Results tagged ‘ Jason Bourgeois ’

Bourgeois starts, could have busy series

Jason Bourgeois gets the start in right field tonight for the Brewers because the Giants have a lefty on the mound in Barry Zito. Another southpaw, Jonathan Sanchez, will start in the series finale Sunday so Bourgeois could get some action this weekend.

Here’s the lineup:

Felipe Lopez  2B
Jason Bourgeois  RF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Mike Cameron  CF
Jason Kendall  C
Alcides Escobar  SS
Jeff Suppan  RHP

Escobar moves up to eight-hole

At least for today, when Alcides Escobar imoves up a spot against Zach Duke and the Pirates in the opener of a three-game series. I’m guessing that manager Ken Macha’s decision to bat the pitcher in the more conventional nine-hole has something to do with Jason Bourgeois making the start in right field and batting second.

Second baseman Felipe Lopez, who returned to action Thursday after missing one start with a right foot injury, was walking extremely gingerly around the clubhouse yesterday afternoon, but he’s back in action tonight. And so much for seeing more of Mike Rivera; the backup catcher had been paired with Manny Parra of late, but Jason Kendall is catching tonight.

Here’s the lineup:

Felipe Lopez  2B
Jason Bourgeois  RF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Mike Cameron  CF
Jason Kendall  C
Alcides Escobar  SS
Manny Parra  LHP

Crew shake-up: Castro, Hall out; Hardy optioned

MILWAUKEE — After his team lost for the 22nd time in 35 games on Tuesday night, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin apparently decided it was time for a shake-up. In a trio of decisive moves Wednesday morning, the team:

- Dismissed pitching coach Bill Castro, an 18-year veteran of the coaching staff who did not make it through his first season as pitching coach. Triple-A pitching coach Chris Bosio will replace Castro on an interim basis.

- Optioned slumping shortstop J.J. Hardy to Nashville and promoted co-top prospect Alcides Escobar to take his place.

- Announced that infielder/outfielder Bill Hall, the organization’s longest-tenured player, had been designated for assignment. Outfielder Jason Bourgeois was promoted from Nashville to replace Hall.

All three moves were likely difficult ones for Melvin, given Castro’s and Hall’s long service to the team and the fact Hardy is two years removed from an All-Star appearance. Melvin was to meet with reporters at 3 p.m. CT at Miller Park.

The GM did address Castro’s dismissal in a statement.

“We appreciate and admire the dedication and tireless work ethic put forth by Bill Castro over the last 18 seasons,” Melvin said.  “A move like this is never easy to make, especially given Bill’s longevity with the organization and considering how hard he worked to reach this position.”

Castro pitched in the Brewers organization from 1970-80, then returned to the club as a Minor League coach from 1988-91 before taking a job on the big league staff. He was the bullpen coach for six different managers from 1992-2008 before realizing a long-time goal and being named pitching coach on Nov. 7, 2008.

But injuries to Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan and inconsistencies throughout the staff have marred the Brewers’ 2009. After the team’s 13-6 loss to the weak-hitting Padres Tuesday night, the Brewers’ pitching staff ranked 27th in the Major Leagues with a 4.84 ERA while allowing a Major League-leading 151 home runs in 112 games.  The staff also issued 421 walks, fifth-most in the Majors.

Bosio, 46, was the Tampa Bay Rays’ pitching coach in 2003. He was in his first season as pitching coach at Triple-A Nashville, a staff that entered Wednesday tied for second in the Pacific Coast League in team ERA (4.05) while allowing the fourth-fewest home runs (83). 

The Brewers’ second-round Draft pick in 1982, Bosio pitched in the Majors for Milwaukee (1986-92) and Seattle (1993-96). He will wear No. 43 beginning Wednesday night.

Bosio’s won’t be the only new uniform number on Wednesday. Escobar (No. 21) and Bourgeois (No. 16) will replace two of the team’s most underachieving players.

Hardy, the subject of trade rumors virtually all season, was hitting a career-low .229 with 11 home runs and 45 RBI, including .220 with 13 RBIs since July 1. That wasn’t good enough to hold off Escobar, who was batting .298 with four home runs, 34 RBIs and 42 stolen bases in 109 games at Nashville.  He’s considered Milwaukee’s co-top prospect along with third baseman Mat Gamel  but already has a taste of the big leagues. Escobar was among Milwaukee’s September call-ups last year, then earned a spot on the playoff roster after second baseman Rickie Weeks suffered an injury.

Bourgeois is more unknown to Brewers coaches and fans because he missed much of Spring Training while recovering from a broken thumb. The right-handed hitting speedster batted .316 in 105 games at Nashville with 36 steals. He appeared in six games with the White Sox last season.

He replaces Hall, who remains stuck in a three-year slump and briefly was optioned to Nashville last month. Hall was quickly called back after Corey Hart underwent an appendectomy, and Hall went 3-for-15 in four games since his return including a start on Tuesday night in which he hit a two-run home run. Overall this season, Hall was hitting .201 with six homers and 24 RBIs.

The team has 10 days to trade Hall, release him or assign him outright to the Minors, an assignment Hall could refuse. For the first time since 2002, he is no longer on Milwaukee’s 40-man roster.

The team stands to take a major financial hit because Hall is making $6.8 million this season and is due $8.4 million in 2010 as part of the four-year, $24 million contract he signed after belting 35 home runs in 2006. The deal also includes a $500,000 buyout of a $9.25 club option for 2011.
 

Gwynn appears on the way out

There are strong indications today that Tony Gwynn Jr. has either been placed on waivers or that a trade is in the works. Manager Ken Macha directed questions to general manager Doug Melvin, who wouldn’t or couldn’t elaborate.

“I can’t [say] either,” Melvin said.

When might he be able to provide the answer?

“Tomorrow,” Melvin said.

That response, coupled with the fact that Gwynn did not play in Wednesday’s game and was probably not going to appear on Thursday was a good hint that Gwynn, who is out of Minor League options, is on waivers. If he clears, the Brewers would assign Gwynn to Triple-A Nashville.

Gwynn was to travel with the Brewers on Thursday evening to Los Angeles. The Brewers won’t set their roster until it’s due on Sunday, so a handful of players will board the team charter with some degree of uncertainty about their status. The roster would be essentially set if Gwynn does not make the cut, but there’s always a chance of a last-minute trade, waiver claim or an injury.

For the second straight season, an injury came at a bad time for Gwynn. He was supposed to serve as the starting center fielder last April before a hamstring strain sidelined him. He reported to camp this spring with the fourth outfielder’s job all but locked up, but missed the first half of Spring Training with a sore throwing shoulder. In 25 at-bats after he recovered, Gwynn batted .160.

“We know Tony and we’ve seen what he can do,” Melvin said. “It’s probably been a little harder for Ken and his new staff to evaluate him, because they haven’t seen him. But we’ve told them what he can do and what he can’t do. He’s still a good player and everything. He fits what Duffy does, a little bit.”

if Gwynn clears waivers, he would join a very crowded outfield situation in Nashville. Brendan Katin and Cole Gillespie are expected to see time at the corners, though Gillespie is dealing with an elbow strain at the moment. Minor League veterans Jason Bourgeois, Adam Stern and Jason Tyner are also under contract — Tyner just signed this week, and had three hits in the Triple-A game on Wednesday.

Stern might be assigned to Double-A Huntsville, Melvin said, and so could Lorenzo Cain, though Cain may remain in extended Spring Training because of a “tweaked” hamstring. 
 

Salome, Bourgeois join cut list

The Brewers made two more roster moves at lunchtime today, optioning catcher Angel Salome to Triple-A Nashville and returning nonroster infielder/outfielder Jason Bourgeois to Minor League camp. The moves came a few hours after the Brewers optioned third baseman Mat Gamel and outrighted pitcher Wes Littleton to Nashville and released outfielder Trot Nixon

I’m guessing the two most recent moves were delayed because manager Ken Macha did not have time to meet with the players individually before the morning workout.

Salome got only 11 at-bats in Cactus League games (3-for-11, .273) and has been limited to defensive duties of late by a lower back injury. He missed a huge opportunity to impress new manager Ken Macha, but he’s still the team’s top catching prospect and will have a great shot at a call-up if the Brewers suffer an injury in the catching ranks.

Bourgeois was also limited, spending the first few weeks of Cactus League games in Minor League camp rehabbing from a broken thumb. After he returned, he also went 3-for-11 in seven games. Bourgeois will play second base and the outfield in Nashville.

Is Nixon's time with Brewers running out?

If Trot Nixon does not win a roster spot with the Brewers, the organization might not have a job for him at Triple-A.

So said general manager Doug Melvin, who met with Nixon last week. Nixon switched from No. 3 to No. 93 on March 14 but it has not helped him shake his spring slump, and with a .108 batting average it appears that he’s behind in the Brewers’ race for backup outfield spots.

“We had a conversation and I let him know where he stood at this time,” Melvin said. “The tough thing about Spring Training is evaluating the numbers, but I told him that if he didn’t make our big club, there wasn’t a guarantee of anything at Triple-A at this point.

“There’s still a lot of time left, though,” Melvin added. “The thing is, as long as you have a uniform on, you have a chance of making the ballclub. Trot is a real pro and he tries hard and he gives his best effort. In Spring Training, a couple of balls fall in for hits and the story is totally different.”

One thing is certain: Nixon is doing everything he can to get on track. He has not started a Brewers “A” game since March 15, but on Friday he asked for at-bats in a Triple-A game.

I tried over the weekend to ask him how he was doing, but he was not in the mood to chat.

“I really feel like talking about it, to be honest with you,” Nixon said with his head down.

Other outfielders are ticketed for Triple-A over Nixon. Prospects Cole Gillespie and Brendan Katin are likely to play in Nashville and the team is mulling whether to send Lorenzo Cain there. Jason Bourgeois, who is in big league camp, will go to Nashville. If Chris Duffy does not make the cut he would probably be assigned there, too. Ditto for Tony Gwynn Jr. or Brad Nelson, though the Brewers would have to pass that duo through waivers first.

So you can see that it’s crowded. Nixon, 34, would have a lot of competition for playing time.
 

First cuts

On the eve of the Cactus League opener, the Brewers reassigned four players to Minor League camp on Tuesday including former first-round Draft pick Mark Rogers.

Besides Rogers, pitcher Alex Periard, outfielder Jason Bourgeois and catcher Martin Maldonado packed their backs and moved to the Minor League complex at Maryvale Baseball Park, where a mini-camp is underway. Injuries were behind the move for Rogers (shoulder), Periard (shoulder) and Bourgeois (broken pinkie), while Maldonado was sent out because the team has seven other catchers in camp.

Bourgeois will be called back to big league camp when his pinkie heals, manager Ken Macha said.

Same story for Hall; Gwynn slowed by shoulder pain

Five players, including third baseman Bill Hall and outfielder Tony Gwynn, Jr., will be restricted from activity when Brewers pitchers, catchers and the handful of position players already in camp take part in the team’s first Spring Training workout on Sunday.

A rundown of the injury updates that emerged from physical exams on Saturday:

- Head team physical William Raasch confirmed the original diagnosis for third baseman Bill Hall, who has a partially torn left calf muscle and will be sidelined about 4-6 weeks. Club spokesperson Mike Vassallo said Raasch was “encouraged” by Hall’s improvement from Friday, when Hall underwent an MRI scan.

Hall was injured on Thursday while working out at a private facility in the Phoenix area. If he progresses on schedule, he could be fully rehabilitated by Opening Day on April 7.

- Gwynn, a left-handed hitter but a right-handed thrower, is  restricted from throwing because of a right shoulder impingement . Gwynn is out of Minor League options and has a great chance of making the Opening Day roster for the second straight season, assuming he gets healthy.

- Speedy utility man Jason Bourgeois is restricted from activity because of a fracture of the fifth metacarpal of his left hand. In other words, he has a broken left pinkie.  The 26 year-old spent most of the 2008 season at Triple-A Charlotte in the Chicago White Sox system, hitting .286 with a .335 on-base percentage, nine home runs, 83 runs scored and 30 stolen bases in 41 attempts.

- Right-hander Alex Periard, who was just added to the 40-man roster over the winter, is restricted from throwing because of tightness in his right shoulder. Periard, 21 and one of the Brewers’ recent Canadian imports, was a 16th round pick in 2004 who almost certainly will begin the year in the Minors. During the 2008 regular season, Periard was 11-10 with a 4.06 ERA in 26 starts and one relief appearance between Class A Brevard County and Double-A Huntsville.

- Right-hander Mark Rogers and left-hander Chris Capuano, as expected, will begin camp on closely-monitored throwing programs.

Rogers, another recent addition to the 40-man roster, has missed the past two seasons because of shoulder issues and Capuano, who is back with the Brewers on a Minor League contract, is rehabbing from his second career Tommy John surgery. The Brewers hope Capuano is ready to pitch by May 1 or so.

Because so many Brewers position players have reported to camp early, only nine players will have to undergo physicals on Wednesday, prior to the team’s first full-squad workout.

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