Tagged: Alex Gonzalez

Multiple Roster Transactions

Send Minor League Pitcher Thomas Keeling to the Braves

—– Infielder Alex Gonzalez Released; Infielder Scooter Gennett Recalled; Pitcher Mike Fiers Optioned —– 

The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired third baseman Juan Francisco from Atlanta for left-handed minor-league pitcher Thomas Keeling.  The announcement was made by President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin.

Francisco, 25, is a career .254 hitter with 19 HR and 77 RBI in 209 games with Cincinnati (2009-11) and Atlanta (2012-13).  He batted .241 (26-for-108) with 5 HR and 16 RBI in 35 games this season with the Braves, making 31 starts (29g at 3B, 2g at DH).  He was designated for assignment on May 30.  Francisco will wear uniform #21 and is expected to report to the team tomorrow.

Keeling, 25, was selected by Milwaukee in the 18th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.  He was 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA and 1 save in 17 relief appearances at Double-A Huntsville this season.

In other transactions, the team has asked for waivers for the purpose of the unconditional release on infielder Alex Gonzalez, who batted .177 (20-for-113) with 1 HR and 8 RBI in 41 games this season with the Brewers, making 27 starts (16g at 1B, 9g at 3B, 2g at SS).  In addition, second baseman Scooter Gennett has been recalled from Triple-A Nashville (50g, .297, 1hr, 13rbi, 8sb).  He will make his Major League debut and wear uniform #2.  To make room for Gennett on the 25-man roster, right-handed pitcher Mike Fiers was optioned to Nashville.

A Series of Unfortunate At-Bats

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Milwaukee – (That’s how I start these things, right?)

Tonight at Miller Park, the Milwaukee Brewers hosted the NL Central Division-leading St. Louis Cardinals in the first of a four-game set.

The third inning was particularly hospitable to the redbirds as they brought 11 men to the plate and scored six times. It was a rough and often unlucky inning for Wily Peralta who broke multiple bats, and was blooped, flared, and papercut to death by the Cards. There were a couple of hard hit balls as well but the majority of safe strokes would qualify for the “Punch & Judy” Hall of Fame. The six runs that the Cardinals scored in the inning would be all they got for the night, which added even more to the feelings of frustration.

After the game, Roenicke talked about the troublesome inning for Peralta.

“You see weird things and it’s not always fair,” said Roenicke. “(Peralta was) okay. It was definitely not as bad as what those numbers look like.”

As for Peralta’s repertoire, Roenicke admitted that, “his offspeed stuff wasn’t as sharp as I think he needs to get it to. He needs to be able to throw a slider for a strike when he needs to and he needs to be able to bounce it when he needs to. His change ups he’s got to mix in more. His sinker is still really good. I thought it was down most of the night.”

Peralta would eventually get out of the third and pitch into the fifth before putting two on in the fifth. Alfredo Figaro entered and only allowed one hit over the next 2.2 innings.

Peralta for his part understood that he made a bunch of good pitches in the third inning getting a couple of broken bats and suffering several weak hits but that it was obviously the difference in the game.

“This inning (was) the difference in the game”, said Peralta. He said it was particularly upsetting to give up so many consecutive hits with two outs.

He credited the bullpen for allowing the offense a chance to win. “The bullpen did a good job and (held) there.”

As for St. Louis, Jake Westbrook did what Jake Westbrook does on the mound and allowed some baserunners, but only three consecutive fourth inning singles from Weeks, Gomez, and Maldonado were able to scratch a run across off of the Cardinal veteran.

Luckily, “veteran” in this case also means “old” and Westbrook was lifted after 6.0 innings pitched for Joe Kelly. All Kelly did was get charged with two runs in 0.2 IP (raising the 8.31 ERA he entered the game with), and force Cardinal manager Mike Matheny to call on Mitchell Boggs. The new right-hander walked two — the first loaded the bases, the second scored the second run off Kelly — without recording an out. Matheny had to go get Trevor Rosenthal then who struck out Martin Maldonado to end the threat.

Tom Gorzelanny continued the quality work out of the bullpen this evening with a quick and clean 8th inning.

Rosenthal stayed in for the 8th inning. He got the scuffling Alex Gonzalez to pop out in foul territory to Yadier Molina, but then Blake Lalli scalded one what had to be a good 25 feet between a bewildered Molina and Rosenthal. Norichika Aoki reached on an error with one down, but resident hero Jean Segura could not come through on this night as he struck out swinging, chasing a high fastball.

That brought Ryan Braun to the plate as the new tying run, and he singled up the middle to plate Lalli and put Aoki on third. The legend of Yuni B 2013 took a hit though as he struck out swinging to end the inning. Still, that made the score 6-4 in favor of the Cardinals heading to the 9th.

The 9th saw Burke Badenhop get Carlos Beltran to bounce back to him, strike out Matt Holliday, and break the bat of Allen Craig on a soft liner to Segura.

The last of the ninth, and the game, belonged to Edward Mujica and the Cardinals though. Weeks attempted to cut the lead in half but his deep drive to RF was hit about 30 feet too far left. Gomez singled and eventually would steal second. After Maldonado struck out looking, Gonzalez came through with an RBI single to CF.

That allowed Ron Roenicke to send up Jonathan Lucroy to pinch-hit. Unfortunately, Lucroy would strike out to end the game with the Brewers falling a run short.

After the game, Josh Prince was optioned down to the Nashville Sounds where he will get a chance to play every day. He admitted that at least a part of him was excited to play regularly again.

“That’s what I love to do is play the game. But there’s no better place to play than (the big leagues).”

Prince will work defensively at multiple positions in preparation for his eventual return.

The move opens up a spot on the roster for the returning Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez will rejoin the team officially on Friday and be active for that evening’s game.

Rumor Mill: This One Makes Some Sense, But…

Let’s get to the point because you’ve all been patient while I waited for my son to go to sleep on his 3rd birthday before sitting down long enough to actually blog.

From the same source that allowed me to be the first to bring you the news that the Brewers were talking contract with Francisco Rodriguez, comes this little nugget.

First, the quick disclaimer…

This happened. I am in no way saying that anything else happened yet. I’m not guaranteeing that it will lead anywhere at all. I’ll tell you what happened and where I think it could lead and why, but I am not saying that my source told me reasons around this rumor at all.

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All that was passed along to me was, and I quote…

“Yankees inquired about Gonzalez.”

I asked which one and was told, “Alex”.

So there you have it. The Yankees, who aren’t expected to welcome Derek Jeter back to the lineup until around the All-Star break, are exploring at least one option to bolster their depth chart at the shortstop position.

If I were Brian Cashman, I certainly wouldn’t very happy with Jayson Nyx (misspelled on purpose) as my primary infield back up. Gonzalez has shown his newly-added defensive versatility as well which could be very enticing to Cashman as a cheap upgrade.

Be honest, at this point it probably wouldn’t cost a whole lot to acquire Gonzalez from the Brewers. He’s playing out of necessity more so than because he’s playing particularly well.

Still, even though an initial inquiry was made, this doesn’t feel like something that would happen until, at the absolute soonest, Jeff Bianchi or Aramis Ramirez was ready to come off of the disabled list.

I have no idea what Alex Gonzalez would fetch in return at this point, but that’s why I’m not working in a front office. Also, I have no concept of low-to-mid-level minor leaguers in the Yankees system.

That all being said, I have no knowledge of what if anything was said as a reply by the Brewers.

Still, I wanted to pass this along tonight. So, what do you think? Would you? Why wouldn’t you?

Brewers Announce Opening Day Roster

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Following today’s final exhibition game (a victory over the Chicago White Sox), the Milwaukee Brewers announced their 25-man roster for Opening Day.

Here is the breakdown by position.

Pitchers (13)

  • John Axford
  • Burke Badenhop
  • Marco Estrada
  • Mike Fiers
  • Alfredo Figaro
  • Yovani Gallardo
  • Michael Gonzalez
  • Tom Gorzelanny
  • Jim Henderson
  • Brandon Kintzler
  • Kyle Lohse
  • Chris Narveson
  • Wily Peralta

Catchers (2)

  • Jonathan Lucroy
  • Martin Maldonado

Infielders (5)

  • Alex Gonzalez
  • Yuniesky Betancourt
  • Aramis Ramirez
  • Jean Segura
  • Rickie Weeks

Outfielders (5)

  • Norichika Aoki
  • Ryan Braun
  • Khris Davis
  • Carlos Gomez
  • Logan Schafer

The Brewers will also be carrying four (4) players on the big league 15-day disabled list to begin the season (Jeff Bianchi, Taylor Green, Corey Hart, Mark Rogers) and one (1) on the 60-day DL (Mat Gamel).

Special congratulations go out to Alfredo Figaro, Mike Fiers, Jim Henderson, Jean Segura, Khris Davis, Wily Peralta, Martin Maldonado, and Logan Schafer who are all making their first Opening Day MLB roster!

Latest Brewer Nation Podcast Available for Download!

Recorded last night over dinner and during a fantasy baseball draft, my podcast partner Cary Kostka and I get you ready for Opening Day!

We discuss the 25-man roster projection, lineup for Opening Day, rotation, Kyle Lohse, Yuniesky Betancourt and more!

Click here to download the podcast: Brewer Nation Podcast – 2013 Opening Day Preparedness

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Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers – #11 Alex Gonzalez

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We’re down to 11 days before Opening Day at Miller Park on April 1st. There are just a Marcus-Hanel-sized handful of profiles remaining in this year’s “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” countdown series.

Today’s profile has a short back story on a personal level which you might not care about, but since you’re already here I’m going to share it.

I make a list at the beginning of the series to keep track of which profiles I’ve already done along with having the spreadsheet calculate the days for me so I know I’m not miscounting along the way. Well, when I was putting 2013’s list together I started by copying last year’s list, changed Opening Day, and then deleted players who were no longer on the team. Kameron Loe, Francisco Rodriguez, Manny Parra, Shaun Marcum, Cesar Izturis, Zack Greinke, Nyjer Morgan, George Kottaras, and more…they all fell to the delete key. The thing was, I never did delete the name next to #11 on the list.

That of course would be today’s profile subject…

Alex Gonzalez.

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What a difference a year — more or less — makes.

With 11 days to go before Opening Day in 2012, I was touting the defensive mastery of the Milwaukee Brewers’ new starting shortstop. I was trumpeting not only the departure of Yuniesky Betancourt, but more so that a superior player was coming to the team in his place. A player touted by veteran broadcaster Jim Powell as the best defensive shortstop he’d ever seen play on a daily basis.

It was truly a great day to focus on a good acquisition.

Then May 5th happened. Alex Gonzalez slid late into second base and his knee buckled under the pressure of the impact. Torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and his season was over. He rehabbed following surgery and even sat in the dugout for a few games in September late last year, but never played again for the Brewers before his contract expired. He wanted a starting shortstop job but couldn’t find one so he eventually agreed to come back to the Brewers to presumably back up Jean Segura at shortstop.

That wouldn’t be nearly enough change. No, instead Gonzalez is not only the primary backup at short, but will also be expected to play second base and third base at times throughout the year. Furthermore, Gonzalez could very well be the primary starter at an infield position, but instead of shortstop, we’re now talking about first base.

First base, a position which isn’t quite as easy as many casual observers would have you believe, and a position which Alex Gonzalez has never played in his entire, long MLB career.

To watch Gonzalez defensively though, that same casual observer would be hard-pressed to identify flaws in Gonzalez’ game at his new primary, if short-term, position. He has been stretching well on throws, picking up the footwork far more quickly than Mat Gamel did over there, and has been demonstrating an understanding of the nuance of the position like where to be on cutoff throws and the like.

Last year, Gonzalez came to camp with a defensive reputation and offensive question marks. “Could he hit enough?” “Would he hit better than his career averages because of Miller Park?” The sample size was too small to know for sure, but the amount of pop in his bat surprised many fans. Yeah, he’ll strike out a lot and not walk much, but his role at the plate over the next few weeks will be that of run producer, not table setter. I think he’ll be just fine.

And the Brewers could use a little bit of “just fine” instead of more injuries.

 

Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point: