Riding it out

Posted by Steve

No, I haven’t bailed on the blog just because the Brewers aren’t any good.  I was out of town the past week and haven’t been able to post–though it was a bit refreshing to get away from the games for a few days.  That Pittsburgh series eliminated just about any desire I had to watch Brewers-Nationals for four days.

This is a rough time to be a Brewer fan.  There isn’t much of anything left to play for.  That wouldn’t be a huge deal if the team was expected to be bad, but the Brewers hoped to be a good team.  This has been an extremely disappointing season, and the dog days of summer will be particularly rough because of it.

Not only are the Brewers not good enough to be in the playoff race, but they are also not bad enough to be in another intriguing race.  In the office, there are fans of the Orioles, Nationals, Royals and Padres.  Many of these guys are openly rooting for their team to lose in order to win the race for Bryce Harper in next year’s draft.  Incidentally, they were all pleased with the Brewers for getting swept by the Pirates… Glad to help :/ . Observing this anti-race has been very amusing, and I find myself jealous that my team isn’t in either race.

With all that being said, the Brewers still need to make the best of a bad situation.  Here are things I would like to see over the last five weeks of the season.

Shut down Gallardo

I realize I’ve beaten this to death, so I won’t rehash everything again, but the point is there’s absolutely no reason for Gallardo to be pitching in September.  Yo is at 164.1 innings after throwing just 24 last year.  Sure, the pitching will be gawdawful without him, but who cares?  Wins don’t mean much of anything at this point.  Unfortunately, I’d be shocked to actually see the Brewers do this.

Hand 3B to Gamel

The Brewers botched the handling of Gamel this season, but it’s not too late to amend that somewhat.  He’s started hitting again in AAA the last few weeks.  It’s time to call him up and play him everyday at third base the rest of the season.  The Brewers should be preparing to make Gamel their starting third baseman from the outset of 2010, and giving him peace of mind in the form of regular playing time should help make that happen.

Making this move even more obvious is the clear pain that Casey McGehee is playing through.  McGehee will need surgery in the off-season but has gutted it out in the meantime.  Whether it’s related to his injury is debatable, but McGehee’s numbers have really fallen off.  Play Gamel at third and let McGehee come off the bench the rest of the season.  Unlike the Gallardo one, I’m optimistic that the Brewers will actually make this move.

Make Rivera the starting catcher

Perhaps laser eye surgery isn’t so wonderful after all, as both Bill Hall and Jason Kendall have had abysmal years.  Everyone’s favorite old, gritty, beardy, crazy-eyed catcher appears to be done.  Mike Rivera has gotten more playing time the last couple weeks, but the Brewers should take the next step and make him the “starter” the rest of the season.  They know what they have in Kendall (not much), and I have no interest in him returning to the Brewers unless it’s in a backup role–and even then I wouldn’t be excited.

The Brewers have a couple of catchers close to MLB ready in Jonathan Lucroy and Angel Salome.  I expect to see Salome called up and given some starts, which means there shouldn’t really be any need to play Kendall more than once a week.  The Brewers will need to decide if Mike Rivera is in their plans beyond this season, and playing him more down the stretch will help them make that decision.


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