Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Suppan Will Start Opening Day After All

At least, that's what Ken Macha is "indirectly" saying. The Brewers manager laid out his pitching schedule to the Journal's Tom Haudricourt, and if the schedule holds true Suppan would indeed get the ball on Opening Day. Normally, the team will send their "ace" out on the mound for the season's first game, but Macha isn't ready to anoint Gallardo that role just yet, and I'm not sure how much his rough performance in the Brewers 7-1 loss to the Rockies on Monday had to do with it (Player of the Game: Carlos Corporan, who?) Either way, Soup's Troops will start against the Giants on April 7th. 

If that were to hold true, Gallardo would pitch game two of the series, while Parra would get the finale. That would leave Braden Looper to start the Brewers home opener against the Cubs, with Dave Bush to pitch the next day. Barring injury or absolute awfulness, that's probably the way the rotation will look for the first half of the season.

This is just one of the many decisions Ken Macha will be forced to make before Opening Day, along with the many roster moves needed to trim the roster down to 25. It appears there are already 21 sure things for the roster, with four spots left to be filled. Their is one bullpen spot available, which appears to be between DeFelice and Julio. I don't really care who makes it though between the two of them, even though Julio has shown nothing special during camp.

That leaves three spots, which I think need to go to Brad Nelson, Chris Duffy, and Casey McGehee. Besides Corey Hart, these three guys have had the best Spring, and should be rewarded. Macha and Melvin have said that sometimes it's not that easy, and that roster considerations need to be taken into place. Whatever that is supposed to mean. Basically, a guy like McGehee may be left off the Opening Day roster because he has options left, and could be sent down to the minors. I say if he's good enough to make the club, put him on the roster.

If it's really between him and Mike Lamb, is there even a choice? The only thing Lamb has going for him is that he's a southpaw, although he was pretty much useless in his stint with the Brewers last September. Give the McGehee kid the chance he deserves.

In the outfield, I think you have to go Nelson and Duffy. Nelson gives you a quality backup at 1st base, something the Brewers could use because I think you'll see a lot more of Mike Rivera behind the plate this season. Nelson is also a great hitter, and no slouch in the outfield. As for Chris Duffy, he could be sent down because he's already on a minor-league contract, so no option would need to be used. But in my opinion, Duffy is light years ahead of Gwynn. Tony Gwynn Jr. is like a cat at this point, using every one of his nine lives to stay with this team. Potential is one thing, never living up to it is another. Send him packing and give Duffy the spot.

But sometimes these things don't work out the way the fans think they should. Case in point? Look at the title of this posting.


Anonymous said...

You did a good job of pointing out who SHOULD make the roster & who unfortunately will. Guys like McGahee & Duffy should break camp with the team but instead Brewers fans will have to deal with Tony Gwynn Jr. & Mike Lamb for now. Maybe Tony Gwynn will have his "career month" in April & we'll sucker the Padres into taking him for some pitcher or something.

Oh yeah, & Yovani's performance versus the Rockies Monday has little to no impact on Macha's decision to start him in the second game. That was just one game.

Winks said...

You're right. The important thing about Gallardo's day was that he threw nearly 100 pitches. Inserting him into the article was my way of avoiding doing a Brewers recap.

Unknown said...

Duffy needs to be brought up for his speed on the bases.

Jonk said...

Duffy is a Pirates cast-off. McGehee is a Cubs cast-off. I'm glad they're doing well this spring, and I don't want to be mean to these guys, but let's remember that we're talking about sample sizes of around 50 at-bats for both of them this spring. Tiny, tiny samples.

Their careers cannot be ignored. Duffy is a .269/.328/.361 hitter in three big-league seasons and wasn't good enough to stick with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 2577 at bats, McGahee is a career .279/.332/.409 hitter... in the minors. The major league equivalency is obviously even worse.

Fifty at-bats in the Cactus League shouldn't trump those track records.

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