Some disjointed thoughts on a glum Monday morning, following a series loss to the Chicago White Sox:
>> We have not mentioned the acquisition on the site as of yet, but the Brewers signed right-handed veteran Livan Hernandez to a major-league deal in hopes of improving what has proven to be a disastrous bullpen this season. The 37-year-old will serve as the team’s long reliever and swingman, providing durability and flexibility to the ‘pen.
Of course, Hernandez has not been effective all season. The Atlanta Braves released him after compiling a 4.94 ERA in 31 innings and his line drive rate has risen to an unsightly 23.3%.
The biggest concern is the 1.45 HR/9 home run rate. Hernandez now moves to Miller Park, which has yielded the highest home run park factor of 2012, which does not bode well for sudden improvement. Still, considering the shape of the Brewers’ bullpen and the injuries that have shaken up the starting rotation, it’s not surprising to see the organization pick up a veteran arm and hope for three months of effectiveness.
>> Former top prospect Mark Rogers has once again fallen off the prospect radar after struggling with carpel tunnel syndrome last year and undergoing surgery. This year, the numbers do not suggest anything worth watching, as he is currently toiling away in Triple-A Nashville with a 5.65 ERA and a 4.96 BB/9 walk rate. Over at Brewerfan.net, however, Mass Hass notes that a fan at his most recent start on Saturday informed him that Rogers was maxing out at 97 MPH with his fastball. Perhaps more interesting was the fact that a pack of scouts attended the game.
Of course, the scouts could have been present to evaluate Dodgers’ prospects, as they will certainly be buyers this summer and could have a few pieces from the Triple-A ranks to move for supplemental players. At the same time, Mark Attanasio and the Brewers could legitimately be interested in buying a player or two prior to the deadline — likely to aid the bullpen — and may have informed teams that Rogers is available and has regained his velocity.
That theory, however, has two caveats: (1) if Rogers has truly regained his velocity and has value to other teams as a young pitcher, wouldn’t the Brewers benefit from him at the big league level? (2) the Brewers could have sent scouts themselves to ascertain whether Rogers could be effective as a big league reliever at some point this season.
Just something interesting to pass along.
>> Logan Schafer is tearing up Triple-A. After another multi-hit game in Nashville last night, he is now hitting .303/.357/.465 with seven home runs and ten stolen bases. As a center fielder who can provide above-average defense and has a line-drive swing that is built to hit for average, it’s overwhelmingly tempting to advocate moving Nyjer Morgan in favor of giving Schafer a full-time shot against right-handed pitching with the Brewers.
If the Brewers turn to sell-mode in late July, there is very little reason not to see what Logan Schafer has to offer in center field, in hopes of allowing him to transition and make adjustments for a more prominent role in 2013.
>> Some things are inevitable in life. Death. Taxes. Carlos Gomez bat flips on routine fly balls to center. Then, we have Aramis Ramirez and slow starts to a baseball season. In the month of April, Ramirez hit .214/.264/.381 and left many wondering why Doug Melvin and the Brewers offered a three-year deal to the veteran third baseman.
As the weather has warmed, however, Ramirez’s bat has followed suit. This month, the 34-year-old veteran* is smashing the baseball around the diamond. His slash line sits at .348/.423/.638 in June and has been one of the main reasons the Brewers’ offense has been the fourth-best offense in the National League this month.
* Happy Birthday, Aramis.