Results tagged ‘ Tony Gwynn Jr. ’
Some comments from Tony Gwynn Jr.’s former Brewers teammates on today’s trade:
“I think if there’s any place he can go and be successful, he found it
[in San Diego],” closer Trevor Hoffman said. “He’ll be admired, and it’s almost like
he’s one of their own because he grew up in their clubhouse.”
Hoffman last spoke to Gwynn in April during a rehabilitation assignment with Nashville. That was after Gwynn expressed his disappointment about being removed from the 40-man roster.
“To Anthony’s credit, the four days I was with him in Memphis he was
very determined to do things right and prove Milwaukee wrong, prove to
other teams that he belonged in the big leagues,” Hoffman said. “I
admired the way he was going about it.”
Mat Gamel: “You never saw signs of disappointment,” said Gamel, who was Gwynn’s Triple-A teammate until a promotion to Milwaukee last week. “He was a positive guy, seemed to always find the best in any situation. I had a lot of long talks with Tony about everything, life in general and the game of baseball. [On the field], he was really the pace-setter for us.”
Prince Fielder: “I’m happy for him,” said Fielder, Gwynn’s closest Brewers teammate. “I bet he’s happy. I thought he played well at [Nashville] and really stayed focused. It’s a credit to him, a show of how professional he is.”
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin tried to acquire Padres outfielder Jody Gerut last season for Milwaukee’s stretch drive. He finally succeeded on Thursday, when four days of trade talks resulted in San Diego sending Gerut and what’s left of his $1.775 million salary for Tony Gwynn Jr.
“I’ve always liked his bat,” Melvin said of Gerut. “He’s not swinging it well right now, but he’s knocked in 14 runs. They’re different kinds of players. Tony and Gerut. This guy [Gerut] will drive the ball, hit some homers and doubles.”
Melvin spoke via telephone with Gwynn on Thursday afternoon. The Padres intend to promote Gwynn to the Major League roster.
“I’m sure it will be special for him [to play in San Diego],” Melvin said. “I do hope people don’t put too much pressure on him, think that he’s going to get 3,000 hits like his father. That’s the thing he’s up against a little bit, but I said he should enjoy it and I think he will enjoy it.”
It’s being reported in San Diego that the Padres have traded Jody Gerut to the Brewers for Tony Gwynn Jr. in a swap of left-handed-hitting outfielders.
As of 2:30 p.m. CT, the Brewers had yet to make the announcement.
Gerut, 31, was hitting .221 with four home runs and 21 RBIs for the Padres and presumably will join the Brewers on Friday in Minneapolis before the start of a three-game Interleague Series. The Brewers, who currently have only four active outfielders, would have to clear a 25-man roster spot when Gerut arrives.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has admired Gerut for some time. Gerut had a breakthrough season in 2008, when he batted .296 with 14 home runs and 43 RBIs. <p/>
The trade comes amid reports that the Padres were discussing another that would send Jake Peavy to the White Sox, and while the deal with the Brewers is no blockbuster, it still should raise some eyebrows in San Diego. Gwynn, 26, is the son of the Hall of Famer by the same name who played all 20 of his big league seasons for the Padres. The Brewers drafted Gwynn Jr. two picks before the Padres’ turn in the second round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft.
The Padres could have had Gwynn six weeks ago for nothing. He missed much of Spring Training with a sore right throwing shoulder, and the Brewers went instead with Chris Duffy and Brad Nelson for the Opening Day roster. Gwynn was placed on waivers, and Brewers officials were surprised when he cleared.
Gwynn responded by hitting .309 with a .387 on-base percentage, 39 runs scored and 15 stolen bases in 16 tries at Triple-A Nashville.
[UPDATED at 1:20 p.m. CT… Added some thoughts from assistant GM Gord Ash and corrected my note on Koshansky, who actually came from the Rangers after a 4-day stay in that organization.]
Tony Gwynn Jr. is staying put.
All 29 teams, including the San Diego Padres, who employed Gwynn’s father for 20 Hall of Fame seasons, could have had Gwynn for $20,000 — plus a roster spot, of course — after the Brewers placed Gwynn on outright waivers Wednesday. All 29 teams passed, so the Brewers were able to assign Gwynn to Triple-A Nashville.
“I was surprised he got through,” Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said. “But it’s happened to other players before. It happened to Brad Nelson three years ago, and look where he is now. It doesn’t mean the end of anything, it’s just kind of an interruption.
“[Gwynn] is obviously disappointed, but understands. He wanted to make sure that he’s going to get the opportunity to play and make his way back to the big leagues. I assured him he would.”
Gwynn, 26 and Milwaukee’s second-round Draft pick in 2003, reported to Spring Training out of Minor League options and seemingly assured a job as the Brewers’ fourth outfielder. But he missed the first half of Spring Training with a sore throwing shoulder and then was outplayed by fellow out-of-options outfielder Nelson and non-roster invitee Chris Duffy. Gwynn went 4-for-25 in Cactus League games with eight strikeouts.
The final choice essentially came down to Gwynn or Duffy; both are left-handed hitters with speed on the basepaths and are premium defenders in center field. Duffy batted .315 in Spring Training.
Also on Friday, the Brewers announced that third baseman Mike Lamb had cleared release waivers and become a free agent. Lamb was informed Tuesday that he would not have a spot on Milwaukee’s Opening Day roster.
The team also claimed first baseman Joe Koshansky off waivers from the Rangers and optioned him to Nashville, where the Sounds already had a first baseman in former Brave Scott Thorman. Ash said the Brewers could have some further news regarding Thorman later today.
Koshansky, who turns 27 in May, has spent brief stints in the big leagues in each of the last two seasons but spent most of 2008 at Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he batted .300 with 31 home runs and 121 RBIs in just 122 games. He also struck out 158 times. The Rangers claimed him off waivers from the Rockies on March 29 but then needed the 40-man roster spot for a non-roster invitee, according to Ash.
There are strong indications today that Tony Gwynn Jr. has either been placed on waivers or that a trade is in the works. Manager Ken Macha directed questions to general manager Doug Melvin, who wouldn’t or couldn’t elaborate.
“I can’t [say] either,” Melvin said.
When might he be able to provide the answer?
“Tomorrow,” Melvin said.
That response, coupled with the fact that Gwynn did not play in Wednesday’s game and was probably not going to appear on Thursday was a good hint that Gwynn, who is out of Minor League options, is on waivers. If he clears, the Brewers would assign Gwynn to Triple-A Nashville.
Gwynn was to travel with the Brewers on Thursday evening to Los Angeles. The Brewers won’t set their roster until it’s due on Sunday, so a handful of players will board the team charter with some degree of uncertainty about their status. The roster would be essentially set if Gwynn does not make the cut, but there’s always a chance of a last-minute trade, waiver claim or an injury.
For the second straight season, an injury came at a bad time for Gwynn. He was supposed to serve as the starting center fielder last April before a hamstring strain sidelined him. He reported to camp this spring with the fourth outfielder’s job all but locked up, but missed the first half of Spring Training with a sore throwing shoulder. In 25 at-bats after he recovered, Gwynn batted .160.
“We know Tony and we’ve seen what he can do,” Melvin said. “It’s probably been a little harder for Ken and his new staff to evaluate him, because they haven’t seen him. But we’ve told them what he can do and what he can’t do. He’s still a good player and everything. He fits what Duffy does, a little bit.”
if Gwynn clears waivers, he would join a very crowded outfield situation in Nashville. Brendan Katin and Cole Gillespie are expected to see time at the corners, though Gillespie is dealing with an elbow strain at the moment. Minor League veterans Jason Bourgeois, Adam Stern and Jason Tyner are also under contract — Tyner just signed this week, and had three hits in the Triple-A game on Wednesday.
Stern might be assigned to Double-A Huntsville, Melvin said, and so could Lorenzo Cain, though Cain may remain in extended Spring Training because of a “tweaked” hamstring.
As the Brewers prepared to break camp on Thursday, the team’s roster decisions were down to three players — Chris Duffy, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Brad Nelson — for two reserve outfield spots.
Gwynn and Nelson are on the 40-man roster and out of Minor League options, so either player would have to be exposed to waivers before being demoted. Duffy is in camp on a Minor League contract and would have to be added to the 40-man if he makes the team. The Brewers do have one open spot.
In terms of performance, Duffy and Nelson have the clear advantage. Duffy entered Thursday’s game, the finale of the Brewers’ Arizona Spring Training schediule, hitting .315 in a team-high 73 at-bats and Nelson was hitting .356 with a .429 on-base percentage.
Gwynn, meanwhile, was limited early in camp by a sore throwing shoulder and then batted .160 (4-for-25) with eight strikeouts in 13 games. It’s very interesting that he did not play at all in Wednesday’s game against the D-backs. He’s not in the lineup again today, and if Gwynn once again does not appear, it could be a very strong indication that some sort of roster move is in the works.
Club officials technically are not allowed to discuss when players are placed on waivers. Just thought I would mention it for those fans following today’s game on television or the MLB.com webcast today.
Duffy was happy with his performance in camp, and rightly so.
“I stayed healthy, and that was the No. 1 thing,” said Duffy, who missed big chunks of the last two seasons with injuries, most notably a shoulder injury that required surgery. “This might sound crazy, but my mindset wasn’t totally to make the team. I wanted to stay healthy and get ready for the season, wherever that was going to be. That helped me not put pressure on myself. I can’t control what they think or what they want, but I can control my own mindset.
“I don’t know what they’re going to do. At the end, it comes down to the fact that this is a business and that can affect the different decisions that are made. I’ve been around long enough to understand that.”
If Trot Nixon does not win a roster spot with the Brewers, the organization might not have a job for him at Triple-A.
So said general manager Doug Melvin, who met with Nixon last week. Nixon switched from No. 3 to No. 93 on March 14 but it has not helped him shake his spring slump, and with a .108 batting average it appears that he’s behind in the Brewers’ race for backup outfield spots.
“We had a conversation and I let him know where he stood at this time,” Melvin said. “The tough thing about Spring Training is evaluating the numbers, but I told him that if he didn’t make our big club, there wasn’t a guarantee of anything at Triple-A at this point.
“There’s still a lot of time left, though,” Melvin added. “The thing is, as long as you have a uniform on, you have a chance of making the ballclub. Trot is a real pro and he tries hard and he gives his best effort. In Spring Training, a couple of balls fall in for hits and the story is totally different.”
One thing is certain: Nixon is doing everything he can to get on track. He has not started a Brewers “A” game since March 15, but on Friday he asked for at-bats in a Triple-A game.
I tried over the weekend to ask him how he was doing, but he was not in the mood to chat.
“I really feel like talking about it, to be honest with you,” Nixon said with his head down.
Other outfielders are ticketed for Triple-A over Nixon. Prospects Cole Gillespie and Brendan Katin are likely to play in Nashville and the team is mulling whether to send Lorenzo Cain there. Jason Bourgeois, who is in big league camp, will go to Nashville. If Chris Duffy does not make the cut he would probably be assigned there, too. Ditto for Tony Gwynn Jr. or Brad Nelson, though the Brewers would have to pass that duo through waivers first.
So you can see that it’s crowded. Nixon, 34, would have a lot of competition for playing time.
Manager Ken Macha came armed with more medical updates on Monday:
- Braden Looper is scheduled to throw off the mound on Wednesday for the first time since he strained a muscle on his ribcage. The Brewers are not projecting beyond that, and there remains some question about Looper’s availability for the start of the season.
- Backup catcher Mike Rivera has been cleared to take batting practice. He strained his right hamstring during baserunning drills last week.
- Another catcher, Angel Salome, traveled with the team to Scottsdale on Monday and served as the bullpen catcher. If he passes that test, he should be cleared for batting practice on Tuesday.
- Mat Gamel threw for the third day in a row from 90 feet, a good sign that his strained right shoulder is feeling much better. The next step for Gamel is to be cleared to take infield.
- Outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. is pain-free but the medical staff is “still trying to figure out” the next step, Macha said. Gwynn also has a shoulder injury and had a cortisone shot last week.
Brewers skipper Ken Macha came armed with a note for his Thursday morning meeting with reporters because there were so many injuries to update. Among them:
- The team’s medical staff is encouraged by Braden Looper’s recovery from a tight oblique muscle, and he might be kept off the mound for seven days instead of 10-14. Macha also noted that Looper has been able to participate in plyometric throwing exercises since he tweaked the muscle, meaning he will not have to start from scratch when he gets back on the mound. Perhaps he’ll be in the rotation on Opening Day, after all.
“It’s going to be small steps every day and there won’t be any giants jumps forward,” Macha said.
- Reliever Eric Gagne was sent out for an MRI exam Thursday on his sore right shoulder. Gagne’s Minor League contract includes a March 26 out date on which he can elect free agency if he’s not placed on the roster, and Macha conceded that it will be tough to evaluate Gagne in that tight timeframe.
When a reporter commented that his injury will make it difficult for Gagne to make the team, Macha responded, “That’s an excellent observation. … Talking to Eric, he wants to play. How they figure this all out, they will start to develop a path once they read the MRI and see what’s going on.”
- Outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr., who had an MRI scan on Monday, received a cortisone shot Thursday morning for his right shoulder injury and will be shut down for three days. It’s another setback for Gwynn, who is way behind in the race for reserve outfield spots, but at least it comes at a good time. Gwynn will travel home to San Diego, where his wife, Alyse, will give birth to the couple’s second child.
“He got a shot, and hopefully that will clear [the shoulder inflammation] up,” Macha said. “If it doesn’t, then how they read that MRI was going to determine how they go on after that.”
- Catcher Angel Salome, who has served as a designated hitter in Cactus League games but has yet to play defense, is sidelined by tightness in the middle of his back. Salome departed Maryvale Baseball Park early Thursday after seeing Raasch, presumably for an x-ray and additional off-site tests.
- Third baseman Mat Gamel is making steady progress in his return from a sore right shoulder. He played catch with head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger on Thursday and remains about seven days away from full activity. Gamel served as the designated hitter in Thursday’s exhibition against the Australian national team.
- Reliever David Riske threw 40 pitches of live batting practice on Thursday, and it could be his final hurdle before appearing in a game. Riske and Gagne are the only pitchers in big league camp yet to pitch in a game.
Lots of injury news today, and much of it is not very promising:
- Both assistant GM Gord Ash and manager Ken Macha raised the possibility that Braden Looper’s oblique injury will force the right-hander to the disabled list for the start of the season. The team plans to shut him down for two weeks, meaning Looper will have to start from scratch about a month after the start of camp.
- Eric Gagne developed shoulder soreness late last week, throwing a wrench into his chances of making the club. He can opt out of his Minor League contract if he’s not placed on the 40-man roster by that date, but he has to pitch before the Brewers can make a decision.
“The date is his call,” Ash said. “If he wants to depart, he can. If he doesn’t want to depart, he doesn’t have to. Clearly, and I spoke to him this morning, he’s running out of time.”
- Tony Gwynn Jr.’s shoulder injury might be more serious than originally thought, though Ash declined to offer details until head doctor William Raasch reads the results of Monday’s MRI scan. Raasch will be back in camp on Thursday and will also examine Gagne.
- The Brewers are encouraged by Bill Hall’s recovery from a slight left calf tear, but he will not play in a Cactus League game until late next week at the earliest. Hall took part in some running drills on Tuesday.
- Reliever David Riske, who underwent surgery last fall to remove a bone spur, is scheduled for another live batting practice session on Thursday and then should be ready to appear in games.
- Third base prospect Mat Gamel returned to camp this week after going home for the birth of his first child, but he continues to rehab a sore throwing shoulder. Gamel was to appear as a pinch-hitter against the Rockies on Tuesday and will also get at-bats in a Minor League intra-squad game on Wednesday.