Saturday, May 26, 2007

Pulling Out the Big Guns

At 8 games over .500 and 5.5 games in the division lead my Brewers weren't pressing the panic button when they called up their top everyday prospect in Ryan Braun. They were proving that they are serious about winning now. I was a firm believer of leaving him in AAA Nashville until he was more polished but I've had a change of's why.

I've always been a big fan of letting kids mature in the minors. I always thought that it is better for them to polish their skills than to ride the bench or struggle in the majors. I'm ready to make an exception. I thought the Brewers were fine with the horrendous Counsel/Graffanino platoon at 3B. Hell, they were constantly 10 games over .500 with what I believe was the worst 3B production in the NL. So why mess with it? After one game of Ryan Braun (not even a win!) I know why. Because they want to win and win now and I'm ready.

This is the Brewers year in the NL Central and they know it. They're better than they have been in recent history and the NL Central is historically weak. Doug Melvin is goin' for the jugular. Most avid baseball fans know, and ALL real Brewers' fans know what this kid can do. Just 2 years removed from the University of Miami campus he was starting his first big league game, and I'm ok with that. Why? Because I think he might not struggle like some think he will and this team needs this boost right now.

Braun started at 3B and batted 2nd. He went 1-4 with 2 RBIs and a double and no errors in the field. They lost the game, however a large comeback bid was made via HRs by Prince Fielder and JJ Hardy. This got me thinking, which can be dangerous but sometimes productive. I know he was just called up but what about batting Braun 3rd right now!? It sounds crazy but it might be crazy genius. Ok, so if Braun's in the 3-hole he's gotta get good pitches to hit right away - at least until he shows he's a legit major league hitter. Think about it. Ahead of Braun would be JJ Hardy -tied for NL lead in HR's and RBI's & behind him would be Prince Fielder -tied with JJ for NL lead in HR's. He's gonna get in a lot of good counts and no one will want to walk him to get to Fielder. This way he'll get a few fastballs down the middle most likely if the count is full or 3-1. also, with Hardy, Gwynn or Weeks ahead of him chances are he will have guys on base ahead of him to drive in runs. People on base+good pitches to hit=major production.

He batted in the 2-hole tonight, which is ok. However, I just feel like Hardy is an extremely good fit in the 2-hole and the protection that he and Fielder could give Braun could do wonders for him. However, nobody can be there for you in the field, so we'll see how that works out. So far so good though in my opinion.

What do you think about the call-up, the Brewers, Braun, and my idea? Is it too soon for me to go out and get myself a #8 Ryan Braun jersey?


stephen a said...

I haven't seen him play professionally yet, but he had a huuuuge hitch in his swing when he was in college, so that will be interesting to see. As strange as it sounds though, his glove will probably keep him in the bigs.

Blue Viking Devil said...

How about that 2nd game for Braun. I would say hurry up and get your Braun jersey so you can say you were one of the first.

grittysquirrels said...

Indeed. I'm eBaying for one right now. 3-4 and his first MLB HR. Crew still loses....damn they need to pull it together now.

Mini Me said...

Get the Braun jersey. Take a risk! Not much of one though, this kid looks like the real deal!

grittysquirrels said...

I just want the readers to know that today: May 27 Braun is batting 3rd inbetween Hardy and Fielder just like I proposed in my post.

This means two things: 1. I am a genius sports mind of some sort and 2. Ned Yost reads TSF.