Results tagged ‘ Kameron Loe ’

Brewers sixth starter? Not sure

The Brewers happily traded back-end depth for front-line talent in their starting rotation, but it led to a “what if” that stumped manager Ron Roenicke on Saturday.

With left-hander Manny Parra out indefinitely with a bad back and right-hander Mark Rogers moving along slowly after some early-spring shoulder stiffness, what if one of a member of the five man starting rotation goes down before Opening Day? Who would step in as the so-called sixth starter?

“Do you want me to look at the list?” Roenicke asked, reaching for a roster.

“[Tim] Dillard is there,” Roenicke said, referring to the right-hander and longtime Brewers farmhand who a year ago radically altered his style to a sidearm sling. “[Wily] Peralta is a possibility, even though he’s young. [Amaury] Rivas is a possibility.”

Peralta is a top Brewers pitching prospect, but he is also 21 years old and has made all of eight starts above A-ball. Rivas was the team’s Minor League pitcher of the year in 2009, but would have to make a big leap after spending last season at Double-A Huntsville.

Reliever Kameron Loe could be an emergency option, considering he made 47 starts for the Rangers from 2004-07. But Roenicke indicated he leave Loe in the bullpen.

“When he was with Texas, they tried to tinker with what to do with him, starting or relieving. He never found his niche, and I think he’s found it” in relief, Roenicke said. “I wouldn’t want to mess with that.”

The Brewers’ relatively thin starting ranks are a change from last season, when they entered Spring Training with four established pitchers vying for two rotation spots behind Yovani Gallardo, Randy Wolf and Doug Davis.

In the end, that depth did not translate to success, and the Brewers ranked next-to-last in the National League in starters’ ERA. General manager Doug Melvin spent the winter focused on adding front-line pitching, trading for Shaun Marcum of the Blue Jays and Zack Greinke of the Royals to go with Gallardo, Wolf and Chris Narveson.

“I’ll take our five starters, and we’ll work out the others,” Roenicke said.

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Details of Loe deal

The Associated Press today reported the fine print of the $1.25 million, one-year deal that was sealed last week by the Brewers and reliever Kameron Loe. The player will earn an extra $25,000 for 50 games, $30,000 for 55 games, $35,000 for 60 games, $10,000 for 76 games and $15,000 for 78 games. That’s a total of $115,000 in bonuses, as we reported last week.

Considering that Loe didn’t debut with the Brewers until June 1 of last season but still racked up 53 appearances, those incentives are makable if he settles into the right role. 
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Brewers, Loe have a deal

Update at 7:30 p.m. CT: Assistant GM Gord Ash confirms the sides have settled. Loe would need to make 78 appearances to max out his incentives.
The Brewers and reliever Kameron Loe avoided a potential arbitration hearing by agreeing Friday to a one-year deal that will pay Loe $1.25 million in 2011, according to a baseball source. 
Loe, 29 and coming off a very productive debut season with Milwaukee, can earn an additional $115,000 in performance bonuses. His settlement fell just below the midpoint of figures filed by the sides earlier this week — Loe and agent Page Odle were seeking $1.65 million in arbitration and the Brewers offered $1.055 million. 
The Brewers were somewhat surprised by Loe’s figure, and assistant general manager Gord Ash said there was “a very good chance” the sides would go all the way to a hearing. Friday’s settlement avoided that potentially messy procedure. 
Loe signed a Minor League deal with Milwaukee last winter, was called up to the Majors starting June 1 and posted a 2.78 ERA in 58 games while earning a prorated portion of $650,000. He figures to slide into a middle to late-inning role with the team in 2011, working with right-handers LaTroy Hawkins and Takashi Saito and left-hander Zach Braddock as set-up men for closer John Axford. Loe also has Major League history as a starting pitcher and has been mentioned as one potential emergency option moving forward. 
With Loe’s deal done, the Brewers have only two arbitration-eligible players still in talks about 2011 contracts — second baseman Rickie Weeks and starter Shaun Marcum. 
Weeks filed for for $7.2 million and the Brewers countered at $4.85 million, a gap of $2.345 million. The midpoint of figures is $6.025 million. 
Marcum is seeking $5 million in arbitration and the Brewers offered $3 million. The midpoint is $4 million. 
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Arbitration figures with midpoints

The Brewers avoided arbitration with Prince Fielder and Manny Parra on Tuesday but were unable to strike deals with three other eligible players, pushing second baseman Rickie Weeks, starter Shaun Marcum and reliever Kameron Loe one step closer to a hearing. 
Unable to reach terms before a Tuesday afternoon deadline, each of those unsigned players exchanged 2011 contract proposals with the Brewers:
– Weeks filed for $7.2 million and the Brewers countered at $4.85 million, a gap of $2.35 million. The midpoint of figures is $6.025 million. 
– Marcum is seeking $5 million and the Brewers offered $3 million. The midpoint is $4 million.
– Loe filed for $1.65 million and the Brewers offered $1.055 million, a $595,000 gap. The midpoint is $1.3525 million.
After figures are exchanged, the next step in the arbitration process is a hearing date in February, a conclusion the Brewers hope to avoid. The sides can continue negotiating until that date, and in the vast majority of cases around baseball, they reach an agreement somewhere between the filing figures. 
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Crew cuts ties with Coffey, Inglett

If Todd Coffey makes another mad dash from the bullpen to the pitcher’s mound at Miller Park, it will probably be in another team’s uniform. 
Coffey and utility man Joe Inglett were the only two of eight arbitration-eligible Brewers not tendered a contract before Thursday’s 10:59 p.m. CT deadline for teams to do so. The decision means the right-handed reliever and the left-handed bench bat joined the pool of Major League free agents. 
The Brewers did decide to retain the rights to their six other arbitration-eligibles: First baseman Prince Fielder, second baseman Rickie Weeks, center fielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Manny Parra, Kameron Loe and Carlos Villanueva. Those players are all considered signed for 2011, with their salaries to be determined later by baseball’s arbitration process. 
“We didn’t have many discussions about [non-tendering] the other players,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. 
Melvin said general manager Gord Ash will stay in touch with Inglett’s agent, Ryan Ware, about returning at a lower price, but it appears Coffey will look for work elsewhere. 
The decision to cut ties with Coffey was largely a financial one. He earned $2,025,002 in 2010 and would have been in line for a raise in arbitration despite a somewhat disappointing season in which Coffey suffered a thumb injury swinging the bat in late May and posted a 5.35 ERA over his final 43 appearances. He lost his job as the team’s primary right-handed setup man to Loe, who had a solid first season in Milwaukee and will cost less than Coffey in 2011. 
“The process allows the player to see if there’s a better fit for him, and from our standpoint it allows us to look at a larger pool of players,” Melvin said. 
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Edmonds, Loe activated for Game 2

The Brewers are wasting no time in getting Jim Edmonds back to work. We’ll see what they have in store for Kameron Loe. 

Edmonds and Loe both joined the active roster on Tuesday, when Edmonds was formally reinstated from the 15-day disabled list and Loe’s contract was purchased from Triple-A Nashville. Outfielder Adam Stern and pitcher Marco Estrada were optioned back to Nashville to clear a pair of 25-man roster spots, and Stern was then designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot for Loe. 
Edmonds, who had been sidelined by a left rib-cage strain, is in the lineup for Game 2 of Milwaukee’s series against the Marlins but he’s hitting seventh. Catcher George Kottaras is hitting in the two-hole. 
Here’s the full lineup:
Rickie Weeks  2B
George Kottaras  C
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Corey Hart  RF
Jim Edmonds  CF
Alcides Escobar  SS
Dave Bush  RHP
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Loe on his way up

The Brewers are poised to make another move to bolster their pitching staff. Triple-A Nashville right-hander Kameron Loe will make his way to Miami on Tuesday to join a club in the middle of a pitching makeover. 
Loe was to supposed to start for Nashville on Tuesday night but he is expected instead to be in a Brewers uniform at Sun Life Stadium, where Milwaukee began a four-game series against the Marlins on Monday with a 13-5 loss. The Brewers will have to make a corresponding move or moves to clear space on both the 40-man and 25-man rosters, and could wait until Loe is on-site to do so. 
The Brewers were facing a deadline of sorts this week with Loe, 28, whose Minor League contract included an “out” clause that would have allowed the player to elect free agency if not on the big league roster by June 5. 
“I’m excited to be back in the big leagues,” said Loe, who last pitched in the Majors with Texas in 2008. “I was really focused on my next start so I had not been giving much thought to what might happen. But I’m ready for it.” 
Loe made 107 appearances including 47 starts for the Rangers from 2004-2008 and was 19-23 with a 4.77 ERA. He was 4-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 10 starts for Nashville. 
He was not told whether he would be used as a starter or a reliever by the Brewers, who have had trouble in both areas. 
“They just told me I’m coming up and I said, ‘Thank you,’” Loe said. “That was about it.” 
Loe would be the latest of a series of roster moves this month to remake a slumping staff. Pitchers John Axford, Marco Estrada, Zach Braddock and Chris Capuano have all been promoted since May 15, and the club announced Monday that Capuano would start Thursday’s series finale against the Marlins. 
The Brewers already have 13 pitchers on the active roster so a pitcher will almost certainly be sent out to make room for Loe. One option is veteran right-hander Jeff Suppan, who is earning $12.5 million in the final year of his contract but has been working lone relief. Suppan surrendered three hits and two runs, only one of which was earned, in Monday’s loss and both general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ken Macha declined to answer questions during the day about his status on the team. 
Suppan’s ERA this season is 7.28.  
“He’s given us what he’s got,” Macha said after the game. “Sometimes it’s been OK and sometimes it hasn’t.” 
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Report: Loe's 'out' date is June 5

Triple-A Nashville starter Kameron Loe has a June 5 opt-out clause that would allow him to elect free agency, FoxSports.com reported on Tuesday. When Loe signed with the Brewers in December, I was told that the date was June 1. 

Loe, who signed a Minor League contract with Milwaukee in December, is 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA entering his scheduled start Thursday at Sacramento. Another Nashville starter, lefty Chris Capuano, has a May 29 opt-out that comes the day after Capuano’s scheduled start at home against the Iowa Cubs.
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Capuano, Loe, Narveson raising eyebrows

Chris Capuano was pleased with his throwing session on Tuesday, his first action in big league camp since he suffered an elbow injury nearly two years ago. His manager was pleased, too. 
“One of the impressive things is that he threw change-ups, and his arm action on the change-up was very good,” Ken Macha said Wednesday morning. “I kind of liked what I saw there.”
Macha said he’s also been impressed by big right-hander Kameron Loe. Pitching coach Rick Peterson told Macha he liked what he’s seen from lefty Chris Narveson. 
“Last year we were kind of looking for people to fill the spots,” Macha said. “We’ve got tremendous competition for the spots this year. We’ve got a tremendous amount of depth in this camp.”
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Rehabbing right-hander Mark DiFelice stopped by the field Wednesday morning as the big league campers stretched. He’s sidelined following shoulder surgery and said he is probably a month away from beginning a throwing program. 
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Catcher Gregg Zaun returned to action on Wednesday after sitting out Tuesday with a stomach ailment. 
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Back from Japan, Loe signs with Brewers

kameron-loe.jpgAdd former Rangers right-hander Kameron Loe to the list of pitchers hoping to win a big-league job with the Brewers in Spring Training.

Loe’s agent, Page Odle, confirmed that the big right-hander had agreed to terms with the Brewers on a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to big league camp, where he expects to compete as a starter. The 28-year-old who stands 6-foot-8 pitched in 147 Major League games for the Rangers from 2004-2008 but spent the 2009 season in Japan.

“It gave me an opportunity to secure my family, and I couldn’t give that up,” Loe said. “Now, I’m very excited to be back. It’s always been my dream to be a Major League player, and Japan was cool, but I never grew up wanting to be a Japanese Major Leaguer.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was first to report Friday that Loe had reached a deal with Milwaukee. The Pirates were among the other teams interested in Loe, according to the newspaper, and Odle said that at least seven clubs were “heavily involved.”

Loe will earn $650,000 if he makes Milwaukee’s Major League roster and can make another $200,000 in incentives. The deal includes a June 1 “out” that allows Loe to opt for free agency if he isn’t in the Majors.

He drew upwards of $1.1 million from the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks last season but made only six starts before he was demoted to the Japanese minor leagues.

“It was fun and frustrating and a whole lot of other things all rolled into one,” Loe said. “But I’m really glad I did it. It was a chance to see another country and continue playing baseball. It’s something I’d consider again later in my career, but right now I want to see what I can do in the Major Leagues.”

Loe was 19-23 with a 4.77 ERA in 47 starts and 60 relief appearances for the Rangers. He served in every capacity from starter to middle reliever to late-inning mop-up man and pitched most extensively in 2007, when he was 6-11 with a 5.36 ERA in 23 starts and five relief appearances for Texas.

He most recently was pitching in the Mexican Winter League, where Loe capped a six-game stint with a win for Aguilas over Mochis on Tuesday. Loe had a 3.20 ERA in five starts and one relief stint with a sinking fastball that reached the 87-92 mph range. He hopes to work up to 93-94 mph when he resumes a regular throwing program ahead of Spring Training, and also features a slider, a curveball and a change-up.

Loe has returned to the U.S. and will be married on Jan. 9, about a month before reporting to Spring Training camp to compete as a starter. The Brewers have already signed former Major League starters Chris Capuano and John Halama to Minor League contracts with big league camp invites. The team also inked one of Loe’s former Rangers teammates, left-hander A.J. Murray, to a similar deal, but Murray pitched exclusively as a reliever last season.

The Brewers were the first team to make an offer this winter, Loe said, and he likes the fit.

“They’re one of the teams I’ve really enjoyed watching over the past few years,” Loe said. “And it looks like a good opportunity for me, whether that’s starting or in the bullpen. Milwaukee came after me right away, and it seems like they have an opportunity to have a big future.”

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During his Rangers days, Loe’s pet boa constrictor, a female named Angel, was just as popular in Arlington as her famous handler. A group of pet-friendly fans dubbed themselves the “Snake Pit,” and a few members of that group agreed to “snake-sit” Angel when Loe left for Japan. The family has since adopted Angel permanently, so she won’t be visiting Miller Park. 

“It’s just too hard to travel around with a 35-pound, seven-foot snake,” Loe said. “I’m lucky that she ended up with some great people.”

Kameron_Loe_and_His_Snake.jpg

Getty Images

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