The Farm Report: May 25

Let's open the Farm Report this week by checking in with some players who are rehabbing their way back to the Majors or a higher level of the Minors. This group turned out to be a bit bigger than I expected so let's get to it.


Chris Capuano - SP - AAA - Capuano gets all the publicity and deservedly so. His future with the Brewers will be determined very soon and we'll have more on that later this week. But in the mean time, Capuano has made three very good starts for Triple-A Nashville, striking out 13 while walking only three and putting up a sparkling ERA of 2.14.

David Riske - RP - AAA - Also pitching for the Sounds is the forgotten man, David Riske. Riske was alright with Brevard County and has been good in two appearances for Nashville. His minor league numbers this year are mediocre, a 6.00 ERA and seven hits allowed in six innings. All of those hits and runs came in A-ball though.

Mat Gamel - 3B - High A - Finally, the Brewers top third base prospect has found his way onto the field. His start with Brevard County has been slow, but to a certain extent that is to be expected. In his first five games he's gone 2-for-17 with four walks and six strikeouts.

Josh Butler - SP - High A - Butler is easing his way back into the swing of things in 2010. He's made a pair of appearances for the Manatees, one good and one bad. In his first outing he went two scoreless innings. In his second, he went two innings and gave up seven runs on nine hits. We'll keep an eye on him as he works his way towards either Double-A or Triple-A.

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Low A)

Ryan Gennett - 2B/SS - 'Breakout Season' may not begin to describe what Gennett has done this year with the T-Rats. Gennett will be flying up the prospect rankings this summer if he can maintain his early production. In 42 games he's batting .348 (4th in the Midwest league), he has 79 total bases (6th in the league) and has 15 doubles (tied for the league lead). Not bad for a middle infielder.

Chris Dennis - OF/1B - Dennis has picked up his production since we last checked in, in his last ten games he's batting .316 with nine runs driven in and a .422 OBP. For the year he is tied for second on the team with 25 RBI's.

Khristopher Davis - OF - A new addition to the farm report, it's hard to leave a player off that has been as consistent as Davis. In 2010 he is batting .322 with 75 total bases and a .411 OBP. Solid numbers all-around but what you would hope to see from a college hitter.

Cutter Dykstra - IF - Back on the list is Cutter Dykstra, whether or not he stays in the Farm Report is up to him, but he's been solid in his second stint with the Timber Rattlers. Dykstra has played in 17 games and scored 12 runs while batting .288 with a .391 OBP. He's back in the mix.
Nicolas Bucci - SP - If the list gets longer it means prospects are playing well, so let's welcome Bucci to the Farm Report. He leads all Rattlers pitchers with three wins and has the best ERA of any starter, at 1.82. Also impressive is the 1.18 WHIP, best of any starting pitcher.

Eric Arnett - SP - More of the same from Arnett, he's been below average at his best and awful at worst. In his last two starts he has given up two and seven earned runs. Hard to say what is wrong with him precisely, his command is improving but he's still walked three or more in four of his last five appearances.

Jake Odorizzi - SP - His last time out Odorizzi was roughed up, giving up four runs in five innings pitched, but his command hasn't left him. In his last two starts he's struck out 12 while walking four. The Highland, Ill. Native has also struck out 45 batters in 33.2 innings, not too shabby.

Kyle Heckathorn - SP - Let's forget about Arnett for a minute and focus on the other hard throwing pitcher the Brewers drafted high last year. Heckathorn has had two very promising outings in his last two appearances, he's pitched 13 innings and given up only one run.

Best of the Rest: Andrew Lamontagne (RP) has a 1.82 ERA in 24.2 innings pitched.

Brevard County Manatees (High A)

Erik Komatsu - OF -
Still rolling, Komatsu has been a model of consistency for the Manatees in 2010. In his last ten games he's hit .310 with six driven in. For the year he's batting .326 with more walks (15) than strikeouts (14).

Josh Prince - SS - With more playing time, Prince's numbers have continued to improve. In his last ten games he's batting .318, for the month of May he's hit a very fine .309. One area he needs to improve is his walk rate, in his last ten he has no walks and for the month he only has three. Unacceptable from a leadoff hitter.

Kentrail Davis - OF - Davis finds himself mired in a pretty deep slump, in his last ten outings he's batting .132. While he's struggled to hit the ball he hasn't struggled with his plate presence, in that same stretch he's walked eight times to give him a .313 OBP.

Michael Fiers - SP - Good and bad for Fiers since we last checked in. His last time out he gave up three runs and only lasted 3.2 innings. His previous outing was spectacular however, when he struck out 11 in six innings while walking none. A 1.03 WHIP from a starter is impressive, but I doubt we'll get a sure read on Fiers until he gets promoted to Double-A.

Wily Peralta - SP - Peralta was roughed up his last time out, giving up eight runs in four innings to see his ERA rise to 4.44. Peralta also gave up his first home run of the year in that loss as well. His command has been solid though, with only 15 walks in 46.2 innings. Maybe too many strikes though, he's given up 50 hits in those 46.2 innings.

Cody Scarpetta - SP - More of the same from Scarpetta, inconsistent with his command and generally not sharp. His ERA has climbed to 4.91 and he walked four in his last outing. Scarpetta will need to show more consistency in the strike zone if he wants to have a better summer than spring.

Best of the Rest: Daniel Meadows (RP) has an ERA of 2.53 in 32 innings... Shawn Zarraga (C) is hitting .326 through 24 games... Sergio Miranda (DH) leads the team with 31 RBI's.

Huntsville Stars (AA)

Lorenzo Cain - CF - It's just a matter of time before Cain is promoted to Triple-A or even the Majors this season, he's been good enough and deserving. Back and healthy, Lo Cain has hit .265 in his last ten with ten walks and his second home run of the year. Cain has been a perfect leadoff hitter for the Stars, batting .343 on the year with a .444 OBP.

Caleb Gindl - RF - A poor month of May has continued for Gindl, who is only hitting .222 this month. He did hit his third home run of the season since our last report and his season average is an acceptable .270. Still, you'd like to see more consistency from a player considered to have MLB potential.

Brett Lawrie - 2B - It's been a much better showing from Lawrie since our last report. Batting .361 in his last ten, the Canadian slugger is downright hot. In that time period he has nine runs batted in and five extra base hits (two triples, two home runs and a double). More importantly he struck out only four times and walked six.

Zelous Wheeler - 3B - Wheeler gets the nod here in place of fellow third base prospect Taylor Green for two reasons. First, Green is injured and has landed on the disabled list and second, Wheeler is having a better season in many ways. For the year he sits at .270 with a .388 OBP, most impressive may be that he has more walks (23) than strikeouts (16).

Amaury Rivas - SP - Last season's minor league pitcher of the year continues to be the ace of the Huntsville staff. His last two starts have been quality, including one very good outing. In Rivas' last start he pitched six innings giving up three runs. The appearance before however he pitched eight innings of one run ball, striking out five. Rivas is already on the 40-man roster so it would not be a surprise to see him with the big club sometime this year.

Mark Rogers - SP - There are some signs that Rogers might be getting into a grove of late. He's gone five innings in each of his last three starts (that's good for him), two of which were scoreless outings. His last start might be most promising though, he struck out six while walking just one and gave up no runs. Interesting split, of his 25 walks 19 have come against left-handed batters.

Best of the Rest: Brent Brewer (SS) is batting .275... Brandon Kintzler (RP) has eight saves and still hasn't given up a run in 18.1 innings.

Nashville Sounds (AAA)

Adam Heether - 3B/UTIL - After a slow start, Heether has come out of his slump. In his last ten games he's batted .306 with nine driven in. On a team wracked with injuries and lacking offensive firepower it's good to see him swing the bat. If he can hit with little protection this season he should be primed to win a spot on the big league roster either later this season or next spring.

Tim Dillard - RP - The month of May has not been kind to Dillard, after putting up an ERA of 1.93 in April, his May ERA sits at 8.68. His new delivery is a work in progress and what you have to like is his much improved command, even if he is currently throwing too many pitches in the zone. In 23.1 innings he's only issued two walks.

Mike Jones - RP - The move to the bullpen has been a good one for Jones and it now sees him pitching at Triple-A. I have a suspicion Jones' isn't done with his chances as a starting pitcher but a bullpen role might see him in the Majors sooner than later. In three innings pitched he has yet to give up a run with the Sounds.

Best of the Rest: Mike McClendon (RP) has an ERA of 0.37 in 24.1 innings split between Huntsville and Nashville... Trent Oeltjen (OF) is batting .281 with 14 doubles.


Major League 2010

Zaun and Parra? Is that you?

Fun fact: The movie Major League was filmed at Milwaukee's County Stadium, the former home of the Brewers. While most Brewers fans already know this, its possible that the sudden transformation into the movie's Cleveland Indians has been missed. And it goes beyond the humorous inability to put together what is known as a winning streak in some more successful baseball cities (it has happened). Observe the comparisons:

Jake Taylor = Greg Zaun - This one is too easy. Over the hill catcher is brought back for one more go round. If he drops an RBI bunt down after calling a shot over the left field fence, I'll pay Rene Russo myself to show up at Miller Park with a newly-bare ring finger.

Jeff Suppan = Eddie Harris - Soup might actually benefit from Harris's secret snot-ball, and after the past four years, isn't it fun to imagine him taking a flying bat to the head?

Ryan Braun = Roger Dorn - On the surface there's no comparison in terms of age, position, and quality of player, but when you consider Dorn's obsession with marketability and outside business ventures, you'll see it.

Alcides Escobar = Willie Mays Hayes - Escobar, with his sub-.250 BA and sub-.300 OBP, has incredibly frustrating for such a speedy guy, thus calling to mind this gem of a quote from the movie: "You may run like Mays but you hit like sh*t."

Ken Macha = Lou Brown - Well, to be honest, this one doesn't work all that well, and you should be glad. If the players walked in and found a cutout of Mark Attanasio with removable pieces of removable cardboard clothing pasted onto his body to be removed after a win, you can bet your life you're looking at a 100 loss season.

Manny Parra = Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn - An emotional loose cannon with great stuff who is horribly inconsistent. Someone get him a pair of thick black-framed glasses and I'd be happy to sing that horrible song when he warms up.

Prince Fielder = Pedro Cerrano - Big men who strike out a lot and play with a LOT of intensity. The intimidation factor is definitely there, but when you try to imagine Prince wanting to sacrifice a tofurkey before a big game, things fall apart. It just doesn't have the same oomph.

Albert Pujols = Haywood - The player who beats the living tar out of the ball on a regular basis and is hated by the home crowd. I desperately wanted this to be that meat head Carlos Zambrano, but 1) he's a pitcher (though so was Pete Vuckovich, but that's beside the point) and 2) he's terrible this year. So Poo-Holes it is.

Of course I haven't forgotten the most obvious one of them all...

Bob Uecker = Harry Doyle - The one and only. There is a slight problem, however--he hasn't been calling the games lately, which quite frankly has made this recent slide all the worse for those of us without cable. But here's hoping he returns quickly, healthy, and brings with him a pennant run much like the one the Cleveland Indians made in that classic movie. Seriously, how great would it be to hear Uecker scream over the airwaves, "The Brewers win it! The Brewers win it! Oh my God, the Brewers win it!" after Manny Parra strikes out Pujols in the top of the 9th and Zaun drops down a bunt to score Escobar in the bottom as the Brewers beat the Cardinals in a one game playoff at the end of the season?


Breaking Ken

There is a problem with the Milwaukee Brewers through the first two months of the season. Call it inconsistency, call it velocity, call it whatever you like. The fact of the matter is, something needs to change and soon if this team wants to consider itself a playoff contender.

Some want to blame General Manager Doug Melvin for the current sub-par performance of the team, the only problem with placing the blame on him is that he has done the best with the resources available to him. Is it his fault that the pitchers he's signed aren't living up to their numbers? No.

Is it his fault that not one but two Center Fielders have been hurt, leaving Jody Gerut as a very unfortunate starting option? No.

Is it Doug Melvin's fault that Prince Fielder hasn't repeated his success of a year ago, when he set a club record for RBI's in a season? No.

It's not Melvin's fault, but it's not Ken Macha's fault either. That said, Macha still needs to go. The Brewers are not living up to the talent level of their team. Doug Davis' ERA is three runs higher than his career average and Randy Wolf's is a run higher, that says players aren't producing.

When a team has talent but isn't producing you change managers. Melvin won't be overhauling the roster in season so if he truly believes in the players he has assembled he needs to give them a chance with a manager that they appreciate and respect.

Give them someone they want to play for. Ken Macha is not the Manager for this team.

It shouldn't matter, opponents will say. And that's true - some groups of players that maybe aren't as tight knit or with different personalities might thrive under a Manager as stoic and passive as Ken Macha, but they might not also.

As fans we don't like Macha for his seeming indifference to what goes on in the game. He sits in the dugout like a tired old man with a passing interest in what goes on in front of him and doesn't seem to have any impact on the field of play. You can pick apart his lineup choices and bullpen use and can find valid mistakes that he has made but his attitude is what bothers people the most.

So what will happen? What will the front office do with Macha?

If the team finds some mojo or just plays to their ability they can make their way back into the wildcard in what looks like a mediocre National League chase. If they do manage to remain in contention for that fourth playoff spot then Melvin has no choice but to stick with Macha through the duration of the season.

The question is, does a slim chance at the playoffs make it worthwhile to stick with a team loaded with average veterans? If your answer is yes than you have to stick with Macha. This team, as assembled, is Ken Macha's team.

But if things continue to fall the way they have that needs to change. Parts need to be moved and replacements found. The Brewers would need to go young and young means so long Ken Macha. If you watched Mat Gamel's time with the big club a year ago the last thing you want to see is Macha handle any of the team's brightest young stars.

Does selling off some replaceable parts mean giving up on the season? Start with the Manager now, if you keep losing move some players that are likely on their way out anyways. Gregg Zaun won't be back next year, not with the emergence of George Kottaras and the continued strong play of Jonathan Lucroy in the minors.

Other names that could draw interest to contending teams would be Corey Hart and Jim Edmonds. Edmonds certainly won't want to play out his Indian Summer for a team slowly falling out of contention. Hart is the interesting one, as a player who should be - ideally - in his prime he could actually bring back a couple of prospects that can help the team.

I've danced around some ideas but what it comes down to is this: firing Ken Macha won't make this team worse. Promoting Willie Randolph or Dale Sveum may not necessarily make this team better but it won't make them any worse than they currently are. At the very least you will be sending a message to your fan base that mediocrity won't cut it.


For Whom the Bell Tolls

Time Marches on, that's how Metallica follows up the chorus to one of their greatest songs and one that may apply more than Hoffman's other rock favorite - ACDC's Hell's Bells. But time has marched right past future Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman. While it would be an understatement to say Trevor Hoffman is off to a bad start in 2010, it would not be an overstatement to say he has been an ineffective closer.

Hoffman has only blown more than five saves twice in the last decade and both seasons he coughed up seven chances. This year he has five blown saves and it's only May.

Hoffman has never given up more than seven home runs before July in his entire career. He's given up seven through his first 14 appearances. That's more home runs than every other pitcher that has made an appearance for the Crew this season, except Randy Wolf and Dave Bush... both starters.

In his career, Hoffman has never had more hits than innings pitched. Through his first 13 innings of work he's given up 21 base hits.

Hoffman's ground ball to fly ball ratio is .41. That is the worst he has had since the stat began recording in 1999.

In only six of his 14 appearances, Hoffman has pitched a scoreless frame. He's also had to use 15 or more pitches eight times.

Hoffman has allowed hitters to slug .881 off him. That is not only shocking but nearly unbelievable. No Milwaukee hitter is slugging higher than .564.

Those numbers should be enough to give Manager Ken Macha pause before sending him out for another save opportunity. Will they? Probably not, Macha will sink with the ship he is captaining, but that talk is for another day.

Hoffman simply doesn't have it anymore. He looks like Jerry Rice with the Broncos or Michael Jordan with the Wizards. He's become a shell of the pitcher he once was but he remains in a position to hurt the team more than any other single player can.

But what can the team do? How do you pull the plug on a Hall of Fame career? The way this season is progressing, there will come a point where General Manager Doug Melvin has to make some players and likely the Manager very unhappy. That point may come sooner for some (Macha, Jeff Suppan, Doug Davis) and later for others (Hoffman, Gregg Zaun, Jim Edmonds), but if things don't turn around quickly it will arrive soon.

Who does Milwaukee go to then, if Hoffman pitches his way into middle relief. The options don't look great. Todd Coffey had been solid before getting lit up on Monday night. Carlos Villanueva has been, for the most part, spectacular - but his velocity strikes fear into the heart of no batter. Latroy Hawkins is hurt, and has struggled mightily as a closer in the past. Manny Parra might have been an option, except he's found his way back into the starting rotation.

So who does that leave? Chris Smith has been spectacular for Nashville, saving 13 games with an ERA under two but if you saw him pitch last year you don't want to see him closing out games in the big leagues.

Next on the list would have to be one of two prospects, Zach Braddock or John Axford. Both pitchers throw hard and have shown very good command in 2010. Axford has already made it to the big league roster and is well liked by the organization.

Braddock has been outstanding aside from one very rough outing, but there are questions about his durability. He may be viewed as a future closer by some but he's had trouble staying on the field throughout the minors. Even this year in Triple-A he has yet to pitch on back to back days. I have no doubt he could help the team but can he close yet? That I do doubt.

The other question regarding both of these young pitchers is whether or not the team would be willing to put the ball in the hands of a rookie during a season the Brewers have playoff aspirations. My guess is no, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
The most likely course of action will be to move to a closer by committee, riding the hot hand while giving Hoffman a chance to work out whatever problems he has, if they are fixable. That would give Coffey, Villa and anyone else pitching well a chance to help the team.

I'd like to see what the rookies can do. A hard throwing closer can give the fans something to get excited for while getting a feel for what young players can bring to the table in years to come.

Ernest Hemingway borrowed from John Donne when he titled his book "For whom the bell tolls." The line is followed with "the bell tolls for thee" - Donne was talking about death, so that doesn't apply to Hoffman, but it may apply to his career.


The Farm Report: May 11

Has it been two weeks already? It appears so, which means it's time for another trip to the farm. But first we check in with an old friend.
Chris Capuano - SP - Let's talk about Cappy. He and his twice repaired elbow were absolutely lights out for the Brevard County Manatees in his three rehab starts. He pitched 14.2 innings, struck out 17 batters and walked none. He also only allowed two runs for a paltry 1.23 ERA. Capuano has been promoted to Triple-A Nashville where he will continue to start, here's hoping he continues to pitch well because who knows how long Doug Davis is going to last in the Brewers starting rotation.

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Low A)

Peter Fatse - IF/OF - Fatse has found himself in a pretty deep slump since his hot start, over his last 10 games he's batting just .182 and hasn't had an extra base hit since May 2. His home and away splits emulate the big club, he's batting just .200 at Time Warner Field and .359 on the road.

Chris Dennis - OF - The Canadian outfielder has also struggled since we last checked in, though not as much as Fatse. Dennis is batting .235 over his last ten games but does sport an OBP of .333 during that stretch. His four homers lead the team.

Ryan Gennett - 2B/SS - Scooter Gennett, on the other hand, has been making a name for himself. Over his last ten he's batted .378 to up his season average to .356 and he leads the T-Rats with 12 doubles. Throw in an impressive OBP (.443) and you have the teams best hitter so far.

Jake Odorizzi - SP - Odorizzi has struggled since we last checked in, he had a couple of short starts where he gave up three and four earned runs consecutively, but his command has been on overall. In his last outing he struck out eight batters in 5.2 innings while only allowing two runs.

Eric Arnett - SP - Last year's first round draft pick has managed just one good outing so far this season, a rain shortened three inning appearance a week ago when he allowed no runs. In every other appearance this year he's allowed no less than four runs.

Kyle Heckathorn - P - Thorny's last two outings have been a mixed bag. On May 1 he gave up four runs in 3.1 innings and walked a trio. He followed that up with a four inning appearance in which he struck out five, walked none and gave up two runs. Interesting split: in games that Heckathorn didn't start his ERA is a full seven runs lower. Don't read too much into that though, it's still early.

Best of the Rest: Khristopher Davis (OF) leads the team in total bases with 55; Damon Krestalude (SP) has a team low WHIP of 0.95 and Cutter Dykstra (2B) is hitting .286 in his second stint with the Rattlers.

Brevard County Manatees (High A)

Erik Komatsu - OF - Komatsu continues to be the bright spot in an otherwise poor offense for Brevard County. He may not be hitting for power (nobody on that team is) but he is hitting for average (.330). His ten doubles lead the Manatees as well.

Kentrail Davis - OF - Davis is back and in the lineup every day and he seems to be settling in. I doubt we've really seen what he can do yet, but he had hit in every game since coming back healthy going into Tuesday night. We should have more to say about him two weeks from now.

Josh Prince - SS - Hey remember this guy? A third round pick a year ago, Prince is playing every day now for Brevard County with the promotion of Brent Brewer. He's done well since being inserted into the starting lineup, hitting .306 in his last ten.

Michael Fiers - SP - Fiers had his first truly bad start on Monday night, when he gave up five runs in 4.1 innings. His season numbers are still solid though, his ERA sits at 3.32 and his WHIP is a low 1.08.

Wily Peralta - SP - Peralta on the other hand has been consistently average since we last checked in. He's given up runs in each of his last three appearances but no more than three. Basically, he's been fine but not great.

Cody Scarpetta - SP - The breaking ball specialist, Scarpetta has been much improved over the last two weeks. Over his last three starts he's given up zero, one and two runs while lowering his season ERA to a respectable 3.45. He seems to have recovered his command that he struggled with in the early part of the season.

Best of the Rest: Nick Green (RP) is sporting a 1.54 ERA; Shawn Zarraga (C), who is starting in place of the promoted Martin Maldonado, is batting .396 through 12 games.

Huntsville Stars (AA)

Lorenzo Cain - CF - He most certainly is injured and has not played since our last Farm Report. It doesn't appear to be serious but the team is going to be very careful with the highly touted Lo Cain.

Caleb Gindl - RF - The diminutive slugger, Gindl has been quiet his last 10 outings batting just .250. But he hasn't seen his numbers against left-handed pitching suffer at all, on the year he is hitting a very impressive .474 against southpaws. That's important because a year ago the left-handed hitting Gindl's biggest weakness was hitting lefties.

Taylor Green - 3B - Green has been quieter over the last 10 games, batting only .200 but his plate patience hasn't suffered at all. Through that stretch his OBP is .300, unimpressive by itself but very good to see with his scuffles at the dish.

Brett Lawrie - 2B - Some good and some bad for Lawrie, I'd say more bad then good. His 52 total bases lead the team and 13 walks is tied for the most on the Stars but 46 strikeouts in 32 games is completely unacceptable and borderline absurd. That's 25 more than anyone else on the team. You can see the potential, but Lawrie still has a way to go.

Amaury Rivas - SP - Rivas is quietly showing why he could be considered the top starting pitching prospect in the Crew's system. In five of his six starts he's given up one or less runs; he has been so effective that his last outing (in which he gave up five runs) raised his ERA to a still very low 2.10. His strikeouts are down, but his WHIP is very good for a starter at 1.19.

Mark Rogers - SP - After a pair of poor starts in which he gave up five runs in 2.1 innings and three runs in four innings, Rogers bounced back with one of his better starts of the year. His last time out he pitched five shutout innings of one-hit ball. Very good, not so good is that he's walked more batters (21) than he has struckout (20) in 2010.

Mike Jones - SP/RP - It seems more and more likely that Jones future chances will come as a relief pitcher. He made a couple of spot starts this year and struggled mightily, in his two starts his ERA is 9.00. But in 17 innings of relief Jones has a very nice ERA of 2.65. Personally I just want to see him make it to the majors, the role is unimportant.

Best of the Rest: Martin Maldonado (C) is hitting .296 and has 10 RBIs in 19 games; Brent Brewer (SS) is batting .346 since his promotion (I am shocked by this) and Brandon Kintzler (RP) has yet to give up a run or a walk while striking out 15 through 13.2 innings.

Nashville Sounds (AAA)

Jonathan Lucroy - C - The former Ragin' Cajun has cooled off after a hot start to his Triple-A career. In his last ten games he's batting just .244 and has struckout a surprising (for him) nine times. There is a reason players shouldn't skip Triple-A, but Lucroy will be just fine. He hit his first home run of the season last week against Round Rock.

Eric Farris - 2B - Just as he was starting to swing the bat well, Farris landed on the Disabled List. He hasn't played since April 29, John Raburn has seen most of the playing time in his place.

Adam Heether - 3B/UTIL - Heether seems to be coming out of his April slump, in the month of May he's batting a solid .286. He's also hit safely in eight of his last nine games. On this team it seems worth mentioning that he's managed to stay healthy.

Tim Dillard - RP - He's given up some runs of late, his ERA now sits at 3.93, but his command has still been impressive. Through his 18.1 innings Dillard has struckout 17 and walked only one.

Zach Braddock - RP - Braddock had his scoreless start end in spectacular fashion on Sunday, when he gave up eight runs in .2 innings. That disastrous outing saw his ERA climb from 0.00 to 5.14. Well, it had to happen sometime. Braddock has 24 strikouts in 14 innings.

John Axford - RP - On the other hand, we have John Axford - who hasn't given up an earned run since April 16. He has been a very consistent reliever for the Sounds and his command has been good. He's walked five against 17 strikeouts, he has to be high on the list if the Brewers need to call up a relief pitcher this season (as long as it isn't David Riske I'll be happy).

Best of the Rest: Chris Smith (RP) has an ERA of 0.71 and 12 saves; The sounds starting rotation of Marco Estrada, Chris Waters, Chase Wright, Kameron Loe and Chuck Lofgren boasts no ERA higher than 4.26 and Trent Oeltjen (OF) is batting .281.