Report: Brewers activate Stephen Vogt from DL

The Milwaukee Brewers have activated catcher Stephen Vogt from the 10-day disabled list. For a corresponding move, the Brewers placed catcher Andrew Susac on the 10-day disabled list with a right trapezius strain.

Vogt hasn’t played since July 18th against the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he suffered a sprained knee and had concussion-like symptoms.

The injuries occurred from a collision at the plate between Vogt and Pirates pitcher Chad Kuhl.

Vogt held on to the ball and Kuhl was called out, but Vogt caught an elbow to the head and bent his knee back awkwardly. The Brewers trainers rushed out to evaluate his head and neck and briefly checked out his knee.

Vogt provides a left-handed power bat to the Brewers lineup, which they’ve been missing in his absents. The two-time All-Star was swinging the bat well for Milwaukee before the injury. The Brewers will hope he regains his swing starting this weekend’s series against the Colorado Rockies.

 

Report: Anderson to start Sunday

The Milwaukee Brewers announced their starting pitchers for this weekend’s series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors field. According to a report from Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy, Chase Anderson is feeling good and will pitch Sunday’s series finale against the Rockies

The plan was for Anderson to make three rehab starts before rejoining the team sometime next week. His third rehab start with Triple-A Colorado Springs was scheduled for Friday, but was cancelled altogether.

The Brewers are currently using a 4-man pitching rotation since they put starting pitcher Brent Suter on the disabled list with a left rotator cuff strain. Brandon Woodruff will start the first game of the series on Friday, and Matt Garza will start the Saturday game.

Report: Brinson out 4-6 weeks

The Milwaukee Brewers top prospect Lewis Brinson left Tuesday night’s game for Triple-A Colorado Springs with a left leg injury. Brinson was seen with a noticeable limp after coming up lame while running to first base. His injury didn’t look good as it happened, and he was later pinch-hit for an inning later.

According to a report by the Milwaukee Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy, Brinson will miss 4-6 weeks with a strained left hamstring. This could potentially be the rest of his season, and the chance to be re-called for September call-ups.

Brinson had two stints at the major league level this season with the Milwaukee Brewers. In his second stint, he preformed at a much higher level than he did in his first. Brinson was having a big season in Triple-A Colorado Springs prior to the injury. He was batting .331 with 13 home runs and 48 RBIs in 76 games this season.

Brett Phillip’s bounce back season continues

Brett Phillips was the prized possession of the 2015 non-waiver trade deadline deal with the Houston Astros. The trade sent Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers to the Astros in exchange for Phillips, Domingo Santana, Josh Hader, and Adrian Houser.

The Brewers had high expectations for Phillips, but it was Santana and Hader who continued to succeed after the trade. Santana made it to the big leagues with the Brewers at the end of the 2015 season and has been on the roster ever since. Hader climbed the ranks as one of the Brewers top pitching prospects before graduating to the bullpen this summer.

Phillips was once thought of as a top-5 prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, but has since fallen out of the top-10, and ranks 12th. He struggled in Double-A with the Brewers affiliate after being traded. He also had the worst season of his minor league career the next year in Double-A. In 2016, he batted a career worse .229 and struck out 154 times. Phillips was nagged by injuries all season long.

Phillips entered this season in Triple-A and was finally completely healthy. He is having a breakout season this year, and it even got him two stints with the Milwaukee Brewers at the major league level. Phillips is currently hitting .318 with 17 home runs and 71 RBIs. He’s also hit 22 doubles and 10 triples to go along with his production. The Brewers organization is most impressed with his decreased strikeout rate. He has cut his strikeout rate over three percent this season and has shown a better eye at the plate.

Phillips is one of two players in all of minor league baseball who has double-digit doubles, triples, home runs, and outfield assists. Fans should expect to see him called back up in September for September call-ups.

Chase Anderson made second rehab start Sunday

Chase Anderson made his second rehab start with Triple-A Colorado Springs. It wasn’t as good of a result as his first rehab start with Low-A Wisconsin. Anderson threw 67 pitches and only 39 for strikes. He went 4 1/3 innings allowing four runs on six hits, while walking one and striking out two batters.

Anderson again threw all of the pitches in his arsenal, but struggled to consistently throw strikes. This is the first time Anderson hasn’t shown good command or control. During his bullpen sessions, simulated games, and first rehab start, he had the command that he showed prior to suffering his oblique injury in late June.

The plan is for Anderson to make one more start with Triple-A Colorado Springs. He should make his final rehab start on Friday, August 18th. That would allow him to join the Brewers roster sometime shortly after that. Anderson should be on schedule to make a start with the Brewers sometime during the middle of next week.

The Brewers will hope that Anderson can find his command once again in his last rehab start. Without any setbacks, Brewers fans can hope to see Anderson back on the Brewers roster sometime this weekend.

Anderson makes first rehab start for low-A Wisconsin

Chase Anderson made his first rehab start yesterday with low-A Wisconsin. Anderson went 3 1/3 innings, giving up one run on two hits with one walk and three strikeouts. He threw 47 pitches during the outing and 31 for strikes.

Overall, it appeared that Anderson’s first rehab start was a step in the right direction. Anderson seemed to display good command. It appeared to be the  same command he had prior to the injury.

Anderson said he felt good after the game, and was encouraged he got to incorporate all the pitches in his arsenal throughout the start.

The Brewers plan is to move Anderson up to triple-A Colorado Springs for his next two rehab starts before he rejoins the team. Expect Anderson to return to Milwaukee in about two weeks.

Brewers new Spring Training Park now in doubt

The Milwaukee Brewers proposed the idea of opening a new Spring Training stadium in Gilbert, Arizona. It would be about 35 miles from their current facilities in Phoenix, Arizona. The new proposed facilities which included the baseball stadium, hotels, and retail areas were estimated to cost about 160 million in total.

It will cost approximately 90 million for the new stadium and the Brewers organization is offering to put up 20 million towards it. The hotel and retail area cost the additional 70 million, which the Brewers haven’t offered to pay any of.

A report has come out from Barry Petchesky, an author for Deadspin.com, and it mentions how The Arizona Republic, a newspaper publisher, who dug into the Applied Economics report, which city council and lawmakers buried in order for the taxpayers to fund the other 140 million for the entire area. The report cited that the new project would actually lose the city money.

This is why the developers of the proposal are now insisting on how the plan has way more opportunities for the city to bring in money. The Applied Economics report was buried in favor of another report, which showed the proposed stadium in a better light. The team could have potentially been hoping that the municipalities wouldn’t look into the financial reports, and take the developer’s proposal on the estimated yearly revenue on their word.

Ultimately, the original study  was buried by lawmakers because it didn’t return the type of result that they were hoping for.  Thanks to The Arizona Republic, the stadium proposal is now in question. The stadium would lose the city of Gilbert money and now has become the conversation of a stadium scam. This isn’t a good look for the Brewers organization.

Chase Anderson set to make rehab assignment

Chase Anderson is scheduled to make a rehab assignment tonight with low-A Wisconsin. Anderson, who has been on the disabled list since late-June due to an oblique strain is set to make two to three rehab starts before returning to the Brewers rotation.

He’s been participating in bullpen sessions and simulated games the last two weeks and seems to still have his good command. Normally, command is the hardest thing for a pitcher to regain after having not thrown for a while.

Originally, the Brewers thought Anderson would be out 4-6 weeks and they would have him back by the end of July or in early August. It’s looking more and more that Anderson won’t be rejoining the team until late August.

The Brewers pitching has been relatively good all year, and Anderson was arguable their best pitcher before suffering the injury. Getting him back could be the boost the Brewers need to get back to their winning ways.

What this Brewers offense is missing

The Brewers have undoubtedly played better than anyone expected this season, and are still in the hunt for the National League Central title. This has lead to Brewers general manager David Stearns making some moves to sure up the Milwaukee bullpen, which emerged as the team’s weakest unit.

The team has struggled since the All-Star break going 9-14 in that time. The starting pitching has been relatively good all season, and the bullpen has made strides as of late. What is really plaguing the Brewers is the fact that the offense isn’t hitting home runs and not scoring runs in general.

David Stearns mentioned how he would continue to look at every option available to improve this ball club. I’m sure he’ll continue to scour the waiver wire and look to make deals during the waiver trade deadline.  He could also continue to bring up younger players from the minor league in hopes of a spark. Which might not really happen until September.

Lewis Brinson and Brett Phillips are two highly touted prospects, but both have shown that the Brewers need to be patient with their progression as they’ve both struggled in their limited time at the big league level.

There has been a lot said lately about how the Brewers have struggled to score runs especially when they aren’t hitting home runs. That is true, but the team is struggling to even get on base at the same time. What I think this Brewers team is missing is a true lead-off hitter. Jonathan Villar was the Brewers lead-off man for most of last season, but he has been anything but productive so far this season.

Villar is hitting .216 this season with 8 home runs and 32 RBIs. He does have 20 stolen bases, but has shown a lack of concentration on the bases too many times in his career. He has also struck out 111 times this season, which is over 34% of his at-bats. His on-base percentage of .276 is terrible for a traditional lead-off hitter. He has also committed 11 errors this season, which doesn’t help his case.

Eric Sogard has also seen quite a bit of time in the lead-off spot since mid-May. He was fitting the role nicely up until he went on the disabled list just before the All-Star break. Since returning to the lineup a little more than two weeks ago, he has really struggled. Since July, Sogard is a combined 3-39 for a batting average of .077 during that time period. The Brewers have to monitor his playing time because he is coming off of knee reconstruction surgery.

The Brewers don’t really have many other options. Eric Thames and Domingo Santana have seen some time at the top of the order, but Craig Counsell and the Brewers would prefer them lower in the order. Keon Broxton has also gotten starts in the lead-off spot, but has struck out at too high of a clip to be a good candidate for the position. The Brewers could try Orlando Arcia at the top spot in the order, but Craig Counsell seems content with batting him in the seventh or eighth spot.

Without a consistent lead-off hitter, the Brewers offense will continue to struggle as long as they aren’t hitting the long ball. For my money, I’d pull the trigger on calling up top prospects Lewis Brinson and/or Mauricio Dubon and let them find their swings at the major league level.

 

 

 

 

Garza activated from the disabled list, set to start this afternoon

Matt Garza has been activated from the 10-day disabled list after a right lower leg strain landed him on the DL in late July. The Brewers sent Wei-Chung Wang back to the minor leagues to make room for Garza. Wang only pitched in one game, where he gave up a hit, and didn’t record an out.

Garza will get the start today against the St. Louis Cardinals. First pitch is 1:10 p.m. CST from Miller Park. The pitching match-up will be Garza (4-5) on the mound for the Brewers and Michael Wacha (8-4) on the bump for the Cardinals. This is the third and final game of the series before the Brewers head to Tampa Bay to face the Rays.

The Brewers need a good start from Garza, as they’re 6-12 since the All-Star break. The Brewers have added some pieces to the bullpen, but are still waiting to get starter Chase Anderson back in a couple weeks.