Friday, March 04, 2005

The bench situation

Today's JS runs down the bench for the Brewers. This always seems to start out as a bit of a strength, then is so depleted by the end of the season that in includes greats such as Pete Zoccolillo, Angel Echevarria, Ryan Thompson, and other esteemed legends of Brewers lore. This year's bench competition is wide open, with Hall, Helms, and Moeller the only seemingly sure bets. Other players like ex-Brewer and current NRI Jeff Cirillo have a shot, along with Durrington and Magruder. With Clark in the lineup and Podsednik gone, Dave Krynzel has an excellent shot to stick this spring, even though it may be too soon for him to be expected to contribute at the ML level. If Helms is dealt, as has been rumored, Cirillo then goes from a bit of a long-shot to a near-lock. The team likes his ability to play 1B, 2B, and 3B, plus potentially a corner OF spot on occasion. The main problem with Cirillo is, since leaving Coors, he has forgotten how to hit. Here's the numbers from the past few disastrous seasons for Jeff, which resulted in his outright release last season by San Diego:

2002 (SEA, 485 AB): .249/.301/.328, OPS+ of 74, 6 HR, 31 BB
2003 (SEA, 258 AB): .205/.284/.271, OPS+ 50, 2 HR, 24 BB
2004 (SDP, 75 AB): .213/.259/.293, OPS+ 48, 1 HR, 5 BB

Yeah, it's a great story that he wanted to come back so badly, but don't hold your breath on Cirillo circa-1999 to come back. He's 35 and hasn't hit in three years, in other words he's a nice guy but not much of a ballplayer anymore. Cirillo commented on the matter in the article:

"This game is easier to play when you are out there every day," he said. "There is no doubt about that. A lot of it is timing. It's just hard to get your timing when you aren't playing a lot.

"Some of it is confidence, too. When you're batting in the first inning, you now you're going to have three more at-bats in the game. When you go in to pinch-hit, there is more pressure because that's probably going to be your only at-bat. If you let a good pitch go by, you might not get another one to hit.

"Playing defense (as a reserve) isn't as hard as hitting, but it's important that you're loose. The biggest thing is getting your arm loose."

Here's my prediction on how the bench looks come April 3:
IF - Bill Hall - R
C- Chad Moeller - R
3B/1B - Wes Helms - R
OF - Dave Krynzel - L
OF - Chris Magruder - S


Comments:
Brett...
So far, you seem to have an excellent blog, and I'm sure it will remain there. Welcome to blogger...as I am also a new blogger myself...and also a
"Season Ticket Holder", going into my 6th year for 2005...
Club Level...
(Section 306,Row 1, Seats 4 and 5)
stop and say Hi, or "yell" up at me (as I am on the corner) if you
don't have access to the "Club"
level.
Keep up the good work !!!
Jim
 
Thanks for the encouragement. I'll be at the home opener in the loge level, just to the LF side of home plate.
 
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