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  1. #211
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    I know I shouldn't take the Cardinals lightely because they just always seem to somehow win the WS, but they don't scare me this season. Their offense is not good and their pitching is only mediocre. I think Pittsburg is more of a threat (just looking at their lineup) but they haven't clicked this year.

    Not sure any of it matters though. Even if we make the playoffs we're just a piece of wood in the path of the buzzsaw known as the LA Dodgers. With Harper and Strasburg out I just don't see anyone coming close to them.

  2. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by twellner9 View Post
    I know I shouldn't take the Cardinals lightely because they just always seem to somehow win the WS, but they don't scare me this season. Their offense is not good and their pitching is only mediocre. I think Pittsburg is more of a threat (just looking at their lineup) but they haven't clicked this year.

    Not sure any of it matters though. Even if we make the playoffs we're just a piece of wood in the path of the buzzsaw known as the LA Dodgers. With Harper and Strasburg out I just don't see anyone coming close to them.
    The Brewers need to just worry about themselves. Garza in Coors Field...yikes! Hopefully the Brewers can go 5-4 or 4-5 on this trip. Stay within striking distance.

    I disagree on the Dodgers being the easy favorite. It looks good because they are winning but the Mariners won 116 and lost in the Division Series. The Nationals are very good with Scherzer pitching multiple times. Wood, Darvish and Kershaw by and large haven't done squat in the postseason. The Dodgers have won a lot of games in come-from-behind fashion of late, but good luck off some of the bullpens on good teams.

  3. #213
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    The Dodgers have a good bullpen, a good offense, and good starting pitching even without Kershaw. I don't see it being close.

    I don't think you can compare the 2001 Mariners to the 2017 Dodgers fairly because the Dodgers pitching staff is so much better and their competition is so much worse. Pitching wins in the post-season and that matchup favored the Yankees in 2001. You had Petite, Mussina, and Clemens going against Garcia, Moyer, and Sele. When Roger Clemens is your #3 starter you've got a hell of a shot at winning a series.

    I actually think Arizona would have beaten Seattle in the WS had they gotten there too. Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling were a hell of a 1-2 punch.

  4. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by twellner9 View Post
    The Dodgers have a good bullpen, a good offense, and good starting pitching even without Kershaw. I don't see it being close.

    I don't think you can compare the 2001 Mariners to the 2017 Dodgers fairly because the Dodgers pitching staff is so much better and their competition is so much worse. Pitching wins in the post-season and that matchup favored the Yankees in 2001. You had Petite, Mussina, and Clemens going against Garcia, Moyer, and Sele. When Roger Clemens is your #3 starter you've got a hell of a shot at winning a series.

    I actually think Arizona would have beaten Seattle in the WS had they gotten there too. Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling were a hell of a 1-2 punch.
    The Dodgers pen doesn't strike fear in me unless I am behind. The offense is hit and miss for the Dodgers. Starting pitching is good, yes, but Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez, Strasburg, Roark are nothing to sneeze at. Alex Wood is good but don't believe he's ever started a playoff game. Rich Hill is inconsistent. Yu Darvish is the wild card. I do think the Dodgers are the favorite, but in a division with the Giants this year and the Padres just because they have a great regular season doesn't mean too much in the postseason. Don't sleep on the Cubs either. But I also agree that in a bullpen game I would take LA over those two. I just don't see it being as easy of a road as you indicate.

  5. #215
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    Last time I checked (which was like 2 weeks ago), the dodgers could have fielded a playoff pitching rotstion and bullpen (typically playoff teams take 10 or 11 pitchers and 14 or 15 positional guys because of off days) and the worst pitcher would be 10% better than league average by ERA+. Most teams don't have a full starting rotation of above average guys and most teams have 2-4 above average bullpen pitchers. The dodgers have 11-13 guys who have been roughly that good.

  6. #216
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    Would be really great if the crew can go 5-4 on this stretch. Will be tough but not impossible especially if can sweep sf

  7. #217
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    It'll be interesting to see what we do at first next year. We can definitely keep the Aguilar and Thames combo. But both have shown to be pretty decent options. It'll be interesting to see if we are willing to move one of them.

    I know some folks want braun to play some first, and if we plan on Vogt being the backup catcher next year, we can get him some burn at first too. I wouldn't be actively shopping either, but I could see a team calling on one of them. And if we can get a decent reliever for say Aguilar, it's probably a move that could benifit us as well.

  8. #218
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    Great win!!!! Nice to see Chase back strong! Whatever happens this September these guys deserve serious respect for this season already

  9. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by crewfan13 View Post
    It'll be interesting to see what we do at first next year. We can definitely keep the Aguilar and Thames combo. But both have shown to be pretty decent options. It'll be interesting to see if we are willing to move one of them.

    I know some folks want braun to play some first, and if we plan on Vogt being the backup catcher next year, we can get him some burn at first too. I wouldn't be actively shopping either, but I could see a team calling on one of them. And if we can get a decent reliever for say Aguilar, it's probably a move that could benifit us as well.
    The only thing I'd add is that if Braun is going to play first he'd play there every day. If we assume Vogt is the backup option then there's no need for Thames or Aguilar. Depending on the haul we could get for them I'd be open to moving either. If we move Braun to first we'd have 3 outfield options to compete for 2 spots (Broxton, Brinson, Phillips) and if we keep him in left I'm not sure it makes sense to keep Broxton.

    I also think it makes sense to pick up the option on Garza and either move him into a long relief role or try and trade him for another reliever.

    That then leaves the other big question area of second base. Are we confident enough that Villar will bounce back next season? Would Walker be open to a 2 year contract? Or do we bring someone up to take over?

  10. #220
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    Villar is such an enigma. He's cheaper than any other option on the market and at his best, he's probably better than any available 2B. But at his worst, he's pretty brutal.

    I know it's popular opinion, but I don't think we aren't moving braun to first next year. If it's something we do eventually, I could see us starting to get some time there next year, maybe in spring. But I don't think that's a full time move next year. So I see us shopping broxton. His value isn't crazy high, but he's youngish, cheap and plays good defense. So I think we can get something for him.

    Moving Braun to first and allowing Phillips and broxton to battle for left (or more realistically maybe right and slide Santana to left) definitely improves our defense. Thames and Aguilar are both at best average defenders at first. So even if Braun is slightly worse, the upgrade from Braun to broxton or Phillips would make our defense better. That being said, Thames and/or Aguilar are both likely going to be significantly better than offensively Phillips or broxton. So I'd leave them at first.

    That being said, I think you can keep Santana, Brinson, Phillips and Braun as your 4 OF and get them all a decent amount of starts. In a 7 game week, Braun probably gets 2 days off. Santana probably gets 2 days off and you can give Brinson 2 days off as well. That leaves 5 starts for Phillips as well (or 4 if you want Perez to play OF for a day.) So even without injury, I think we can get plenty of at bats for both Brinson and Phillips without moving Braun to first. They may not both get 500 at bats (barring injury), but one will probably get close to 500 and the other would be in the 350-409 range, depending on how well they play.

  11. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by crewfan13 View Post
    Villar is such an enigma. He's cheaper than any other option on the market and at his best, he's probably better than any available 2B. But at his worst, he's pretty brutal.

    I know it's popular opinion, but I don't think we aren't moving braun to first next year. If it's something we do eventually, I could see us starting to get some time there next year, maybe in spring. But I don't think that's a full time move next year. So I see us shopping broxton. His value isn't crazy high, but he's youngish, cheap and plays good defense. So I think we can get something for him.

    Moving Braun to first and allowing Phillips and broxton to battle for left (or more realistically maybe right and slide Santana to left) definitely improves our defense. Thames and Aguilar are both at best average defenders at first. So even if Braun is slightly worse, the upgrade from Braun to broxton or Phillips would make our defense better. That being said, Thames and/or Aguilar are both likely going to be significantly better than offensively Phillips or broxton. So I'd leave them at first.

    That being said, I think you can keep Santana, Brinson, Phillips and Braun as your 4 OF and get them all a decent amount of starts. In a 7 game week, Braun probably gets 2 days off. Santana probably gets 2 days off and you can give Brinson 2 days off as well. That leaves 5 starts for Phillips as well (or 4 if you want Perez to play OF for a day.) So even without injury, I think we can get plenty of at bats for both Brinson and Phillips without moving Braun to first. They may not both get 500 at bats (barring injury), but one will probably get close to 500 and the other would be in the 350-409 range, depending on how well they play.
    Pretty much agree. I don't think Braun is getting ABs at first in the regular season next year. I'd shop Thames and Broxton in the offseason, but I doubt CC wants that as he loves LH hitters so Thames may be staying. I like Jesus he puts together really good ABs especially in big spots, much better than Thames. Braun's power has dropped off. I think Villar is probably starting at 2B next year as well. He strikes out less and makes more contact than Broxton, but Broxton has shown pop and good defense in center which probably makes him more attractive to move and get a reliever or something that the Brewers need. I think Broxton is more maddening to me anyway than Villar. Broxton has enough pop that he doesn't need to overswing but he just hacks at everything. When he's going well and going to RF he has a nice approach he can play well for a couple weeks, but he just rarely keeps that approach very long.

    As for the OF situation, I don't think Domingo is sitting 2 days a week. Braun yeah, but I think Domingo has shown enough to warrant regular playing time all year next year. I think Phillips and Brinson could platoon in CF and then start both if Santana gets 1 off day in the week.

  12. #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by gopackgo87 View Post
    Pretty much agree. I don't think Braun is getting ABs at first in the regular season next year. I'd shop Thames and Broxton in the offseason, but I doubt CC wants that as he loves LH hitters so Thames may be staying. I like Jesus he puts together really good ABs especially in big spots, much better than Thames. Braun's power has dropped off. I think Villar is probably starting at 2B next year as well. He strikes out less and makes more contact than Broxton, but Broxton has shown pop and good defense in center which probably makes him more attractive to move and get a reliever or something that the Brewers need. I think Broxton is more maddening to me anyway than Villar. Broxton has enough pop that he doesn't need to overswing but he just hacks at everything. When he's going well and going to RF he has a nice approach he can play well for a couple weeks, but he just rarely keeps that approach very long.

    As for the OF situation, I don't think Domingo is sitting 2 days a week. Braun yeah, but I think Domingo has shown enough to warrant regular playing time all year next year. I think Phillips and Brinson could platoon in CF and then start both if Santana gets 1 off day in the week.
    I big part of the reason I think you need to consider Braun at first is health. I know you're going to say that most of his injuries occur at the plate, but as he gets older less movement in the field has to be a good thing. His power numbers for the season aren't really down, he's got 13 HR and less than 300 AB. Down a little but not terrible. They've been bad since he has come back, I'm assuming a lingering injury is preventing him from really driving the ball. Still he consistently puts solid contact on the ball more than anyone in our lineup.

    In the end for me it comes down to who we think is the future of this team. I'm looking at what players give us the optiminal lineup when we're finally ready for a WS. I don't think Thames fits that and I assume once his contract is up he'll be gone. I also think that since he's reasonably priced and his numbers are solid he's the best trade chip we have.

    I'm potentially more aggressive than you guys would be looking for deals this winter but here's my list of players I would consider moving in order:

    1. Broxton
    2. Thames
    3. Garza
    4. Aguilar
    5. Nelson
    6. Villar
    7. Braun (most likely no one is going to want him)
    8. Miscellanious BP arms - not really putting these guys in any order because I don't see much value here. Move anyone besides Knebel/Hader you can get value for and look for upgrades everywhere else.

  13. #223
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    I meant to say 1 day for Santana in a 7 game week, but got ahead of myself. But I agree. A soft platoon for Brinson and Phillips makes sense. Brinson getting 4-5 starts a week and Phillips getting 2-3, with fill in duty at the corners for another start or two each week.

    And I know the difference of opinion, but don't you think Braun is just as likely to get hurt in left as he is at 1st? A lot of his injuries are soft tissue types of Injuries, which will be aggravated by stretching for balls at first. Digging bad throws and fielding sharply hit grounders isn't going to be significantly better for his thumb than playing OF, especially if it's a position he's not comfortable at. Playing somewhat passable defense at first is easy. But playing good defense and first takes a lot of work.

    And I don't get why people don't like Thames. He has a .360 obp. And before you say it's because he had a hot start, his obp is in the .350s since the start of July. And for every person that says he hasn't been that great if you take out his scorching hot first month, you can counter back with he's been a borderline all star if you take out his one bad month, which was June.

    And I always caution judging guys too much by RISP numbers. It's always a small sample size and there's too much potential for variation. For example, while Thames hasn't been good with RISP, he actually strikes out less and walks more with RISP than he does in all other situations. He does have a lower hard hit rate with RISP, so there is some evidence to suggest he's not getting the same quality at bats. But on the flip side, his BABIP with RISP is crazy low (.212), which even if you factor in his lower percentage of hard hit balls, is way too low. He's definitely had some bad luck. If you flip that luck and he bumps that BABIP up to even .275, which is still fairly low, you're looking at a few extra hits with RISP and it's a completely different story on him. But even then, were talking about less than 100 at bats, which probably isn't a fair amount of at bats to judge a player on.

  14. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by crewfan13 View Post
    I meant to say 1 day for Santana in a 7 game week, but got ahead of myself. But I agree. A soft platoon for Brinson and Phillips makes sense. Brinson getting 4-5 starts a week and Phillips getting 2-3, with fill in duty at the corners for another start or two each week.

    And I know the difference of opinion, but don't you think Braun is just as likely to get hurt in left as he is at 1st? A lot of his injuries are soft tissue types of Injuries, which will be aggravated by stretching for balls at first. Digging bad throws and fielding sharply hit grounders isn't going to be significantly better for his thumb than playing OF, especially if it's a position he's not comfortable at. Playing somewhat passable defense at first is easy. But playing good defense and first takes a lot of work.

    And I don't get why people don't like Thames. He has a .360 obp. And before you say it's because he had a hot start, his obp is in the .350s since the start of July. And for every person that says he hasn't been that great if you take out his scorching hot first month, you can counter back with he's been a borderline all star if you take out his one bad month, which was June.

    And I always caution judging guys too much by RISP numbers. It's always a small sample size and there's too much potential for variation. For example, while Thames hasn't been good with RISP, he actually strikes out less and walks more with RISP than he does in all other situations. He does have a lower hard hit rate with RISP, so there is some evidence to suggest he's not getting the same quality at bats. But on the flip side, his BABIP with RISP is crazy low (.212), which even if you factor in his lower percentage of hard hit balls, is way too low. He's definitely had some bad luck. If you flip that luck and he bumps that BABIP up to even .275, which is still fairly low, you're looking at a few extra hits with RISP and it's a completely different story on him. But even then, were talking about less than 100 at bats, which probably isn't a fair amount of at bats to judge a player on.
    Border-line AS is a bit much. With Goldschmidt, Votto, Rizzo etc. 1B is a tough spot to make the AS team in the NL. He's not close if you take out best and worst month. He's 50 for 207 (.242) with 10 HR and 21 RBIs in almost 3 months. He had 5 RBIs all of July.

    Thames just is a weird guy to figure out where to put him in the lineup. I don't mind him but this team could get by with Aguilar IMO or platoon them more closely to split duty. I think 2 or 6,7 is decent spots for Thames. Thames is average at best on defense.

    I agree with you crewfan on your view of Braun. I doubt 1B makes him get hurt any less especially with it being a new position.

  15. #225
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    Borderline all star is probably a stretch, I'll admit that. But his obp if you take out June is .372, which is 21st in the entire NL. That's really good. I think you're focusing way too much in RBI, which is such an opportunity stat. I mean, really, if Thames is batting 2nd (like he did for most of July), he didn't get many chances since sogard and villar were awful in july and the pitcher was in front of that.

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