Feb 09

You don’t walk out of Kentucky

Today's JS piece centers on Corey Hart, "Hart attacks stamina", honestly I'm surprised they didn't go with something like "Corey has the Hart to tackle stamina". In it Corey blames his September woes on stamina. Which makes sense, he's young and has never played that many games before. Honestly, I think there is more to it.

So with the Brewers down a run in the seventh inning and the bases loaded, up stepped Corey Hart, whose struggles in September already had been documented. But he had yet to produce anything as bad as what followed.

Michael Wuertz threw Hart three consecutive sliders, all below the knees, each one farther away from Hart than the first. The final one ended up in the left batter's box.

Hart flailed at all three, never coming close to touching one.

Yeah, that was awful. Sure, without that moment we wouldn't have had the greatest moment I have ever seen live (Braun's homerun) but it shouldn't of had to come to that. Let's look at Corey's thoughts on that at-bat now.

"I wasn't really praying to get on or praying to get a hit. At that point, I was just praying that it would be in the strike zone and I could put it in play. That's how bad it was."

To me this statement clearly states that when Corey steps up to the plate, he doesn't know what he's doing. He's just swinging. This is echoed by Dale Sveum.

"He has to turn (hitting) into an art form instead of going up there and winging it," Sveum said. "He's what I call a poor-man's Vladimir Guerrero because when it leaves the pitcher's hand, he has a chance to hit it."

Vladimir Guerrero is a freak of nature. He is not a role model for hitters. He can do things that nobody can do. I've seen him hit balls that bounced in front of the plate and take them for a double. Corey Hart can't do that and can't be Vlad. He needs to figure something else out because the pitchers have figured him out. They know he's going to swing as indicated by this study at BCB.

For a guy who spent a lot of time hitting behind Fielder and Braun he was way too willing to swing especially at pitches outside the zone.  Swinging at 30% of fastballs outside the zone just isn't going to work.  He needs to stop swinging at those and maybe he will get a few more hittable ones.  I know Hart simply isn't going to ever walk enough but he has to stop swinging at balls out of the zone.

Blame it on stamina, personal problems or whatever you want, but Corey Hart is going to the plate with a bad approach. No approach and for all the talk about the loss of Sheets and Sabathia, a positive step forward by Hart could go a long way in making that up.

Feb 09

Brewers likely to forfeit Opening Day game

From the JS Blog:

Jeff SuppanThis is how Macha has them lined up  now, and he emphasized this does not mean they will line up this way for the season:

RHP Jeff Suppan
RHP Yovani Gallardo
LHP Manny Parra
RHP Braden Looper
RHP Dave Bush

But, you know what? It wouldn't surprise me if they lined up this way at the start of the season

Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me either which is disappointing (to say the least). I know that in the grand scheme of things the order of the starting 5 doesn't really matter and things even out over a 162 game season. I understand that, but why would you make your WORST pitcher line up with the opposing teams BEST pitcher for the first few series of the season?

Let's assume a few other teams #1 starter and look at Suppan's first three match ups.

4/7 @ Giants: Reigning Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum
4/12 CHC: Carlos Zambrano
4/18 @NYM: Johan Santana

Now let's look at how they all match up for 2009 using CHONE projections.

Suppan 7 11 5.31 28 28 161 195 103 95 20 86
Lincecum 10 7 3.21 25 25 154 130 59 55 11 175
Zambrano 11 9 4.14 30 30 185 181 92 85 19 144
Santana 15 8 3.33 31 31 208 185 83 77 22 200

So, like, don't do that. It's a really bad idea.

[stats: Fangraphs]
[image: St Louis Review]

Feb 09

What up Wisconsin?

Mike CameronWhat you might have missed while struggling to come to terms that Wolverine is really a song and dance man.


Feb 09

Rickie Weeks is going to be good in 2009

I am big Rickie Weeks fan. I own his jersey and everything. I saw him and Prince play in Double A once and have been following him ever since. I think he's a really good player that was maybe rushed a little bit and then put into a role he wasn't necessarily comfortable with. He has the talent to be a good major leaguer, it's just really a question of whether he puts it all together. I'm thinking that he does it this year.

Is it because of this article in the JS? No.

Is it because of the fact that he will be 26 this season, a typical breakout season for major leaguers? No.

Is it because he won't have Ray Durham stealing at bats in the second half where Weeks has always shined? No.

I think that he is going to have a huge breakout season this year because he now has the same haircut that Play of Kid N' Play had.


Rickie Weeks

(sidenote: It also looks a lot like Kid's haircut in Class Act where Kid played Play and Play played Kid in the acting performances of their careers.)

This is the kind of spring training story the JS should be covering. Who will be the Kid to Rickie Weeks Play? Will they have a rap-off? Will they dance?

God, I hope so.

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[Forgotten Journal]

Feb 09

Our new starter scares me a little

Braden Looper is one scary Brewer

[Sports Hernia]