Monday, September 28, 2015

End-of-Season Grabbag

Just some miscellaneous notes and tidbits as we wind down the 2015 season:

- I saw an interesting story in USA Today during the summer about this new "axe-handled bat" that is slowly becoming the new vogue in Major League Baseball.  The article mostly focused on how Dustin Pedroia has been some combination of hurt and/or God awful the last two years, and he owes his reemergence in 2015 due in large part to this new bat.  It is designed with ergonomics in mind to help hitters increase swing efficiency and bat speed, and at least partially eliminates the troublesome knob of a traditional bat that causes discomfort and a lot of hamate bone injuries.  This story went largely unreported in the media, but to me it is significant because of how slow MLB has been historically to adopt any change at even this small of a scale.  It's another small initiative that is slowly but surely being rolled out to increase player safety.  It may take years if not decades to see increased netting in foul territory, or the goofy padded caps to protect pitchers, but in a game largely based on "feel" or "instinct" this new bat could soon become the norm.

- Congratulations to the Biloxi Shuckers, who lost in Game 5 of the Southern League Championship Series to the Chattanooga Lookouts.  Much has been reported about their new stadium issues an overwhelming majority of the season on the road, and for them to even sniff the playoffs let alone come one game shy of winning the title is pretty remarkable.  It really speaks to the level of the coaching staff down there and just how good this next crop of talent is coming up for the Brewers.  A good portion of these players were also on the 2012 championship roster at the low-A level in Appleton and have been playing together the last 3+ years.  Some of those 2012 players have already been on the major league roster for awhile, such as David Goforth and Jason Rogers, and a bunch of them got called up in the last week to get a little taste of the big leagues as a reward for their great season.  The Brewers have had nearly a dozen players make their big league debuts this year, and whichever players don't make the roster next year will certainly be making  a run at the AAA title in Colorado Springs.

- Congratulations to the Toronto Blue Jays for ending the longest playoff drought in baseball (22 years) by clinching a spot this past weekend.  With their high-powered offense they are an easy team to root for, but moreso I am just hoping that Erik and I are celebrating a championship with the team in Montreal in April!

My picks for postseason awards:
AL Cy Young - Dallas Kuechel
NL CY - Zack Greinke
AL Rookie of the Year - Carlos Correa
NL ROY - Kris Bryant
AL MVP - Josh Donaldson
NL MVP - Bryce Harper
AL Manager of the Year - Paul Molitor
NL MOY - Joe Maddon

Brewers 66-90 , -32.0, eliminated (3 @ Padres, 3 v. Cubs)
Reds 63-92, -34.5, eliminated (1 @ Nationals, 3 v. Cubs, 3 @ Pirates)

Twins 80-75, -11.0, -1.5 WC (4 @ Indians, 3 v. Royals)

Erik - 16 (+25 worked)

Peter - 41

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