Brewers Midseason Report





Best Player: Scouts considered righthander Tyler Thornburg to be a Tim Lincecum wannabe in college because of his smallish frame (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) and pin-wheeling pitching style. But the 2010 third-round pick out of Charleston Southern probably exceeded expectations during his assignment with low Class A Wisconsin.

In 12 starts, Thornburg went 7-0, 1.57 while allowing just 49 hits in 69 innings and logging 76 strikeouts. The 22-year-old compiled an impressive 1.08 WHIP and limited Midwest League opponents to a puny .203 average. The Brewers rewarded Thornburg with a second-half promotion to high Class A Brevard County.

Biggest Leap Forward: Outfielder Brock Kjeldgaard matched the Brevard County club record for home runs in a season by hitting 18 in the first half of the Florida State League season. Not bad for a 34th-round draft-and-follow who signed as a righthanded pitcher out of Indian Hills (Iowa) CC in 2006 and converted to first base two years later.

Born in Edmonton, Kjeldgaard is old for his level at 25—especially considering that he's repeating the FSL—but the 6-foot-5, 235-pound slugger's power is intriguing. Strikeouts have been an issue for the righthanded batter, though his whiff rate had fallen slightly this season to 32 percent of at-bats.

Biggest Disappointment: Righthander Mark Rogers battled back from multiple shoulder surgeries in 2007-08 to make his Milwaukee debut last season. After a pair of relatively healthy seasons, injury has once again cut the 25-year-old down.

Shoulder tightness kept Rogers out of spring-training action, and then a severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome prevented him from properly gripping the ball. It showed in his results for Triple-A Nashville, which were cringe-inducing—a 13.20 ERA in five starts to go with a whopping 21 hits and 22 walks in 15 innings. The Brewers gave Rogers an injection to dull the pain, but the front office seemed resigned to the fact that Rogers would require another medical procedure at some point.

MICROBREWS

• The Brewers called up Nashville first baseman Mat Gamel to serve as DH for a run through American League parks. He batted .321/.380/.577 with 18 homers through June.

• Along with Thornburg, righthander Austin Ross received a promotion from Wisconsin to Brevard County. The 2010 eighth-round pick went 6-3, 3.25 in 13 games (12 starts) with the Timber Rattlers.