Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Andy Moye to Brevard County

Milwaukee Brewers pitching prospect Andy Moye has been promoted from the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to the Brevard County Manatees. Moye was 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA in 8 games with the Rattlers. He had 8 BB to his 33 SO's.

stats from

Brewer's Roster Moves

      Recently, much has been made about a potential Brewers-Josh Hamilton union. The Brewers are one of the possible suitors for Hamilton because of their low guaranteed payroll for 2013.

      Other fans want priority placed on resigning pitching ace Zack Greinke. Both Greinke and Hamilton will take up a large portion of the payroll, so the Brewers won't be able to add both.

      Still other fans want the Brewers to blow up the current roster. Trade Greinke, Marcum, Weeks, Hart, and K-rod for younger position players. This group of fans believes a few position players, teamed with the plethora of young pitching, can bring the Brewers back to the top in only a few short years.

      No question, Attanasio and Melvin will have much to debate as this season progresses and throughout the offseason. But what course of action will they take?

      This will depend on the Brewers success this season. If they can right the ship and get back in the playoff hunt, the Crew will most likely not blow up the team, but play for another post-season run. If they continue to struggle and fall out of contention as the trade deadline approaches, they may elect to trade and get younger.

      To me, adding Josh Hamilton adds nothing but a good story to the Brewers. The addition of Hamilton will mean the Brewers will not resign Greinke, Marcum, or K-rod. They will also be adding another outfielder to a stacked OF group. Braun, Gomez, Hart, Aoki, and Morgan are all quality OF's already.

      More sense could be made of the “rebuild” choice for the Brewers. The Crew's minor league affiliates are filled with good pitching prospects. Wily Peralta and Tyler Thornburg are developed pitchers in the Brewers AAA and AA clubs, while recent draft picks Jed Bradley and Taylor Jungmann pitch high-A ball. By trading some high value pieces on this years team – like Greinke, Marcum, and K-rod, who are all free agents after this season – and adding some poisition players, this team could be a contender again in three or four years.

      Of course, this plan will mean a few years of losing baseball in Milawukee.

      Regardless of the Brewers choice, there are going to be some angered or frustrated fans. Attanasio and Melvin have done nothing but good things for the organization in the last few years, and have earned the trust of their fans. Hopefully, the aggressive minded Attanasio won't be temped by Josh Hamilton, but will pursue quality prospects that will rejuvenate an empty farm system. The Brewers have the key pieces to be good for several years. Braun, Gallardo, and Lucroy are All-Star players at important positions. With the incoming pitching and a few more infield prospects, the Brewers could be very good for several more years.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Brewer's Lineup

      The Brewers are desperate for offense. It doesn't help that their one and two hitters consist of Weeks (.174), Gomez (.280), Aoki (.211), and Morgan (.169). Gomez has been a bright spot at the top of the order, but is on the 15-day DL with a sore hamstring.
      In Weeks' defense, he's top 10 in the MLB with walks (20). Regardless, the top of the order needs help.

This is my proposed changes for the Brewers lineup (with a healthy Gomez):
  1. Gomez (.280)
  2. Lucroy (.303)
  3. Braun (.288)
  4. Ramirez (.215)
  5. Hart (.247)
  6. Conrad (.000)/Green (.200)/Ishikawa (.222)
  7. Weeks (.174)
  8. Izturis (.179)
  9. Pitcher

      Gomez is a prototypical lead off hitter. He has a lot of speed and is more of a contact hitter. Aoki can fill that spot until Gomez returns. Lucroy in the 2-hole is high for a catcher, but he's the best hitter on the team not named Ryan Braun. He takes a lot of pitches and is capable of moving runners. This will put more runners in scoring position for Braun.
      Ramirez has had a slow start, no surprise. He'll be fine in the clean up role as the season progresses. I'd like to see Hart there, but he has said that he's uncomfortable as the fourth hitter. When Kottaras (.310) plays, switch him and Hart. Hart will then hit second and Kottaras fifth.
      I'd prefer the Brewers to give either Conrad or Green a chance to start at first base for a while, preferably Green so that Conrad can spell Weeks at second. But any of those three guys will do an average job at first. Weeks prefers to hit in the lead off spot, but with a .174 BA, he's not in a position to be calling the shots. Bump him down in the lineup until he proves himself.
      Izturis is a terrible hitter, but he's the only option as of now. There are two easy outs for opposing pitchers at the bottom of this lineup.

      The Brewers lack of offense comes down to the poor production from the top of the lineup. They have to make some changes to get the team in gear. A radical lineup change may be just what the offense needs to start hitting again.

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stats from

Problems with Braun's three homer game

      The Brewers opened a three game series with the Padres yesterday in San Diego. Padre's “PETCO Park” is not known to be a hitter's ball park, but apparently no one told Ryan Braun.
      Randy Wolf gave up a run in the second, so the Brewers would have to play from behind. In the fourth, Ryan Braun answered with a solo shot that knotted the game at 1-1. The Brewers would add two more in the inning to take a 3-1 lead that they would never surrender. In the very next inning, Braun hit a two run home run.
      Then again, in his third consecutive at bat, Braun hit another deep ball; a solo home run to left field. Braun would triple in his final at bat, scoring two more and giving him 6 RBI's and 15 total bases on the night. The bullpen picked up struggling starter Randy Wolf, and the Brewers won 8-3.
      In a year where the offense has struggled to score, it's refreshing to see eight runs on the board for the Crew. However, Braun's magical night did shed light on some of the Brewers offensive issues. Two of Braun's three home runs were solo shots, and Nyjer Morgan struck out in front of Braun before each homer. The top of the order has struggled to produce early in the year. Among everyday starters, hitters 1-4 are a combined 73 of 299 (.244), while hitters 5-8 are 70 of 268 (.261). Infact, the bottom half of the order has more RBI's, fewer strike outs, and the same amount of home runs.
      Thankfully, as of late Ramirez has gotten his average up over .200 and Braun looks to be back on track. Hopefully, Weeks will join the rest of the starting lineup in the .200's (wouldn't mind if Morgan joined him, as well). If the top of the order can begin to hit and produce, it will only make the second half of the order even better.
      The Brewers go again tonight at 9:05, where Marcum will face Edison Volquez. Watch for some production from the top of the order!

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Stats from

Packer's 2012 Draft Analysis

      A different Ted Thompson showed up to the 2012 NFL Draft; an evil twin, perhaps. Thompson used the Packers 12 draft picks to trade up not once, not twice, but three times. Before this draft, Thompson had only made three total trades to move up in the draft. On the uncharacteristic moves, Thompson joked, “I'm not my father's son anymore. It's pathetic.”
      With the moves, the packers began the draft selecting six consecutive defenders. It wasn't until their final two picks, late in the seventh round, that the Pack snagged some offense. Thompson and his coaches alike reiterated that they weren't trying to fix a poor defense, but were drafting the best available.
      Well, this is supposed to be a draft analysis, not a draft recap, so let's get to it. For what “grades” are really worth, I've added mine. Don't read so much into the grades, I suppose...
      The Packers watched from pick 28 as USC defensive end Nick Perry fell into their hands. Perry is described as “very athletic” by most scouting reports on the web. 6'2”, 271 lbs., Perry will play OLB for the Packers, opposite fellow Trojan Clay Matthews. Perry is criticized for inconsistent play and skeptics point out that he has never played to potential. I'm concerned that he is more of a 4-3 guy than a 3-4. The Packers passed on 3-4 LB prospect Courtney Upshaw when they chose Perry.
A lot of talent – no doubt – but a lot of question marks as well. If we're giving out letter grades here, the Packers get a B.

      Thompson made two of his three trades in the second round. First, he moved up to 19th to select Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy. Worthy was predicted by most mock drafts to be a first round talent. He's a big guy (6'2”, 308 lbs) that the Packers can rely on to anchor the run. Worthy can also help generate a greater pass rush, the Packers primary need coming into the draft. Coach Trgovac mentioned that Worthy had a little bit of “wiggle.”
First round talent, great value. Worthy will help the Pack in a variety of areas. A+.

      Another second round trade found Vandy CB Casey Hayward a home in Green Bay. Hayward can make an immediate impact on the Packers defense. Whether that is as a nickel corner or a starter that moved Woodson to safety is dependent on his camp. Packers cornerback coach Joe Witt, Jr. described Hayward as a smart player with the necessary intangibles to play at a high level.
Another top-of-the-draft talent added to the defense. The secondary needs addressing, and the Packers think Hayward may solve issues at two positions. A.

      The Packers waited until the end of the fourth round to select back-to-back picks. At 132nd overall, the d-line added another run stopper: Iowa DT Mike Daniels. Daniels is a bit smaller than Worthy (6'0”, 291 lbs.), and relies on his hustle to make up for it. Daniels will probably be a situational guy for the Pack, at least for this year.
Another pick that helps address a need. Can fill a role immediately. B+.

      With the very next pick, 133rd overall, the Packers kept with the defensive theme, selecting Maine S Jerron McMillian. McMillian dominated at the combine, posting the best 40 time and verticle (Packer Report). He's an aggressive tackler that will help a secondary that struggled in that area last year. He's also versatile, able to play both free and strong safety. The Packers need to find some safeties after letting go of Nick Collins last week. Peprah and Burnett are the only two currently on the roster. Skeptics worry about his size. At only 5'11”, McMillian is undersized for an NFL safety.
Undersized, but may be athletic enough to compensate. Interested in seeing how he competes against top competition. B+.

      Thompson's final trade came in the fifth round. The Packers moved up to select South Carolina OLB Terrell Manning. Manning was a top ranked LB, but fell in the draft because of surgery on both knees. Manning, a big Linebacker at 6'2', 237 lbs, will play ILB for the Packers. Manning was a second or third round talent, a steal for the Packers in round five. Thompson wants manning to arrive in Green Bay with a “starting mentality.”
Terrell Manning is an absolute steal in the fifth round if he stays healthy. A+.

      Offensive needs were finally addressed in the seventh round with the selection of FSU OT Andrew Datko. Datko played only four games in 2011 because of a shoulder injury, one of many injuries that has plagued his career. However, with a dwindled depth chart at tackle, he has a chance to make the team. Recent draft picks Bryan Bulaga, Marshall Newhouse (2010), and Derrick Sherrod (2011) are among competitors for the position.
Datko is injury prone, but the Packers don't need him to be a major contributor this year. With a chance to make the team, he's a solid seventh round pick. B.

      B.J. Coleman was the Pack's final pick. Like Datko, Coleman is a recovering, offensive player. Coleman missed five games in 2011 due to a shoulder injury. McCarthy and the Packers seem to be confident that Graham Harrell can successfully fill the backup role – left vacant by Matt Flynn – so Coleman will presumably fight for the third string spot. At 6'4”, he is a tall QB with adequate strength to play at the next level. However, scouts have point out his poor footwork and fundamentals. If developed, Coleman has a chance to be a solid backup guy, and the Packers have done a pretty good job with the last few guys that have worked with them.
Coleman is raw, but has the natural talent to play in the NFL. He has a long way to go, but a lot of time to do it as a third string QB. B+.

My overall grade: A
The Packers addressed their needs for a pass rush, run stopper, and depth at QB and O-line. They elected not to pick a RB, which gives Ryan Grant an opportunity to prove his stuff in the next year. Many of these guys can make an impact on the team immediately and for the foreseeable future. Thompson's uncharacteristic trade-up's seem to have paid off, but we won't really know until we start seeing these guys in action. From the looks of it now, I'd say it was a successful draft.
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The following is a list taken from Tom Silverstein via
Here are some of the undrafted free agents that have apparently signed with the Packers.
Many of these names are from players or agents of players who have Tweeted about signing with the Packers. Some have been confirmed by agents and others are from news reports. Nothing is official until their name is signed on the bottom line, so some of these names could disappear.
Also, some may wind up being tryouts and not actual signings.
  • Jaymes Brooks, OT, Virginia Tech
  • Dale Moss, WR, South Dakota St.
  • Don Barclay, OT, West Virginia
  • Sean Richardson, S, Vanderbilt
  • Nic Cooper, RB, Winston-Salem St.
  • Dezman Moses, DE, Tulane.
  • Dion Turner, CB, Southern Utah
  • Mark Tyler, RB, USC
  • Drew Vanderlin, DE, Michigan Tech
  • Eric Lair, TE, Minnesota
  • Tommie Draheim, OL, San Diego State
  • Duane Bennett, RB, Minnesota
  • Cameron Ford, TE, Wake Forest
  • Marcus Rivers, WR, Buffalo
Here are a couple of guys who have been invited for tryouts:
  • LB, ElToro Freeman, Auburn
  • LB Luke Lambert, Missouri
  • DL Grant Cook, Arkansas
  • OT Tyler Butzler, Wisconsin-Stout
  • K Dave Nadeau, Minnesota-Duluth
  • LS Casey Casper, Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • OT Andrew Lambert, Indiana
  • Jaymar Latchison, DE, New Mexico”

Stats from and
Player list from


       Any Milwaukee sports fan grows up hearing the words “small market” over and over. Milwaukee is too small of a market to generate profit like the Chicago's, L.A.'s, and New York's of the sports world, and players don't want to come and play here. So the only way for the Bucks and the Brewers to be competitive is to draft well.
      The Brewers have been successful in the draft, as of late. Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Yovani Gallardo, Corey Hart, and Rickie Weeks were All-Stars that were drafted and developed in the Brewers system. Great drafting and developed prospects also allowed the Brewers to move many of their successful young players for big name players now. This has allowed them to be competitive for the past three seasons and with hope for the near future. The Brewers set a club record for single season wins with 96 last season.
      The Bucks, however, have not had similar success in the draft. Dismal selections have left the Bucks to rely on trades to keep the team afloat. But as previously stated, many of these players don't want to play for the small market Milwaukee Bucks. Most recently, rumors that recently acquired Monta Ellis has expressed feelings to move on from the Bucks as soon as his contract expires in 2013.

      Let's take a look at the Bucks first round draft history since 2000.
2000 – Pick 15: Jason Collier (5.6 ppg) traded for Joel Pryzbilla (4.0 ppg), 4 years with Bucks
2001 – No RD 1 pick.
2002 – Pick 13: Marcus Haislip (3.5 ppg), 2 years with Bucks
2003 – Pick 8: T.J. Ford (11.2), 2 years with Bucks
2004 – No draft picks
2005 – Pick 1: Andrew Bogut (12.7 ppg), 7 seasons with Bucks
2006 – No RD 1 pick
2007 – Pick 6: Yi Jianlian (7.9 ppg), 1 season with Bucks
2008 – Pick 8: Joe Alexander (4.2 ppg), 1 season with Bucks
2009 – Pick 10: Brandon Jennings (16.7 ppg), still with team
2010 – Pick 15: Larry Sanders (3.9 ppg), still with team
2011 – Pick 19: Tobias Harris (4.4 ppg), still with team
*Career ppg, stats from

I would consider Bogut and Jennings to be good picks, aside from that the rest are junk. The majority of these players spent two or fewer years with the team. Sad. The only way the Bucks will ever be competitive in the NBA is if they start drafting better. In the last 10 years they've had five top 10 picks, and none of them have been an All-Star. Albeit, Brandon Jennings has the opportunity to get there in the near future. But even the young, drafted stars on the current roster don't want to stay. Both Illyasova and Jennings have expressed a willingness to leave Milwaukee for better money.
      Where do the Bucks go from here? I don't want to suggest “blowing-up” this team, because they're only one legitimate big man away from making the playoffs in a top heavy Eastern Conference. However, they do need to make some big changes. Skiles has taken the team about as far as he can. Their new, fast paced style isn't his forte, plus I can't understand how he gives minutes. D'Antoni coached this style successfully with the Suns for years, and is available. Sanders shouldn't play, other than for a defensive substitution at the end of quarters. Gooden is expendable. If they can find one big man that can keep up with a running team and plays good defense (a Tyson Chandler type), they're a top five team in the East. The answer may be in the forward/center filled draft, as long as they don't end up with Zeller, another soft, white dude. If you could bulk up Perry Jones or John Henson, they'd be a perfect fit. Around the league, there aren't too many options here that the Bucks can snag. Al Jefferson is another good fit, but he's a year away from entering free agency. Unless you can make a trade for Jefferson without destroying the young core, the answer lies in the draft.
      The Bucks will have an interesting off season deciding whether or not to trade Ellis, and how to approach the draft. Hopefully, it'll be fun to follow. Something in me knows we're still drafting Zeller...

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Defense, Draft, and D-backs

      In the 2011 NFL season, the Green Bay Packers defense ranked last in total defense and pass defense, and 14th against the run. With the NFL draft just around the corner and free agency looming thereafter, the obvious areas of need are on defense. What were the major holes in the defense that led to such poor statistics? The secondary got shredded. This may, however, have more to do with the other defensive problem, the lack of a pass rush. The Packers fell in the bottom five teams, recording only 29.0 sacks over the year. The loss of Cullen Jenkins and absence of LB Frank Zombo and a handful of other defense players made an obvious impact on their pass rush. The previous year, the Pack ranked second in the league with 47.0 sacks.
      The draft is the first chance the Packers have to address the defensive flaws. Mock drafts project the Packers drafting DE Shea McClellin (Boise St.), DE Whitney Mercilus (Illinois), and a slew of other OLB's and DE's. I don't claim to be a draft expert in any way, so I won't make any predictions or suggestions here other than to say that an OLB or DE is essential to fixing the defensive problems.
      Another interesting and debated option comes in the realm of the “draft day trade.” The Philadelphia Eagles are reportedly willing to trade CB Asante Samuel for a 5th or 6th round draft pick. Samuel is one of the best zone corners in the NFL and has recorded the second most interceptions over the last five years, behind Green Bay's own Charles Woodson. I have heard that Samuel's $10 million contract would allow for renegotiation, but that has been the deal breaker for teams like the Denver Broncos. The problem with Samuel is his poor tackling, which would only multiply the current tackling issues in our secondary, and is not very good in man coverage, which the Packers play predominately. However, for a cheap price Samuel would be a great replacement as a nickel corner if CB Sam Shields continues to regress from his stellar 2010 rookie campaign. Other options include starting CB Tramon Williams and Samuel at corner and moving the aging Woodson to the safety spot.
      These are some different suggestions to ponder. I'd like to see the Packers draft a DE, OLB, and DB early in the draft and add a veteran defensive back like Samuel. There are available players in this draft who can make an immediate impact on this Packers team and help the defense return to it's Super Bowl form of 2010.
      Don't get too worried about the defense, though. Aaron Rodgers and the offense can always just drop 40 or 50 points to get the win.


All stats come from or