Brewers Make Major Changes
The Brewers mades some major changes yesterday to improve the slumping team. J.J. Hardy was optioned to the Nashville Sounds and Bill Hall was designated for assignment. Jason Bourgeois was also called up by the Brewers.
J.J. Hardy was 4-26 in his last ten games with no homers and no runs batted in. He hit .229 while slugging .367 for the Brewers this season. He had hit 26 homers in 2007 and 24 in 2008 but only has 11 homers in 2009.
Hardy hit his last home run on July 18 and has driven in only three runs in his last 64 at bats.
Bill Hall had a career year in 2006 when he hit 35 homers and slugged .553. This season Hall has hit .201 while hitting six homers and slugging .341.
Hall is in his ninth season as a Brewer but I doubt if he will play for them again since they have Casey McGehee who can play third at the major league level and Mat Gamel at the minor league level who could be called up again this season to play third.
Felipe Lopez was obtained in a trade that sent two prospects to the Diamondbacks in July and is hitting .305 since joining the Brewers. The acquisition of Lopez was a major upgrade at second base.
Alcides Escobar was also called up the Brewers to play shortstop. He is not a power hitter and has hit only 19 homers in six minor league seasons. He does have great speed with 42 stolen bases this season with Nashville.
He has a .293 average during his minor league career and is hitting .298 this season. Last season he hit 24 doubles in 546 at bats and this season has 24 doubles in only 430 at bats.
Escobar has a reputation for being a excellent defender. The Brewers will be losing some power with Escobar not being the power hitter Hardy was. However he should make up for it with his hitting for average, his speed and defensive play at shortstop.
The Brewers are 27th in team ERA in the majors with a 4.85 mark. The Orioles, Nationals and Indians are the only teams with a worse ERA.
The Brewers have allowed the most home runs of any major league team. They have given up 151 homers. The Braves have allowed the fewest homers this season giving up only 77 homers.
The Brewers are seven and a half games behind the NL Central leading Cardinals. The moves by the Brewers yesterday may not be giving up on the season moves but they be at that point soon if they continue to slide further down the standings.
The high point of the season for the Brewers was when they were 26-15 on May 21. They finished action last night with a 55-58 record for a 29-43 record since May 21.
Pitching has been a major problem this season. The Brewers knew they wouldn’t have C.C. Sabathia and Ben Sheets back for the 2009 season but did little to make up for the loss of both pitchers.
They did sign Braden Looper who has won 10 games this season. Yovani Gallardo has pitched well most of the season. Lately he has faltered with only two wins in his last eight starts and has an ERA of 8.03 in August.
Jeff Suppan, Dave Bush and Manny Parra have only 15 wins combined. Suppan has allowed 141 hits in 114 innings and is only 5-8 this season with a 5.27 ERA.
Six of the pitchers who have started games for the Brewers have ERA’s over 5.00.
Trevor Hoffman has done well as the closer for one of the few positives for the pitching staff. He has 25 saves with only two blown saves this season.
Bill Castro may have been fired as the Brewers pitching coach but the failure of the starting pitching may have more to do with the pitchers the front office provided than the performance of Castro.
Chris Bosio may not fare any better as long as the front office doesn’t provide better starters than the ones they gave Castro to work with.