Results tagged ‘ Trevor Hoffman ’

Hoffman, Brewers toast Kendall's 2K hit

Jason Kendall said he was touched by the show of support from his teammates, who toasted the veteran catcher’s 2,000th career hit Monday night with some suds packed just for the occasion.

Phil Rozewicz, who runs the visitor’s clubhouse at Miller Park and is a longtime buddy of Kendall’s, printed labels commemorating the milestone and pasted them on enough bottles of beer for everyone on the team. Trevor Hoffman led a toast immediately after the Brewers’ 8-4 win at Busch Stadium.

“It was pretty special,” Kendall said. “This is a great group of guys.”

With his second-inning single off Kyle Lohse, Kendall became the eighth player to catch 1,000 games and record 2,000 hits. Only 254 other players in Major League history had reached that milestone before Kendall. Colorado’s Todd Helton joined the list on Tuesday night. 

“[Two-thousand] is a big deal, but it’s not,” Kendall said. “It makes 3,000 just blow my mind.”

His teammates certainly thought it was a big deal. But the ceremonial beer shower that has accompanied such celebrations — think Corey Hart making the All-Star team last season — was missing. Kendall managed to stay suds-free, at least on the outside.

“I didn’t want to waste it,” he said.

Brewers get punk'd by Hoffman

As if Brewers manager Ken Macha’s hair was not white enough.

Macha had just settled into a comfortable spot on the bench for his daily back-and-forth with the beat writers when, just a few feet away, 41-year-old closer Trevor Hoffman crashed into a cart of baseballs, sent them flying and sprawled in the dirt in apparent pain.

The Brewers’ pregame stretch came to a screeching halt. So did Macha’s media session. Finally, a smile appeared on Hoffman’s face.

“I’ve got old tricks,” Hoffman said a few minutes after pulling off the prank, “but it’s a new place. They all work again. I can pull out my old stuff!”

The Brewers are happy that he appears to be the same old pitcher. Hoffman is off-limits Friday night after pitching in three straight games but will be available again on Saturday as the Brewers and Cardinals continue their series. We chatted with Hoffman in the dugout before today’s game, and I’ll pass along his take on his hot start and, including why he’s throwing so many fastballs, in my preview of Saturday’s game.

Hey Trevor, what year is it?

Did someone turn back the clock to 1998 and forget to tell me?

If you haven’t been watching, Trevor Hoffman has been pitching like he did a decade ago:

  • He’s 8-for-8 in save opportunities and has not allowed a run in his nine Brewers appearances since missing the first month with an oblique strain.
  • He has retired 20 of the last 21 hitters he has faced, and the only hit is an infield single by Pittsburgh’s Nate McLouth on May 4.
  • He’s retired 13 hitters in a row since then, including four consecutive saves in which Hoffman has gone three-up, three-down.
  • He recorded saves in all three games of the just-completed sweep of the Marlins while throwing 32 pitches. Florida hitters managed to get three balls out of the infield and only one was hit hard — a liner to left fielder Ryan Braun on Wednesday night.

Pretty amazing, and no accident. I tried to talk to Hoffman after Thursday’s game but he was still getting treatment in the trainer’s room at 4 p.m. CT, about an hour and 15 minutes before the end of the game.

The rest of the team had already left by then for the airport, where a chartered plane was waiting to take the Brewers to St. Louis. One of the Brewers’ medical interns drove Hoffman separately — at least that was the plan.

I finally gave up… so even the writers are whiffing against this guy. 

Hoffman throws 18 pitches for Nashville

Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman began what is supposed to be a two-game rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Nashville tonight and allowed one run on two hits — both doubles — in an inning of work at Memphis. He struck out one batter and did not issue a walk.

Hoffman threw 18 pitches, 10 of them for strikes, in his first game since a March 13 Spring Training outing. He had been sidelined since then by a strained muscle along the right side of his rib cage.

Hoffman could pitch as early as Tuesday

Trevor Hoffman told me that Wednesday’s bullpen session went well, and said he expects to begin a Minor League rehabilitation assignment as early as Tuesday, when Triple-A Nashville begins a series in Memphis.

“Whenever they’re in Memphis, I’ll be there,” Hoffman said. 

First he’ll have to throw another bullpen session on Saturday in New York. Whether the next step is in Memphis or in Philadelphia, where Hoffman could throw a simulated game before the start of the Brewers-Phillies series, is to be determined, according to manager Ken Macha.

The good news Wednesday was that Hoffman got through his work without any setbacks.

“It’s good to be back on the slope,” Hoffman said. “I didn’t throw as many strikes as I would have liked, but I think the key was to come out of it pain-free.”

Hoffman throws 40 pitches

I’m 400 feet away, up in the press box, but if the high-five between Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman and bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel was any indication, Hoffman’s first mound session in more than a month went well.

I counted an even 40 pitches over 13 minutes, and Hoffman threw his full assortment. Assuming that went well, he’ll be off Thursday and could either throw another bullpen or perhaps a live batting practice session on Friday in New York. At some point if he continues making progress, Hoffman will be sent out on a MInor League rehabilitation assignment.

The Brewers would love to have him back. Pitching in a non-save situation Tuesday night, fill-in closer Carlos Villanueva surrendered three runs on four hits. To be fair, two of the hits took tough hops near third base, including one that jumped up and hit Bill Hall in the left collarbone. Still, Villanueva allowed a 3-1 Reds lead to grow to 6-1, and manager Ken Macha hedged just a bit when he was asked whether Villanueva’s role was up in the air.

“We’ll have to see how he’s feeling [Wednesday],” Macha said. “Certainly, [Todd] Coffey and [Seth] McClung and [Mark] DiFelice have king of pitched a little better than he has right now. We’ll see how he’s feeling.”

Weeks back for Jackie Robinson Day

While Trevor Hoffman gets loose in the outfield prior to what’s supposed to be his first mound session in more than a month, here are the lineups for tonight’s game against the Reds:

Willy Taveras  CF
Chris Dickerson  LF
Joey Votto  1B
Brandon Phillips  2B
Jay Bruce  RF
Edwin Encarnacion  3B
Ramon Hernandez  C
Alex Gonzalez  SS
Micah Owings  RHP

Rickie Weeks  2B
Corey Hart  RF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
J.J. Hardy SS
Mike Cameron  CF
Bill Hall 3B
Jason Kendall  C
Braden Looper RHP

Weeks is back in action after sitting out Tuesday night against Bronson Arroyo, who has owned Weeks throughout his career. Otherwise the lineup is the same as usual for manager Ken Macha.

I’ll pass along some sort of update on Hoffman after he’s done throwing. He’s long-tossing with bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel at the moment.

Hoffman on track for Wednesday bullpen session

Mangaer Ken Macha monitored Trevor Hoffman’s throwing session on Monday and said the rehabbing closer is on track to throw off a mound on Wednesday prior to the Brewers-Reds series finale.

Hoffman hasn’t pitched since March 13 because of a strained muscle in his right side. He will have to throw several mound sessions before a Minor League rehabilitation assignment, meaning Hoffman probably won’t be back until the final week of April, at the earliest.

Duffy, Counsell start against Dempster

Chris Duffy gets his first start of the season tonight and Craig Counsell makes his second start as Milwaukee faces Brewer-killer Ryan Dempster and the Cubs in an Easter Sunday night series finale. It’s the Brewers’ first appearance on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball since July 20, 1997, when Scott Karl out-pitched the Yankees’ Hideki Irabu in a 6-2 Brewers win.

Here’s the lineup:

Rickie Weeks  2B
Craig Counsell  3B
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
J.J. Hardy  SS
Corey Hart  RF
Chris Duffy  CF
Jason Kendall  C
Jeff Suppan  RHP

Dempster killed the Brewers last seaosn, going 4-0 with a 2.40 ERA in five starts and allowing one run in five innings of the only no-decision. Jason Kendall is the only Brewer with decent career numbers against Dempster (16-for-37, .432). Here are some other key Brewers against Dempster:

Braun: 2-for-15, .133
Mike Cameron: 3-for-18, .167 seven strikeouts
Counsell: 3-for-15, .200
Duffy: 2-for-4, one walk
Fielder: 4-for-16, .250, one home run, two walks, three strikeouts
Bill Hall: 3-for-18, .167 seven strikeouts
Hardy: 2-for-18, .111
Hart: 1-for-14, .071, three walks, six strikeouts
Weeks: 2-for-9, .222, three walks, three strikeouts


In his pregame session with reporters, manager Ken Macha said Trevor Hoffman would throw again on flat ground Monday and was scheduled to throw off a mound for the first time on Wednesday. In the meantime, Carlos Villanueva will continue to fill in, and Villanueva approached Macha on Sunday to essentially say, “I’m ready to go.” That was a good sign, Macha said, that Saturday’s blown save was not affecting the young right-hander.

Hoffman close to the mound

Trevor Hoffman played catch again Saturday, and Brewers officials are hopeful that their rehabbing closer will be back on a pitcher’s mound before the team’s homestand concludes on Wednesday.

Hoffman, out since March 13 because of a strained muscle along his rib cage, threw from 120 feet with head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger prior to Game 2 of a Brewers-Cubs series at Miller Park and completed the exercise without incident, according to general manager Doug Melvin.

He still faces a number of steps before appearing for the Brewers in a game and might not be back until the final week of April even in the best-case scenario. Assuming Hoffman can return to a mound before Wednesday’s homestand finale, he would throw at least two such bullpen sessions followed by one or two days of live batting practice against Brewers hitters to test the strength of the strained muscle in his right side. Each of those “throw days” would probably be followed by at least one day off.

After that, Hoffman will be sent out on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment. The destination is to be determined.

“He’s definitely going to pitch somewhere, there’s no doubt about that,” manager Ken Macha said. “There will be a rehab assignment, yeah.”