Category Archives: The legend of Rickie Weeks and his titanium skeletal system

Free Rickie Weeks, one last time.

Posted by Steve

The Brewers continue to get strong starting pitching, but they are really starting to feel the loss of Ryan Braun from the lineup. A look at the main contributors (sans Braun):

Gomez: .280/.338/.538

Gennett: .265/.299/..373

Lucroy: .312/.380/.440

Ramirez: .248/.311/..376

Segura: .240/.269/.327

Khris Davis: .239/.265/.434

Mark Reynolds: .229/.301/.518

Lyle Overbay: .236/.333/.327

Not pretty. The only hitter outperforming expectations is Lucroy. Everyone else is either at or below what was projected, and most are below. Braun may still be out a few weeks yet, and the Brewers can’t afford this type of offensive output the rest of his DL stint. Ron Roenicke doesn’t have many options, but there is one that he really hasn’t explored: Rickie Weeks.

Yes, Weeks has looked largely terrible this year, and his (very small sample of) numbers reflect that. At the beginning of the season, that wasn’t a problem. Gennett was playing well, and the Brewers were scoring runs and winning games. Now, along with the entire offense, Gennett has really cooled down to the point that his OBP is under .300. Say what you want about Rickie Weeks, but even when he struggled, his OBP was never that low–usually it was much higher. I realize it is low right now, but that’s in a completely sporadic 33 plate appearances, or roughly the same amount as a 4th outfielder who’s been on the DL and somebody named Elian Herrera.

I’m not saying Weeks is a clear answer, or that he needs to take the starting job back. What I am saying is it makes zero sense to continue using him in this capacity. He is taking up a valuable roster spot and isn’t even asked to contribute, all while making $10 million. They either have to trade him or find out if he can contribute anything. If not, they need to cut him. Since no team is likely to trade for him when he hasn’t even played yet, this seems like a great time to find out. Play him at second base, or even in a corner outfield, but just play him regularly for the next week or two. It’s not like he’ll be worse than the people they currently have in those positions.

At worst, he’s bad, but then they know they can cut him and free up a roster spot. At best, he starts playing better, helps the team while Braun is out, and either finds a role on the team this season or builds some trade value.

Attempting to analyze Ricke Weeks’ struggles

Posted by Steve

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and the Brewers are comfortably ahead by a score of 7-0, so I decided to work on a Rickie Weeks post while I watch the rest of the game.

(At this point, Rickie Weeks broke an 0-21 slump with a massive home run. I’m claiming at least 40% responsibility for that one.)

It’s been a struggle for Weeks. He’s suffered from some crappy luck at times during his career, and his BABIP this year is alarmingly low (.208 before tonight’s game), but a number that low certainly can’t all be placed on luck.

I’ll use Fangraphs for some eye-opening numbers that show Weeks just isn’t making as much solid contact this year as he has throughout his career.

His line drive percentage for his career is 17.0%. This year, it’s 11.3%. That’s a huge difference; the lowest he’s ever finished a season is 15.4% in 2010. At least as alarming is his infield fly ball (pop-up) percentage. For his career, it’s 13.9%. This year, it’s 22.6!

So, he’s hitting far fewer line drives, and he’s popping up a ton. He’s also striking out at the highest clip in his career, although his walk rate is also higher than normal.

Some strange results from Weeks. Let’s try and see what’s going on.

The eye test, at least from me, tells me that Weeks is guessing more at the plate. He’s kept his great batter’s eye on balls out of the strike zone, but it seems like he’s struggling on balls inside the strike zone.

The numbers seem to back up that assessment. For his career, Weeks has swung at 21.5% of balls outside of the strike zone. This year, it’s 23.2%–nothing too crazy there. Where it gets interesting is the amount of balls he’s swinging at inside the strike zone. For his career, it’s 61.0%, but this season, Weeks is only swinging at 55.7% of balls within the strike zone. That’s pretty extreme; only 13 qualified players in baseball are swinging at strikes at a lower rate.

Numbers also show he’s struggling on the pitch on which he’s always feasted: the fastball. Fangraphs/BIS data show Weeks has not gained any offensive value off the fastball this season. To me, this is the best indicator that he’s either guessing or not seeing the ball well.

Someone on Brewerfan made a comparison to Bill Hall tonight, which I just can’t get on board with. Hall had less than two years of success when he got his contract, while Weeks has always been a highly rated prospect who’s had several years of success. There’s no reason to think Weeks is headed toward the total collapse that Hall suffered.

Still, there is some reason for a little concern. Unlike times in the past, luck isn’t the main culprit for this slump. It seems he either isn’t seeing the ball well, or that he just isn’t reacting as quickly as he used to. The home run he blasted tonight was sure encouraging, so maybe he’ll pick it up here soon, but the Brewers likely aren’t going anywhere this year if he doesn’t.

… And continue to roll

Posted by Steve

The Brewers seemingly cannot lose.

It’s easy to think back to the terrible teams, or even the teams under Ned Yost, and remember how they used to seem to find ways to lose. This team is finding ways to win.

The only aspect of the team that has been great over this incredible run is the pitching. The defense has been just as bad as it has all year, and the offense is up and down. Over their last two games and 19 innings, they’ve scored three runs… And still managed to win both!

They are 19 games over .500 and have a 5-game lead. They have won 16 of 18 games. This is so surreal that I cannot express my many thoughts in one standard post. We’re going to need a cornucopia of thoughts.

————

This has gotten me in trouble before, but I’m addicted to Baseball Prospectus’ Playoff Odds Report. As of Sunday morning, the Brewers had an 87.6% chance to make the playoffs, and it will be even higher after they won Sunday. That’s a big number. We’re approaching the point where if they don’t win the division, it would have to be considered a choke. Maybe it’s not quite there yet, but anything over 90% and then missing is a choke in my book.

It’s worth noting that this streak has pulled them even with the Braves, who lead the wildcard. They’re now tied for the second-best record in the NL. Soon the secondary goal of finishing ahead of the NL West team (and avoiding the Phillies in the first round) will come into play. 

————

The starting pitching has been the story all year, and it has been very good lately. However, it’s not like any one starter has been completely dominant–it’s more like they’ve been consistently good, something to the tune of 6-7 innings, 1-3 runs allowed on most nights.

The area that has been dominant, however, is the bullpen. The bullpen has been number 1 in xFIP in the NL in August, and in the last 30 days, it’s 3.28.

John Axford is simply overpowering–he is the best Brewer reliever I can remember. The most important part of the K-Rod trade wasn’t adding K-Rod himself (more on this in a moment); it was bumping down guys like LaTroy Hawkins and Kameron Loe. When you have those guys pitching the sixth and seventh instead of the eighth, your bullpen is going to be in better shape. It’s the deepest pen they’ve had in years, and the haven’t even acquired a lefty reliever yet (fingers crossed). I think the bullpen is the biggest reason for their incredible run the last three weeks.

————

K-Rod is a pretty good reliever. That said, I hate watching him pitch. He’s like Claudio Vargas–guys are always on base. You always feel like he’s teetering on the edge of blowing the game. His walk rate is too high, and his strikeout rate isn’t enough to make up for it. 

This isn’t to say he sucks. He’s just not what he was in his early/mid-twenties, and I would love it if Ron Roenicke would stop automatically using him in the eighth inning. In fact, K-Rod is third or fourth on my list of relievers I’d like to see in a high-leverage situation. Takashi Saito has been great lately, and he’s been a superior pitcher to K-Rod the last few seasons–he just doesn’t have the big name. LaTroy Hawkins has done a very good job as well, and when Kameron Loe is used correctly, he’s an asset.

So basically, I just want to see K-Rod utilized for what he is instead of what he was. He was a dominant closer; he is a solid but not great reliever.

————

It’s time for the Felipe Lopez experiment to end. It was worth a shot when Rickie Weeks went down, but Flip just doesn’t have the 2009 magic in him. His bat speed is gone, so his laziness on the field isn’t worth it anymore. It’s time to get Taylor Green up. For the love of God, it is time to get Taylor Green up. To be eligible for the playoff roster, he needs to be called up before September. DFA Lopez and call up Green.

————

Speaking of Weeks, that studmuffin is already taking ground balls, not even three weeks after that hideous ankle injury. It sound like he may be back ahead of the six-week timetable, which would obviously be a huge lift. It’s incredible that the Brewers have been able to win so much without him, so getting him back ahead of time just seems like a cherry on top of the sundae.

————

If I had a nickel for every time someone has said something along the lines of , “Hey Steve, how about your boy Yuni now! You have to eat some crow!” I’d have, like, six nickels. Still, there is sentiment that Yuni is somewhat making up for his abysmal first half.

He isn’t. Hitting for a few weeks won’t make up for the fact that he was one of the five worst regulars in baseball for three months. Secondly, while I’ve never been a fan of his offensive game, that’s always been my secondary concern. To anyone who gives me a little crap about Betancourt, I just point to his defense. It’s still terrible and hurting the team.

————

I want more Jerry Hairston! Okay, it’s not like he’s a world-beater, but he’s being used like he’s a right-handed Craig Counsell. He’s currently a better option than what the Brewers have at second base, shortstop, and third when you factor in both offense and defense. Yet, he really only starts against lefties. He also hasn’t played an inning at shortstop, which is incidentally where he should be spending most of his time.

————

Tomorrow is a huge day for the Brewers, and it has nothing to do with starting a series against the Dodgers. It is the deadline to sign draft picks. Both of their first round picks, Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley, remain unsigned. All indications are that they will be signed, but it’s still a little unsettling–particularly when you think back to just last year, when they were all set to sign Dylan Covey.

Jed Bradley is the one who is particularly concerning, because the Brewers used the comp pick from Covey to select him. If they don’t sign Bradley, they don’t get another comp pick next year–that pick is lost. No doubt Bradley is using that as leverage, and it’s likely the Brewers will have to pay him more than they’d like because of it.

Still, it will be inexcusable if they don’t sign both of these pitchers. They realize the need to get impact arms in the organization, though, and I’d be very surprised if both do not sign tomorrow.

————

Back to the big league team. There is no reason to expect the hot streak to end. Their next four series are against teams under .500, so they should keep rolling. They’ll need to, because the Cardinals also have their next four series against losing teams too.

Everything’s turning up Brewers!

Posted by Steve

Credit to TooLiveBrew of Brewerfan, who crafted this beauty after a poster said, "Stay healthy, my friend."

Man oh man oh man oh man. Did the Brewer have themselves an off-season, or did the Brewers have themselves an off-season? Just when it seemed like Rickie Weeks might not reach an agreement, the Brewers manage to sign him to a great bargain contract. The Brewers have all their core players aside from Prince Fielder locked up for at least two years. Braun, Gallardo, and now Weeks are under contract long-term for a low enough total that the team isn’t strapped from making more moves, and now DreamRickie will haunt my dreams for at least another four years. To top it off, The Greatest Fans in the World are freaking out today after Pujols’ self-proclaimed deadline came and went without a new contract. What a beautiful day.

I’ve been over this several times, so I’ll keep it brief, but getting this done was imperative. Weeks was the Brewers’ best player last season, and for despite all the hullabaloo over Prince Fielder’s contract, Weeks’ extension was more important. He’s a top 5 player at a premium position, and much harder to replace than Fielder. Entering the season without a Weeks extension would put a damper on what has been a great off-season for Doug Melvin and co.

As the figures materialized later in the day, it became clear that this was a steal. Four years, $38.5 million guaranteed with a vesting option (how he agreed to this I’ll never know) for a fifth year that would bring his total to $50 million.

I have to say, if this is what the Brewers negotiated for, I can’t imagine what they offered Week to begin with. I was saying that they should match Uggla’s contract of 5/$62 mil and be done with it, and they ended up well short of that. Heck, Brian Roberts signed a 4 year $40 million contract when he was 32! The Brewers are getting a 27 year-old Weeks on an extremely team-friendly contract. There’s a very good chance he outperforms his contract, possibly by a wide margin.

I have never been this excited entering a season. The Brewers are set to win this year, and they now look good for the future as well.

We want to show the fans in Milwaukee that we want to win as much as they want us to win. We are going to work hard all season. I want to win now.

-Rickie Weeks

And for good measure…

Nothing against Toronto, but this is the first time I’ve gone through an off-season thinking I’m going to be pitching deep into October and not ending my season on Oct. 2.

-Shaun Marcum

Ehh?

One more little diddy. Ken comically asked me to do a mailbag post, but since it would consist of his question and his question only, I’ll just give my opinion here. The question was: Why don’t the Brewers make a run at Michael Young to replace Yuniesky Betancourt at shortstop?

1. His contract. The Brewers are pretty much maxed out, and Young has 3 years and $48 million left on his contract. I’m sure Texas would kick in a good amount, especially if the Brewers sent something of value in return (though really, what’s left to trade?), but it probably wouldn’t be enough to get them within their budget.

2. His defense. I checked his contract at rotoworld, and they list his position as DH. There’s a reason for this. Fangraphs had him as a terrible defensive shortstop, and he hasn’t played there in two years. He was even awful at third base. It saps a huge portion of his overall value.

I know Betancourt at short looks ugly, trust me. But Michael Young really is just washed up. Fangraphs actually suggests trading him for Carlos Lee’s carcus and massive contract. When someone wants to trade you for Carlos Lee, you know you’ve seen better days.

Brewers: Time to realize Rickie Weeks is elite.

Posted by Steve

By all accounts, the Brewers have had a great off-season. Doug Melvin deserves a ton of credit for turning the team into a contender, and 2011 has the potential to be a great year. Something has seemingly slipped through the cracks, though, and it threatens to result in a huge step backward after this season: Rickie Weeks has set a deadline of Spring Training to negotiate a contract extension.

Signing Rickie Weeks has never really seemed a top priority to the Brewers, although plenty of fans felt it should be. There’s actually a thread about extending weeks on Brewerfan that started April 10 of last season, and at that time, the Brewers could have had him dirt cheap. Now it seems the Brewers are still trying to act like they have a ton of leverage, despite the fact they don’t have much at all.

Take this concerning post from Adam McCalvy, for example. Gord Ash has some interesting–okay, I’ll just say it–incorrect assessments of their situation with Rickie Weeks. Here’s a particularly worrisome quote:

We still have time, but if there’s a belief on Genske’s [Weeks’ agent] side that Rickie Weeks is similar to Dan Uggla, then we’re going to have a problem.

This is in reference to the 5-year $62 million deal Dan Uggla just signed with the Braves. Saying Rickie Weeks is a very good second baseman shouldn’t be a controversial statement, but maybe this one is: There’s a huge problem with saying Weeks isn’t on Dan Uggla’s level, because Weeks deserves to be paid more than Uggla.

Please allow me to explain why.

There’s little doubt Weeks is elite. He’s easily a top 5 second baseman, and likely top 3. His WAR of 6.1 was second in baseball among second baseman last season and 13th (!) among all players at any position. He was the Brewers’ best player last season. Even in the three seasons prior to 2010, he still performed at a level above average.

Not that Dan Uggla should be an end-all-be-all, but since Gord went out of his way to bring him up, we might as well make the comparison.

Yes, Uggla had a better offensive season than Weeks, but he was not as valuable, because he cannot play second base. Uggla was way, way below average defensively, while Fangraphs had Weeks as slightly above average. Not only that, but Weeks is two and a half years younger than Uggla!

So Weeks was a better player than Uggla last year, and is two and a half years younger…. You tell me who should get more money.

The maddening thing is that every impression we’ve been given is if the Brewers duplicated Uggla’s offer to Weeks, he’d sign it in a second. That’s a very fair price for Weeks, yet the Brewers just won’t do it. Let’s look at another quote from Gord.

He’s looking at the player Rickie was this year and [assuming] he will be that going forward. Clearly, Rickie is a player we really value in terms of his dedication and his professionalism and his approach to the game, but we’ve had some uneven history here in terms of performance.

No, we haven’t. Rickie’s production has always been good to great. The only thing uneven has been his health. His defense turned around after 2008, and his offensive performance has been well above average in each season since 2007. Clearly, Gord is saying Rickie hasn’t earned Uggla’s contract because he has missed a significant amount of time.

How about one last quote?

“The facts are that Uggla is in a different salary level — he’s an elite player. He can compare himself to some Hall of Fame players. He’s had an historic start. Rickie — we love him, but he’s not to that level yet.”

Basically, Gord is saying Rickie doesn’t deserve Uggla’s money because he hasn’t accomplished what Uggla has to this point. My response: Why should that matter one bit?

This is a huge problem with contracts that are given out all across the league. Players are paid for what they’ve done when they should really be paid for what they’ll do. That Uggla has had a better career to this point is irrelevant. The question the Brewers need to answer is who will be the better player over the course of the next five years. Based on defense and age, all signs point to Rickie.

Yes, Weeks had some injuries. But the only concern there should be whether he’d be able to produce at a high level again. Last year he showed beyond all doubt that he can. There’s no reason to look at some injuries that held him out in 2007 and 2009 and hold them against him in 2012 and beyond.

I know I’m reaching the point of rambling here, but I can’t overstate Rickie’s importance enough. The Brewers offered Prince Fielder $100 million, and Weeks is the better player! Sure, Prince is a better hitter, but Weeks is a better all-around player. It’s all based on position scarcity. Put it this way. If you had a great hitter who could play any position at an elite level, you’d pick catcher–it’s the most difficult position to play, and it’s why Joe Mauer is so freaking valuable. After catcher you’d pick shortstop, and then second base. Weeks plays a difficult position at an acceptable level, and it’s why his bat is so much more valuable than if he played left field or first base.

From a Brewers perspective specifically, they pretty much need to re-sign Weeks. Fielder is as good as gone, so they’ll need to keep Weeks’ bat in the lineup if they don’t want a huge drop-off after this season. Additionally, I’m sure the Brewers would like to re-sign Zack Greinke and even Shawn Marcum. Well, good luck convincing them to stay if both Fielder and Weeks leave the team.

To this point, the Brewers have botched their handling of Rickie Weeks, but there’s still time to rectify it. They just need to recognize that he’s an elite player and pay him accordingly.

Deadline Week Cornucopia

Posted by Steve

A few things worth covering as we enter the last few days before the trade deadline.

————

Suddenly, the Brewers are on a hot streak. Monday’s win over the Reds was their fifth in a row and 11th in 15  games. The Brewers can’t even seem to lose correctly. This is the worst time of the season to be putting together a stretch like this. Sadly, it’s too little too late. Yet, the worrier in me is afraid it will convince the front office not to sell.

Even after this stretch, PECOTA has the Brewers with a 0.78% chance of making the playoffs. It’s nice to see them finally playing well, but a five game win streak over mostly the Pirates and Nationals in no way should convince them to pass on a good offer.

————

While we’re on the topic of things happening at the worst possible time, Corey Hart injured his wrist a few days ago. Thankfully it ended up not being serious, but I’m afraid he won’t get back on the field before Saturday’s deadline. That could kill what had been considerable interest in Hart around the league.

————

I naturally have been wrapped up with trade rumors in the last couple weeks, but I have to talk about my guy Rickie Weeks. My years of fanboydom have finally, FINALLY paid off. He is having a phenomenal offensive season. Factoring in position, Weeks has been the Brewers’ best player and one of the 10-15 most valuable players in the National League. I’m hoping the  Brewers are able to extend Weeks, but to this point we haven’t really heard anything either way about his interest in signing an extension. Plus, his price is going up just about every day. Not only for his hitting, but because he has to be the first player in MLB history to stay in a game after getting hit by a pitch in the head/face two years in a row.

————

It had been awhile, but my Brewer-related dreaming made a comeback. This one is easily traced back to the fact I was reading about trade rumors right before going to bed the other night. Here’s the scenario:

The Brewers had just pulled off a huge trade right before the deadline, but here’s the twist. I was the player who was traded! I had more or less taken the place of Prince Fielder. I was the big name player that teams had competed for to make a playoff push. I found out about the trade and headed to the airport, but I didn’t know where I was headed. A flight attendant came up to me with a giant gold envelope and said, “Sir, would you like to know where you’ve been traded to? You’re heading to… Colorado!”

My immediate response: “Okay… But who did the Brewers get in return?”

————

That’s pretty much everything I wanted to touch on. Enjoy the last few days of wild rumors.

The Season of the Weird

Posted by Steve

This is hands down the strangest Brewers season in my lifetime. Nearly everything about it is bizarre in some way. Prince Fielder can’t hit. Casey McGehee is a top 30 player. Trevor Hoffman is terrible. And it’s certainly not just individual performances that are strange. Let’s look at some team stats.

  • The Brewers have scored eight or more runs ten times already in 34 games.
  • They have scored less than three runs 11 times.
  • The Brewers’ run differential is -2, giving them a pythagorean record of 17-17. Eliminate games against the Pirates, and their run differential is -46. That’s right; in six games they outscored the Pirates by 44 runs–and they lost two of those games!
  • They have six players who have been below replacement level to this point (Alcides Escobar, Todd Coffey, Jeff Suppan, Claudio Vargas, Dave Bush, and Trevor Hoffman) yet they have three players who are already more than one win above replacement (Ryan Braun, Casey McGehee, Rickie Weeks, and Yovani Gallardo).

In short, it’s either been really good or really bad, without much in-between.

———–

Braun and Gallardo

Yo’s numbers are quite strong this season: 3.06 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 47 innings. Yet, he continues to be the most frustrating player on the Brewers roster for me.

The situation reminds me a lot of Ryan Braun’s a few years ago. Braun had just completed an amazing offensive rookie year and everyone had him elevated to stardom. I couldn’t stand watching him flail away though, because I knew how much better he could be if he just developed some plate discipline.

It’s the same with Yo. His arsenal is so good, yet he could be great if he became more efficient with his pitches. He nibbles way too much, which results in too many walks. This prevents him from going deep into games–he’s averaging less than six innings per start.

Sure enough, Braun developed plate discipline and took off into super-duper stardom since the second half of 2008. Yo is very good right now, but if he stopped nibbling so much and was more efficient with his pitches, he could be a top 10-15 starter in the game rather than a top 30-40.

———–

Petey

While Rick Peterson has made no discernible impact on the pitching stats (it’s almost as if the impact of coaching is overblown!), I will give him props in one major area: he is a firm believer in following pitch counts. Last season I was screaming about pitch counts, particularly Gallardo’s.

This year, they’ve done a much better job eliminating the pointless inning (you know the one—where Yo finishes an inning at 106 pitches,  was showing signs of fatigue, hadn’t been that great anyway, and still got sent out for one more inning). As a result, no Brewers are in the top 20 in pitcher abuse points. Incidentally, when Ubaldo Jimenez’s arm flies out of his socket during a pitch sometime in September, you can probably blame Jim Tracy/the Rockies braintrust.

———–

What was I wrong about?

Since I throw out opinions all willy nilly on this blog, it’s only fair that I point out the ones I had wrong. 35 games or so into the season is enough to see where I was on the right or wrong track.

Ben Sheets

I wanted the Brewers to sign Ben Sheets instead of handing out long-term deals to someone like Randy Wolf. Who knows if Wolf will work out, but the early signs on Big Ben are, sad to say, not good at all. His strikeouts are down, and strangely, his walks are way, way up. In 36.2 innings this season, Sheets has 19 walks. To put that in perspective, Sheets threw 106 innings in 2006 and had just 11(!) walks. And he didn’t come as cheaply as I figured, either. It’s still plenty early enough for him to turn it around, but the early signs indicate he may not be able to recover from his injury.

Casey McGehee

I could not have been more wrong about something baseball-wise than I’ve been about Casey McGehee to this point. Dan made a funny comment to me a few weeks ago: What if Casey McGehee is actually good? My company line has been that he hasn’t proven it over a large enough sample size. He still hasn’t, but he’s getting there, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. He’s a huge reason the Brewers haven’t completely tanked this season from Fielder’s struggles.

Jim Edmonds

I wasn’t a fan of the Edmonds signing at all. Granted, it was mainly because I could never stand him, but I also figured it would take playing time away from a superior Jody Gerut. Well it has, but Edmonds has produced while Gerut has struggled mightily. It still doesn’t mean I have to like him, though.

———–

What was I right about?

Okay, now I get to brag.

Alcides Escobar

Why again did J.J. Hardy need to be traded? Escobar was never a good hitter in the minors. It would have been one thing if he was banging down the door, but he was just decent offensively last year. Sure enough, he’s dreadful now at the big league level. I haven’t been very impressed with his acclaimed defense, either. Hardy isn’t a world beater, but at this point he’s better than Escobar–offensively and defensively. When you consider the poor return they got for Hardy, this trade was a bad move all the way around. It lowered the shortstop production, started Escobar’s service clock earlier than necessary, and brought back a less than desirable return in Carlos Gomez.

Doug Davis

I posted immediately after the Davis signing that I didn’t like it at all, and he’s only made me look smart (this time, anyway). He’s like Gallardo with the nibbling, except without any upside whatsoever.

Carl Pavano

I suggested the Brewers sign him before he shockingly accepted the Twins’ arbitration offer. I love Pavano. He’s the anti-Yo: While Yo has great stuff but shaky command, Pavano has great success with only decent stuff because he has excellent command. He only has seven walks in 46.1 innings, and he has a 4.86 k/bb ratio. I actually got made fun of for taking him in my fantasy draft, but he’s been outstanding.

DreamRickie

Yes, Rickie Weeks is as dreamy as ever. Offer this man an extension plz.

———–

Ned’s back!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some amazing, mind-blowing news: Ned Yost is once again an MLB manager! The Royals fired Trey Hillman and tabbed Ned as the guy to turn it around. It’s too bad Ned wasn’t given a team with any talent, because we won’t really get to see reminders of how awful he is. Anyone can lose with a bad team. It takes a special manager, one like Ned, to lose with a talented team. Regardless, here’s hoping we get to see more stubborn defense of bad players and 360-degree F-bombs.

———–

Tailgate!

I’m tailgating tomorrow for the first time in a few years, and I couldn’t be more pumped. Say hi if you see me–I’ll be the guy in the Mark DiFelice t-shirt jersey telling a girl, “Look at it this way. You only get 27 outs. A hitter’s priority is to not use up one of the outs…”