Saturday, May 28, 2005

5th Starter

So who becomes the 5th starter now that Sheets is back in the rotation? Obie or G-love? As effectively as Obie has pitched the last couple of weeks in the rotation, my vote would be to send him back to the bullpen. I think he has the ability to adapt better to the bullpen and a long-relief role than Glover can.

I would also be up for a piggyback of Glover and Obermueller every fifth day. This happens a lot down in the minors, where they have two starting pitchers throw on the same day while alternating which player starts the game. The most notable instance of piggybacking right now is in West Virginia with 2004 draft picks Mark Rogers and Josh Wahpephah. One starts the game and the other follows in after a set number of pitches. The next day in the rotation, vice versa.

This rarely, if at all, happens in the majors and I'm not sure why. It would basically be the same as having six starting pitchers now instead of five. With the way the pitching staff has been performing, there just isn't enough work out there to keep everyone in the bullpen fresh. Case in point, Adams had only 13.1 innings pitched all year. Jorge de la Rosa is another pitcher that Nedley does not use too often (16 innings). By using Obie and G-love on a set schedule, this would allow JDLR to slide into the long relief role (vacated by either Wes O or Glover) and be able to pick up a few extra innings.

I highly doubt this will happen, just a thought.

Mike Adams Demoted

The much highly debated roster move has been made in anticipation of Ben Sheets' return from the DL today. There wasn't one single player on the 25-man roster that deserved to be either released or sent down to Nashville. There was no way Doug Melvin would have gotten rid of a position player to add yet another pitcher, so they were all safe, especially after Branyan got into the game last night and struckout as a pinch hitter. That left the pitching staff. The real candidates to either be DFA'd or sent down were Gary Glover, Tommy Phelps, Mike Adams, and even Wes Obermueller to a certain extent.

Mike Adams was the odd man out unfortunately. He was the "chosen one" most likely because he had options left and would not be claimed on waivers like Glover and Phelps would most likely have been. Adams has not been seeing regular time on the mound this year at all since he was demoted from the closer's role. This way, he can focus on getting his regular innings of work and being able to regain his velocity that he had lost from last year. Even though he was hitting 94 in his last outing, his most successful of the season, he has been tinkering around by throwing too many sliders which has caused him to lose some ticks on his fastball. And for whatever reason, Yost has been hard on Adams about keeping his pitch count down per inning as well. Hopefully Frank Kremblas and his coaching staff can help Mike iron these issues out.

I wouldn't exactly call them problems, since Adams has an ERA of only 2.75! But it is such a nice problem to have to send down a a pitcher that has performed basically as well as one can in order to bring back your staff ace. Not too many, if any, teams will have a player of Adams' caliber waiting in the wings at Triple-A.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Rox

The Crew just came off of a 3-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies, perhaps the team with the worst major league talent on it in all the league. By completing the sweep, the Brewers were able to return to .500 yet again before they take on the almost equally woeful Houston Astros this weekend. But back to the Rockies series...I would seriously feel comfortable that our own Triple-A Nashville team could beat the Rockies, since if you took away Todd Helton, that's pretty much what is left, a young AAA roster.

It is fairly obvious that the Rockies and Brewers have taken different paths to develop their own players. The Brewers could have chosen to do what the Rockies have done and called up just about every single prospect and let them learn on the job in the big leagues, but they did not. The Rockies have gone from being the oldest team in MLB last year to the youngest team this year, with an average age of 27 years of age. Whereas the Rox have 11 rookies currently on their 25-man roster and will almost assuredly add more throughout the year, the Brewers only have 2 of their main prospect group up -- J.J. Hardy and Jorge de la Rosa.

There are several reasons why I do not agree with the Rockies' plan. First, by giving the majority of playing time to rookies, it gives the message to the casual fans that they are not willing to be competitive this year. Second, by having all of these rookies collect major league service time, it speeds up their arbitration clocks. While they could be gaining more valuable experience down in AAA, it is most likely that at least some of these players have been rushed to the major leagues and were not ready for the jump. But by starting their arby clocks, the Rockies have chosen to develop them the costly way instead of the cheap way via the minors. This is especially tough for teams like the Brewers and Rockies because when these players finally develop and turn into good ballplayers, they will be too expensive for the teams to afford and will either lose them through free agency or will be forced to trade them.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Graduated and Unemployed

Now that I'm through with college and presently have zero jobs lined up, I might actually have some time to pay attention to putting some thoughts down about the Brew Crew for a change!