What Is The Deal With Branyan?
Today is the day that Russell Branyan is eligible to return from the DL, and while I don't think anyone expects Russ back today, as rosters expand next week, I am concerned about the complete lack of news. As such, I actually submitted the question to Tom H. and Anthony W., and I plan on bothering Will Carroll about it later.
The fact is that Brewer fans should be way more concerned about this than they are. As is frequently pointed out on this blog, Craig Counsell sucks and should never play third. Even against righties his .236/.338/.326 line is just terrible. While that is better than Bill Hall's almost unbelievable .190/.271/.318 against righties, having to choose between these options shows a lack of creativity in the dugout as well as the front office. Kicking Hardy over to third and calling up Escobar for a trial run (as he is likely to be up for roster expansion anyway) would be better. Joe Dillon has put up a .259/.378/.418 line in 43 games at Nashville, and while he's not exactly a right-handed specialist either (.130/.216/.130 in 33 games this year in the majors) his early struggles were more likely due to his .182 BABIP. It's hard to imagine that he is a worse option, and at the very least, he tends to get on base.
The fact is that it is completely unnecessary to play Craig Counsell at third, and if Russell Branyan, who is clearly the best option against RHP at third, is not back with this team by Monday, they have serious problems.
The Newspapers' lack of coverage on this is also ridiculous.