Results tagged ‘ Gord Ash ’

Gord Ash weighs in on Hall trade

Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash briefed reporters about today’s trade, in which Milwaukee sent Bill Hall to the Mariners for Class A reliever Buddy Flores in a move to save some payroll. According to one report, the Brewers stand to save $1.75 million of the approximately $10.5 million left on Hall’s contract.

Ash wouldn’t confirm those details, but he did characterize the trade as financially-motivated.

“Obviously, when you enter into a long-term deal with a player, you hope that it’s going to have a much different ending than this one has,” Ash said. “Given [Hall's] ongoing struggles in Milwaukee, this gives him a fresh start, and it gives us some limited financial flexibility for next year compared to what we did owe him, and certainly for the year after in terms of the year after in terms of the buyout of the option. Maybe we can utilize those resources to address a more important need at the moment.”  

The Brewers and Mariners reached an agreement on the trade earlier in the day, but had to get approval from the Commissioner’s Office because of the financial component. That came through just after 4:30 p.m. CT. 

At least one other team showed legitimate interest in Hall, 29, who batted .201 in limited duty this season with six home runs and 24 RBIs. 

“Doug was carrying on most of the conversation and he had a couple of clubs seriously interested, one in the National League and one in the American League, with a couple of others who made calls but were not serious,” Ash said. “The National League club, in the last short while, didn’t feel like it could match the financial relief that we were going to get with the Mariners.” 

Two NL teams were rumored to have interest: Cincinnati and San Francisco. In all the scenarios, Milwaukee would have received a Minor League player in return, Ash said, dousing speculation that the Reds might have tried to unload an equally bulky contract by dealing pitchers Aaron Harang or Bronson Arroyo. 

“I saw someone wrote about significant Major League pitchers, but when you’re in this situation when you designate a player for assignment and you’re a day removed from releasing that player, a club’s not going to go to that length to acquire a player like this,” Ash said. “They can just wait and acquire the player as a free agent.”

Ash said Flores is a power arm who has battled injuries in the past but has been healthy throughout 2009.

“This is not to dismiss [Flores'] abilities, but this is more of trying to secure financial relief than it is about acquiring personnel,” Ash said.

Younger Ash works Day 3 of Draft

Doug Melvin’s son has already followed dad into the scouting ranks, and perhaps Gord Ash’s boy is on the same path.

Twelve-year-old Aaron Ash, the son of the Brewers’ assistant general manager, announced 16 of the Brewers’ 20 picks on Day 3 of the First-Year Player Draft, which is conducted via conference call with Major League Baseball and all 30 clubs. As is so often the case in baseball, it was all about superstition.

The younger Ash was just eight years old when he made his Draft debut, announcing the Brewers’ selection of right-hander Omar Aguilar in the 30th round in 2005. Aguilar has turned into a quality prospect who was added to Milwaukee’s 40-man roster last winter.

“We figured we would try to ride Aaron’s luck some more,” Brewers scouting director Bruce Seid said. “Aguilar has been a good pick for us.”

Amanda Kropp, an administrator in the Brewers’ scouting department, made most of the Brewers’ other picks. She was hard on herself Wednesday after mispronouncing one of the names on Milwaukee’s list.

No biggie, Seid said.

“We have a good time in our Draft room,” Seid said. “No nerves, no pressure. We all laugh and make jokes and have fun with each other.”

Ash on Weeks: 'Obviously, we're concerned'

From the desk of the Director of the Obvious: The Brewers would not have made the quick decision to send second baseman Rickie Weeks to see a specialist 1,400 miles away if he had nothing more serious than a sore left wrist.

But “sore wrist” was the only diagnosis on Sunday, when Weeks was injured on a swinging strike three in the first inning in St. Louis. After the game, he already had a flight booked to Phoenix to see the same doctor — Don Sheridan — who performed surgery on Weeks’ right wrist in 2005 and the base of his left thumb in 2006.

Weeks will visit with Sheridan today. Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash, the point man on injury issues, said the team would make an announcement as soon as Weeks gets a more complete diagnosis and an idea of what comes next.

“Do you think we wake up and decide to send somebody across the country if it wasn’t serious?” Ash said. “That’s about as obvious as can be. … Obviously, we’re concerned. Obviously, there might be a problem, and rather than wait around for five or six days to see what happens, let’s see now.”

Club officials made that decision very quickly as, or shortly after, the Brewers batted around and scored four runs in a first inning that began with Weeks’ strikeout. Shortly after Craig Counsell moved from third base to second and Bill Hall entered the game at third, a club spokesperson announced the nature of Weeks’ injury. Head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger consulted with team physician William Raasch and Ash, and decided to send him to Phoenix. The club’s traveling secretary booked Weeks’ flight before the end of the game.

The injury is especially unfortunate since Weeks is having a fine season. He is batting .272 with a .340 on-base percentage and, along with first baseman Prince Fielder, leads the team with nine home runs. Weeks is tied with Corey Hart for the team lead in runs scored, with 28. 

The rest of the Brewers remained in St. Louis on Sunday and will play a make-up of Friday’s rainout on Monday night. That means the team is about a four-hour drive or a short flight from Nashville, home of their Triple-A affiliate.

Ash was asked if any players made the trip to St. Louis just in case it becomes clear Weeks will head to the disabled list.

“No. You can’t do it,” Ash said. “I know clubs do it, but it’s against the rules.”

Options at Nashville would include Hernan Iribarren, a left-handed hitter who played stints with the Brewers last season and is hitting .311 in the Minors this year while playing exclusively at second base. Nashville is also home to slick-fielding shortstop Alcides Escobar, but with third baseman Mat Gamel promoted to the Majors last week, it’s unlikely the Brewers would want both of their top prospects sitting on the big league bench.

With right-hander Kyle Lohse starting for St. Louis on Monday, left-handed hitter Counsell will probably play second base. The Brewers will then travel to Houston to face two left-handers — Mike Hampton and Wandy Rodriguez — in those games, so righty-hitter Casey McGehee is an option. McGehee played a lot of second base in Spring Training and replaced Weeks there on April 21 in Philadelphia after Weeks collided with shortstop J.J. Hardy.

Emptying the notebook…

- Outfielder Ryan Braun is the Brewers’ resident fashion mogul. A story about his new clothing line, Remetee, will be on Brewers.com later today.

- The Brewers were unable to find a willing opponent for a “B” game on March 4 so manager Ken Macha instead scheduled an intrasquad game to keep his pitchers on track. For now, that’s left-hander Manny Parra’s day to pitch, and he will face a lineup of Minor Leaguers assembled by farm director Reid Nichols.

The Brewers do have a “B” game scheduled for March 10 in Surprise, Ariz. against the Rangers. They will play another intrasquad game on Tuesday in advance of the Feb. 25 Cactus League opener.

- Assistant general manager Gord Ash had his sit-down with Mat Gamel, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Macha was also there as the Brewers laid out their expectations for Gamel, who once again has a surprise injury. The good news is that his right shoulder impingement is not considered serious, and while Gamel is limited from throwing he was able to take part in batting practice on Thursday.

- Brewers pitchers faced hitters for the first time on Thursday. R.J. Swindle’s slow, looping curveball elicited some awkward swings, and some of the club’s baseball officials gathered to watch Trevor Hoffman face a group that included Brad Nelson.

- A downright skinny Ray King dropped by Maryvale Baseball Park and said he’s looking for a job. King, a left-handed reliever who pitched for the Brewers from 2000-2002 and again at the end of 2007, appeared in only 12 games last season for Washington but posted a 2.25 ERA in 32 games for the Astros’ Triple-A club and then pitched well in the Dominican Republic over the winter. He said he has been throwing at his nearby home in Litchfield park, Ariz. and is open to even a Triple-A job. The offseason market has not been kind to the 35-year-old.

“Crickets,” King said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

- Brewers Minor Leaguer Alex Periard was thrilled when the Brewers signed Eric Gagne and assigned him a spot in the clubhouse four lockers away. Periard and Gagne are both natives of Quebec, and Periard has never had a Franch-speaking teammate. Gagne has; he teamed with catcher Russell Martin in Los Angeles.

- Jeff Suppan took the “gold medal” in a bunting competition earlier this week between Brewers pitchers. Lindsay Gulin won the silver medal and Mark Rogers took home the bronze.

- Macha plans to control opponents’ running game from the bench this season. Last year, then-bench coach Ted Simmons allowed catchers Jason Kendall and Mike Rivera to do it themselves, meaning the players didn’t have to look into the dugout for signs calling for pickoffs and the like. Macha thinks coaches have a better perspective of what opponents are trying to do from the bench.

- Third base coach Brad Fisher started a new camp tradition on Thursday. Every morning before the Brewers stretch, one of the team’s Minor Leaguers will be subjected to a question and answer session. Judging by the laughter coming from the group that surrounded catching prospect Angel Salome, there were some good questions.

- The MLB Network is making the rounds in the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues and will feature the Brewers on Sunday, March 15 at 7 p.m. CT. Former FSN Wisconsin sideline reporter Trenni Kusnierek will file the report.

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