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3 Up, 3 Down – Spring Training Report #2

We’re back, only a bit later than last week to give you our look into the Brewers making headlines and low-lights in Spring Training.  It’s been an interesting week as some players that appeared on one list or the other may have flipped positions in just one weeks time.  So, who made our three up and who’s performance hasn’t past the mustard for our three down?  

Remember these lists encompass both weekly and overall Spring Training performances.  It’s pitchers and Hitters in separate categories still this week as there’s enough to go around for both.  Let’s kick it off once again with a look at the hitters in Brewers camp, shall we?

(all stats included are from games prior to today – in keeping with previous posts)

Position Players: 

Three Up:

1. C George Kottaras – Last week Kottaras was featured in our Three down for the positional players after hitting just .100 in his first action of Spring Training, but since then he’s been on fire.  Perhaps it’s because of our thumbs down, huh?  O.k., that’s a bit of wishful thinking but over the past week he’s been absolutely on fire.  He batted .500 (7-14) over the course of 6 games and knocked in 7 RBI’s.  I’d say that’s one productive week, especially from a backup catcher, huh?  In fact 7 of his 8 hits this Spring are over the past week.  Kottaras has managed to raise his Spring Training batting average to .364 from that .100 mark, earning him our top spot in the three up section this week.  Defensively he’s been very solid with a .969 fielding percentage and throwing out all four of those that tried to steal on him so far this spring.

2. C Jonathan Lucroy – Lucroy moves down one notch this week after taking the overall top spot last week in our Three Up.  It’s really not so much about his performance though, it’s just Kottaras’ came out of nowhere.  Lucroy was 5-for-11 (.454) this past week and remains the hottest hitter this Spring for a player making a plate appearance more than twice.  The only kink in his Spring has been behind the plate where he’s allowed 5 wild pitches while catching and has one passed ball.  He’s also been .500 on his throwing out baserunners (5-10), which for me isn’t terrible but could be a bit better to avoid runners being tempted come the regular season. 

3. SS Alex Gonzalez – There hasn’t been a whole lot of upside for the Brewers this past week, but Gonzalez has been a very solid all around player and a heck of an upgrade at short over Yuni B that’s for sure.  He’s got a great .320 overall batting average to go with a .986 OPS and this past week he batted .428 (6-14).  Gonzalez has also been a relief on the defensive side of the game, having a 1.000 fielding percentage.  He’s also the 2nd best hitting player that sees any sort of significant at bats this Spring for the Brewers.

Three Down:  

1. CF’s Nyjer Morgan & Carlos Gomez – The centerfield platoon isn’t really exciting me all that much so far this spring and it’s because Morgan has only managed to get worse from the plate than he was last week.  Entering today’s action he’s got a .161 batting average in Spring Training and was just 3-for-17 in the past week.  That’s simply brutal.  

Things aren’t much better for his platoon-mate Carlos Gomez.  In the past week he’s just 2-for-11 in 3 games and is batting just .207 going into today’s game.  Not to mention a terrible .515 OPS.  For me the only saving grace is that he’s not striking out a ton and making contact, so hopefully it’s a situation of picking up more hits in the regular season, but it’s a bit worrisome.

2. 2B Brooks Conrad – Speaking of hitting .207, that’s what Conrad is hitting so far this Spring.  He’s also managed just 2 hits in the past week (2-for-13).  He wouldn’t be on this list if it we looked at his defensive effort which has been great.  Conrad has a 1.000 fielding percentage, turned 3 double plays, and has not committed an error obviously.  The only reason he’s on this list is because we need a backup second baseman that can hit should something happen to Rickie Weeks.  But overall I’m really not that disappointed in what we’ve seen from him.

3. OF Caleb Gindl – He’s actually had a great spring training overall, but this past week was just a 2-for-9 week for him and I’d hate to see it be a case of the first week or so being the best of his effort.  He’s also struggled to produce runs, having zero RBI’s since his 1st game (3).  So far he’s batting a pretty darn good .364 this Spring and he’s got a chance with a better week ahead to possibly win a roster spot


Three Up: 

1. Zack Greinke – I really liked his bounce back after giving up his first run of the spring.  He’s only had one start since our last time at this, but it was a good one.  His pitching line was 3 innings pitched, 1 hit, 1 walk, with 5 strikeouts.  For the Spring he has 11 strikeouts vs. just 7 hits in his 7 innings of work so far.  He should have his 4th start soon and between Yo last week and Greinke this week the front of the rotation has been pretty good so far. 

2. Kameron Loe – Wow, has the big man been great so far this Spring.  He would’ve been a candidate for this spot last week, but his last outing produced a run and there was just too much from others to put him on the list.  Well, he’s pitched twice since then, going an inning each time and it’s been a scoreless and hitless 2 innings of work for him over the past week.  Hitters are averaging a patly .118 batting against Loe and that’s not something to sneeze at even in Spring Training.

3. Mike McClendon – The reliever would’ve been much higher on this list for me because overall he’s been one heck of a pitcher, but this past week wasn’t the absolute best.  For spring he’s got a 1.13ERA.  This past week he gave up just his first earned run while pitching 0.2 innings against the Mariners and pitched a scoreless 3.2 innings the rest of the way.  If he can pitch like this come the regular season we may have a great 1-2-3 punch in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings along with K-Rod, and Axford.

TIE at 3.  Tim Dilliard – He’s been pitching well but really it’s because of his Tim Kurkjian impression.  If you haven’t seen it yet head over to our facebook page, you’ll find it there!

Three Down: 

1. Marco Estrada – Estrada was a Three Up selection last week, but he’s pitched twice since then and it hasn’t been pretty.  Talk about not your week, Estrada pitched 5 innings in two games and gave up 7 earned runs off of 8 hits.  He also gave up 4 walks while striking out 4 batters in those two games.  That’s not good news from a guy the Brewers are hoping they can count as the long reliever and spot starter out of the bullpen.

2. Yovanni Gallardo – He becomes the first person to occupy the top spot in one week and land in the three down the next for pitchers.  It was simply not a good performance for the assumed opening day starter.  He pitched 3 innings, gave up 5 hits, 4 earned runs and only struck out 1 batter.  That’s simply not up to his standards and I fully expect him to bounce back.  I mean he does sport a very good two outings before that, so I’m guessing this was just a bad one in Spring Training.

3. Zach Braddock – He’s been off this Spring after seeming like a lock for a bigger role in the bullpen this year, but this past week he made just one appearance and didn’t make it count.  He worked one inning and gave up an earned run on 2 hits while walking one batter and striking out one.  He has been very inconsistent this Spring Training after giving up 2 runs in his opening start he followed that up with zero runs in a good performance and then the last one giving up another run.

Anyone missing from these lists?  Agree or Disagree with anyone’s positions on the list?  Let me know by leaving a comment below!!