Pepper: Brewers on hunt for infield help
Posted on: July 14, 2011 10:03 am
Edited on: July 14, 2011 3:19 pm
By Evan Brunell
WHAT'S NEXT? Now that the Brewers have traded for Francisco Rodriguez and beefed up their bullpen, what's next?
Anyone who has been keeping tabs on Milwaukee can tell you that a shortstop and third baseman are next on the list. Yuniesky Betancourt hasn't been a competent hitter or fielder for years, yet continues to hold down a starting job; if Milwaukee can find a replacement, Betancourt will be sent on his way. Third base was supposed to be populated by Casey McGehee, who drove in 100 runs last season. Alas, he's been terrible offensively, which has shined a spotlight on his below-average defense.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports indicates that the Brew Crew is indeed pursuing left-infield help as the club makes a run for the postseason in Prince Fielder's final season.
Rosenthal brings up Dodgers infielder Jamey Carroll, who is having one of his best big-league seasons at age 37, but he hasn't been made available yet. If Baltimore's contract extension with J.J. Hardy falls through, the Brewers could look into re-acquiring their former shortstop. Also linked to the team is Royals third baseman Wilson Betemit, but he wouldn't really be a significant upgrade over McGehee.
Who else could be had? Well, Houston is solidly out of the postseason chase and has been dangling Jeff Keppinger for some time. The Marlins could move out free-agent-to-be Omar Infante and if the Padres throw in the towel, Orlando Hudson and Jason Bartlett would certainly be options.
There's no sliver bullet available here unless GM Doug Melvin has a magic trick up his sleeve, but there won't be that much trouble upgrading from McGehee and Betancourt. They've been poor enough on both sides of the ball that even an all-glove, no-hit player would outproduce these players.
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UPPER DECK CLOSING: The Marlins are following in the footsteps of the A's, who closed the upper deck of the stadium several years ago. Now, Florida is following suit as the paucity of people in the upper deck did not justify cost of ushers, personnel, concession stands and the like. (Miami Herald)
JETER MARKET HOT: Other than the World Series victories, Steiner Sports says the rush to get memorabilia for Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit is like never before. "It's like a mini-World Series," Mitchell Modell of Modell's said. (New York Times)
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WASHINGTON OR NEW YORK: It looks as if J.C. Romero will be in the majors at some point over the next couple of weeks. Released by the Phillies, the left-handed reliever plans to opt out of his contract with the Nationals by Friday if they don't promote him. In that case, he's headed to the Yankees. (ESPN MLB)
STOW PART OF BANKRUPTCY CASE: The family of Brian Stow, currently suing the Dodgers for culpability in the beating that left the Giants fan in a coma, has been named as a representative creditor in the bankruptcy case. Along with four other parties, the Stow family will represent unsecured creditors as owner Frank McCourt tries to navigate bankruptcy court.
FINALLY AN ALL-STAR: Kirk Gibson turned down two opportunities to participate in the All-Star Game as a player, much to his father's chagrin. But the former baseball standout finally went to his first All-Star Game when he joined Giants skipper Bruce Bochy in Phoenix as a coach. (MLB.com)
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PERSONALITY CHECK: It's always nice to learn more about Yankees players outside of the game, and there's plenty of information here. For example, Sergio Mitre grew up fighting in the streets of Tijuana, Mexico and no Yankee would want to be without the reliever if they were in a fight. And surprisingly, Bartolo Colon would win an arm-wrestling match. (Wall Street Journal)
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