…so let’s get going.
By: Big Rygg
Hey Brewer Nation! Thanks for dealing with our collective hiatus from the written word over the past couple of weeks. It’s been a crazy length of time for both South Side Rob and me. Suffice it to say that my hiatus is over and I’ll be posting more often going forward.
Anyway, like I said in the lead…let’s get going.
When I last posted, the Milwaukee Brewers were 37-29 (put away your calculators, that’s 8 games over .500) and held a one-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals (then 36-30) as the Crew sat atop the National League Central.
While the Brewers have lost more than they’ve won over the past 18 games, they now sit 4 games over .500 at 44-40, and are one game behind the St. Louis Cardnials (who remain six games over .500 at 46-40) as the Redbirds sit atop the NL Central.
Casey McGehee has emerged as a potential NL Rookie of the Year candidate, Manny Parra threw his way to the minors and has hopefully pitched his way back to staying in the rotation for the remainder of the year. (Let’s be honest with ourselves…As much as I like Seth McClung and Mike Burns as people, they aren’t ever going to make up 40% of a playoff rotation.) Jody Gerut still can’t get a hit to save his soul. Prince Fielder is still tearing the cover off the ball.
But let’s hit on a few big items specifically, shall we?
And let’s get the negative out of the way.
Ryan Braun vs. Doug Melvin
I’m happy to say that this happened, exploded, was reacted to and overreacted to, and has nearly gone away from the mainstream media before I had the chance to comment here on the blog.
What I am on record as saying is that Braun was out of line in the words he chose to express his feelings. We all agree that the pitching hasn’t been up to par, which was especially evident in the Cubs series, but the words Braun said called out half of his team whether he intended it that way or not.
Doug Melvin responded in the media, something he has never done before against a player to my knowledge (at least since taking over here in Milwaukee). Braun has been saying lots of things over the last couple of years, but again in the words he chose to use, he crossed the line a bit too far this time and Melvin let him know it. Should Melvin have taken it to the media? Probably not, but the way in which Braun took it there made a non-response a non-option for Melvin if he wanted the club to save face at all.
The two met, Braun apologized for the misunderstanding, we move on. Above, though, are some of my thoughts on it.
Speaking of St. Louis, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder…
Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder…St. Louis-bound!
The bad about this is that Trevor Hoffman isn’t joining them (though hopefully someone will have to back out and maybe he’ll be able to go). The positives are that both men are now two-time All Stars. Prince was the NL Starter back in 2007 at 1B and is a reserve this year. Braun became the first Milwaukee Brewer to be named as an All Star starter two consecutive years since some guy named Robin Yount back in ’82 & ’83. Sounds like impressive company to me.
Fielder will also be joining the three other National League first-basemen in the Home Run Derby on Monday, July 13th. For those of you that don’t know who they are, the four men are Fielder, Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard and Adrian Gonzalez. That should be one heckuva display as all four men have 20+ home runs so far in the regular season and Howard (the low man on that totem pole) is a past winner of the Derby.
Milwaukee’s own Happy Youngster will be in attendance at the Derby as well. Look for the yellow shirt in the first row behind the St. Louis bullpen (from what he told me at the ballpark last night, anyway).
I use this heading to talk about the following things:
1 – The Death of Dave Bush’s Beard. I will summarize this situation with one question: Was Dave Bush on the DL when his Beard was protecting him?
2 – The Rebirth of Manny Parra. Parra was sent to the minors sporting a 3-8 record and an ERA of 7.52. After putting together “quality” starts in four straight outings and five of six starts, Parra went on a run of futility that landed him in the minors. His ERA jumped nealry 2 runs in three starts. That’s a lot when you get to June. Parra allowed a lot of runs, though, in accomplishing that feat. In those three starts combined, Parra amassed a stat line reading; 0-2, 11.1 IP, 21 ER, 25 H, 7 BB, 9 K. That’s an ERA, over that span, of 16.68!!
Now, having said all that, Parra comes back to the Brewers to start his first game since June 13th at Miller Park when he lost to the Chicago White Sox. I think he’ll be fine so long as he stays relaxed. Even though he might be pitching for his position in the rotation in the 2nd “half” of the season, he can’t pitch that way.
3 – The Life of Roy Halladay Rumors. Lo and behold, Roy Halladay is on the block after all! Despite so many people saying that Halladay would never be moved this year, I told everyone that he was on the block. Sure, the Brewers might not end up with him, but it wasn’t that hard to see coming despite the good doctor having over a year left on his contract if you were paying close enough attention. Halladay does also possess a full no-trade clause basically allowing him to hand-pick his next team or to choose to stay with Toronto. However, once your name gets dangled out there as possible trade bait, and you’re a superstar (in talent if not in recognition outside of the AL East yet), you will be moved.
The Brewers have prospects that they could package together to get Halladay, of this there can be little doubt. It’s really just a matter of whether or not Doug Melvin is willing to part with them, further depleting a farm system that lost two top prospects to Cleveland in the deal that brought CC Sabathia (and a playoff berth) to the city of Milwaukee. Another potential option that would help save a piece from the farm system would be to package a current major leaguer in with prospects. Regardless of what the winning team ends up spending, they will gain easily the best pitcher available this season. No Jake Peavy or Cliff Lee or Javier Vazquez or Jarrod Washburn or Erik Bedard or anyone else would make the impact that Roy Halladay can and most assuredly will make on a contending team.
So, the question here becomes…
What Would You Be Willing to Trade for Roy Halladay?
Here is how I worded it a couple of days ago.
Halladay is under contract for the next season. If only we had a larger sample size on Casey McGehee. I’d like Gamel’s LH bat in the lineup going forward but with Rickie back next season, McGehee’s ABs will come at 3B. I would be willing to move Gamel. Point two: I’d personally rather move Hardy and hang on to Escobar as his immediate replacement. That said, the Jays would certainly rather have Escobar what with his better range, more speed and cheaper cost. I would be willing to move Escobar, but only if we’re able to sign Hardy to an extension. And pretty much any pitching prospect (with a couple of personal favorites excluded) would be fair game. Oh and feel encouraged to throw in a bat from last year like Canada’s own Lawrie if that gets the deal done.
I’ll go right ahead and close this down for tonight. There’s more I could talk about, but a hugely long post is usually a skipped over post.
So, good win tonight over the Cardinals. Glad Hoffman slammed the door shut. Let’s win a series tomorrow and then handle the Dodgers on our way to a nice three-day break for 23 of our 25-man roster.