Tagged: Doug Davis

Milwaukee Brewers Uniform Number History: #49

Wondering who wore a certain uniform number all-time for the Milwaukee Brewers?

The Brewer Nation has got you covered. If you found this list on its own, head back here for the full repository after checking out this one.

#49

George Lauzerique (’70)
Dick Ellsworth (’70-’71)
Floyd Weaver (’71)
Ray Newman (’72-’73)
Pat Osburn (’75)
Fred Holdsworth (’80)
Frank DiPino (’81-’82)
Tom Candiotti (’83-’84)
Teddy Higuera (’85-’94)
Rob Dibble (’95)
Mike Potts (’96)
Ron Villone (’96-’97)
David Weathers (’98-’01)
Kevin L. Brown (’01)
Jose Cabrera (’02)
Doug Davis (’03-’06)
Yovani Gallardo (’07-’14)

Milwaukee Brewers Uniform Number History: #25

Wondering who wore a certain uniform number all-time for the Milwaukee Brewers?

The Brewer Nation has got you covered. If you found this list on its own, head back here for the full repository after checking out this one.

#25

John Gelnar (’70-’71)
Bob Reynolds (’71)
Frank Linzy (’72-’73)
Bill Travers (’74-’80)
Reggie Cleveland (’81)
Bobby Clark (’84-’85)
Mark Clear (’86-’88)
Dave Engle (’89)
Ricky Bones (’92-’96)
Julio Franco (’97)
Jim Abbott (’99)
Raul Casanova (’00-’02)
Kevin Mench (’06)
David Bell (’06)
Mike Cameron (’08-’09)
Doug Davis (’10)
Mark Kotsay (’11)
Josh Prince (’13)
Juan Centeno (’15)
Michael Reed (’15)

Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers: #18 Shaun Marcum

It’s been a long off-season for baseball fans, made to feel somewhat longer here in the Midwest by mild temperatures that we normally don’t feel until the regular season is well underway.

The Brewers made their first League Championship Series since appearing in American League’s version back in the 1980s. That means the off-season is officially shorter for Brewers fans and players, but after falling two wins shy of the National League pennant and an appearance in the World Series it’s been a painful shortened time.

There isn’t anyone among us in Brewer Nation who can claim a longer or more painful off-season than that of Brewers starting pitcher, and subject of today’s profile:

Shaun Marcum.

Acquired during the preceding off-season for top prospect Brett Lawrie, plenty was expected of Shaun Michal Marcum before he ever put on a Milwaukee Brewers jersey.

After missing the entire 2009 season while a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, Marcum rebounded in 2010 and seemed healthy and effective enough in doing so.

Milwaukee was in desperate need of an upgrade to its rotation after suffering for years with the likes of Jeff Suppan, Braden Looper, Dave Bush and even a stunted comeback attempt by Doug Davis. Sure, Yovani Gallardo was doing well and free-agent pickup Randy Wolf was fine enough, though overmatched by trying to be the number two, but they needed more front-end talent.

The Toronto Blue Jays made Marcum available and Doug Melvin pulled the trigger on the straight-up swap. The reason for the cost was because Marcum is talented and showed himself to be healthy. This is the same guy that pitched Opening Day for the Blue Jays in 2010.

It was immediately apparent that the Brewers had acquired a new number two…well, at least until the Zack Greinke deal went down.

Marcum’s 2011 campaign almost didn’t start off with the team. He suffered through a bout of shoulder stiffness (the same as he’s going through right now in 2012) that nearly took him to the disabled list. He was able to get up to enough of a pitch count to be deemed ready-to-go out of the gate. With fellow import Greinke on the DL with a cracked rib, Marcum was even more necessary to start the season on the right foot.

He began the year with very good results and was arguably the team’s best pitcher for the first two months of the season. Who knows how long that level of play would have kept up and what kind of season numbers he could have posted if not for a hip injury suffered during interleague play prior to a start at Fenway Park on June 17.

It’s my opinion that Marcum wasn’t the same all season after that injury.

His numbers prior to the injury look like this:

14 GS, 7-2 record, 90.2 IP, 69 H, 29 R (27 ER), 2.68 ERA, 23 BB, 83 K, 7 HR, 1.02 WHIP

And his number post-injury (regular season only) were:

19 GS, 6-5 record, 110.0 IP, 106 H, 55 R (52 ER), 4.26 ERA, 34 BB, 75 K, 15 HR, 1.27 WHIP

Still, Marcum managed to start 33 games in 2011 (winning 13 of them), but the season caught up to him eventually.

Despite all his overtures to the contrary, it was pretty apparent that something was wrong with Shaun Marcum this past October. He says he wasn’t injured, and while that must be true, he certainly wasn’t effective.

Now, all players go through certain periods of worse success than “usual”. Marcum is no exception and he and his coaches claim that all the 2011 postseason struggles were a result of one of those periods of ineffectiveness.

Those postseason numbers were:

3 GS, 0-3 record, 9.2 IP, 17 H, 16 R (all earned), 14.90 ERA, 5 BB, 5 K, 3 HR, 2.28 WHIP

Yikes.

I’m no pro scout or manager or baseball coach, but my educated eye saw some things that just lended themselves to the idea that Marcum was worn down. It wasn’t like the if the season lasted another two months that Marcum was going to pull out of that funk along the way.

His innings total (200.2) in just the regular season was the highest of his career. He had pitched through a couple of injuries during the regular season, not to mention the shoulder stiffness that he opened the spring with. The aforementioned hip injury was bad enough, but exactly one month late, on July 17, during a spectacular defensive play on a ball bunted to his right, Marcum bounded off the mound and spun while underhanding a throw to first base. That resulted in an official neck strain and likely an unofficial sore shoulder.

All of those things added up to a pitcher being put through a lot over 33 starts. To me, all signs pointed to physical exhaustion which coupled with a resultant mental exhaustion in the playoffs leading to the results on the field which we all remember far too vividly.

Much of that will fade with time, helped especially by Opening Day which of course is 18 days away from the day I’m writing this.

What will really help Brewers fans get over it, though, would be a duplication of last year’s early success out of Marcum.

As of this writing, that’s currently in mild jeopardy as Marcum has not yet appeared in a Cactus League game. There is still enough time to get him a handful of starts, but he needs to be to a certain pitch-count-based level of endurance before being ready to pitch in a regular season game.

That notwithstanding, the path in 2012 for the 6’0”, 195 pound, 30-year-old right-hander from Kansas City, Missouri is a relatively clear one. When healthy, be that on Opening Day or shortly at a point thereafter, he’ll be in the starting rotation. He’ll look to make 30+ starts and help lead the Milwaukee Brewers on a successful defense of their National League Central Division title, complete with a return trip to the postseason. It’s just that when Marcum last takes the mound in 2012, he’ll be anticipating much different results.

Let’s hope that by then, as fans, we’ll be able to anticipate a positive outcome as well instead of being haunted by the memories of opportunities squandered.

Milwaukee Brewers on the Verge of 1,000 National League Wins

By: Big Rygg

When the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks entered the Major Leagues in 1998, there was a bit of a problem when it came to lining up the divisions and leagues. Prior to the expansion there happened to be 28 teams with 14 in each league. Forcing those counts into odd numbers for each league wasn’t going to work without either one team in each league sitting at all times or Interleague Play all the time.

Clearly, those options weren’t options at all and therefore a team had to switch leagues to make it work. The Milwaukee Brewers of the American League were the sacrificial lamb, so to speak, and made the transition from American League club to National League club to begin the 1998 season.

It has been a long and most times difficult journey in the National League for the Brewers. They broke into the National League with a 74-88 record and struggled for the majority of the next 10 years, only reaching a .500 or better mark once in their first eight years in the senior circuit. The only 100-plus loss season in franchise history (2002) has come since the move as well.

Recent history has been a bit more favorable to the Brewers’ fortunes (including a post-season appearance following the 2008 campaign) but the ultimate prize has escaped this franchise’s grasp.

All of the above leaves the Brewers to focus on other kinds of accomplishments, including one counting statistic of which they are on the precipice.

The Milwaukee Brewers are on the verge of their 1,000th victory as a National League entity. They’ve lost over 1,300 games since dropping the DH, so this will be a most welcome achievement.

In light of this forthcoming accomplishment, and with the prized offseason acquisition on the hill tonight in Florida shooting for it, I thought it would be fun to look back at the winning pitchers of the other round numbers in the team’s Win total history. Offered without commentary, please enjoy this look back at a few mentions of Milwaukee Brewers history.

Franchise NL Win #100: Hideo Nomo (recorded as the 26th Win of the 1999 season)
Franchise NL Win #200: Curt Leskanic (recorded as the 52nd Win of the 2000 season)
Franchise NL Win #300: Ray King (recorded as the 11th Win of the 2002 season)
Franchise NL Win #400: Matt Kinney (recorded as the 55th Win of the 2003 season)
Franchise NL Win #500: Doug Davis (recorded as the 20th Win of the 2005 season)
Franchise NL Win #600: Brian Shouse (recorded as the 39th Win of the 2006 season)
Franchise NL Win #700: Yovani Gallardo (recorded as the 64th Win of the 2007 season)
Franchise NL Win #800: Brian Shouse (recorded as the 81st Win of the 2008 season)
Franchise NL Win #900: Chris Narveson (recorded as the 11th Win of the 2010 season)

Davis Returns to Milwaukee

By: Big Rygg

To say you can’t go home again is to never have played professional sports. In the realm of Major League Baseball, in fact, it happens a lot. The Milwaukee Brewers have had a few examples of this over the years, most recently before today in the person of Craig Counsell.

Again, though, that was before today.

On Wednesday, January 20, 2010, the Milwaukee Brewers reacquired veteran LHP Doug Davis on a one-year contract complete with a mutual option for the 2011 season.

Davis, who spent the past three seasons in the desert following a trade to Arizona, returns to Milwaukee where he has a career record of 37-36. He brings with him a reputation for eating innings and hours by not being willing to give in when down in the count. He walks his fair share of hitters but keeps the hit totals in check as a general rule. His contract figure is a palatable $4.25MM (or $5.25MM depending on where you read it) base salary with $1MM available in attainable incentives. This works under the Brewers’ budget and is most likely why Davis was a primary target for GM Doug Melvin in the first place.

What Davis brings to the table more than anything else this time around is the generation of competition. Milwaukee now has six starters for five rotation spots. Davis, fellow free agent signee Randy Wolf and ace-in-the-making Yovani Gallardo are all assured of being in the rotation. However, Manny Parra, Dave Bush and everybody’s favorite whipping boy Jeff Suppan now all must earn their starting job…or at least let one of the other two blow their chance.

Addition by subtraction is clearly the added benefit to this signing. It ensures that 40% of the starting rotation from 2009 (the worst rotation in baseball at least in terms of combined ERA) will be swapped out with superior personnel.

Milwaukee missed the playoffs in 2009 after earning the National League’s Wild Card berth in 2008. After winning 90 games in 2008, the Brewers fell to just 80 victories despite a sufficient offense. With better pitching in place and an offense that returns largely intact or improved, 2010 has the potential to provide post-season play in Milwaukee once again.

Personally, I’m looking forward to that ride.

All- Decade Roster

By: Big Rygg

Here is my 25-man roster (complete with starters, batting order, rotation and bullpen assignments). We will be recording a podcast in the semi-near future to no doubt dissect this (and surely Cary will disagree with a few choices).

This roster was constructed with an eye on best players at positions, but also with an eye on making what could be a legitimate 25-man roster with capable bench players and not all closers in the bullpen, etc.

First will be the roster listed alphabetically by position with starters marked with an asterisk.

SP (5) – Jeff D’Amico, Doug Davis, Yovani Gallardo, CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets
RP (7) – Todd Coffey, Francisco Cordero, Chad Fox, Trevor Hoffman, Curt Leskanic, Brian Shouse, Bob Wickman
C (2) – Henry Blanco, Damian Miller*
INF (6) – Ryan Braun*, Russell Branyan, Craig Counsell, Prince Fielder*, Bill Hall*, Jose Hernandez*
OF (5) – Corey Hart, Geoff Jenkins*, Gabe Kapler, Carlos Lee*, Scott Podsednik*

My rotation shakes out as follows:

1 – Ben Sheets (as a nod to his longevity with the team)
2 – CC Sabathia (he was that dominant in his short stint)
3 – Yovani Gallardo (future ace would make an amazing #3 on this team)
4 – Doug Davis (long tenure, LHP, consistent numbers)
5 – Jeff D’Amico (very solid statistics despite only 33 starts with the Brewers)

The bullpen stacks up like this:

Closer – Trevor Hoffman (yes, only one season but an amazing season as closer)
Set up – Francisco Cordero (flame-thrower, closing experience in the 8th inning)
LOOGy – Brian Shouse (of top three including Mitch Stetter and Ray King, Shouse was best and most consistent)
Others in the bullpen would share back-up 8th inning and the short work

And for my batting order…

CF – Scott Podsednik
SS – Jose Hernandez
3B – Ryan Braun
1B – Prince Fielder
LF – Carlos Lee
RF – Geoff Jenkins
2B – Bill Hall
C – Damian Miller
PITCHER

I am more than happy to explain my selections for this roster and I will…on the podcast. Be sure to download it when you see the post telling you that it’s there.

Happy New Year. Happy New Decade.

How about a couple or several division championships this decade?

Quick Hops: Non-Tenders, Counsell, Rumors

By: Big Rygg

Plenty to talk about as I roll out a new title here. When I have several things to discuss and I choose to put them in one post instead of several, it’ll be called “Quick Hops” as I hop from topic to topic. Oh, and if you don’t know, hops are an ingredient in beer…and the team is the Brewers…I hope you’re following me.

Anyway, let’s get to it!

Non-Tender Choices Add Intrigue to Spring Training

The Milwaukee Brewers chose not to tender contracts to injured relief pitcher Mark DiFelice, pitcher Seth McClung and catcher Mike Rivera. This makes the three men free agents, able to sign a contract with any team. Feel free to skip the next two paragraphs if you understand the arbitration system and what the meaning of the non-tender is.

The system that is in place in Major League Baseball allows for a team to “control” a player for six seasons of service time (in the majority of cases). During the first three years of team control (again, in most cases) the team has 100% control over what they pay a player provided that the salary is at least as much as the league-mandated minimum. Typically teams negotiate salaries with players on a year-to-year basis anyway in an effort to involve the player in their money-dealings, but the team has the final say if they and the player cannot reach an accord. If that happens, then the team “renews” the player’s contract at whatever number they deem fair. This can upset players greatly if they feel they outperformed a certain level of pay with their level of play. Prince Fielder is the Brewers’ most recent example of that situation when, after becoming the youngest player in the history of the league to slug 50 home runs in a single season, he felt he was deserving of much more than the contract that he was offered. The two sides couldn’t reach an agreement, so the team renewed Fielder’s contract at a rate that was in line with their team’s pay scale for non-arbitration eligible players.

Being eligible for arbitration is what leads to the non-tendering of contracts if it’s going to happen. When a player becomes eligible for arbitration, salary is no longer completely up to the team. There are a lot of details that I could bore you with, but the basics are that the team and player negotiate to reach a salary for the upcoming year. If the two sides cannot agree on a number by a certain, pre-determined date then they exchange figures. These figures are those that they will submit to a salary arbiter before the season begins. Arbitration hearings are scheduled over a few days in the spring. The team and player can continue to negotiate up to the beginning of the hearing to reach an agreement. If they do, great. The player signs the contract and plays under its terms. If they don’t, a three-member arbitration panel hears the case and chooses one of the figures the sides submitted several weeks prior. (To note: During Doug Melvin’s tenure as General Manager of the Brewers, no player has gone to a hearing.)

Now, the reason that arbitration eligibility can lead to a non-tender is because the contracts a player gets go up in value significantly during arbitration. The jump in salary in the first year of eligibility is often a multi-million dollar one. What’s more, is that arbitration salaries are often influenced simply by service time itself more so than performance. For example, former Brewer J.J. Hardy made around $4MM in 2009. His 2009 season was terrible. It was terrible statistically and it was terrible peripherally. Hardy is not worthy of even the same salary let alone an increase in salary. However, with the system that’s in place, it is an unbelievable rarity that a player’s salary goes lower.

To summarize this entire Hop, allow me to say this: While Mark DiFelice was non-tendered under the rare case where he wasn’t arbitration eligible (he had shoulder surgery which will most likely cost him his entire 2010 season), the increases in salary that McClung and Rivera (who is eligible for arbitration for the first time) stand to receive are more than the Brewers want to pay for those positions for next year. McClung might have been a combination of high-salary/low-performance with the adding of LaTroy Hawkins and needed a spot on the 40-man roster for him, but most likely they could’ve kept McClung anyway with the injury to DiFelice. As for Mike Rivera, the Brewers are finally able to move on from the career backup. Rivera has been a servicable backup backstop during his time with this franchise however he has never been the future at the catcher position. The Brewers knew this when Damian Miller retired and they brought in Jason Kendall for the last two years with Rivera backing him up. Finally, however, the Brewers feel that they have talent at the position in the minor leagues such that they can promote from within and, with a season or two of tutelage at the Major League level, have a home-grown starting catcher for the first time since Mike Matheny.

This should make for a fun battle to watch during Spring Training. The Brewers have two catchers that might be ready to make the jump. Angel Salome has been the most talked about catching prospect in the system for a couple of years now, especially when he put up such gaudy offensive numbers as part of that stacked AA Huntsville club from two seasons ago that included Alcides Escobar, Mat Gamel, Matt LaPorta and others. He was the starting catcher for AAA Nashville last year. The catching prospect that has gotten the most talk lately, howevere, has been Jonathan Lucroy who was the starting catcher for Huntsville in 2009. The consensus seems to be that Lucroy might be more ready for the big leagues now with his better plate discipline and what not, but that Salome’s ceiling might still be higher. The Brewers did also claim George Kottaras on waivers early in the off-season as well, so if both youngsters are unable to show anything in spring training that wins them the job, Kottaras might end up being the defacto big league backup while the kids get some more seasoning down on the farm.

Any way it ends up, it ought to be a fun ride. Stay tuned.

The Craigger Set to Stay Put, Announcement to Come Monday?

Monday is shaping up to be a big day for Doug Melvin’s staff. The reports from Indianapolis at the Winter Meetings this past Monday through Thursday were that free-agent pitcher Randy Wolf would be announced to the media as the Brewers’ latest acquisition this coming Monday after passing his required physical examination.

The Brewers, though, just might have two names to announce on Monday. While free-agent signee LaTroy Hawkins was rumored to be announced this coming Tuesday, veteran infielder and team leader Craig Counsell has reportedly agreed to stay in Milwaukee for what might be the balance of his career.

I couldn’t be happier about this move. Even if Counsell doesn’t duplicate his offensive production from 2009, his ability to play three infield positions very well defensively is a huge asset to this team. With inexperienced (at the major league level) starters at SS and 3B in Escobar and Casey McGehee respectively along with Rickie Weeks one bat waggle away from season-ending surgery, having Counsell to spell all three positions is as invaluable for 2010 as having him has proven to be over the past couple of years as well.

Welcome back, Craigger! The Brewer Nation is glad you never left.

Rumor Burner Stays Warm on Hot Stove

Doug Melvin has made no bones about his desire to add two starting pitchers during this off-season. Signing Randy Wolf to a free agent contract gives him one. Where the second one comes from has been a matter of some opinion.

There are still plenty of free agents on the market to be sure. Given the Brewers’ projected payroll, some of them are out of the team’s price range. However, there are several that can be had for a reasonable rate that have great chances to put up better numbers than most members of the Crew’s 2009 starting rotation. In this realm, names like Doug Davis, Jon Garland, Erik Bedard, Justin Duchscherer, Wisconsin-native Jarrod Washburn and the recently non-tendered Chien-Mien Wang to name a few.

Pulling off a trade is another possibility that is open to Melvin et al. The Brewers still have a handful of trade chips that they can deal to interested teams to get a starting pitcher in return. It’s all about making something work for all teams involved. The biggest rumor that has been floating around since the Winter Meetings is a trade involving the New York Mets which would send Corey Hart to the Big Apple in exchange for John Maine. This makes sense for a couple of different reasons for both teams, but the biggest thing for Milwaukee’s point of view is that it gets us another starting pitcher. It also relieves us of Corey Hart and his waning value. He performed poorly last year but has had recent success and could still have plenty of upside. Maine has worked with new Brewer pitching coach Rick Peterson before when Peterson was in the same role with the Mets. The pairing led to Maine’s best season as a pro so it’s reasonable that it could produce positive results should the two be reunited in Milwaukee.

The Brewers are rumored to be preparing for this possible trade by readying offers to a handful of right fielders. They haven’t offered contracts to any of them yet, of course, because Corey Hart is still on the roster and would start in right field is no move is made. However, I have been told that guys such as Austin Kearns, Xavier Nady and recent 2009 Brewer Frank Catalanotto (who has one of the best batter walkup tunes EVER!). It’ll be interesting to see if the Brewers need to make an offer to one of these players or to another outfielder altogether. Even if they keep Hart, they carried five outfielders for the majority of 2009 and they currently only have four on the 25-man roster in Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun, Jody Gerut and Hart.

Whether a trade or signing is next on the horizon for this team remains to be seen, but the Hot Stove League shouldn’t cool down for Milwaukee for a bit yet.

Just an FYI here to finish things up, the next Brewer Nation podcast with yours truly and Cary Kostka should be recorded at some point this month, schedules permitting. We’ll definitely keep you posted though here at the blog so come back often and thanks for your continued (or brand new) readership!