Rolling Out the Barrel: Turn and Face the Strange

Welcome back to another Friday edition of Rolling Out the Barrel. With the major-league club steadfastly refusing to beat anyone other than Pittsburgh, to whom they are incapable of losing, we keep our eye on the future of the franchise, most of which is currently locked in the only playoff scenario the franchise is likely to see in the near future. If you’re looking for something to occupy your time during halftime of Sunday’s Packers game — or, let’s face it, during the fourth quarter of what is likely to be a three-score blowout — I’ve got you covered right here. Let’s get to this week’s stories:

FanGraphs || Likely Scenarios for Current Front-Office Vacancies (Sept. 4, 2015)

Kiley McDaniel examines the possibilities for team’s that are either currently without a general manager or who soon might be, with an emphasis on Milwaukee and Seattle, both of whom had already announced plans to seek a replacement at the head of their front office at the time of his writing (McDaniel mentions Philadelphia, who announced that they’d be parting ways with GM Ruben Amaro this week, as a team that might soon have a vacancy). McDaniel points to the Brewers’ sharply improved farm system, small-market status and commitment to a short rebuilding phase as reasons that the Brewers’ GM job might be an attractive one, an issue J.P Breen touched on yesterday for us.

Reviewing the Brew || Milwaukee Brewers’ Florida State League Standouts (Sept. 9, 2015)

We’ve heard all about the star-studded Double-A Biloxi team, who won took a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five series with Pensacola on Thursday night as they chase a Southern League championship behind another stellar start from Jorge Lopez: 6.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (unearned), 7 K. Michael Trzinski digs a little deeper to note some of the quality performances this season from the Brewers’ High-A affiliate, Brevard County. The top prospect still remaining with the Manatees is probably Clint Coulter, but the outstanding performance at the plate this season came from first baseman Garrett Cooper, who has put up video-game numbers since being called up to Biloxi on August 28: a .550/.639/.690 slash line in 29 at bats. The top pitching performances came from Jorge Ortega and Wei-Chung Wang, both of whom received late call-ups to Triple-A Colorado Springs and impressed over a small sample size there.

Brew Crew Ball ||Taylor Jungmann probably has no chance of winning NL Rookie of the Year (Sept. 9, 2015)

I mean, sure, obviously, but just in case you had any crazy notions, I guess this article exists. Jungmann has had a very nice rookie season for Milwaukee, posting a 2.87 ERA over 17 starts in what is certainly one of the best debuts from a Brewer since Ryan Braun took home Rookie of the Year hardware in 2007. There’s just far too much competition for the award this season in a year where pre-season hype met expectations for super-prospect Kris Bryant. Despite the loud protestations from the Best Fans in Baseball, Bryant has been far and away the best rookie in the National League this year, throwing up a slash line of .267/.365/.482 and mashing 23 home runs despite striking out a league-high 168 times.

For those interested in making the argument for Randall Grichuck, I present the following:

Player A: .281 BA, .330 OBP, .563 SLG

Player B: .300 BA, .323 OPB, .367 SLG

Player A is Grickuck. Player B is Jungmann.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel || Brewers surprise Nevin Ashley with his first taste of the majors (Sept. 8, 2015)

Here at Rolling Out the Barrel, we try to bring you high-quality writing from around the internet every week, and after two months we’ve also never featured anything from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, so make of those two facts what you will. But I really love the Nevin Ashley story and Haudricourt is the only guy who wrote anything meaningful about it, so this is on all of you, really.

After 10 seasons, 870 games, and 3373 minor league at-bats, Ashley finally received the call up to the bigs, a well-deserved reward after the catcher slashed .306/.374/.442 at Triple-A Colorado Springs this season. If you caught the piece about the Shuckers’ road trip we featured in this space last month, you know just how special the call-up can be to even a young player who still fully expects to make it to the show at some point. For the 31-year-old Ashley, though he may not have consciously admitted it, he’d almost certainly already begun to consider the fact that he might never find his way to a big-league roster. It’s a riskless move for the Brewers that gives a consummate professional the taste of the big leagues he’s very much earned.

Grantland || The September Singularity: Longing for Baseball’s 2011 Stretch-Run Drama (Sept. 10, 2015)

In this very short piece, Michael Baumann waxes poetic about the 2011 season, notable for Brewers fans as the year Milwaukee won the NL Central. I think most hardcore baseball fans can remember where they were for game 162 that season, when the Braves and Red Sox completed matching horrifying collapses while the Rays pulled off perhaps the most dramatic comeback in the history of modern team sports when they rallied from seven runs behind in the 8th inning to win the game and sent Tampa Bay to the playoffs – I was at TGI Friday’s in left field at Miller Park.

Related Articles

Leave a comment