09
Nov 09

Carlos Gomez: Miller Park Drunk vs Al’s Ramblings

Twins Go Go Gomez BaseballI've been reading Al's Ramblings over the weekend and I was shocked at how Al was slowly convincing himself that he really liked this trade. I mean, this is the same guy who thought Corey Hart would be a good center field option and now he's down with a .287 on base percentage? This didn't seem right to me so I shot him an email and decided to engage in a little conversation with him (like we did before). Here's what we came up with. Beware nerdy baseball talk ahead.

MPD: Alright Al I have a bone to pick with you about this Hardy/Gomez trade. Sure, it's a cheap alternative who is great at defense (just like the cheap alternative that is great at defense we have at shortstop), but you of all people should hate this trade. After all you are the one who is constantly talking up the excellence of OXS in predicting runs and you are the one who takes joy in the failures of Jack Wilson. Now, you're okay with a lineup where 1/3 of the players in it have a combined OPS of 650-700 (and that's without including the pitcher.) Seriously, look at this group as it stands now: Continue reading →


06
Nov 09

Carlos Gomez: What the people are saying

Royals Twins BaseballI don't want to talk about Carlos Gomez. Not tonight. Let me just say that my first word was "gross" when I heard about it. GROSS as in "b. Offensive; disgusting." Yeah.

So I'm not talking about this. To properly explain my feelings I will post a few things that other people have said about this trade and you can get where I am coming from.

Bernie's Crew

Carlos Gomez is a young player who swings at too many pitches at the plate.  This handcuffs him from taking too many walks and also causes quite a high strikeout rate.  From personal experience, Gomez also rarely makes solid contact at the plate, either.

In all aspects, he is a black hole offensively.

Dave Cameron

To acquire Hardy, the Twins gave up Gomez, an outstanding defender in his own right. Milwaukee apparently wanted a premium defender to replace Mike Cameron in center field, but they’re taking a pretty big hit offensively in the swap. Gomez strikes out too often to make the slap hitting gig work, and his inability to bunt himself on base in 2009 caused his average to sink to unacceptable levels.

Even with his elite range in the outfield, Gomez is going to have to improve offensively in order to be worth a starting job. With infields taking away the bunt, he’s going to have to get himself on base in other ways, because it’s nearly impossible to justify starting an outfielder with a .286 career wOBA when you’re trying to make the playoffs.

Tom Haudriourt

J.J. Hardy is a good player who had a down year. I'm not sure what Carlos Gomez is. Thus far, a pretty big underachiever.

The Hardball Times

Gomez has been a poor hitter, but is still just 23 with plenty of possible fruitful years ahead of him. The cachet here that the Brewers liked was his defense, which should help the Brewers and their flyball pitching staff. A leap forward offensively may be a long shot to ask for, but perhaps Doug Melvin is hopeful Gomez can experience a Michael Bourn-type breakout.

Rob Neyer

Yes, he's just now turning 24. But however young, you'd like to see a bit of progress, right? Gomez's seasonal OBPs: .288, .296, .287. That looks like a guy who just doesn't get it, at all. Sure, he did much better while still just a baby in both Double- and Triple-A, but those seasons are starting to seem like a long time ago.

Doug Melvin

"He's still learning; he has areas to work on,"

Aaron Gleeman

I'm far from convinced that Gomez will develop into an above-average hitter, but combined with his defense even something as modest as .275/.325/.400 would make him All-Star caliber.

Robert @ Al's Ramblings

It's not just a bad OPS, every indication is that he has a horrible approach at the plate. His terrible OBPs are the result of a terrible approach at the plate. 4:1 K to BB rates tell me that he has no clue what's a strike and what's a ball. Nobody develops really until they stop swinging at balls and start swinging at strikes. Batters like that are just too easy to get out. See Jeff Francoeur. Or Corey Patterson.

Sabernomics

The down side is that one injury, and this kid is toast. He can’t move over to a corner. You’ve just got to hope he learns how to hit (unlikely) or stays healthy.

Twins GM Bill Smith

He's still learning to play the game.


Alright, fine. I'll say something. This isn't an outright terrible trade. It saves the Brewers a lot of money and that helps them. My favorite player was expensive. Sorry. He was expensive because he was good. This guy is better than Cameron at defense so he's probably an upgrade, but he's just not good at hitting and unless they go out and get some really awesome pitchers it's going to be pretty hard to sell me that this was a good idea. Why? Look what the bottom part of our lineup might look like:

6. Kendall (or new catcher)
7. Gomez
8. Escobar
9. Pitcher

That's not even including the suddenly average Corey Hart or whoever ends up playing third (does McGehee decline? does Gamel stumble?). As of today this lineup leans more on Braun, Fielder and to a lesser extent Weeks/McGehee/Hart than ever before. One wrong move and then what? Our defense will be great, but does that even matter when the team is giving up homeruns? (Which, by the way, gave up more than any other team last year.) Sure we save money, but if we spend it on Jarrod Washburn (Jeff Suppan 2.0) or some other mediocore piece of crap then who gives a rip?

Look, the Yankees and Phillies just played in the World Series. Yes, they both have more money than us, but you know what? They each led their league in homeruns. (The Brewers were third.) What does that tell you? The homerun is king and they've removed 35 homeruns from last year's team for two guys who will play better defense, but will be lucky to hit 10 combined. Can this really be considered a good thing?


18
Aug 09

EXCLUSIVE: Gorman Thomas to attempt comeback with Cubs

In an interview with a small town Illinois newspaper Gorman Thomas said that he would "like to play again." When asked why now, 23 years after retiring, he wanted to come back Gorman said that he'd "like to help the Cubbies finally get that World Series." Cubs general manager Jim Hendry declined to comment, but did admit that there was interest.

UPDATE: Gorman tells ESPN's Buster Olney that his quotes were taken out of context and he is enjoying retirement. Continue reading →


06
Aug 09

Every team needs a punching bag, Jason Kendall is ours

jasonkendallI've been watching baseball my entire life and if there is one thing I've learned it's that you have to hate at least one person on your favorite team at all times. It's impossible to love 25 guys at the same time. You have to dislike a few. All season long Jason Kendall and Jeff Suppan have been neck and neck for the title of punching bag, but with Suppan's injury and Kendall's recent slump it seems that Kendall has taken the crown once and for all. And I couldn't be happier.

With Suppan it's always more about expectations and money than it is about performance. He is not good, I am not saying that he is. It's just that he is a 4th starter and he is expected to be a fourth starter, he just happens to be paid exorbirantly well for a fourth starter. It's not his fault that he took the money, who wouldn't? He is what he is.

With Kendall it's different. He's a catcher and catcher's aren't supposed to hit, but he is so bad at hitting that it's become a joke. The story goes that he overcomes his hitting by his value in handling the pitchers. The pitchers like throwing to him. Let's just go ahead and debunk that REAL QUICK. Continue reading →


23
Jul 09

The Miller Park Drunk E-Mail Show starring Right Field Bleachers

pat sajak showWell 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? Continue reading →

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