Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Updates — Madison judge blocks budget bill; Tim Dillard pitches well; Vinny Rottino

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OK, it’s update time.

First, we have a judge in Madison, Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi, who has temporarily blocked the recent “budget repair bill” from taking effect.  Here’s a link to that:

Note this is a follow-up article, where it says the Attorney General of Wisconsin will file an appeal on Monday.  (I wanted to give the most up-to-date information.)  But it says what Judge Sumi did, and why the Attorney General will be appealing it . . . this is the best article, right now, about what’s going on in Wisconsin.  (She said that the process of the “budget repair bill” with the Conference Committee appeared to violate Wisconsin’s Open Records Law, just as state Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, had said at the time.)

Next, pitcher Tim Dillard cemented his case to make the Milwaukee Brewers active roster (as a big leaguer, naturally), as he pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief today in a Spring Training game after the starter (whose name escapes me, sorry) ended up only going 1/3 of an inning and giving up four or five runs.  (I normally would be more precise than this, but for two things: one, it’s still Spring Training.  And two, I haven’t yet seen a box score of this game though I looked.  If I am able to find one I will update this post to be more precise.)

I really like Dillard; I always have.  Dillard is a right-handed control pitcher, and I’ve thought for years that if the Brewers gave him a chance, they’d be pleasantly surprised.

Right now with the Brewers, two pitchers are unavailable — Zach Greinke is on the disabled list and will miss at least two and a half weeks of the season with a broken rib (and other bruised ribs), and Manny Parra likely will start the season on the DL also because his back is bad and he’s been so far unable to pitch in a game during Spring Training.  So there’s room for Dillard, and he’s pitching well at a time he needs to — with a new manager, Ron Roenicke, to impress — so I’m really and truly hoping this will finally be his time.

** Shaun Marcum also has a sore shoulder, though Marcum doubts he’ll miss any time at all.  (Just thought I should notate this for the record. **

In other baseball news, I haven’t yet seen anything new on catcher-infielder-outfielder Vinny Rottino, who is now in the Florida Marlins system.  He’d have to play outstandingly well to get called up as he is now about thirty-one years old, and he’s eligible for salary arbitration as he’d had cups of coffee in three separate seasons (so far his lifetime batting average in the bigs is something like .208 but that’s misleading).  Rottino has speed and plays good defense in the infield and outfield; he was converted to catcher late and is more of an “emergency catcher” than anything else as he does not have a strong rate of throwing accuracy from that position, nor is his defense anything more than adequate as best as I can discern from statistics.

Still, I’m really hoping Vinny Rottino will somehow make it up to the bigs again, because he’s an excellent right-handed clutch hitter, and he plays good defense in the infield and outfield.  I don’t know how well he pinch hits, but if he develops that skill as well, he may well prove valuable to someone despite his somewhat-advanced age for a rookie.

Considering Casey McGehee of the Brewers, who is a third baseman, didn’t make it up to the big leagues until he was twenty-six or twenty-seven, and will be twenty-nine this year, and he’s done very, very well, I think Vinny Rottino still has a shot.  McGehee, unlike Rottino, has power and a lot of it, but there have been others who have made it due to their defensive skills before (and their hitting skills; Rottino has speed, remember, along with good defense, and he swiped over twenty bases last year in the minors — AA and AAA, respectively) and I am confident that if some team gives Rottino a chance as a utility infielder/outfielder, they will be pleasantly surprised.

If anyone knows how Rottino is doing in Spring Training (I believe he’s with the Marlins’ minor league squad), please let me know as I’ll be more than pleased to update this blog.

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