Results tagged ‘ Randy Wolf ’

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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Hart gets to start

It’s down to business for the Brewers and those who cover then regularly tonight at Miller Park, when the Opening Day crowds will have thinned a bit for Game 2 of the season. Corey Hart will man right field behind left-hander Randy Wolf, who is set for his Brewers debut.

Here’s the lineup:

Rickie Weeks  2B

Carlos Gomez  CF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Gregg Zaun  C
Corey Hart  RF
Alcides Escobar  SS
Randy Wolf  LHP
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USA Today salaries out

Poll five different sources and you will get five different projected payrolls for the Brewers in 2010, but the long-running USA Today database is one consistent measure of club expenditures throughout the years. The newspaper released its figures for 2010 on Monday, and the Brewers came in with the 18th-highest payroll of 30 Major League teams, with salaries totaling $81,108,278.
That’s a club record by the publication’s count, up from the Brewers’ $80,937,499 Opening Day payroll in 2008. Last season, it came in at $80,182,502. 
The USA Today figure does not account for the $4 million in deferred salary for Randy Wolf, but the Brewers’ in-house payroll calculator would still come up with a significantly higher number. The newspaper doesn’t figure so-called “likely incentives” that add to player salaries, nor does it count money included in trades, like the $7-plus million of Red Sox infielder Bill Hall’s salary that the Brewers must pay this season. The Brewers also budget about $2 million for in-season call-ups and figure the cost of insurance policies on certain contracts. 
<i>USA Today</i> gets its figures from the MLB Players Association, club officials and Major League Baseball’s central office. The average MLB player salary, according to the publication, is $2.7 million, down from $3.2 million in 2009. Sixteen of the 30 teams say payrolls increase over last season, including the Brewers. 
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In-game adjustments key for Wolf

Randy Wolf didn’t fool any of the first three White Sox hitters he faced on Sunday at Maryvale Baseball Park. Then he did something he figures he wouldn’t have been able to do in springs past: He made an adjustment.
“Historically, my Spring Trainings were atrocious,” Wolf said. “It was a moral victory to get five innings in.”
He got his five innings in Sunday but was still left with only a moral victory. The White Sox rallied from a two-run deficit after Wolf departed and the teams settled for a 4-4 tie after 10 innings. 
Chicago’s two first-inning runs were the first this spring off Wolf, who has a 1.80 ERA and an eight-to-two strikeouts to walks ratio in 10 innings over three Cactus League starts. He also made one appearance in a Minor League intrasquad game. 
Wolf said he has been happy with his early progression, especially considering the way he used to struggle in Spring Training. The change happened in August 2008, when he figured out a way to simplify his delivery and turned around his career. 
Before that change, “it was always like, ‘I can’t find the right rhythm, but I know I’ll get there when I’m supposed to,’ as opposed to knowing what I need to do in the offseason and finding that rhythm in February. …
“When you have a consistent delivery, you don’t feel like you played in the NFL after your start. Your body is more efficient; you don’t use as much effort. To use less effort to do the same thing is very key.”
Like all pitchers, Wolf still finds himself out of whack on occasion. His bullpen session prior to Sunday’s start was “awful,” he said, and so was the start of the game. Three straight hits — including a two-run double by Mark Kotsay on a hanging curveball — gave Chicago a 2-0 lead before Wolf had recorded an out. 
But Wolf made the adjustments he needed to allow only four more hits and no more runs over five innings. 
“The first three hitters, they hit the ball hard. I mean, there were some loud sounds,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said. “After that, [Wolf] controlled their bat speeds and there weren’t too many balls hit hard. Soft fly balls, soft grounders. He did a nice job of mixing his pitches, coming inside, going outside soft, throwing some sinkers behind in the count. That’s really the first chance I’ve had to watch him because I’ve been at a ‘B’ game or a split-squad the other way, so he did a nice job.”
Where would Wolf be today had he not found that mechanical fix?
“That’s a great question,” he said. 
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Wolf to debut; big day for Capuano

I’m at the home half of the Brewers’ split-squad action today as the Brewers face the Giants at Maryvale Baseball Park. Randy Wolf is set for his unofficial Brewers debut, and fellow lefty Chris Capuano will follow in his first Major League game action in just short of two years. He’s attempting the difficult comeback from a second Tommy John surgery and said this morning that he was feeling some jitters.

“I’m just happy to be able to play,” Capuano said. “Knock on wood, but my arm feels great. It feels normal, and that is a good thing.”
Not that there weren’t doubts along the way. 
“There were times that I thought about alternative game plans,” Capuano said Saturday morning, sitting at his locker in the hours before his long-awaited appearance. “I thought about what my next move would be. Would I go back to school? What did I want to do with my life if my arm, for some reason, wouldn’t bounce back the way I wanted it to?
“I didn’t let myself indulge in those thoughts too long. I wanted to be careful about going down that road, but inevitably you are going to have those thoughts.”
Here’s how the teams will line up:
GIANTS
Andres Torres  CF
Fred Lewis  LF
Nate Schierholtz  RF
Juan Uribe  SS
Eli Whiteside  C
Ryan Rohlinger  3B
Kevin Frandsen  2B
Brett Pill  1B
Kevin Pucetas  RHP
BREWERS
Rickie Weeks  2B
Corey Hart  RF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Jim Edmonds  CF
Matt Treanor  C
Alcides Escobar  SS
Randy Wolf  LHP
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Spring rotation set

The Brewers have a tentative Cactus League rotation mapped out through the team’s March 24 off-day, and here’s how it looks for the six starting candidates next week:

Wed., March 3 intrasquad game: Dave Bush and Manny Parra
Thurs., March 4 at Giants: Jeff Suppan
Fri., March 5 at A’s: Yovani Gallardo
Sat., March 6 split-squads vs. Giants and at Rockies: Randy Wolf and Chris Narveson 
Sun., March 7 vs. Reds: Doug Davis
There is wiggle-room built in to allow for some adjustments later in March, but you can start to make some educated guesses about how things will line up. An every-five-day schedule plus one extra day of rest would take Gallardo right to the Brewers’ April 5 regular-season opener against the Rockies, followed by Wolf and Davis in that series. There is an off-day on the calendar for April 8, so Suppan might be lined up for April 9 against the Cubs. 
The operative phrase here is tentative, because bumps and bruises, split-squads and B-games, almost certainly will prompt some adjustments along the way. The Brewers plan to have an open competition, especially for the final two spots between Bush, Narveson, Parra and Suppan. 
The first few innings of that March 5 game against Oakland could be interesting. It’s Gallardo’s debut, and he is scheduled to face former Brewer Ben Sheets. 
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Wolf downplays exit from L.A.

Wolf04 copy.jpgOn a dreary day outside Miller Park, Randy Wolf insisted he was right where he wanted to be.

The left-hander passed a physical on Monday and finalized a three-year contract with the Brewers that includes a club option for 2013. It guarantees $29.75 million, making Wolf the third-richest pitcher in franchise history.

Wolf was all smiles in his new Brewers jersey and cap, but conceded last week that he was “disappointed” his hometown Dodgers didn’t make more of an effort to bring him back after he went 11-7 in 2009 with a 3.23 ERA in a career-high 34 starts. The Dodgers declined to offer him arbitration, then decided against making an offer once Wolf hit the open market.

That left an opening for the Brewers.

“To tell you the truth, going into this offseason I wanted to be on a team that wanted to win and I wanted to be on a team that was dedicated to me and having that feeling be mutual,” Wolf said. “I went into this offseason with a very open mind. I wasn’t set on going back to L.A.

“When the Brewers came out very early and showed me that I was a priority this offseason, I looked at them a lot closer and realized this would be a great fit for me.”

Part of the Brewers’ pursuit was a West Coast trip by Brewers GM Doug Melvin, who, along with principal owner Mark Attanasio, met with Wolf in L.A.  Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman joined the sales pitch in a 45-minute conversation with Wolf about playing in Milwaukee.

“From Day 1 they made it very clear that I was a priority this winter,” Wolf said. “Not only was I the priority, but winning was the priority … and that’s very important to me. When you become a free agent, you want a team that desires you and thinks that you can help their team win. The thing I see from this organization is they’re making a huge effort to win.”

Wolf’s financial package was evidence of that effort. His deal is the third-richest for a pitcher in Brewers history and, according to the Associated Press, includes base salaries of $9.25 million in 2010, $9.5 million in 2011 and $9.5 million in 2012. The club option for 2013 would pay $10 million with a $1.5 million buyout.

He can earn an additional $250,000 per year in incentives: $125,000 for 190 innings and $125,000 for 200 innings. Wolf gets a limited no-trade clause and additional payment of $250,000 if he’s dealt.

“We felt he fit for what we needed here,” Melvin said. “In the past, you’re always looking for somebody to give you innings, but what you need is someone who’s going to give you quality innings. Randy fit a lot of our criteria.”

“I really strongly believe that he’s turned a corner to his career,” Melvin said. “I think he can really take off in these next few years. He is one of the better pitchers in the game today and he can continue that as a Milwaukee Brewer.”

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(All photos courtesy of Scott Paulus/Brewers)

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Wolf, Counsell contract details

The Associated Press reported the details of Randy Wolf’s three-year, $29.75 million contract and Craig Counsell’s one-year, $2.1 million contract:

Randy Wolf gets $9.25 million next year and $9.5 million in each of the following two seasons. The deal includes a $10 million club option for 2013 with a $1.5 million buyout.
Wolf can make an additional $250,000 a year in performance bonuses: $125,000 each for 190 and 200 innings. He has a limited no-trade clause and would get $250,000 if he’s dealt. …
Counsell can earn $500,000 in performance bonuses: $50,000 each for 50, 75, 90 and 110 games, and $100,000 each for 125 games and 75 and 100 starts.

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Wolf, Counsell officially inked

Left-hander Randy Wolf passed a physical on Monday and finalized his three-year pact with the Brewers, who succeeded in landing their top free agent target. 
The team was to introduce the newest member of its starting rotation in an afternoon press conference at Miller Park. 
Minutes later, the team announced that infielder Craig Counsell’s deal was official, too. Counsell agreed to return to the Brewers on a straight one-year contract with no option. He lives in Milwaukee but wasn’t expected to take part in Monday’s Miller Park event. 
Wolf, whose deal also includes a club option for a fourth season, reportedly is guaranteed $29.75 million, making it the third-richest pitching contract in Brewers history. The 33-year-old pitched for his hometown Dodgers in 2009, going 11-7 with a 3.23 ERA in a career-high 34 starts. He wanted to return to Los Angeles, but the Dodgers declined to offer him arbitration, then didn’t make him a contract offer once Wolf hit the open market. 
The Brewers did. General manager Doug Melvin viewed Wolf as the second-best free agent starter and decided early that Milwaukee couldn’t afford John Lackey, so he went hard after Wolf. Melvin traveled to L.A. ahead of the Winter Meetings to meet in person with Wolf, then made him a three-year offer on the first day of baseball’s gathering in Indianapolis. 
On Wednesday, apparently unable to find another team willing to go to three years, Wolf and his agent, Arn Tellem, accepted. 
The Brewers were willing to reach for Wolf because they badly need to bolster a group of starting pitchers who combined for a 5.37 ERA last season, worst in the National League. Melvin had already cut ties with Braden Looper, who led the staff with 14 wins in 2009 but also allowed more home runs than any pitcher in baseball and would have cost $6.5 million had the Brewers exercised his option. 
Melvin would like to add one more starting pitcher but he does have the makings of a five-man rotation with Wolf in the fold behind young ace Yovani Gallardo. The Brewers are expected to stick with left-hander Manny Parra, who is coming off an 11-win season despite posting a 6.36 ERA and enduring a demotion to the Minor Leagues. The Brewers tendered a contract Saturday to arbitration-eligible righty Dave Bush, who earned $4 million last season and can probably expect a raise despite an injury-plagued 2009. That’s a strong indication that Bush will return as a starter. And fellow right-hander Jeff Suppan has one year remaining on a contract that calls for a $12.5 million salary next season, making him the highest-paid Brewer.  
Wolf has made eight career starts at Miller Park, going 2-4 with a 5.95 ERA against a Milwaukee lineup that in recent years has feasted on left-handed pitchers. 
He’s been solid against the Brewers’ National League Central opponents, including the Astros (3.94 ERA in 14 starts), Cardinals (3.64 ERA in 10 starts), Cubs (4.22 ERA in 17 starts), Pirates (7-1, 3.39 ERA in 12 starts) and Reds (9-2, 3.11 ERA in 16 starts). 
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Melvin visited Wolf in L.A.

Stop us if this sounds familiar: Brewers GM Doug Melvin lured his latest free agent starter in part by taking the time to visit him in person in Los Angeles.

That’s how Melvin and principal owner Mark Attanasio courted Jeff Suppan in 2006 (a four-year, $42 million contract didn’t hurt that effort) and how Melvin helped sell Randy Wolf ahead of these Winter Meetings. On Wednesday, Wolf agreed to a three-year contract with the Brewers that guarantees just shy of $30 million.

“I’m excited to reach this deal and I’m excited with the possibility and the future with Milwaukee,” Wolf told Sirius XM Radio. “It was really cool that Doug Melvin came out to L.A. and visited me and made it well known that I was his priority and he really wanted me there. 

“‘That’s a good feeling as a free agent pitcher, or any ballplayer really, when you have a team that really wants you there and wants to win and feels that you can help the team do that.  That’s a good feeling.”

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