Friday, July 6, 2007

Five Burning Questions

With the All-Star break approaching, here are my attempts at answering five burning questions on the minds of Brewers fans (OK, me):

1. What the hell is wrong with Rickie Weeks?

Weeks is clearly not himself. He isn't hitting the ball with any authority (when he hits it at all). The defense is OK, but he looks completely lost at the plate. My take? I think you can compare this to what JJ Hardy looked like two years ago when he was coming off of shoulder surgery. He looked useless for the entire first half, because, as he said it, he didn't trust his shoulder. When he started to let it fly after the break, he began to hit the ball like he had in the minors. If Weeks' wrist is healthy (and we're told that it is), then he might just have to trust that it's healthy. That may happen in the second half, or it may take until next year. Frankly, I'm not optimistic that we'll see a tremendous improvement from Weeks this year.

2. What should the Brewers do to replace Hall?

Some will call for Tony Gwynn Jr. to return from AAA. But he hasn't exactly been knocking the cover off the ball at Nashville, hitting .258 with no doubles, 3 RBIs and a .315 OBP in 66 at bats. Personally, I'd replace Hall by playing the Glue and Mench full time. As much as I like to bash Mench, he's been productive. Maybe you bring Gwynn back up (or another lefty reliever?) but I wouldn't start him in CF regularly. Hart has shown he can play there defensively.

3. Why can't the Brewers win on the road?

I don't know. Next question.

4. Will the Brewers make a major move at the trade deadline?

Doug Melvin always seems to make some sort of a move at the deadline, but will it be a major one? I'm not sure where the holes are, frankly. I think the Brewers could use one more veteran bat to put in the outfield, or a lefty out of the bullpen, but are we interested in Jermaine Dye or Bobby Abreu (both of whom are reportedly on the trading block). If Hall is out for an extended period of time, I wouldn't mind looking to see what it would cost to get one of these guys (especially Dye). Dye can't be as bad as he was in the first half of the year, can he? And trading for a White Sox outfielder has worked in the past...

5. What is the scariest team in the NL Central?

Outside of Pittsburgh at PNC Park, I still say the Cardinals. I just have this feeling that they're going to explode in the second half and make a real run at the division. The Cubs are making their run right now, and have played great ball for the better part of the last month, but I'm frankly more concerned about St. Louis. They just took 3 of 4 from Arizona, and have 11 games left against the Cubs and 8 more against the Crew after the break. They're only 7.5 games back, coming into play today...


Anonymous said...

What a mental game for Weeks, but it just goes to show you how mentally stable Fielder and Hardy (and even Hart) are.

I still hate Mench, but let's hope he keeps getting hot so we can trade him.
-Krey (with nothing better to do at work than post on blogs)
PS Am I the only one working this week?

BC said...

I like Weeks, would love to see him explode like everyone thought he would. It might take until next year, but I think he will go 25-25 some year.

The Cards are still lingering a little too close. Pooholes hasnt gone off yet, and Carpenter should get healthy at some point.

I would LOVE a lefty power arm out of the pen. A 2002 version of Ray King, if you will.

Krey - is your company hiring?

matt said...

They put Hall on the DL and recalled Gwynn. I'd be surprised to see him starting tonight, however. Lefty on the bump for Washington.

AP said...

I think at the very least Gwynn is good defensively, and a lineup w/ Hart, Weeks, & Gwynn should be good on the basepaths. There's never a good time for an injury, but w/ 3 VS. Washington and then the all-star break this is about as good a time as any. (THIS IS ME TRYING TO STAY POSITIVE)

The Sarge said...

I am not going to give the Cardinals the courtesy of being concerned about them this season. They are four games under .500 and spent the better part of the first half beating up on the crap of the Central Division.

They've already played Pittsburgh 8 times, Houston 9 times, and Cincinnati 9 times. Thanks to that, they are 21-15 against the Central Division. Meanwhile they are 3-9 against the East, and 9-10 against the West. Plus, they played 6 games against KC -- though they only went .500 against them.

Granted, Carpenter will return. But I don't know too many pitchers who dominate during the same season they had elbow surgery. If nothing else, it's going to be awhile before he regains his stamina. And they may trade for Buerhle, but so what?

Screw the Cardinals. If LaRussa really thought they'd be contending for another championship, he wouldn't have put Fuentes on the All Star team.

Anonymous said...

Sarge, I guess we'll get to see how the Cardinals and Cubs stack up, since they play 11 times after the break.

The Cubs didn't exactly have a murderous interleague schedule either, with 6 against the White Sox and 3 against the Rangers. And they're a .500 team against the NL Central.

I, for one, am concerned about the Cardinals.

The Sarge said...

And the Cubs have also been on fire for the past month. I welcome the match-ups against the Cards. Everyone is just afraid of the Cardinals' mystique.

The Astros are much more likely to have a second-half tear than the Cardinals. Their pitching is about the same as the Cardinals, but they actually have a legit (and healthy) #1 starter. Lee is having a monster year at Minute Maid. Pence looks like a real find. And Berkman is getting better as the season progresses. I think they're too far back to make a run, but they are going to have an impact.

Wrigleyville said...

Other than Pujols, who exactly is worrisome for the Cardinals? Not one of their OFs is owned in any of the fantasy leagues I play in (a decent sign...), Rolen is not the Rolen of 3 years ago, Carpenter is broken, Reyes is lost, Maroth is Maroth...

I was thinking earlier today that the Astros would be a problem.

Oh, and anonymous, you forgot to mention the Cubs record against the Brewers. (7-5, I think)

matt said...

Which means they can't beat the Reds.