Results tagged ‘ Gregg Zaun ’

Amid flurry of moves, Brewers cut ties with Hoffman

The Brewers on Tuesday declined 2011 contract options for pitchers Trevor Hoffman and Doug Davis and catcher Gregg Zaun, adding all three veterans to the pool of Major League free agents. 
All three moves were widely expected. 
The highest profile of those players belongs to 43-year-old Hoffman, who notched his 600th career save amid a trying 2010 but was replaced as closer by rookie right-hander John Axford. Hoffman’s contract included a $7 million mutual option for 2011, and the price of his buyout increased from $500,000 to $750,000 when Hoffman finished his 35th game of the season on Sept. 26. 
Davis’ deal included a $6.5 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout. His 2010 season was a bust because of health issues. 
Zaun’s contract included a $2.25 million club option for next season, but he is still recovering from shoulder surgery and will get a $250,000 buyout instead. Zaun said in August that he intends to play in 2011, but considering the Brewers have Jonathan Lucroy and George Kottaras on the 40-man roster and Mike Rivera signed to a Minor League contract, it’s difficult to envision Zaun returning. 
The team also made two additions on Tuesday, claiming 29-year-old right-handed pitcher Justin James off waivers from the Oakland A’s and selecting the contract of catcher Martin Maldonado from Triple-A Nashville. Both James and Maldonado took spots on the 40-man roster. 
James was pitching in the Arizona Fall Leagues for the Phoenix Desert Dogs, who happened to square-off on Tuesday against a Surprise Rafters team that includes the Brewers’ own slew of prospects. James finished the 2010 season in the Majors with five appearances in relief for the A’s but spent most of the year in the Minors, compiling a 1.83 ERA at the Double-A and Triple-A levels. 
Maldonado, 24, is a defensive-minded catcher who batted .239 at three stops in Milwaukee’s Minor League chain in 2010. He’s currently playing for Mayaguez in the Puerto Rican Winter League.  
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Three Brewers hit the market; three more coming

The celebration was still raging inside the Giants’ clubhouse in Arlington and outside in the streets of San Francisco on Monday night when baseball’s offseason business began. Before midnight, the Major League Baseball Players Association fired up the hot stove by releasing the names of 142 free agents, including three Brewers. 
Per new rules made public just last month, Milwaukee pitchers Dave Bush and Chris Capuano and infielder Craig Counsell were declared free agents immediately after the Giants clinched the World Series. Three more — pitchers Doug Davis and Trevor Hoffman and catcher Gregg Zaun — are expected to join the free agent pool when the Brewers decline their 2011 options. 
The new rules dictate that options must be resolved within three days of the end of the World Series, Milwaukee assistant general manager Gord Ash said. That would make Thursday at midnight ET the deadline. 
The rules also shorten the period of exclusive negotiation between teams and their own free agents from 15 days after the World Series to five. That window closes at midnight ET on Saturday. Beginning Sunday, free agents can negotiate with any team. 
Players typically exercise their right to test the open market, but the Brewers may show some interest in bringing back Capuano or Counsell. With Capuano, the question could be whether the team is willing to take on risk — the left-hander returned in 2010 from his second career Tommy John surgery but pitched well, posting a 3.95 ERA in 24 appearances including a 2.91 ERA in six September starts. With Counsell, the question could be whether he views the Brewers as a legitimate contender — he batted .250 as a useful bench option and could draw interest from teams looking for a versatile defender. 
The three players with options, meanwhile, will probably move on. 
The highest profile of those players belongs to 43-year-old Hoffman, who notched his 600th career save amid a trying 2010 but was replaced as closer by rookie right-hander John Axford. Hoffman’s contract includes a $7 million mutual option for 2011 that the club will decline. The price of his buyout increased from $500,000 to $750,000 when Hoffman finished his 35th game of the season on Sept. 26. 
Davis’ deal includes a $6.5 million option with a $1 million buyout. His 2010 season was a bust because of health issues. 
Zaun’s contract includes a $2.25 million club option for next season, but he is still recovering from shoulder surgery and will almost certainly get a $250,000 buyout instead. Zaun said in August that he intends to play in 2011, but considering the Brewers have Jonathan Lucroy and George Kottaras on the 40-man roster and Mike Rivera signed to a Minor League contract, it’s difficult to envision Zaun returning. 
Of the Brewers’ free agents, only Hoffman qualified for compensation in the Elias rankings. Hoffman made the cut as Type B, meaning the Brewers would reap an extra pick between the first and second round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, but only if they offer Hoffman arbitration and he declines and then signs elsewhere. 
It’s a moot point, because the Brewers would not risk Hoffman accepting an arbitration offer. That means the Brewers will not have any extra Draft picks for the second straight year. 
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Zaun at the All-Star Game

The Brewers have a fourth representative at the All-Star Game. Well, sort of. 

Injured catcher Gregg Zaun, out for the season following shoulder surgery, is in Anaheim as a credential-carrying member of the media. He’s working as a correspondent for Canada’s Rogers Sportsnet.
“I asked Doug [Melvin] and Gord [Ash] if I could do it, and they were nice enough to say yes,” Zaun said. “I really appreciated that. This is pretty cool.”
Zaun is very popular in Canada after playing for the Blue Jays from 2004 through most of 2009. He signed as a free agent with Milwaukee last winter but his season was cut short by a torn labrum in his shoulder. Zaun underwent surgery on June 16 and until Sunday wore a sling.
The Brewers hold a club option on Zaun for 2011, which he expects they will decline. He’ll decide later whether to continue his career.
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Zaun to have season-ending surgery

Brewers catcher Gregg Zaun, who was so excited going into this season to prove that a 39-year-old could be a reliable every day catcher, will undergo season-ending surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. 
The procedure will be performed in Cincinnati by Reds team physician Timothy Kremchek. It requires about six months of recovery time, Zaun said. 
“The last five or six days of the rehabilitation exercises, we weren’t making any progress,” Zaun said. “I was coming back feeling exactly the same I did before.” 
So, he chose surgery. 
“I wanted to feel good about my chances of coming back to play in 2011, and everybody tells me that this rehab is six months,” Zaun said. “I’m not unrealistic. I know that next year, whether it’s here or somewhere else, I’m going to be the kind of guy who is ready to play the opening day of Spring Training. So I need the extra time, and it was fish or cut bait time for me. I needed to make a decision.” 
After a spectacular Spring Training cemented his role as Milwaukee’s regular catcher, Zaun started the season 0-for-21 at the plate but batted .333 over his next 81 at-bats to boost his average to .265 before going on the disabled list May 21. He originally injured his shoulder in a plate collision with Washington’s Ian Desmond in mid-April. 
Zaun thanked Brewers general manager Doug Melvin “for the faith he showed in me. He and I had high hopes.” Zaun is earning $1.9 million this season including his $500,000 signing bonus. He expects the Brewers will decline his $2.25 million club option for 2011 and pay a $250,000 buyout instead. Zaun will turn 40 next April 14. 
Of the sudden end to his brief Brewers career, Zaun said, “It’s tough. I feel like there’s work, goals left unrealized. I had a lot higher hopes for this year. I felt like we were going to be competitive to the point where we were going to play meaningful baseball in September. I felt like my presence here was going to make major contributions towards helping the pitching staff take the next step. Whether we made it to the postseason or not, we would be knocking on the door for 2011, and I was going to have something to do with that. …
“Even the 21 at-bats [without a hit], I swung the bat better in a Brewers uniform better than I ever have at any point in my career. I felt I had a very, very special season in front of me. I really felt like I had a chance to be a legitimate .300 hitter for a full season as a Major League starter.”
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Zaun has labrum injury, no surgery for now

Brewers catcher Gregg Zaun has a torn labrum in the front of his right shoulder and said he might retire if the injury lingers deep into the summer. 
Zaun put his chances of playing this season at “50-50.” The doctors have recommended conservative treatment for the next 2-4 weeks, at which time they will re-evaluate his strength and range of motion to decide of surgery is necessary. A surgical fix would sideline Zaun for 4-6 months. 
“I’m pretty disappointed,” Zaun said. “Things were just starting to roll offensively. … For this to happen now is just bad timing, as usual.” 
Zaun started the season 0-for-21 but batted .333 over his next 81 at-bats to boost his average to .265 before going on the disabled list. With the 39-year-old on the sidelines, the Brewers are left extremely inexperienced behind the plate. Primary duties figure to go to George Kottaras, who made his 42nd career start on Wednesday night against the Astros. The backup is 23-year-old Jonathan Lucroy, who made his first career start on Tuesday. 
Zaun’s injury dates back to mid-April in Washington, when Zaun hurt his shoulder in a plate collision with Nationals infielder Ian Desmond. Zaun played through shoulder pain until a second-inning at-bat in Pittsburgh on May 20, when his right hand slipped off the bat on a swinging strike. He felt his shoulder pop out of its socket and then slam back into place, but continued the at-bat and drove in a run with a groundout before exiting. 
Zaun was placed on the 15-day disabled list the following morning and subsequent tests revealed the torn labrum. He has some big decisions ahead. 
“I have a couple of questions I have to ask myself,” Zaun said. “Do I want to play next year? I can’t answer that question at this point right now. I love the game; I’m not sure if I want to continue going through this. 
“If I make a decision that I’m going to grind this out and do what it takes to play this season, I have to be able to come back as strong as I was before. I don’t want to just come back and be a guy who’s going to play twice a week with two or three days of rest in-between. If I don’t see myself coming back to a situation where I can play four or five days in a row and still function normally, I’m going to go ahead and get surgery and at least keep the options open for next year. 
“I owe it to the organization and my teammates to kind of run through the process and give it every chance to be back out there on the field this year. If the time comes where I feel like it’s not going to work for me … than I have to look toward next year and do the right thing.” 
Zaun knows that teams would not be lined up to sign a soon-to-be 40-year-old coming off shoulder surgery, especially as an everyday player. 
He will remain at Miller Park next week while the Brewers play a weeklong road trip. By the end of a June 8-13 homestand, Zaun figures he will have some answers. 
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Zaun expected to hit DL; Lucroy coming up

Injuries keep biting Brewers veterans. The latest to go down is catcher Gregg Zaun, who suffered a strained right shoulder in Thursday’s win over the Pirates and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday.
Zaun is expected to be replaced before an Interleague Series against the Twins by Triple-A Nashville’s Jonathan Lucroy, a 23-year-old considered Milwaukee’s top catching prospect in lieu of Angel Salome’s recent personal problems. Unlike Salome, Lucroy is not on the Brewers’ full 40-man roster, so a corresponding move will be necessary to free him a spot. 
Zaun, meanwhile, will travel back to Milwaukee to see Brewers doctors. 
“They’re going to send me home to have it looked at and we’ll figure out what’s what when we get there,” Zaun said. 
Zaun’s shoulder has not been right since a home plate collision with Washington’s Ian Desmond in mid-April. He developed what he described as a “knot” in the joint which led to some embarrassing throwing problems in an April 26 game against the Pirates, but had overcome the injury with regular treatment. 
He tweaked the shoulder on a swinging strike in the second inning on Thursday, a few pitches before Zaun was struck on the left hand by a pitch that also struck the handle of his bat. A few pitches after that, Zaun managed to hit a run-scoring groundout that brought the team to within a run of the Pirates at 3-2 in an eventual 4-3 win. Zaun was replaced the next half-inning by George Kottaras, who figures to see regular duty behind the plate in Zaun’s absence. 
Adding Lucroy to the 40-man roster could complicate the other addition being mulled by Brewers officials, who were poised Thursday to add left-handed relief prospect Zach Braddock to a big league bullpen undergoing a facelift in recent days. Braddock is also not on the 40-man roster. 
The Brewers will likely make the moves official by midday Friday.
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Gomez to the rescue; Braddock, too?

Jody Gerut returned home to Chicago on Thursday morning for the birth of a child, leaving the Brewers’ short bench even shorter. And that was before catcher Gregg Zaun left the team’s game against the Pirates in the second inning with a strained right shoulder. 
Zaun’s diagnosis came as a surprise considering he appeared to hurt his left hand in the top of the second inning when a Paul Maholm pitch looked like it struck both Zaun’s hand and the handle of his bat. Zaun complained earlier this season of a knot behind his right shoulder that led to some throwing issues. 
George Kottaras replaced Zaun, leaving only two healthy position players on the Brewers’ bench: infielder Craig Counsell and utility man Joe Inglett. 
The team had already been playing short one position player since last week, when a decision was made to go to a 13-man pitching staff to help the struggling bullpen. But that bullpen was short, too, with closer Trevor Hoffman unavailable while he works out some mechanical issues. 
Help should arrive Friday from center fielder Carlos Gomez, who is on track to be activated from the 15-day disabled list. He has not played since May 5 because of an injured left shoulder and would be a welcome right-handed bat on the roster. Macha conceded Thursday that teams have taken advantage lately of the Brewers’ left-handedness off the bench. 
The Brewers also were strongly considering a promotion for left-hander Zach Braddock, who could help against Minnesota’s tough left-handed hitters including former American League MVPs Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Braddock, though, is not on the 40-man roster, so a corresponding move would have to be made ahead of Friday’s series opener at Target Field.  
The 22-year-old Braddock has worked 10 scoreless outings for Triple-A Nashville this season plus one poor outing in which he surrendered eight runs in 2/3 of an inning. 
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'Weird' night for Zaun

Hold your Mackey Sasser quips. Brewers catcher Gregg Zaun missed three throws back to the pitcher’s mound in the first inning on Monday because he was playing with a shoulder injury, not because he had a case of the yips. 
And just for good measure, Zaun made up for what he called an “embarrassing” first inning in the field with a career night at the plate. 
Zaun tied career highs with four hits and five RBIs in the Brewers’ 17-3 win over the Pirates, collected his first two hits of the season from the right side of the plate and, after three misfires that rattled Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo, overcame a knot in his shoulder to make perfect throws back to the pitcher. 
Two of his returns sailed over Gallardo’s head, and Zaun pounded a third throw into the ground, eliciting some groans from the crowd. Zaun’s next throw was a fastball that hit Gallardo right in his glove, and the smattering of boos turned into a loud cheer.
 “It was embarrassing, and I was starting to wonder myself,” Zaun said. “But I couldn’t raise my arm.”
Zaun was hurt during a home plate collision with the Nationals’ Ian Desmond during the Brewers’ April 16-18 trip to Washington and blamed a knot in the back of his shoulder for his poor throws. He experienced muscle spasms in the first inning, but got treatment while the Brewers batted in their half of the frame and was fine the rest of the night. 
The last time Brewers fans were witness to such troubles was in 2008, when Dodgers catcher Gary Bennett — a former Milwaukee backup — lost confidence in his throws. He had a four-RBI game at Miller Park on May 15 that season, but was placed on the disabled list five days later and sent to extended spring training to work on what he described as a “mental block.” Bennett has not played in the Major Leagues since.
Gallardo was rattled by Zaun’s misfires on Monday. 
“I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “That’s never happened before, and it happened three times. I didn’t know what to do or say.” 
Said third baseman Casey McGehee, who committed a throwing error in the inning: “That was probably the weirdest first inning I’ve ever seen without a run being scored. … You just got the feeling that anything could happen. It was a weird day. There were a lot of things you don’t see on a daily basis that happened. That’s the good thing about this game, and the frustrating thing about this game.”
It turned into a very good game for Zaun at the plate. 
The switch-hitting Zaun entered the night 0-for-16 as a right-handed batter but made a mechanical adjustment with hitting coach Dale Sveum and calmly worked a walk from Duke in the second inning before he scored on a close play at the plate. 
In the third inning, with two outs and runners at second and third base, Duke picked around the strike zone against Brewers right fielder Corey Hart for three pitches before throwing an intentional Ball 4. Bases loaded. 
“I know why they were walking Corey to get to me,” Zaun said. “It was obvious they weren’t going to give him anything to hit. They did it in Pittsburgh and I didn’t make them pay.” 
He did make Duke pay this time, with a well-placed double that one-hopped the wall just inside the left-field foul line. The bases cleared, and the Brewers had a 5-0 lead. 
“That was huge, especially for my confidence,” Zaun said. 
Zaun added a single in the fourth inning — again batting right-handed against Duke — then turned around for two more hits batting as a lefty. His final hit was a two-run double in Milwaukee’s nine-run eighth inning, capping his fourth career four-hit game and his fourth career five-RBI game. 
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Kottaras, Hart back in lineup

With lefties taking the mound on both sides, Jim Edmonds and Gregg Zaun will take a seat tonight in favor of Corey Hart and George Kottaras in right field and at catcher, respectively.

The right-handed Hart gets the nod over Edmonds, a lefty, with left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly making his 2010 debut for the Cubs tonight. Kottaras will start behind the plate for the Brewers to catch Brewers lefty Doug Davis.
Here’s the lineup:
Rickie Weeks   2B
Carlos Gomez   CF
Ryan Braun   LF
Prince Fielder   1B
Casey McGehee   3B
Corey Hart   RF
Alcides Escobar   SS
George Kottaras   C
Doug Davis   LHP
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter

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Edmonds back in CF for Wrigley opener

Gregg Zaun is back behind the plate for the Brewers today, but otherwise it’s the same lineup as the one manager Ken Macha sent against Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals on Sunday night. Here’s how the Brewers will go after Ryan Dempster this afternoon in the Cubs’ home opener:

Rickie Weeks  2B

Jim Edmonds  CF
Ryan Braun  RF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Corey Hart  RF
Gregg Zaun  C
Alcides Escobar  SS
Doug Davis  LHP
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