Results tagged ‘ Jason Kendall ’

Report says Giants claimed Hoffman

The San Francisco Giants were the mystery team that claimed Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman off waivers in recent days, according to, perhaps a move to block a fellow contender with bullpen needs from adding baseball’s all-time saves leader via a trade.

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has been uncharacteristically unavailable during the the past 24 hours, but said earlier in the week that he was unlikely to make a deal ahead of the Aug. 31 deadline for teams to acquire players and have them available for postseason rosters.

Still, the Brewers reportedly placed six veterans on waivers this week, a necessary step before making trades after the July 31 nonwaiver deadline. According to a report, four of them cleared: Mike Cameron, Craig Counsell, Jason Kendall and Braden Looper. Hoffman appears to have been claimed, but the report made no mention of second baseman Felipe Lopez, another pending free agent who was exposed to waivers.

Lopez projects as a Type B free agent, meaning he would net the Brewers a compensatory pick in next year’s Draft if the team offers him arbitration but he declines and signs elsewhere. Hoffman projects as a Type A, so he could reap a pair of high picks. He turns 42 on Oct. 13.

Hoffman responds to waiver rumors

Trevor Hoffman would prefer to remain a Brewer, but conceded that Thursday that it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could be traded to a contender before the end of the month.

“I don’t know,” Hoffman said. “We’re 12 out.”

As in, the Brewers remained 12 games behind division-leading St. Louis in the National League Central after getting swept by the Reds at Miller Park this week. Cincinnati finished its three-game sweep with an 8-5 win over the Brewers on Thursday, just as reported that a rival club had claimed Hoffman off the waiver wire.

If true, the Brewers and the mystery team would have 48 hours to work out a trade. If the sides cannot strike an agreement, the Brewers would pull Hoffman back.

Hoffman said he had no idea whether the report was true, and Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, who is technically barred from discussing waivers, did not return a pair of phone calls on Thursday.

“I’m starting to learn that this is part of it,” said Hoffman, who mostly avoided late-season waiver rumors during his 16-year tenure with the Padres. Players with at least 10 years of service time including five years with their current team have the right to refuse trades, and it was well understood that Hoffman had no desire to leave San Diego.

Now he’s on a one-year contract with the Brewers and faces the prospect of re-entering free agency at season’s end. As the report suggested, a deal seems unlikely. Hoffman projects as a “Type A” free agent in the mysterious Elias rankings. That means that if the Brewers keep him for the rest of this year, offer him salary arbitration over the winter and then let him sign elsewhere, they would reap two compensatory picks in next year’s First-Year Player Draft before the end of the second round.

Since the claiming club is not likely to offer much in return for five weeks of Hoffman’s services, Melvin could be more inclined to hold out for the Draft picks.

Another hurdle, according to various recent reports that have speculated about Hoffman’s availability, could be baseball’s all-time saves leader’s desire to be a closer. Asked for his stance on Thursday, Hoffman said, “I’m not going to discuss any of that stuff.”

Hoffman pitched a perfect ninth inning in Wednesday’s extra-innings loss to the Reds and has been excellent in his first season away from San Diego in 16 years, posting a 1.85 ERA and 27 saves in 29 chances this year. But he has been gathering dust in the bullpen as the Brewers have fallen out of the pennant race, with only four save opportunities this month and only four appearances over the past two weeks.

“I’m about settling in,” Hoffman said. “I’ve been fortunate to have that comfort level here in Milwaukee from Day 1. Our focus is to try and climb back in this thing. I did say that we’re 12 out, but we have nine [games] left with St. Louis and Chicago is in the mix. We just got our starting rotation back. Hopefully, we can make a run. I’m a consummate optimist, and this is my team.”

Earlier this week, reported that the Brewers had placed at least six players on waivers, a necessary step before making trades after July 31. Those players, according to the report, were Mike Cameron, Craig Counsell, Hoffman, Jason Kendall, Braden Looper and Felipe Lopez.

Cameron, Kendall, Looper and Lopez all project as “Type B” free agents who would net one compensatory Draft pick. Looper’s contract includes a mutual option for 2010 that the Brewers are likely to exercise. Counsell does not qualify for Draft compensation should he sign elsewhere next year. 

Earlier this week, Melvin expressed an unwillingness to trade away his veterans, even the Brewers have remained 10-12 games behind the first-place Cardinals in the National League Central.

“I can’t imagine that a team would give up a good player for one month, unless there is a key injury,” Melvin said Tuesday. “I don’t anticipate anything.”

Kendall back in leadoff hole

Catcher Jason Kendall, who had two hits last night and is 10-for-33 in his career against Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano, will make his third start of the season in the leadoff hole as the Brewers continue their four-game series at Wrigley Field. Shortstop J.J. Hardy falls all the way from second to eighth.

Here it is:

Jason Kendall  C
Craig Counsell  2B
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Mike Cameron  CF
Corey Hart  RF
J.J. Hardy  SS
Jeff Suppan  RHP

Macha explains Bush-Kendall pairing

Mike Rivera had the same reaction to today’s starting lineup as many fans might have. He thought it was a mistake.

Rivera was preparing for his usual pairing with Saturday starter Dave Bush when manager Ken Macha posted a lineup with Jason Kendall at catcher. Macha paired Rivera with Bush this season to give Kendall more regular rest, but said team off days two days before and two days after Saturday’s game meant Kendall didn’t need the break.

“I’m going to wait for my turn,” a disappointed Rivera said.

Macha insisted that the switch had nothing to do with Bush’s recent struggles, which continued Saturday with five runs in just three innings.

Bush admitted after his last start that he was “out of sync.” Did Rivera think that had anything to do with the way he was calling games?

“I don’t think so,” Rivera said. “Everybody is going to have ups and downs. … We’ve been good. We’ve been on the same page at the same time.”

No more Bush-Rivera pairing?

With Mike Cameron serving his one-game suspension today, Jody Gerut gets the start in center field. The only other notable change is that Jason Kendall, not Mike Rivera, is serving as the catcher. Usually, Mike Rivera (who began his career with the Tigers) handles Bush.

That’s an interesting switch considering Bush’s recent struggles. Maybe manager Ken Macha or pitching coach Bill Castro think Bush needed a different approach. Maybe Bush requested the switch. Macha will meet with reporters at the start of batting practice, and we’ll see what he has to say.

In the meantime, here is the lineup for what appears to be a beautiful day in Detroit:

Craig Counsell  2B
Casey McGehee  DH
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Corey Hart  RF
Mat Gamel  3B
J.J. Hardy  SS
Jody Gerut  RF
Jason Kendall  C

RHP Dave Bush

Kendall hitting leadoff in finale vs. Indians

With Casey McGehee sidelined by a couple of injuries, the Brewers will employ catcher Jason Kendall as their leadoff man for the first time this season. He enters with a .235 batting average but has gotten on base at a .329 clip. Not great for a leadoff man, but it will have to do.

Jason Kendall  C
Craig Counsell  2B
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Corey Hart  RF
Mike Cameron  CF
J.J. Hardy  SS
Mat Gamel  DH
Bill Hall  3B

Hoffman, Brewers toast Kendall's 2K hit

Jason Kendall said he was touched by the show of support from his teammates, who toasted the veteran catcher’s 2,000th career hit Monday night with some suds packed just for the occasion.

Phil Rozewicz, who runs the visitor’s clubhouse at Miller Park and is a longtime buddy of Kendall’s, printed labels commemorating the milestone and pasted them on enough bottles of beer for everyone on the team. Trevor Hoffman led a toast immediately after the Brewers’ 8-4 win at Busch Stadium.

“It was pretty special,” Kendall said. “This is a great group of guys.”

With his second-inning single off Kyle Lohse, Kendall became the eighth player to catch 1,000 games and record 2,000 hits. Only 254 other players in Major League history had reached that milestone before Kendall. Colorado’s Todd Helton joined the list on Tuesday night. 

“[Two-thousand] is a big deal, but it’s not,” Kendall said. “It makes 3,000 just blow my mind.”

His teammates certainly thought it was a big deal. But the ceremonial beer shower that has accompanied such celebrations — think Corey Hart making the All-Star team last season — was missing. Kendall managed to stay suds-free, at least on the outside.

“I didn’t want to waste it,” he said.

Rivera on the DL, Corporan on the way up

The Brewers decided to place backup catcher Mike Rivera on the 15-day disabled list after Wednesday’s win over the Pirates. A visit with head team physician William Raasch revealed that Rivera’s left ankle injury was “more serious than that thought,” according to the player.

Rivera characterized his injury as a high ankle sprain. The Brewers were still referring to it as a simple, Grade 1 sprain, when they announced the roster move. The corresponding move would be announced later Wednesday or at some point on Thursday, according to a club spokesperson.

(That move came just after 6 p.m. CT. The Brewers will promote Carlos Corporan from Nashville and add him to the 40-man roster.)

The only other catcher on the 40-man roster is Angel Salome, who is hitting just .182 at Triple-A Nashville and missed much of Spring Training with a back injury. Triple-A backup Corporan is much more familiar with the Brewers’ staff because he stayed with the big league club all the way through its exhibition games in Los Angeles just before the start of the regular season. 

Ankle injury knocks out Rivera

Brewers backup catcher Mike Rivera sprained his left ankle trying to block the plate in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Pirates and exited after finishing the frame.

He was replaced by Jason Kendall, Milwaukee’s regular catcher who led the Majors last season with 149 starts. Manager Ken Macha hoped to lower that number a bit this season by pairing Rivera with Brewers starter Dave Bush, giving Kendall a built-in break every fifth day.

The Pirates took a 2-1 lead into the fourth inning and extended it to 3-1 on Nyjer Morgan’s sacrifice fly to left field. It scored speedy Pirates shortstop Brian Bixler, who arrived at home plate along with Ryan Braun’s throw but slid safely through Rivera, who immediately crouched in pain.

After a visit from assistant athletic trainer Dan Wright, Rivera remained in the game as Bush finished the inning.

Rivera grounded out in his only plate appearance on Tuesday and is hitting .308 in limited duty. Last year he played in just 21 games but batted .306 with 14 RBIs.

Macha: 'Catchers are my point guards'

Ken Macha did some catching during his own playing career, and he gathered his backstops in the conference room at Maryvale Baseball Park on Saturday to let them know how important they are.

“Everybody says, ‘pitching, pitching, pitching,'” Macha said. “But really, these catchers are my point guards.”

The captain of the group is veteran Jason Kendall, who led the Majors in starts last season and is very familiar with Macha from a two-year stint together in Oakland.

“Our preparation was such that I could almost tell you every pitch that was coming,” Macha said. “You like to have that familiarity. I wanted the younger guys to understand that they have to evaluate the pitchers and use their stuff accordingly.”

It was the first of two morning meetings for Macha. About 45 minutes after the catchers’ meeting broke up, Kendall was back in the conference room along with a number of the team’s established players, like Jeff Suppan, Mike Cameron, Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy and Corey Hart. Macha wanted input from the players on team rules like dress code and curfew.

Major League Baseball’s security division has asked teams to submit their list of team rules this year, so Macha wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page.