So long Johnny Hustle

Posted by Steve

While Guillermo Mota isn’t anything to be excited about, the Brewers should definitely be glad to be rid of Johnny Estrada. We heard about him clashing with teammates and coaches in the past, and that was apparently the case again. In so many words, we learned that Estrada did not see eye to eye with Mike Maddux on how to handle pitchers. When you combine that with his poor performance on the field, it’s easy to see why he’ll be on his fourth team in four seasons.

Mota is apparently in the mix for the bullpen next season. He could be decent, but at 3.2 mil I have to wonder whether the Brewers would have better off just non-tendering Estrada.

Here are Mota’s 2007 numbers. He missed the first 50 games due to a failed drug test, which I suppose is something else that may hurt his value.

59.3 IP, 47 Ks, 18 BBs, 5.76 ERA, 1.365 WHIP, 74 ERA+

Not very pretty. He’ll be 34 years old, which isn’t too old for a reliever, but he’s really not very good. The scouting report on him is that he throws hard but doesn’t have much movement. Glancing at message boards, Mets fans seem to be as happy to see him go as I am to see Estrada go. At the same time I don’t have a huge problem with him, as the Brewers aren’t in much of a position to turn down a power arm in the pen.

Switching gears, the Brewers came to terms with Jason Kendall. The dollar amount hasn’t been revealed yet, but the deal is for one year with a vesting option for a second. I’m not too excited about it, but at least it’s only one year.

Kendall unfortunately is not much of a defensive upgrade, but he has much more speed than Estrada (who doesn’t?) and will likely be an offensive upgrade as far as OBP is concerned.  Much has been made of his bad year in 2007, and rightfully so–it was really bad.  But a quick look at the numbers indicates it may have been an aberration.

Kendall’s OBP

2004- .399
2005 – .345
2006 – .367
2007 – .261 for the A’s
2007 – .362 for the Cubs

.330 is probably a good line to set for 2008, and I’d feel pretty good taking the over.  Compared to J-Strad’s .296 it would look like Johnny Bench.

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