I went to Great American Ballpark this weekend to watch the Crew play the Reds. Made it to all three weekend games. My takeaway's:
Kevin Causey was WAAAY out of his league. He did not belong on a major league diamond and he absolutely knew it. The Friday interference call was absurd but not quite as insane as his strike zone on Sunday. He blew a call on a throw-behind on Saturday at first and he cried like a child when any player/coach questioned his calls. He should never have been umpiring a major league baseball game this past weekend, and he should certainly never umpire one going forward. He is God awful at his job and should be relegated to rookie league games where he can be amongst his peers, skill wise.
Other than that, the Brewers do no look good. Zero bench production, massive black holes in the bullpen and bench, and a slumping slugger. Not good at all.
In response, Melvin went out and got Felipe Lopez and optioned Mat Gamel to AAA. I like the first move, hate the second.
Lopez will be a great top of the order bat. He gets on base, is a switch hitter and is a versatile fielder. He's in a contract year (they should immediately work to sign him) so the Moustache got him cheap. Sadly, it also cost the Brewers Mat Gamel.
Now, Gamel isn't exactly a world beater. He's getting on base a somewhat respectable .336 but only slugging .407. Not exactly "how can we afford to lose this guy" stuff, but when you compare the bench alternatives of Bill Hall and Jody Gerut, well I think you can see why I'm not thrilled.
Some potential reasons:
1. Mat Gamel needs every day at-bats.
False. Mat Gamel is 25 years old and has 2000 professional at-bats. More seasoning on has-beens and never-will-be's at AAA will not make him a better player. They might keep him sharp for September, but so would a third base platoon and the obvious role as #1 bat off the bench.
2. Brewers need Gerut for OF backup
False. If they get rid of Gerut they still have Hall or Hart to play center and Catalanatto to play the corner spots. Gerut provides this team absolutely nothing. Melvin took a gamble and lost. Suck it up and move on. Don't worry too much, TGJ will always be shit.
3. Hall costs too much to DFA
False. He costs what he costs, whether you cut him or not. Not cutting him adds another cost, that of a roster spot. The Brewers are no where near deep enough to eat that cost. It is killing them. I witnessed it first hand on Sunday when the Crew sent up the anemic threesome of Kendall, Catalanatto and Counsell to go quietly into that beautiful afternoon. Three up, three very quickly down, game over. Brewers lose a Gallardo start against a divisional opponent on a day they could hardly afford it. This can't keep happening. Zero options to go to on the bench mean it will, and it's unacceptable.
Lastly...why McClung in that spot yesterday? Hindsight is 20/20 and all but man oh man, it's the eighth inning, go to one of your studs like Coffey, DeFelice or Villanueva. At least they hadn't been recently rocked by the Reds lineup.
4 hours ago