It’s less than ideal timing with the team in last place and the disabled list suddenly packed with regulars, but the Brewers announced contract extensions with general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke.
Melvin’s new deal runs through 2015, while Roenicke’s contract runs through 2014 and includes a team option for 2015.
Melvin took over as GM of a 56-106 team in late 2002, getting them to 81-81 in 2005, and they’ve finished .500 or better in four of the past seven seasons while making the playoffs twice during that time. Not exactly a dynasty, but prior to Melvin’s arrival the Brewers had a losing record in 10 straight seasons and their last playoff appearance was 1982.
Roenicke replaced Ken Macha as manager in last season, taking the Brewers to the playoffs with a 96-66 record that stands as the best in franchise history. Prior to that he served as the Angels’ bench coach under manager Mike Scioscia and played eight seasons in the majors as a part-time outfielder.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.