Some random Brewers-related items that I've been tardy in posting with all the March Madness whatnot going on around here:
If anyone thought that Houston might be a dark horse in the NL Central this year, I give you several pieces of evidence to the contrary. First, Jose Capellan is currently battling Russ Ortiz for the 5th spot in the Astros' rotation. Yes, Jose freaking Capellan. Second, the Astros have a record of 2-16-3 in Spring Training this year after notching a W against the Reds yesterday. I know Spring Training means nothing, and that Roy Oswalt is pitching for Team USA, but that is still horrible and they should feel great shame. Finally, Mike Hampton is their projected 4th starter. Let's just say that their starting pitching is a mess.
If anyone thought that Milwaukee might be a dark horse in the NL Central this year, I give you the Brewers bullpen. Jesus, what a grease fire. Where to begin? Trevor Hoffman caught the intercostal bug and might not be ready for the season. Plan B? Seth McClung? (if he doesn't have to be a starter, of course). One would have thought that Carlos Villanueva might be in line to close if Hoffman can't go, but he has been brutal this spring, to the point where Manager Ken called him out (what a concept - holding players accountable!) David Riske has been terrible coming back from his elbow problems, and Jorge Julio is erratic (which has been his M.O. during his career). Basically, Mitch Stetter and Mark DeFelice are the two guys who are pitching well out of the bullpen right now. That Morlan guy was so bad that the Brewers cut him and sent him back to Tampa. I recognize that it is still Spring Training, but this bullpen is a major question mark in my mind coming down to Opening Day.
Casey McGehee is making this club out of Spring Training. He's now hitting .410 with 4 home runs. Case closed. Welcome to Milwaukee.
Ken Macha is thinking of batting Jason Kendall at the leadoff spot sometimes. I'm not sure what I think about this, but at first blush I don't think that it is a horrible idea. Yes, he is slow. But he had good at bats, doesn't strike out a ton and will take a walk. Rickie Weeks is playing better lately in Spring Training, raising his average over .300 which he has not done since, what, AA? The only problem is, if Weeks doesn't hit first, where does he hit? I don't think he would be great in the 8th spot, but he's probably a better option than Hall batting 8th, since Weeks has some manner of strike zone discipline.
(?) I bet Weeks ends up leading off the majority of the time.