I’ve been wondering about the Brewers situation at catcher for some time. Given the huge moves we made a couple days ago, sending Hardy to the Minors, designating Hall and bringing up Escobar, I’m even more puzzled.
I was a big Jason Kendall fan when he first signed. However, as some of our prospects get better and better, I wonder why we keep him around. Rivera showed yesterday that he has power, and I think that given consistent playing time, he could easily be another solid option to protect Prince Fielder.
Kendall is not the type to take a back-up role. Given how well Angel Salome has been playing of late, I’m wondering aloud why we didn’t try to move Kendall somewhere to get another arm to stabilize either the rotation or the bullpen.
The only answer I have is that we need some veteran leadership on a team that is still young.
However, as Prince and Braun wrap up another season—hopefully with another play-off run—the question has to be asked: How much longer can we afford to keep these guys around?
Guys like Suppan and Kendall are becoming less needed in the day-to-day workings of the club, especially given GM Doug Melvin’s statement on-air during the last game that he would like to see more running from the club.
This could also force the hand of Brewers’ ownership to get rid of Ken Macha, who is notorious for not liking “small ball.” Personally, I’d rather they have hired Willie Randolph or Dale Sveum in the first place, but better late than never.
Finally, the Brewers need to look to do whatever it takes to keep Prince Fielder around. While we do have a solid first baseman, Joe Koshansky (.221 average, 19 homers in 112 games) in AAA, we can’t afford to part ways with Prince; the drop-off from one year to the next would be too harsh, and I’m not convinced that Braun can carry this team by himself yet.
One thing is certain: the Crew needs to do whatever it can to win now. With the drastic shake-up on Wednesday, it appears management agrees. Anything short of the playoffs will be a disappointment, and some heads will roll if our last game is October 4th in St Louis.
Since we’re only seven games back with 48 to go, we’re still in the division race. We have nine more games against the Cardinals and seven more against the Cubs. However, with five teams and 7.5 games between us and the wildcard, we need to take the division.