George Kottaras (0.7 WAR) - A significant upgrade at catcher, to be sure. He is playing better than Kendall or Rivera. Rivera is muddling around the minors somewhere and Kendall is sporting a 0.5 WAR compared to Kottaras at 0.7. A better, younger player with a ton more pop for cheaper? Win. B
Greg Zaun (0.6 WAR) - Bad. I understand that the Brewers didn't want to rush up Lucroy or Salome but Zaun (even before his injury) was a flat bust. He was contributing about at a Kottaras level (0.6 WAR) but was making $2 million more and keeping the cheaper player on the bench. It might be a little unfair to call him a total mistake though, had the Brewers been in contention I can see the value of a solid signal caller. The signing made sense if you thought the Brewers would be good. C-
LaTroy Hawkins (0.1 WAR) - Atrocious because of the contract. 2 years and $7.5 million and Hawkins is sporting a 44 ERA+. He's been unlucky (BABIP is over .400) but he's also been very, very bad. The Brewers will be saddled with his $4 million contract next season as well. Terrible. The best the Crew can hope for is continued injury rendering him unable to pitch. F
Randy Wolf (-0.7 WAR) - 1.504 WHIP, 84 ERA+, 1.6 HR/9, 9+ H/9, 6 inning per start. 3 years $30 million. In 2009 Jeff Suppan pitched his way to constant boos and derision. He sports a -0.7 WAR. Doug Melvin extended the "Suckpan" legacy for 3 years and $30 million. F-
Kameron Loe (0.4 WAR) - Smart signing. This is what Melvin made his reputation on. Junk heap has-been or never-was relievers. The best part about Loe? 19 appearance, 22.2 innings pitched. Macha has not been afraid to keep him out there and Loe has, for the most part, delivered. As a middle reliever brought up after the season was essentially over, however, his impact has been minimal. B
Doug Davis (0.0 WAR) Yep, Doug Davis is hurting the team less than Randy Wolf. He is sporting a sparkling-in-comparison 53 ERA+. It's also pretty clear that the only reason for this is that he has not had as many starts. Davis is atrocious this season. He is averaging under 5 innings a start. Yes, this season he is not averaging enough innings per start to be considered for a win. Not that it really would matter. He cost the Brewers $5.25m this season and his buyout will be another million next year. F
Joe Inglett (1.0 WAR) - Based on performance (remember when Melvin tried to claim performance was the only thing he looked at...why was Wolf never considered for bullpen duty?) there is no reason Carlos Gomez should ever see the field. In absurdly spotty duty, Inglett is sporting a .923 OPS (.416 OBP/.507 SLG). Gomez has been a liability in the field and at the plate, yet Inglett gets zero chances to perform. Hopefully Melvin's pride cometh before the firing. Inconclusive
Jim Edmonds (1.4 WAR) - Excellent signing. A one year deal for under a million. Melvin was able to find real value here. His performance is likely keeping Inglett off the field (both lefties) but you can't really complain about that. When the Brewers trade Fielder I would love for the next GM to resign Edmonds and play him at 1B and RF in 2011 unless, of course,they sign an actual bat at first which is doubtful since they will yet again need to rebuild the pitching staff for 2011. A
Overall (excluding the Inglett incomplete) that gives Melvin an excellent GPA of 1.66, or a C-. Of the free agent acquisition, only four were signed with the idea of having an every day type of impact. Zaun, Hawkins, Davis and especially Wolf were brought in to make a young underachiever into a real contender. Each signing has been, for one reason or another, a miserable failure. Obviously three of those players got injured, but based on their performance to that point their subtraction from the lineup was a GOOD thing. Yes, the best outcome for high-priced Doug Melvin free agent signings in 2010 is that they get hurt so they can no longer hurt the club.
Pathetic. I'm a strong proponent of having a stronger alternative before firing a guy. Based on his recent performance, however, I am not sure how a guy could do worse! I ask you, had Attanassio simply thrown darts at a board with free agent names on it and signed random players, would they have been worse? Are there two multi-million dollar free agent pitchers who are performing worse than Davis and Wolf? Where is Chris laughing at Bean for signing Ben Sheets (he of the 137 ERA+ and high trade value at the break?) The 2010 off-season acquisitions have been an absolute train wreck where it matters. Doug Melvin is completely unable to evaluate starting pitching, and it has crippled this franchise at a time when they have some of the most promising young offensive talent in all of baseball. It's an outright travesty and every day Melvin is allowed to steer this sinking ship is a slap in the face to Brewers fans everywhere.
Later on I'll look at the sole trade that has impacted this squad and how the jettisoned players are performing in their new digs. (LOL whiny bitch Scott Schoenweis)