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Old 01-19-2020, 09:28 PM   #981
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1976 Draft Pool Revealed

The 1976 Amateur Draft is a little less than a month away and today the pool of players that teams will be drafting from was released.

Among the players both the OSA and the Denver Brewers scouting staff are high on is 18-year old center fielder Chris Heisler out of Fresno State. The young man shows 5-tool potential with great speed and a fine hit tool that should yield both great contact and plus power. He is also considered highly intelligent and teachable.
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There are several solid pitching prospects who should have a chance to fashion big league careers in a starting rotation. While the OSA and the Brewers scouts differ a bit on the potential upside of right-hander Matt Regan and left-hander Michael Noland, with their 4-pitch repertoire's and solid makeup both college hurlers should at least have a good chance to fashion mid-rotation careers in the WPK. Another lefty collegiate pitcher who seems to be quite advanced already is Justin Matthews out of Glendale College. He will likely be prone to the gopher ball but if any of his three secondary pitches develops as hoped to combine with an already big league ready fastball, he could go far.
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Another 18-year old center fielder who could have an impact in the WPK is Iowa prep star Bill Bussard. Bussard is thought to have great leadership potential, possesses plus (or even plus plus) speed, and good range in the outfield. While the Brewers scouts are less high on his hit tool than the OSA is, he has a chance to develop enough as a hitter to be a starting center fielder or left fielder in the WPK. He is still very raw though, so he will be a bit of a riskier pick in the draft.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:35 PM   #982
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Berserkers team captain Matt Bell to miss rest of season

Matt Bell may not be a star caliber player but he is a great leader and an excellent defensive shortstop and when it was revealed today that he would miss the rest of the 1976 season due to suffering a broken bone in his elbow, Boston fans, who are excited by their team's early success (they trail the front-runners in the SJL, Washington, by a single game) felt a bit gut punched.
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Fortunately for the Berserkers they did have the luxury of having slick fielding journeyman Bill Street on their bench and for the time being at least it appears he will be the starter at short with very little loss of defense in the process. The Berserkers best prospect at the position in the higher levels of the system is Barry Owens, who at 23 is playing at AA now and is a glove first shortstop with little offensive potential.
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:03 PM   #983
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Thoughts

Bird,

Just some thoughts -

Grouping the starting pitching staff together - You are absolutely right. All but Matt Helm (neutral)are either groundball or extreme groundball pitchers and solidifying 3/4 of the infield (particularly the middle) has helped them a lot, albeit in a small sample size, it should translate to the rest of the season.

Joe McPhillips - Is just having a slow start. He will come around soon.

Bobby Erbakan - I am very surprised at how fast his transition to 2nd base has come. A 9 already?! Definitely going to help the ball club.

Zacharias Martell - I am continually amazed by how he and Kirk Patnode both exceed expectations.

Rich White - He is a bit of a parasite. What I mean by that is when he is on a bad team with little to no leadership like he was with El Paso last year before the trade his negative traits and his mouth got him in trouble and he performed terribly. He fed on the negativity of the situation there. When he was traded to Denver last season, he had an immediate turn around. Joining a winning team culture with plenty of leadership and team captain Matt Helm you could see him change 180░ in attitude (his great ability to adapt to new situations certainly helped), no longer said negative things in the media and locker room. He pulled right up to the dinner table and fed on all the positivity the rest of the season. It was night and day. Couple his defensive contributions with all that and he is a fine role player that as long as he is kept on a leash and fed he can be counted on for years to come.

Josh Shaeffer - He is a little similar to Rich White but for a different reason. He has a motivation problem, his lack of work ethic. Being on this team has been the best thing for him. The leadership and other players give him what he needs to excel and most times he does to the benefit of the Brewers.

The Bullpen - Night and day compare to last year. If they can stay consistent this year that could be the difference between winning the MGL and narrowly missing out like last year. Things are looking up, at least in this small sample size.

L.A. Spinners - It's nice to see the Brewers arch enemies burying themselves early. Hopefully they can keep it up .

Have a Great night bro!

Palaaemon
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:40 PM   #984
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaaemon View Post
Bird,

Just some thoughts -

Grouping the starting pitching staff together - You are absolutely right. All but Matt Helm (neutral)are either groundball or extreme groundball pitchers and solidifying 3/4 of the infield (particularly the middle) has helped them a lot, albeit in a small sample size, it should translate to the rest of the season.

Joe McPhillips - Is just having a slow start. He will come around soon.

Bobby Erbakan - I am very surprised at how fast his transition to 2nd base has come. A 9 already?! Definitely going to help the ball club.

Zacharias Martell - I am continually amazed by how he and Kirk Patnode both exceed expectations.

Rich White - He is a bit of a parasite. What I mean by that is when he is on a bad team with little to no leadership like he was with El Paso last year before the trade his negative traits and his mouth got him in trouble and he performed terribly. He fed on the negativity of the situation there. When he was traded to Denver last season, he had an immediate turn around. Joining a winning team culture with plenty of leadership and team captain Matt Helm you could see him change 180░ in attitude (his great ability to adapt to new situations certainly helped), no longer said negative things in the media and locker room. He pulled right up to the dinner table and fed on all the positivity the rest of the season. It was night and day. Couple his defensive contributions with all that and he is a fine role player that as long as he is kept on a leash and fed he can be counted on for years to come.

Josh Shaeffer - He is a little similar to Rich White but for a different reason. He has a motivation problem, his lack of work ethic. Being on this team has been the best thing for him. The leadership and other players give him what he needs to excel and most times he does to the benefit of the Brewers.

The Bullpen - Night and day compare to last year. If they can stay consistent this year that could be the difference between winning the MGL and narrowly missing out like last year. Things are looking up, at least in this small sample size.

L.A. Spinners - It's nice to see the Brewers arch enemies burying themselves early. Hopefully they can keep it up .

Have a Great night bro!

Palaaemon

Yes, great observations all. (I don't want to give too much away, but I will report on the most recent week likely later tonight, and the gist is that things just keep getting better and better in Denver.)

Cheol-han's lack of stuff has made him vulnerable and he is far from his peak but with his fine control and solid movement he is still a valuable starter and he's been a bit lucky this season too and therefore has a great record. The rest of the starting staff is very solid and that infield defense, which has been nothing short of amazing, has made a huge difference. Even RodRod has been quite good and only recently committed his 2nd error of the season. Certainly on a much better pace than last season.

And the great thing about Joe McPhillips is that even when his bat is weak he provides such excellent defense and speed and knows how to draw a walk. There are some encouraging signs of late that he is starting to heat up a bit. Which is good because Rich White and Brett Taranto can't possibly keep up the offensive pace they are on.

Bobby Erbakan got a LOT of starts at second during Spring Training but most importantly he had the underlying skills to allow him to pick up the position quickly. He has not only been steady but has made a great number of incredible plays that most second basemen wouldn't.

And that catching tandem just keeps impressing with both their bats and defense. (IIRC, Patnode has yet allow a runner to steal a base this season.) It no doubt helps that they both are such quality characters with great attitudes and work ethics.

And I think you are spot on about Rich White. He needed a environment like the one in the Brewers clubhouse- and he needed a chance to be named the everyday starter at short- in order to mature. Surely his bat will tail off a bit eventually, but his defense has been marvelous and that should continue.

As for Josh Schaeffer- as he was coming up through the system I was never a fan. He put up great numbers year after year, playing alongside draft-mate Joe McPhillips (and perhaps that relationship was key). But I didn't buy into him as a legit prospect. Thing is, he's been one of the most consistent hitters, fielders, and runners on the club the past few years. My fondness for him is growing. And with Ryan Rodgers no longer around, his ability to take a walk is increasingly valuable. I don't expect him to age well, but for now he's a keeper.

The bullpen clearly under-performed last year. Even the members of that group who are now gone were really better than their numbers indicated. But, with a few small hiccups, this year's 'pen is world's better. And it has helped that future starters Sekien Hamasaki and John Weaver have performed so well too, mostly in long relief and with an occasional start. Ben Flynn is still inconsistent, but he shows the greatest potential of all. And Eric Marino has quietly been steady thus far, though in limited appearances.

L.A. continues to struggle, and as you will see soon, Brooklyn is slumping again. There is a whole lotta season left and the Brewers are well aware that they led the MGL most of the season last year before dropping into second place. But a great start is still a nice feeling.

The real question now, in terms both of clubhouse cohesion and on-field performance, is outfielder Jorge Gonzalez. Not only is he considered a disruptive influence, which fortunately is a non-issue at his point with all the winning and great leadership, but he has seriously under-performed at the plate thus far. Fortunately, Andrew Kennedy is off to a great start, so he is getting more starts in left field then was expected.

Do the Brewers send the still young Gonzalez down to AAA for some more seasoning (and risk upsetting the chemistry there, with the Chester club struggling to get to .500)? Or do we hope he starts to play better soon, if for no other reason than to enhance his trade value? Kennedy is off to a great start but the days when he will be a defensive liability are likely not far away. Who is the left fielder of the future for Denver? That is a question that seems quite up in the air at the moment.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:20 PM   #985
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Week 4, May 2-8, 1976

Brewers record: 6-0 (week), 20-5, 1st place, MGL (season).

May 2-3, at Phoenix: 2-0, 4-1.

The Phoenix Speed Devils play their home games in perhaps the best hitter's park in the WPK. And they are the best power hitting team in the league. The Denver Brewers are the best overall offense in the WPK.
So naturally, the Brewers hold the Speed Devils to just 1 run in the final 2 games of the 3 game series, and only score 6 runs themselves.
Steve Green (3-1, 1.86) is brilliant in game 2, allowing just 1 hit over 8 innings, striking out 9 and walking 3. Ben Flynn pitches a flawless 9th inning for his 3rd save. Zacarias Martell is 2 for 3 with 1 run scored and 1 driven in and hits his 5th double to help lead the offense. Rich White went 2 for 4 with an RBI and picked up his 2nd stolen base.

In the final game of the series, John Weaver got his first start of the season and it was a successful one. Weaver (1-0, 0.73) pitched 8 2/3rds, allowing 1 run on 5 hits. Jason Gottula came in to get the final out and earned his 1st save of 1976. Andrew Kennedy went 4 for 5 and hit his 7th double. Brett Taranto went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and 2 walks.

May 4-6, versus Brooklyn: 3-1, 11-4, 8-2.

The Brooklyn Aces came into the season considered the team most likely to win the MGL in 1976, and lately they have been coming on and getting themselves into position to compete for first place in this 3-game series in Denver.
It didn't work out that way.
In game 1, the Brewers got another great start, this time from Sadahige Kawasaki. Kawasaki (2-2, 2.15) went the distance, giving up 1 run on 8 hits, for the victory. Rich White went 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored, hit his 2nd triple and swiped his 3rd base of the season in the win. Josh Schaeffer went 2 for 4 with an RBI.

And then in game 2 the Brewers offense re-asserted itself. Andrew Kennedy once again led the way, going 4 for 5 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI and hit his 8th double. Joe McPhillips went 2 for 4, driving in 5 runs and hitting his 2nd HR of the season. Cheol-han Lee (4-0, 3.93) wasn't at his sharpest, giving up 4 runs on 13 hits in 6 2/3rds innings, but with all the run support he gets another win.

In game 3 the Brewers faced the Ace of Aces (Brooklyn or otherwise), Aaron McNally. Seemed like a good time for Brooklyn to earn a victory and avoid being swept. But McNally, as good as he is, isn't off to a typical start and came into the game 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA. Good for mere mortals but subpar for McNally. And things got worse for him as he allowed the Brewers to score 8 runs on 7 hits over 7 2/3rds innings. Meanwhile, Erik Sloan (4-1, 2.33) was once again pitching superbly. He worked 7 innings, giving up 2 runs on 9 hits. Tim Shore pitched the final 2 innings for his 3rd save. Joe McPhillips, starting to come awake at the plate, went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI, hitting his first 2 triples of 1976. Izzy Veliz, getting a rare start in right field, went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and hit a big 2-out run scoring double in the 7th when the game was still tight. (The Brewers would score 4 runs in the 8th to break this one open.) Aaron McNally is now 3-3 with a 3.99 ERA.

May 8, at San Francisco: 3-2.

The Brewers head to the Bay Area to take on the Velocity in a 3-game set.
In the first game, the Brewers take a 3-2 lead in the 5th inning and keep it right there the rest of the way. The Captain, Matt Helm (2-0, 2.83), went the distance, needing just 94 pitches for the win, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits. (It's hard to figure out what has happened to Matt Stagner this year. He is one of the most talented pitchers in the league, signed a big free agent contract with S.F. in the off-season, and now pitches his home game in probably the best pitcher's park in the WPK. And he's now 0-5 with a 5.82 ERA.) Zacarias Martell (.290/.357/.371) went 2 for 4 with a run scored in the low-scoring game. Andrew Kennedy (.394/.416/.521) hit his 9th double.

Notes from around the league: The Washington Night Train (18-7) still lead the SJL, with the Boston Berserkers and Columbus Whalers (both 17-8) tied for 2nd at 1 game back. The normally mighty Jacksonville Wolf Pack are in last place with a 7-18 mark, 11 games off the pace.
The Brewers, having won 6 straight, now have a 4 game lead over 2nd place Oklahoma City (16-9) and the Charlotte Sting (14-11) are in 3rd, 6 games back. The Detroit Falcons (8-17) bring up the rear, 12 games behind Denver.
Ruben Souffront is hitting .438 in the early going and leads the MGL in batting average. Rich White is 2nd at .400. These 2 are also 1-2, though in reverse order, in WAR at 2.4 and 2.3. Brett Taranto had a 17-game hitting streak come to an end in the week ending victory in San Francisco, despite having hit the ball hard in every at-bat in the game.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:54 PM   #986
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Brewers prospect report: Jim Atwell

The Denver Brewers currently have the best pitching in the WPK, with a much improved bullpen but mostly due to a great and deep starting rotation.

And with both Sekien Hamasaki and John Weaver, pitching mostly out of the 'pen, providing solid starts when given the opportunity, the future looks bright as well.

Then there is 22-year old Jim Atwell, currently pitching for the single A Bainbridge Brawlers. In his most recent start he showed why he is currently considered the top prospect in all of the WPK. The hard-throwing ground ball specialist struck out 11 in 8 innings, giving up just 4 hits, inducing 8 ground ball outs. And two starts prior he got batters to hit into 13 ground ball outs, giving up just 1 run in 8 innings (striking out 8.) He still needs to work on his control a bit but if he continues at this pace it is likely he will earn a promotion to AA by mid-season and the big leagues might not be far away.
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:23 PM   #987
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Jorge Gonzalez demoted to AAA, Val Guzman called up

With his struggles continuing at the plate and having also made a big error in the field in the Brewers latest game, it was decided to send Jorge Gonzalez back down to AAA Chester for some seasoning (and perhaps to buy some some to figure out what to do with him.)
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Apparently his departure was not unappreciated by the players.
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The less talented but much better clubhouse presence Val Guzman gets the call to take Gonzalez place on the roster.
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:06 AM   #988
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Ju lost for remainder of 1976 season!

Ju-au Ju has been one of the dominant power hitters in the league over the better part of a decade now and last season he won his first league MVP award.

But after having gotten off to a very poor start this season, today it was announced that the long-time Phoenix right fielder had suffered a torn ACL and may not be ready to play again until early next season. Phoenix is battling to avoid falling into last place and losing Ju almost certainly guarantees that any hopes they might have harbored to contend in 1976 are gone. (Though, let's be honest, if they ever thought they might contend this year they were fooling themselves.)
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At this point it appears that former Brewer farm-hand Ramon Lopez will be taking over in right for the Speed Devils. Ramon is a hard working player (Sparkplug) with fine defense and a powerful arm and he will also bring great value on the base paths. But he can never replace Ju's bat in the lineup. While Phoenix has a pretty highly regarded farm system most of their best prospects are pitchers and there is nobody else on the horizon who looks like a good candidate to take over right in the near term.
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:54 AM   #989
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Questions and Advise

Bird,

Questions for you here and a suggestion. Questions first. 1. Who appears to be shaping up to be your true competitors this season? Is Oklahoma City and Charlotte legit or just pretenders? 2. What is happening with Los Angeles and Brooklyn? Injuries? Slow starts? Combination and more?

Suggestion - I have been watching this situation about Jorge Gonzalez since you started becoming concerned around spring training I believe. I have been leaning towards advising you to move him, but after seeing the post with his personality index and the bench coach email, I have made up my mind to tell you to trade him as soon as you can find a deal to get him out of the organization. Preferably you want as good a deal as you can get (pair him with another player to move). In a case like this with him, keeping him in the majors will do no good because he won't play (and I saw you sent him down) and sending him down will play havoc (especially if the team is not doing well or cannot handle him) so move him for what you can get is my advice. Maybe see if you can get another outfielder that can help in left field for the rest of the season. Then this next off season perhaps you can find a FA outfielder to take over LF or some combination.

Anyway that's all I have for tonight. Have a great one!

Palaaemon
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:15 AM   #990
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaaemon View Post
Bird,

Questions for you here and a suggestion. Questions first. 1. Who appears to be shaping up to be your true competitors this season? Is Oklahoma City and Charlotte legit or just pretenders? 2. What is happening with Los Angeles and Brooklyn? Injuries? Slow starts? Combination and more?

Suggestion - I have been watching this situation about Jorge Gonzalez since you started becoming concerned around spring training I believe. I have been leaning towards advising you to move him, but after seeing the post with his personality index and the bench coach email, I have made up my mind to tell you to trade him as soon as you can find a deal to get him out of the organization. Preferably you want as good a deal as you can get (pair him with another player to move). In a case like this with him, keeping him in the majors will do no good because he won't play (and I saw you sent him down) and sending him down will play havoc (especially if the team is not doing well or cannot handle him) so move him for what you can get is my advice. Maybe see if you can get another outfielder that can help in left field for the rest of the season. Then this next off season perhaps you can find a FA outfielder to take over LF or some combination.

Anyway that's all I have for tonight. Have a great one!

Palaaemon
Not quite sure about the answer to #1 yet, but I still think Brooklyn is the team to beat. Aaron McNally isn't off to his usual start and that has probably hurt them. Then again, their other ace starter, Chris Justice, is off to a very good start. They are a strong, balanced team, and I'll just have to take a bit of closer look tomorrow to see if there are any indications why they are struggling.
I thought L.A. wasn't as good as they played last season so I'm not surprised to see them playing uninspired baseball. They are without the services of great veteran starting pitcher Jose Santos. But they've had great contributions from new starter Eduardo Obando. They no longer have Mike Stagner (then again, he's horrible so far for S.F.) or veteran superstar Travis Johnson. They aren't horrible but I don't see them as very good either.
I'll have to take a closer look at Oklahoma City and Charlotte but I can say that we just played OKC and we don't match up very well with them. They could hang in there. I expect Charlotte to be closer to middle of the pack but they could surprise.

As for your advice, well, I had pretty much decided I needed to do this anyway. I noticed earlier that veteran outfielder Brad Tesh is still without a team and I offered him a minor league contract. If he signs up (and I could still see offering him a big league deal if his demand isn't too unreasonable), there is a good chance he will be joining the big league club soon (probably would send Guzman back down.) Tesh is 33 and not a very good contact hitter, but still has great speed, good power, good plate discipline, and a decent glove (great arm). As I've mentioned earlier here, he is a quiet HOF candidate, is on the cusp of some pretty big milestones (300 HR's, 350 stolen bases, IIRC) and he's a great clubhouse guy. One of the biggest reasons to keep Gonzalez around is that he was the best option in center field should Joe McPhillips go down with injury again (always a decent possibility.) But Tesh is a natural center fielder, (even if not with as great range as he used to possess) and his addition would make it even easier to part with Gonzalez.
But yes, I think Gonzalez days in a Brewers uniform are likely pretty much over.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:27 AM   #991
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WPK Franchise Report: The Oklahoma City Diamond Kings (MGL)

The Oklahoma City Diamond Kings currently sit in 2nd place, behind the red-hot Brewers, in the MGL standings and I thought this might be a good time to take a closer look at this franchise.

History/Overview:
In the first few years of the WPK, the Oklahoma City Diamond Kings were a pretty competitive club, led by the great center fielder Felix Lopez. But Lopez left as a free agent at the end of the 1969 season (signing with Brooklyn, where he remains to this day) and the team took a dive into the second division for the first five seasons of the 1970's.
This year they are competitive once again on the basis of solid pitching, a well-rounded offense, and fine, if unspectacular defense. While the Diamond Kings have no areas of overwhelming strength, they also have no great weaknesses. In addition to their on-field stability, they have a fine mix in the clubhouse as well, with good leaders and few malcontents.
Although they don't yet look like a team with the talent to win a pennant, they might be well positioned to take advantage if one of their more talented competitors (Denver and/or Brooklyn, in particular) should falter or experience significant injuries. At the very least, it wouldn't be surprising if they finished in the top 3 in the standings in 1976 and they appear to be well positioned going forward. (It should be noted that after finding themselves financially over-extended at the beginning of the decade, they now find themselves with a healthy budgetary surplus.)
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The Ballpark:
The Diamond Kings play their home games at the quaint Chickasaw Brickyard Ballpark. This open air venue plays like a slight pitchers park with left-handed batters faring a bit better than their right-handed counterparts. It is a park that suppresses the long-ball pretty well. The park holds 37,500 fans at capacity but playing in a below average market and having not been very good this decade, they have only broken the 1 million mark once in the 1970's (1974).
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The Face of the Franchise:
It is somewhat indicative of the blue-collar nature of this team that their most popular player is the hard-working 3-time All-Star shortstop Danny Denison, who while off to a great start in 1976, is far from a WPK superstar. Denison is a fine hitter with some pop in his bat and a good eye but defensively he may be destined for a switch to second base soon, as he approaches his 30's.
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Two to Watch for the Future:
Several of the Diamond Kings best players are in their early to mid-primes (third baseman Kevin Reed, right fielder Jared Stephens, second baseman Chris Standafer, catcher Carlos Lopez- a bit of a unicorn as a backstop with top of the line speed- as well as two of their best starting pitchers: Parker Rayfield and Dan Knauff). Their bullpen also features one of the most dominant closers in the game in 27-year old Ben Bakeman. And two of their best prospects should be impacting an already strong pitching staff soon: 21-year old reliever Micah Gullace, who was just recently promoted to the big league club from AA, and 23-year old starting pitcher (and 2-way player) Danny McGrath, currently at AAA.
All of this combined with a bit of money to spend should make the Oklahoma City club one to watch the next few seasons.
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Old 01-25-2020, 12:32 PM   #992
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Week 5, May 9-15, 1976

Brewers record: 5-2 (week), 25-7, 1st place, MGL (season).

May 9-10, at San Francisco: 4-1, 7-2.

In the second of three games against the Velocity in S.F., the Brewers get a fine start from Sekien Hamasaki (3-0, 1.06), as he allows just 1 run on 2 hits and 4 walks over 6 1/3rd innings pitched. Jason Gottula pitched the final inning for his 2nd save of the season. Brett Taranto went 3 for 4 in the game, scoring one run and driving in another.

And Taranto stays hot in the final game in S.F., as he collects 4 hits in 5 AB's, hitting his 8th double and 4th triple, scoring 3 times and driving in a run. Young John Weaver (2-0, 0.93) not only pitched a gem- lasting 7 innings while allowing 1 run on just 2 hits- but he was also 3 for 3 at the plate.

May 11-13, at Oklahoma City: 1-6, 6-5, 0-3.

The Brewers then travel east to Oklahoma City to face the surprising Diamond Kings.
In game 1 the Brewers fall as OKC starting pitcher Dan Knauff holds them to 1 run on 5 hits. Sadahige Kawasaki (2-3, 2.82), not at his best, gave up 5 runs on 9 hits over 7 innings. Joe McPhillips went 2 for 4 and drove in the only Brewer run while also swiping his 7th bag of 1976.

The Brewers eke out an extra inning win in game 2, with Brett Taranto hitting the go-ahead, and eventual game-winning, RBI single in the top of the 11th against the Diamond Kings excellent closer, Ben Bakeman. Cheol-han Lee did not pitch well, giving up 5 runs on 12 hits over 7 innings, though he did go 2 for 2 with an RBI at the plate. Jason Gottula (1-0, 1.08) worked 2 innings in relief for the win and Tim Shore pitched the bottom of the 11th for his 4th save. Rich White went 2 for 5 and hit 2 doubles to get to 10 on the season.

The Diamond Kings get the series win when their ace Parker Rayfield shuts out the Brewers on 8 hits in game 3 (although he did need a bit of assistance from Ben Bakeman, who got the final out.) Erik Sloan (4-2, 2.56) takes the loss for Denver, giving up 3 runs on 8 hits in 7 innings pitched. Izzy Veliz and Kirk Patnode each went 2 for 3 in the loss.

May 14-15, versus Charlotte: 4-3, 8-5.

The Brewers end the week by coming home to Denver to take on the Charlotte Sting.
In the first game they get a narrow victory by fending off a late rally by the Sting. Steve Green (4-1, 1.93) pitched another fine game, giving up just 2 runs on 7 hits in 8 1/3rd. The bullpen is a bit shaky but Tim Shore gets the final two outs for his 5th save. Brett Taranto stays hot, going 2 for 4 with a run scored, though he also gets caught trying to steal for the 7th time this season (with only 3 successful attempts, he should maybe be staying put a bit more often.)

Kirk Patnode (.405/.400/.476) is the hitting hero in game 2, as he goes 3 for 4, scoring twice and driving in a run. Bobby Erbakan (.311/.372/.385) was also 3 for 4 in the game and hit his 3rd double (a bit low in terms of extra base hits this year for Bobby thus far). Rich White went 3 for 5, scored once, drove in 2, hit double number 11, and swiped his 4th bag of the year. Matt Helm got the start for Denver, but after giving up 4 runs on 7 hits over 7 1/3rd innings pitched, he did not get a decision in this one. The win went to Eric Marino (1-0, 2.08) and Tim Shore picked up his 6th save.

Notes from around the league:
The Columbus Whalers (22-11) are back atop the standings in the SJL, leading the Washington Night Train (21-12) by a game. The Boston Berserkers and the surprising El Paso Dawgs follow at 2 games back with identical 20-13 records. The Chicago Fire and Jacksonville Wolf Pack bring up the rear with 11-22 marks.
The Brewers end the week leading second place Oklahoma City (20-13) by 6 games, with Brooklyn sitting 8 games back at 18-15. The Detroit Falcons are in last place at 11-22.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:44 PM   #993
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Brewers sign veteran outfielder Brad Tesh to 1-year deal

It was announced today that the Denver Brewers had signed free agent veteran star outfielder Brad Tesh to a 1-year contract. And fans in Denver were reportedly elated.
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There is some question about where the career center fielder will play but the thought is that he will most likely get most of starts in left field while also providing relief to Joe McPhillips in center on occasion. The news softens the blow, a bit, of Brewers fans seeing superstar second baseman Bobby Erbakan leaving the field clearly shaken in Monday's game. While the nature and seriousness of Erbakan's injury is still to be decided, the addition of Tesh's power bat in the lineup could certainly be advantageous should Erbakan need to go to the IL.

(Note: Tesh didn't go for the minor league contract we originally offered him, but we were able to get him to sign to a reasonable- for a potential future HOF'er- 1-year deal.)
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:15 PM   #994
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Brewers ship Jorge Gonzalez to Pittsburgh

The Denver Brewers today traded controversial but talented left fielder Jorge Gonzalez to the Pittsburgh Roadrunners for 24-year old second baseman Brad Sherman and 20-year old reliever Brandon Veach.

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Sherman was placed on the active roster with defensive specialist Nick Ward demoted to AAA Chester. Sherman is a great contact hitter but below average defender but he helps fill a right-handed gap on the Brewers bench.
Veach is a groundball specialist who could develop into a decent bullpen arm. He was sent to AA Nashville for some seasoning.

(Note: Gonzalez is very highly regarded by the OSA and apparently by many other team's scouting staffs as well. I had to really struggle to find a trade that made sense for the Brewers but wasn't a case of ripping some other team off. I was offered a great many ace-level starting pitchers and star and even superstar position players, including potential future Hall-of-Famer's like Lazaro Lowndes and Curtis Horah. I also could have had the Oklahoma City Diamond Kings best starting pitching prospect, Danny McGrath. This is seriously one of the least advantageous deals I was offered in this case, just in case anyone is wondering. But at least it seemed to make some sense for both clubs. Now, had I been offered a current good big league reliever, what with Ben Flynn still struggling, I probably would have taken that offer. But alas, that is the one thing nobody was trying to give me.)
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:49 PM   #995
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Erbakan expected to miss 6 weeks

And the other shoe finally dropped on the Bobby Erbakan injury; he will miss up to 6 weeks likely having suffered an elbow strain.

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Meanwhile, former Brewer Ryan Rodgers is also headed to the IL, likely for a little over a month, with an oblique strain.
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Nick Ward is recalled from AAA to take Erbakan's spot on the roster.
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Old 01-26-2020, 02:01 PM   #996
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Week 6, May 16-22, 1976

Brewers record: 3-3 (week), 28-10, 1st place, MGL (season).

May 16, versus Charlotte: 7-5.

The Brewers conclude the 3-game sweep of the Sting with Joe McPhillips leading the way. McPhillips went 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI and hit his 4th double of the season. Sekien Hamasaki (4-0, 1.88) got another victory, giving up 3 runs on 9 hits in 7 innings pitched. Ben Flynn had another rough outing, giving up 2 runs in his 1 inning of work and sees his ERA rise to 6.28. But Jason Gottula came in to close things out for his 3rd save. Andrew Kennedy, off to a fine start, went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI and hit his 10th double of 1976.

May 17-19, at Baltimore: 1-2, 3-4, 6-1.

The Brewers lose in a pitching duel in the first game of three against the Lords in Baltimore. Sadahige Kawasaki (2-4, 2.63) continues to be the unluckiest Brewer pitcher in 1976. In spite of giving up just 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits over 6 2/3rds innings, he is saddled with another loss. RodRod went 2 for 4 in the loss. And Joe McPhillips picked up his 8th stolen base and Josh Schaeffer got his 6th. McPhillips, though, also committed his 1st error of the season.

The Brewers battled back from a 3-0 deficit in game 2 to tie the game going into the 9th but then lost it in walk-off fashion when the Lords scored the winning run on an error by pitcher Ben Flynn (2-2, 6.28), who took the loss. Cheol-han Lee started and gave up 3 runs on 8 hits in 6 2/3rds innings. Andrew Kennedy went 3 for 5 in the loss and hit his 11th double.

Erik Sloan gave the Brewers a fantastic start to halt the skid. Sloan (5-2, 2.35) worked 8 innings, giving up just 1 run on 7 hits. Brad Tesh went 2 for 5 in his first start as a Brewer, picking up his 1st stolen base but also being caught attempting to steal once. Andrew Kennedy stays hot, going 3 for 4 with 1 run scored and 1 RBI in the win. And Zacarias Martell, who has been struggling at the plate the last few weeks, went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles to get to 7 on the season.

May 21-22, versus Detroit: 3-4, 9-0.

The Brewers return home to take on the last place Falcons, and drop a close one in the first of three. Steve Green (4-2, 2.44) takes the loss, giving up 4 runs on 8 hits in 7 innings. Brett Taranto, one of the most valuable Brewers thus far, hit his 1st HR of the season.

In the final game of one of the more challenging weeks for the Brewers thus far in 1976, the team treated the fans to a good ole' shellacking of Detroit. Matt Helm (3-0, 2.72) was great for 7 innings, giving up no runs on 6 hits. Damian Hahn pitched 2 scoreless innings to close things out. Josh Schaeffer (.324/.466/.371), once again proving to be one of the most consistently valuable players on the team, went 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored, 4 RBI, and hit his 1st HR of the season. Brett Taranto (.378/.414/.535) continues his great start to the season, going 4 for 5 with 2 RBI and hitting his 9th double. (Taranto leads the league in slugging and OPS, and is 2nd in batting average.) RodRod (.311/.326/.356) went 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored and hit his 6th double. (While RodRod's offensive numbers aren't as good this year as in his ROY campaign last year, his defense is much better, and he has committed just one error this season. Though I also just noticed that he now profiles as fragile, so we'll see how that works out.)


Notes from around the league: The Columbus Whalers (25-13) still hold a 1 game edge in the SJL over Washington (24-14). El Paso and Boston are tied for 3rd, both 2 games out at 23-15.
The Brewers, in spite of a sub-par week, maintain a 6 game lead over the surging Brooklyn Aces (22-16). Oklahoma City (21-17) falls to 3rd place, 7 games out.
Former Brewer Ruben "Streak" Souffront is on pace for a career year at this stage of the season, leading the league in batting average (.385), and is tied for 2nd in WAR among position players at 2.4 (along with Brooklyn's Jeremy Brigatti.) And who is leading the league? Well, Rich White, of course, at 2.9! That's what a great start at the plate combined with defensive dominance gets you.
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Old 01-26-2020, 03:48 PM   #997
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Danny Sanchez gets career hit #2000!

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Danny Sanchez, the 35-year old left fielder for the San Francisco Velocity, often flies under the radar with his focused, quiet approach to the game and boring consistency. But yesterday he became just the 5th player in WPK history to collect 2000 career hits. The four players ahead of him- Felix Lopez, Josh Jenkins, Travis Johnson, and Jesus Casiano- are likely Hall of Famers. Whether Sanchez reaches that distinction or not is still very much in question, but he can be proud of his distinguished career, which has included one MGL MVP award (1968), one Gold Glove (1965), 6 All-Star game appearances, the most recent in 1971, and a pair of Silver Slugger awards.
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And now add to that list membership in the 2000 hit club.
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:58 PM   #998
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Dissension in Detroit

The last place Detroit Falcons have lost six straight games and all the losing is taking a toll on team morale.

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Team captain Greg Tietz, formerly of the Denver Brewers, reportedly called a players-only team meeting to try to air things out and try to get everyone back on the same page. Interestingly, their are no obvious malcontents among the Falcons players. But continuous losing can turn otherwise harmonious clubhouses toxic, and there isn't a great deal of leadership on the Falcons roster outside of Tietz.

It will be interesting to see if the backup first baseman can help guide his team out of the rocky waters they are currently in.
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Old 01-27-2020, 12:05 AM   #999
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Airing of Grievances

Doesn't Greg Tietz know that now is not the time to have an "Airing of the Grievances"? That happens during Festivus in late December. Somebody needs to send him an email and a link to the holiday!

Everyone have a great night.

Palaaemon

PS. Don't forget to mention the Feats of Strength!
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:35 PM   #1000
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Denver Brewers notes heading into June 1976

Time for a few observations about the season thus far and how things are looking going forward.

(I should note I am not in front of the game as I type this, so no screenshots and only approximations of stats.)

This is certainly a season when some of the Brewers historical strengths- starting pitching and defense- have been at the forefront. The starting rotation has been strong and deep, with Erik Sloan and Steve Green leading the way thus far. As has previously been mentioned, Sadahige Kawasaki has mostly pitched well but has been the unluckiest of Brewer pitchers. On the other hand, Cheol-han Lee has been the luckiest, with a 4-1 record in spite of not pitching very well and carrying an ERA approaching 5. In their limited starts, both Sekien Hamasaki and John Weaver have done quite well. If anything, there are whispers in the Brewers front office that it may have been a mistake not letting Cheol-han depart as a free agent, as he is not looking like the Ace of old and with Hamasaki and Weaver both looking like they deserve a spot in the rotation, and top prospect Jim Atwell doing very well at single A and probably not far from the big leagues himself, the aging Lee seems like the most expendable member of the rotation.
Matt Helm is always perhaps one injury away from losing his place in the rotation, and indeed he is currently nursing a sore elbow, but thus far he always seems to be able to avoid the serious injury that requires an extended stint on the IL.

The Brewers defense has been great, led by the infield, where Rich White has been a stabilizing force at short, and Bobby Erbakan before he was injured looked like a Gold Glove second baseman (and we don't lose much there with Joe Willemse taking most of the starts in his absence, defensively anyway). Brett Taranto has been a revelation at first, proving to be nearly Erbakan's equal there while also being probably the best hitter on the team up to this point of the season. (Mike Lovett, power hitting prospect at AAA Chester has been just okay this season and is not pushing Taranto for the starting job, yet, at least.) Even third baseman Rodrigo "RodRod" Rodriguez has been solid defensively and has only committed two errors. His bat hasn't been as good as 1975 but he's been heating up the past week or so.

The offense as a whole has been good. As usual, the Brewers lead all of the WPK in batting average and once again are above .300 as a team. Power is down across the league and even worse than average for the Brewers, and it doesn't hurt that Erbakan is on the IL for the next month plus. Joe McPhillips has been the big disappointment at the plate this season and has been hovering at or below .260 much of the season, with far fewer extra base hits than would be expected. His OBP is still decent, and he's a great defender and base runner, but if we are to retain first place we will need to him to wake up at the plate soon. Andrew Kennedy is having a bit of a comeback year and Josh Schaeffer just continues to be a valuable all-around player, in spite of his perceived laziness. And unlike recent seasons, the Brewers are at or near the top in base running stats, though still sub-par in terms of base stealing.

We haven't had a ton of value from the bench, and players have rotated in and out of AAA for those spots. But 5th outfielder Izzy Veliz has given us some good pinch-hit at-bats and fine defense in right field backing up Schaeffer. And Nick Ward, in spite of having absolutely no value at the plate, provides us with a great late-inning defensive replacement for RodRod at third base.

Now as for the bullpen, the area of greatest disaster in 1975. In a word, they have been terrific. The team not only has the best starting pitcher ERA but also the best bullpen ERA. The weak link has been Ben Flynn, who profiles as potentially the most talented (and provides a power bat off the bench), and after his latest disastrous outing he was sent down to AAA Chester for a bit of head-clearing. (Antonio Nieves was recalled to Denver.) Both Tim Shore and Jason Gottula have given us the kind of value in the 'pen that we expected of them when they were picked up in separate mid-season trades in 1975. It didn't work out well last season, but thus far this season, so good. Lefty Eric Marino, who struggles with control, has also been getting better and better and is playing a larger role in the bullpen. When you add in some fine innings in relief by future starters Weaver and Hamasaki and potential starter Damian Hahn, it is no surprise that the Brewers have a great record in 1-run games this season.
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