Well, since I’m not in Arizona to watch the Brewers (unfortunately), and can’t rely on the traditional media to give unbiased assessments (one article I read said that Claudio Vargas was having a rough spring, based primarily, it seems, on him giving up earned runs in the 3rd inning of his last start), I decided to look at the stats out of Maryvale to see if somethings might be worth keeping an eye on for the rest of the Cactus League season (and beyond):
- Ned Yost is going to stick with his two “surprise” moves in the batting order, it appears–with owner Mark Attanasio looking on, his line up for Saturday’s game has Prince Fielder, the reigning NL home run king, batting third, and Rookie of the Year Ryan Braun batting clean up. Yost is also going with catcher Jason Kendall batting ninth, a move that he says he’s going to carry through to the regular season.
- Eight players have played in 8 games…including #8, Ryan Braun, and #18, Jason Kendall. Of the 8, it is non-roster invitee Laynce Nix that currently leads the entire squad in OBP at .571; reserve infielder Craig Counsell, feasting on minor-league pitchers later in the games, checks in second at .556, while Braun is at .500. The bottom three are Gabe Gross at .300, with Gabe Kapler and Abraham Nuñez both at .286.
- J.J. Hardy and Corey Hart, however, are tied for the most at bats, however, at 21 apiece–Hardy is hitting a respectable .333 (.391 OBP), while Hart is struggling this spring at .190 for both. Hart leads the Brewers so far in K’s with 10, followed by Rickie Weeks with 9.
- Prince Fielder is hitting .333, but has no homers, so far, in 15 AB’s; Braun has come on and now leads the Crew with 3 HR’s and 9 RBI’s.
- Nine pitchers have pitched 4 innings or more–of these, only Ben Sheets, Zach Jackson, and Luis Peña have not allowed any earned runs, while Dave Bush has allowed 7 ER over 5.0 IP, and Chris Capuano has allowed 8 ER over 4.0 IP (Claudio Vargas has allowed just 3 ER over 5.0 IP). Should these trends continue, look for Vargas to crack the starting rotation…at least until Yovani Gallardo returns.