From Robin To Rickie

March 3, 2006

Notes from yesterday’s games

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jamie Herbst @ 12:33 pm

I can’t promise game updates every day during spring training, but I’m just so excited about the start of baseball that I couldn’t restrain myself today.  The Brewers came away with a pair of losses, but who really cares anyway?  It’s said every spring that the hitters come in ahead of the pitchers, the pitchers like to experiment, hitters are just trying to get into shape, etc. etc.  Any way you slice it, the games are pretty much meaningless.  However, there are always a few things to watch, and even though there aren’t too many positional battles with the Crew this spring, there are some intriguing subplots.

  • You’ll begin to realize in reading this blog that I’d really like to see Dana Eveland win the 5th starter’s spot.  I just read a blurb about him last night in Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook comparing him to David Wells.  This comparison works beyond the obvious lefty with a weight problem thing.  His fastball, like Wells’, is sneaky fast, and he doesn’t rely on it alone.  Eveland actually has 4 pitches he can throw, 3 of which would be considered plus-pitches.  I just like the fact that he doesn’t have to be pretty, he just uses his head and gets things done like a true pitcher, not just a thrower.  Plus, the guy was a late draft-and-follow, yet he’s gotten the job done and done well at every stop through the minors.  That said, he got beat up pretty bad yesterday, not recording an out and yielding 5 earned runs.  His quotes after the game were along the lines of “my arm was feeling good, maybe too good”.  This isn’t anything anyone should be worried about as far as Eveland being able to pitch.  It’s just that when you’re battling other guys for one pitching spot, you can’t afford a lot of these kinds of outings.
  • Jeff Cirillo showed up in the box score as having played some first base.  I kind of like this- give yourself some nice flexibility and take some of the pressure off Prince Fielder.  I think the obvious assumption has been that Corey Koskie would be Fielder’s backup at first, but he, like Prince, is a lefty hitter.  It would be nice to be able to throw Cirillo in there occassionally against tough lefties.  I would think Corey Hart would get some looks there as well.
  • I don’t have play by play of this, but it looks like Dennis Sarfate came in with a bases loaded jam and recorded two consecutive outs to close out the 4th inning against the Giants without letting a guy score.  Well done, Dennis.  Here’s a guy who’s flown under the radar.  John Sickels has good things to say about him in this year’s Prospect Book, like…..

“Sarfate seems to get lost in the shuffle when Brewers prospects are discussed.  This is testament to the deep nature of the farm system; in many organizations, he would be a top prospect.”

and

“Sarfate’s fastball gives him an impressive ceiling, and if he can improve his other pitches, he could be a very impressive pitcher.”

Lastly, I was just a little peaved that I wasn’t able to get a game on my XM radio yesterday.  Granted, I only had access to it for 15 minutes on the drive home after work, but I was looking forward to hearing some real Brewer action.  XM had this problem with spring games last year as well- something about these spring training parks not always being equipped for XM broadcasts and affiliates forgetting how to send their broadcasts properly.  However, I was quickly surprised when I got home and could access MLB.com’s live audio feed using my offseason $9.95 video archive login to hear Sutton and Schroeder call the last inning and a half.  You know, MLB offers a lot of great media options, but you’d think they’d be able to consolidate some of these broadcasts, like maybe have the Sutton/Schroeder thing on both MLB.com and XM, instead of leaving XM to rely on local affiliates.  I know these concerns will quickly go away once XM starts their regular season broadcasts (no problems at all with those), but I’m just trying to get my baseball fix here.

This leads me to one final rant on this Friday.  Why in the world does WTMJ now only broadcast weekend spring training games?  I was reading an article saying that the Dodgers actually rebroadcast their spring games at night so that people who were at work can hear the games.  The Brewers have generated plenty of buzz over the last year or so- don’t you think people would be excited to tune in and hear Bob Uecker from work during the week?  WGN had the Cubs on yesterday (Santo was in midseason form).  Why can’t we hear our Brewers without jumping through hoops?  You’re telling me more people want to hear Clark Howard than Bob Uecker?  Come on WTMJ!

There, I’m done.

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