Thursday, December 01, 2005

Brewers sign lefty Jason Kershner

Doug Melvin has given Brewers fans more reason to hope that he spotted another "gem-in-waiting" (cf. Doug Davis, Turnbow, Podsednik, Kolb, Wise, Clark, etc...); that "gem-n-waiting" very well may be Jason Kershner ( bio and stats).

While other general mangers are greatly over-paying for middle relief (and closers) (cf.
B.J. Ryan, Bobby Howry, maybe Billy Wagner, Tim Worrell, and soon-to-be Kyle Farnsworth), Melvin is doing it the way it should be done for middle relief: minor league contracts for some, and larger contracts for other where needed (I suspect Melvin will keep up this good work because he has noted that the bullpen is his biggest concern right now; cf. Brewers article link above). So, while some pitchers will be offered larger contracts by the Crew, chances are the Crew's bullpen in its entirety will cost less than what any of those relievers listed above will make alone.

As for Kershner, he's a lefty without a whole lot of success in the bigs, but he had a good season in the minors last year, and is tough on lefties because of various pitches: a screwball, change up, and yet another breaking ball, which he uses to break-in on lefties. According to, Kershner held lefties to a .229 clip in 2003...

His scouting report (a bit outdated, but you get the picture...)

Scouting Report
Kershner uses a fastball, change, screwball and a breaking ball that moves in on lefthanded hitters and successfully induces grounders. While his stuff is average, his repertoire makes him extraordinarily tough against lefthanded hitters. Kershner held them to .229 on-base percentage and four extra-base hits in 90 at-bats last season. Plus, the Jays learned he could be used effectively against righthanded hitters. Kershner also holds runners extremely well.

So, we'll see where Kershner ends up when he gets to spring training in the spring. If the past is any indication, Kershner will most likely return a lot more than his past stats have indicated is possible...which will be yet another tribute to Melvin and staff's rigorous and unorthodox scouting approach...


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