Strange Brew: Yost is Toast, Svuem Named for Next Blame Game

Posted by Steve

Well, I think I covered just about all of the cheez-filled headlines from the last 24 hours.

Anyway, a few more thoughts after the day or so I had to reflect.

You didn’t need the “reports from sources close to the club” to let us know that Mark A. was the driving force behind this. Doug Melvin looked like he was speaking at Ned’s funeral rather than a press conference. He was truly broken up over it. Meanwhile, Mark A. seemed pretty happy. I don’t have a problem with Attanasio recognizing Yost’s ineptitude and acting on it, but I am really hoping this overriding of Baseball Ops does not become a trend.

As far as Dale Sveum is concerned, here are some changes I’d like to see him make.

Shouse against lefties

And ONLY lefties. The only time Shouse should be allowed to see a righty is if he’s sandwiched in between to tough lefties, and even that should be on a case-by-case basis.

Villanueva in higher-leverage situations

The dude has been lights out, so I don’t think this needs much explanation. Stop using him in games you trail 6-2 in the sixth inning.

Pinch hit for Kendall and Counsell with the game on the line

I am fed up with seeing this two defensive-minded players coming up in the ninth inning when the Brewers are trailing by a run or two. You have an expanded bench for a reason in September, so use it!

Mark DiFelice!

I’d like to see DiFelice ahead of Gagne, McClung and Riske (he’s injured and needs surgery, which explains his poor performance). Yost used him a whopping one time in September, and it was garbage time.

No Bill Hall against righties

Hall is pretty much useless right now. At the very most, he should be used in the strictest of a strict platoon. This includes pinch-hitting for him when a lefty starter is pulled for a righty reliever.

Less Counsell at third

The Brewers desperately need to start scoring runs, and Counsell is a reason why they’re not. I’d like to see Mat Gamel get a couple starts the rest of the way. I know his defense is not MLB ready, but offense is the bigger issue right now. Counsell can be a defensive substitution late in games Gamel starts. If you don’t want to use Gamel, well then I guess Mike Lamb would be halfway decent. He’s still a better hitter than Counsell.

Finally, here’s one thing I don’t want to see change:

Rickie Weeks’s playing time.

This is one thing that a majority of fans are calling for, and I just don’t understand it. Everyone is complaining that the Brewers are not hitting, so why remove one player who actually has hit over the last two weeks? Just take a look at the how the starters are hitting in September.

Weeks: .303/.439/.455 .894 OPS

Hardy: .190/.230/.448 .678 OPS

Ryan Braun: .192/.276/.288 .564 OPS

Prince Fielder: .239/.340/.413 .753 OPS

Corey Hart: .176/.222/.275 .497 OPS (!)

Mike Cameron: .122/.200/.244 .444 OPS (!!!)

Bill Hall: .167/.219/.233 .452 OPS 😦

The first thing that come to mind when looking at those numbers is: AAAAAAHHHH HORRIFYING AAAAHHH! The second thing that comes to mind is: Weeks is the only one performing well! Nobody seems to notice this. They are overlooking numbers because of their preconceived opinions on Weeks. Even Ryan Braun has apparently not noticed, because he said yesterday that every player has gone cold. Maybe it’s because Rickie’s a pretty short guy and people just don’t notice him?

For those who acknowledge Rickie’s solid offense in the second half of the season and still point to his defense as a reason to bench him, I submit to you Exhibit A: Ray Durham’s own poor defense. It’s not as though Weeks is playing over Mark Ellis, Orlando Hudson or some other defensive savant. Durham has much less range than Weeks.

It wouldn’t be fair to ignore the fact that Ray Durham is just about the only Brewer besides Weeks who is currently swinging a hot bat, but wouldn’t this mean you should stick with what’s working and let both players play in situations that play to their strengths? Start Durham against particularly tough right-handers and make him a top pinch-hitter, and let Weeks have lefties and average righties. For example, I’d start Weeks against Dempster and Marquis this series and Durham against Harden. It only makes too much sense, but I’m pretty sure the masses will get what they want: A severe cut in the playing time of this blog’s official man crush. Sigh.


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