Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Brewers Win, 3-2, over Dodgers; Lucroy to DL

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These days, even when the Milwaukee Brewers win a tough baseball game, they still manage to lose out.  Take today’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, for example; the Brewers played a good game in all aspects (especially defensively) and won, 3-2.  Shaun Marcum pitched well; so far this year, he’s been the Brewers’ most consistent pitcher.  John Axford picked up his 8th save, while catcher George Kottaras, never known for his defense, played exceptionally well behind the plate despite being hobbled by a hamstring injury.  Shortstop Cody Ransom, a recent addition to the Brewers (claimed off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks), third baseman Aramis Ramirez, and first baseman Corey Hart all had good defensive games as well.

But despite tonight’s win, yet another player must go to the disabled list (DL).  This time, it’s starting catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who broke a bone in his right hand by a freak off-the-field injury (his wife dropped a suitcase on his hand); the Brewers will officially place Lucroy on the DL tomorrow.  Lucroy is expected to be out four to six weeks.  This is particularly damaging to the Brewers because Lucroy has been hitting a ton thus far (.345 batting average with 30 RBI), and has also been steady behind the plate.

According to Fox Sports Wisconsin’s “Brewers Live” program, the Brewers will call up catcher Martin Maldonado from AAA Nashville along with pitcher Mike Fiers.  Both Maldonado and Fiers will start on Tuesday despite the fact that if the Brewers were not so badly injured, neither one of them would’ve seen a whiff of the majors.  (Fiers, while not terrible, has a 1-3 record with a 4.41 ERA; here’s the rest of his minor league stats.)

Here’s Maldonado’s current minor league offensive stats; as you can see, Maldonado isn’t hitting very well at only .198.  But the Brewers don’t have any other options; had Lucroy not injured himself, Kottaras was probably headed to the DL.  Now, Kottaras is going to have to be like several other Brewers who are playing through injuries — Ramirez (hit on the elbow last Friday by the D-backs), Ryan Braun  (injured his Achilles a few weeks ago, hasn’t been able to rest it long enough for it to heal), Carlos Gomez (isn’t running well since he’s come off the DL due to a hamstring strain), and Kameron Loe (elbow tightness) — because the Brewers just can’t put any of these guys on the DL even if they normally would go there because the team is just too banged up.

This is why Hart is playing first base despite preferring right field.  This is why Ransom is even on the team (the two shortstops the Brewers had on the roster to start the year were Alex Gonzalez, out for the year with a torn ACL, and Izturis, who’s on the DL with a hamstring strain).  And this is one of the main reasons why Rickie Weeks, who’s hitting in the .150s (you read that right), hasn’t been sat down, either — he seems healthy, so he’s still playing even though he’s not been hitting well all season long.  And that doesn’t even get into first baseman-outfielder Travis Ishikawa’s problem, who was put on the DL yesterday with an oblique strain!

Right now, the Brewers have seven guys on the DL (once Lucroy is added), and have three more who probably should be there (Kottaras, Braun, and Gomez) or should’ve been left on the DL longer (in the case of Gomez).  The Brewers have fewer than six position players who aren’t playing with some sort of issue, and of those six, one isn’t hitting (Weeks) and one is playing out of position (Hart). 

Despite that, the Brewers won a tough game today over the Dodgers.  But as a Brewers fan, I can’t help but wonder which domino (that is, which player) is going to fall next?

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Written by Barb Caffrey

May 28, 2012 at 11:43 pm

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