16
Jul 13

The Best and Worst of the Milwaukee Brewers 2013 First Half

worstbrewersfirsthalfIt's been awhile since I stole the Best and Worst gimmick from someone else (since the good times in fact,) but I felt this particular season was in more need of it than any before. After all, what season could be in need of some positivity more than this one? Put it this way, I debated with myself all morning on whether or not it should be called 'the Worst and Worst.' It's been that kind of season. So, without much further adieu let's get into this thing.

BEST: Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez

That's it. That's all the bests I have.

Okay, maybe not, but that is certainly how this season has felt at times. Nothing has really been great and these two have provided somewhere between 94 and 98 percent of all 2013 positive Brewers memories and I feel like that is a low estimate. They've been just plain fun to watch which is kind of funny because they play exactly the kind of baseball that the manager we don't care for loves to play. That's not to say that their style of baseball is wr0ng or that Roenicke's strategy is right, but these two have proven themselves time and again to be the exceptions that prove the rule. While simultaneously proving that they, as players, rule.

Jean Segura is young and probably not this good with his high BABIP and all, but he has made that Greinke trade look like an absolute steal (even while Johnny Hellweg gives up a homerun on eight out of every ten pitches thrown) and shortstop looks solidified for some time to come. He probably won't be an All-Star again, but he won't be Yuniesky Betancourt ever so he's basically the greatest shortstop in Brewers history. (White guys not included.)

Gomez on the other hand... actually, let's do this right. Continue reading →


07
Jul 11

Wake Up Mr. Greinke

I never ever wanted to write a negative word about Zack Greinke and hoped that time would never come, but unfortunately it has. Let's do it.

BREWERS STARTERS WITH ERA OVER 5.50 (Last 5 years)

  • Manny Parra 6.36 (2009)
  • David Bush 6.38 (2009)
  • Zack Greinke 5.66 (2011)

That's it. That's the whole list.

Now I know what you're thinking "Jesus, 2009 sucked" and my god did it ever. Hopefully you're also thinking "WTF IS ZACK GREINKE DOING THERE!?" 2009 was awful, but I would argue that 2011 could end up being a whole lot worse if Zack Greinke doesn't get his act together. He doesn't belong on this list, but that's how he has played thus far this season and he has sucked.

"but.. but.. he's had terrible luck! His xFIP proves it!"

"And he's winning games! He's 7-3!"

"Look at his BABIP, it's really high it will even out over time! And his LOB% is low!"

Shut up. Stop making excuses for him and shut up. You sound like an abused girlfriend who won't stop insisting that your boyfriend, Green Bay Packers cornerback Brandon Underwood, is really a good guy once you get to know him. Zack Greinke has been a huge disappointment, a much bigger disappointment than Casey McGehee, and it's time everyone admitted it. Continue reading →


01
Sep 10

5 Reasons NOT to hate Manny Parra

Disappointing.

Stupid.

Just doesn't get it.

A complete and total letdown.

What do these words in common? They aren't words that my parents used to describe me. Those involve much more f-words. No, they are all words and phrases people have used to describe Manny Parra. Last week Manny Parra was removed from the starting rotation and the talk about him, his potential and his future place in Milwaukee reached it's zenith.

Manny Parra is one of the most divisive figures in the Milwaukee Brewers organization and everyone has their own opinion on him. We once said that Manny Parra was the one and only job that Rick Peterson had when he joined this organization. (Fire Rick Peterson!) Whether we like it or not as Brewers fans Manny Parra is deep in our DNA, like herpes.

The thing is and always has been that Manny Parra does have talent, a lot of it. Maybe more than any starter that hasn't been robbed a gunpoint. Everyone knows this. We're at the point now where talking about Manny Parra is bordering on obsession. I spend more time on the internet reading and writing about Manny Parra than I do googling pictures of Christina Hendricks. That's just not right.

Anyways, as with any post about Manny Parra we need to get the required "Manny is actually kinda good" stuff out of the way first. I'm going to let other blogs do the heavy lifting on this one.

From BrewCrewBall:

The Brewers started the 2010 season with Parra in the bullpen. He was moved to the rotation and has started 13 games. He's responded with the best strikeout rate of his career (over 9 per 9) and has dropped his walk rate back down to about 4.3 per 9. His FIP is at 4.6, with a bad rate on home runs: his expected FIP is right at 4. The BABIP is right back up in the .360s, however, and his rates of line drives, fly balls, and ground balls are similar to last year's, and they're pretty much fine. And his ERA is 5.6.

If you're skeptical of FIP and tERA makes more sense to you, look at it this way: in the past three years, Parra's expected ERA based on his amount of line drives, fly balls, groundballs, strikeouts, and walks allowed, have been: 4.67, 4.78, and 4.67 again this year.

Something very strange is going on with Manny Parra. If someone can give me a justifiable reason why Parra is carrying the one of the highest BABIPs in history, I'm willing to listen.

So, Manny Parra is the same pitcher he's always been despite performing noticeably worse the last two years, but that's mostly because he gives up a lot of hits and homeruns. He's just run into some bad luck or something else, something presumably far more sinister. He's not this bad and this should even itself out at some point.  Maybe.

Got it.

Now for Disciples of Uecker:

The problem for Parra is the 6th inning. Parra has made it to the 6th inning in 16 games (including, I believe, one relief appearance). He has recorded 29 outs in these 16 games, allowing 18 earned runs, 25 hits, and 16 walks while striking out 15. I think it’s fair to say that Manny has “lost it” in the sixth inning on multiple (almost every?) occasion in which he’s had the chance.

The previous five innings are pretty good. 79 innings pitched, 40 ER (4.56 ERA), 81 Ks, 36 BBs. The only black spot is 13 HRs, and that’s a number that will likely regress, as Parra’s HR/FB rate is a career high this season. I’m hard pressed to explain why Parra struggles so mightily in the sixth inning. This isn’t an isolated issue for 2010, either – he has a 9.20 ERA in the sixth inning for his career.

So Manny Parra is an average to above average pitcher before the fifth inning then the wheels come off and he totally sucks. Got it.

See? Some times advanced statistics can prove exactly what we thought about people all along. Manny Parra is an underachiever who hasn't improved during his time with the team who gives up too many hits and homeruns despite being really good at striking people out. Also, he sucks after the fifth inning. I wonder if there's an advanced statistic that proves how easy your mom is.

It's hard not to hate him for this. He's talented, he's not working to get better and he's kind of good looking. He's everything I hate! It's like looking in a mirror! A mirror of self hate! He ruined my life!

Still, maybe we shouldn't hate him. I mean, he might figure it out one day and then it would be all weird between us. We should try not to hate him. We don't have to like him, but we should at least try and get along. Like I did with my mom and my new stepdad. Actually, that's a bad example. I still hate that asshole.

Anyway, here's five reasons not to have Manny Parra. Continue reading →


21
May 10

In defense of Doug Melvin

I don't know how it happened. I don't know when it happened, but somehow at some point I became a Doug Melvin apologist. I don't think that Doug Melvin should be fired. I think Doug Melvin should be signed to be the team's GM forever. As the Brewers have now lost their last 9 games seemingly everyone is calling for the head of Doug Melvin. I don't agree with them. I looked all over the internet and I could only find one other person who agreed with me, his name is Al. (FYI, We did this before the Brewers won yesterday.) Warning, this be long.

MPD: As of this writing the Brewers have now lost 8 games in a row. Of the eight games I would say that five of the games were lost by the starters and two were lost by the bullpen (with the final game being Sunday's against the Phillies which I would say was lost by one centimeter of Corey Hart's bat.) Now, everyone is calling for people to be fired. Some I agree with (Hoffman), some I could care less about because it won't make a difference (Macha) and the final one, I just don't understand. That final one is Doug Melvin, the mustached general manager. People are saying that because he put the team together that sucks right now that he should be fired for it. It's not just casual fans, it's diehards fans too and the argument is is logical. After all, he is the one who signed Doug Davis, Trevor Hoffman, Jeff Suppan, LaTroy Hawkins and throughout his GM career he's never been good with the pitchers. Those pitchers I mentioned are the ones that have underperformed and someone has to take the blame for them, but to me it shouldn't be Doug Melvin. Everyone who has performed poorly does not have a track record of performing this poorly and you can't blame Doug Melvin for that.

Trevor Hoffman has been awful, but he showed zero signs of decline last season. He is throwing the same pitches at the same speed he always has, but he's missing his spots. Does that mean he is done? Or is it something else?

Doug Davis hasn't been great, but he's also faced some bad luck (.415 BABIP.)

LaTroy Hawkins was hurt.

Claudio Vargas? Well, you can't win em' all.

Todd Coffey has had five bad outings and 15 shutout ones, but he's on pace for a lot of innings right now. That can't be good.

In your opinion Al, what has been wrong with this pitching staff, whose fault is it and what can be done to fix it? Continue reading →


25
Feb 10

This week in Witardo: Gomez, hit better

What's that? You want a regular feature making fun of A-dub? You got it! Today's story: Gomez, Slow Down.

Phoenix - I just got done watching some of the position players take BP on one of the back fields and centerfielder Carlos Gomez was in the bunch.

He's about to get real with us and bring some scouting knowledge. Get ready. He used to play, you know. Continue reading →

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