Milwaukee Brewers Shake Things Up…

The Milwaukee Brewers hit rock bottom last night in a 13-6 loss at home to the lowly San Diego Padres. The loss dropped the Brewers to 55-57 on the season and 6.5 games behind the front running St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. Overall, the Brew Crew have lost 23 of their 35 games.

Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin apparently has seen enough. Melvin and Brewers shook things up today by sending former all-star shortstop JJ Hardy to Triple-A Nashville, designating 3B Bill Hall for assignment, firing pitching coach Bill Castro, and calling up prized prospect Alcides Escobar.

Let’s start with Hardy first. Hardy is one of my favorite players in baseball, but I have no idea what happened to this guy in 2009. In 2007 and 2008, Hardy averaged .280 with 25 HR’s and 76 RBI and was starting to look like a top-tier shortstop. This year however, he is hitting a very Al Pedrique-like .229 with just 11 HR’s and 45 RBI.

Hardy was demoted today

Hardy was demoted today

Hardy has clearly struggled at the plate all year and with this demotion and the call up of Escobar, unless Hardy comes back as a third baseman – Hardy’s time in Milwaukee might be over.

If Escobar plays well at shortstop, what use do the Brewers have for Hardy? Here is my bold prediction – JJ Hardy is the starting shortstop for the Boston Red Sox in 2010.

If Hardy fell off the cliff this year, then Bill Hall jumped off and did a cannonball. After clubbing 35 HR’s and driving 85 runs in 2006, the Brewers signed Hall to a four-year $24 million contract. Big mistake.

It is now looking like Hall’s 06 season was an aberration and his .254 with 14 HR’s and 63 RBI season in 2007 and .225/15/55 season in 2008 were the real deal. This year Hall bottomed out and was hitting just .201 with six HR’s in 78 games.

I think Hall could have some value to a team this year as a late-inning defensive replacement at third. Despite being terrible at the plate, he is still playing some good defense. For that role, I think the Florida Marlins would make sense.

The Brewers figure to be on the hook for the remaining $11 million on Hall’s contract.

The last move the Brewers made today was they fired pitching coach Bill Castro and replaced him with former Seattle Mariners’ pitcher Chris Bosio. The Brewers’ pitching staff ranked 27th in baseball with a 4.84 ERA and their starting staff ranked dead last in the NL in era with a 5.16 mark.

This has been a crazy day for the Milwaukee Brewers, but not surprising. Remember, this was the same team that fired their manager (Ned Yost) last year with 12 games to go in the season.

The shake up worked last year. Whether or not it works this year remains to be seen.

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6 Responses to “Milwaukee Brewers Shake Things Up…”

  1. Dick H Says:

    Saw game last night. No ability, no spark, no coaching. The only time this team has shown spark is when they pull out their shirts after a WIN.
    Comments- Braun is a defensive liability(Wow-how could I criticize the savior.) Kendall must have something on Macha Why couldn’t he at least let Rivera pinch hit in the 9th. They are still a young team and I wish they would show the spirit of a young team, instead of acting like old men out there. How about taking out the seats in the dugout so they have to get involved in the game. And Macha – how about telling Braun and Fielder to take strikes when you are way back in the score. I could go on forever.

    • Adam Bernacchio Says:

      I agree on points Dick,

      I have watched a lot of the Brewers this year and something has been “off” all year. I think recently they were deflated by not getting anyone at the trading deadline. It almost was as if they were waiving the white flag that day.

      Only a month and a half left of the Jason Kendall era in Milwaukee

  2. Tyler Marcin Says:

    I think the hall and hardy going down is good. It gives escobar a chance show us what he has got and it gives hardy a chance to raise his confidance a little bit. The worst that comes out o this situation is that escobar doesnt work out and we get hardy back. I think we should have gotten rid of hall after last season, it was obvious to me that hall was not going to fit in and we had young guys to replace, like gamel. The difference between the shake up this year and last year is that this year we dont get a god like pitcher like we did last year with C.C. He is the reason the brewers made it to the playoffs not the change in coaching. I do have faith in Macha to make late run like he used to when the A’s were in their prime.

    • Adam Bernacchio Says:

      I agree Tyler,

      Sabathia was the reason the Brewers made the playoffs, not Dale Sveum, who was just along for the ride. I think the Brewers would have gotten rid of Hall last year, but he was making too much money. It’s hard for a team like Milwaukee to eat that type of contract.

  3. Uccello Says:

    Great move for the Crew.Here’s hoping for good finish. Uccello

    • Adam Bernacchio Says:

      I hope the Brewers finish strong as well. I am going to Milwaukee on Labor Day to see them vs the Cardinals. Hopefully the game means something

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