Monday, March 28, 2005

Kieschnick, etc.

Sorry again for the lack of real updates over the weekend. I had to work the holiday, and couple that with the Badgers and family commitments left little time for my 6 or 7 readers. On to Brewers news.

Brooks "Toolshed" (or "Bruce" as Uecker once called him) Kieschnick was DFA'd by the Brewers over the weekend. If he clears waivers on Tuesday, which I think is unlikely, the Brewers will have 10 days to trade, release, or assign Kiesch to AAA. I can't really say I'm surprised by the move, however, I am a little discouraged with how much emphasis the Brewers seem to be placing on Spring Training. Brooks has worked a whopping 6 1/3 innings, while other chaff are given a chance to pitch. Obviously the deck was stacked against him from the start of camp, even though he pitched fairly decent when healthy last season. He posted an above average ERA (3.77 compared to lg. avg. 4.30), had an above average HR rate, and a VORP of 8.2 as a pitcher in 43 IP. As a hitter, he wasn't as productive as he was in '03 (.300/.355/.614), posting a line of .270/.324/.365. However, the bullpen is a much more crowded place this year with the additions of Turnbow, Lehr, etc. and the change to a much more power-oriented pen. I fully endorse that move, although I and many others will definitely miss Brooks. I do feel, however, that sentimentality is an ineffieciency. The day a GM starts worrying about what the fans think is the day he should be fired. Melvin has shown time and time again that he will do whatever is in the best interests of the team, not listen to fans who latch on to a particular player, be it Sexson, Podsednik, Kolb, or Kieschnick.

Other developments included the reassignnment of Ben Hendrickson and Jose Capellan to minor league camp. Jeff Bennett will join them in Nashville, and attempt to "close". Obviously, if you have read anything I have written lately, I'm a big fan of Hendy and would have liked to see him be given a shot in the rotation. However, he apparently has some mechanical issues to work on, and Nashville is the best place for it. Capellan seemed destined for AAA from the day he was acquired, though there was some sentiment for wasting his talents and sticking him in the MLB pen. This was 100% the right move. He's obviously not ready for the bigs, and might not be until next year. AAA sure beats the heck out of watching his talent be wasted in one inning stints in Milwaukee, as I would rather see him fail as a starter before being banished to the pen. Bennett is what he is, a replacement-level pitcher and little else. Arms like his grow on trees.

Spring Training results:
ST Game 22: Brewers 11 - White Sox 0
ST Game 23: Brewers 8 - Giants 3
ST Game 24: Rangers 10 - Brewers 6

Notes:
Nothing really big happened in the three above games, aside from Glover likely sewing up the 5th starter spot in the White Sox game by pitching 5 shut-out innings. Mike Maddux might have pulled yet another scrap-heaper into a gem. Let's see when the season starts though, as Glover will struggle to get regular work in April, which does help to soften the blow of moving Hendrickson back down to AAA where he will be the ace of staff and work on regular rest, which is probably best for a 24 year old.

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