Milwaukee Brewers News for Feb. 23

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Milwaukee Brewers News for Feb. 23

Brewers News

- Bill Hall is looking to regain the form he had in 2006. He dedicated his offseason to getting in better shape, having LASIK eye surgery, and focusing on some bad habits he needed to correct. I think I speak for all Brewers fans when I say we’re pulling for the guy. If he can even come close to the production he had in 2006, it would make an already imposing batting order even better.

Hall will likely miss about one week of Spring Training games, a much better timetable than the original prognosis, which had him missing almost all of the Spring Training games.

- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a story on the Brewers coming into Spring Training. Some nuggets:

* Doug Melvin is less than pleased with the draft pick compensation the Brewers will be receiving after losing CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets in free agency:

“I didn’t think we wouldn’t get a first-round draft pick for him. That’s the part that disappoints me. Stupid Elias rankings. It’s awful. So, the Angels (who lost Mark Teixeira), who had 97 (100 actually) wins, get the (Type A) draft pick.

“And no disrespect to 41-year-old Brian Shouse. But the draft pick we’re getting for him (a reliever who signed with Tampa Bay) is only seven picks ahead of the one we’re getting for CC. There’s some definite flaws in the system. Our owner (Mark Attanasio) is not very happy about it either.”

* Braden Looper and his wife went to China in October to wrap up a lengthy adoption process for an 18-month-old Chinese girl, Gracyn Lynn, who has required several facial surgeries.

* Looper would have preferred going back to St. Louis, but Milwaukee is “a really good fit” for him.

* Ken Macha said Trevor Hoffman is working on a curveball and a slider in camp.

- Yovani Gallardo will not pitch in the World Baseball Classic. Good decision. More HERE.

- David Riske is also looking to put together a bounce-back season.

- How many times have we heard this? Rickie Weeks needs to slow down. I think anyone that watches Rickie knows he has a ton of talent, and we’re all just waiting for him to put it together. He’s already an average player, but it’s easy to see he has the potential to be much more than that. Hopefully this is the year things fall together for him.

- J.J. Hardy is one of the top shortstops in the game, but he’s still a little under the radar.

- The Brewers will finish .500 and in fourth place in the NL Central, according to CHONE projections.

- McCalvyBernie’s Crew, and Brew Crew Ball analyze the bullpen. And another look from Brew Crew Ball.

- Cecil Fielder says him and Prince will make up and drop their feud eventually.

- Hoffman is getting accustomed to life as a Brewer.

- Christina Kharl of Baseball Prospectus deems the Trevor Hoffman signing as the worst one-year deal from this offseason:

"With little to keep lefties honest any more, and without the benefit of the game’s best pitcher’s park to provide an assist, the changeup fiend might have to switch from AC/DC’s 'Hell’s Bells' to 'Back in Black,' to at least celebrate his reward for almost certainly closing out his career as a Brewer."

- FantasyBaseballGeeks.com says Hoffman’s tank is just one-third full and speculates that his numbers will go down in Milwaukee.

- radiosilence at the Junkball Blues says many Brewers hitters should see improved luck in ‘09, but that Ryan Braun and Hardy could regress in the luck department.

- Eric Seidman at FanGraphs analyzes the Eric Gagne signing and calls it a win for the Brewers.

- Chris Capuano is slowly coming back from his second Tommy John surgery. More HERE.

- Brewers Chatters previews the upcoming season.

- Blazing With Phelps insults Milwaukee and the Brewers franchise in an aptly named “We Aren’t Experts” post. They declare Milwaukee the fattest city in America “even after losing CC Sabathia to free agency,” calls the Brewers a “horrible team,” says their rotation will be “Dave Bush, Oil Can Boyd, me, a JUGS machine, and then whoever wins the KISS 99 'Takin’ Care of Business' prize for calling in how many times Bachman Turner Overdrive came on during the power hour,” and then predicts the Brewers will finish fifth in the NL Central with a 70-92 record.

Oh yeah, and they predict the Cardinals will win the division with 88 wins. Yes, they’ve very clearly established they aren’t experts...

- Brew Crew Ball provides pictures of the week from Brewers’ camp.

- Five things to know about the Brewers from MLB Rumors and CBS Sports. I wouldn’t have guessed the Brewers have had more wins than the Cubs over the last four years. That’s kind of interesting considering the Cubs won the division two of those four years.

- New Fox Sports Wisconsin reporter for the Brewers, Telly Hughes, introduces himself to Brewers fans.

- And former FS-Wisconsin reporter Trenni Kusnierek checks in with 540 ESPN Radio in Milwaukee.

- Beer, Brats and the Brew Crew likes the chemistry on this team.

- Garth Iorg, who is a coach in the Brewers system and served as the third base coach in Milwaukee over the last two weeks and the playoff series after Ned Yost was fired last season, has a son, Cale, who is a highly regarded shortstop prospect in the Tigers system.

- Jamie Navarro holds the mark for allowing the most sacrifice flies (17) in one season (1993). He was a Brewer that year, of course. Matt Kinney’s (I still shudder at that name) 2003 Brewer season and Jeff Suppan’s 2002 (Royals) and 2007 (Brewers) seasons rank tied for 11th in the 2000s with 11 sac flies allowed each.

- Tyler thinks Ryan Braun should stick to baseball.

- There is simply no reason for these guys to do this aside from getting attention. And I’m giving it to them...

 

Minor Leagues

- The Brett Lawrie experiment at the catching position might be over before it began. Lawrie is reportedly practicing at second base exclusively at Spring Training. I’d be a little surprised that the Brewers never even tried him at catcher since all the talk sine he was drafted was that he’d get a shot there, but this is probably a good move for Lawrie and the Brewers if it’s permanent.

The Brewers have a lot of catching depth in the minors, and even if none of those prospects pan out, Lawrie is many years away from the Majors as a catcher. If he plays well as a second baseman, we could see him in Milwaukee by as early as 2011.

- Speaking of Lawrie, he’s waiting to hear if he’ll be on Canada’s World Baseball Classic roster. More HERE.

- Mark Rogers, the fifth overall pick in the 2004 draft, threw to hitters for the first time in about a year. It was a nice step forward for the pitcher, who has battled injuries since he was drafted. Hopefully he can start to take some steps forward this year in his development.

- Baby Brewers finished their top prospect list with Alcides Escobar landing on top of the list.

- Toby at BrewerFan.net takes a crack at predicting the 2009 minor-league rosters for the Brewers affiliates.

- Cody Scarpetta is at the Major-League camp because of a contract technicality, and he’s soaking it all in.

 

NL Central

- The Cardinals might have made a run at Orlando Hudson. It would make sense. Second base is a pretty big hole on their team right now, and they can’t seriously believe Skip Schumaker, who has no experience playing second, can make the switch there and be ready to go by April. That’s insane.

- The Reds might try to transform Micah Owings into a Brooks Kieschnick-type role. At the time Brooks was a Brewer, he was really fun to watch, but that’s just because the teams he was on were absolutely horrible, and he brought at least some semblance of enjoyment to some of the games—a pitcher who can hit (unless you throw him anything that isn’t a fastball)! But I’ll trade having guys like Brooks on the roster for winning baseball any day...

- Carlos Lee showed up to the Astros’ Spring Training two days late because he got the date he was supposed to arrive mixed up and joked about it. Carlos is very funny and he had some nice seasons with the Brewers, but I definitely don’t miss his lackadaisical attitude on and off the field.

 

Other News

- Former Brewer Corey Koskie will play for Canada in the World Baseball Classic. Congrats to Koskie. It’s been a very long road back for him from concussion-related problems, and I hope this is the first step to a successful return to MLB for him.

- Former Brewer pitching coach Mike Maddux is trying to improve the Texas Rangers pitching staff now.

- Buster Olney has a pretty funny story about Deion Sanders from his early days of reporting covering the Nashville Sounds.

- The Twins signed Joe Crede to a pretty affordable deal. I wish the Brewers would have looked into bringing Crede in, since he could be a very nice one-year stopgap at third, but he should fit in nicely in Minnesota.

- Former Brewer Gary Sheffield comes in at No. 2 on Fantasy Pros 911 Top 10 Fantasy Seasons on Steroids list for his 2003 campaign. Shef is a supreme douchebag, and I’m happy to see him on the list, but how are there no Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, or Brady Anderson seasons on this list?!?!

Personally, I think the Anderson season might be the most glaring season of all time. Seriously, the guy’s career high without counting that year was 24, and he goes off for 50? And he hit 16 the season before and 18 the season after. That’s pretty freakin’ fishy.

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