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BirdWatcher 04-06-2019 11:18 PM

June 1st Development Update from Nick Meskill
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As is tradition, the Brewers scouting department head, Nick Meskill, delivered an update of the scouting team's current take on Brewers players, both at the major league level and in the farm system.

And the upshot was basically this: aging players bad, young players good.

While a few of the older players on the club- the currently injured Ryan Rodgers, thirdbaseman Jamison Bash, ace starting pitcher Cheol-han Lee- are still considered high quality players, even superstars- others, in particular veteran southpaw Daniel Torres, team captain Abel Pennington, and reliever Miguel Solis, are seen as trending very much in the wrong direction at this stage of their careers.

Torres, who led the league in ERA the past two seasons and is the Brewers career leader in wins, ERA, WAR among pitchers and rWAR, strikeouts, innings pitched, opponent batting average/SLG/OOPS, etc., is having his worst big league season at age 37. Indications are that his velocity, which in his prime was in the low to mid-90's, is down to 86-88 mph. His still has good movement but his stuff is mediocre at best and his control, which has always been an issue, is just getting worse with age. He is under contract for one more season but the team has a buy-out option for that 1973 season. With this latest scouting report and given Torres performance this season, it is likely the team will use that option.

Pennington is out for the season with a ruptured bicep tendon. He is still under team control for next year, after which he becomes eligible for free agency. He has been the captain of the team for many years now and it would be hard for the team to part with him. On the other hand, with the emergence of Kevin Curtis as a great team leader as well as the designation of Matt Helm as a sort of captain-in-waiting, not to mention the solid leadership provided by Andrew Kennedy, Pennington's clubhouse role may not be as important as in the past. It is unclear whether the team is likely to retain Pennington's services for the 1973 season, especially if Helm and Justin Peacock continue to develop as solid back-end-of-the-rotation options.

Miguel Solis is the most storied reliever in Brewers history. He is easily the leader in career saves (86), games pitched (252), is 5th in strikeouts (tops among relievers), and 4th in WAR (again, 1st among relievers.) But he also has missed the second half of each of the last two seasons with season-ending arm injuries. He is considered fragile at age 32 and, while he is having a fine season thus far in 1972, our scouting staff sees trouble, or at least less success, ahead. Solis is a free agent at the end of the season. He has expressed an interest in remaining with the club. But at this point there is no word on whether management is willing to take that risk. Much will probably depend upon his performance the rest of this season and whether he remains injury-free.

But the reality is that there are positive reports about several young Brewers relievers, both on the current big league squad (Dave Duncan) and in the minors (Justin Bismark, Dave Harder, Sam Pruiett), so Solis is likely expendable and will not be re-signed.

The latest report indicates the scouting staff is quite bullish on several young Brewers. Spencer Wilson, having a great rookie season as the Brewers second catcher, is considered a solid option for the future. The trick might be getting him enough playing time with the very solid Kevin Curtis owning the starting job. The Brewers have several other solid catchers coming up the ranks also, led by the defensive wiz and highly regarded Zacarias Martell. The recently promoted Jonathan Koch looks to be primed to take over the starting second base job from Tanner Yurek in the near future. And rookie Joe McPhillips is increasingly coming to be seen as a potential superstar and the scouting staff believes his defense at centerfield is even better than they perceived earlier this season and he could well be a legitimate gold glove candidate before long.

BirdWatcher 04-07-2019 01:00 PM

June 2-4, 1972, at San Francisco
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The Brewers travel west to the Bay area to take on the San Francisco Velocity at Bank of the West Ballpark. This is the largest park in the MGL, seating 52,800 and is also the best pitcher's park in the league.

Brewers hitters didn't find it too unfriendly in their first game there, however, as the team won 7-1. Chad Brown (.316/.338/.411) led the way by going 5 for 5, scoring 2 runs, and hitting his 7th double of 1972. Jamison Bash (.226/.274/.405) and Joe McPhillips (.257/.333/.514) each contributed HR's to the cause, Bash's 8th and McPhillips' 4th. Cheol-han Lee got the win, improving to 7-1 with a 1.92 ERA.

Game 2 was nearly the same story with the Brewers prevailing 5-1. Steve Green got the win, improving to 3-4 with a 3.50 ERA. Green threw 7 innings, allowing the 1 run on just 4 hits while striking out 6 and walking 3. Chad Brown (.320/.342/.412) again paced the attack with a 2 for 4 game.

In a much tighter contest, the Brewers prevailed again in the final game of the series, 3-2. Veteran lefty Daniel Torres, perhaps having heard the rumors of his perceived decline, pitched with a purpose, working 7 innings while giving up 2 runs on 5 hits, striking out 6 and walking not a soul. He improves to 3-4 with a 3.83 ERA. Rookie Joe McPhillips (.266/.339/.514) continues to impress and went 2 for 4 in the win. This is the first series sweep for the Brewers this year in a series of more than 2 games and gives them a current winning streak of 5 games. It helps that they are finally facing some of the bottom feeders of the MGL, but the team is hopeful that this means they have finally turned the corner after a miserable month of May.
The Brewers move into 4th place, 6 1/2 games behind Charlotte and 3 games over .500.

BirdWatcher 04-07-2019 07:05 PM

1972 Amateur Draft
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The day has come once again when, in the midst of a WPK season, teams (especially those who already can see that contention this season is very unlikely) turn their focus to the future. The annual amateur draft is upon us and young collegiate and prep baseball stars from around the country are anxious to see what, if any, WPK franchise chooses to take a chance on them becoming future big league players.

This year's first pick went to the El Paso Dawgs and with that pick they chose 18-year old prep star starting pitcher Kyle Newsome out of L.A.'s Venice High School.
The second player chosen was collegiate hurler Alberto Aleman, who has starred for the past 3 years for the New York College Priests. Aleman has already reported to the Portland Wild Things class A Minneapolis Mastodons.
Another collegiate starting pitcher was chosen third overall by the Baltimore Lords, Sako Zakian out of Oklahoma City College.
The first position player taken in the draft was chosen with the fourth pick by the San Antonio Keys. That would be second baseman John Mussaw out of Oregon State.
Another starting pitcher was chosen with the fifth pick: Aaron Henry, an 18-year old who pitched this season for Rutgers University.

Clearly there was a run on starting pitchers early in the draft but nine of the remaining fifteen picks in the round were position players, with a few premium relief pitchers also chosen.

(It should be noted that the ratings reflected in the screenshots below represent the OSA scouting for these players. The Brewers scouting staff was far less bullish on Newsome, who they see as having serious control issues going forward and not developing movement to the point the OSA suggests. Denver scouting staff like Aleman better, but still not quite as much as the OSA, and they see him having less lethal stuff than the OSA thinks but better control potential. Similarly, Denver scouts like Zakian, but not quite as enthusiastically as the OSA. Interestingly, while our scouts don't give Mussaw as high an overall potential score, they do rate him a bit more highly in several specific areas, including defensive range, speed, and contact potential. Henry is another pitcher that the Brewers scouting team is more cautious about than the OSA.)

BirdWatcher 04-07-2019 07:33 PM

Brewers first five draft picks- 1972
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The Brewers first pick didn't happen until the supplemental portion of round 1, 34th overall.
With that pick the Brewers chose outfielder Val Guzman out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Guzman profiles as with a speed/power combination but might have only an average hit tool. He should be a fine defender though his arm is a bit weak. Brewers management likes his sparkplug attitude and believe he would be an asset in any clubhouse in the organization.
In the second round the Brewers chose 21-year old first baseman out of Las Vegas College, Sepi Koller. Koller is considered an advanced hitter with good power potential and defensive skills adequate to the position and won't hurt a team too much on the base paths. He is also renowned for his great baseball smarts, though he also has a reputation of being a bit inflexible in his attitudes.
The Brewers third round choice was relief pitcher Cory Degano, who pitched very well in the Brooklyn College bullpen for the past 3 seasons. Degano is a hard worker with moderate potential, but if his already solid fastball develops to the point expected and his slider also reaches its full potential, he could earn a spot in the Brewers bullpen sometime in the next 3-4 years.
In the fourth round the Brewers decide to take a chance on a young man who at barely over 18 has one collegiate season under his belt (UC-Berkeley), possesses great speed and defensive abilities and profiles as a player who will draw a high number of walks once fully developed. The downside is that his hit tool at this point is unimpressive. He is a hard worker and reportedly has a great attitude, so perhaps he will develop to be a better hitter. If not, he at least profiles as having the potential to provide speed and defense off the bench at the big league level.
The fifth round pick for the Brewers was another relief pitcher, 18-year old Mike Alfaro, who pitched for the Baylor Bears this season. The belief is that Alfaro could develop both his slider and fastball to elite levels which should give him nasty stuff at his peak. There are concerns though that his movement and control will always hold him back. But, as is a strong preference in the Brewers organization, Alfaro is considered a very hard worker and he is still young and the hope is he will exceed expectations.

With the remainder of their draft picks the Brewers did what they typically do: grabbed a number of very athletic middle infielders and center fielders, at least one very fine defensive catcher, a few starting pitchers with likely limited ceilings but multi-pitch arsenals, and a few first baseman with good power potential. Did they find any diamonds in the rough along the way? Only time will tell.

BirdWatcher 04-08-2019 07:46 PM

Brewers trade Roman, Lujan to Brooklyn for 2 prospects
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With Jonathan Koch looking very much like the heir apparent to Tanner Yurek at second base, and a few of the best Brewers prospects in the organization also being natural second basemen, it was decided that Danny Roman, who performed so well in a utility role in 1971 but got off to a horrible start at the plate this season, deserved a chance to find a big league role elsewhere. Roman, along with fellow AAA middle infielder and great glove man, Juan Lujan, who served as a back-up infielder on the Brewers squad from 1968-1970, were packaged off to Brooklyn for a pair of minor league prospects. (Brooklyn is pretty loaded with prospects and these are far from their two best.)
Relief pitcher Brian Murray, who would/could profile as a solid starting pitcher other than the fact that he doesn't appear to the have the stamina for the job, is nevertheless an intriguing prospect and could well earn a role in the Brewers pitching staff within the next few seasons. He is a hard-throwing 22-year old righty with a great fastball, a very promising cutter, and a slider that is serviceable and has room for a bit of development still. He will likely struggle with control issues going forward but could rack up the strikeouts and has decent movement.
23-year old outfielder John Flores isn't likely to earn a significant spot in the crowded Denver outfield, but he still has the potential of providing some value off the bench, especially as a right-handed hitter in an outfield picture dominated by left-handed hitters.

The move also freed up a bit of budget and 40-man roster space for the Brewers.

BirdWatcher 04-08-2019 08:20 PM

June 5-8, 1972, versus Detroit
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The Brewers return home to Centennial Stadium and start a 3-series home stand with a scheduled 4-game series against the Detroit Falcons.

In game 1 the Brewers extend their winning streak to 6. It didn't look good early as Matt Helm gave up 3 runs in the top of the 1st inning, giving up 5 straight singles to start the game. But the Brewers answered with 6 runs in the bottom of the inning, Helm mostly settled in after that, and the Brewers won 9-5. Helm lasted into the 9th inning (8 1/3rd IP), allowing 5 runs on 11 hits but got the win to improve to 3-2 with a 2.91 ERA. Rookie Jonathan Koch (.278/.333/.472) had a nice game, going 2 for 4, hitting his first triple of the season and driving in 3 runs. Kevin Curtis (.204/.323/.336) hit his 2nd HR of the season and drove in 2 runs. And Antonio Puente (.212/.302/.379) hit his 5th HR of 1972.

The winning streak ended in the second game of the series, as the Falcons prevailed 7-3. Harry Lyerly lasted 7 innings and when he left the game it was tied 3-3 but stopper Jose de los Santos had a disastrous outing, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits in the 8th inning and he fell to 2-4 with a 2.93 ERA. As for Lyerly, he gave up his 3 runs on 6 hits but also struck out 10 batters while walking just 2, and deserved a better fate. His ERA rises to 3.01.

One bad inning for Cheol-han Lee doomed the Brewers in the third game of the series. Lee allowed 3 runs in the 4th inning and other than that was very strong. He lasted 8 2/3rds, giving up 7 hits, striking out 8 and walking 4. With the loss he drops to 7-2 with a 2.03 ERA. Rookie Paul Mackins (.275/.275/.348) had a fine game in the lead-off slot, going 3 for 3. (He had to leave the game early though due to a hamstring pull while running the bases and is day-to-day for 3 days.)

The Brewers did not have a chance to salvage a series split as bad weather postponed the final game until later in the season.

With the series loss the Brewers are now just 2 games over .500 but do remain in 4th place, just a game and a half ahead of their next opponents, the Baltimore Lords.

BirdWatcher 04-10-2019 08:33 PM

Chester Big Stick Leftfielder bin Nadeem Player of Week
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Having been drafted by the Brewers in the 8th round in the 1967 amateur draft, Troy bin Nadeem has quietly moved his way up the minor league ranks and currently plays for the Brewers AAA club, Chester, where he is putting up great numbers at age 23. This past week he took Player of the Week honors in his league.
bin Nadeem is one of the plethora of Brewers outfield prospects who could be big leaguers in an organization with a weaker outfield picture. He is a decent hitter with average power and a rifle arm. Although his outfield range is acceptable at best (he is not blessed with speed) he also won't hurt you with unforced gaffes.

Whether he has any future in the Brewers organization beyond being a potential injury replacement/late season call-up is questionable but he could still surprise.

(Note: I really need to get around to re-naming the minor league sub-leagues. I'm getting sick of reading articles about Sub League 1 and Sub League 2.)

BirdWatcher 04-10-2019 08:57 PM

June 9-11, 1972, versus Baltimore
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The Brewers face the 5th place Baltimore Lords for 4 games at Centennial Stadium with a chance to put more distance between them and the team immediately behind them in the standings and try to climb up closer to contention.
Instead, the drop 3 of 4 and fall behind Baltimore into 5th place.

Things got off to a good start in the first game as the Brewers won 6-2. Steve Green got the win, working 8 innings and giving up 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 8 and walking 3 batters. He improves to 4-4 with a 3.38 ERA. The offense is once again led by Bobby Erbakan and rookie Joe McPhillips. Erbakan (.304/.383/.433) went 4 for 5 and hit his 14th double of the season. McPhillips (.270/.354/.513) was 2 for 3, driving in a pair of runs, hitting his 6th double of the year.

The following day, though, the Brewers could only manage 2 hits against Chris Sutherland. Sutherland, you might recall, tossed a no-hitter against Phoenix earlier in the season. It was tough luck for young Justin Peacock, who hurled another fine game, lasting 6 1/3rd, giving up 2 runs (only 1 earned) on 7 hits while striking out 6 and walking 2. Although Peacock's record dropped to 2-2 with the loss, he now sports an impressive 2.10 ERA in his 4 starts this year. (Peacock has a 2.17 ERA in his 13 major league appearances, including 7 starts, spread over the 1971 and 1972 seasons.)

The Brewers were defeated by the Lords, 6-3, in the opening game of a Sunday double-header. Veteran lefty Daniel Torres, on a roller-coaster ride this season, had another horrible start, working 4 1/3rd innings, allowing 6 runs on 8 hits and 6 walks (3 K). He drops to 3-5 with a 4.45 ERA. After winning consecutive ERA titles the past 2 seasons (2.14 and 1.96) it seems pretty clear and third is not in the offering. Antonio Puente (.230/.325/.405) went 2 for 4 in the loss and hit his 6th HR of the year.

It took 14 innings but the Lords managed to win the series by taking a 5-4 win in the night-cap. Harry Lyerly got the start for the Brewers and lasted for 7 1/3rd, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits while striking out 8 and walking 3 (but amazingly once again not allowing a single HR.) Lyerly obviously didn't get a decision in the game and sees his ERA rise to 3.19. Eric Singer suffered the loss and falls to 1-3 with a 3.77 ERA. Oscar Vargas (.212/.262/.313), getting the start at third, went 2 for 5 and hit his 2nd HR of the season.

BirdWatcher 04-11-2019 01:44 PM

Mid-June Review/Outlook
Having reached the middle of June (games played through June 15, will report latest series tonight), the Denver Brewers, having set a WPK season record with 108 wins in 1971, are still fighting to remain somewhere around .500 (just slightly above at the moment) in the 1972 season.

The biggest difference has been in team pitching. The Brewers have been the dominant pitching (and defense) team in the league for the past few years but this season they are just pretty middle of the road in that area. While staff ace Cheol-han Lee is having another Pitcher of the Year caliber season thus far, and Harry Lyerly is once again solid (actually on pace for a WAR that equals his 1970 Pitcher of the Year campaign), Steve Green has been inconsistent, Daniel Torres has mostly fallen off the cliff after being the most consistently solid Brewers starting pitcher for many years, and Abel Pennington was lost early on to a season-ending injury. Youngsters Matt Helm and Justin Peacock have shown signs of good potential and may well earn spots at the back end of the rotation for next season.
As diminished as the starting rotation has been this season, it is the bullpen where things have at times been completely disastrous. Veteran stoppers Jose de los Santos and Eric Singer have both been disappointing. Longtime Brewers closer (now set-up man) Miguel Solis is having another good season but at 32 years of age and having been lost to season-ending injuries mid-season the past two years, Solis is considered a season- or even career-ending injury waiting to happen. With his contract expiring at the end of this season, it is considered unlikely that he will return in a Brewers uniform in 1973. Lefty Liann-wei Hua has been a bright spot and likely will anchor the 'pen going forward but he is currently on the IL with a nagging hamstring issue. Jaden Francis has struggled so much that he was sent down to AAA to get his head straight. Dave Duncan has done quite well and will be given opportunities for an increased role. And Jordan Stephens and Sam Pruiett have moved back and forth between AAA Chester and Denver and could earn permanent spots in the bullpen next season.

Denver's offense has been inconsistent but overall has been pretty good. (Though once again, after rising to near the top of the league in this category in 1971, the Brewers are one of the worst home run hitting teams in the MGL.) Bobby Erbakan is having a break-out season, Chad Brown continues to be solid both at the plate and in the field (and of course Erbakan remains the most gifted fielding first baseman in the game), Andrew Kennedy and Pat Rondeau have both contributed with their bats and Rondeau remains a premium defender at all 3 outfield positions.
On the other hand, veteran Jamison Bash, who was the MVP of the MGL last season, is having a dismal season at the plate, though he does remain the team's best HR hitter. Ryan Rodgers has been out with an injury most of the first half of the season. Antonio Puente still has one of the better WAR totals on the team, but his batting average and OBP are quite poor and his premium defense in right field as well as his power help counteract that in terms of WAR. Tanner Yurek is a negative both at the plate and in the field (well, maybe more neutral in the field.)

So what now? If the Brewers continue to underachieve (and last I checked we still had one of the best run differentials in the league and were under-performing our pythagorean expectation by quite a few wins), then it is conceivable they will be active traders prior to the deadline. Likely they will be trying to unload veterans who might still be attractive to contending teams (Yurek, Singer, possibly Bash- though he likely is too expensive and old to get real value for him) and looking to younger players to help them rebound in 1973.

And on that front things are looking promising. More and more as the season progresses rookie center fielder Joe McPhillips looks like a budding star. And young second baseman Jonathan Koch, while not looking like he has that kind of ceiling, does look like a very good option to take over second from Yurek, especially with his superb defensive skills. If the Brewers can somehow unload Bash, Jose Careaga could still be an acceptable option at third for the short-term (not nearly the power Bash offers, but a decent hitter and a better fielder), and Mike Foster is also looking like someone who could inherit this job eventually. Our young catchers both provide great defense and good on base skills (both are around .350 in OBP, hitting in the 7th or 8th slots in the lineup, and hit a fair share of doubles). Erbakan, Brown, and Kennedy are all just now entering their prime and should provide great value.

So while the season has been frustrating, in some ways I'm hoping we do continue to under-achieve as it will make pulling the plug on veterans (especially someone like Yurek who remains a fan favorite and for whom parting ways will pay a bit of a price at the box office) and turning to the young players to take over and begin the next chapter for the team easier.

BirdWatcher 04-12-2019 12:06 AM

June 12-15, 1972, versus Portland
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Perhaps 4 games against the last place Portland Wild Things at home is what the doctor ordered to get the Brewers back on the right track.

Then again, maybe not.

Game 1 saw a great performance by Cheol-han Lee and every bit of it was needed as the Brewers just barely won, 1-0. Lee improves to 8-2 with the victory and now has a 1.86 ERA. He allowed 7 hits in the complete game shutout while striking out 9 and walking none. Andrew Kennedy (.283/.307/.399) went 2 for 3 in the game, hitting his 12th double and scoring the lone Brewers run. That run was driven in by Joe McPhillips (.252/.340/.480) with his 7th double of the year.

In the second game of the series the Brewers lost in 10 innings, 5-4. (The Brewers are 2-6 in extra innings games.) With a long stretch of games the Brewers found themselves with an exhausted rotation and no good option out of the bullpen and had to reach down to AAA to bring up a fresh arm to start the game. Unfortunately, all of their best options at AAA were also not well rested and they were forced to go with Jack Hinkel, hardly a prospect. Then again, the 23-year old Hinkel does have two exceptional pitches- a nasty slider and a great change-up- to go along with a decent fastball. His stuff is nearly Harry Lyerly quality, but his movement is also Lyerly-like and his control is well-below average. In a pinch I suppose one could do worse. And Hinkel, in his first major league start, wasn't bad. He lasted 6 1/3rd, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits while striking out 5 and walking 2. He kept his team in the game, at least. Which is more than one can say for Jorge de los Santos, who took the loss, and Eric Singer, who walked three and threw a wild pitch coming on after de los Santos and failing to strand the runner he inherited with one out. Bobby Erbakan (.302/.382/.423) went 3 for 5 and hit his 15th double in the loss.

Game 3 saw the Brewers return the favor with a 4-3, 10-inning walk-off win. The walk-off hero was rookie Paul Mackins (.263/.273/.329), who hit a 2-out pinch-hit single to win it. Steve Green pitched 8 strong innings- allowing 3 runs on just 5 hits while striking out 10 and walking only 1 (he did give up 2 HR's)- but didn't get a decision. Andrew Kennedy (.285/.316/.402) went 2 for 4 and hit his 13th double in the game.

Lefty Matt Helm started game 4 for the Brewers but had to leave the game with a sore back after throwing just 4 pitches. The bullpen was solid (Dave Duncan, Sam Pruiett, and Miguel Solis- along with 1 pitch by Eric Singer who then also had to leave the game with an as yet un-diagnosed injury) but the offense went cold and the Brewers lost 3-1. Bobby Erbakan (.305/.382/.427) and Andrew Kennedy (.291/.325/.407) were again the bright spots for the offense, Erbakan going 2 for 4 with his 16th double and Kennedy 2 for 3 with a pair of singles and a walk.

With the series split the Brewers once again fall back to .500 with 31 wins and 31 losses. They are in 4th place, 8 1/2 games behind the first place L.A. Spinners, and 7 1/2 behind the Charlotte Sting and Brooklyn Aces, who are in a virtual tie for 2nd place. On the other hand, at least they aren't the Phoenix Speed Devils, who were widely predicted to win the MGL this season. The Speed Devils have dropped to 9th place and are now 7 games under .500.

BirdWatcher 04-12-2019 12:19 AM

WPK Player Spotlight: Felix Lopez (Brooklyn Aces)
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Now seems like a good time to talk about Felix Lopez (again.)
The 29-year old Brooklyn centerfielder is one of the premier players in the WPK- a supremely gifted hitter and base-stealer with gold glove range in center (he won the award in 1971) and a dynamic competitive spirit.

He has collected at least 200 hits in a season in 6 of his 7 full season in the bigs (and fell short by just 5 in the other season) and has led the league in batting average 3 times. He has never failed to led the league in stolen bases, and also holds both the single season and current career record for triples.

But this year is shaping up to be something special beyond all else he has accomplished. In a season where currently there are only 7 players in all of the WPK, among those with enough plate appearances to qualify, hitting .300 or better, Lopez is hitting 381. The next best, Lazaro Lowndes in the SJL, is hitting .344. In the MGL, of Lopez three nearest competitors are two Brewers- Chad Brown, at .314, and Bobby Erbakan, tied with Portland's Chris Tobin at .305. Lopez is currently on a pace to hit 51 doubles and 13 triples among 234 hits while stealing 26 bases and racking up a WAR of 12.3.

BirdWatcher 04-12-2019 11:46 PM

Singer sidelined, Hua suffers setback
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Eric Singer had to leave the game on June 15th with a strained abdominal muscle and has been placed on the 10 day injured list. The thought is that Singer might need a couple of weeks for full recovery.
Jaden Francis was brought back up from AAA to take his spot in the bullpen.

Meanwhile, Liann-wei Hua's recovery from a mild hamstring strain took a complicating turn and it looks like he might need a bit more time before he's ready to return to action. At this point the training staff believes it might be a week or two before he can rejoin the Brewers 'pen.

BirdWatcher 04-13-2019 12:12 AM

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The Brewers head to Baltimore for the second time this season to take on the Lords. Coming into the series the Lords are sitting just a game behind the Brewers in 5th place.

And with a win in the first game of the four-game series the Lords catch the Brewers for a 4th place tie. Harry Lyerly takes the loss for the Brewers in a low-scoring game as the Lords win 3-1. Lyerly allowed the 3 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings pitched while striking out only 2 and walking 6. All things considered, given how much Harry struggled with his control in this game, things could have been much work and he gutted his way through some tough innings. But the Brewers offense went cold and he didn't get much help. Lyerly drops to 5-3 with a 3.24 ERA.

The Brewers bounce back with a narrow victory in game 2. Justin Peacock pitched another good game, working 7 innings, giving up just 1 run on 4 hits, in the 2-1 victory. Peacock improves to 3-2 with a 1.93 ERA. Jose de los Santos pitched 2 strong innings in relief to pick up his 9th save (2.56 ERA.) Jonathan Koch (.262/.304/.462) was the big hitting hero, going 2 for 3 and hitting his 2nd HR of the season.

The low-scoring continued in the two games of the Sunday double-header, but the results were very good for the Brewers as they won a pair of 2-0 games. In the first game they got a good outing from Daniel Torres. The veteran lefty lasted 7 shutout innings, scattering 5 hits while striking out 3 and walking only 2. Torres improves to 4-5 with a 3.99 ERA. Sam Pruiett and Miguel Solis combine for the last 2 innings to preserve the shutout. Big contributions at the plate from back-up catcher Spencer Wilson (.298/.347/.330). Wilson went 2 for 3 and hit his 3rd double of the season.

And Cheol-han Lee got his second shutout of the season as he went the distance in the night-cap, allowing just 2 hits while striking out 5 and walking 1. Lee improves to 9-2 with a 1.71 ERA. The Brewers committed 3 errors in the game (Lee, Oscar Vargas, Chad Brown) but also turned a couple of double-plays and worked around the errors successfully. They also got 3 doubles among their 7 hits- Jonathan Koch hit his 4th, Kevin Curtis his 12th (he also walked twice) and Andrew Kennedy his 14th.

With the 3-1 series win the Brewers move a couple of games above .500 again and back into sole possession of 4th place, now 3 games ahead of 5th place Baltimore.

BirdWatcher 04-13-2019 12:16 AM

Lee MGL Player of Week, more accolades for bin Nadeem
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Cheol-han Lee pitched 2 gems during the week just ended to take MGL Player of the Week honors.

And AAA outfielder Troy bin Nadeem continues his great season and earns another Player of the Week selection.

BirdWatcher 04-13-2019 11:45 AM

June 20-22, 1972, at Detroit
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The Brewers then travel to the Motor City to take on the Falcons at East Lake Park.
East Lake is a slight pitcher's park that seats 44,400 fans, slightly above the league average.

Brewers pitching has been better of late, and that continued in game 1, but the offense has gone cold and that also continued. Fortunately for Steve Green, who pitched 8 strong innings, giving up 1 run on 5 hits while striking out 9 and walking 4, the Brewers managed just enough offense to win 2-1 in 11 innings. Green sees his ERA drop to 3.19 in the no-decision. Jose de los Santos gets the win in relief and now has a 3-5 record with a 2.43 ERA. Pat Rondeau (.301/.317/.366) went 2 for 4 and scored both of the Brewers runs, while also stealing 2 bases (7).

The Denver bats stayed silent again in game 2 as they lost 3-1. Matt Helm pitched pretty well for the Brewers in his 6 innings- giving up 3 runs on 6 hits- but was tagged with the loss, dropping him to 3-3 (2.91 ERA).

More of the same in game 3 but the Brewers got a great performance from starter Harry Lyerly and won 2-0 to take the series. Lyerly worked 8 scoreless innings, giving up just 2 hits while striking out 9 and walking 2. With the victory, Lyerly improves to 6-3 with a 2.97 ERA. Jose de los Santos pitched the 9th for his 10th save (2.38 ERA.)

BirdWatcher 04-13-2019 02:48 PM

Brewers send Bash, Yurek to Charlotte for Sloan, prospect
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Although the team has been playing better lately, the Brewers remain 9 games behind the MGL leading Charlotte Sting in 4th place.

And with the offense sputtering the Brewers made what many might consider an odd decision, trading two of their biggest name position players, third baseman Jamison Bash, the reigning MGL MVP, and long-time second baseman Tanner Yurek, a two-time All-Star and fan favorite, to those same Sting for 29-year old left-handed starting pitcher Erik Sloan and a borderline prospect.

The reality is that Bash and Yurek, both heading into their later years as professional ballplayers, are putting up horrible numbers at the plate this season and neither provides particularly good defense. Bash was the best power hitter on the team but has a slash line of .209/.275/.350 and is being paid 350 K to do so little. Yurek's slash line is not much better at .219/.300/.298. And after years of being one of the Brewers more consistent power hitters, he has hit exactly zero HR's this season.

Rookie Jonathan Koch has earned the lion's share of the starts at second base and he will be supported by defensive specialist Oscar Vargas. Rookie Mike Foster was promoted from AAA to take over at third and show the team what he can do, again with assistance from the versatile Vargas. Plus, Jack Hinkel is sent back to AAA and reliever Jordan Stephens rejoins the Brewers bullpen. Stephens provides the additional skill of being a fine hitter, with plus power, who can also play third base.

In Sloan the Brewers add a lefty to the rotation as a hedge against the probably loss of Daniel Torres, who has shown great declines in performance this year, at the end of the season. Sloan is a ground-ball pitcher with great control whose strongest pitch is the screwball and who is under contract through the 1975 season.

Bash is a superstar and Yurek was a local favorite and their loss has affected the local fans greatly. The addition of Sloan helps a bit, as he is a well-known player who was a fan favorite in Charlotte. But in the short run, and with the Brewers disappointing season thus far, all indications are that this is a net loss for the team in terms of fan support and interest. But it was a decision made not for the short-term but for perceived long-term gain, if nothing more than addition by subtraction- purging aging high-cost, under-performing players with an eye towards giving younger up-and-comers a chance to prove their value.

BirdWatcher 04-13-2019 03:18 PM

Curtis' good works.
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Two-time gold glove winning Brewer catcher Kevin Curtis is a Denver fan favorite and has a reputation as one of the game's more beloved players.

Here is an example of why:

BirdWatcher 04-13-2019 05:29 PM

June 23-25, 1972, at Portland
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The Brewers head to the Pacific Northwest to take on the last place Portland Wild Things for 3 games.

Despite another terrific start by rookie Justin Peacock (after his disastrous first game of the season, Peacock has been very impressive since), the Brewers lose the first game of the series 1-0. Peacock allows the 1 run on just 4 hits over the course of 7 innings pitched, while striking out 9 and walking 2. He drops to 3-3 on the season but with an excellent 1.82 ERA.

Denver bounces back in game 2 with a narrow 3-1 victory. Ace Cheol-han Lee allows 2 runs on 5 hits in 7 innings pitched (6 K, 1 BB) but does not get the decision. (His ERA is now 1.76.) Miguel Solis gets the win to improve to 1-1 with a miniscule 0.42 ERA. Andrew Kennedy (.298/.333/.415), one of the only Brewers who has been hitting well during this offensive cold spell for the team, went 2 for 3 and hit 2 doubles in the game to give him a season total of 16.

Having only just joined the team after being traded from Charlotte, starter Erik Singer pitched a gem in his first game in Brewers' purple. Singer got a complete game victory in a 4-1 Brewers triumph, allowing just 5 hits while striking out 10 and walking 1. He improves to 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA on the season between the Sting and the Brewers. Chad Brown (.301/.326/.381) was one of the hitting heroes for the Brewers in this one as he collected 4 hits in 5 tries including 2 doubles which gives him 12 for the season. Rookie center fielder Joe McPhillips, who has been slumping for weeks, showed signs of getting back on track with a 2 for 4 performance and he hit his 8th double of the season.

BirdWatcher 04-13-2019 08:37 PM

June 27-29, 1972, versus San Francisco
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The Brewers return home to Denver and start the home stand with a 3-game series against the San Francisco Velocity. The Brewers haven't been very good at home thus far in their new park, Centennial Stadium. Coming into this series they had a home record of 14-20.

Maybe they are making the adjustment to their new home finally though, as they sweep the Velocity.

Game 1 required extra innings but a Bobby Erbakan (.284/.359/.391) two-out single to drive in Pat Rondeau with the walk-off win, the Brewers prevailing 4-3. Erbakan, who got off to such a wonderful start this season, like much of the team has been very cold at the plate for several weeks- at one point his batting average dropped as low as .278- but is showing some signs of coming out of it and collected 2 hits in 6 at-bats in the game. Harry Lyerly got the start for the Brewers and lasted 7 innings, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits while striking out 7 and walking 2. Dave Duncan got the win in relief and improves to 1-2 with a 1.27 ERA. Rookie third baseman Mike Foster got his first big league hit in the 4th inning and it was a big one- a 424 foot HR deep into the leftfield stands. Foster went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI.

Game 2 was another tight one and lasted even longer- 15 innings to be exact. Daniel Torres had one of his best starts of the season, working 8 innings, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits while striking out 3 and walking none. Four Brewers relievers combined for nearly perfect 7 innings (Miguel Solis, Jose de los Santos, Dave Duncan, and Sam Pruiett) with Sam Pruiett pitching the last 3 innings to pick up his first win of the season (1.50 ERA.) Chad Brown (.298/.322/.378) went 3 for 7 in the game including hitting his 13th double.

Then, finally, in game 3, the Denver offense busted out. The Brewers won easily, 11-3. Bobby Erbakan (.295/.371/.421) served notice that he is back as he went 4 for 5, hitting his 2nd triple of the season and his 4th home run, driving in 5 runs. Rookie second baseman Jonathan Koch (.278/.327/.454) had a big game, going 3 for 4 with 4 runs scored and hitting his 3rd triple of the season. Steve Green was not very sharp in the start- working just 4 1/3rd innings and allowing 3 runs on 7 hits, but the bullpen was great once again, with Jaden Francis getting the win with 3 fine innings. Francis improves to 1-1 with a 5.21 ERA.

Thus far the youth movement at second and third base is going very well with Jonathan Koch and Mike Foster not only solidifying the infield defense but both have made significant contributions with their bats since former starters Jamison Bash and Tanner Yurek were traded away.

BirdWatcher 04-13-2019 08:49 PM

Erbakan signed to long-term extension!
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With a few years of arbitration eligibility left for Bobby Erbakan, he and the team decided to get things settled contractually for the foreseeable future and let him join fellow 25-year old Chad Brown as two of the pillars the future of the team will be built upon.

Rumor has it that Erbakan and his agent originally were seeking a 9 year contract but when management came back with an 8 year offer that eliminated an asked for player opt out and suggested a team option for the final year rather than a player option, Erbakan countered with a shorter (5 year) term at a higher annual salary. Apparently the team then offered a 7-year deal while actually even sweetening the pot a bit in terms of annual average dollar amounts and Erbakan decided this was acceptable.

With the team largely turning towards younger players among non-pitchers- Joe McPhillips in center field, Jonathan Koch at second, Mike Foster at third- the feeling is that Erbakan and Brown will lead the way on the field while Andrew Kennedy, who inked a 6-year deal earlier this season and is also 25, will provide a great deal of leadership in the clubhouse as well as being perhaps the best pure hitter on the club.

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