Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Adam Stern: The Confusing Promotion

When Carlos Gomez was placed on the 15 day DL Monday, I was interested in seeing who would come up. The Brewers had a lot of options. Would Adam Heether get his first chance in the bigs? What about Zach Braddock? Chris Smith has been very impressive this season. Maybe he would get the nod.

Like I said, a lot of options.

That excitement immediately turned to confusion when the Brewers announced the callup of Adam Stern.

Stern, 30, is nothing more than a well traveled minor leaguer. Milwaukee is his fourth organization. He has only logged 35 at bats in the major leagues. In those at bats, Stern has just five hits and hasn't drawn a walk. That equates to a .143/.143/.257/.400 line. Granted 35 at bats in an extremely small sample size, but those numbers are not very good.

The main problem I have with the promotion is it made no sense. Calling Stern up did nothing to address the Brewers current concerns.

The Brewers are in need of a right handed bat off the bench. Adam Stern bats left handed.

The Brewers could use some help in a bullpen that has been overworked thus far. Adam Stern is a position player.

The Brewers could use a power lefty in the bullpen. Again, Adam Stern is a position player.

What makes matters worse is the three players mentioned at the beginning of this article are capable of helping the Brewers in at least one of those three categories.

Adam Heether could be a viable, right handed hitting option off the bench.

Chris Smith could help ease the workload of the bullpen.

Zach Braddock could also help eat some innings and has shown the ability to be a dominant lefty out of the 'pen.

To be fair, Ryan Braun was hit with a pitch Monday night and his status going forward is undetermined (he is sitting out Tuesday). However, the Brewers already had a surplus of outfielders to begin with. Even with Braun and Gomez out, the Brewers already have four outfielders on the roster (Inglett, Hart, Edmonds and Gerut).

Adam Heether spent time at every infield position in 2009 and even played in left field. While playing full time last season, Heether posted a .901 OPS. Even more encouraging, Heether drew 59 walks for a .400 OBP. Heether's 2009 was more of the same from him. He's put up very good numbers in the minors, but has never been given a chance.

Stern was hitting .349 in his time in Nashville. Sure that sounds good, but that was in just 43 at bats. Stern reminds me of Corey Patterson (Brewers edition). Patterson somehow put up a .963 OPS in Nashville last season. Because of his play, Corey was promoted to Milwaukee where he promptly had a single in 14 at bats and didn't draw a walk. The fact of the matter is Stern has failed to post an OPS over .800 after 2005 as a corner outfielder.

Sure I could be over thinking this, but moves like this frustrate me. I don't want Ken Macha to even have the opportunity of starting Stern for a game. Of course after posting this article, Stern will rake in his brief time in the majors. In baseball, the object of the game is to give yourself the best chance to win. Regardless of how he plays, Adam Stern is not the best option for the Milwaukee Brewers.

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