Tag Archives: Todd Coffey

I like my women like I like my Coffey

Posted by Steve

I’m sitting here watching the Brewers-Dodgers game, and Todd Coffey just came into the game in a big spot and retired Manny Ramirez.  On a whim, I was compelled to make a quick in-game post.  I have some definite crow to eat as far as Coffey is concerned.

I was irritated when Ken Macha began using him in high-leverage situations more and more, particularly when it was ahead of DiFelice.  I thought he was a decent bullpen arm, but nothing more.  He’s proven to be a strong setup guy.  DiFelice, despite some recent struggles, will always be my first (ROOGY, that is), but Coffey has also been death to right-handers as well.  Righties are OPSing .528 against him entering tonight’s game.

The starting rotation is a huge question mark, but the Brewers’s bullpen should be in good shape in the coming years with Coffey, DiFelice and Stetter under control long-term.

Wrapping up June with a Thought Cornucopia

Posted by Steve

JSOnline.com

Heckuva game tonight!  That picture just about says it all.  When Mike Burns defeats Johan Santana, it’s safe to describe that as stealing a win.  After a rough stretch, the Brewers have rattled off four wins in five games and are back atop the NL Central.  There are plenty of things to talk about lately, and it’s been awhile since we’ve had a Cornucopia of Thoughts, so let’s get this party started quickly.

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We’ll start with the bad news.  Jeremy Jeffress, the Brewers’ top pitching prospect entering the year and a first round pick from a few years ago, has been suspended 100 games for testing positive for a “substance of abuse.”  If you’re wondering why it’s such a harsh punishment, it’s because this is actually the third time Jeffress has tested positive.  He actually served a 50-game suspension two years ago for the same problem, and if he manages to test positive one more time, he faces a lifetime ban from minor league baseball.

Jeffress has admitted to testing positive for marijuana in the past, and it’s being assumed that this latest positive test is also from marijuana.  A lifetime ban might seem harsh, but regardless of your views on the the legalization issue, it’s pretty much impossible to defend Jeffress at this point.  His value is just about nil now, and he’s dangerously close to throwing away his baseball career.  This is a tough blow for an organization that’s already short on impact pitching.

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I’ve become pretty annoyed by the Brewers’ treatment of Mat Gamel.  There’s no reason he should be sitting on the bench as much as he has.  I understand that Casey McGehee is playing great, but there’s no reason Craig Counsell should be playing over Gamel as much as he has.  Ken Macha is obviously not crazy about having Gamel’s defense in the lineup, but how is Gamel supposed to improve his defense if he isn’t playing?

The bottom line is that if Gamel isn’t going to get regular playing time in Milwaukee, he needs to be back in AAA so he can continue to work on his defense.  The argument may be that the Brewers are in “win now” mode, and that Gamel should be up because he makes the big league club better, but that’s not even necessarily the case.  The Brewers have an infielder in the minors, Adam Heether, who is lighting up AAA to the tune of a .991 OPS.  They could easily swap out Gamel for Heether and not miss a beat from what they’ve had since Gamel’s been up.  Heether is 27, so there’s not the same need to get him playing time that there is with Gamel.

I hate to see Gamel burning up service time if he’s not even going to get semi-regular playing time.

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For whatever reason, Mark DiFelice hasn’t been placed in the high leverage role that he was before having the sore arm.  He’s pitched in non-close situations frequently since returning to the team, and I can’t figure out why.  What’s troubling to me is that Macha has deferred to Todd Coffey over DiFelice is close situations lately.  Any way you slice it, DiFelice is the superior pitcher.

We saw an example of this in tonight’s game.  With David Wright set to hit, DiFelice was pulled from the game in favor of Coffey.  Can someone please give Macha a copy of DiFelice’s splits?  Right handed hitters are OPSing .390(!) against DiFelice.  That doesn’t scream ‘Take him out of the game’ when the opposing team’s best right-handed hitter is at the plate.

With Stetter against lefites and DiFelice against righties, Macha has some great weapons to bridge the gap to Trevor Hoffman.  He needs to start using DiFelice the way he should be used, which is as a righty neutralizer.

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Alright, I have to make one positive point, right?  Prince Fielder is having an absolute monster year.

Twenty home runs is great, as is the .306 batting average, but what’s really made the difference for Prince is his patience.  Fielder has always been a fairly patient hitter, but his eye this year has been outstanding.  His OBP before last night’s game was .424, which is uncharted territory for him (career high of .395).  Barring something very bad, Fielder will shatter the team record for walks in a season.

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Time for some tidbits.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this job, it’s that nobody enjoys being a Major League baseball player more than Cincinnati Reds infielder Adam Rosales.  This guy is literally always happy when on the baseball field.  At first I couldn’t tell if it bugged me, but now I love when I get a Reds game and he’s in the lineup so I can see what he’ll do next.  Check out his sprint around the bases for his first career home run.  Other great clips that I wasn’t able to find: Rosales leaping into the air with a jumpkick after a Reds walkoff win, and a post-game interview in which he yells, “It’s like a dream come true!” through maniacal laughter.

Check him out the next time you see a Reds game, but do it soon.  Rosales has plummeted to a .561 OPS, so he might not be in the big leagues much longer.

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I’m starting to feel like a GM at work, but not because of the job itself.  We’re allowed to switch games, and there are at least four Yankee fans in the office.  This means that whenever I get a Yankee game, I’ll have at least two people ask me to switch.

As the only Brewer fan in the office, this works heavily in my favor.  Yankee fans regularly try to trade me Brewer games for Yankee games.  I even talk like a GM to up the trade value.  “I’m not motivated to move my Yankee game at this time, but I’m willing to listen to offers.”

I had a Yankee game today, and it had more value than normal because Joba Chamberlain was starting (Yankee fans love them some Joba).  I actually had a guy say to me today, “I have some Brewer games next month that I could offer for that game today, but I’d rather acquire Tim’s Brewer game tonight to use and keep those games as bargaining chips down the line.”  Awesome.

My body too DiFelicious for ya

Posted by Steve

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Obviously, the Brewers are playing well in pretty much all facets of the game over the last couple weeks, but the bullpen in particular has been tremendous.  Since Hoffman came off the DL, everyone has fallen into place and pitched very well.

Hoffman’s numbers this season are hilarious: 8 innings, 3 hits, 0 walks, 8 strikeouts, 0 earned runs and a .231 OPS against.  He has been flawless.  That’s not all, though.  Take a look at how other pitchers have thrown since Hoffman took over as closer.

Mark DiFelice: .375 OPS against

Carlos Villanueva: .534 OPS against

Mitch Stetter: .467 OPS against

Seth McClung: .570 OPS against

Todd Coffey: .757 OPS against

Jorge Julio: .646 OPS against

I realize we’re only talking about a handful of innings for each pitcher, but the point is that literally every reliever on the team has thrown well since Hoffman came off the DL almost three weeks ago.  I’m feel confident with any reliever outside of Jorge Julio, and to a lesser extent, Seth McClung(and if R.J. Swindle replaced Julio I’d feel confident in every reliever).

Ken Macha deserves credit for understanding the strengths of each of his relievers.  Stetter is tough on lefties, but unlike Brian Shouse, can get righties out at a decent rate.  Villanueva is the best option against switch hitters or a staggered lefty-righty lineup because he can use his slider to righties and his changeup to lefties.  DiFelice and Coffey are death to right-handers.  More often than not, Macha has put his relievers in favorable conditions that play to their strengths.  Again, it’s only been six weeks (I feel like I’ve said that a hundred times), but Macha has been a huge improvement over Ned Yost as far as bullpen management is concerned.

This doesn’t really have anything to do with the rest of this post, but I just wanted to further illustrate how well the team has been playing.  Here are MLB rankings over the past week in my fantasy league: Trevor Hoffman 21, Rickie Weeks 28, Ryan Braun 29, Prince Fielder 45.

Before I wrap this up, I once again need to harp on the amazing job Mark DiFelice has done.  He has come out of nowhere to become a lockdown setup man.  It’s really an great story; the guy spent ten years in the minor leagues, and after adding one pitch (the cutter) to his repertoire a couple years ago he has just taken off.  His control is outstanding.  He has issued one unintentional walk in 17 2/3 innings while striking out more than a batter per inning–absurd!  I love the way he does it too–with a slow, low-to-mid-eighties cut fastball that must drive hitters crazy when they can’t hit it.  It’s not like he’s pumping mid-90s heat and wicked sliders up there.

The mancrush I have on him is approaching frightening levels.  Aside from sponsoring his B-Ref page, my facebook profile picture is a photo of him.  I have to imagine I’m the only person on the planet (aside from DiFelice himself, possibly) who can say that.  I may have to order a DiFelice jersey as well.  What can I say?  I can’t help myself.  Just look at him.  He’s better than you, he knows it, but he’s not about to make a big deal out of it or anything.

I dont think you ready fo this jelly, National League.

I don't think you ready fo this jelly, National League.