Happy Friday! I’ve been buried under grad-school finals and poorly-timed physical illness (perhaps not unrelated), so I was away last week and we’re going to keep it short and sweet this week. Maybe that’s appropriate as we enter the post-Winter-Meetings period of the offseason, which can get a bit dull, at times. As we bid a fond farewell — without wishing him too much luck — to Jason Rogers, let’s roll it out:
Disciples of Uecker || Top 50 Prospects: Advanced Arms (Dec. 15, 2015)
Nicholas Zettel (@SpectiveWax), a frequent flier around these parts, brings us the scouting reports for some of the deeper cuts on the Brewers top pitching prospects list in the high minors. Of particular note is Josh Hader, who was really turned heads after being acquired from Houston in the Carlos Gomez/Mike Fiers trade in July. The southpaw had a 2.79 ERA after moving to the Brewers’ organization, striking out 32.9 percent of the batters he faced. He particularly shined at the Arizona Fall League, allowing just a single run in 16 innings, and he could turn out to be quite the steal for Milwaukee.
Our own Michael Bradburn (@MWBII), here writing with SB Nation’s MLB Daily Dish, talks a bit about the open letter Mark Attanasio wrote Brewers fans this week. Of interest is Attanasio publicly acknowledging the rebuild, something that I don’t believe he’s done previously and is generally not done by teams, especially owners. There has always been a sense among the Brewers blogoshpere that Attanasio would be unwilling to endure a full rebuild, which might hamper his new general manager’s attempts to steer the ballclub in his chosen direction. At least for the time being, however, it appears that David Stearns has full control of the ship.
Now writing with the Brewers’ Low-A affiliate’s official website, Kyle Lobner (@BrewFrostyMug) delivers the final piece in a four-part series about the past and future Timber Rattlers who participated in the Instructional League camp this fall. This one focuses on T-Rats manager Matt Erickson, who has been Wisconsin’s manager for five years. Players covered in the series include intriguing prospects Trent Clark, Jake Gatewood and Malik Collymore. Links to those additional pieces can be found within Kyle’s piece linked to above.
Brew Crew Ball || Brewers Free Agent Targets: Justin Morneau (Dec. 17, 2015)
Myself and the rest of Brew Crew Ball have been covering a multitude of veteran first-base options, an area of need that Stearns has specifically addressed. Now, in the wake of the surprising trade of Rogers, it seems a near certainty that the Brewers will make a move to sign someone to cover first base. The idea of Will Middlebrooks playing 140 games at first isn’t overly appetizing, after all. With the club having seemingly abandoned the tried-and-false “just stick bad shortstops over there” technique, Kyle Lesniewski (@brewerfan28) explored a very interesting option this week in former Twin, Pirate, and Rockie Justin Morneau. The soon-to-be 35-year-old, who has had major struggles staying on the field the past couple of seasons, could present the Brewers with the biggest high-risk, high-reward option.