Hi everyone- sorry I haven't been around much lately. Easter commitments and my 3 year-old's birthday party, as well as numerous other distractions have gotten me out of my routine. In the meantime, John's doing a great job with the WPA logs and minor league notes. I promise I'll now be around much more.
Just a few notes for today and things that are on my mind.
- Wes Obermueller signed with the Orix Buffaloes of the Japanese league. I suppose this doesn't necessarily signal a failed career, but it's too bad Wes has to go over there to pitch. You'd think some major league team would have room in its bullpen for him (hello, Kansas City). Of course, that's not to say everyone had given up on him. He was pitching for Atlanta's AAA affiliate, Richmond, and had a 2.45 ERA with 5 strikeouts in 11 innings. Obermueller always reminded me of Jamey Wright, another former Brewer with great stuff who just couldn't seem to harness it. He showed flashes, like last May 17th's 8-inning, 4-hit performance against Washington, but had too many like his performance exactly 2 weeks after that- 5 walks in 2 2/3 innings against San Diego. And of course, Obie could flat-out rake for a pitcher. Good luck, Wes.
- I'm not really sure what this means, but Prince Fielder leads the majors in batting average on balls in play (BABIP), at a whopping .473. I know that for pitchers this stat is often based on luck and tends to even out over time. I would assume the same holds for hitters. Then again, did anyone else think Prince would hit .367 all year? I won't take anything away from Fielder as he's off to a great start as a Brewer, but I think we can all agree that Fielder's hits have had eyes this year, and several have fallen in that may not be doing that all year. That said, I'm looking forward to Prince's prodigious power beginning to display itself on a regular basis. Let's hope this hot start is a springboard to a rookie of the year campaign.
- I was thinking about Rick Helling and when we could expect him back, when I realized that yet again, the Brewers have been pretty much injury-free through the first month of the season (knock on wood). You really can't underestimate the advantage the Brewers' medical staff gives them. Not only are they keeping players on the field, they're doing a good job of assessing concerns and getting guys back out there (Sheets). As shown in Ned Yost's starting lineup for today (Gross in center, Cirillo at second) as well as them sending Corey Hart back down to AAA, the Brewers seem to have more quality players than they know what to do with. As a lifelong Brewers fan, let me just say that that's a GREAT thing. These playing-time issues will sort themselves out as the season goes on and injuries will come, but if the Brewers continue to limit them as they have this year and consistenly in the past, it gives the Crew a huge advantage over more injury-prone teams.
- Enjoy a matinee Ben Sheets start today- hopefully his teammates will get him his first win.