To Trade or Not To Trade: The Case of Jonathan Lucroy
Milwaukee Brewers catcher, Jonathan Lucroy, was already one of the hottest names on the trade market and with his return this year to elite status, everyone has an eye on him. The tough question for the Brewers is whether to trade Lucroy or not. Let’s examine the pros and the cons.
Milwaukee’s farm system is already among the best in the league and a Lucroy trade would make it a top 3 farm system with ease. Catchers who rake and field their position well are rare so Lucroy’s value is through the roof. He is currently hitting 316/.372/.539 as of June 6, with 9 bombs and an OPS of .911 after a DREADFUL 2014. The Brew Crew would receive an elite prospect package, adding to the already impressive group of players featuring Orlando Arcia, Brett Phillips, Josh Hader, and Trent Clark. The Brewers also have the 5th overall pick in the upcoming draft, bolstering the farm even more. Luc’s contract is incredibly team friendly, making him even easier to move. The future is already bright, but with a trade and draft here, it gets even brighter, looking at possible young stars. Lastly, Lucroy has expressed interest in being traded to a winning team.
To Not Trade
Jonathan Lucroy is a fan favorite with the “LUUUUUCCCC,” chants heard every at-bat. It’s hard to give up one of the faces of the franchise that is so well liked. Everyone thought the Brewers were going to be quite dreadful while rebuilding this year, but they’ve actually been playing well. They are working their way back to .500 with only a few games under now. The bullpen has showed it’s elite with the likes of Tyler Thornburg, Blaine Boyer, Will Smith, and the dominance of closer Jeremy Jeffress. Jimmy Nelson is coming into his own and looks like he could be a 1, 2, or 3 for the rotation for years to come. Overall, the rotation has been serviceable other than the liability of Wily Peralta on the mound. Ryan Braun has returned to his old self and is having one of the best years of his career. Hernan Perez keeps hitting his way into the line up and Aaron Hill has heated up since his rough start. Jonathan Villar has been an absolute stud, hitting over .300, leads the league in stolen bases, and plays an exceptional shortstop. Lucroy is a core player and a leader. Finding another catcher like him is almost impossible. He could be vital in developing young pitchers and will be a valuable bat in the line up. With the revelation of Villar and the elite bullpen, the Brewers could become more competitive sooner than people think. Top prospect Orlando Arcia will soon be playing gold glove caliber D at short and hopefully Villar gets moved over to second because his bat has to stay in the line up. A Braun, Phillips, and Domingo Santana outfield could be great. Josh Hader is showing ace flashes featuring an ERA under 1. It’s hard to put a timeline on young prospects like Trent Clark, but let’s say these prospects I’ve talked about make their way up within 3 years, it could make the Brew Crew competitive. Lucroy would be a central piece for the years to come if he can be retained. The Brewers are quietly putting together a solid core that Luc is crucial to.
My Verdict: To Not Trade
I see Luc being too valuable down the road to trade! The Brewers with their solid play this year may convince him to want to stay. He is more valuable to the Brew Crew for the years to come to help anchor a line up as well as help develop up and coming pitchers. He is one of the few “veteran” leaders on the team along with Braun – which also helps sell tickets. This is an incredibly tough decision that David Stearns will have to make. Would I be upset if he was traded and they received a great return? Absolutely not, I can accept their wanting to position the team for the future. Either way, there are positives and negatives to keep Luc. Personally, I would miss him – and so would my sister who cherishes his autograph and catches because of him.
What would you do as GM?
Baseball Mirrors Life
There is no sport that truly shows all aspects of life like the game of baseball.
Baseball is one of the only sports without a clock, but always has an end. There’s no telling how far the end could possibly be for a baseball game. This can also be said about life. We know we are living, but never truly know when the game of life will come to a close. Throughout the game of baseball, you may miss that fastball down the middle, your golden chance at success. In life, there are times you may have a great opportunity, but miss it. “Strike 3,” calls the umpire as you have your walk of shame back to the dugout after failing. You may sometimes have that bad day in life, but don’t worry, there is always another at-bat, there’s always another day. In life and baseball, it’s important to embrace our mistakes and failures, learn from them to make us all better for that next opportunity, that next at-bat. Go up to the plate after being 0-3 and take advantage of your next at bat, make contact or better yet, smack a home run. Don’t go down just “looking.” Flunk that test or bomb that job interview? There will be another. Go prepare, practice, and kill it when the next opportunity presents itself. Be proactive and don’t go down looking–with opportunities passing you by. Create an opportunity on the baseball field and in your life. You never know when the time will come, but always be ready. After all, baseball is a game of failure….and so is life with many unpredictable variables—But that’s what makes it exciting! Life and baseball can be disappointing and hard at times. So, take responsibility and action through practice, pushing yourself and trying new things. Play every game and live every day to the fullest because you never know when the last game or day of your life will come.
In baseball, a sacrifice bunt or sac fly can be difference makers in a game. In life, let’s say you have that big test Monday, but want to go to the football game on Friday. Maybe money will be tight for you and have to chose whether you spend money on those new shoes or save it for your family’s well-being. There’s always decisions to made about when and how to sacrifice something, in both life and baseball. You could look like a big shot with those Jordan’s and look like the hero hitting that game winning three run homer. Saving that money you spent on those J’s may help your family out a little bit, but you feel no pleasure or status since you don’t have those shoes. Laying down that sac bunt helps the team win games and you may not get any notice or love for it. You sacrificed a chance and your personal stats to look the hero for the sake of the team. Sacrificed those J’s that you think would get all the ladies in order to help your family. Sacrifices may not be easy, but in the end it’s what will make all the difference allowing many to benefit.
A popular saying is that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it takes a team to win a championship. In baseball and life you can never be successful on your own without anyone helping. A strong supporting cast is always needed. So when things are going badly, reach out to your teammates, family and friends.
In life, you can never have full control of what’s going on. There are always roadblocks. When you go up to bat, you have to go with what pitches are thrown and make the most of it. In life, you have deal with the cards you’re dealt and make the most of it as well. Life and baseball can be incredibly frustrating. Sometimes you can do everything right in both and STILL fail. Sometimes things look like they’re going well for both, but change drastically in a matter of moments. From hitting a line drive straight to the CF, missing a home run by inches, having your bat break, or getting a bad call – baseball is unfair. In life, you may be doing great at your job and still get laid off. Everything in your family could be going well, and suddenly tragedy hits. It’s not fair. It’s how you deal with adversity that makes you who you are and how you will eventually succeed. So, get up to the plate, take action, and make something happen.
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David Stearns Finding Hidden Gems For The Brewers
David Stearns has been making quite a splash in the MLB since becoming the youngest GM, at age 30, for the Milwaukee Brewers in order to help them rebuild. Other than the splashy Segura move, Stearns has made some under-the-radar moves that could positively impact Milwaukee baseball. A team like the Brewers is not rebuilding from a dominant, star studded team. They are rebuilding from the ground up. It’s important for a rebuilding team to acquire young, cheap, and controllable talent. David Stearns has been quietly acquiring some low budget, former top prospects under our noses. However, all that’s heard in the media is the Segura trade and Lucroy rumors. These players below are low-risk, high-reward for the Brew Crew. I do believe Stearns could be up to something, uncovering some cheap valuable talent that could turn out to be hidden gems. Meet Garin Cecchini and Rymer Liriano.
Garin Cecchini 3rd/1st and LF
In 2014, at Triple-A, Cecchini had a very average year, but 2015 is what really made the Red Sox want to move on from the once top prospect with the awful slash of .213/.286/.296 and a OPS of .583. The Milwaukee Brewers decided to scoop him up acquiring him for cash considerations. 3rd base couldn’t be any more shallow for the Brewers and adding Garin seems more like a depth and competition move. I feel David Stearns could be uncovering a very solid player in here in Cecchini.
Look past his dreadful year to see his potential.
Garin Cecchini was once one of the Red Sox’s top prospects before 2014, ranked #51 by Baseball Prospectus. He plays third base, first, and some outfield. Cecchini’s slash was .322/.443/.471 with an OPS of .915 split between A/AA. These are very good numbers that prove he can handle the bat well. This shows where the top prospect status comes from. Cecchini also possesses some speed as he stole 51 bases at the Single A level. He is a not a complete burner with his speed, but runs well. Getting on base has always been the strongest aspect of his game. Pure hitting and his on base expertise has always been praised in scouting reports. Cecchini is average defensively, not great. Garin has good size at 6’ 3” but his size doesn’t translate into power. In fact, he has never hit more than 7 home runs at any level in professional baseball. His lack of power may not be a huge factor for the Brewers at this point regarding the 3rd base position for them since it is so shallow. Scouts have always raved about him and Stearns sees something worthwhile in him.
Keith Law scouted Cecchini saying, “He showed he could really hit, projecting as a consistent .300-plus hitter whose future hit grade is a 65 or a 70.”
Baseball Prospectus describes him, “Excellent hand/eye coordination; natural bat-to-ball skills; hit tool could end up well above average.”
A change of scenery could rejuvenate his career. Let’s say he bounces back, makes the Brewers and slashes around .285/.390/.425. That would result in quality player for the Brewers to have. Maybe as he figures things out in a few years, he could be up around .300, This could all very well be wishful thinking, but Cecchini has had scouts raving about him for reasons. There is definitely a reason to keep an eye on this young man. It sometimes takes players a little while longer to figure it all out and David Stearns is hoping Garin finds his mojo with the Brew Crew. Third base is his to win and hopefully that inner top prospect talent comes back for him. This was literally a no risk, high reward move for Milwaukee, and that reward could be a quality 3rd baseman. If he still struggles, then nothing is lost.
Rymer Liriano OF
Rymer Liriano, a toolsy outfielder the Brewers acquired from the San Diego Padres for left-hander Trevor Seidenberger. Liriano is a very intriguing player to look into.
Bernie Pleskoff wrote in 2014, “That fall, what I saw daily from Liriano was a rare mix of power and speed tools for a player his size. Along with his potent bat and better-than-average speed for his 6-foot, 230-pound frame, Liriano flashed a much-better-than-average arm from right field. In fact, he threw so hard, his mechanics and velocity may have even contributed to the need for his career-interrupting elbow surgery last year. At the time of his operation, Liriano was ranked the No. 3 prospect in the Padres’ organization. He is currently ranked No. 6 on San Diego’s Top 20 Prospect list.”
In 2014 he slashed .291/.361/.473 with 14 home runs and an OPS of .836 between AA/AAA. In the 14 games he played at AAA, he hit a whopping .452 which led his Major League call-up that year. Then, in 36 games with the Padres, Liriano struggled mightily hitting, .220/.289/.266 with an OPS of .555. This poor play resulted in his demotion back to AAA for the 2015 season. Last year, he had similar numbers to those of 2014, even slightly better, .292/.383/.460 with an OPS of .843 and 14 bombs as well. To show his speed, in 2011, Liriano had 66 stolen bases.
Liriano has a very unique skill set and could be a special player. His numbers at Triple-A were great in 2015 and for the position the Padres are in, it is baffling they would trade him right now. He is a player with an immediate chance to positively impact a team with many tools. It is unclear where he would fit in with the Brewers in the outfield right now, but could definitely compete for time in center field. Liriano showed his talent last year and could translate it to the Major League level with the Brewers. With his track record of minor league success and various tools, Rymer Liriano could end up being a gem for Milwaukee.
These two moves are both low risk, high reward. It seems that these transactions could be great for the Brew Crew. Let’s hope these two players pan out and David Stearns could look like a genius to us all. If not, it’s back to the drawing board.
All stats from: Baseball-Reference.com
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The Making Of A Successful Sportscaster
Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Fox News and their sportscaster, Tom Pipines. I am not sure when this interview will be aired, but I will surely let you all know! I spent the afternoon with Tom Pipines, who likes to be called “Pip,” but not be called “late for dinner,” and I learned what makes a sportscaster successful.
As he was trying to learn about me and this blog, Bleacher Boy, I learned a lot from him as well. I learned that “Pip” is:
- A confident man with a firm handshake.
- A kind and friendly man with warm hugs for my mom and sister and an even friendlier smile.
- A polite man that was courteous and apologetic that he was running late–showing that others’ time is valuable too.
- A giving man that took the time to give me a tour and introduce me to literally EVERYONE at the studio including Katrina Cravy, making me feel like I was part of the family.
- A sincere man that was interested in what I do as a writer and as a teen, as well as the interests a my family.
- A knowledgeable man that knows his industry and keeps learning as the world changes.
- A humble man that thanks his coworkers for a job well done and gives credit to all those who work behind the scenes.
- A gracious man that wished a coworker the “Best of Luck” in their new job, expressing how much they’d be missed.
- A stylish man that can pull off wearing a purple shirt! 😉
- A wise man that is willing to share advice and his personal experiences with a kid who has a dream……
Thank you Pip!!!!!
Bleacher Boy at #BrewersOnDeck
The Rotation? Good? Bad? All question marks…….
The Milwaukee Brewer’s starting rotation is in a very odd situation. Only one pitcher, Yovani Gallrado is an established starting pitcher. Everyone else certainly has talent, but none are sure “go to guys” in big game situations and on a daily basis. Other pitchers that are possible starters include: Wily Peralta, Marco Estrada, Mike Fiers, Chris Narvenson, and Mark Rogers. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this group of guys is very talented. It’s just that most of them aren’t in my mind 100% sure starters that I would be comfortable with. Marco Estrada, I believe should be pretty good, like he has shown the last few years in and out the rotation. Wily Peralta is the Brewers top prospect. He looks like a beast on the mound with upper 90s speed. The only problem with him is his control. It has been very shaky, but when Wily is on , believe me, this guy is crazy good! He needs to develop his breaking pitches just a little more. Mike Fiers came out of nowhere last year and stunned us all. He actually looks like one of the best pitchers in the league at moments. Even though he doesn’t have the top speeds, he paints the corners and also has just a nasty curveball. Mike at the home stretch, last year, was just drastically slumping. I agree with many people that fatigue caught up with him. Between the minors and majors combined, it’s the most innings that he has ever pitched. Chris Narvenson was almost out the entire year last year. No one knows how he’ll pitch this year. To me, he has been a very average pitcher throughout his career. Mark Rogers is just like Wily Peralta – high speeds with control issues. Another issue with Rogers is that he is very injury prone. One thing that went wrong this offseason was the failure to sign of a veteran guy that could provide good leadership, poise, and another solid arm. This rotation looks like a hit or a miss. Your thoughts.
Brewing a Miracle !!!
Something strange is brewing in Milwaukee. July through August the Milwaukee Brewers were going through some horrible troubles. The bullpen stunk. The starting pitcher would pitch a strong game and as soon as the bullpen came in they would easily blow the game. Our “go to guys”, John Axford and K-Rod couldn’t close a game. The Ax-man had 8 blown saves and lost his job as closer for a while. The Crew traded away Zack Greinke, a sign that we threw in the towel. Everbody was saying it’s just one of those years, but now…………….
On August 6th they found themselves 13 games back of the second Wild Card spot. Now today they are 2 1/2 games back and are on fire. The Brew Crew are the hottest team in baseball and no one can stop them. The bullpen is back and holding the lead, shutting down hitters. John Axford has finally found his “game” with 33 saves and looks like his old self. The starting pitching has been absolutely dominant. Yovani Gallardo has won his last 8 decision and lowered his ERA a ton-maybe it’s the hair. The rookie starters have been great including, Mike Fiers and Wily Peralta. Ryan Braun is making serious contender for MVP and Aramis Ramirez is just unstoppable. Newly aquired shortstop, Jean Segura, has found his stroke at the plate, and Rickie Weeks is absolutely out of his slump. THIS IS FOR REAL! – POST SEASON TICKETS WENT ON SALE TODAY!!!!
Braun: Rising above the “Cloud of Suspicion”-MVP on Horizon?????
Ryan Braun, all star left fielder for the Milwaukee Brewers has a chance to become the National League’s MVP for the second year in a row! One of the points to consider is that the player’s team needs to be a contender. “Shout Out” to my team, the Brewers, who are getting closer to a wild card place after an exciting late season run! The numbers are there and he is currently the NL leader in Home Runs (41), second in RBIs (103), second in runs (95), fifth in batting average (.312). These numbers are superb. He is actually looking better this year than he did last year. The only thing that is lower is his batting average.
I believe that Ryan has shown he is a great player despite the “cloud of suspicion” regarding performance enhancing drugs. This year has been a horrific one for Braun, filled with BOOs, jokes and angry crowds. After the whole drug thing people might think he still is a cheater. I think that Braun will face some discrimination that may prevent him from receiving the MVP award. Can you imagine going up to the plate with 50-60,000 people booing? To all the “haters” and “doubters”, Ryan Braun has proven himself to be an MVP in my book!!!