Posted by Steve
I obviously have thoughts on the big extension for Braun, but I have a number of things I want to go over, so the Braun stuff will come in a separate post.
- Why does Ned Yost all of a sudden follow a lefty-righty match-up to a fault? He is doing this with pinch hitting all the time this season. A couple quick examples: Tony Gwynn continues to be the first pinch hitter off the bench when Joe Dillon is easily the better hitter. In the Houston series, the Brewers had the bases loaded and two outs, and Yost pinch hit Gwynn instead of Dillon. My string of bad words directed towards Yost for this move intensified when Gwynn rolled out on the first pitch. Then, in yesterday’s game, the Brewers were down 6-2 in the eighth with one man on and two outs and right-handed Jonathan Broxton pitching. With both Mike Cameron and Bill Hall available, Yost went with Craig Counsell. There is no excuse for using a terrible offensive player there just because he happens to hit lefty and the pitcher happens to be righty. Yost’s refusal to recognize a better hitting option this season is both frustrating and baffling, considering last year he routinely ignored platoon advantages in situations that actually called for it. He started Kevin Mench for two weeks against righties because “he was hot.” I doubt anyone has forgotten when Yost allowed Mench to hit against Ryan Dempster with the game on the line while Geoff Jenkins sat in the dugout simply because Mench was “in the flow of the game.”
- Jason Kendall has played in 38 of the Brewers’ 41 games so far. I don’t see how he won’t be run into the ground by August at this rate. He’s not young, and it’s not like he’s a world beater, so why do this? I know he’s done a very solid job, and he is much better than Estrada, but Mike Rivera should be catching more than two or three times a month.
- I may just have to do a running blog for Saturday’s game, because it will be called by Kenny Albert and Tim McCarver on Fox. If you think Bill says some curious things, just watch on Saturday. McCarver will blow your mind.
- Some roster moves in the bullpen. Mark DiFelice and Zach Jackson called up, Mitch Stetter sent down and David Riske to the DL. Jackson gives the Brewers a second lefty. I’d rather see him in garbage time, but I have the feeling he’ll fill the role Stetter was in before Stetter totally lost the strike zone. Unfortunately, that probably means we will see Zach Jackson face David Ortiz at some point this weekend. Yikes.
- On a similar note, Jackson has been a big disappointment since joining the Brewers. He was touted as the main prize of the Lyle Overbay deal, which also included Dave Bush and Gabe Gross. Melvin said they saw him as a future 2/3 starter. He only had a handful of starts in Milwaukee during the nightmare stretch in 2006 where the Brewers were trying anyone in the 4 and 5 spots in the rotation. Since then he’s been very underwhelming in the minors. He was removed from Nashville’s starting rotation this season after five starts, but has been better in the bullpen. Still, it seems like Jackson may be at a crossroads, and if he doesn’t pitch well in Milwaukee there’s a chance he’ll be released.
- Ugly, ugly series against L.A. That could have gone so much better. Now they get Boston in Boston, and as if that wasn’t enough Sheets won’t pitch in the series. I’d certainly take one win in the series, and would be very pleasantly surprised by anything more.