Well after the success of the last Miller Park Drunk E-Mail Show starring Al's Ramblings we decided to do another one with Jared and Tyler from Right Field Bleachers. They have really been doing some good stuff lately with the Halladay trade and have really come into their own since they decided to just write about whatever they wanted instead of other people's opinions. This one didn't go off as smoothly as we'd have liked and it took us kind of a long time to complete, but we had a pretty good rapport and we churned out some good stuff. Some of this may seem dated now as we started this before the All-Star Break, but I stil think you will find it enjoyable.We start off talking about if that last stretch decides the season and the team was one or two games out and now they are still two games out. So I guess it's relevant (and I guess it didn't).
Miller Park Drunk: Okay guys, let's get this thing started. As I write this the Brewers are playing the Twins and they aren't looking very good. There are people out there who think the team is donezo and really you can't completely blame them. A big part of this team's success this season was dependent on Manny Parra and Dave Bush pitching competently on now we are without both of those guys. This is one of the toughest stretches of the season for the team right now. After our hated rival Twins leave town, the current Wild Card leader with one of the best pitching staffs in the majors comes to town, followed by the Mets (who thankfully are beat up), then we go to Chicago who are just starting to heat up, division leading Cardinals and end up with the best team in baseball the Dodgers. If the Brewers go around .500 over this stretch it's not the end of the season (afterall, we still get to play the Natinals, Pirates and Padres), but it would seem the team needs to do well. I think this team will be in the hunt for the playoffs up to the very end, but even I have my doubts (and I'm drunk half the time.) There are arguments to be made that the pitching staff is broken and can't be fixed or that the team played over it's head early (coughWeekscough) or any number of things. Where do you guys see the team going from here? Is this really the stretch that decides the season?
Jared: The season is long and it's hard to not get caught up in the ups and downs. In the beginning of the season, it was doom and gloom as the Brewers started slow. Then the team played outstanding for a handful of weeks and things were looking really good. Now they're in a funk again (although they managed to pull tonight's game out, thankfully). To be honest, after all the ups and downs already this season, I still feel about the same regarding the team as I did before the season started. They're good for somewhere around 86 wins. Not bad, but not great either. If they are still hanging around the division lead as the trade deadline nears, Doug Melvin will probably make a trade or two, presumably for pitching. That might add one or two wins. A win total in the high 80s should be enough to stay in the Wild Card race and maybe even in the race for the division. This is an important stretch in that the Brewers need to string some wins together over the next few weeks to prove that a deadline deal would be worthwhile, but I don't think it's time to panic or anything.
MPD: I think in that respect we feel pretty much exactly the same about the team. They aren't the worst team ever and they definitely aren't the worst team ever. Since our last email exchange the team suddenly looks like a World Series contender again winning 5 of out their last 6. Are they? If they make the playoffs, everyone is a World Series contender. The Cardinals won a series with 83 wins in the regular season, it's all about luck. Since I mentioned them though, the Cardinals have already made the first move of the season trading for Mark Derosa who isn't exactly Scott Rolen despite what he's done the past two seasons. I could get into the merits of weakening a part of your team that can't stand to be weakened (Perez was their 3rd of 4th best guy out of the pen, could you imagine the Brewers without Todd Coffey?), but we'll leave that to the Cardinals blogs (or as I like to call them waste of internet). You think that the Brewers will make a trade and it would seem obvious that they do, but even if they did I don't see it being big at all. More Ray Durham than CC Sabathia, maybe not even that big more like Ray King big. Especially after the loss of B-Real Jeffress to the farm system. I think despite his results yesterday we can all agree that Mike Burns is not any sort of answer (at starter at least), Narveson is not a major league pitcher and barring Manny Parra going to see the Wizard, we still need another pitcher. I just don't see a willingness to go out and get one by Doug Melvin in this market. Not for what it costs and I don't really blame him. I want the team to still be good when Prince leaves. I wouldn't be surprised to see the team sign Paul Byrd honestly. What do you guys think about the trade market and is there anyone out there you can logically see the Brewers getting?
Tyler: At this point, the Brewers can’t exactly be looked at as a World Series contender, but they can be seen as a playoff contender. And once a team is in the playoffs, it’s anyone’s game – except the Cubs, obviously.
I agree that the Brewers will probably make some type of trade in the coming weeks, and that it won’t be of the boner-giving variety, but rather, of half-stock classification. The market for pitchers seems weak, which means mediocre and/or overpaid pitchers are to be sought after and will come quite pricey. The sheer fact that washed up shitheads like Jarrod Washburn and Jerry-curled AARP qualifiers like Pedro Martinez are seen as valued commodities proves there will be no CC Sabathia-type deals this season, especially not in Milwaukee.
I could see Moustache and Co. making a pitch for Doug Davis, but don’t even see it as being all that likely. If any move is made for a starter, I see it involving a MLB-capable position player or buttload of mid to high-level prospects going for a you pitcher with another season or more remaining on his contract – maybe even a pre-arbitration guy. I’d have no problem bidding Corey Hart’s ugly turdcutter adieu to net a cheap and promising pitcher to anchor the front of Milwaukee’s rotation in the future.
A second option would be to use the Brewers’ extra coin to eat salary of an expensive pitcher of a mid-market non-contender and give up little else in the way of minor leaguers in return. Vicente Padilla comes to mind. As a current Ranger, you know Padilla (who has an $8.5M club option for ’10) has played cause to at least Doug Melvin nocturnal emission this season. And, given the over-inflated price of starting pitchers in this post-9/11 world, he’s a lot of pitcher for the price – and he’s absolutely hideous looking, which could be vital to the Brewers if Braden Looper declines his ’10 option.
A third option would be to snag a quality reliever and bump Seth McClung into the rotation permanently. But based on his last outing, I’d rather eat clam chowder from Todd Coffey’s bra using Casey McGehee’s protective cup as a spoon. But, if the front office elects not to spend money or trade for the sake of doing something, there are a lot of serviceable minor league options in Nashville, including: Chase Wright, Tim Dillard, Nick Green and some guy named Manny Parra – who might turn it around eventually.
Whatever it may be; you have to think Doug has something up his sleeve. And, unless it involves Johnny Estrada, it probably won’t suck.