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Old 06-14-2018, 11:05 PM   #101
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Week-in-Review: May 9th-May 16th, 1966. A bit of a reversal week for the Brewers as they drop 4 of 6 games on the road. On the other hand, they were playing the first 3 in L.A. against the dominant Spinners and the next 3 in Oklahoma City against a competitive Diamond Kings squad and every one of these 6 games was decided by 3 runs or less (and the 3 run difference was in a 12-9 victory over OKC). For the week the Brewers were outscored by a mere run, 25-24.

Who's Hoppy? Three veterans had good weeks for the Brewers. Justin Schumann (.355/.375/.516), who is turning out to be a good FA minor league signing, went 6 for 16 with 2 triples, 2 runs scored, and 1 RBI while playing very solid defense in the corner OF positions. A.J. White (.279/.426/.349, 0.6 WAR) was also 6 for 16 on the week, with 3 runs scored, 2 stolen bases, and 4 walks. Veteran first baseman Mark Compton (.237/.323/.563, 0.6 WAR), in spite of continuing to struggle a bit at the plate, showed signs of life with a 6 for 18 week, scoring 4 runs, hitting 1 double and 2 HR's, driving in 5 runs, while drawing 3 walks.

Who's Hungover? Young center fielder Zack Banks (.275/313/.484), who admittedly got off to an unsustainable pace, really fell back to earth at the plate this week, going just 2 for 15 with 1 run scored, 3 RBI (on his 1 HR), with 4 K and 0 BB. He does, though, continue to provide superlative defense and has a 1.0 WAR for the season thus far. Second baseman Tanner Yurek continues his sluggish start (.225/.309/.388, 0.5 WAR) with a 3 for 17 week (2 RS, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 SB.)

What's Brewing Around the League? Pittsburgh remains atop the Shoeless Joe League with a 19-12 record, followed by Washington at 18-13, reigning WPK champs Jacksonville at 17-13 tied with El Paso (same record) for 3rd place. In the Moonlight Graham League, L.A. continues to dominate with an impressive 21-6 start to the season. Portland is in second with a record of 20-13, while the Brewers hold a third place tie with the Phoenix Speed Devils (both are 17-14.)

The Streak Souffront Sage: It was a decent week for our young hero as he went 6 for 17 with 2 runs scored, 2 RBI, hit his second HR of the season, though he also struck out 3 times while not walking once. The oddest stat for Souffront so far is that he has yet to record a stolen base while being thrown out stealing 3 times. For a player with his top of the charts speed, stolen base skills, and base running acumen, that is odd indeed.

Brewers Power Ranking: #8
Brewers Record: 17-14, .548, tied 3rd place MGL, 6 gb L.A.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:18 PM   #102
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The week also found the Brewers front office focusing heavily on the recently released list of draft eligible players for the upcoming first year player draft.
Among the available players, two that the Brewers' scouting department is particularly high on, and hopeful they might still be available when it is the team's turn to pick, are starting pitchers, Adam Getchell (inexplicably nicknamed "Fats") and Matt Helm.
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:34 PM   #103
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Much of the drama for the Brewers continues to revolve around the starting pitching staff. In his first start after signing an extension with the club, Jason Lawson pitched a gem, working 8 innings, allowing no runs on 7 hits in a 1-0 shutout of the Brooklyn Aces. In his very next start he gave up 2 runs on 6 hits in 4 innings pitched and had to be removed from the game due to a hamstring strain. He has now been placed on the 10-day DL and not expected to pitch again for at least 2 weeks.

The ace of the staff this season, Alex Burley, signed a 3-year extension on May 20th, the same day he suffered his worst loss of the season, giving up 8 runs (4 earned) on 11 hits (6 K, 0 BB) in 7 2/3rds innings pitched as the Brewers were shelled by the Diamond Kings (Oklahoma City) 9-0.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:19 PM   #104
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Week-in-Review: May 17th- May 23rd, 1966. The Brewers go 3-3 on the week, taking 2 of 3 from the Brooklyn Aces on the road then coming home and losing 2 of 3 to Oklahoma City.

Who's Hoppy? Left fielder Antonio Puente (.256/.320/410, 0.9 WAR), who has been under-performing since about the second week of the season, started to look like himself again this week as he went 7 for 19, with 2 runs scored, 2 doubles (4), and 1 stolen base (4). Still a far cry from the high expectations for him, but a start. Young starting pitcher Chris Montefusco (4-0, 3.27 ERA, 1.20 WHIP), pitched one of a few gems on the week, as he worked 8 innings, allowing no runs on 7 hits while striking out 5 and walking just 1 batter in a 2-1 victory over Brooklyn.

Who's Hungover? Team captain, catcher Sam Rogers (.320/.352/.417, 0.9 WAR), in what can probably be best viewed as a reversion to the mean, had probably his worst week of the season, going 2 for 19 with 2 RBI and 5 strikeouts. Tanner Yurek (.198/.304/.344) continued his unimpressive start, managing just 1 hit in 16 AB's, though the one hit was his 8th double of the season and he did walk 5 times (while striking out 7 times.)

What's Brewing Around the League? In the SJL, Pittsburgh remains in 1st at 22-14, but reigning WPK champs Jacksonville are breathing down their necks now with a 22-15 record. El Paso holds third place at 20-16. L.A. continues to top the MGL and are now 23-11. Portland is hot and are now 26-14. Phoenix sits in third place with a 21-15 record while the Brewers are the only other MGL team over .500 with their 20-17 mark. Jacksonville did get some bad news though, as promising young reliever Guillermo Cruz was lost for the season with a torn back muscle. Portland also suffered a loss, though a much more temporary one, as Andy "Lemonhead" Wilson, the reigning MGL MVP and arguably the best all around player in the WPK, was involved in a car accident leading to an elbow sprain and a short trip to the DL (expected to be out 2 weeks.)

Streak Souffront Saga: Ruben Souffront (.260/.283/.333, -0.1 WAR) has a largely unimpressive week, going 4 for 18 with 3 runs scored, hitting 1 double (his 3rd), and striking out 4 times. He did, however, not only get his first stolen base of the season, but in fact his first 5, including 3 on May 21st, when he led his team to a 7-6 win over Oklahoma City with a 3 for 4, 2 runs scored, 1 double game. He now has 5 stolen bases with 3 times caught stealing.

Brewers Power Ranking: #9 (#1 POR, #2 L.A., #3 PHO, #4 JAC, #4 PIT)
Brewers Record: 20-17, .541, 4th place, MGL, 4 1/2 gb L.A.
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:33 PM   #105
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The normally trade averse Denver Brewers G.M. (that would be me), today initiated a multi-player deal with the Philadelphia Mud Hens of the Shoeless Joe League. Having received a clear message from 40-year old veteran first baseman Pablo Gonzales that Gonzales was quite displeased with the way he was being used on the team, and with no intention of keeping Gonzales beyond the end of the 1966 season or using him in any way other than as a bench player in the meantime, he decided it might be best to deal Gonzales rather than risking unhappiness in the clubhouse. Plus, in a candid off-the-record moment he admitted that he was looking to free up some room in the budget as well.
As the deal transpired, the Brewers also dealt veteran relief-pitcher/swingman Tony Harrison (due to be a free agent at the end of the season) and minor league shortstop Corey England, who was on the major league squad in 1965 but showing little signs of having a future rule in the WPK.
In return the Brewers mostly received some minor league depth players but also got veteran relief pitcher Joey Brown, who looks like a better short-term option to fill the immediate gap in the starting rotation (with Lawson on the DL) than Harrison was.
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:23 PM   #106
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Pablo shipped out the same day he expressed displeasure, or so it seems.
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Old 06-17-2018, 03:00 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevem810 View Post
Pablo shipped out the same day he expressed displeasure, or so it seems.
Yep, that's pretty much the extent of it.
I've been very slow to trade with this bunch so far, probably because I was just getting to know them and there was almost nobody I really wanted to part with.
But the reality is that I had several veterans who were due to be FA's at the end of the season and I already over-committed to three veteran pitchers (I hate to react out of a sense of desperation, but that's pretty much what I did) and I knew full well that there was no reason for me to keep Pablo for another season, even though despite his age he still has some value as a player. Though certainly he is not a starter, whatever he might think. And I have been wanting to unload Harrison even though he provided some value in 1965 season as a part-time starter. As you can see above, he's not one of my best character guys. And he's pitched pretty horribly this season. So I was happy to get anything in exchange for him at this point. And I felt it important to free up some budget space. Even with this trade, given how stingy my owner is, we are still over-budget for this season in terms of player payroll.
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Old 06-17-2018, 05:25 PM   #108
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Speedy young center fielder Pat Rondeau continues to have a great season at AAA, in what looks to be his breakout minor league season. This puts great pressure on Brewers current center fielder Zack Banks, who started the season so hot but has been in a monumental slump for the past month or so. Although Banks does continue to provide superlative defense, given that Rondeau himself looks like a future gold glover, it might not be enough for Zack to hold onto his job in the next season or two.
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Old 06-17-2018, 07:32 PM   #109
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Player-of-Week accolades go to Rondeau:
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Old 06-17-2018, 07:35 PM   #110
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Meanwhile, borderline prospect Michael Morgan continues an impressive season for the single A Bainbridge Brawlers:
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:44 PM   #111
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Week-in-Review: May 23rd-May 29th, 1966. The Brewers got the week off heading very much in the wrong direction as a team, and lost the final game of the 4-game series against Oklahoma City followed by dropping both games of a 2-game series against the mighty. L.A. Spinners. Things then got a bit better though as they met the Phoenix Speed Devils, who had recently vaulted over them into 3rd place, for 5 games at Brewers Grounds and took 4 out of 5 to end the week at an even 4-4.

Who's Hoppy? Veteran fan favorite, A.J. White (.279/408/.357, 1.0 WAR) had a solid week as he went 7 for 22 with 4 runs scored, 4 RBI, 2 doubles (3), and 2 stolen bases (6). Although, as you can see below, his age is really starting to take a toll on his defensive range. Fortunately though, his cannon arm at third base remains intact. (Local scuttlebutt is that with it looking unlikely the team will be retaining the services of first baseman Mark Compton who is eligible for free agency at the end of the season, they are considering auditioning White for that position in spring training so that the much more solid defensive player, Hector Uribe, who has also been pretty good with the bat this season, can get more playing time next season at third.)

Who's Hungover? As always these days, Zack Banks (.223/.258/.380, 0.4 WAR.) Zack, who is finding himself getting a bit more rest these days, went 1 for 16 on the week with 2 runs scored, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, and 1 stolen base (5).

What's Brewing Around the League: A bit of a shakeup in the Shoeless Joe League as the reigning WPK champion Jacksonville Wolf Pack squad takes over first place with a 24-19 record, surging Boston Berserkers are now in second at 22-18, and the Pittsburgh Roadrunners, who have lost 5 straight, drop into a 3rd place tie with the Columbus Whalers at 23-19. Los Angeles continues to dominate the Moonlight Graham League (27-12) although the red-hot Portland Wild Things, at 30-16, are doing their best to track them down. The Brewers are in 3rd place with their 24-21 mark.

Streak Souffront Saga: Another decent week for Ruben (.273/.304/.353, 0.0 WAR) as he collected 9 hits in 27 AB's, hit 3 doubles (6), though he only scored 1 run and drove in 1, and while he swiped his 6th base of the year, he also was cut down trying to steal for the 4th time. Ruben did collect a pair of OF assists, including a huge second out at third base in the 9th inning that was key to preserving a 2-1 victory over Phoenix.

Brewers Power Ranking: #8 (#1 L.A., #2 POR, #3 BOS, #4 COL, #5 S.F.)
Brewers Record: 24-21, .533, 3rd place MGL, 6 gb L.A.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:38 PM   #112
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So, we enter June in one of the most concentrated and challenging portions of the schedule (21 games in 20 days), and with Jason Lawson already on the DL with a hamstring sprain (scheduled to be back on day 20 of this marathon stretch) and, of course, Miguel Campos out for the season with a torn labrum, naturally injury prone Chris Montefusco would come down with a bad case of back stiffness that would sideline him for approximately two weeks. Having already resorted to using long reliever Logan Dunbar in the rotation likely for the entire season, and having traded for mediocre veteran lefty Joey Brown (don't tell him I called him mediocre, really need him to keep overachieving), someone needed to be brought up from the minors to fill the gap. A warm body, basically. After much agonizing it was decided that there was really nothing to do but to bring up veteran Volker Kuhn from AAA. Kuhn, signed earlier in the spring to a minor league contract as a free agent, is a native of Germany (Marl) and beyond that there really isn't much that is interesting about him. Granted, he has three decent pitches (and an average fourth) and not horrible stuff, but with his quite sub-par movement and control, it's going to take a deal of luck and some Brewer's offensive firepower (rare, lately) to get wins with him on the mound.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:49 PM   #113
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And at this point of the season, with the team scuffling and having fallen into 5th place, I find myself pondering the fate of this club. One thought I have is that I have placed a great deal of faith in our Scouting Director, Nick Meskill. I have committed myself to building the club around young players that Meskill believes will develop into solid contributors (if not, yet, any true superstars in the making.) And it is not completely blind faith. The reality is that Meskill is probably the member of the front office with the best reputation around the league. (Somehow, I myself have earned a good reputation. I guess finishing second with an unheralded squad in 1965 has something to do with that.) And with the latest development notes from Meskill issued today, it appears that he remains optimistic about many of our young players, in spite of their current struggles. But at some point, the numbers will have to speak for themselves. So, I try to keep the faith and remain patient. While at the same time watching the aging pitching staff fall apart while youngsters in the bullpen (along with veteran Ron Poblano, second best reliever in the MGL in 1965) struggle to keep things together.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:52 PM   #114
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Whoops, didn't mean to post Kuhn twice. Here is what I meant to share- a little more detail about Scouting Director Meskill.
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:22 PM   #115
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So, of course, in the very first game of June, starter Joey Brown has to exit in the fifth inning with a twinge of elbow tendinitis (fortunately, only expected to be out about 4 days) and with the Brewers heading into the home stretch of this scheduling marathon and coming off a painful 13 inning, 13-12 loss at San Francisco, only to travel cross-country to play in Charlotte the very next night, it took some heroic bullpen performances by Armando Cruz and Ron Poblano, the only two relievers not already exhausted, and some suddenly red-hot Brewers hitting, to survive for what would look like an easy 8-1 victory.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:45 PM   #116
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Week-in-Review: May 30th- June 5th, 1966. Another fairly tough week for the Brewers as they drop 4 of 7. The week started with a two-game series against San Francisco in which the Brewers lost the first game 5-0 and then, after having come back late to take an 8-6 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, saw veteran closer Ron Poblano blow the lead (and lose his closer status in the process), and then scored 4 runs in the top of the 13th inning only to give up 5 in the bottom of the frame for a 13-12 loss. The Brewers did manage to take 2 games from the lowly Charlotte Sting in Sting Stadium (it's called Sting Ballpark, but I think I need to edit that). They then lost 2 of 3 in Phoenix.

Who's Hoppy? Having experienced a few tough weeks after a great start to the season, catcher Sam Rogers (.302/.327/.403, 1.0 WAR), bounced back with a 10 for 27 week, picking up 3 doubles (7), his first triple of the season, 2 runs scored and 4 RBI. Young 1B/OF Erik Shelton (.286/.343/.440, 0.3 WAR) had a nice week too (9 for 25, 2 4-hit games, 3 doubles (5), 3 RBI, and his first two stolen bases) and is building a case for being the replacement for Mark Compton at first base in 1967, should the team let Compton walk as a free agent (this looks likely.) Alex Burley (6-4, 2.09 ERA, 1.05 WHIP), who continues to be the ace of the starting staff, pitched a CG shutout, allowing 8 hits while striking out 9 and walking none in a 2-0 win against Phoenix.

Who's Hungover? Right fielder Ruben Souffront (.254/.291/.337, -0.1 WAR) had a tough week, going just 2 for 19 with his first triple, 2 runs scored, and 1 stolen base (7).

What's Brewing Around the League? The Columbus Whalers now sit atop the Shoeless Joe League with a 29-22 record while 4 teams are in a virtual tie for second place at 1 1/2 games out (Pittsburgh, El Paso, Jacksonville, and San Antonio.) The L.A. Kings continue their dominance as they are now 34-14 to lead the Moonlight Graham League. Portland is in second at 33-20, the Baltimore Lords catapult up to third (28-25), while the Brewers sit in fourth place at 27-25.

The Streak Souffront Saga: see Who's Hungover above. And note that there are some capable outfielders coming up through the minor league system and Ruben is probably starting to feel some real pressure to produce or lose his presumptive hold on this position.

Brewer's Power Ranking: #12 (#1 L.A., #2 S.A., #3 COL, #4 POR, #5 ELP)
Brewer's Record: 27-25, .519, 4th place MGL, 9 gb L.A.
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:33 PM   #117
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That 2nd contest in S.F. was painful.
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Old 06-21-2018, 06:41 PM   #118
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Quote:
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That 2nd contest in S.F. was painful.
Tell me about it!
The biggest problem was that the pitching staff was just so over-taxed at that point that poor Ben Malzone had to stay in the game running on fumes and just couldn't quite get to the finish line with the lead still intact. Every time it looked like the game was certainly going to end in the win column, the Velocity charged back. Granted, San Francisco is also a team with much better offense than pitching.
With Lawson back from the D.L. and Montefusco set to return in a few days, and with the team finally having had a day off, the pitching staff should have a chance to heal itself a bit.
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Old 06-23-2018, 06:50 AM   #119
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The week started with a two-game series against San Francisco in which the Brewers lost the first game 5-0 and then, after having come back late to take an 8-6 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, saw veteran closer Ron Poblano blow the lead (and lose his closer status in the process), and then scored 4 runs in the top of the 13th inning only to give up 5 in the bottom of the frame for a 13-12 loss.
That's a tough one to lose - first blowing a 2run-lead in the 9th and then a 4run-lead in the 13th
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:52 AM   #120
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Heading out for a hike this morning but here is a little teaser about posts to come later today:
Brewers continue their slow slide into mediocrity and the team leadership, anticipating letting several veterans go as free agents at the end of the season and seeing a pitching staff in tatters, pulls off a bit of a blockbuster trade.
Stay tuned.....
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