Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Every offseason, teams alter their roster. They make trades, place guys on waivers, and sign free agents. Players come and go. Some are veterans who had been with the club for many a season. Others just make pit stops.
The Milwaukee Brewers are no exception. So far, the Brewers have bid farewell to five players (excluding those traded during the season) who made an appearance with the team in 2013. I would say how sad, but for the most part, the defected players struggled during their tenure.
Nonetheless, it’s time to say goodbye and wish them the best on their future endeavors.
RHP Burke Badenhop
Badenhop’s time in Milwaukee was short. A year after acquiring the reliever from the Tampa Bay Rays, the Brewers shipped him off to Boston (shoutout to the Dropkick Murphys) in exchange for minor league left-hander Luis Ortega.
Though he didn’t have the success in 2013 that he did in 2012, Badenhop was useful in Milwaukee’s ‘pen. In 62.1 innings, he posted a 3.47 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP (career-low). Yet, he became expendable with the emergence of young arms like Brandon Kintzler and Rob Wooten.
For more on Badenhop, head over to BoSoxInjection.com. They wrote up a nice profile on him.
Best Quote: “The movies I’m a fan of are stupid comedies. “Dumb and Dumber”, not “Schindler’s List.”
LHP Chris Narveson
Narveson, a Milwaukee veteran of five years, saw his time as a Brewer expire when the team removed him from the 40-man roster.
He missed the entirety of the 2012 season with a torn rotator cuff but fought his way back to make the club as a reliever the following season. But his success story was short-lived. After just two games, Narveson landed on the disabled list with a sprained left middle finger. He wouldn’t return to Milwaukee.
A bottom of the rotation starter, Narveson was a fixture in Milwaukee’s rotation in 2010 and 2011. He failed to post an earned run average below 4.45 in those two years.
On Christmas Day, Narveson agreed to take his talents to Japan and signed with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.
Best Quote: “I love the Brewers. You want to go work your butt off to get back to where you want to be. I know if you are not healthy you can’t do that.”
LHP Michael Gonzalez
Where to begin?
To put it nicely, it was a trying season for Gonzalez. The Brewers signed the reliever to a one-year contract after a shutdown season with the Washington Nationals in 2012, with the idea he would continue his dominance against left-handed hitters. They were wrong and so was I.
His struggles began right away, but manager Ron Roenicke kept putting him out there. Among fans, Gonzalez became the laughingstock of the bullpen. In 50 innings, the left-hander gave up 26 earned runs and 10 home runs. Wisely, the Brewers let him walk in free agency.
Gonzalez is still without a team.
Best Quote: “This is definitely the worst season I’ve had overall.”
Betancourt always seems to be around, doesn’t he? Even when he re-signed with Kansas City after a year with Milwaukee, he couldn’t stay away. For some reason, the Brewers brought him back with a one-year deal in 2013 and save a few weeks in April, he was relatively useless.
He hit .212 with 13 home runs and compiled the second-lowest on-base percentage on the Brewers. Boy, am I glad he had over 400 plate appearances, including some at cleanup.
Despite his offensive faults, multiple teams have shown interest in signing him. Apparently, they still believe he is of value.
Best Quote: “Latin people don’t walk too many times. We just go out there and swing.”
Aoki exceeded expectations in Milwaukee. He started as a bench player but was soon promoted to a starting role where he flourished. In his two seasons with the Brewers, he was the most consistent of the Brewers’ outfielders, hitting .286 and stealing 50 bases.
Aoki is the epitome of a good teammate and will surely be missed within the clubhouse and in the outfield.
Best Quote: “Eventually, I might start having that feeling (of being established) but I don’t have that yet.”