I’m In Your Bush, Killing Your Birds…

So I know you’re asking yourself, How does this MLB roster thing work? Well the answer is reasonably simple. Here is a link to explain. I’ll wait if you want, I have all day to type very fast when you scroll down. Now that you’re back…

The Monkey’s Brewers Preview

I know that you haven’t really been waiting for it, but I wrote it all the same. I had planned to write it sooner, but instead stopped after this: Monkey Predicts the Brewers Starting 5. So without further ado (there’ll be time for ado later) Here’s how I see the 25 man roster after Spring Training…

Position Players

The Starting 8 Position Players on opening day are simple enough.

C – Kendall

1B – Fielder

2B – Weeks

SS – Hardy

3B – Hall

LF – Braun

RF – Gross

CF – Hart

So there’s 8 out of 25, plus the five starters, so 13 roster spots accounted for, and there’s 12 to go….

Relievers Sure to Make the Team…

Closer – Eric Gagne. (I know, I know, but hes on the 25 man roster. He’s gettin paid 10 mil, so he’s on the team whether I don’t like, or hate it.)

Setup – Derrick Turnbow.

Sit Lefty – Brian Shouse

Sit. Righty – Salomon Torres

Middle Relief – David Riske

Long Relief – Chris Capuano

Long Relief – Claudio Vargas

So there’s another 7 roster spots gone, add the 8 positional starters and the 5 starting pitchers and there’s 20 spots accounted for, and I still need me some positional backups. probably 3 or 4.

Infield Utilityman – Counsell

Backup Catcher/1B/3B – Vinny Rottino

Backup IF/OF – Joe Dillon

Backup OF – Tony Gwynn Jr.

So there’s four backups that cover just about everywhere on the depth chart, which leaves one remaining spot for my completely fiction 08 Brewers 25 man roster. Who will have a spot for 25 whole days before Mike Cameron’s suspension is over?

There are several canidates, but I think it’ll be a non-roster invitee, more specifically Steve Bray, who dominated AAA last year. Given that the Brewers have little to no controversy about the starters in the infield, and only a 25 game stretch of uncertainty in the outfield I could see Melvin keeping a DEEP bullpen, perhaps with the intention of shopping Vargas or Capuano during spring training or in the first month or so of the season.

No, You’re Wrong.

So you think I’m wrong? Oh, I’ve been wrong before, but that was fifty posts ago. I’m sure that some of these predictions will not come to pass, but here’s some pre-emptive rebuttals…

Vinny Rottino isn’t going to be the back up catcher, (insert name here) is.

The way the forty man roster is the Brewers have 4 potential backups at catcher, Eric Munson, Mike Rivera, Lou Palmisano and Vinny Rottino. Munson and Rivera are both older (early thirties) Munson’s career BA is .214 and his OBP is nothing to write home about either. Rivera’s is .239 (Rivera’s 07 BA in AAA? .215 Nuff said.) As for Palmisano, it looks like he’s got some skill, and his OPS is alright, but he hasn’t played any ball over the AA level.

Which leaves me at Rottino. So why Vinny? He can catch, as well as play 1B and 3B. With as many pitchers as the Crew is likely to carry, this versatility is valuable. He’s played 3 solid seasons at AAA (OPS over .800) and he’s had a cup of coffee or two already. He’s a Wisconsin native, and if he can hit a bit he’ll be a crowd favorite.

Soloman Torres isn’t going to make the cut (insert name here) is.

Maybe. Perhaps it’ll be Seth McClung, or Randy Choate, or Mitch Stetter, or Guillermo Mota. Hmm. Randy Choate? Dominant at the AAA level, yet stunningly disappointing at the major league level. Mota? Hasn’t been better than below-average since he got off the clear, and one juicer in the bullpen’s enough, don’t you think? Seth McClung? The guy can throw heat, and since joining the Milwaukee organization has drastically improved his control. He’s got a shot at the bigs, sure. I just don’t think it’s at Torres’ expense. Same thing with Stetter. The Brewers just have a ton of arms, and both McClung and Stetter (and probably Choate too) will be on the 40 man roster come September. I just can’t see them beating out Torres. Until Melvin clears out a spot or two, these guys will be pitching in Nashville this season.

Tony Gwynn Jr’s going to start in Center, Corey Hart is a RFer, Dumbass.

Jesus Christ, I’ll explain. Because I see 3 players competing for two spots and since Mike Cameron loves to pop Stim-U-Tacs the Crew needs a CF for 25 games. Corey Hart and Tony Gwynn Jr are the candidates. Gwynn’s a speedy guy, but he can’t hit. Then there’s Corey Hart. Hart will definitely be a starting outfielder, but will he start in right or center?

Now why did I say 2 spots for three players? Because the Brewers could go with Hart in center and Gross in right, or Gwynn in center and Hart in right. I just see it as a matter of production. Corey Hart and Gabe Gross produce, which means that if Hart CAN play CF, then he should, because Gwynn hits for no power and an inferior average. Ultimately its not a choice between Hart and Gwynn, but between Gwynn and Gross. I pick Gross, and I’ll take my chances with Corey in CF for 25 games.

 

Craig Counsell isn’t going to make the team, (insert name here) is.

Ya sure bout that? The other players in camp that can play SS are Abraham Nunez Ozzie Chavez and Alcides Escobar. Escobar hasn’t been above AA, Chavez boots a ton of balls. Which means that the only guy I could see beating out Counsell is Nunez, and I don’t think he’s all that much better. Another factor to consider is that Nunez is a non-roster invitee on a minor league deal and I’m not sure Craig Counsell’s contract allows for designation. Personally I don’t see the downside in having a great defensive backup with post-season experience on the bench.

Matt LaPorta is totally gonna make the team.

Not until September, and maybe not then either. The Crew wanted LaPorta to play in LF because he’s HORRIBLE at 1B. This is the problem. The Brewers outfield is crowded. Not so crowded anymore, but a 23 year old who only played A ball is still going to be in the minors until there’s a spot open or the September call-ups come. There’s just not a spot for him yet and there might not be for a while. They’ll see how he performs in spring training, and then they’ll send him to Huntsville or Nashville to acclimate to better and better pitching and to learn how to field.

Manny Parra is gonna be on the squad.

Maybe. Maybe after some of the players who are getting paid this year play badly. He’s a good pitcher, but he has had some injury history and with as many arms as are in the bullpen right the only spot he could take would be Claudio Vargas’s. Claudio is getting 2.5 million this year, so in my humble opinion, Vargas would have to be traded to make a spot for Parra. Hasn’t happened yet, so hence his omission.

 

So here it is, how I would fill out the 2008 Milwaukee Brewers Depth Chart.

 

The Monkey’s 08 Brewer’s Depth Chart

Feel free to let me know how wrong I am.

 

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2 Responses to I’m In Your Bush, Killing Your Birds…

  1. shannon says:

    Since you gave the invitation, I figured I’d let you know how wrong you are about one thing in particular in your post.

    Um…the Brewers didn’t move LaPorta to LF because he’s “HORRIBLE” at 1B. Take it from me, I watched him play at Florida for three years – and that includes nearly every home game and plenty of road ones. All of that stuff about how his defense at first was so horrible – no one who saw him regularly can figure it out. Not the fans, not the media, not his coaches and teammates, not the opposing coaches and players, no one. It’s an utter mystery as to how he got tagged with that label. Sure, he probably won’t win any gold gloves, but he was very good defensively, and he’s very athletic for his size. Believe me, when he had that period his junior year where he was out with the oblique injury, his power wasn’t the only thing we missed. There were plenty of plays his replacement(s) couldn’t make where we said, “Matt would’ve had that.”

    But that’s besides the point. The reason they moved him to LF was because Fielder is currently entrenched at 1B and since they expect him to move very quickly through the minors, he needed another position if he’s going to see any playing time once he does make it to the bigs. The way things are sounding right now though, maybe Fielder will be gone once he hits free agency and LaPorta will end up at 1B after all.

    Bottom line though – don’t worry about LaPorta’s defense. He will be fine, and his bat will more than make up for it.

  2. evenchunkiermonkey says:

    I hope so.

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