Results tagged ‘ JJ Hardy ’

In the clubhouse: Player reaction

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div.Section1Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said he
“shocked” manager Ken Macha Tuesday night when he told Macha of the
changes the club was going to make Wednesday morning.

“Shocked” and “surprised” were two of
the main words going around in the Brewers clubhouse Wednesday afternoon, hours
after the Brewers relieved pitching coach Bill Castro, optioned shortstop J.J.
Hardy to Triple-A Nashville and designated Bill Hall.

Here is some reaction from the players:

First, from Hall, the longest tenured Brewer, about
leaving the only team he’s ever known: “It’s something that just happens,
nothing big. I’m happy about the time I spent here. [First time in] 26 years we
made the playoffs here, so I had a lot of good times and I appreciate
everything this organization has done for me and I think it’s time for a new
chapter in my life. I’m excited about this chapter. Hopefully these guys can
pull it together and turn things around. I’m definitely excited about the next
chapter in my life.”

Injured second baseman Rickie Weeks on losing Hall and Hardy, his
long-time double play partner: “Shocked, basically. I don’t have too many
words to say because of disappointment for everyone else. But it was just
one of those things where it’s baseball, it’s a business thing and sometimes it
sucks, plain and simple.”

Craig Counsell on how shakeups like these affect the
clubhouse: “On a personal level you feel for those guys, for sure, we all
do. But the nature of our jobs is that we have to go perform tonight and
frankly it doesn’t matter who’s here, you still have to go perform, that’s your
job. … It doesn’t change the way you go out and prepare or the way you’re
going to go out and do your job. I don’t know what effect it has [in the
clubhouse]. Obviously, Doug felt he had to do something.”

And finally, center fielder Mike Cameron, who was trying to keep the clubhouse light before batting practice, on
whether the moves will light a spark in the clubhouse: “Who knows what could
possibly come about. There are certain things that happen during the course of
the season. You saw Colorado get a spark in a change of their manager, you see
some teams get guys come up and they may provide an extra burst of energy.
There are a lot of things that take place, but the one real thing that’s going
to happen, regardless of everything’s that going on today and different things
and different situations that take place, at 7:05 [p.m.] we still have to

With that said, here are tonight’s lineups:

San Diego
Tony Gwynn CF
David Eckstein 2B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Chase Headley LF
Wil Venable RF
Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B
Henry Blanco C
Everth Cabrera SS
Kevin Correia RHP

Felipe Lopez 2B
Craig Counsell SS
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Mike Cameron CF
Casey McGehee 3B
Frank Catalanotto RF
Jason Kendall C
Carlos Villanueva RHP


Burned-out Hardy felt demotion coming

I just got off the phone with departing Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy, who was optioned to Triple-A Nashville in a surprising move this morning and was looking forward to a few days away from baseball.

The Sounds are in Salt Lake City, so Hardy has until Friday to join the team back home in Nashville.

“Maybe I’ll come by to pick up my stuff tomorrow,” Hardy said. “I’m going to take today to relax a little bit.

“I think these next couple of days are going to be really nice. Just having three days off, that’s going to be exactly what I needed. Triple-A, whatever, I’ll go down there and do what I’m supposed to do, but I’m pretty excited about getting three days to rest.”

Was the roster move a surprise?

“I don’t know. I’ve kind of been feeling it,” Hardy said. “I’ve been feeling like all of the coaches have been staring at me and watching everything I do. It’s been uncomfortable. But it still surprises me a little bit. I think three days off would have been all I needed, and I’ve been going out there every single day and doing what they’ve asked me to do.”

Hardy conceded that he never approached manager Ken Macha and asked for a break.

“Who am I to tell Macha what the lineup should be and who should be playing?” Hardy said. “They’ve been putting me out there every day and I’ve been trying my hardest. It’s not like I haven’t been trying. I like to think of it as the equivalent of a golfer who is a five- or six handicap and they’re going out there for four straight months shooting in the 100s and they can’t figure it out.

“I think a golfer, after that, would take a week off and then come back and shoot in the 70s again. In baseball, you can’t do that. I think there’s different types of players. Some players, when they’re really struggling, they want to keep being out there to battle through it. Then, there are guys who feel they need a day or two off to slow things down. For me, I think that would have been nice.”

General manager Doug Melvin called Hardy on Wednesday morning with the news that he was heading back to the Minor Leagues for the first time since 2004. Hardy was installed as the Brewers’ everyday shortstop on Opening Day 2005.

He was a National League All-Star in 2007 and followed-up by batting a career-high .283 in 2008, but has slumped through most of a disappointing 2009 season. Hardy carried a sub-.200 batting average into May and was still down at .207 on June 15 before going on a relative hot streak. He batted .340 the rest of June, but since July 1 his average was .220.

Overall, Hardy is batting .229 this season with 11 home runs and 45 RBIs.

That wasn’t enough to hold off shortstop prospect Alcides Escobar, who was batting .298 with 42 stolen bases at Nashville.

“It’s a prolonged slump that’s lasted four months for me, and I haven’t
been able to slow it down,” Hardy said. “In the past, when I would have
a few bad games in a row, I would get a day off to slow the game down
and come back strong. It just hasn’t happened this year. A couple of
days off will be nice, and then I’ll go down [to the Minors] and do
what I need to do.”

Escobar wasn’t the only person headed to Milwaukee on Wednesday. The Brewers also designated Bill Hall for assignment and promoted outfielder Jason Bourgeois, and dismissed pitching coach Bill Castro and replaced him on an interim basis with Triple-A pitching coach Chris Bosio.


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.

As promised, Hardy sits out series finale

With J.J. Hardy getting a break — manager Ken Macha has been forecasting this one for days, so the trade conspiracy theorists can relax — Craig Counsell slides over to shortstop and Wednesday hero Casey McGehee gets the start at third base.

The Brewers need to win behind Yovani Gallardo today to avoid an embarassing series loss, but Gallardo faces a tall task. Milwaukee is 11-22 in day games, with losses in 12 of 13 games and six straight.

The lineups (updated at 12:20 p.m. CT with some Nationals changes):

Nyjer Morgan  CF
Alberto Gonzalez  SS
Nick Johnson 1B
Adam Dunn  LF
Ryan Zimmerman  3B
Willie Harris  RF
Wil Nieves  C
Anderson Hernandez  2B
J.D. Martin  RHP

Felipe Lopez  2B
Craig Counsell SS
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Corey Hart  RF
Mike Cameron  CF
Casey McGehee  3B
Jason Kendall  C
Yovani Gallardo  RHP

One other note: Today’s home plate umpire is “Cowboy Joe” West, who will be working his 4,000th Major League game.He umpired his first National League game on Sept. 14, 1976 and five years later, at 28, he became the youngest NL ump to work a League Championship Series.

West is a man of many endeavors; he released his second album last year, he designed and sells chest protectors and other equipment for umps and plays on a celebrity golf tour.

Hardy dropped all the way to eighth

Ken Macha said he was considering a change of scenery for shortstop J.J. Hardy, who is hitless in his last 28 at-bats, and he followed through. Here’s the lineup for the opener of a three-game series in Cleveland:

Craig Counsell 2B
Casey McGehee 3B
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Corey Hart  RF
Mike Cameron  CF
Mat Gamel  DH
J.J. Hardy  SS
Mike Rivera  C

Dave Bush  RHP

Still no Hardy in Brewers lineup

Brewers manager Ken Macha expected to get shortstop J.J. Hardy back in the lineup today, but it didn’t happen. I’ll pass along details when I get them.

For now, here are the lineups:

Skip Schumaker  2B
Chris Duncan  LF
Albert Pujols  1B
Yadier Molina  C
Colby Rasmus  CF
Khalil Greene  SS
Nick Stavinoha  RF
Adam Wainwright  RHP
Joe Thurston  3B

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

Rivera returns, Hart out for finale vs. Florida

Mike Rivera must have passed his test, because the Brewers just sent a notice that he had been activated from the 15-day disabled list. Carlos Corporan, as expected, was returned to Nashville.

No lineups yet, but I presume Rivera will be in there to catch Dave Bush. I will pass them along when they are available.

Here they are:

Bonifacio  3B
Coghlan  LF
Ramirez  SS
Cantu  1B
Baker  C
Uggla  2B
Gload  RF
Amezaga  CF
Johnson  RHP

Weeks  2B
Hardy  SS
Braun  LF
Fielder  1B
Cameron  CF
Hall  3B
Duffy  RF
Rivera  C
Bush  RHP

Just a day off for Hart, who has been struggling at the plate but did spark the Brewers’ game-winning rally on Wednesday night with a two-out walk. Hardy said he felt much better on Thursday, and must have gotten medication in time to avoid a serious migraine headache. He is a bit frustrated by that recurring problem and would like to know why he is having issues with headaches.

Hardy exits with alarming symptoms

Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy hopes he made a preemptive strike against a looming migraine headache.

Hardy exited Wednesday’s win over the Marlins in the seventh inning after experiencing some alarming symptoms. He said he played his final half-inning with very little vision in his left eye and numbness in his left hand, which doctors said were precursors to a headache.

“I’m hoping I took the medicine before the migraine kicks in,” Hardy said.

He hit an RBI triple in the second inning, and made the second and third outs in Milwaukee’s 11-batter, five-run fourth. Hardy exited the game in the top of the seventh as part of a Brewers double-switch, with Craig Counsell moving from third base to shortstop and Bill Hall entering the game to play third.

The Brewers will have additional coverage beginning Thursday should Hardy miss a game or two. Third base prospect Mat Gamel was promoted from Triple-A Nashville, and while he’s likely to be limited to pinch-hitter or designated-hitter duties, he also could play third in a pinch to free Counsell for shortstop.

Braun out with tight upper back

Left fielder Ryan Braun is out of tonight’s lineup against the D-backs because of tightness in his upper back. Both manager Ken Macha and assistant GM Gord Ash said they expected Braun back on Sunday, but Braun himself was not available to reporters because he was receiving treatment.

Shortstop J.J. Hardy is also out of the lineup, getting his second straight day of mental rest after slumping through April. Without former All-Stars Braun and Hardy, the Brewers are counting on a bit of a “B” team today against talented Arizona righty Dan Haren.

The lineups:

Felipe Lopez  2B
Augie Ojeda  SS
Chad Tracy  1B
Mark Reynolds  3B
Justin Upton RF
Conor Jackson  LF
Eric Byrnes  CF
Chris Snyder  C
Dan Haren  RHP

Rickie Weeks  2B
Craig Counsell  SS
Corey Hart  RF
Prince Fielder  1B
Mike Cameron  CF
Chris Duffy  LF
Bill Hall 3B
Jason Kendall  C
Braden Looper  RHP