Posts Tagged ‘minors’

Capuano Still on Long Road to Recovery

August 31, 2009 1 comment

Chris Capuano has had Tommy John surgery before.  The first time around, his big league career was in jeopardy before it even really started, going under the knife in May 2002 before he had an opportunity to pitch in a major league game.  Like so many pitchers before him, he came back from the surgery stronger than ever.  He put together a respectable rookie campaign for Arizona in 2003 before being included in the mammoth Richie Sexson trade that winter as one of the centerpieces of the deal, along with Jorge de la Rosa.

We know the story from there — Cappy was arguably the Brewers’ most consistent starting pitcher from 2004 to 2006, winning a career-high 18 games in 2005 and making the All-Star team in 2006.  The 2007 season was a struggle, and during spring training in 2008 it was revealed that the deceptive lefty needed a second Tommy John surgery.

The recovery process has been much tougher the second time around, which was probably to be expected now that he’s on the other side of 30. 

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Hardy Continues to Struggle

While Alcides Escobar continues to hit well in the majors — he went 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored in Washington tonight — J.J. Hardy continues to struggle mightily at the plate for Triple A Nashville.  The scuffling shortstop went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts in the Sounds’ 8-4 loss to Albuquerque, dropping his batting average to .147.

Hardy now has seven strikeouts in nine games played in Triple A, and has only managed five hits in 34 at-bats. Two of those five hits have been home runs, but based on the numbers it appears as though he’s still pressing too hard at the plate.

It’lll be interesting to see what happens come September 1st.  As I wrote before, the Brewers are in a tough situation when it comes to Hardy’s service time.  If they don’t bring him back up to Milwaukee on September 1st, Hardy’s free agent eligibility after next season may be in jeopardy.  If he stays in the minors for more than 20 days, the Brewers will hold onto Hardy’s rights for an additional year, meaning he won’t be a free agent until after the 2011 season.  While it might be a smart move for the organization, it would no doubt leave Hardy disgruntled and make the team’s front office look unnecessarily frugal.

On the other hand, if Hardy continues to hit this way in Triple A, the Brewers will easily be able to say he hasn’t earned his promotion back to the majors.  While an additional year of team control may help Hardy’s trade value in the offseason, anything gained from that extra service year may be lost by his poor performance in the minors.  He’s certainly not providing a lot of hope that he’ll figure things out and start hitting like an All-Star again.

What Should Melvin Do With Hardy?

August 16, 2009 1 comment

J.J. Hardy homered for Triple A Nashville on Saturday night, going 1-for-4 with a walk in his first start since being demoted.  While he looks to recalibrate his swing and get back on the track that made him an All-Star, an interesting storyline may potentially be developing.

As reported when Hardy was sent down on Wednesday, if Hardy stays in the minors for at least 20 days, he will fall short of the required number of days on the active roster to get credit for a full service year.  If that were the case, the Brewers would control Hardy through the 2011 season, not 2010.  This could have a huge effect on Hardy’s future with the club, but much more importantly, it could also have a huge effect on his trade value.

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