Results tagged ‘ Todd Coffey ’

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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No shortage of praise for Hoffman in clubhouse

Following last night’s thriller, which featured career save No. 600 for Trevor Hoffman, we had a sidebar on his Brewers teammates’ reactions to the moment.
While that story captured the emotions and feelings in the clubhouse, there was far too much to fit in after the game. With a guy like Hoffman who’s frequently described as the “best teammate,” there was hardly of lack of things to say in the home clubhouse.
Braun: “Like we were going to the playoffs”
According to left fielder Ryan Braun, the emotion following the final out of the game was far greater than the meaningless early September game that it starter out as.
“It felt like we were going to the playoffs,” he said. “It was exciting. I think it was exciting for all of us to have something to celebrate, for all of us to have been a part of something so special. That’s something that we might not ever see again. Who knows if anybody else ever gets to 600 saves.”
Coffey: “I was 100 percent spectator”
Perhaps most excited about the achievement — more so even than Hoffman himself — were Hoffman’s bullpen mates.
Reliever Todd Coffey described his feelings as “beyond goosebumps” as he become more of a spectator than a teammate. After that, he went on for a few minutes about the emotions he felt both when Hoffman entered the game and recorded his 600th save.
“As soon as he walked out of the bullpen, the entire bullpen was up and I think we were all clapping louder than the fans, we were hollering louder than the fans,” Coffey said. “I don’t think any of us actually realized we were in the bullpen. We were all out there with Hoffy.
“We were hanging over, we even thought about, ‘let’s just jump the wall and go. Then we thought, ‘we better not jump the wall.’
“I think me, Zach [Braddock] and Kam[eron Loe] all hit the pile at the same time. I think I felt the whole pile moving when we hit it. It’s an experience that I’ll never forget. He’s always there for every one of us. For us to be there for him, it’s amazing. He cares less about himself and more about his teammates than anything else.”
Davis: “Just incredible”
Others had less to say, but their thoughts were no less insightful.
Veteran left-handed starter Doug Davis recalled being part of a similar moment early in his career.
“Definitely the most exciting thing I’ve ever been a part of,” Davis said. “My first win was John Wetteland’s 300th save. I thought that was impressive, but this, twice as many saves, it’s just incredible.”
Bush: “An amazing number”
Another Brewers starter, right-hander Dave Bush, took particular notice of the number of people in the dugout during that final inning, as everyone wanted the best view they could get of Hoffman’s historic save.
“It’s an amazing number, one that nobody’s ever gotten to before,” Bush said. “I can’t even fathom at all what it takes to reach that.
“It was exciting. Probably the most people I’ve ever seen in the dugout in the ninth inning. Everybody was coming down here because they wanted to be as close to it as they could. As a player, moments like that are few and far between. To be his teammate and to be around for something like is just awesome.”
Lucroy: “I’m totally lucky and blessed”
After beginning the season at Double-A Huntsville, catcher Jonathan Lucroy called the game Tuesday night, including Hoffman’s thrilling ninth.
As he waited on the mound for the all-time saves leader, with “Hell’s Bells” blaring from the stadium speakers, Lucroy said he had goosebumps and began to shake from the nerves.
He stayed relaxed behind the plate, though, and didn’t change a thing. Until the final out as he ran down toward first base.
“It’s something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life and cherish,” Lucroy said. “To be able to remember something like that, it’s a blessing for me to even be able to experience it.
“To see him achieve a goal like that is just something that every baseball player lives for. It couldn’t have happened to a better guy. He totally deserves it. It’s an honor for me to even be here and just experience it.
“I was jacked up and excited. I told myself I was going to sacrifice my life to get an out for him if I needed to. I was going to go everything I could to get an out, no matter what I had to do, I was going to sacrifice everything for him.
“For somebody like that, to put in the kind of work he has, to play for as long as he has, and have the kind of character that he has, and for something like that to happen to him, and for me to even be there and be a part of it, it’s an unbelievable feeling.
“I was the first one [to the mound]. Usually I run down to first base and back up on ground balls, but I cut it off halfway. I was going to go get there first as fast as I could. I grabbed him and he grabbed me in a headlock and then everybody else hit and we went at it.
“It’s not very often you see grown men crying out there and there were grown men crying on the field. It was very emotional, I was trying to hold back as best I could. It’s just the payoff for so much hard work and just shows you that if you work hard and be a good person in this game there’s a lot of good things that happen to you.
“I’m totally lucky and blessed to even be here. To experience that, I don’t even deserve that. I don’t even deserve to be on the same field as that guy.”
Axford: “My heart was racing the entire time”
Of course, no story about Hoffman’s historic accomplishment would be complete without some mention of his replacement, rookie John Axford.
As has been the case all season, Axford had nothing but positive things to say about his mentor in the Brewers bullpen.
“He’s meant everything to my development because he carries about his business perfectly. He does everything right,” Axford said. “That’s been the best mentor for me. I just try to watch him and see what he does and see how I can build upon that. Every time I go out there I just try and do right by Trevor. I just want to do basically what Trevor would do and do things the right way.
“My heart was racing the entire time once the ‘Hell’s Bells’ started. My heart was going and it didn’t stop the entire time until we’re actually here right now and I’m still talking a mile a minute. I still feel the emotion and the rush from it. I think it was absolutely unbelievable.”
“It’s a cool kind of turn around. At the beginning of the year, I got my first save and Hoffy went in and got a hold for me. Now I got to go in and save that game for him, which is probably going to be the best hold of my entire life right there. I’m definitely glad I was in that game for sure.”
McGehee: “The ultimate professional”
Third baseman Casey McGehee admitted he was nervous when Hoffman entered the game. In fact, he was just hoping the ball wasn’t hit to him.
Once the final out had been recorded, however, McGehee was thrilled to be a part of such a big moment and to have played with someone who is the all-time leader
in any category.
“I think the reaction of all the guys kind of let everybody see how important to this team and to us he is,” McGehee said. “You couldn’t have asked for it to happen to a better guy. He’s the ultimate professional with everything he does.
“There’s not too many people you played with that you can say you played with the all-time best anything. When my career is over and I’m sitting around telling stories at a bar somewhere, that’s going to be one of the ones I tell.
“You can’t block that out, we all knew what was going on. Most of us, we’re huge fans of the game. Coming up, we remember watching Trevor Hoffman when he was in his prime and he was virtually unhittable. To be any small part of it, it’s pretty special.
“Some of these guys that got called up today, first day in the big leagues, not a bad way to start your big league career.”
Fielder: “Happy to be a part of it”
The final out was recorded by Prince Fielder, as veteran shortstop Craig Counsell fielded a ground ball and fired to Fielder at first.
As Fielder closed his first-baseman’s mitt on the ball, he joined McGehee and Lucroy as the first three players to embrace Hoffman on the mound.
“It was awesome,” Fielder said. “Coming into this year, you knew he was close to getting it. Everything he had to go through to get to it and he finally got it, I’m really happy for him. It’s really awesome.
“It [ranks] up there just because it’s your teammate and it’s a really special moment and something that nobody else has ever done. That’s what makes it even more special and I’m just really happy to be a part of it.
Narveson: “Pretty amazing”
But none of it would have been possible had it not been for an impressive seven-inning performance by lefty starter Chris Narveson. 
His brilliance on the mound was lost in the shuffle, but everything was set up by one of Narveson’s best starts of the 2010 season.
“That was pretty amazing,” Narveson said. “To be able to witness it and be the guy that started that game, was pretty special.”
— Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter

Hoffman talks trade deadline

Trevor Hoffman insists he’s not sweating Saturday’s non-waiver trade deadline. But if the Brewers do get an offer for the all-time saves leader, it’s very possible that Hoffman would have the final say.
Hoffman has a limited no-trade clause in his contract that blocks the Brewers from trading him to 25 of the 30 Major League teams without his consent. Hoffman talked about the existence of that clause on Wednesday morning, but said he didn’t know any of the details. 
He could be attractive to a team seeking relief. Hoffman has posted a 1.69 ERA over his last 15 appearances, including six consecutive scoreless outings. He’s signed through the end of his season, with a club option for 2011 that can be bought out for $500,000.  
“I haven’t even really thought about it,” Hoffman said. “I’m comfortable here. I think we’re a good enough ballclub to scratch back in this thing. If your mind starts to drift any other way, then I don’t think you’re ‘all-in’ with what we’re doing here. 
“I understand the adage from the time you’re coming up, that as you’re trying to make it with your particular club, there are 29 other teams scouting you. But if you have that kind of back-of-your-mind mentality, you’re going to sabotage yourself.” 
The Brewers plan to wait until Saturday to activate right-hander LaTroy Hawkins from the 60-day disabled list, just in case they trade one of their other relievers before that day’s 3 p.m. CT deadline.
“We think it’s close enough to that point so we’ll just wait and see,” general manager Doug Melvin said. “We don’t have anything currently on the table, but you never know what might come up.” 
Melvin said things were “all quiet” on the trade front Wednesday, making it even more likely that the two Brewers mentioned most often in rumors — first baseman Prince Fielder and right fielder Corey Hart — will stay put after Saturday’s deadline. 
But it’s possible that the Brewers will find a taker for one of their relievers. Hoffman would make sense, or perhaps Todd Coffey, since he has one more year of arbitration-eligibility after this one before he reaches free agency. 
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Coffey activated, Smith out

On Friday, Todd Coffey tested his bruised right thumb in a one-inning appearance for Triple-A Nashville.
On Saturday, he tested his patience. 
Coffey declared himself ready to return from the 15-day disabled list, but the Brewers, with a relatively-rested bullpen, waited one more game to make the roster move. Following a heartbreaking, 8-7 loss to the Rockies, the team activated Coffey and outrighted fellow reliever Chris Smith to Triple-A Nashville. Coffey will be back in the bullpen for Sunday’s series finale.
“I’m ready to jump back in there in the seventh or eighth inning and go right after them,” Coffey said a few hours earlier.
He was very sharp in his rehabilitation stint for Nashville on Friday night. Coffey needed only 13 pitches in his 1-2-3 inning and struck out the first batter he faced.
It was his first game action since May 29, when Coffey suffered a bone bruise at the base of his thumb during a rare at-bat.
“I feel real good,” Coffey said. “I felt like I had command of everything. I made sure I put a little extra pressure [on the thumb] while throwing the sinker, just to make sure it was good.” 
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Coffey, Davis ready for rehab assignments

Brewers reliever Todd Coffey and starter Doug Davis both threw off the mound at Angel Stadium on Tuesday in their final steps before rehabilitation assignments to Triple-A Nashville. 
Coffey will be up first. He has not pitched since May 29 because of a bruised right thumb, but threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday and felt ready to pitch in a game. He will appear for Nashville on Thursday night in a doubleheader against Memphis and hopes to be activated by the Brewers on Friday night in Colorado. 
“Roger [Caplinger] and Dan [Wright] have done a great job of keeping my shoulder in shape,” Coffey said, referring to the Brewers’ athletic trainers. “Today in my bullpen, I felt like I didn’t miss a beat. I’ll get in one game real quick and then get back and throw some strikes.”
Davis, on the disabled list since May 16, when he developed inflammation of the lining around his heart, threw about 45 pitches in a three-inning simulated game at Angel Stadium on Tuesday and is scheduled to start for Nashville on Saturday against Oklahoma City and again the following Thursday, June 24, at Memphis. If those outings go well, he should return to the Brewers on June 29. 
“I feel great,” Davis said. “I was a little rusty throwing strikes in the third inning, just because I probably wasn’t waiting as long as I would wait between innings. Maybe I got a little tired from throwing too hard. But my arm felt good, my stuff was sharp.” 
Utility man Joe Inglett served as the batter. 
“The swings he was getting off me made me feel pretty good, especially when he turned around right-handed,” Davis joked. 
Inglett bats left-handed. 
Davis is scheduled to throw his usual between-starts side session on Thursday. That’s an off-day for the Brewers, so the team sent him Tuesday night to Phoenix, where Davis has an off-season home and where the Brewers have their year-round training facility.  
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Coffey placed on DL – plus (a correct) lineup

The Brewers today placed right-handed reliever Todd Coffey on the disabled list with his bruised right thumb. They won’t make a corresponding roster move until Tuesday, at the start of a week-long homestand against the Cubs and Rangers. 

(Here’s a name to keep in mind: David Riske. His rehab stint is up this week, anyway, and the Brewers will have to make a move to restore him to the 40-man roster.)
Coffey’s DL assignment was backdated to May 30, the day after he injured his thumb during a rare at-bat against the Mets. He’s eligible to return on June 14, when the Brewers begin an Interleague Series at Anaheim.
In other pitching news, the Brewers are listing Randy Wolf for Wednesday’s game against the Cubs, meaning he has opted to pitch on regular rest rather than taking the extra day off. My best guess is that Dave Bush will start Thursday’s series finale, but for now the official word is still “TBA.”
Here’s the Brewers’ lineup for Game 3 against St. Louis. So much for what I wrote yesterday about Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder flipping spots. Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are indeed flipped in the lineup, though the original lineup had them listed the other way around. Here’s the correct lineup:
Rickie Weeks  2B
Carlos Gomez  CF
Prince Fielder  1B
Ryan Braun  LF
Casey McGehee  3B
Corey Hart  RF
Alcides Escobar  SS
George Kottaras  C
Manny Parra  LHP
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Coffey sent home for tests on thumb

Still unable to pitch because of a bruised right thumb, Brewers reliever Todd Coffey was sent home to Milwaukee late Friday for further tests to determine whether he is a candidate for the 15-day disabled list.
Coffey hurt his thumb in a May 29 at-bat against the Mets at Miller Park and had hoped to miss only a few games, but reported continued discomfort in the joint and was unable to properly throw his pitches, particularly his slider. He saw a specialist while the team was in Florida, and this weekend was to be examined in Milwaukee by the Brewers’ head physician, Dr. William Raasch. 
“He got jammed hitting and it’s been tender,” said Brewers head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger, who was given the OK to speak to reporters by manager Ken Macha. “It has incrementally improved, but not to where he can ‘go.’ So we felt he had to go see our physician. We wanted to have Dr. Raasch give us his interpretation of that. … 
“If you’re a hitter, you just pad your glove up, you pad your bat up. If you’re a pitcher, you can’t do anything.”
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A true off-day

On second thought, Manny Parra will enjoy a day off with the rest of his Brewers teammates on Wednesday. 

It’s the team’s only scheduled off-day all spring, and manager Ken Macha decided Tuesday morning that it would be just that for all players and staff. Originally, Parra was scheduled to throw a Minor League intrasquad game to stay on schedule for the season. Instead, he will follow starter Jeff Suppan in Thursday’s game against the Dodgers. 
Macha might have gotten the idea from the Dodgers. On Monday, Clayton Kershaw started and worked the first five innings before Russ Ortiz handled the final four frames. 
The relievers who were supposed to follow Suppan — LaTroy Hawkins, Todd Coffey and Mitch Stetter — will pitch in a simulated game that day instead. 
Within the past few days, Brewers officials told a couple of pitchers recovering from Tommy John surgery that they would continue their rehabilitation from the Minor League complex. Left-hander Chris Capuano and right-hander David Riske will eventually be assigned to Class A Brevard County in the warm-weather Florida State League, Macha said. Capuano is ahead of Riske in his progression.
The following players were released from the Brewers’ Minor League system on Tuesday:
LHP Donald Brandt
INF John Delaney
INF Jose Duran
RHP Joel Morales
INF Yohannis Perez
RHP Ryan Platt
LHP David Welch
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Coffey avoids arbitration with one-year deal

The Brewers moved a step closer to another year devoid of arbitration hearings when they agreed to terms on a one-year deal with reliever Todd Coffey on Thursday. With Coffey under contract, the Brewers have only three arbitration-eligible players still unsigned.

“It was quick, easy, painless,” Coffey said after the team’s announcement. “Now we can get on to baseball.”

Coffey will earn $2,025,002 in 2010, a $1.225 million raise from last season. The sides struck a deal two days after exchanging arbitration figures and settled for about $50,000 less than the midpoint — Coffey and agent Rick Thurman filed for $2.45 million and the Brewers countered at $1.7 million — but Coffey can earn that $50,000 in incentives based on appearances.

He joined the Brewers in September 2008 after the Reds released him on his birthday, and was a workhorse for the Brewers in his first full season in Milwaukee. Coffey posted a 2.90 ERA in a team-high 78 relief appearances and led all National League relievers with 83 2/3 innings pitched, a career-high.

He’s expected to return in a setup role to closer Trevor Hoffman in 2010 alongside Brewers newcomer LaTroy Hawkins.

With Coffey under wraps, the Brewers have three arbitration-eligible players left to worry about:

— Right fielder Corey Hart filed Tuesday for $4.8 million, $650,000 more than the club’s $4.15 million offer and $1.55 million more than he earned in a disappointing 2009 season. 

— Starting pitcher Dave Bush filed for $4.45 million and the club offered $4.125 million, a relatively manageable gap of $325,000. Bush earned $4 million in a 2009 season marred by a line drive off the bat of Florida’s Hanley Ramirez on June 4 that struck Bush near the right elbow and caused trouble for the rest of the year. 

— Reliever Carlos Villanueva filed for $1.075 million and the team offered $800,000, a $275,000 difference.


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Brewers swap proposals with arbitration-eligibles

Minutes before teams swapped contract proposals with their arbitration-eligible players, the Brewers agreed to terms on one-year contracts for second baseman Rickie Weeks and center fielder Carlos Gomez, leaving four other eligible players unsigned.  
Weeks will earn $2.75 million in 2010, a $400,000 raise from a 2009 season spent mostly on the disabled list, and Gomez will make $1.1 million, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Gomez, acquired from the Twins in November, earned $437,500 last season with the Twins and qualified for arbitration for the first time as a so-called “Super Two” player. 
Work will continue toward deals with four other players who are arbitration-eligible but remain unsigned. The team exchanged salary proposals with all four on Tuesday:  
— The biggest gap is with reliever Todd Coffey, who filed for $2.45 million while the Brewers countered with $1.7 million, a difference of $750,000 that nearly matches Coffey’s $800,002 salary last season. Coffey arguably had the best year of any of the Brewers’ eligible players, posting a 2.90 ERA in 78 appearances while leading National League relievers with 83 2/3 innings pitched.  
Coffey wasn’t sweating the gap. He spent the day playing with daughters Hannah and Haley in North Carolina.  
“I haven’t even checked my voicemail,” Coffey said. “It’s part of the game. It’s the process you have to go through. That’s what I have an agent for, to keep my mind off the business aspect as much as possible. It’s not like you can totally ignore the business side, but I’m focused on playing baseball right now. I already have the itch.”  
— Right fielder Corey Hart filed for $4.8 million, $650,000 more than the club’s $4.15 million offer and $1.55 million more than he earned in a disappointing 2009 season. Hart’s year was made even more frustrating when he needed an emergency appendectomy in early August that sidelined him more than a month. He finished with a .260 batting average, 12 home runs and 48 RBIs.  
— Starting pitcher Dave Bush filed for $4.45 million and the club offered $4.125 million, a relatively manageable gap of $325,000. Bush earned $4 million in a 2009 season marred by a line drive off the bat of Florida’s Hanley Ramirez on June 4 that struck Bush near the right elbow and caused trouble for the rest of the year. Bush finished his frustrating season with a 5-9 record and a 6.38 ERA, highest of any National League pitcher with at least 100 innings of work. The Brewers could have nontendered Bush in December to erase his salary obligation, but opted to bring him back to a starting rotation that needs every arm it can get.  
— Reliever Carlos Villanueva filed for $1.075 million and the team offered $800,000, a $275,000 difference that was the smallest gap in terms of dollars but the second-largest as a percentage of the salary he’s seeking. Like Gomez, Villanueva was eligible for arbitration for the first time after earning $447,000 and is coming off a tough year in which he went 4-10 with a 5.34 ERA in 58 relief appearances and six starts. He did finish strong, with a 3.18 ERA over his final 16 appearances of the season.  
Brewers arbitration specialist Teddy Werner will continue negotiations with representatives for Bush, Hart and Villanueva while assistant general manager Gord Ash handles talks with Coffey’s agent, Rick Thurman.  
“All the exchange of numbers does is give you the actual parameters instead of the theoretical conversation,” Ash said. “Sometimes that can help you, and sometimes that hurts. I can’t speak for the guys Teddy is dealing with, but given the conversations I had [with Thurman] about Coffey last week, both parties were true to their respective positions.”  
Talks can continue until the date of an arbitration hearing in Florida — they’ll be scheduled for Feb. 1-21 — at which time each side presents its case to a three-member panel of judges which chooses one salary or the other. It can be a very uncomfortable process, which is why the vast majority of negotiations end with both sides agreeing on a figure near the midpoint of filings. The Brewers haven’t gone to a hearing with a player during Doug Melvin’s tenure as GM, which began in September 2002.   
“You always want to put yourself in a position to avoid a hearing,” Ash said. “But sometimes it makes sense to go to one. We’ll just have to see.”  
Gomez, Weeks and outfielder Jody Gerut, who agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract on Monday, avoided that prospect by signing ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.   
The Brewers acquired Gomez on Nov. 6 for shortstop J.J. Hardy and installed him as the starting center fielder. He was arbitration-eligible for the first time as a “Super 2” player after batting .229 last season with three home runs and 28 RBIs in 137 games.  
Weeks has also yet to tap the potential that prompted the Brewers to select him second overall in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, partly because of injuries. He was off to a great start in 2009 — .272 average, nine home runs and 24 RBIs in 37 games — before tearing the sheath of a tendon in his left wrist during a May 17 game at St. Louis. Weeks needed surgery and was lost for the season.  
The Brewers expect Weeks back in 2010 as the team’s starting second baseman and leadoff hitter.
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