Results tagged ‘ Brewers ’

Notes and Highlights on a Friday – October 24, 2014

Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis take a look at the Brewers prospects in the Arizona Fall League with a special focus on former Timber Rattlers Tyrone Taylor (’13) and Clint Coulter (’13, ’14):

Check the daily game notes for the AFL here.

Glendale, the team with the Brewers prospects, are 7-6-1 and leading the West Division. Glendale hosts Salt River today at 2:35pm CDT. According to the scoreboard page, Mike Strong (’12, ’13) is a scheduled reliever for Glendale today. Click that link later today for the rest of the starting lineup.

I’ll have a more complete winter league update on Monday, but looking at yesterday’s action in the AFL saw Glendale win 2-1. Wei-Chung Wang (’14) earned the win. Tyler Wagner (’13) got the save.

Time to take a look at the Timber Rattlers Alumni as batters with the Brewers.

Khris Davis (2010): 144 games, .244/.299/.457, 22HR, 69RBI

Scooter Gennett (2010): 137 games, .289/.320/.434, 9HR, 54RBI

Carlos Gomez (2012): 148 games, .284/.356/.477, 23HR, 73RBI

Jonathan Lucroy (2012): 153 games, .301/.373/.465, 13HR, 69RBI

Martin Maldonado (2009): 52 games, .234/.320/.387, 4HR, 16RBI

Jason Rogers (2012): 8 games, 1-for-9, 0HR, 0RBI

Marco Estrada (2013): 3-for-32, 2RBI

Mike Fiers (2009): 1-for-17

Jimmy Nelson (2011): 3-for-21 with a double off Clayton Kershaw?!

Alumni Birthdays:
October 24:
Hunter Brown (’02) – 35
Eric Morgan (’95) – 42
Daryl Robinson (’88, ’89) – 47

October 25:
Tyler Roberts (’11, ’13) – 24
Clint Nageotte (’01) – 34
Gerald Eady (’98) – 39
Kevin Hickey (’79) – 58
Don Eddy (’69) – 68
Richard Hunt (’60) – 74

October 26:
Robbie Dominguez (’08) – 29
Chad Fillinger (’04, ’05) – 32
Harry Chappas (’76, ’78) – 57
Alan Kristowski (’66) – 71

Big home runs and other news over the weekend

Former Timber Rattlers outfielder Wladimir Balentien broke the old single-season home run record in Japan with his 56th homer. Then, he hit another home run later in the game to give him 57.

Balentien57

From the Japan Times:

As soon as Wladimir Balentien’s bat made contact with Daiki Enokida’s fastball there was no doubt: Japan had just crowned a new home run king.

And the new king’s first decree was that his record total wasn’t high enough yet.

Balentien set the NPB single-season record with his 56th home run of year in the first inning, then hit No. 57 in his next at-bat of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows’ 9-0 win over the Hanshin Tigers on Sunday night at Jingu Stadium.

“I feel so relieved right now,” Balentien said. “Lot of emotions. Just to get this is something unbelievable. This is (something) that nobody was able to do for 49 years. For me to do it, I can’t even explain what I’m feeling right now.”

The 29-year-old Curacao native broke a four-way tie with Japanese baseball legend Sadaharu Oh, Tuffy Rhodes, and Alex Cabrera, who all have 55, to stand alone as the new record holder.

“It’s amazing that he’s homered at a pace of about once every two games,” Oh said in a statement. “This is far beyond a new NPB record and an overwhelming number. I want to enjoy how far he can take it over the next 18 games with the fans.”

Meanwhile in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, former Timber Rattlers first baseman Sean Halton hits a game winning home run to beat the Cincinnati Reds!

With nothing left to play for themselves, the Milwaukee Brewers have fully embraced the role of spoiler over the last month.

That never-say-die attitude was on full display Sunday afternoon at Miller Park when they overcame a poor start by Yovani Gallardo to score five times in the final three innings.

The ninth was especially exciting, with Carlos Gomez robbing Jay Bruce of a go-ahead home run at the center-field wall in the top half and rookie Sean Halton belting a one-out, walk-off homer off Zach Duke in the bottom half to cap a 6-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

“I’ve had a couple (walk-offs, in the minor leagues), but nothing comes close to this one,” said Halton. “Especially against a team that’s playing well and in the hunt. We’ve been playing that spoiler role lately, and hopefully we continue that the next couple weeks.”

Since, Todd Rosiak’s story mentioned the catch by Gomez….

The other news was from Adam McCalvy’s blog post that notes all of the players that will be taking part during instructional league in Arizona. Rattlers manager Matt Erickson will be in charge of a team down there.

Add the fall instructional league to Brewers prospect Jason Rogers’ busy schedule.

Rogers and top 2013 Draft picks Devin Williams and Tucker Neuhaus highlight the list of players reporting Sunday to Maryvale Baseball Park for an instructional program that gets underway Monday morning. Rogers, who manned first base at Double-A Huntsville this season, will work a bit at third base before primarily playing left field in the Arizona Fall League as the Brewers increase his versatility for 2014.

Fifty-three players in all are listed on the Brewers’ instructional league roster — 42 on the regular roster and 11 more on an advanced roster. They include 20 of the team’s 2013 First Year Player Draft picks, and eight players from MLB.com’s list of the top 20 Brewers prospects: outfielder Tyrone Taylor (No. 4), shortstop Orlando Arcia (No. 6), outfielder Victor Roache (No. 8), right-hander Williams (No. 9), catcher Clint Coulter (No. 11), infielder Neuhaus (No. 13), and right-handers Drew Gagnon (No. 15) and Damien Magnifico (No. 19).

Also participating are shortstop Franly Mallen and outfielder Nicolas Pierre, who received record-setting bonuses in the Dominican Republic in July.

The full list is available at that post. There are a lot of former (and future) Timber Rattlers on that list.

Some of those players are still playing with the Helena Brewers. Helena lost Game One of the best-of-three Pioneer League Championship Series at Idaho Falls on Saturday.

The first game of the Pioneer League Championship Series featured a championship caliber pitching performance from each side. Jonathan Dziedzic and a trio of Idaho Falls relievers out dueled Anthony Banda and Tristan Archer as the Chukars beat the Brewers 2-1 on Saturday to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.

Dzidezic picked up the win after limiting the Brewers to just two runs in six innings. He struck out eight and walked one.

Josiel Martinez allowed an unearned run in the seventh and Glenn Sparkman relived him in the eighth and struck out three in 1.2 innings.

Kyle Bartsch faced just one batter, pinch hitter Jalen Harris, and struck him out to close out the game and earn the save.

Banda kept the Brewers in the game as he allowed two runs on five hits in six innings. Archer allowed no runs in two frames.

Game Two is tonight in Helena. Go, Brewers!

Lastly, the Midwest League season came to an end on Saturday night in Davenport, Iowa. The Quad Cities River Bandits swept the South Bend Silver Hawks in the best-of-five Championship Series to win the MWL Pennant for the first time since….2011.

Josh Hader isn’t even old enough to legally drink the champagne that was being splashed around the Quad-Cities River Bandits dressing room Saturday night.

He was more than happy just to wear some of it.

A little more than six weeks after being traded from his hometown Baltimore Orioles to the Houston Astros organization, Hader helped put the finishing touches on the River Bandits’ second championship season in three years.

The slender 19-year-old left-hander shut out the South Bend Silver Hawks on three little singles through seven innings as the Bandits completed a sweep of the Midwest League championship series with a 4-2 victory in front of a lively crowd of 3,607 at Modern Woodmen Park.

Hader, who went 2-0 in just five appearances with the Bandits in the regular season, also went 2-0 in the postseason and he was never in any sort of serious trouble Saturday. He allowed only four baserunners, only one of whom got as far as second base. He also struck out eight Silver Hawks.

Yankees mess with Money

The Timber Rattlers have announced that Don Money will be the special guest at the 2013 Leadoff Experience.  The event will be held at Liberty Hall on Wednesday, April 3.  Full details are at this link here.

I’ll be hosting again and one of the main questions I want to ask of Don Money is: What really  happened with Billy Martin, Chris Chambliss, and the Brewers on April 10, 1976?

Don Money's 1976 Topps Card

Don Money’s 1976 Topps Card

Here’s the story.

The Brewers had opened the 1976 season on April 8 with a 5-0 victory over the Yankees at Milwaukee County Stadium behind a complete game, 4-hit shutout by Jim Slaton and three RBI from Henry Aaron.  There was a scheduled off day on April 9 and the teams got back in action on Saturday, April 10 for an afternoon start.

Milwaukee, still a few years away from Bambi’s Bombers, grabbed a 6-0 lead with a run in the fourth, two in the fifth, and three in the sixth off Eduardo Figueroa.

Bill Travers pitched 5-2/3 scoreless innings and turned the game over to the bullpen.  Eduardo Rodriguez gave up four runs in the top of the seventh, but Milwaukee held a 6-4 lead heading to the top of the ninth.

Mickey Rivers singled off Jerry Augustine to start the ninth.  Milwaukee called on closer Tom Murphy to get the final three outs.  Rivers stole second, but Murphy struck out Roy White.  From there….HOO BOY!

Munson singled to shortstop [Rivers to third]
Chambliss doubled to center [Rivers scored, Munson scored]
Piniella tripled to left [Chambliss scored]
Nettles was walked intentionally
CHAMPION REPLACED MURPHY (PITCHING)
Dempsey singled to second [Piniella scored, Nettles to third]
Randolph hit a sacrifice fly to center [Nettles scored]
Alomar lined to third

So, yeah. A five-run ninth inning and the Yankees are up 9-6 heading to the bottom of the ninth.

But, the Brewers rallied.  Robin Yount singled and  Pedro Garcia walked against Sparky Lyle to start the bottom of the ninth.  Dave Pagan relieved Lyle and the Brewers had Bobby Darwin pinch hit for Gorman Thomas.  An error on Graig Nettles let Darwin reach and the Brewers had the bases loaded with no outs.  Don Money stepped to the plate as the potential winning run.

Don Money's 1976 card from Hostess Snacks.

Don Money’s 1976 card from Hostess Snacks.

Here is where I will let the AP story take over:

Right-hander Dave Pagan, fifth of six New York pitchers, had a one-ball, no-strike count on Money, who drilled the next pitch into the left-centerfield bleachers.

Yankee Manager Billy Martin and first baseman Chris Chambliss immediately stormed [first base umpire Jim] McKean.  After several minutes of heated discussion and mass confusion, the umpires conferred and then called the players back to their positions.

What had happened was…oh…man…I was seven when this happened and I remember listening to the game in the basement and I still get angry about this today. 

“Chambliss turned to me just before the pitch and asked for time out,” McKean said.  “He said Billy (Martin) wanted him to tell the pitcher to go to a full windup instead of the stretch.

“It was a tough situation, but not a controversial one as far as judgement was concerned because I had called time.  No way that hit could have counted because I had called time out.

“Billy came running out yelling at Chambliss, ‘Tell Jimmy you called time.’ I couldn’t comprehend what Billy was claiming at first, but then I told him, ‘RIght. Time was out, period.  I’ll go tell the other dugout.'”

Martin said he told McKean, “You called time.  Now you have to back it up.  He did.

“It was a tough decision for an umpire,” Martin said.  Whether he called it for me or against me, he showed a lot of class.  Good thing Money didn’t hit a double-play ball.  I would have to go back to the dugout and cry.”

Harvey Kuenn, the Brewers first base coach, disputed McKean’s version.

“I heard McKean tell Chambliss he did not call time out,” Kuenn said.  “I did hear Chambliss call for time, but I never heard the umpire call it.  I don’t know if McKean put his hand up to signal for time, but I know he didn’t yell for time.

“By the time Chambliss was asking for time, the pitch was already on its way.  After the ball had gone into the stands, I heard the second base umpire (Nick Bremigan0 say he saw the first base ump’s hand go up out of the corner of his eye.”

Asked whether Bremigan had said he saw the hand go up before or after the pitch, Kuenn said, “That was my next question.  But they wouldn’t let me ask it.”

Bobby Darwin, the Brewers’ runner on first base at the time, said Pagan was on the rubber, looking for the catcher’s sign when Chambliss asked for time.

“My back was to the umpire, so I didn’t see whether he put his hand up,” Darwin said, “I heard Chambliss yell, ‘time, time.’ And then, ‘Oh…!’ when Pagan let the pitch go.  I didn’t hear the umpire call for time.”

Money said he believed Martin influenced the umpire to change his decision.

“Damn right,” teammate Kurt Bevacqua said, “he’s the best intimidator in the league.  He and (California Manager Dick Williams)*.”

Every time Kurt Bevacqua is mentioned in a post, this it the image that needs to be used.  It's internet law.

Every time Kurt Bevacqua is mentioned in a post, this is the image that needs to be used. It’s internet law.

“Why did Billy have to come out and argue all that time?” Money asked.  “He (McKean) could have said, ‘Billy, I called time out.’  but no, they had to argue before he changed his deicision.  You should just make your decision, right or wrong, and stick by it.”

After the game restarted, Money would pop out to right for the first out of the ninth.  George Scott’s sacrifice fly drove in Robin Yount and make the score 9-7.  Ken Brett came on in relief of Pagan and got Darrell Porter to ground out  to end the game.

So, yeah.  I can’t wait to ask Don Money about this game….and about his Hank Aaron book.  That was awesome.

DonMoneybook
*-The odd thing about Kurt Bevacqua name checking Dick Williams in that quote is that Bevacqua would play for Williams on the San Diego Padres and have one heck of a Dick Williams impression.

The Williams impersonation, he says, emerged one night in Montreal “when Dick had gone to Tampa to attend the graduation of one of his children. I was in the locker room after the game started, and I had this can of baby talc, and I just kinda dabbed some on my mustache, then on the temples of my hair below the cap line. And there he was! I stuffed a couple of towels around my waist under my shirt, put on a pair of those little reading glasses Dick wears down on his nose and walked out. Norm Sherry [then the pitching coach] was sitting on the bench. He turned and said, ‘Oh, hi, Dick.’ Then he did a double take.

“Terry Kennedy was catching, and he was so surprised he had to call time out. I did it again last year in San Diego when Dick was suspended for 10 days and we needed something to stop a losing streak. When I came up to the plate to give the umps the lineup card, they were stunned. Dick was up in the press box. I gave him a big wave. We won.”

News, Notes, & Interviews

There are a few things out there for which I’d like to provide links.  Click the link above each excerpt for the full story.

Kjeldgaard eyes big leagues from the London (ONT) Community News:

For the time being, London’s best kept secret is tucked away at the back of Centrefield Sports indoor complex. Come March 2012, however, Riley “Brock” Kjeldgaard will be down south, flirting with the feat of being the first Forest City resident since Adam Stern in 2005 to make a Major League Baseball (MLB) roster.

“Baseball is a game where you might not get an opportunity,” said Kjeldgaard, 25, the centre’s lead hitting instructor. “But, when you do you have to be ready. It’s all about timing and good fortune.”

5 Tweets with Maverick Lasker from Peace & Glove blog:

Me: Other than easy access to glorious cheese, did you like playing in Appleton? What was the best part?

Maverick: The curds were fantastic, but the best part was playin in front of a packed house. Being associated with the Brewers, our fans were very supportive.

Manzanillo involved in auto accident from Adam McCalvy’s Brew Beat blog:

According to information from Manzanillo’s Dominican Winter League team published on Licey.com, a truck struck Manzanillo’s Hummer on a highway in La Romana while Manzanillo was on his way to the Brewers’ new baseball academy. According to the website, Manzanillo, a right-handed power pitcher, suffered cuts and bruises on his right shoulder and was taken by plane to Cure International Hospital in Santo Domingo.

Adam’s update mentions:

Manzanillo, 22, suffered a separated right shoulder and is currently undergoing further tests.

Good news.

Jim from Bernie’s Crew takes a look at former Timber Rattler Matt Thornton (’99, ’00) as an option for the Brewers bullpen:

The White Sox are trying to move Thornton because he signed a two-year, $12M contract last season, and the back-end of their bullpen has gotten crowded with Sergio Santos and Chris Sale proving dominant. No need to pay a reliever $6M per year when he is not needed in the eighth or ninth inning. It’s just about finding a dance partner now on the open market.

….

The issue is the asking price. In Olney’s report, he says the White Sox have been trying to move Thornton since July and has found no takers. Either none of the other twenty-nine teams in the league have a use for a mid-90s throwing lefty with four consecutive seasons with a sub-3.00 FIP, or the asking price has universally been deemed too steep. Obviously, the latter is far more likely.

If that asking price comes down a bit, it will be interesting to hear if the Brewers want to get involved in the fray. It would certainly make sense for the organization in terms of what Milwaukee has done in the past and falls in line with their 2012 goals for roster construction.

Jim also includes a note that Johnny Narron, the new Brewers hitting coach, played for the Appleton Foxes in 1975.  He joins third base coach Ed Sedar, an Appleton Fox in ’82, ’83, & ’85, on the staff.

A few Timber Rattlers notes:

The tickets for the 2012 Donald Driver Charity Softball Game went on sale this morning. Here is a link to purchase your tickets for this annual event.

The 2012 Timber Rattlers Calendars arrived today. Somehow, a photo I took was included and is used for the picture in March. You will receive a 2012 calendar for free when you purchase a holiday ticket package.

Greetings from Miller Park

Yovani Gallardo records a strikeout at Miller Park in game one of the 2011 NLDS.

Sorry for the late posting today.  I decided to wait until I got down to Miller Park  to start posting. Yes, I have a media pass for game five of the Brewers-Diamondbacks series.

The Brewers won the first two games at home.  The Diamondbacks won games three and for down in Arizona.  Now, an entire season comes down to this one game.  Yovani Gallardo against Ian Kennedy.  Game time is 4:00pm.

Time Warner Cable Field will host another Brewers Watch Party today.  The gates open at 3:00pm.  Parking & admission are both free.  The game will be shown on the big video board and on the televisions in the Lenie Lodge.  There is a $10 All-You-Can-Eat offer and a concessions menu available.

There have been some very nice crowds for the Watch Parties.  Even for the games that didn’t start until 8:30 CDT.  If you are up in the Fox Cities area, feel free to stop out and enjoy the game today.

The Brewers a game five situation twice before in their history.  They lost game five of the 1981 ALDS against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.  They won game five of the 1982 ALCS against the California Angels at County Stadium.

But, that was years ago.  It was so long ago, that neither of the stadiums at which that those game fives were played are still around and the Angels aren’t called the California Angels anymore.

Drawing parallels between what happened 30 years ago and today would be like trying to connect meaning between what happened in Game Seven of the World Series for the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers and the 1957 Milwaukee Braves.  A fun exercise and an interesting article for the offseason.

However, looking back to Brewers game fives from 30 years ago & 29 years ago sheds no illumination on what is going to happen today.

So, what IS going to happen today? (Aside from the roof being closed….roof closed? Really?)

I like the Brewers chances.  They are at home.  Gallardo has been outstanding and his start in game one against the Diamondbacks was him stepping up his game while the Brewers offense got to Kennedy just enough to support Gallardo in game one.

I expect game five to play out in a similar fashion to game one and Milwaukee advancing to the NLCS.

Time for this Milwaukee Brewers team to make more of its own history.

To the Alumni report for games on Thursday!

MLB Playoffs:

Detroit 3, New York 2

NYY:
Alex Rodriguez (Foxes, ’94): 0-for-4, BB, 3K
Rafael Soriano (’00): 1.2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K

Arizona Fall League:

Phoenix 10, Peoria Javelinas 4

Javelinas:
Kentrail Davis (’10): 1-for-4, RUN
Tyler Thornburg (’11): 1.1Ip, H, 2R, 2BB, 0K

IBAF World Cup:

Netherlands 5, Puerto Rico 0

Puerto Rico:
Jeff Dominguez (’06): 1-for-3

Canada 4, Taiwan 0

Canada:
Nick Bucci (’10): 5IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 7K
Brock Kjeldgaard (’09): 0-for-3, BB

Taiwan:
Kuo Hui Lo (’07): 0-for-4

Brewers 7, Padres 0

In Cactus League play, the Brewers beat the Padres 7-0.

Ex-Rattlers:
Sean Halton (’10): 0-for-1

That is all.

Brewers 7, Royals 5

Sunday’s game between the Royals and the Brewers involved a bunch of players involved in “The Trade”.

The Brewers won the game 7-5.

Ex-Rattlers:

Brewers:
Sean Halton (’10): 1-for-1, BB
Wily Peralta (’09): 3.2IP, 5H, R, BB, K, WIN
Cody Scarpetta (’09): IP, 2H, R

Royals:
Lorenzo Cain (’09): 1-for-3
Jeremy Jeffress (’10): IP, H, R, 2BB, K

Adam McCalvy’s game story:

Jeffress allowed one hit, two walks, two runs and threw two wild pitches in a trying third inning against his former franchise. He was Milwaukee’s first-round Draft pick in 2006.

“It’s just a game, man, you’ve got to go in and do your job on the field,” Jeffress said. “It was just one of those days I couldn’t find the strike zone a little bit.”

He took some good-natured ribbing from former teammates.

“Some of the guys over there were trying to say stuff a little bit, but it’s all love,” Jeffress said.

“It’s so good to see the guys and see everybody’s faces.”

The Brewers play the Giants this afternoon.

In other news, six players in the big league camp were optioned to the minor league camp after the game.

The Brewers moved six players off the big league camp roster, including one potential fifth starter candidate, in the first round of cuts on Sunday.

That fifth starter candidate is right-hander Amaury Rivas, who was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. He was one of the players mentioned as a potential fill-in for Zack Greinke, who will miss the start of the season with a cracked rib.

The Brewers also optioned pitchers Dan Merklinger and Cody Scarpetta to Double-A Huntsville and returned pitchers Robert Hinton and Roque Mercedes and catcher Anderson De La Rosa to Minor League camp.

The first Minor League full-squad workout was Sunday, but all six players were given until Tuesday to report.

The item on the roster moves is at the bottom of this Adam McCalvy notebook, which you should read in full as it touches on Takashi Saito, the starter in yesterday’s game. Saito is from Japan and has family members and friends unaccounted for after the earthquake and tsunami in his homeland.

Rockies 9, Brewers 8 (10)

The Brewers lost 9-8 in ten innings to the Rockies on Thursday.

Ex-Rattlers for the Brewers in that game:

Dan Merlinkger (’09): IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 0K
Cody Scarpetta (’09): IP, 2H, R, 0BB, K
Michael Fiers (’09): .2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K

Here is Adam McCalvy’s game writeup.

Milwaukee is playing the Athletics today at 2:05pm CST.  Yovani Gallardo is on the mound to start the game.  No word on any former Rattlers on the big league roster for today.  Check the Timber Rattlers twitter account later today.  Or, listen in on the Brewers free live webcast when the game starts.

Brewers 15, Reds 2

FOX Sports Wisconsin picked a good day to broadcast the Brewers in Cactus League play.  The Brewers beat Cincinnati 15-2.

Ex-Rattlers in the game for the Crew:

Hunter Morris (’10): 0-for-1
Martin Maldonado (’09): 0-for-1
Taylor Green (’09): 1-for-1, RBI

Morris and Maldonado both got a chance to face Aroldis Chapman…you know, Aroldis Chapman.

Milwaukee faces the Dodgers in Maryvale today at 2:05pm CST.

Brewers On Deck Wrap Up

Record numbers turned out for Brewers On Deck on Sunday.

Brewers vice president Rick Schlesinger just told me that 11,299 fans
turned out today for the team’s “On Deck” fan event at the Frontier
Airlines Center.

That turnout is a record for the four-year event, surpassing the 10,600 who attended last year.

Adam McCalvy has a post covering some of the major league portion of the event. (Thanks to Brew Crew Ball for the pointer).

You know who is looking forward to 2011?  Mr. Baseball.

Bob Uecker is the first to admit that he lives and dies baseball.
But, as he was so starkly reminded by undergoing two serious heart
operations in 2010, the game itself is not life and death.

“The doctors
said they didn’t want to do it a third time,” said the Milwaukee
Brewers’ Hall of Fame radio voice. “In this case, it’s three strikes and
you’re really out.”

Uecker, who
celebrated his 76th birthday a few days back, is looking forward to a
much brighter 2011, both on the personal health front and the Brewers’
fortunes on the field. As he prepared to participate in the club’s
“Brewers On Deck” fan event Sunday at the Frontier Airlines Center, the
baseball juices got flowing again.

“I’m excited
about it; I really am,” said Uecker, who has spent most of the winter at
his second home in Scottsdale, Ariz. “I think the Brewers are looking
pretty good.”

Like many of
the team’s fans, Uecker was re-energized by the team’s off-season
acquisitions of starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum.
Starting pitching had been the team’s primary weakness over the past two
seasons, knocking them out of the NL Central race in 2010 before the
end of May.

“As always,
everything hinges on what happens on the field, but it’s looking pretty
good,” Uecker said in a telephone interview. “The Greinke thing looks
really good. From what I’ve heard about him, he’s the real deal.

“Offense
hasn’t been a problem for us. Now, with this pitching staff, I think
they’ve put the team in a spot where we can be competitive.”

Read all of Tom Haudricourt’s article.  And remember, we are just over nine weeks to Opening Day

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