Posted by Steve
I’ve been a pretty big fan of Derrick Turnbow since he’s been with the Brewers. He had a run of very good production and he was a lot of fun to watch when he was hitting his spots. I think that when people look back on his career as a Brewer, they will remember his run a few years ago over the ugly times.
With that said, it’s simply time to move on, probably even more for Turnbow himself than the Brewers at this point. He can’t find the zone at all, and when he gets booed mercilessly at home at the first sign of struggle it seems to psych him out completely.
For a while it seemed like we’d have “Good Derrick” sometimes and “Bad Derrick” at other times. Sadly, Good Derrick has hardly showed up since the 2006 season. He averaged about six walks per nine innings last season, and so far in six innings he has five strikeouts and a stunning 13 walks.
As it turns out, the Brewers held on to Turnbow too long. They could have gotten a decent return for him a year ago, and now they’ll likely just have to DFA him. I can’t blame them too much though, because there’s always been (and still is) a tantalizing upside to Derrick and his 98 mph fastball.
I expect this to happen soon, possibly as soon as the game is over today. So who would I call up, you ask? It should be obvious. The situation and timing is impeccable. The Brewers don’t need to replace Turnbow with a pitcher; they should just bring up a hitter and return to a 12-man pitching staff like any normal MLB team. Meanwhile, the Crew is 29th in baseball in OPS against right-handers. It just so happens the Brewers have a player raking in AAA with a career .811 OPS against righties.
That’s right; I said it: Bring back The Muscle.
The Brewers’ pinch-hitting options are embarrassing right now. It’s down to Kapler, Gwynn and Counsell. After two weeks of imitating Corey Hart, Gabe Kapler has reverted to Gabe Kapler. Counsell and Gwynn give you zero chance of a home run. Branyan obviously gives you home run power, and there’s a good chance he’ll bring better OBP than any of the current bench players as well. He’d look great as the first pinch hitting option (against righties) and spelling Hall or Braun against tough right-handers.
In fact, I would make two roster moves after today’s game. Release Turnbow to bring up Branyan, and option Gwynn back to AAA to bring up Joe Dillon. Gwynn is no longer needed with Cameron back (Kapler plays center well enough in a pinch) and he simply is no threat as a pinch hitter. Dillon has had success in this role, and his demotion was confusing in the first place.
Finally, not mentioning last night’s game was by design. I look forward to the frustrations of Wrigleyville when they lose a series despite outscoring the Brewers by eight or so runs.