Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Brewers Are Done!

It's over. Done. Finished. Stick the proverbial fork in the Brewers, they're done as 2008 playoff contenders.

Everybody at once now: Take off those blue and mustard colored glasses and open you're eyes. Look big picture, people! I'm not talking about the last few games, or the dormant offense, or the most recent botched fill-in-the-blank-move by Ned Yost. Look macro, not micro. Since last year's red hot 24-10 start, Milwaukee is 75-87. "But what does last year have to do with 2008?" Nothing much, just making an observation. As for this year....

Starters
We basically have a bunch of 5 inning pitchers. And when Ben Sheets inevitably gets hurt, how does a Suppan, Parra, Villenuava, Weaver, and Bush rotation sound? I just herd puking sounds all around the state of Wisconsin . That's no where near a playoff rotation...unless you're talking about the Pacific Coast League playoffs. Bush is junk (certainly no Joe Blanton), Parra and Villy are young (IE, inconsistent), and Suppan is Suppan. 4.60 ERA every year. All these guys have a chance to pitch a little better than they have. On the other hand, Ben's current ERA (2.27) is a full run and a half below his career mark. So, there's a good chance he will pitch worse than he has, get hurt, or pitch worse and get hurt. All these 5 inning starts leads to...

A Tired Bullpen.
Hell, they were getting excessive work when the staff numbered 14? History shows Mota and Torres will pitch worse, Riske better, Shouse about the same, and then there's - gulp - Eric Serge Gagne, AKA "The Canadian Crisis." Even in his saves, he rarely records a clean inning. I know he's had some bad luck, but a 1.700 WHIP and .382 batting average against (.382!) has "Three Mile Island Meltdown" written all over it. Basically, he's an expensive Mike DeJean. Will he find his groove? I have no idea. I bet Doug Melvin, Neddy, or Serge himself doesn't know either.

Bats
Holy Crap. This is getting ugly. Everyone just assumed all the youngsters would get better with each passing year. Perhaps we bought fools gold. Maybe JJ Hardy, Billy Hall and Dick Weeks are not every day major leaguers? The entire group isn't gonna pan out, somebody has to be a bust, right? Maybe Prince peaked last year. It's obvious teams adjusted to Ryan Braun out in the off season. How fast will he adjust to them? These are all legitimate questions. Oh, they will get hot. They're too good not to pound the ball for stretches. But the lineup is still too "AL" for my liking. And I'm tired of hearing the "they're still young" card. So are the Arizona and Oakland lineups, but they get on base like machines. Maybe it's an organizational thing. Maybe the 'Backs and A's stress getting on base in the minors rather than mashing bombs. I don't know. Speaking of the minors...

Fresh Blood
Sorry, there's no Yovanni Gallerdo or Braun waiting in AAA to bolster the rotation and supercharge the offense...unless Matt LaPorta can play shortstop (sarcasm). Our best arm option was Will Inman (3-1, 2.10 ERA in AAA), but he was traded last year for - uh oh- Scott Linebrink.

What can be done?
1) Make a trade. Would Melvin trade some of the future (Corey Hart, LaPorta, Mat Gamel, etc) for a veteran arm? Is a veteran arm available? With Sheets probably not coming back next year, is this the year to "go for it?" Melvin has some very tough decisions in the following months.
2) Fire Yost. Did you see that lineup tonight? WTF? No shit that lineup wasn't gonna score more than 2 runs. Of course, I think he should go. Why? First, the manager always takes the fall when a team underachieves. Second, he's been here for 5 years now, which is almost an eternity in pro coaching. So it's not like a Terry Porter situation where he's canned after year one. Third, maybe this club needs a different voice. For a large number of guys, Yost has been the only voice they’ve herd. Maybe the message is stale and ignored at this point. Maybe the youngsters would say: “Wow. If we continue to suck, heads will roll…Antanasio ain't f_cking around anymore.” The manager is always the first one to go, and Ned’s had enough time to do his thing. It's time for a change. The sooner, the better.

The Challengers
I know you all hate the Cubs, but lets be objective. They aren't going away. While some Cubs have played over their heads, Wood, Soriano, and Lilly have been bad. And St Louis has shocked the hell out of me. Dave Duncan is a miracle worker. Those suspect starters have been more than solid even with Chris Carpenter still on the DL. We are struggling through the Yo injury, but here's the St Louis rotation sailing along without Carpenter and Mulder, like nothing ever happened. Watch the Cubs and Cards hit, too. Most of those guys give you "professional" at bats up and down the lineups. Guys like Ryan Theriot and Skippy Schumaker and Adam Kennedy and Dick Ankiel of the world are getting it done. Just like Oakland 's merry band of no-namers.

Open your eyes, people! The Brewers are done. They have the look of an 80 win team who will end up trading Sheets and Cameron by the deadline. I hope they prove me wrong.

24 comments:

the other brad said...

Totally agree. I've said countless times that last year was our best chance. We had so many things going for us - a relatively healthy team, career years out of Braun and Fielder - all the stars were aligned and it still wasn't enough. That window is now pretty much closed.

So might as well make some big changes and see if something can be salvaged to give them a shot in the next 1-2 years, because that's about all the chance we'll have for the forseeable future.

Anonymous said...

i remember last week when the brewers won the first game of their series against the cubs. many were saying that it was a statement game. good to see that lasted about 3 1/2 days.

Anonymous said...

May 8th

zeek said...

Preaching to the Choir my friend..

AZ Krey said...

"The Sky is Falling"

Woz needs to take the fellas out when they get back the Brew City to find some slump-busters. That's Nice!

I would also like to suggest a new format for you guys, start blogging about Uecker's broadcasts instead of the game.

Anonymous said...

The best thing that could happen to this franchise is a continued fade that gets Melvin and Yost fired and this mediocre lineup and pitching staff shaken up to give hope for the future. Acknowledge that Weeks, Hardy, and Hall stink and trade Sheets to try and set up the future. The description of Weeks, Hardy, and Hall as "Fool's Gold" is the perfect description -- a complete meltdown to provoke acknowledgement of this by the Brewer brass is the only thing that will prevent another 20-year downward spiral.

Woz said...

AZ makes a good point. It appears slumpbusters are in order.

While I agree mostly with what Brad said...if Corey Hart gets traded I will not watch a Brewer game the rest of the year and quit blogging. That is a promise.

It's May 9th...still plenty of time to fire Ned and jump start these guys.

Stigs said...

agreed. although, i really think Weeks will come around. He's hitting the ball hard, it's just right at people. I don't see the Brewers making a comeback, but we shall wait and see.

Matt said...

I've been a Yost supporter generally (or at least I don't blame everything on Yost like some do) but I think he's done.

The guy is wound up so tight right now that it has to be affecting his players.

Anyone have Tom Trebelhorn's number?

AP said...

Blow it all up and start over....I feel like a fool for buying the hype on this team. Trade Sheets, Fielder, & Hall & restock the minors.

Anonymous said...

Post of the year!

Tony M said...

Wow, what a bunch of crap. Fire Melvin I have heard the cries for Yost but ‘blow it up”, “Fire Melvin”, “Trade Prince, Weeks, Hart, Braun”, come down off the ledge guys. First off it is May 9th today. The sun is shining and the Crew are returning home after a LONG road trip 18 of the crews last 25 games have been on the road. I agree there is cause for concern but lets not all jump off the bandwagon and take up fishing or gardening. Yost maybe done this is pretty much inevitable the question now is when not if. I like him but agree something has to give. Ted Simmons show me what ya got. But I still say in closing, in Doug I trust.

Not so anonymous Jake said...

K Bye Ned! This struggle will end up being the best thing to happen to the Brewers! No more listening to Yost whine about they'll come around and jeez you really gotta give credit to the other teams pitching staff b.s. I want a manager that is not afraid to light his team up when they suck.

the other ben said...

Melvin needs some heat. Why can Oakland reshuffle their roster every other year and still win 90+ games....while the Brewers are in year 7 of the Melvin reconstruction and they're still mediocre? Florida and Minnesota also are in the hunt once in a while.

Wasn't everyone ripping on Florida for trading away Cabrera and now having a $25 million payroll? Ill take their roster over ours any day of the week.

David Lister said...

Might be a tad bit early with that.

matt said...

I'm pretty sure I prefer Milwaukee's roster over Florida's.

They have some nice pieces (mainly Hanley Ramirez) but I'd be willing to bet that every executive in baseball would agree with me (including Florida's).

the other ben said...

We will see who ends up with the better record this year and next.

AP said...

Starters-Even with all of the 5 inning starts, Brewer starters are still right in the middle (#8) of the NL in innings pitched. Not good, not bad.

Tired bullpen-Brewer relievers are also #8 in the NL in innings pitched. That's not bad at all considering they've played more than their share of extra innings & they were also carrying 14 pitchers for a while to divide those innings.

Bats-Bingo. 4th worst in the NL in runs scored, 4th worst in NL, team OPS, bottom half of NL in HR's, & 3rd worst batting average in NL with RISP & 2 out. Not getting on base, not knocking runners in, not scoring runs. I realize it's still early. Can we just set a date when it is OK to be concerned?

Anonymous said...

In Ricky Weeks, they never should have drafted a player that spent his college years playing for a team (Southern University) in a league (Southwestern Athletic Conference) that is probably not as good as the New Orleans Catholic High School baseball league. His inflated numbers against pitchers that couldn't make a decent JUCO team are showing their true colors. He is now, and will always be, a meodicre baseball player.

Anonymous said...

Excellent point on Weeks' background.

KJM said...

Solid post. It perfectly sums up my thoughts on the current state of things. If we are still under .500 come June 1, trade Sheets to re-stock the cupboard. I can't believe we've reached that point so early in '08. I was so optimistic....

Dan said...

Just wait until we turn this shit around. We're taking batting practice in Helfaer Field from now on. We still have math on our side.
-Ned Yost

Chris said...

Props for owning this insane, knee-jerk rant by referencing it today. You look pretty stupid in retrospect, but at least you had the nads to take a stand and then stand up to it when it looked foolish.

Maybe a little perspective next time would be a better course. It is a long season after all.

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