NL Central Links: Matheny, Little, Fielder

Earlier tonight, the Cardinals hired Mike Matheny as their new manager, despite the fact that he's never managed at any professional level. Here's some more on that and other news from around the NL Central:

  • Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com calls it a "fascinating hire"and a tough job for Matheny to follow a legend that went out with a title. Knobler also wonders if the Cardinals will hire an experienced bench coach for their rookie manager, something the White Sox didn't do with Robin Ventura (Twitter links).
  • Former Red Sox and Dodgers manager Grady Little is an possible candidate for such a role, tweets Knobler.
  • Matthew Leach of MLB.com tweets that he hasn't covered a player in the last 10 seasons who was "better-regarded by EVERYONE" than Matheny.
  • The Brewers' financial situation has changed drastically since the club offered Prince Fielder a five-year, $100MM extension in the spring of 2010, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Several players have been extended or traded for since then, and a big salary for Fielder no longer makes sense. Haudricourt says some in the organization feel it's time to let Mat Gamel have a shot at first base. The 26-year-old hit .310/.372/.540 with 28 homers in Triple-A last year.


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45 Comments on "NL Central Links: Matheny, Little, Fielder"


hscphillyboy
3 years 9 months ago

Hey Brew Crew…..Good luck with that one…….

mauerfan
3 years 9 months ago

Mat Gamel, LOL.

SunsetStripper
3 years 9 months ago

He had a nice year at AAA this year and he’s never been given a shot at an every day job.  Not every team can buy $100 million dollar players at every position.  By the way mauerfan, hows that $180 million contract for Joe Mauer looking?  Talk about an overpay and a waste of money.

3 years 9 months ago

I think this is the right move for the Brewers. You never know what someone will do once they get to the bigs…better to give him a shot than to pay Fielder ridiculous money.

5_tool_MiLB_fool
3 years 9 months ago

Gamel has reached the bigs 4 times now, and his line sits at 222/309/374 in 194 PAs of those stints

3 years 9 months ago

My bad didn’t know that. You’re right then, he probably is a AAAA.

3 years 9 months ago

My bad didn’t know that. You’re right then, he probably is a AAAA.

bomberj11
3 years 9 months ago

Dustin Pedroia had a terrible first month in his rookie year. The Red Sox for whatever reason decided to stick with him and look where he’s ended up. 

bomberj11
3 years 9 months ago

Although now that I think about it Brandon Wood comes to mind as an almost exact comparison… 

3 years 9 months ago

I dont think that Gamel is the answer at first. I think they should put hart there (he seems to be getting slower and slower) and sign an outfielder. Gamel could play third if need be, since we have all seen what McGhee does anytime he isnt playing the cubs.

5_tool_MiLB_fool
3 years 9 months ago

Gamel has reached the bigs 4 times now, and his line sits at 222/309/374 in 194 PAs of those stints

Pete
3 years 9 months ago

Matheny definitely rivals Sean Casey in terms of being universally respected, but is that going to translate into making the right in-game moves? Hiring people with zero experience is pretty insulting to those who have gone through the minors waiting for a shot, I have no idea why teams do this. I’m almost 100% sure there are at least a dozen minor league managers that would do a better job than Matheny or Ventura will this coming year.

MetsMagic
3 years 9 months ago

You’re not 100% sure of anything, teams don’t worry about being fair to other guys, they hire who they think will be best for the job. Matheny was a catcher, which is the closest thing to an on-field manager as you can get. 

stl_cards16
3 years 9 months ago

I have no worries about Matheny.  This is a great baseball mind that was pretty much a manager on the field during his years in St. Louis.  I love the hire.  Why go after a guy just because everyone else thinks he would be a good manager?  I would much rather my team go down with a manager they hired because they thought he would be good than go down with a manager because the public thought he was the right hire.

Dave
3 years 9 months ago

There may be two dozen guys hanging out in the minor leagues, but don’t you wonder why those guys don’t get a shot more often? 

Joe Girardi proved you don’t need any managing experience to take over a team and do good things.   I think when you get a guy who does that, a lot of teams want to emulate that.   Matheny’s a cheap experiment.  He succeeds and it’s a great story.  He doesn’t and clearly he wasn’t ready for a ML top job and that’s that.   Find someone better whenever management gets tired of losing, if that happens.  

I think he’ll be more than fine though and probably has a decent shot at the playoffs if Pujols is back or if they spend Pujols’s 30m on a couple of very smart buys instead.  He inherits a pretty good team after all, it’s not like he’s going to manage the worst team in the NL.  

stl_cards16
3 years 9 months ago

Also, especially if Albert is back, this team has such a veteran clubhouse there isn’t much to worry about besides the on the field stuff.  You don’t have to worry about beer and chicken in the clubhouse or anything like that.  The vets run this team.  Just pinch-hit at the right time and manage the bullpen well.  It’s really that simple in St. Louis.

3 years 9 months ago

If it were that simple, they could find someone to do it for $30,000.00…….. There is nothing simple about managing a Major League baseball team. Nothing.

stl_cards16
3 years 9 months ago

I’m sure they could find many people to do it for 30k. I’m not trying to say a manager means nothing but if you have a good team it doesn’t take a special manager to lead them. Matheny will be fine.

Redbirds16
3 years 9 months ago

“It’s really that simple in St. Louis.”

I’d say it’s even easier than that.

Not only are the veteran players on the team quality leaders, the majority of the coaching staff will likely stay. Duncan will be back almost certainly. Mac will probably be back. Aldrete will be back if he’s not offered a full coaching position elsewhere. Oquendo said he’d come back regardless of whether or not he got the promotion.

gradylittle
3 years 9 months ago

Bench Coach? pshhhht.

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 9 months ago

Am I the only one that got confused with seeing “Little” and “Fielder” beside each other?

3 years 9 months ago

I didn’t see the comma lol…I thought he had a kid.

3 years 9 months ago

If Grady Little gets a job with the Cardinals and the Orioles don’t even bother to interview him. I am going to be annoyed. Little was a minor league coach for the O’s a long time ago, early 80’s. Duquette named him manager of the Red Sox in 2002. I will blame both Showalter and Duquette for not paying attention to what the market is doing!

3 years 9 months ago

God forbid we don’t hire Grady Little

3 years 9 months ago

Well at least he’s a known quantity! Who do you propose?

3 years 9 months ago

Haha I’m just giving you a hard time.  I’d love Bordick but odds are he won’t want to be on the road that much.  I don’t really have a preference beyond him.

5_tool_MiLB_fool
3 years 9 months ago

“The 26-year-old hit .310/.372/.540 with 28 homers in Triple-A last year.”
OBVIOUS AAAA PLAYER ITS OBVIOUS 

3 years 9 months ago

Why do you say that?

brewersfan729
3 years 9 months ago

Because he couldn’t beat out Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Corey Hart for a starting position.  It’s obvious he sucks!

3 years 9 months ago

I’ll say that i’m not familiar with Gamel, but those are pretty nice numbers.

I’m a Rangers fan and we had a AAAA player in Chris Davis who hit over .400 in AAA, but couldn’t translate it to the bigs.
Then we gave Mitch Moreland a shot who we drafted in the 17th round of ’07, and who only had a partial season in AAA. He only batted .289 and had 12 HRs in 353 at bats. When we brought him up he was way better than we’d thought he would be. He would have had a great season if he hadn’t had to battel a wrist injury for half the season.

Point is you don’t know what people are going to end up doing. Correct me if i’m wrong, but wasn’t Pujols a 13th rounder? I bet 29 teams would like to have a re-do of that draft.

5_tool_MiLB_fool
3 years 9 months ago

you are all irrelevant and missing the point. Every guy who puts up numbers like those in his mid 20’s in AAA *esp PCL* (you look for that 25 year old hitting around 300/380/520) is ALWAYS a AAAA player. ALWAYS. I have seen it happen too many times before. Just look at his MLB stats in all of his short stints. I see poor numbers all over the map. On the flip side, when Gaby Sanchez was awarded the Marlins starting job, I was saying the exact same thing, and hes turned out to be JUST AVERAGE

And Pujols isn’t a fair comparison to Gamel because even though Pujols was drafted very late, he was destroying the upper minors in his very early 20’s

3 years 9 months ago

“And Pujols isn’t a fair comparison to Gamel because even though Pujols was drafted very late, he was destroying the upper minors in his very early 20’s”

Pujols played one yr of minor league ball: .314/.378/.543 19hrs 96rbi.

It took me one minute to refute your claim. Gamel is a good option.

5_tool_MiLB_fool
3 years 9 months ago

Still being an irrelevant Gamel fanboy. Pujols was 5 years younger when he put up those numbers in his first and only minor league year. Gamel has had 7 years in the minors and is now 25. When a guy has spent that long in the minors and in his 7th year he puts up pretty good but not spectacular numbers at AAA, he is one with the AAAA

5_tool_MiLB_fool
3 years 9 months ago

Still being an irrelevant Gamel fanboy. Pujols was 5 years younger when he put up those numbers in his first and only minor league year. Gamel has had 7 years in the minors and is now 25. When a guy has spent that long in the minors and in his 7th year he puts up pretty good but not spectacular numbers at AAA, he is one with the AAAA

3 years 9 months ago

“And Pujols isn’t a fair comparison to Gamel because even though Pujols was drafted very late, he was destroying the upper minors in his very early 20’s”

Pujols played one yr of minor league ball: .314/.378/.543 19hrs 96rbi.

It took me one minute to refute your claim. Gamel is a good option.

3 years 9 months ago

You’re right about Pujols. I got caught up in the moment on my rant lol.

I see your point, but letting him have a shot is the Brewers best option.

5_tool_MiLB_fool
3 years 9 months ago

I realize too that he is essentially their only option, and his true AAAA uniform will show and everyone arguing with me will see. Those arguing should tune back in with me in June of 2012 if he isn’t demoted or released by then.

3 years 9 months ago

You’re right about Pujols. I got caught up in the moment on my rant lol.

I see your point, but letting him have a shot is the Brewers best option.

sourbob
3 years 9 months ago

Yup. Always a AAAA player. Like Nelson Cruz, right? Total AAAA player.

A good way to insure you’re going to end up looking like a dope is to be insistent about words like “always” and “never.” Baseball is a funny game. Not much place for those words.

bigpat
3 years 9 months ago

Hitting washed up journeyman pitchers in AAA has no bearing on how a guy will play in the majors. Not proven or anything but it’s just my opinion. It would have to get kinda boring and take it’s toll on a player to play there year after year and not really get solid  PT in the majors. I believe AA is more challenging, and AAA is just for a brief seasoning but I’m no scout.

5_tool_MiLB_fool
3 years 9 months ago

Arguments aside, this is going to be a mediocre lineup for milwaukee:

1. Morgan
2. Weeks
3. Braun
4. Hart
5. McGehee 
6. Lucroy
7. Gamel
8. SS unkown *Reyes would give huge boost to leadoff spot*

Flharfh
3 years 9 months ago

Not as bad as you make it sound. Last year, the Brewers got pretty much zero production out of SS (Yuni) and 3B (McGhee). Sure they’ll lost some at 1B, but they should gain with the addition of an above-replacement shortstop and either a rebound year for McGhee (.249 babip in 2011) or a full season of Taylor Green. McGhee’s leash will be MUCH shorter in 2012, or at least it should be.

And I’m not even taking into account the huge defensive boost they’ll get from replacing Yuni and Fielder.

Flharfh
3 years 9 months ago

Not as bad as you make it sound. Last year, the Brewers got pretty much zero production out of SS (Yuni) and 3B (McGhee). Sure they’ll lost some at 1B, but they should gain with the addition of an above-replacement shortstop and either a rebound year for McGhee (.249 babip in 2011) or a full season of Taylor Green. McGhee’s leash will be MUCH shorter in 2012, or at least it should be.

And I’m not even taking into account the huge defensive boost they’ll get from replacing Yuni and Fielder.

3 years 9 months ago

Mark Parent (White Sox bench coach) may not have ML bench coaching  experience but he was thought of very highly as a manager in the minors, winning a manager of the year award and high acclaim by Baseball America. So it’s not like they hired some chump. 

3 years 9 months ago

Who is Tony Hush????