Results tagged ‘ Doug Melvin ’

Crew comfortable with catching depth

The Brewers just announced that catcher Jonathan Lucroy would need surgery tomorrow to install a pin into his fractured right pinkie finger and would be sidelined about four weeks. 

Considering that Opening Day is five weeks away, it begged the question of whether the team would look to acquire a catcher or stick with what they’ve got, a group that includes George Kottaras and Wil Nieves on the 40-man roster and non-roster invitee Mike Rivera. 
“We feel OK for now,” general manager Doug Melvin said. “There’s four weeks of Spring Training, so we’ll have to wait and see the healing process. It doesn’t appear that it should be more than 10 days into the season [before Lucroy is active]. …
“It’s better that it happened now than five days before the season, and then he misses a month of the season.”
Whether Lucroy begins the year on the disabled list remains to be seen. If he does, he could remain at Maryvale Baseball Park for a few games of extended Spring Training. 
The injury is to Lucroy’s throwing hand, so Melvin believes that he might be able to continue catching pitchers during his rehabilitation, which is important for a young catcher like Lucroy. He should also be able to remain in physical shape during his layoff. 
“We’ll wait and see what the process is,” Melvin said. “He’ll have to get at-bats somehow.” 
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Reaction to Greinke trade

Welcome to the offseason of the unexpected, in which the Brewers can trade for Zack Greinke, the Phillies can come out of nowhere to sign Cliff Lee and the Nationals can swoop in for Jayson Werth. If nobody sees it coming, you can bet it’s going to happen. 
The prevailing baseball wisdom was that the Brewers, after trading top positional prospect Brett Lawrie at the Winter Meetings for Blue Jays right-hander Shaun Marcum, didn’t have enough left in their prospect pool to pry Greinke from the Royals. So the Brewers instead looked at free agent Carl Pavano, continued conversations with fellow free agent Chris Capuano and talked with teams like the Braves and Marlins about lesser trades for younger, unproven arms. 
Then, over the weekend, Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin made his stunning move, acquiring 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner Greinke along with shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and $2 million for a package of four premium young players: Shortstop Alcides Escobar, center fielder Lorenzo Cain and pitchers Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi. 
Reaction from around the game was plentiful. Here’s a taste:
Prospects. All you hear in baseball, all the time, is that certain prospects are too valuable to trade.
Brewers GM Doug Melvin evidently does not believe in that premise. And he is gambling his job that he will be proven right.
Melvin made the most surprising trade of the offseason on Sunday, acquiring Royals ace Zack Greinke and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt for four of the Brewers’ best young players.
Two of the Brewers’ projected regulars, shortstop Alcides Escobar and center fielder Lorenzo Cain, are part of the package for Greinke. So are two of the team’s top young arms, right-handers Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi.
Odorizzi, 20, actually draws comparisons to Greinke, but some rival clubs believe he could end up in the bullpen. Jeffress, 23, has tested positive three times for marijuana, but throws in the upper 90s and made an impressive debut as a reliever last season.
Melvin clearly is trying to win next season, which almost certainly will be the last in Milwaukee for first baseman Prince Fielder and perhaps the last for second baseman Rickie Weeks.
Earlier this offseason, Melvin made a similar but less extravagant deal, trading perhaps his top prospect, infielder Brett Lawrie, for Blue Jays right-hander Shaun Marcum.
Which is why one rival executive, upon learning of the Greinke deal, used the term “gutted” to describe the state of the Brewers’ farm system.
That description might very well be accurate. But if the Brewers reach the postseason in Fielder’s last hurrah, Melvin will simply figure out the rest later. …
Too many current GMs are afraid of trading prospects, afraid of making deals that will come back to “haunt” them. Well, the idea isn’t to win the Baseball America organizational rankings. The idea is to win the World Series.
Three years ago, the Tigers traded six players to the Marlins for third baseman Miguel Cabrera and left-hander Dontrelle Willis. The Marlins received the two jewels of the Tigers’ farm system, center fielder Cameron Maybin and left-hander Andrew Miller. Both flopped and were traded this offseason.
Prospects are fine, but Doug Melvin needs players.
He’s getting one of the best.
Not long after the Milwaukee Brewers spiraled deep into the standings at the outset of season and speculation began about whether manager Ken Macha might be fired, I wrote here about how awful the Brewers pitching was, and how no manager would have won with that group.
Within hours, I got an e-mail response to that piece — about how it was a dead-on assessment of Milwaukee’s troubles, and how poorly the team’s general manager had done in building a pitching staff that could contend.
The note was from someone uniquely qualified to render an opinion on the matter: Brewers general manager Doug Melvin.
He will not repeat his mistakes going into next year, with the additions of Shaun Marcum — who figures to be a high-end National League starter, along the lines of a Tommy Hanson — and now Zack Greinke. Suddenly the Brewers might have the best rotation of any NL team other than the Phillies and Giants.
The big surprise, of course, was that Milwaukee had enough talent in its system to make the deal. Sources told last week that the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers didn’t match up very well with Kansas City. But Toronto and Washington appeared to be ahead of the Brewers in the pecking order.
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, an ardent Greinke suitor, appeared to make an awfully inspired move two weeks ago when he traded Marcum to the Brewers for minor league infielder Brett Lawrie.
The deal looked brilliant on two fronts: (1) By sending Marcum to Milwaukee, Anthopoulos lessened the Brewers’ need to rush out and acquire another starter; and (2) by acquiring Lawrie, Milwaukee’s top prospect, Anthopoulos took away one of Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin’s main trade chips.
Little did we know. Melvin was thinking two steps ahead, and Moore found his match in Milwaukee.
It will take time, of course, to hand out the grades for the two teams. But if Escobar and Cain are even average big league regulars, [Royals GM Dayton] Moore probably did OK. And if Odorizzi builds on the potential he showed in 2010, when he was Milwaukee ‘s minor league pitcher of the year, or Jeffress works through his off-field issues and becomes an effective closer for Kansas City, Moore did better than OK.
With a single, unexpected move, the Brewers may have become NL Central favorites. … The addition of Greinke makes the Brewers five to six wins better than they were without him, a gain they give back some of with the shortstop exchange, but not nearly enough to change the deal for them. This is a significant step for the Brewers, an even bigger move than the acquisition of CC Sabathia that propelled them into the 2008 playoffs. …
The Royals didn’t break the bank with this deal. This isn’t their Mark Teixeira trade. They took their upside in the arms of Jeffress and Odorizzi and got low-service-time, low-cost position players who have some potential to become good regulars, though not stars. It’s easy to see all four of these guys as contributors to the 2016 World Champions; it
‘s just hard to see any of them as MVPs or Cy Young winners. Then again, that’s the job of Eric Hosmer and [Mike] Montgomery.
Whatever the analytic angles, the story here is that this trade is fantastic for baseball. In an offseason dominated by what the East Coast scary monsters have done, the big-market dollars spent by Boston and Philadelphia and even Washington, it’s refreshing to see a legitimately small-market team make an aggressive move to win now. The Brewers are living off the talent generated by the time Jack Zduriencik spent with them, watching it on the field and using it in trades. This step, though, using some of that bounty to accelerate the process and put a winning team on the field — a championship team on the field — is not one that every organization can navigate. Doug Melvin earned his pay with this deal, trading some of the team’s future to enhance its present, the one where his lineup is loaded with at-peak hitters and his team has money to spend.
Melvin still has work to do. Betancourt is a terrible player who needs to be replaced. He may have to find an alternative for center field, where Carlos Gomez has failed to be a solution. Without Jeffress, the Brewers could use a power arm for the ‘pen. Having traded for Greinke, the Brewers have made it very clear what they’re trying to do; it will do them no good now to hold back financially as they look to put the best team they can on the field next year.
Today, throughout baseball, people are talking about the Milwaukee Brewers. That’s a good thing, no matter who you root for.
Rather than settle for more Jeff Suppan-level solutions and digging up the next Doug Davis, Melvin has gone out and acquired what the free market did not have on offer in any number, spending prospects to acquire quality starting pitching. Trading for Shaun Marcum already armed the Brewers with a quality starter for the next two seasons, but dealing Brett Lawrie was just the first step in a massive amount of prospect off-loading to try and get at least one more divisional flaglet or wild-card invitation to October. As the Giants just demonstrated, anything can happen once you get there, and if you’re armed with your own stock of quality starting pitching, you can beat anybody, even the latest employer of Cliff Lee. It’s an entirely sensible adaptation to a market where few top free agents are going to decide that they’ve always wanted to spend their best years in Milwaukee. …
To merely call this deal a win/win trade understates what the Brewers achieved, because their medium-term future with Lawrie at second, Jeffress in the pen, and Cain in center wasn’t guaranteed to do much more than deliver more of the immediate same, 80-win teams and honorable also-rans. By the time Odorizzi might have arrived, Melvin’s head could have long since rotted off the pointed stick it might have been mounted on after not getting any more than one wild-card appearance from a win-now cadre of talent.
So, no more half-measures. If the Reds can win the NL Central, then going for it seems like an appropriate order for the day.
The Brewers might be trying to win now, but … traded away three Major League-ready players. Both Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar were penciled in as starters, and Jeremy Jeffress was a likely candidate for the bullpen. Unfortunately, the Brewers don’t have solid replacements for any of those players.
Carlos Gomez is expected to start in center field following Cain’s departure. While Gomez dazzles in the field and on the base paths, his career .293 OBP leaves much to be desired. Despite his struggles at the plate, Gomez’s defense should make him a useful contributor during the upcoming season. In his first press conference with the Brewers, Ron Roenicke emphasized being aggressive on the bases, which should play into Gomez’s strengths.
The scariest aspect of the Yuniesky Betancourt acquisition is that (gulp) Melvin has already penciled him in as a starter. Betancourt carries a rather infamous reputation among the stat-community, and it’s safe to say he isn’t the answer for the Brewers. There is a chance that Craig Counsell returns to the team, but likely as Betancourt’s backup. Offensively, the Brewers will need to succeed despite employing both Betancourt and Gomez as starters.
Their pitching rotation, however, has drastically improved this off-season. The acquisitions of Greinke and Shaun Marcum give the Brewers one of the best rotations in the National League. Though many considered Greinke’s 2010 a let-down, he was still worth 5.2 WAR, better than any pitcher on the Brewers’ roster. Yovani Gallardo might be named the opening-day starter, but Greinke will be the best pitcher on the team next season.
Shaun Marcum carries incredible value as a third starter. Despite missing the entire 2009 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Marcum turned in the best season of his career in 2010. Though most pitchers typically struggle with control following the surgery, Marcum posted one of the best BB/9 rates of any starting pitcher last season. Brewers’ starters posted the worst BB/9 rate in the league last season, so Marcum’s ability to limit walks will be a welcome addition to this rotation. …
Of all the teams in the Central, the Brewers have made the largest strides this off-season. While the Reds and Cardinals focused on marginal improvements, the Brewers completely overhauled their rotation. The Reds and Cardinals should compete for the division, but the Brewers’ off-season acquisitions will be tough to beat.
Big markets trade highly rated prospects for established players with the objective to win now.
Small markets typically shed salary for young guys and don’t really care if anyone buys tickets when the product stinks because, well, there’s always the revenue-sharing money to pocket.
Thankfully, the Brewers don’t slink through the small-market loophole. They honor the responsibility to be competitive for the 3 million-plus who fill Miller Park in good times and bad. You could say the team is merely fulfilling its obligation, but it has become much more than that in this rare place where an uncommon level of trust has been established between customers and management.
What general manager Doug Melvin has accomplished is just this side of remarkable. In a matter of days, the Brewers have been transformed from a team that had no chance because of its pitching staff to a genuine contender with Greinke and Shaun Marcum added to the rotation.
Greinke, Marcum, Yovani Gallardo, Randy Wolf and someone else may not match what the Philadelphia Phillies have assembled, but it makes the Brewers very competitive in their own division because Melvin has completely rebuilt the pitching staff without touching the everyday core.
Ryan Braun is still a Brewer. So are Rickie Weeks, Casey McGehee and Corey Hart.
And so, too, should Prince Fielder.
Now there is absolutely no incentive to move Fielder before his contract expires after the upcoming season. With Fielder in the
middle of a lineup that is more than occasionally capable of double-digit scoring – but now doesn’t have to shoulder the load because the rotation is suddenly trustworthy and solid – the Brewers are dangerous.
Now it’s your turn. What do you think of the Brewers’ big moves this month?
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Melvin still on hunt for pitching

The Brewers’ talks with the agent for second baseman Rickie Weeks might have been the big news on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings, but Milwaukee officials also continued the search for another starter. It could lead in any number of different directions, but general manager Doug Melvin indicated Tuesday that he was not ready to dip into the pool of players looking to bounce back from injury.
That list includes some known names like Jeff Francis, Brandon Webb, Chris Young, Rich Harden and Brad Penny.
The Brewers have been linked to Francis this winter, but on Tuesday Melvin said, “I haven’t even called his guy.” Ditto for Webb, though the Brewers scouted Webb in the instructional league. 
“I think some of those guys have a chance of bouncing back, but how many of them have?” Melvin asked. “There may be a point where we get involved later on. … I’m not saying we won’t go back that path, but we’re not focusing on it now.” 
Melvin would prefer a pitcher without the immediate injury past, and didn’t rule out looking at his unproven, in-house options. He’d like prospects Mark Rogers, Wily Peralta and Amaury Rivas to report to Spring Training aiming for a spot in the Opening Day rotation. Jeremy Jeffress is more likely ticketed for relief. 
The Brewers plan to meet Wednesday or Thursday with Michael Moye, the agent for left-hander Chris Capuano. The Brewers have already extended Capuano an offer to return in 2011. 
But Melvin is also looking at trades. The Brewers have had contact this week with two teams in a position to trade young pitchers — Atlanta and Baltimore — but Melvin downplayed those talks. The Orioles have already traded away two pitching prospects to get third baseman Mark Reynolds from Arizona, lessening the chances of a deal with Milwaukee. Talks between the Brewers and Braves have not gone very far. 
“We’ve had talks with them, but it doesn’t seem to be a fit for us,” Melvin said. “I’m not sure they have guys that they’re really pushing to move, other than the Japanese guy [Kenshin Kawakami].” 
The Braves are willing to assume a large part of the $6.67 million owed Kawakami next season in the final year of his contract. Melvin said he “couldn’t say” whether he was interested in the right-hander. 
“We don’t have anything ongoing with” the Braves, Melvin said. 
The Chicago Tribune cited sources in reporting the Brewers had asked the Rays about right-hander Matt Garza, who earned $3.35 million during a 2010 season that included 15 wins, a 3.91 ERA and a July 26 no-hitter against the Tigers. He’s arbitration-eligible for three more seasons. 
Garza would fetch a high price, but that’s nothing new for Melvin this winter. He’s not surprised that other teams are hanging tightly to their pitching. 
“Teams aren’t motivated to move the pitchers,” Melvin said. “For them to move them, I have to overwhelm them with something. Teams don’t have excess pitching.” 
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Melvin on the slow pace of Weeks talks

The Brewers would love to lock-up second baseman Rickie Weeks with a multi-year contract extension but are having trouble getting those talks started, general manager Doug Melvin said this week. 
“We’re working on getting Rickie signed,” Melvin told the sports radio station WSSP on Tuesday morning. “He’s got a new agent, Greg Genske, who is CC Sabathia’s agent, so it’s going to be a lot tougher than his previous agent [Lon Babby]. 
“[Genske] doesn’t respond as quick. But we’ll be working on it.” 
Weeks, the second overall pick in the 2003 Draft, was forced to select new representation after Babby took over as the president of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. 
The Brewers had a similar experience with Genske and associate Brian Peters in the lead-up to the 2008 Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, where they finally got a sit-down and pushed hard for Sabathia to re-sign. Sabathia instead inked a richer deal with the Yankees.
Melvin earlier this week assigned the task of reaching Genske and determining Weeks’ asking price to assistant general manager Gord Ash. Melvin expects to meet in person next week at the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. 
Weeks, for his part, told last month that he’s open to the idea of an extension. Genske was not available on Thursday. 
“I’ve had one meeting with [Genske], and he said that he’s interested in a long-term deal,” Melvin said. “But once players get close to free agency, they get a little less interested in trying to sign up because they’re so close to free agency and they’ve got some security under their belt.” 
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Melvin: No decision on manager

Brewers media relations director Mike Vassallo just passed along a quote from general manager Doug Melvin that will stand as Melvin’s statement about today’s Bobby Valentine rumors:

“No decision has been made,” Melvin said. 
So, there you go. At least for public consumption, Melvin is keeping the search open for the team’s next manager. Four names have popped up most: Valentine (click here if you missed the story from earlier today), Mets scout Bob Melvin, White Sox coach Joey Cora and Angels coach Ron Roenicke. 
With the World Series beginning Wednesday night, it seems likely that Doug Melvin & Co. will wait until a World Champion is crowned before naming Milwaukee’s next skipper. 
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Rumor mill focuses on Valentine

Is former Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine in line to be the next skipper of the Milwaukee Brewers? 
The Wisconsin Radio Network’s Bill Scott cited a source inside the Brewers front office in reporting that the team had agreed in principal with Valentine but had yet to reach contract terms. According to the report, posted on the network’s website, Valentine wants $10 million over three years. Valentine, who has also managed in Japan’s Major Leagues, is currently working as an analyst for ESPN. 
A Brewers spokesperson said he knew nothing of an agreement with Valentine or anybody else. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has been conducting his search behind closed doors and did not immediately return a message seeking comment. 
Melvin has shot down a false alarm before. Immediately after the season, a report surfaced that the Brewers were set to hire former D-backs skipper Bob Brenly, but Melvin had yet to conduct any interviews at that point. 
Mets scout Bob Melvin and White Sox coach Joey Cora are reportedly among the Brewers’ other finalists. Angels coach Ron Roenicke, reached by earlier in the week, wouldn’t say whether he was still in the running. 
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Another emotional day for Melvin

A visibly hurt Brewers general manager Doug Melvin spent time with reporters this afternoon discussing the team’s decision to part with manager Ken Macha after a second consecutive losing season. You can tell this stuff hurts him. 
Here’s some of what Melvin had to say:
“We didn’t win here,” Melvin said. “We didn’t meet our expectations. Whether our expectations are realistic or not, that’s probably what we have to look at. … I think he understood.
“When we brought him in here, we brought him in because he has a winning record. He still has the sixth-best winning percentage of any of the current managers in the game today,” Melvin said. “So he’s had a lot of success in his career. 
“But obviously we’ve raised the bar since we won in 2008, and we didn’t meet those expectations. It’s not always the manager’s fault, but sometimes they’re the ones who get blamed.”
Melvin is certainly aware of the problems that dragged-down the Brewers in 2010. They got off to a very poor start in April and May, got little from veteran free agent additions Doug Davis and LaTroy Hawkins and then skewed very young in the second half. 
“I thought [Macha] did the best that he could under the circumstances,” Melvin said. “He played right down to the last game to try to win every game that he could. That’s what good managers do, and he’s a professional about it.”
Melvin wouldn’t say when he decided a change was necessary. He also declined to say anything about the futures of the team’s coaching staff because he had yet to speak individually with those men. Pitching coach Rick Peterson is the only one of Macha’s coaches under contract for 2011. 
Asked specifically whether bench coach Willie Randolph, a finalist for the Brewers’ managerial opening in 2002 and again in 2008, would again be considered, Melvin said, “I’d rather wait until I talk to the coaching staff.”
As Melvin was weighing the decision, what went into it?
“There’s a lot of things involved — wins and losses come into play,” Melvin said. “Your ballclub — are they a young club? A veteran club? Working with coaching staffs. Managers’ jobs are so much tougher in the big leagues. When you’re managing in the Minor Leagues, you’re managing a pitching coach and a hitting coach. Two guys. When you’re managing in the big leagues, a guy’s got a first base coach, he’s got a third base coach, he’s got a bench coach, he’s got a pitching coach, he’s got a bullpen coach, he’s got a hitting guy, a video coordinator. He’s got to meet with the trainers every day. He’s got to meet with the media every day. He’s got his talk show every day. The GM goes down and bugs him every day. Ownership has issues that maybe have to be discussed through the GM. And then you have to deal with player issues. So there’s a lot that goes on for a manager. It’s not just sitting down and making up a lineup. With the statistical stuff today, it’s a lot more detailed job. It’s a lot more detailed than you can imagine.”
Melvin would not say much about Macha’s relationships with stars Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder other than, “that’s something I can use myself as a learning experience. … I think those kind of things happen with any manager on any ballclub.”
Macha turned 60 during the team’s final homestand, and he was leading a team that had no regular starting position players older than 28. Was there some sort of generational gap?
“Bobby Cox is 69. Charlie Manuel is 67. Bruce Bochy is 55,” Melvin said. “The youngest manager of the eight postseason teams is Joe Girardi, and he has a $200 million payroll. Everybody else is 53 years of age and older. They’re probably all old enough to be fathers of today’s players. 
“If that’s an issue, then I think it’s an issue that players have to understand, too. Look at all of those managers going to postseason, they’re all experienced guys. They’re all hardcore, down to earth, baseball guys, very similar to Ken. Today’s players are a little bit different, I’ve always said that. … I know the NBA goes to a lot of hiring of young head coaches. In baseball, you look at the experience of some of the guys. Was there a communication gap there? There might have been.”
Melvin plans to take his time hiring the next Brewers manager. He wouldn’t say whether previous big league experience was a prerequisite or if he would seek somebody fresh. 
“That’s what we’re going through right now,” Melvin said. “We’re discussing that. There are a lot of qualities involved with a manager. Do you want an older guy? A younger guy? A proven guy? Obviously, to get a guy who’s won more games than Ken Macha is going to be tough, with him being sixth on the list. That’s going to be hard to find.”
For many outside the organization, Macha’s dismissal was a foregone conclusion. But for Melvin, it was very personal, and he was visibly distraught as he addressed reporters on Monday outside a party suite dedicated to the ’82 Brewers. He showed similar emotion after letting go manager Ned Yost with 12 games left in the ’08 regular season. 
“I’ve been a GM for 15 years and I’ve only let two managers go,” Melvin said. “I talked to [Reds GM] Walt Jocketty, and I don’t think he’s ever fired a manager in his 15 years. [New D-backs GM] Kevin Towers has only done it once. There’s [something to having] stability. People want to know why the Minnesota Twins have had success, they have a lot of stability. They’ve had two managers in 30 years. …
“Ken came in in a tough situation. He came in after the team won for the first time in 25 years. I told him to take on a couple of the coaches that we had. A lot of times, a manager gets to pick all of their coaches. So he came into a little bit of a tough situation, and he understood that. 
“I think he did the best he could. We had a $90 million payroll, but really it was $70 million because [Jeff] Suppan and [Billy] Hall weren’t here. I take responsibility for those kinds of things when it comes to player decisions. We’ll have to build up from here and see where we go.”
Is there a timetable to identify Macha’s replacement?
“Not really,” Melvin said. “I want to go through the process. I haven’t had a lot of time to sit down and go over it. I don’t think it’s going to be something that takes place in the next 10 days or two weeks.”
Melvin was traveling to Phoenix on Tuesday to address the change with the Brewers’ player development staff there. He’ll then convene his pro scouts for four days of organizational meetings in Arizona, a process of reviewing the Brewers’ own players, looking at other teams’ rosters for trade purposes and analyzing the pool of free agents. Melvin has said he does not expect to be active in free agency this winter. 
A final thought from the GM:
“He did best he could,” Melvin said. “Did he have the best talent out there? The team is not as talented as the 2008 team. We haven’t got to that point. I told Mark [Attanasio, the team’s principal owner] that we have to get a little more talented.”
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Macha, Melvin to meet Monday morning

Someone had to take the fall for the Brewers’ second straight summer of missed expectations, and manager Ken Macha endured speculation for weeks that would be the guy. On Monday, it’s expected to be official. 
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel cited unnamed club sources on Sunday evening in reporting that Macha had managed his final game for the Brewers. Macha was to meet face-to-face with general manager Doug Melvin at 8 a.m. on Monday. 
It would an easy break for the team — Macha just finished his two-year contract and the Brewers could simply decline to exercise his 2011 option. 
If the Brewers indeed name a change, Melvin would begin the search for the 18th manager in Brewers history. That pick would be the team’s sixth skipper in the past eight years, and the fifth different manager under Melvin, if you count the man he inherited (Jerry Royster) at the end of 2002. 
The Brewers won the National League Wild Card under interim manager Dale Sveum in 2008 but couldn’t repeat that success under Macha, who, depending on your outlook, either did not get much from his pitching staffs or was saddled with poor staffs to start with. The Brewers finished next-to-last among NL teams in starters’ ERA in 2009, and moved up only one spot in 2010 despite a stellar September. 
Hitters, meanwhile, expressed off-the-record frustration with his station-to-station brand of baseball, but Macha tried to stress what he insisted was an open-door policy with players beginning this spring with individual sit-downs with the team’s stars, and he often defended his lack of movement on the bases as playing to the team’s obvious strength — its power. 
Along the way, Macha made no apologies for his steely style. 
“I had a little sit-down with Mark [Attanasio, the Brewers principal owner] a couple of months ago, saying that I’m not here to schmooze up to anybody or anything like that,” Macha said after the Brewers’ last home game. “I just want to come in and try to do what’s right. I think if everyone approaches their job that way and says, hey, look, I just want to do what’s right, you can go to sleep that night and wake up the next morning, regardless of what the results were that day before, and look forward. … 
“At the end, you should have peace of mind because you’re doing the right thing.” 
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Recapping a busy home finale

The Brewers beat the Marlins in a 7-1 rout in Sunday’s home finale, but the result was secondary on an emotional afternoon at Miller Park. For those who have yet to sift through the links on, here’s a bit of a recap:

— Their 2010 season was a dud, so Brewers fans instead made the team’s home finale a celebration of individual milestones and sendoffs for players who are likely moving on. They turned a win over the Marlins into a series of standing ovations and almost made everyone forget that the team still has a week to play.
Ryan Braun came from behind to win the Brewers’ three-man race to 100 RBIs, Prince Fielder homered in what could be his final home game with the Brewers and Trevor Hoffman made one last entrance to AC/DC’s “Hells Bells.” All three players were showered with love from the 29,059 fans, who pushed the Brewers’ season attendance over 2.75 million.
— On more note on Hoffman: Sunday marked his 35th game finished, a milestone that pushed the cost of the buyout of his 2011 club option from $500,000 to $750,000. That financial boost aside, Hoffman once more thanked his supporters for never giving up on him.
“I can’t begin to say thanks enough,” Hoffman said. “For a guy sitting on a six-ERA and part of a big problem, to get treated like I did by the fans here — I appreciate their support.”
— Hoffman was offered a standing ovation and so was Fielder, who might just have played his final home game for the Brewers. Fielder commented before the game to me and after the game to me and 30 of my closest microphone-wielding friends about his uncertain future. 
He didn’t offer much in the way of insight, saying that he’s under contract for 2011 and planning to be back. Whether he departs this winter, Fielder said, “is not up to me,” once again glossing over the point that he reportedly turned down a significant contract offer earlier this year. 
— The only blemish of the Brewers’ win over the Marlins came in the seventh inning, when starter Chris Capuano exited with a groin injury. He downplayed its significance and talked instead about his inspiring comeback season from a second Tommy John surgery, and touched briefly on his own uncertain future. Capuano is a free agent for the first time. 
— Staying on the “uncertain future” theme, manager Ken Macha made sure to get Craig Counsell into the lineup for Sunday’s finale. Counsell, too, is a free agent, and said he’s going to take the best available offer this winter. He’s earned that right. 
— Then there’s Macha himself, who was asked by reporters after the game about his own contract status. Here are Doug Melvin’s brief comments on that situation, saying that the team will wait until after the season to announce any personnel decisions. 
And while we’re at it, here are a couple of other links you may have missed over the weekend:
Mark DiFelice is coming back to the Brewers in 2011. I learned subsequently that catchers Patrick Arlis and Anderson Delarosa, infielder Anderson Machado and left-hander Chase Wright have also already signed Minor League deals for next season. 
— Our report about the Brewers’ Minor League player and pitcher of the year includes video of both Erik Komatsu and Jake Odorizzi, not to mention amateur scouting director Bruce Seid. 
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Melvin: Davis finished for 2010

Disabled Brewers left-hander Doug Davis will not return to active duty before the end of the season, general manager Doug Melvin said Friday. 
Davis, on the disabled list since July 16 with left elbow tendonitis, was hoping to use the final two weeks of the regular season as a springboard to a job in 2011. He expected to return to the Brewers on Friday after a stint at the team’s year-round facility in Phoenix this week. 
That plan changed after a meeting between Davis and Melvin. 
“I met with him and told him we weren’t going to be able to pitch him,” Melvin said. 
The Brewers will instead use the final two-plus weeks of the regular season to evaluate other pitchers. The club is expected to decline its half of Davis’ $6.5 million mutual option for 2011 and pay a $1 million buyout instead.
Davis did not necessarily have a setback in his recovery from the elbow issue, Melvin said, but never advanced to the point at which he could return to action. Now he will get a second opinion on his balky elbow. 
Injuries derailed Davis’ return to the Brewers, where he was a fixture of the starting rotation from the second half of 2003 through the end of 2006, when he was traded to Arizona. He struggled to start 2010, then landed on the disabled list May 16 with pericarditis, a painful swelling of tissue around the heart. 
That ailment sidelined Davis until July 9, when he made one start against the Pirates before the All-Star break. Davis returned to the DL with the elbow injury before the team began second half play. 
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