The injury-riddled Brewers may have suffered another knock today when Matt Garza was removed from today’s 9-3 loss to the Cardinals. Garza suffered a bruised right thumb while batting in the top half of the fourth inning, and came out of the game after facing one batter in the bottom of the fourth. With Ryan Braun, Jean Segura, Aramis Ramirez and now Garza all facing nagging injuries and the bullpen piling up appearances, some roster moves may be in order for the Crew, as you’ll read in this edition of Brewers Notes…
- Rule 5 draft pick Wei-Chung Wang could be the odd man out if the club calls up a fresh bullpen arm, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Wang has a 15.00 ERA over six innings of work, and he made only his fourth appearance of the season in today’s game. Manager Ron Roenicke hinted that his club wouldn’t put a player on the DL in order to call up a reliever, though that didn’t necessarily mean they were giving up on Wang. The Brewers would have to offer Wang back to the Pirates for $25K if he isn’t on Milwaukee’s 25-man roster for the entire season.
- Francisco Rodriguez always had a return to the Brewers on his mind when testing the free agent market last winter, the closer tells MLB.com’s Tracy Ringolsby. “I had two or three offers before the Brewers, but I told my agent to wait and see what the Brewers decided to do,” Rodriguez said. “As soon as their offer came, I said, ’I want to take it. It’s where I want to be.’ “
- Despite today’s loss, the Brewers still have the best record in baseball at 20-8, and Grantland’s Jonah Keri examines how the club has rebounded from a poor 2013 thanks to better health and improvement in virtually all areas. GM Doug Melvin cited the Brewers’ core of young talent getting a chance to play last season as a big reason why this year’s club has gotten off to such a strong start.
An injured Garza and giving the boot to Wang could easily be two bonuses. Garza isnt doing that good and Thornburg could do better than him.(Also I don’t think he is suppose to miss a start)
And Wang…let’s be honest Reonicke only puts him in if he wants to be losing by more. He won’t be around much longer.
Regardless neither loss is that concerning.
I don’t think Thornburg could do better over a whole season. Maybe he could, but he has trouble getting a downward plane on his pitches and his velo would drop a couple mph as a starter. It doesn’t matter though, because it’s likely they call up a starter from AAA if Garza were to go on the DL. It doesn’t seem like that will happen either.
Yah good chance Mike Fiers is the next man up. He has struck out 10 in 3 starts in a row.
Could be. I think Garza won’t miss a start though. Not yet anyway. Right now I kind of expect Wang to exit and Wooten to get the call up.
I could see Wooten so they can keep Fiers stretched out for a more pronged starter injury.
Obviously you didn’t see his starts last year which were terrific. When he starts he uses his plus changeup more. His fastball velocity was down more so by design and it resulted in more movement. Long term the plan is for him to start. If they need a guy to fill in for a few, it will undoubtedly be Fiers who’s found his form from two years ago.
I did see him start. He was good. His HR/9 was unsustainable. I don’t dislike Thornburg. I just think he can either be a lights out reliever or a back-end starter. Brewers have other guys that can probably fill out the back end of the rotation better.
The Brewers have been one of MLB’s major surprises this season and if early indications hold true, they appear to be destined to be a play-off team. Not too many play-off teams play with 24 MLB players and a truly not-yet ready minor leaguer. Despite the potential, Wang is not close to being an asset this season and needs to leave…
Remind me what the benefits of having pitchers hit are again?
Some people like it because then it forces teams to more utilize their benches and use pinch hitters for the pitcher spot. Personally I don’t like it because you are looking at 500 pa a year that the pitcher is taking up, and most pitchers are useless with the bat.
I’ve never really understood why people think that utilizing your bench is so exciting. Who wants to see bench players come in to sub for an even worse hitter?
People who like the thinking behind managing a game.
There’s plenty of managing that goes on with a close game in later innings in the AL if you’re thinking about pinch runners or lefty/righty matchups. Sure there’s no double switch, but you also don’t have to watch the pitcher hit.
I don’t mind the pitcher hitting. They aren’t the guarantee out people make them out to be and I enjoy small ball. Bunting runners over etc.
It obviously has nothing to do with the actual hitting. I find the strategy involved to be interesting. Do you pull your pitcher in the bottom of the seventh because you’re down 2-1, even though he’s been cruising since a couple runs in the first? Do you construct your roster differently because you know you’re going to need those pinch hitters, and extra relievers for the same reason?
I also don’t like the idea that you get to hide a hitter who can’t field in the lineup. If you’re on the field, you should bat; if you’re not on the field, you shouldn’t bat. I don’t understand how “well you’re a terrible hitter and I’m a terrible fielder, if we could only do half of our jobs we’d be like one really good player!” can engender a rule. Got one of those monster hitters who doesn’t even know how to get a glove on? Too bad, you have to find somewhere on the field to stash him.
I DO believe the rule should be consistent between leagues though, regardless of which way it breaks.
The Rockies had Giambi for a couple years who was a pretty miserable fielder. Matt Stairs found jobs on NL teams for a few years after his fielding days were long gone too.
Which are a few exceptions that don’t prove the rule. But there aren’t a ton of AL DH’s who can’t take the field when needed either. DH only players have gone out of style, which is why Kendrys Morales can’t find that elusive 40 million dollar deal.
Same goes for carrying extra pitchers/positions players especially when you have to consider whether or not to lose a player to the 15 day DL who might just need a couple days rest. Sure there’s the question of whether or not to pull the pitcher, but that’s less exciting when he’s being pinch hit for by a guy who really isn’t a great hitter either in most cases.
It was for almost 100 years and it would not have been a problem ….until the AL regressed to 1968 numbers in 1972 and offenses were averaging barely 3 runs a game that year in some cases.
The only reason to have the DH was so to increase offense. They had many good hitting pitchers.. because hitting was still an important part of a pitcher’s work. But it was never about worrying if the pitcher hurt himself swinging the bat or running the bases. Ken Brett, Bob Gibson, Drysdale, Tony Cloninger, Rick Wise were some pitchers off the top of my head who could hit better than some hitters today that play…especially at SS….where hitting has become a back seat again to defense.
Besides it was not the DH that helped the AL become a better offensive league…. they still lagged behind the NL in Runs Scored on Avg and HR… until 1977…when expansion hit the AL Only and pitching was diluted even more than after the 1969 expansion.
I would claim Wang off of waivers if given the opportunity. He’s 21.
Let him figure it out and then send him down next year to complete his development.
K-Rod is one of the best relief pitchers of all time
Matt Garza injured? that was totally unexpected, nobody could have foreseen that..
Doug Melvin is in a tough spot with Wang. Roenicke made his thoughts known when he said he had an idea what to do with Wang, but it wasn’t his decision. As skipper I see needing that roster spot for an experienced arm in the bullpen.