Brewers claim All-Star catcher off waivers

David Stearns is back at it in the Brewers front office scouring the waiver wire. He claimed yet another player off of waivers yesterday, while the Brewers finished up their series with the Atlanta Braves with a 7-0 win. Catcher Stephen Vogt was the player claimed off of waivers from the Oakland Athletics. Vogt, 32, was an AL All-Star for the A’s in 2015 and 2016, but has seen his production fall so far this season. He was batting .217 with four home runs and 20 runs batted in this season before being designated for assignment by the Athletics.

Milwaukee Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado, left, tags out Oakland Athletics' Stephen Vogt in a seventh-inning rundown during a baseball game Tuesday, June 21, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Why I like this move

I absolutely love this move by the Brewers front office! Jett Bandy has been struggling since May and has seen his batting average drop over one hundred points since then. Bandy also had one option left on his contract, so the Brewers could demote him to Triple-A Colorado Springs without having to place him on waivers. This move now allows them have four major league caliber catchers within the organization in Manny Pina, Andrew Susac, Bandy, and now Stephen Vogt.

Vogt also carries a team friendly deal, as he is making just under three million dollars a year. The Brewers will also have three more years of control of Vogt as he is under contract until 2020. The amount and length of his contract are perfect for the Brewers. He’s a cheap contract in the prime of his career until the end of his deal. Vogt has been  thought of as a good offensive and defensive catcher throughout his career in the major leagues.

A change in scenery could be just what the doctor ordered for Vogt. He’s been with Oakland for the past five seasons and hasn’t been to the postseason since 2013. He will also bring more veteran leadership to a young Brewers team. Vogt was previously teammates with Eric Sogard. Sogard has had nothing but good things to say about Vogt since the news of his acquisition. The change in scenery should allow for Vogt to get his offense back on track, as Miller park is by far a more hitter friendly park than is the Oakland Coliseum.

Overall, this was a cheap move that could really benefit the Brewers ball club in every aspect of the game. Vogt should help the Brewers offensively and defensively as well as bring another veteran voice to the team. Once again, Stearns has shown that he can make a low-risk move with high ceiling potential.

Brewers soar to 7-0 win over Braves

ATLANTA — The Milwaukee Brewers avoided a series sweep Sunday afternoon, handing the Atlanta Braves a 7-0 loss behind the stellar pitching of Zach Davies. Although Davies didn’t record a strikeout, he allowed just four hits over the course of his seven innings, keeping his road record blemish-free. It’s the first game this season in which […]

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Brewers offense stalls in 3-1 loss to Braves

ATLANTA — The Milwaukee Brewers dropped their second straight game Saturday evening, failing to build on an early lead in a 3-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. After loading the bases in the first inning and scoring one run, the Brewers couldn’t figure out R.A. Dickey and would get just a single runner in scoring position […]

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Defense helps push Atlanta past the Brewers 5-4

Stellar defense from Atlanta propelled them past Milwaukee 5-4 on Friday night in the first game of a weekend series. The Braves were clinging to a one-run lead in the eighth inning with one out and two men on base. Pinch hitter Jesus Aguliar smoked a liner down the third base side, which Johan Camargo […]

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Brewers celebrate with another win over Pirates

MILWAUKEE | After the Brewers lost their 2nd straight to the Pirates at Miller Park on Tuesday night and saw their lead in the NL Central drop to just half a game, some were wondering if the “real” Brewers were finally showing up. The Brewers are happy to disappoint those people. For the second time […]

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Santana, Arcia help Milwaukee to a 4-3 win against Pittsburgh

Timely hitting from Domingo Santana and a brilliant play from shortstop Orlando Arcia helped Milwaukee get past Pittsburgh 4-3 Wednesday night at Miller Park. The Brewers never led in the game until the bottom of the seventh. That’s when Santana stepped up to the plate with two outs and drilled what proved to be the […]

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Why Eric Sogard Should be an Everyday Starter

The Milwaukee Brewers are in a “rebuild” or at least that’s what the organization and the media are saying. Don’t tell that to all the fringe big league guys that the Brewers either signed or claimed off waivers in the past couple seasons. A rebuild is when a big league club trades away its assets in order to gain better prospects and draft picks. But that leaves a roster with a mix of young and veteran players looking to make a name for themselves. Sogard is in the camp of veteran players looking to prove to a team he deserves to be in the Major Leagues.

Sogard made his Major League debut in 2010 at the age of 24 for the Oakland Athletics. He spent the next two seasons playing between the Minor and Major Leagues. From 2013 to 2015 Sogard played for the Athletics, but never really showed why any team would think he was more than a solid utility player. In 2016, Sogard underwent a major reconstruction surgery to his left knee, which kept him out of baseball last year. The Brewers offered Sogard, now age 31, a minor league contract with a spring training invite this winter. It was a low-risk move as it wouldn’t hurt the team financially if they ended up cutting him.

(AP Photo/Alex Gallardo),

One of the main reasons for the Brewer’s interest in Sogard could of been the familiarity that Brewer’s bench coach Pat Murphy had with him. Murphy coached Sogard in college at Arizona State and knew he was a good all-around player. He also knew he was a very versatile player as well as patient at the plate. So far, Sogard has been everything the Brewers could have asked for and then some.

Why He Belongs

The Brewers are now 8-1 in games that Sogard leads off, not to mention have a winning record when he starts regardless of where he bats. Counsell needs to ride the hot bat, and Sogard is definitely the hottest bat at this point of the season. Sogard is batting a sizzling  .396  with an outrageous .529 On-base percentage. He is watching pitches and giving the Brewers  good at-bats nearly every time he steps up to the plate. Having him at the top of the order has  done wonders for setting the table for the middle of the Brewer’s potent order. Sogard is taking pitches and working counts to the tune of walking over 20% of his at-bats.

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Since he is one of the most versatile players on the Brewers roster next to Hernan Perez, it should be easier for him to consistently get playing time. Sogard has played practically every position in the infield besides catcher and first base and can also play each corner outfield position. This flexibility should not only allow Sogard the chance to start everyday, but for manager Craig Counsell the opportunity to rest other players when needed. Jonathan Villar had a breakout season last year for the Brewers, but has fallen on hard times this season. The Brewers should give Sogard a consistent look at second base because they have Villar under contract until 2021. This gives the Brewers ample time to figure out what the best move should be.

And finally, he’s also become a fan favorite. The “Nerd Power” phenomenon has taken over Milwaukee like Eric Thames did in April. Every broadcast you watch they’re mentioning his glasses or stats. Every fan is calling for more of Eric Sogard, and it’s time to start to listen to the fans. Ride Eric Sogard’s hot streak for as long as it lasts!

Guerra, Thames lead the Brewers to a 7-1 win over the Mets

The Milwaukee Brewers jumped on the New York Mets early and cruised to a 7-1 victory Wednesday night at Citi Field.

A fast starting team for much of the year, Milwaukee scored three runs in the first two innings against the Mets’ Jacob deGrom, including a two-run homer from left fielder Eric Thames. It was his 14th on the year, but his first since May 9.

“He’s clearly in a good place,” Manager Craig Counsell said of Thames, who has battled strep throat and leg issues of late but is starting to feel better. “The home run was really well hit. I thought he just missed another one. It’s good to have him. Obviously, he’s a run producer. He’s an important run producer for us. Having him back swinging good is a big sign for our offense.”

Thames and leadoff man Eric Sogard set the table most of the night, as they battled deGrom during every at-bat. Between the two, they went 3 of 5 with five walks and four runs scored.

While deGrom struggled, giving up all seven runs in just four innings of work, the Brewers got another really good outing from Junior Guerra. In just his second start since coming off the disabled list, Guerra threw six scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out four to pick up his first win of the year.

The victory kept Milwaukee 1.5 games up on the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.

Counsell’s bunch will look to salvage a split of their four-game set with the Mets Thursday afternoon. First pitch is at 12:10 p.m.

Sogard leads Brewers offense in 6-2 win over Padres

SAN DIEGO — Former Padres draft pick and current Brewers third baseman Eric Sogard recorded a career-high four hits in a 6-2 Milwaukee win Tuesday night.

Sogard’s 4-for-4 performance backed up Jimmy Nelson’s six innings on the mound, where he struck out eight San Diego batters and only allowed two earned runs. But Sogard wasn’t the sole contributor on offense. Jesus Aguilar had a pair of hits and a RBI, along with Panny Piña’s two-run double.

Most of Milwaukee’s damage was done in the first inning, racking up four base-hits in a row and bringing five total runs across the plate. It brings the Brewers season average up to 1.05 runs scored in the opening frame — best in the entire league. Clayton Richard was the unlucky victim of Milwaukee’s hot hitting, getting tagged for all six runs, while giving up 10 hits.

“They took advantage early,” Richard said. “I didn’t throw the ball terribly. It was a few pulled changeups, and that really hurt. It happened quick, and unfortunately it was too much of a hole to get out of.”

Richard did manage to strike out seven Milwaukee batters over the course of his six innings. First baseman Wil Myers and left fielder Matt Szczur drove in San Diego’s pair of runs on the night.

Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson fanned eight in his six innings of work, picking up his second win of the year in the process.