Posted on: August 9, 2010 8:43 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 12:32 pm

Brewers running short on outfielders

Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun had his left wrist examined by team doctors on Monday and was out of the lineup for Monday's game against the Diamondbacks.

Braun hit his wrist against Houston first baseman Brett Wallace while beating out an infield single on Sunday. He stayed in the game, but went hitless in his last two at-bats.

When Braun got to the ballpark on Monday, he told manager Ken Macha he couldn't play, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt writes .

The team expects to hear a prognosis on Braun later tonight.

Milwaukee was also without right fielder Corey Hart, suffering from lower back stiffness. Hart left Sunday's game in the sixth inning.

"I probably shouldn't have tried to play yesterday," Hart told Haudricourt. "It was tight before the game, and I probably over-stretched trying to get it loose. That just made it worse."

The Brewers were also without Jim Edmonds, who was traded to Cincinnati and his replacement, Chris Dickerson, had missed his flight from Cincinnati and wasn't available at gamete. Shortstop Alcides Escobar started in right, with Craig Counsell at shortstop.

UPDATE: Good news for the Brewers, it's a wrist strain and contusion for Braun. His status is day to day .

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 9, 2010 6:29 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 12:35 pm

Edmonds will not play full time for Cincy

Jim Edmonds With the trade of Jim Edmonds to Cincinnati, Jim Ed will now help the Reds make a push to play in October and comes just in time for a crucial series with the Cardinals.

“I don’t know what to say," Edmonds told the Cincinnati Enquirer . "It’s been a quick six or seven hours or 24 hours. You go from kind of the bottom of the standings to the top in a hurry. Then playing the Cardinals. It’s going to a little nuts. I look forward to the challenge."

Edmonds, however, won't assume a full-time role according to Dusty Baker, largely due to a sore Achilles heel but also because Baker prefers to mix-and-match his outfield with what he has.

"We mix and match everybody here," he said. "Nothing is 100 percent. You go some on numbers. Some on how a guy is swinging at the time. Who is swinging better than [Laynce] Nix right now? That’s why he’s playing. It gives me some options late in the game to pinch-hit, pinch-run, put a better defensive team in there. You just want some options."

Edmonds, for his part, isn't concerned about it.

"I don't care," he said when asked about playing time.
Edmonds had previously been linked to the Red Sox at the trading deadline, but the 40-year-old reportedly turned down the opportunity to go to Boston, as Adam McCalvy reported . Edmonds wasn't sure at the time if he wanted to head to a contender.

Consider the decision made.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 8, 2010 8:39 pm

Hoffman, Axford to share closing job

Trevor Hoffman Trevor Hoffman has scaled the mountain back to being a closer -- somewhat.

Brewers manager Ken Macha announced Sunday that Hoffman would return to his long-familiar role in tandem with incumbent closer John Axford.

"The thing with Hoffman is he's earned his way back to saving games," Macha told MLB.com. "If you're going to stay with the premise that the players write the lineup and things like that, he's put his name back in there.

"That's not to eliminate Axford from doing things, too, because he's done nothing to write his name out."

Hoffman, 42, received career save No. 597 Saturday night in lieu of rookie Axford who has 16 saves in 28 games comprising 35 1/3 innings pitched. The 27-year-old appears to be the closer of the future, while Hoffman is struggling to end 2010 on a good note -- both professionally and personally.

Hoffman struggled to get the year off to a good start, posting an obscene 11.65 ERA through his first 18 games, saving five and blowing the same amount. In his last 19 appearances, however, Hoffman has a 1.42 ERA in 19 innings, walking three and whiffing 14.

"It's about doing what's best for the team," Hoffman said. "Macha's biggest concern is how to get to the end of the ballgame with a win, and it's nice that a personal situation had a chance to take place. But his job as a manager is to win ballgames. In mid-May, he was looking for solutions. Pitching well helps, and I have to give him confidence to call my number out there and put me in the ballgame."

While speculation, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com believes he knows how Hoffman will be deployed. He writes:
The Brewers could use Axford for multiple-inning save opportunities and to protect one- or two-run leads. Hoffman could pitch when the Brewers have multiple-run leads -- with Axford available in relief if Hoffman falters -- or on days when Axford needs a break. The Brewers aren't going anywhere with a 53-59 record, 11 games behind the Reds. While Axford is clearly the closer of the future, giving Hoffman a chance at 600 saves is simply the right move.

Not only has Hoffman proven his worth lately, but the team can only benefit from the public relations and goodwill that the run at 600 saves will engender -- both to its fans and players around the league. Hoffman is one of the best closers ever to put on a uniform, and players will notice that he is getting his fair shot at No. 600.

For Axford's part, he'll still grab the bulk of saves moving forward and pitch in high-leveraged situations regardless, so it shouldn't retard his development in the slightest.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 7, 2010 10:52 pm

Hoffman gets No. 597

Trevor Hoffman
The Brewers are in a tough position, having all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman just a few saves away from 600 for his career (and with a countdown banner in place at Miller Park) but also having identified their closer of the future, John Axford.

Saturday, manager Ken Macha found an opportunity for 42-year-old Hoffman to tack on No. 597, as he pitched a perfect ninth, needing just eight pitches, as the Brewers beat Houston 5-2.

It was Hoffman's first save opportunity since May 18, and his first converted save since May 7. He is 6-for-11 in save opportunities this season.

The Brewers are out of contention, which gives them the luxury of letting Hoffman try for the round number, but at the same time 27-year-old Axford needs all the experience he can get. We'll see how Macha handles it.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 3, 2010 5:01 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 5:02 pm

Macha wanted scoring change with 18-1 lead

Do you ever wonder what a manager is thinking about with a 17-run lead and one out left in the game?

Scoring decisions.

According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune , Brewers manager Ken Macha wanted a fielder's choice and error call on shortstop Starlin Castro overturned and a hit given to Casey McGehee.

With two outs, McGehee hit a grounder up the middle that Castro was able to field, but made a bad flip to Blake DeWitt at second to force Prince Fielder.

The Brewers called up to the press box and asked Rosenberg to review the tape and chance the call to a hit. No change has been made.

Had McGehee's grounder been ruled a hit, it would have been a record 27 hits allowed by Cubs pitchers in the game.

Now, it's easy to make fun of Macha. And really, not unjustified -- your team won, who cares about the rest? But that's one of the those things that could help endear Macha to his players. At that point, everyone probably wanted to pad their stats and McGehee is probably no different. It shouldn't be overturned, but McGehee likely appreciates Macha giving it a shot, even if he comes off like a d-bag to the rest of the world.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 2, 2010 8:24 pm

Brewers want to extend Weeks

Rickie Weeks The Brewers inked Corey Hart to a contract extension on Monday and are now angling to bring Rickie Weeks into the fold as well.

Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reveals that general manager Doug Melvin is speaking to the star second baseman about extending his stay in town. Weeks has been long considered a budding star but only broke through in 2009, his age-26 season. Unfortunately, his .272/.340/.517 line was cut short after 37 games due to a season-ending injury.

He's picked up right where he left off, however, and has posted a .276/.375/.488 mark in 499 plate appearances, jacking 22 home runs. He is due for one more year of arbitration before hitting free agency at the same time as Prince Fielder.

Hart, Weeks and Fielder are the three best Milwaukee hitters, and while Fielder's departure is all but certain given his outrageous demands in salary (thanks, agent Scott Boras), the Brew Crew would certainly love to keep Weeks in the fold.

Weeks will certainly become one of the best-paid second basemen in the game when he signs his free-agent deal, whether that's with the Brewers or elsewhere. Chase Utley is the highest-paid player at the position, earning an average annual salary of $12 million through 2013. Brian Roberts is second with a deal at $10 million. No other second baseman is in double-digits.

Weeks, along with Robinson Cano and perhaps Brandon Phillips, figure to double the amount of second basemen who have deals averaging eight digits, so the Brewers will have to pony up. For a club with limited financial resources, having Hart, Weeks and Ryan Braun (who makes just under $1.3 million but will see his salary escalate rapidly through 2015) can have far-reaching implications on a team desperate to upgrade its pitching.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 2, 2010 5:54 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:04 pm

This week in free stuff: Aug. 2-9

A look at this week in promotional giveaways from around baseball:

Monday, Aug. 2
Ike Davis bobblehead Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- Ike Davis bobblehead -- or bobblesomething. The Cyclones are celebrating Davis' three heads-over-heels caches over the dugout railing with an upside-down bobblehead, although I'm not sure what exactly bobbles.
Springfield Cardinals (Texas League) -- duffel bag. The practical giveaways are the best -- who can't use another duffel bag?

Tuesday, Aug. 3
Ryan Howard gnome Springfield Cardinals (Texas League) Whitey Herzog bobblehead. If you missed the big league team giving away Whitey bobbleheads last week, here's another chance.
Reading Phillies (Eastern League) -- Ryan Howard garden gnome. It kind of looks more like a wizard version of Ryan Howard, but, you know, either way my wife would love this, not because she likes Ryan Howard but because she has a really weird things with gnomes. When she saw our local nine had a gnome giveaway this year, she circled that date on the calendar.

Wednesday, Aug. 4
Chicago Cubs -- beer koozie. What else could you want or need at Wrigley Field?
Los Angeles Dodgers -- beach towel
Portland Sea Dogs (Eastern League) -- Hanley Ramirez bobblehead. I always appreciate when minor league clubs honor players who played for them, even if they're no longer in the organization. Kudos Sea Dogs.
State College Spikes (New York-Penn League) -- Daniel Moskos & Tony Sanchez double bobblehead

Thursday, Aug. 5
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (International League) -- Brian Schneider bobblehead
New Britain Rock Cats (Eastern League) -- beach towel
Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- Irish Heritage Jersey
State College Spikes (New York-Penn league) -- kids Roberto Clemente Kids activity book. It's good to educate the kids.

Friday, Aug. 6
Baltimore Orioles -- Nick Markakis mini bobblehead
Detroit Tigers -- island-themed Tigers floppy hat. It's like a combo Magnum costume -- in floppy hat form. The pattern of a Hawaiian shirt and the Detroit Tigers' D
Pittsburgh Pirates --  Andrew McCutchen bobblehead
Buffalo Bisons (International League) -- toothbrush. This may be one of the lamer giveaways, I've got to admit.
Trenton Thunder (Eastern League) -- David Robertson bobblehead
Vermont Lake Monsters (New York-Penn League) Buster Olney bobblehead. When sportswriters get their own bobblehead, you may have run out of ideas. Olney grew up in the state.
Everett AquaSox (Northwest League) -- recycled tote bag

Saturday, Aug. 7
Kenny Lofton Cleveland Indians -- Kenny Lofton "The Catch" bobblehead. This one is great, I love bobbleheads from specific events, hence my Endy Chavez bobblehead. This one is from Lofton's catch over the wall of a sure homer by Baltimore's B.J. Surhoff on Aug. 4, 1996.
Florida Marlins -- samba whistle. Better than a vuvuzela.
Arizona Diamondbacks -- Luis Gonzalez bobblehead. In an added bonus, 50 fans will get an autographed, bronze version.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Pacific Coast League) -- Goose Gossage figurine.
Round Rock Express (Pacific Coast League) -- souvenir desk batting helmets
Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Texas League) -- lunchbox
Stockton Ports (California League) -- Grant Desme bobblehead
Kinston Indians (Carolina League) -- reusable grocery bag
South Bend Silver Hawks (Midwest League) -- reusable grocery bag
Princeton Rays (Appalachian League) -- Wade Davis bobblehead
Billings Mustakens (Pioneer League) -- Jason LaRue bobblehead. See what Jason LaRue looked like before his awesome mustache (hint: less awesome).

Sunday, August 8
Milwaukee Brewers -- Italian sausage racing sausage bobblehead. I've gotten the bratwurst and a previous italian sausage bobblehead off of eBay, and I can tell you it's great. Although my wife said she didn't think it looked like a sausage.
Chicago Cubs -- light switch cover. Really, a nice, simple giveaway. It's got pinstripes and if you're a Cubs fan and have a man room or something, it's pretty cool.
Pittsburgh Pirates -- batting helmet. The classics never die.
Harrisburg Senators (Eastern League) -- Stephen Strasburg bobblehead. How'd he get his own bobblehead? Oh yeah. He's good.
Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- MCU Park model.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 2, 2010 9:20 am
Edited on: August 2, 2010 1:09 pm

Brewers extend Hart

Corey Hart Corey Hart's gone from sweating out the trade deadline to a contract extension.

Monday the Brewers announced they've extended the outfielder through 2013. The team bought out Hart's final year of arbitration.

The team didn't release the financial terms, but Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel speculates the deal is "worth close to $25 million." Hart is making $4.8 million this season and would have made more in arbitration.

Hart is hitting .288/.346/.565 with 23 home runs and 72 RBI.

UPDATE: ESPN.com's Buster Onley reports the deal is worth $26.5 million.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
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