Results tagged ‘ Prince Fielder ’

Fielder, Braun swap spots vs. lefty Santana

MILWAUKEE — With a tough lefty in Johan Santana on the mound for Friday’s series opener with the Mets, Brewers manager Ken Macha opted to switch the order of his three and four hitters for the second time in two weeks.

 

First baseman Prince Fielder moved up a spot to the No. 3 hole while right fielder Ryan Braun dropped down from that spot to bat cleanup against the Mets. The only other time this season Fielder has hit anywhere but fourth was May 20 against the Pirates.

The Brewers won that game, 4-3, snapping a nine-game losing streak.

“I did it in Pittsburgh when their lefty pitched,” Macha said. “I kind of like it that way with a lefty. I think with Braun sitting on deck that they have to get the ball closer to the strike zone for Prince. Because if they end up walking him, then you’ve got somebody that has a reputation for hitting left-handers very well.”

– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter

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Braun, Fielder switch spots again

For the second time this season, left fielder Ryan Braun will bat cleanup Friday night behind first baseman Prince Fielder, who will hit in the No. 3 spot.
Braun and Fielder switched spots for one game on the Brewers’ last road trip, which they won,  4-3, at Pittsburgh.

No other major changes or surprises in tonight’s lineup posted by Brewers manager Ken Macha. The only additional difference from last night is who’s batting seventh and eighth.

After a 3-for-4 night batting eighth last night, shortstop Alcides Escobar gets the nod in the No. 7 hole, while catcher George Kottaras drops down to the No. 8 spot.
The rest of the lineup is as would be expected:
Weeks  2B
Gomez  CF
Fielder  1B
Braun  LF
McGehee  3B
Hart  RF
Escobar  SS
Kottaras  C
Gallardo  P
– Jordan Schelling, MLB.com

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Braun, Fielder flipped in lineup

Adam Stern is making his first start tonight as the Brewers try to snap their nine-game hitting streak, but that’s far from the most interesting development. It appears that manager Ken Macha has flipped Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder in the batting order, moving Fielder up to third and dropping Braun to the cleanup spot. We’ve got some ideas here in the press box, but let’s wait to get the explanation from Macha. 

Fielder, by the way, is 3-for-37 lifetime against Pirates starter Paul Maholm with 11 strikeouts. Braun is 17-for-38. Here’s the full lineup:
Rickie Weeks  2B
Alcides Escobar  SS
Prince Fielder  1B
Ryan Braun  LF
Casey McGehee  3B
Corey Hart  RF
Gregg Zaun  C
Adam Stern  CF
Chris Narveson  LHP
Here’s a trip down memory lane to the last time Fielder hit third and Braun fourth. It was April 2008, and when both players got off to a slow start they asked then-hitting coach Jim Skaalen to flip back to the way they batted the previous season. Manager Ned Yost agreed, and made the change for a Sunday series finale at Shea Stadium.
Braun said at the time that he was excited about the move and called it, “Mentally, a fresh start for both of us.”
“I don’t think it had anything to do with us being uncomfortable where we were at,” Braun said then. “I think it was more of us being more comfortable with me being three and him being four. We understood the logic behind [the other configuration], but it gets to the point where neither one of us is having too much success, and it feels like it is in our best interests and the best interests of the team to at least try it.
“We’re certainly not swinging the bats the way we were last year. So why not? We’re both definitely excited about the change.”
Added Fielder: “Whatever works. This game is all mental, anyway. It’s never physical.”
ONE MORE NOTE… Since that flip-flop, Fielder has started 350 of the Brewers’ 353 games and batted fourth in every one of them. Until tonight. 

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Macha responds to Fielder's frustration

Brewers manager Ken Macha does not mind that first baseman Prince Fielder vented some frustration about the team’s struggling pitching staff after another blowout loss Friday night. You can check out those comments by clicking here
But Macha would prefer that his players focus on their own job and let him worry about the big picture. 
“My thought about baseball is that everybody has got a job to do,” Macha said. “So you have to pay attention to your job and do that well, and when the day is done you have eight position players and the number of pitchers you used, and you add up what they did in their boxes and you either win or lose the game. 
“One thing that’s great about Prince is he takes it to heart when we lose. He really wants to be on a winning team, a winning organization. He strives to win. So as long as guys are paying attention to their little boxes and doing them properly, I think the wins and losses are going to be my responsibility in the end. He needs to continue to work to get to the numbers that he wants to, and if he does that, that’s taking care of his box and he’s going to help us win games. I think our pitching will get better.” 
Macha pointed to the Brewers’ three losses to the Braves, saying the team got “adequate” starting pitching. Before that, the starters pitched well in a three-game Brewers sweep of the D-backs. The bullpen has not pitched well of late, prompting the Brewers to add reliever John Axford on Saturday. 
“That’s my responsibility, and I will be held accountable for us winning or losing games,” Macha said. “I’m glad that I have a player on the field who’s my cleanup hitter and has a tremendous amount of concern about is winning or losing games. … That’s the manager’s job. It’s inherent to this position.
“I don’t want hitters looking at the pitchers or pitchers looking at the hitters. I said last night about the finger-pointing, there should be none of it going on. Everybody take care of what they can take care of. Let me worry about the other stuff.”
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Interesting postgame with Prince

The Phillies scored early and often in Friday’s 9-5 win over the Brewers at Miller Park, continuing a trend that might be getting to Prince Fielder and the rest of the hitters. It marked the Brewers’ sixth straight home loss, and opponents have scored at least six runs in all of those games including at least eight runs in each of the last four.

Here was the postgame exchange between reporters and Prince Fielder:
“We’ve been hitting well. We’ve been doing the best we can. It’s tough, but unfortunately we didn’t score enough runs tonight.”
Everybody understand? OK, next question: Is it frustrating at times?
 
“Yeah. You don’t like losing but it is what it is. We have to come back tomorrow and see what happens.”
Is it a matter of getting timely hits?
This one made Fielder smile.
 
“I guess we need to get more timely hits. Yup, we just have to keep getting more hits. Just try to outscore the other team, that’s all we can try to do and unfortunately, we came up a little short.”
Is there more pressure at home considering the poor record?
 
“I don’t think so, It’s just how it is. Unfortunately, it’s always the offense that gets blamed. I think we have to keep doing what we’re doing. We scored five runs tonight. Tomorrow, hopefully, we get more than they do.”
Are there any signs that the day is coming that they don’t need to get so many hits?
 
“I don’t know. I think we just need to keep doing our job; keep hitting the ball, try to play good defense and see what happens. After that, its out of our control.”
So, there you go. Very interesting stuff. Randy Wolf certainly stood up and took the blame for what he called an “embarrassing” outing against the Phillies, but you have to wonder whether there’s a danger of the clubhouse becoming divided between pitchers and hitters. That’s never a good thing.
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Report: 'No ongoing negotiations' with Fielder

In a story late tonight about Ryan Howard’s contract extension with the Phillies, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale wrote that there are no ongoing negotiations with three other first baseman on track to reach free agency following the 2011 season: Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez and the Brewers’ own Prince Fielder. 

I ran that characterization past Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, who declined to comment. That’s in keeping with Melvin’s policy of not commenting publicly on what club officials have termed “discussions” with Fielder’s agent, Scott Boras. 
Boras told the newspaper that, “There’s a small list of sluggers in this game who can hit 40 homers and drive in 130 annually. Now, there’s one less available.”
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Howard inks extension with Phillies

fielder-howard.jpg

Elsewhere around baseball on Monday, the Phillies and slugger Ryan Howard agreed to a five-year, $125 million contract extension through 2016. So cross Howard off the list of top-flight first basemen on track to reach free agency after the 2011 season — the Brewers’ Fielder, the Cardinals’ Albert Pujols and the Padres’ Adrian Gonzalez are still among them — and cross the Phillies off the list of potential big-market suitors for said first basemen. 
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has been adamant about keeping his conversations with agent Scott Boras about Fielder a secret, and things have been equally quiet from the other side but for one SI.com story earlier this month speculating that Fielder could seek a contract above the $200 million threshold. 
It’s notable that Howard, 30, is about 4 1/2 years older than Fielder, who will be 26 on May 9. Howard is due $19 million this season and $20 million in 2011 under his previous contract, and the new deal will pay $20 million in 2012 and 2013 and $25 million from 2014-16 with a $23 million club option for 2017 with a $10 million buyout. So, if you add everything up, Howard is getting $164 million over the next seven years (including this one) or $177 million over the next eight.
Once again, we’ll add this disclaimer: Fielder will be arbitration-eligible one last time at the end of the 2010 season, meaning he is under Brewers control through the end of 2011.
Assuming the talks with Fielder are still ongoing, how do you think the Howard deal will influence them? 
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Fielder frustrated by home run drought?

It’s become an annual rite of spring for the Brewers: Prince Fielder’s power drought. 

The perennially April-challenged slugger is once again deep into the month and still looking for his first home run. Fielder was homerless in 49 regular season at-bats entering Wednesday’s game against the Pirates and quickly approaching the longest drought of his career. In 2008, coming off a 50-homer season, Fielder did not hit his first until his 54th at-bat. 
“I’ve seen him much worse,” Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum. “The problem is that he’s just ticked off now.”
Now Fielder may also be hurting. His left hand was under a thick wrap on Wednesday afternoon and Fielder did not take batting practice, though he was in the lineup as usual against the Pirates. Fielder declined to discuss the cause of his “injury.”
“It’s fine,” Fielder said before heading back to the clubhouse. 
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Odds and ends…

Brewers PR man Mike Vassallo must have had plenty of coffee on the team’s charter flight to Washington DC because today’s game notes are particularly chock full of tidbits. Cutting and pasting at will here…

TV and Radio schedule
Due to Milwaukee Bucks NBA playoff games, the Brewers have been moved from FS Wisconsin to WMLW for their televised games next Tuesday at Pittsburgh and on 4/26 vs. Pittsburgh…..the team’s radio games on Tuesday at Pittsburgh and 4/24 vs. Chicago-NL will be moved from WTMJ 620 AM to 94.5 Lake FM.
LOB
The Brewers left 15 runners on base in their 8-6 win yesterday at Chicago, marking the 41st time in team history that they left at least 15 on base…..the team had not left that many on base in a 9-inning game since a 9-3 win on 5/10/03 at Cincinnati.
Check the Board
The Brewers have used a different lineup in each of the first 9 games of the season.
We’re Going Streaking!
Rickie Weeks (.333, 2hr, 7rbi) has hit safely in each of his first 9 games this season…..he is looking to become just the fifth player in franchise history to open the season with a hitting streak of at least 10 games…..listed are the players to accomplish the feat (Elias):
Player/Year… Streak
Dickie Thon (1993) . . . . . . . . . . . .13 games
Steve Hovley (1970) . . . . . . . . . . .10 games
Dale Sveum (1987) . . . . . . . . . . . .10 games
Ronnie Belliard (2000) . . . . . . . . .10 games
Hoff the Charts
Trevor Hoffman needs 7 saves for 600 in his career…..the all-time saves leader enters today’s game with 593 career saves…..Hoffman also needs just 11 appearances to become the 14th pitcher in Major League history to pitch in 1,000 career games…..a look at pitchers Hoffman is approaching on the all-time games pitched list (Elias):
Pitcher… Appearances
11. Roberto Hernandez . . . . . . . . . . . .1,010
12. Mike Jackson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1,005
13. Goose Gossage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1,002
14. Trevor Hoffman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .989
Everyday People
Prince Fielder has played in 194 straight games, which is the longest active consecutive games streak in the Major Leagues. (Elias)
Player… Streak
Prince Fielder, Mil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .194g
Everth Cabrera, SD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106g
End of cut and paste. I’m not with the team in D.C. but I’ll be back on Tuesday for the series-opener in Pittsburgh. Until then…
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Pujols encouraged Edmonds' comeback

Edmonds.jpg
Scott Paulus/Brewers
By mid-January, Jim Edmonds had a pretty good idea that he wanted to make one last run at the Major Leagues after a full season away. Heck, he had just announced as much to a room full of Cardinals fans. 
Just to be sure, Edmonds called on an old teammate to hit the batting cages in suburban St. Louis. It was about Day 3 of their early-morning swing sessions before Edmonds asked Albert Pujols what he thought. 
“He said I was crazy not to try it,” Edmonds said. 
Three months later, Edmonds is back in the Major Leagues with the Brewers. He signed a Minor League deal in late January, won a roster spot in Spring Training and has emerged as much more than an extra outfielder. Edmonds has started five of the Brewers’ first seven games including two weekend starts against Pujols and the Cardinals. He was back in center field on Monday against another former employer, the Cubs. 
This isn’t exactly what Pujols had in mind when he encouraged his old teammate to launch a comeback. 
“I hate to see him playing against us in the division,” Pujols said. “He’s always going to be a Cardinal forever.” 
But Edmonds is a Brewer now, and he’s among the most veteran players in the game. In baseball, 39-year-old outfielders are rare, and only four position players older than Edmonds have appeared in the Majors so far this season: Forty-two-year-olds Omar Vizquel and Matt Stairs and 40-year-olds Brad Ausmus and Ken Griffey Jr. 
Edmonds will turn 40 on June 27. 
“That’s seasoned,” Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder said with a big smile. “To do what he’s doing, that’s a gift.” 
For more on Edmonds’ comeback with the Brewers and a look back at some of his defensive gems, check out my story on Brewers.com later today. 
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