The Brewers did not make a lot of splashy moves prior to the season (we did sign Kyle Lohse, but Spring Training was well underway) outside of the bullpen. The Brewers went out and signed Mike Gonzalez and Tom Gorzellany, then traded for Burke Badenhop. We did not give up much, giving the Rays Raul Mondesi Jr, but we also did not get much in return. So I guess it was a fair trade.
Burke Badenhop gave us the exact season we should have expected. By the numbers, Badenhop had almost the exact same season in 2013 as he had in 2012. I am not kidding. He pitched 62.1 innings in both seasons, gave up one less hit (62 hits this season), gave up 3 more earned runs than last season (24), and gave up the same amount of Hone Runs and Walks (6 and 12 respectively). Then why did I feel like he was not that good? Maybe it’s because he was not all that good to begin with.
As you are no doubt aware by now, I use a very strict grading tool. My players are graded based on Performance, Attitude, and the increasingly unpopular “Eye Test”.
Performance – C
Baddenhop is the Mendoza Line for a “C” grade. In my understanding, a “C” means that you have done average work. BB is the definition of sub-par. If you jus average out his career as a “bullpen specialist”, you get pedestrian numbers. His ERA will always be hovering in the 3.5 – 4.0 range, he will never strike out more than 50 batters in a season, and he will give up around 60 hits. These are the statistics of a generic bullpen pitcher. If I was in charge, Badenhop would not be back in Brewers blue next season because we have plenty of guys in-house who can produce these types of numbers at half the price. To further enforce my grade, I could not think of one particular memory where Badenhop was outstanding or a situation where he was Eric Gagne bad. The dude is simply another arm.
Attitude – B
I am giving Burke a “B” because he seems like a pretty good guy. He also wrote a book intended to help young people with their financial planning. The book is called “Financial Planning For Your First Job” and I have not read it, just check with my bank account. Any baseball player who takes his spare time and uses it to help others, is a pretty cool dude to me. Since Badenhop was never the star of a game, I had a hard time finding a ton of sound bytes or quotes from the guy. That being the case I have to go off of a lack of negative stuff and his book intended t help the youth of America to not be broke like me.
“Eye Test” – C
BB does not have terrific stuff. None of his pitches are what I would consider “game changers”. When he comes out of the bullpen, I usually assume one of two things will happen: 1)he will pitch a scoreless inning or 2) he will give up a run or two. What he will not do is get lit up for 5 runs in one clip. That is why he doesn’t trigger much excitement on the eye test. He is not a prospect, he is a veteran. This also hurts him when it comes to getting a grade. Not a whole lot to get excited about. If he came back next year, that would be fine and if we cut him loose…that would be fine too.
Overall Grade – C+
I will give him a little extra bump by adding the “plus”. The only reason he gets to have the plus is because he was not as bad as Mike Gonzalez. Burke Badenhop is one of those players who are easy to forget every played on your team. In 5 years, someone will say that name to me and I can guarantee that my response will be, “Why do I know that name?” Bottom line, I am so luke warm on this guy that it was hard to even fill this whole article. BB is an overcooked turkey smothered in gravy to try and bring back some of the moisture. Dry turkey will never get anything better than a C+ from me…never!!!