitches. If Yo can pitch at this level with Greinke and Marcum ahead of him, the Brewers are going to be tough all year.

The Bad

Casey McGehee

Ugh. As a Mat Gamel fan, I’ve never cared much for Casey McGehee. In 2009, he didn’t give me anything to say though, other than, “I’m skeptical… He’s never hit this well before.” Last year was worse, but this season, he’s a shell of 2009 McGehee. That year is looking more and more like a fluke.

He’s always played terrible defense, but at least his bat was semi-formidable. But now he’s Betancourt lite: Terrible defense with below-average offensive production for his position. While Casey McGehee sops up ABs with his complete lack of range and .315 on-base percentage, Mat Gamel is yet again toiling away in AAA with a .902 OPS. Yet it’s Gamel who’s been forced to move to accommodate McGehee. Gamel’s defense has been the main concern, but at least he can move. He can also hit–better than McGehee. If the Brewers really plan to make Gamel a first baseman after Fielder leaves, they need to find an upgrade at third base, because Casey McGehee is hurting the team.

The Yuniugly

I don’t have to go into detail to convince you Yuniesky Betancourt has been terrible. You don’t need me to cite his “No that’s not a typo, that says .255″ on-base percentage, point out his laziness and refusal to hit the ball to the opposite field, or discuss his inability to move his feet on defense to realize he is one of the worst players in the majors (Fangraphs has him at 16th-worst right now and the second-worst shortstop).

I know it’s beating a dead horse, but he’s horrible and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

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2 responses to “The Good, the Bad, and the Yuniugly

  1. Regarding “Yuniugly”– hey, now, remember we are talking about “just a regular guy” …who is hitting significantly worse than his career norms while maintaining his horrible defensive performance.
    According to some, Yuni is among the top 3 candidates for “Worst regularly playing hitter of the past three years” and “Worst regularly playing defensive player of the past 3 years”. SO glad to have him with the Crew.
    You’d think we’d have learned when to drop dead weight with our experiences with Suppan and Hall… why don’t we drop him now and bring Gamel up?
    …What’s the thinking there?

  2. The thinking is that Melvin probably wants to save face. Cutting Betancourt now is admitting he was wrong in the first place, which of course he was. He did this last year with Suppan by keeping him around far too long just because of his salary.

    Also, there aren’t many upgrades available at this point, because it’s still early in the season. I’d be very surprised if they don’t trade for a shortstop later in the year, though.

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