Brewers falling hard; Goldschmidt golden in fantasy
May 05, 2015 3:00 AM
by Ramon Scott
How surprising has the Milwaukee Brewers demise been?
Before the start of the season, Ron Roenicke was not listed among one major offshore sportsbook’s odds for first manager to be fired.
And who could blame them, the Brewers didn’t figure to be languishing near the bottom of the National League in most offensive categories after the first month of the season.
Even worse has been much of the starting pitching.
Roenicke has been on the first-to-be-fired list before back in 2013, but didn’t appear this season in the top seven skippers likely to get axed first. However, the team had settled down over the last 10 days, and veteran sluggers Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez appeared to be rounding into form.
Roenicke, who led Milwaukee to a franchise-record 96 wins en route to the team’s firs divisional title in 29 years in his first season in 2011, was fired Sunday night after the team’s MLB-worst 7-18 start. The team also had a disastrous finish last season, finishing 11-24.
The dismissal came after the team won the series against the Cubs on the road over the weekend. Speculation was the team, and GM Doug Melvin, had likely already decided to fire Roenicke and the team needed time to decide on a replacement.
The team decided on 16-year major league infielder Craig Counsell, who has been acting as a special assistant to Melvin since he retired following the 2011 season. Counsell is from Whitefish Bay, Wisc., and played for the Brewers for six seasons.
Counsell has a unique batting style for much of his career, holding the bat high over his head. But his heady playing style helped him thrive as a middle infielder, and led him to two World Series championships with the Marlins, in which he played noteworthy roles in the title-clinching walk-off innings, earning him a moniker as a clutch player despite his average regular season career statistics.
The move came just 10 days after owner Mark Attanasio said publicly he wasn’t going to fire his skipper.
Meanwhile, the Padres called up touted catching prospect Austin Hedges on Sunday night. He was a second-round choice of San Diego in 2011. He was ranked the 27th prospect by Baseball America before this season. Hedges is from JSerra Catholic High in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
DFS Starting Pitchers
Wednesday: C.J. Wilson (LAA) is the tournament punt, as he will be largely ignored, but he has fared extremely well against the current Seattle batters, limiting them to just a .187 clip in nearly 200 career at-bats.
Thursday: Collin McHugh (HOU) continues to shine for the red-hot Astros, so we can look to him in this spot on the abbreviated card. He has limited the current Angels’ group to just a .206 average over 68 career at-bats, as well. He was a bit shaky last time out, but still garnered his 11th-straight victory dating back to last season.
Friday: David Price (DET) in a spot to pay up for against the Royals in a great matchup, as he has allowed the current KC bats just 11 hits in 63 at-bats, while walking just one; Sonny Gray (OAK) was great on Sunday and has a favorable matchup against the Mariners, although on the road, as he has held the current M’s bats to just a .215 career average over 130 ABs.
Saturday: Sticking with Detroit in this series, and Anibal Sanchez in this one, as he limits the current Royals to just a .198 average in 116 at-bats, including no home runs.
Sunday: Drew Smyly (TB) is our resourceful option, as we look to take an inexpensive option against the woefully struggling Rangers’ bats. He already has limited the current Texas batters to just 13 hits in 63 at-bats (.206).
DFS Position Players
Wednesday: Jason Heyward (STL) has seven hits, including five extra-base hits against the Cubs’ Lester; Brandon Belt (SF) has an 8-for-25 career mark against the Padres’ Ian Kennedy, including a pair of home runs, while teammate Buster Posey is 15-for-37 (.405) off the SD starter; Trevor Plouffe (MIN) turned in a pretty strong fantasy week, so we can take him against the A’s Kazmir, as he has a 7-for-19 clip against him.
Avoid: Bryce Harper (WAS) is just 2-for-15 against the Marlins’ Tom Koehler.
Thursday: Alex Rodriguez (NYY) slowed a bit last week fantasy-wise, but has been one of the best point-per-dollar plays all season, so look to take him at home against the O’s and Tillman, who he has hit three home runs off of in just 10 at-bats;
Mike Moustakas (KC) has 11 hits in 25 career at-bats against the Indians’ Kluber.
Avoid: Jay Bruce (CIN) has had big trouble with the Pirates’ A.J. Burnett, going just 3-for-29 lifetime against him.
Friday: Mike Trout (LAA) has to be your high-salary option tonight, considering his three HRs in 11 at-bats against the Astros’ Hernandez. Young riser Oswaldo Arcia (MIN) has to be used against the Indians’ Bauer, as he has four HRs in just 10 ABs against him; however, we have to consider his stats after he left Sunday’s game with a hip injury. Adrian Gonzalez (LAD) should have a shot at a big day in Colorado against De La Rosa, as he owns a .349 career average against him in 43 at-bats.
Avoid: Matt Carpenter (STL) might be a fade today with his 4-for-22 career mark against the Pirates’ Francisco Liriano.
Saturday: Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) has had a good look at Giants’ star Bumgarner, going 8-for-13 against him, with six extra-base hits. Come back with Harper against the Braves’ Teheran, as he is 8-for-19 against him. Gonzalez should be considered again for Los Angeles, with a 7-for-15 make against the Rocks’ Kendrick. Anthony Rizzo (CUB) is 10-for-21 against the Brewers’ struggling starter Lohse.
Avoid: David Ortiz (BOS) is just 1-for-12 against the Blue Jays’ Drew Hutchison.
Sunday: Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) has hit the ball hard against the Padres’ Cashner, going 5-for-11 against him. Ian Kinsler (DET) has a .322 career batting average against the the Royals’ Vargas, while Alex Avila (DET) is your value option at catcher today, as he has a pair of homers in 16 ABs against Vargas. Robinson Cano (SEA) is 5-for-11 against the Athletics’ Chavez.
Avoid: Pablo Sandoval (SF) seems to not have a good feel for R.A. Dickey, of the Jays, with just a 3-for-16 mark against him.
Ramon Scott is a Southern California-based sportswriter, covering the preps to the pros for over 25 years. Contact him at RamonScott@GamingToday.com.