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Old 06-30-2018, 06:29 PM   #141
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File this one under lessons learned the hard way. Granted, when I picked up Jon Goldman in a trade with San Francisco in May of 1965 I knew with his reported fragility it was a risk. But given his six pitches, most of which had potential to be above average, and the possibility of him developing into at least a solid mid-rotation starter, I thought it was worth the risk. And while he had a few visits to the DL since then, none of them were for arm issues. I was hopeful. He had recently been promoted to AAA and was pitching pretty well there. And then this. Catastrophic injury. Torn flexor tendon. Recovery time estimated at 13 months. But will he ever be back, really? If he ever does come back, will he ever be able to pitch effectively at the major league level? I have serious doubts. Combined with the earlier torn labrum injury suffered by 22-year old Miguel Campos, this is a serious setback to an organization whose starting rotation at the big league level is aging and struggling.
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Old 06-30-2018, 06:34 PM   #142
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We are now to the All-Star break (the slumping Brewers probably happy for a bit of breather and hoping for a turn of fortunes when the season continues) and a few days ago the final voting was announced. Here are the results for the MGL. You will see that Sam Rogers was the lone Brewer voted into the game as a starter. Antonio Puente finished second in the voting for LF. Alex Burley was third among starting pitchers. And veteran Ron Poblano, an all-star in 1965, finished fifth among relievers.
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Old 06-30-2018, 06:41 PM   #143
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The final roster for the MGL All-Star game was announced and of course it included starting catcher Sam Rogers and pitcher Alex Burley. Also joining them was starting pitcher Steve Alonso (largely based upon his performance as a member of the L.A. Spinners prior to being traded to Denver) and veteran third baseman A.J. White, who is in the midst of quite the comeback season.
Unfortunately, young left fielder Antonio Puente did not make the cut, but he will likely have many opportunities in the future.

For Rogers this is his second All-Star appearance in a row while none of the other three Brewer's All-Stars were selected in 1965.
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Old 06-30-2018, 06:46 PM   #144
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With the All-Star break upon us, I am going to try to take a brief pause from moving forward with this league and focus a bit on surveying the situation and making plans for the second half of the season.
This doesn't mean taking a break from here though. Far from it. Actually, I am thinking that this is a good time to do some housekeeping and provide updates to you all about various aspects of the organization, such as the current financial situation (upcoming free agents, players eligible for arbitration, etc.), minor league teams with an emphasis on the progress of prospects, and a little bit more broad view of what is going on around the WPK, including, but not limited to statistical leaders and team reports.

But first, I think I will take a nap.
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Old 07-01-2018, 02:13 PM   #145
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Maybe a good place to start is with the mid-season performance review owner Steve Lester gave me this week. As you can see, there are several items he has prioritized which I have not delivered. The primary one, of course, being to deliver a championship to Denver by 1967. Clearly we are not headed in the right direction for that one. Then again, given that our second place finish in 1965 was probably a bit deceiving, an unrealistic expectation was probably created for both the fan base and ownership. The reality is that as GM my view was a bit more long-term, with the hopes of fielding a team that might at least take the MGL by 1970. Mr. Lester is also not thrilled with our progress at the shortstop position. My take is that Chad Brown is very young but shows great potential and that with a bit more patience this issue will take care of itself. The owner is very happy that we quickly extended veteran third baseman A.J. White, and given White's resurgence this year (in spite of some defensive decline) we are inclined to agree that this was fortuitous, particularly given the reasonable 1-year contract White agreed to. As for the owners desire that we sign a hometown player, well, what can we say. Should a quality Denver-born player come along, great. But it doesn't make much sense, to the baseball operations folks, to sign someone just due to his status as a local. (We do have a few Denver-area players in the minors and it is still possible that one of them might develop into a major league role player in the next few years. Time will tell.)
As you can see, in spite of his disappointment in several areas, on the whole the owner is happy with my leadership. I'm guessing the big bump in attendance, including a great increase in the numbers of season ticket holders, and the consequent growth of revenue, is a huge factor in this. As much as Mr. Lester wants to own a winning team, I suspect he even more wants to own a profitable team. And we have given him that!
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Old 07-01-2018, 06:17 PM   #146
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Looking at an overview of the Brewers team up to the All-Star break, we see that the offense is around middle-of-the-pack in most categories (batting average, OBP, runs scored), which is actually an improvement over 1965. In homeruns, as earlier mentioned, the team has fallen considerably from 1965, when we were near the top of the league. The trades of Mark Compton (39 HR in 1965) and Pablo Gonzales (19 HR in '65) doesn't help the situation. Antonio Puente, who was second on the club in '65 with 31 HR is on a pace for 23 this season. Tanner Yurek, who hit 20 in '65 is only on pace to hit 9 this season. The team is, once again, at the top of the pile in stolen bases but the other side of that is that the Brewers are also the team most often caught stealing (49 times).
A great deal of what led to a second-place finish for the Brewers in 1965 was a strong pitching staff. This year the team is near the bottom of the pack in runs allowed. While the starting staff remains fairly competitive, the bullpen has largely been atrocious. Veteran Ron Poblano, last year's closer who came in second place in the Reliever-of-the-Year award voting, is showing his age and has been relegated to a middle-relief role. Of late he has been performing a bit better but he has left a big hole late in games. Bill Roache, who was so steady as a setup man in '65, was seen as the natural successor to Poblano but has had a simply disastrous 1966 season (0-4, 6 sv, 3 blown saves, 4.64 ERA- and these numbers look much better due to a few decent outings since being relieved of high-pressure duty.) David Windecker is showing some ability to handle late game pressure (3-1, 2 saves in 2 opportunities, 2.86 ERA) but has wriggled out of self-imposed jams due to allowing too many walks (5.7 BB/9, leading to a 1.45 WHIP). Fireballer Armando Cruz got off to a rough start but has been doing much better of late (2-0, 2 sv, 3.24 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 8.1 K/9) but is better suited in a setup role at this time.
Perhaps most troubling about Brewers pitching is their propensity to give up the long-ball. The pitching staff has allowed 101 HR thus far (the next highest in the MGL is 86 allowed by Portland). Combined with the Brewers low 57 offensive HR, this makes for a very bad negative net in this area of the game.
The Brewers are one of the better defensive teams in the league, although with several young players in key positions, they do rank near the top in errors committed.
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Old 07-01-2018, 06:29 PM   #147
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This gives you some idea of what I'm up against with a stingy owner. As you can see, the Brewers had the best attendance in 1965 and we are well ahead of everyone else again in 1966. Our fan interest is decent, even if not near the top and our fan loyalty is solid as well. We are considered a big market (along with Brooklyn, and just below Detroit with very big) club. And yet, as you can plainly see, we have the lowest budget in the league and are the only team operating with a payroll deficit. (Which is not to say revenue deficit. As previously mentioned, we make our owner plenty of money.)
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:07 PM   #148
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Maybe a short tour around the Brewers minor leagues might be good about now.
As you might have noticed on the team home screen above the AAA Chester Big Stick are having a good season and are in first place. This is admittedly largely due to the efforts of veteran players with major league experience who the team signed to minor league contracts as free agents. This includes 41-year old Jim Wright who was brought on to provide leadership to young pitchers. Wright threw a no-hitter in the 1965 season for the Baltimore Lords. For Chester he is 8-3 with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. There is nothing to suggest he has major league talent anymore but in an organization that struggles on the mound, he provides some stabilization. It seems likely he will pack it up and retire at the end of the season.
Another veteran having a great season for Chester is 32-year old shortstop Jordan Rivera. It is unlikely that he will ever be a Brewer.
The Big Stick player most likely to have an eventual impact at the big league level is centerfielder Pat Rondeau, who has blossomed at the AAA level this season and will likely get a taste of the bigs when rosters expand on September 1st.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:21 PM   #149
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Unlike the Chester Big Stick, the Brewers AA affiliate, the Nashville Red Wings, are having a horrible season. This is largely due to a starting pitching staff that is atrocious. Brewers leadership has been trying to find some veterans to shore up the team as well as identifying talented players from lower in the organization who might be able to help turn things around at Nashville, but so far with no success.
One player who was brought up from single A Bainbridge is 1B/OF Bobby Erbakan, largely considered the top prospect in the Brewers system. Erbakan was unhappy at Bainbridge and even though there were concerns that he wasn't yet AA ready (ratings not really there yet), thus far, in spite of his continued unhappiness, Erbakan has put up even gaudier numbers at AA than he did at A.
Another young player doing quite well for Nashville is centerfielder Juan Magana. Magana has a reputation as a hard worker and is a great runner and talented defensive outfielder, but there is much skepticism about whether he will ever develop the hitting talent needed to make the bigs.
26-year old secondbaseman Nate Cole is also having a nice season but it is unlikely he will ever have a role in the major leagues.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:32 PM   #150
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The single A Bainbridge Brawlers, like the Red Wings, have had a very poor season, though they have been playing a bit better of late. One of the best of the Brawlers is centerfielder Michael Morgan who may yet develop into a major league player. Corner outfielder Dave Manning has also done well for Bainbridge, but in a short stint at AA he was over-matched and reluctantly the team leadership decided he needed some more time at the lower level to develop his game. Manning is still considered one of the prospects most likely to eventually be a Brewer.
One of the Brewers pitchers who is thought to have the most potential is relief pitcher Chris Martin. Martin has struggled this season but maintains a positive focus and the team is hoping that with his innate talent he will turn the corner soon.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:39 PM   #151
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The season is of course quite young still for the short-season A Jersey City Judges and the Rookie League Greensboro Bisons but both teams are off to fine starts. There is some optimism around the performance so far by relief pitcher Jaden Francis, the Brewers first round pick in the 1965 new player draft. Francis was seriously struggling at class A Bainbridge but thus far seems to be doing better for Jersey City. Jersey City thirdbaseman Jose Careaga, who many in the organization hope is the future Brewers starter at that position, is off to fine start. Leftfielder Andrew Kennedy is also playing brilliantly for Jersey City thus far.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:45 PM   #152
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Among the players on the Rookie League Greensboro Bisons the organization is keeping an eye on are the following:
Catcher Johnny Samson, who is off to a solid start.
Thirdbaseman Mike Tomlin, who is off to a horrible start.
Rightfielder Andrew Knight, who is off to a pretty decent start.
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Old 07-01-2018, 11:54 PM   #153
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A quick look at upcoming free agents and arbitration eligible Brewers.
Three current Brewers are eligible for free agency at the end of the season: reliever Ron Poblano, starter/reliever Joey Brown, and OF/1B Justin Schumann. Earlier in the season, when Schumann was doing quite well, the rumors were that he would be looking for a contract around the 100K mark. As his playing time has grown, what with the trade of Compton and the demotion of Souffront, Schumann's performance has returned to levels more in line with his perceived talents. Maybe even below them. And so too, it appears, have his economic aspirations. Still, it is highly unlikely that the Brewers will be looking to retain his services at the end of the season.
It's a bit more complicated with both Poblano and Brown. Poblano is a quality guy, well-liked in the clubhouse and very popular with Brewers fans. In a middle-relief role he may also still be a valuable member of the team. Much will depend upon his performance in that role in the next few months.
Brown has proven to be valuable as a swing-man, providing several solid starts (along with a few disastrous ones) during periods when members of the rotation were on the DL. He does not have great stuff at this stage of his career, but he is a bit more stingy giving up the long-ball then others on the staff and has adequate control. He could be a useful piece as a middle-reliever and emergency starter. It also appears that he is looking to make about the same amount of money next year as he is being paid in 1966, so the team will continue to evaluate their options and he might still be someone with whom we will attempt to negotiate an extension. Failing that, it is also possible that the Brewers will consider picking him up again as a free agent, particularly if he should still be unsigned prior to the next season and likely to sign on the cheap.

Players who are arbitration eligible at the end of the season are: Tanner Yurek, Zack Banks, Chris Montefusco, Bill Roache, David Windecker, and Jose Bravo. It is believed that the Brewers are interested in keeping all of these players for next year and would prefer not to go through the contentious arbitration process. It is in fact rumored that they have already tendered an extension offer to Zack Banks but are waiting to hear his decision. In spite of his disappointing season thus far, the player likely to garner the biggest pay increase should he go to arbitration is secondbaseman Tanner Yurek. It is likely the team will be targeting him for extension next. In addition, Yurek is one of the favorites of Brewers fans, and with the team scuffling a little incentive to keep fan interest high would not be amiss.
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:44 AM   #154
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Week-in-Review: July 4th-July 10th, 1966. The Brewers win the first two games in a three game series against Baltimore but then don't win another game during the week, losing game 3 to Baltimore and being swept (pretty easily: 5-0, 5-2, 7-1) at San Francisco.

Who's Hoppy? A.J. White (.340/.462/.445, 3.6 WAR) continues to be on fire at the plate and now leads all of the WPK in OBP. White went 9 for 20 on the week with 4 runs scored (41), 6 RBI (32), 2 HR (5), 3 BB (53), 1 K (18) and 3 stolen bases (14, with 9 CS.)

Who's Hungover? A lot to choose from, as you might imagine. But here are two who were doing well earlier and are now really scuffling. Chad Brown (.249/.279/.334, 0.3 WAR) went 3 for 24 with 3 runs scored (41), hit his 19th double of the season, walked twice (11) and struck out once (18). Erik Shelton (.230/.286/.348, -0.3 WAR) was just 1 for 11 with 2 strikeouts (34.)

What's Brewing Around the League? Pretty much all of the top teams in both leagues have been mediocre to poor lately but that has resulted in very little change in the standings. Although in the Shoeless Joe League, Washington's 9-1 record in the past 10 games has pushed them up to a fourth-place tie with San Antonio. (See full standings below.)

The Streak Souffront Saga: Ruben Souffront has gotten hot again down at AAA and is putting up impressive numbers (.379/.448/.500, 0.5 WAR, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 3 stolen bases (with no CS.) The team will continue to monitor his progress but doesn't want to bring him up prematurely in spite of the struggles of Shelton and Schumann in his absence.

Brewers Power Ranking: #14 (#1 L.A., #2 POR, #3 WAS, #4 S.F., #5 COL).
Brewers Record: 42-44, .488, 7th place MGL, 12 1/2 gb L.A.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:15 PM   #155
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In a tightly contested, low-scoring affair, the Moonlight Graham League won the 1966 All-Star Game 4-3 with a walk-off bottom-of-the-ninth victory.
Brewers veteran star A.J. White led off the bottom of the ninth with a pinch-hit double, moved to third on a line-drive single by Baltimore's Ron Ganier, and scored on a Chris Cardin (DET) infield single to end the game. Sam Rogers, who started at catcher for the MGL, was hitless in 2 at-bats (K, gb), and Alex Burley faced just one batter in the top-of-the-fourth and, after throwing three straight balls, got a called strike and then got the batter to fly out meekly, ending the inning with runners on the corners and limiting the damage.
The fourth Brewers All-Star, Steve Alonso, did not appear in the game as he had started for the Brewers the last game prior to the All-Star break.

P.S. Forgot to add that I am a bit mystified by the news report of this game referring to Columbus Whaler's star shortstop, David Alvarez, as a "Moonlight Graham League star." (Columbus, as you may recall, plays in the Shoeless Joe League.)
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:20 PM   #156
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Word was received today that young Brewers centerfielder Zack Banks, who was due to be arbitration eligible at the end of the season, has signed a one year contract for 1967. Banks, who provides great defense and has been showing some signs of a maturing bat as of late, is at the very least an important short-term piece of the puzzle as the Brewers wait on the development of prospect Pat Rondeau.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:40 PM   #157
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It would appear that all is not rosy in the Charlotte Sting clubhouse.
Then again, we are talking about a team that has lost 6 straight and sits 25 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Spinners in last place with a record of 29-57. So. You know. Not a happy time to be a Sting.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:18 AM   #158
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In the midst of a 6-game losing streak the Brewers are looking for any silver linings to be had. And maybe this is one: Jaden Francis, the Brewers first-round pick in the 1965 new player draft, who has had a bit of a rocky start in the minors, is looking pretty good right now. While he is a long way from being major league ready, and at this point it seems most likely that when he does eventually make it up it will be as a reliever, any success at all for the young righty is encouraging.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:39 AM   #159
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Well, as bad as things look for the Brewers right now- they have lost 7 straight- at least under the wonderful leadership of captain Sam Rogers they still have a pretty unified clubhouse. Meanwhile, in Charlotte, things seem to be going from bad to worse.
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:46 AM   #160
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Week-in-Review: July 11th-July 17th, 1966.
The Brewers come out of the All-Star break as cold as they went into it. They drop a three-game series at Baltimore, extending their losing streak to 7 games, and then lose the first game of a double-header in Los Angeles (2-1) to make it 8 straight losses. Finally, in the second game of the double-header the streak is broken with a tight, well-pitched, 2-0 victory.

Who's Hoppy? Joey Brown (7-5, 3.49) once again proves to be the stopper in the rotation for the Brewers, as he hurls 7 shutout innings (8 hits allowed, 3 K, 1 BB) against the mighty L.A. Spinners in the 2-0 win. Brown has been either very good or pretty horrible for the Brewers since joining the team in late May but it does seem like when they desperately need a win he is at his best. Two young relievers also had good weeks. Armando Cruz (2-0, 3 svs, 2.75), who got off to a very rocky start this season, continues to impress of late. Cruz pitched 3 innings over two appearances (both games of the double-header), allowing no runs and no hits, walking just 1 and striking out 2. David Windecker (3-1, 2 svs, 2.59) threw 3 scoreless innings over 3 appearances, allowing 2 hits, while walking 4 with no strikeouts recorded. Windecker walks (pun slightly intended) a dangerous line with his lack of control, but has been one of the more effective Brewers relievers all season, perhaps partly due to being one of the few members of the staff not prone to allowing the long ball.

What's Brewing Around The League? At this point in the season the two league champions from 1965 have again risen to the top (although, granted, L.A. has pretty much been there the entire season.) In the SJL, the reigning WPK champs, Jacksonville, now have a narrow lead over Columbus (54-38 and 55-40, respectively) with Pittsburgh holding on to third at 50-41 and the red-hot Washington Night Train (9-1 in last 10) just behind them at 52-44. Los Angeles remains atop the MGL with a 57-33 record. Portland is still in second at 52-39, with Baltimore in third at 49-42.

The Streak Souffront Saga: Ruben Souffront continues to do well at AAA Chester (.341/.410/.466, 0.6 WAR). In yesterday's game Ruben went 3 for 6 with a HR. The team continues to monitor his progress but doesn't want to make the mistake of rushing him back to big league club prematurely.

Brewers Power Ranking: #14 (#1 JAC, #2 L.A., #3 COL, #4 WAS, #5 OKC).
Brewers Record: 43-48, .473, 8th place MGL, 14 1/2 gb L.A. (Only good news for the Brewers in terms of standings is that the two teams below them- Detroit and Charlotte- are still quite a bit worse.)
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