I mean it! Why did we spend a penny on a possible 4th string catcher who has a career batting average of .227? Wasn’t it bad enough when we signed Damian Miller in 2005? Or in 2007 when we thought Johnny Estrada would somehow overcome his career of underachieving and be the catcher of the future. Ehh. Wrong again. What to do, what to do? Oh man, I totally know……..we’ll sign Jason Kendall. Not that Kendall wasn’t a good player, he just wasn’t a good player at the age 34. Ah yes, then it was time for Gregg Zaun’s career to enter it’s twilight for a meer $1.9 million dollars. Now that we have added Wil Nieves to this pathetic Brew stew, the team is really poised to add another plaque to the Brewers Wall of Lame.
Look, I do not want to speak for anyone. Having said that, I am pretty certain that Kottaras and Lucroy can hit .200 while driving in less than 30 runs per season. How come we needed to add “depth” at catcher? Wil Nieves is pretty generic in every aspect of the game. His OBP is a floppy .273 and his slugging percentage is a blistering .297………blistering. Obviously this guy is a must sign right? Jonathan Lucroy hit 4 home-runs in his rookie season, which is only 1 shy of Wil’s career homerun total. Lucroy had a .300 OBP in his first year on a major league roster!! George Kottaras may have had a low batting average, but he made up for it with 9 home-runs and a pretty solid .396 SLG%. Why are we signing bad catchers!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
Wil Nieves is not a good player. I’m sorry if you think that is harsh. The guy is not good enough and I would not be surprised if he did not make this roster. In fact, I am calling it now. Between Kottaras and Lucroy there will not be enough playing time for him. Even if they do decide to carry 3 catchers on the roster, let us not forget Martin Maldonado. The kid who got a late call to Triple AAA Nashville and in 52 games he hit .257 with 7 HR’s and 26 RBI’s. This is another young, cheap player who can contribute to your team. Wil Nieves will not make the roster for opening day. Call your bookie and place that bet.
Now I am not trying to bash Wil Nieves. I know that it does not seem that way, but trust me when I say that my focus here is on management. Now, I have this crazy idea, but hear me out. Stop paying catcher’s who are past their prime. Look at the names in that first paragraph and tell me who of those gents where good in a Brewers uniform? The answer is none. All of those guys had played their best ball someplace else and where just hanging on to the game. Wil Nieves is no exception. Our management is doing him a disservice, just like the 4 men before him. Please stop spending money on old washed up catchers. Maybe we should try to swing a deal for Jake Taylor from the Major League movies. Uecker would probably love that deal. Maybe we could get the 1989 Cleveland Indians to throw in Rick Vaughn too.
I guess I just need someone to draw it in crayon for me. Like my Dad did when we signed Jeff Suppan, my arch nemesis. If it wasn’t for those jumbo Crayolas and lots of construction paper, I may have never come off the ledge. Have we learned nothing from the Giants and Rays? It’s about the young players, with a sprinkling of KEY veterans. Not thrift store veterans to fill out roster space. Look at the Shaun Marcum deal!! That is what we call a KEY veteran. He is going to be a strong piece of the (hopefully) championship puzzle. Shaun Marcum is going to be a very large part of this team for the next few years. Wil Nieves, probably not.
For those of you who have not heard, the Brewers traded for the wrong Indian back in 2008. Turns out Cliff Lee told the Yankees to shove their money, because he wanted to play in Philadelphia. For those of you following along at home, CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee where teammates in Cleveland. When the Brewers traded for CC, they only got him for half a year and then he took the Yankees money. Cliff Lee was traded halfway through 2009 to the Phillies and now he is going back there for about $60 million less dollars. Whoops. Add another one the the Brewers Wall of Lame. Good for Cliff Lee, for realizing that sometimes it is about more than money.
Until next time, Kenosha here I come(in 4 days)!!!