Results tagged ‘ Jeremy Jeffress ’

Jeffress, Gindl picked for AFL showcase

gindl-jeffress.jpgBrewers prospects Caleb Gindl (left) and Jeremy Jeffress have been selected to play in the Arizona Fall League’s Rising Stars Game on Saturday in Surprise, Ariz.

For the second straight year, the game will be streamed on and shown on MLB Network. Anyone watching will see at least one Major League prospect and many former first-round picks — from all 30 big league organizations. The teams will be split into the two AFL divisions — East and West. 
The showcase has been a springboard to the Major Leagues. Of the 50 players on the 2009 Rising Stars rosters, more than half — 28 to be precise — played in the big leagues this past season. The National League Rookie of the Year vote should be dotted with Rising Stars ’09 alumni. Buster Posey, Starlin Castro, Jose Tabata, Ike Davis and Mike Leake all were Rising Stars last year. 
Jeffress, a right-handed pitcher, already made his Major League debut. He put up a 2.70 ERA in 10 late-season relief appearances for the Brewers and continued to find success pitching for the Surprise Rafters in the AFL. Through his first six appearances, he had allowed four earned runs for a 1.23 ERA, but did walk seven batters in his first 7 1/3 innings.
Gindl, an outfielder, batted .325 in his first 10 AFL games with two home runs. He spent the 2010 regular season at Double-A Huntsville and batted .272 with 33 doubles, nine homers, 60 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.
The Rafters are 11-6 and leading the AFL’s West Division after a win on Monday behind Brewers pitching prospect Michael Fiers. He’s working on a cut fastball this fall, and you can read about his outing here
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Could Rogers, Jeffress get Phil Hughes treatment?

Brewers manager Ken Macha offered an interesting idea for recently-promoted pitching prospects Jeremy Jeffress and Mark Rogers, both of whom have history as starters but are currently in Milwaukee’s bullpen. Treat them in 2011 like the Yankees did right-hander Phil Hughes, who pitched in relief in 2009 before moving permanently to New York’s starting rotation this season. 
“If you took those guys and you started them, their innings would probably pile up to the point where you’d get into July and say, ‘These guys have enough innings,'” Macha said. “If you took a year and you pitched them out of the bullpen, say for 70-80 innings in multiple-inning stints, kind of like the Yankees broke in Phil Hughes, then you have a starter for the next year.”
It’s an intriguing way to get Jeffress and Rogers, neither of whom have much experience above Double-A, into the big league mix for 2011 without giving up on them as starters for 2012 and beyond. The Brewers’ long-term need is obviously starting pitching, and they have already moved Zach Braddock to relief. 
Something to think about as we start looking ahead to next year.
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Rookies making impact

It seems to me that the silver lining of an otherwise lost Brewers season is the slew of rookies who have proven they fit at the Major League level. With that in mind, here’s a preview of a feature set to hit later today:

The Brewers broke camp with one rookie on the Opening Day roster — shortstop Alcides Escobar. Now, they’re everywhere. 
“It feels like half the team!” Escobar said. 
Not quite, but the Brewers have certainly skewed younger since the start of the season. On a given day in August the Brewers could start Escobar at shortstop, Jonathan Lucroy behind the plate and Lorenzo Cain in center field, with Zach Braddock ready in relief to face the opponent’s toughest left-handed hitter and John Axford on hand for a save opportunity.
When rosters expanded on Wednesday, right-hander Jeremy Jeffress joined the group. He’s only 22, and when he trotted in for the bottom of the eighth inning against the Reds, he threw his first pitch above Double-A. 
This is not necessarily the way general manager Doug Melvin drew it up in Spring Training. Cain and Lucroy, in particular, probably could have used more Minor League seasoning considering they both began the year in Double-A. But as needs arose, Melvin reacted. 
And the kids responded. 
“When we came up, we knew we had a job to do,” Braddock said. “There was going to be a learning period, but we also needed to do the job that was asked of us.”
Braddock and Axford — along with non-rookie Kameron Loe — were crucial in the Brewers’ midseason makeover of a bullpen that cost them dearly in April. Braddock has a 2.76 ERA in 36 games and, while he allowed a couple of inherited runners to score on Wednesday, is unscored upon in all but four of his outings. Axford claimed the closer’s role brilliantly from Trevor Hoffman, going 19-for-21 in save chances including seven saves of four or more outs. 
Lucroy was summoned in May after the Brewers lost starting catcher Gregg Zaun to a season-ending shoulder and top catching prospect Angel Salome to personal issues. Lucroy has proven serviceable, hitting .265 with four home runs and showing improvement in his game-calling and defense. 
The Brewers promoted Cain briefly in July and then recalled him for good in early August when center fielder Carlos Gomez went on the disabled list with a concussion. Cain has taken hold of the position, flashing some surprisingly spectacular defense while hitting .300 with a .351 on-base percentage in 70 at-bats.
Escobar has had the ups and downs the Brewers expected during his rookie season. He’s hitting .251. 
It will take some time for them to really settle in. 
“They’re coming along,” manager Ken Macha said. “But my experience is that normally it takes about three years for guys really to settle into the Major Leagues. You know who’s pitching, how they pitched you, you start to learn the hitters, what they do, all that kind of stuff. 
“You’re comfortable with your surroundings. You know what to expect when you come to the ballpark. It takes some time for guys to make that leap forward to being a Major League player.” 
Which Brewers rookie do you think will end up being the best Major Leaguer?
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Jeffress vows to make most of call-up

A day after Aroldis Chapman thrilled Reds fans at Great American Ball Park, the Brewers promoted their own flamethrowing pitching prospect. Just don’t expect Jeremy Jeffress to touch 103 mph on the radar gun. 
“I saw 103 and was like, ‘no chance,'” Jeffress said with a laugh. “I’ve touched [100 mph] so I know how he’s feeling right there. I know how his arm is feeling. You have to work hard to keep that up.” 
He’ll settle for sitting in the 95-97 mph range and occasionally touching 99 mph while coming out of the Brewers’ bullpen this month, and then it’s off to the prospect-rich Arizona Fall League. The Brewers are trying to help Jeffress make up for the two months he lost early this season to a drug suspension. 
It’s been quite a calendar year for the 22-year-old. 
“Big steps,” he said. “It’s been a great learning experience. I’ve been to the bottom and I worked my way up to the top. Everyone that’s helped me, the Brewers, my family, everybody, I give tremendous thanks.” 
 Jeffress began the season in the middle of a 100-game suspension handed down last year, when he tested positive for a “drug of abuse” for the third time. Jeffress later admitted he had a problem with marijuana. One more positive test under the Minor League testing program, and he would have been banned for life. 
The Brewers ordered him to undergo rehabilitation in Milwaukee and were satisfied enough to Jeffress’ progress that they added him to the 40-man roster in June. They would have had to make that move after the season, anyway, or risk losing Jeffress in December’s Rule 5 Draft. 
Adding him to the roster early also protected the team’s investment in Jeffress, who garnered a $1.55 million signing bonus after the Brewers made him the xx pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. Players on the 40-man roster are subject to a different set of rules, and Major Leaguers are not tested for marijuana. 
“The temptation was there, but I just knew that nothing could be greater than playing baseball,” Jeffress said. “I knew the rules changed once I was on the 40-man and that it was going to be a big obstacle to get through, but I overcame it.”
He added: “I’ve been doing great with staying clean. I’m feeling good.” 
Now that he’s in the Major Leagues, the Brewers will have to decide what to do next. They converted Jeffress to a relief role earlier this year to “keep him more focused and engaged,” assistant general manager Gord Ash explained in early June. 
It’s been a positive move. Jeffress posted a 2.23 ERA in 23 relief appearances at three Minor League stops. He was at Double-A Huntsville before his September call-up, and had a 1.23 ERA and 15 strikeouts versus only two walks in 11 outings. 
The Brewers have not ruled out moving Jeffress back to a starting role next season. If he stays in relief, he could compete for a spot in the Major League bullpen. 
“I actually love it,” Jeffress said. “I would love to stay in the ‘pen, but any role they have me do, I’m going to do it. I know I can succeed. … [In relief], I come to the field every day ready, knowing I could throw. I love baseball, so when I come to the field knowing I could throw, it’s so exciting.” 
When Brewers manager Ken Macha was asked how he might use Jeffress, he gave one of his stock answers: “Bullpen pitcher.” He said he would have no problem using Jeffress work multiple innings. 
“I told him, ‘You never know. You could get put right in there,'” Macha said. 
What will Macha be looking for?
“Everybody feels that his ‘stuff’ is Major League-quality,” Macha said. “So, how that all plays out for that last month, I think that if he settles in and throws the ball well and is in the strike zone, he’ll be a prime candidate for making the ballclub next year.”
If the Brewers decide to turn Jeffress back into a starter, he would almost certainly have to be sent to a Minor League affiliate to get back into that routine. Remember, this is a kid who as of Wednesday afternoon had yet to throw a pitch above Double-A.
Those issues can wait. On Wednesday, Jeffress was trying to enjoy his first day as a Major Leaguer. 
“I’m so excited. I’m on cloud nine right now,” said Jeffress, who learned about his promotion on Tuesday afternoon and immediately called his parents. “My mom, she started screaming. My daddy was at work and he was going crazy.”
He wasn’t sure if he’d be among the Brewers’ first wave of call-ups. 
“It was a hope and it was a prayer, and I kept hearing people saying that I might be close, just keep working hard,” Jeffress said. “I did exactly that, and there it was. What a great opportunity. I couldn’t even stand up when I heard about it.” 
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Lawrie, Jeffress headline AFL picks

Blue-chip prospects Brett Lawrie and Jeremy Jeffress headline the list of Milwaukee farmhands picked for the prestigious Arizona Fall League. Rosters were unveiled Monday afternoon. 
Lawrie will be joined on the Surprise Rafters by outfielder Logan Schafer, who will try to make up for time lost to a groin injury, infielder Eric Farris and right-handed pitchers Michael Fiers, Jeffress, Brandon Kintzler and Mike McClendon, who is currently pitching out of the Brewers’ big-league bullpen. 
Left-handers Lucas Luetge and Dan Merklinger were named to the taxi squad. 
Double-A Huntsville manager Mike Guerrero will manage the Rafters, a team made up of prospects from the Brewers, Tigers, Royals, Cardinals and Rangers. Play begins Oct. 12. 
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RHP Jeremy Jeffress promoted to Huntsville

Since returning in early June from a 100-game suspension that came as a result of a failed drug test, right-handed reliever Jeremy Jeffress has been impressive on and off the field.

As a result, the Brewers have added him to the 40-man roster and given him the opportunity to quickly climb the ladder through their Minor League organization.
On Monday, Jeffress took another step, as he was promoted from Class-A Advanced Brevard County to Huntsville, the Brewers’ affiliate at the Double-A level.
In five appearances with Class-A Wisconsin, the Brewers first-round pick from 2006 did not allow a run or a hit, while striking out 14 against three walks over eight innings. 
After he was promoted to Class A-Advanced Brevard County, he was not as sharp, allowing six earned runs on 10 hits over 10 innings. Jeffress still recorded 14 strikeouts while walking seven batters, though.
Monday’s move comes as right-hander Mike Fiers has been placed on the disabled list at Huntsville, retroactive to July 22. Taking Jeffress’ place at Brevard County will be lefty Mike Ramlow, who has been reinstated from the DL.
Jeffress will travel on Tuesday from Melbourne to Huntsville and will be in uniform for the Stars on Wednesday night when they host Mississippi at 7 p.m. CT.
— Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter

Brewers add Jeffress to 40-man

MILWAUKEE — With an open spot available, the Brewers added right-hander Jeremy Jeffress to the 40-man roster on Tuesday, optioning him to Class A Wisconsin.


When reliever Todd Coffey was activated from the disabled list, the Brewers designated Chris Smith for assignment, opening a spot on the 40-man roster. Smith eventually accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Nashville, but the open spot remained.

Jeffress, 22, was a first-round selection by the Brewers in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. His time with the club has been marred by separate 50-game and 100-game suspensions for testing positive for “a drug of abuse.”

Since signing with the club in 2006, Jeffress has played for the Double-A Huntsville Stars, Class A Advanced Brevard County Manatees and the Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

After being suspended 100 games on June 29, 2009, Jeffress returned earlier this month in a new role, moving to the bullpen for the Timber Rattlers.

— Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter


Jeffress assigned to T-Rats, will pitch in relief

Former Brewers first-round Draft pick Jeremy Jeffress, coming off a 100-game drug suspension,  was assigned to Class A Wisconsin on Wednesday and will probably spend the rest of this season as a reliever. 
Jeffress, a right-hander with a 100 mph fastball and Milwaukee’s first-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, had previously been molded as a starting pitcher. He threw two innings Tuesday on the final day of extended Spring Training camp and is expected to make his Timber Rattlers debut on Sunday. 
“For probably the duration of this year, he will work out of the bullpen,” assistant general manager Gord Ash said. “It’s a proactive plan to keep him more focused and engaged. He feels, and we agree, that if he’s of the mindset coming into the park every day that he may pitch, he will be more engaged in the process. That’s OK with us.” 
Jeffress’ career has been stalled by trouble with marijuana. He was suspended 50 games in 2007 and 100 games last year, a ban that expired last month just after Jeffress developed some forearm discomfort in extended Spring Training. Now he’s ready to pitch, so the Brewers assigned him to their “low” Class A affiliate in Appleton, Wis. about 100 miles north of Miller Park. 
Whether Jeffress transitions back to a starter next season remains to be seen. 
“We don’t know,” Ash said. “We’ll just have to see how it goes. We’ll take it a step at a time. We’ll see what we have.”
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Forearm stiffness likely to delay Jeffress' return

Suspended Brewers pitching prospect Jeremy Jeffress is eligible for reinstatement on Friday but his return to the mound will probably be delayed by a minor arm injury, assistant general manager Gord Ash said. 
Barring any rainouts at Class A Brevard County in the coming days, Jeffress’ 100-game ban expires on May 21. He might have been able to hit the ground running at Brevard County if not for a bout of tightness in his right forearm that developed last week at extended Spring Training camp in Phoenix. 
Jeffress, Milwaukee’s first-round pick in the 2006 Draft, was suspended last June under the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, his third failed test for a “drug of abuse.” One more violation would result in a lifetime ban. 
Unlike the Major League program, which strictly adheres to performance-enhancing drugs and amphetamines, Minor League players also can be suspended for using drugs like marijuana, cocaine and others. Jeffress has admitted in the last that he had a problem with marijuana, but he has been through a series of treatment programs during his suspension and has fulfilled all of his obligations, according to Ash. 
“He has been very, very good about it,” Ash said. 
Jeffress will resume his career at Brevard County when he’s ready, and the Brewers would like to promote him to Double-A Huntsville at some point soon thereafter. Club officials will face a decision after the season, when Jeffress must be placed on the 40-man roster or be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft. 
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Agent: Jeffress "in tremendous spirits"

Suspended Brewers pitching prospect Jeremy Jeffress celebrated his 22nd birthday Monday with his agent, Josh Kusnick, amid a 100-game suspension. Kusnick posted an update about Jeffress on his Twitter account, @39ontheline.

with Jeremy Jeffress for his Bday,” Kusnick wrote. “All is very well and he is in
tremendous spirits. Thanks to all for the support. 2010 will be big.”

If my count was correct when Jeffress was suspended in June, his suspension for a drug of abuse will cover the first 34 games of next season. The Brewers will have to add Jeffress to the 40-man roster following the 2010 campaign or expose him to the Rule 5 Draft.

Because of that roster consideration, had Jeffress not been suspended he could have been a strong candidate for a September call-up next year. The flamethrowing right-hander, Milwaukee’s first-round Draft pick in 2006, began the 2009 season two steps away at Double-A Huntsville before a demotion to Class A Brevard County, where he was pitching well when the suspension came down. Assuming he would have made it back to Huntsville by the end of this year, he might have started there again in 2010 and been promoted at some point to Triple-A Nashville, one step away from the Majors.

Now, after missing nearly a year, Jeffress might have to start over at a low-level affiliate and work his way up. With one more suspension, he would face a lifetime ban from baseball.

UPDATE — Talked with Josh yesterday afternoon, and he said Jeffress’ sister will be with him next year in Spring Training. I’m sure the family support will be helpful for a young man trying to get back on track.