Jump to content
Brewer Fanatic

Your 2007 Nashville Sounds - Latest: Jersey Sale

Mass Haas

Similar to the just-started "Your 2007 Huntsville Stars" thread, this is where all feature non-game stories will be posted throughout the season on the Sounds, and this doesn't include a finalized roster (yet).


Link while active, text follows:




Rising star Braun to start season in Music City

By Nate Rau, Nashville City Paper Sports Correspondent


For the second time in three years, the Nashville Sounds will begin the season with a pair of top-flight prospects on their opening day roster.


In 2005, the Sounds had one-half of the Milwaukee Brewers? current starting infield in their opening lineup in the form of first baseman Prince Fielder and second baseman Rickie Weeks . Before the 2005 season was finished, both Weeks and Fielder had earned promotions and neither has looked back since.


After not seeing any elite prospects in 2006, Nashville will welcome third baseman Ryan Braun and starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo. Braun is regarded as the No. 26 overall prospect and Gallardo No. 16 by Baseball America.


But if Sounds fans want a chance to see Braun in action, they?d better come to Greer Stadium before June. It would be remarkably unsurprising if Braun had earned a call-up by then, just like Weeks did two years ago.


With the possible exception of rejuvenated ace Ben Sheets, Braun has been the talk of the Brewers? spring training. He came within a hair of making the final roster and being named Milwaukee?s opening day third baseman.


?The experience was unbelievable,? Braun said of his stellar spring, in which he?s batted .353 with five homers.


?I?ve had a great time, learned a lot from a lot of great players and great people. Not just from a baseball perspective, but how to carry yourself off the field. For me it was encouraging. I feel like I played well and hopefully I will be able to get back up there shortly.?


Sounds manager Frank Kremblas echoed a sentiment held by others in the Brewers organization that Braun needs to primarily work on his defense on the hot corner in order to earn the promotion.


?I?d say he needs to work on consistency defensively, as far as making the routine play, and mental toughness in terms of his plate approach,? Kremblas said.


Work isn?t a dirty four-letter word to Braun, who says he likes to show up at the ballpark this spring by 6 a.m. Reached for a 7:30 a.m. phone interview, Braun sounds like he?s in mid-day form.


?This is typical. I?ve already been working out for a couple of hours,? Braun said.


How long he stays in Nashville will remain to be seen. The Brewers will open the season with journeymen Tony Graffanino and Craig Counsell holding down the fort at third base. While he?s here, though, Braun described in his own words what Sounds fans can expect from him on the field.


?I show up at the ballpark every day ready to work and help my team win in a lot of ways,? Braun said. ?I can hit for power, hit for average, I can run. I?ll do whatever I can.

?I embrace [being called a top prospect]. I don?t feel like there?s extra pressure more than I put on myself."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 54
  • Created
  • Last Reply
After not seeing any elite prospects in 2006, Nashville will welcome third baseman Ryan Braun and starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo.


Poor Corey Hart. He's the red headed step child of Brewer prospects.

"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nashville site for the link:




Sounds Announce Opening Day Roster


The Nashville Sounds ? the two-time defending PCL American Conference Northern Division champions and the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers ? have announced their tentative Opening Day roster, a group of players highlighted by the Brewers? top two prospects, starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo and third baseman Ryan Braun.


Gallardo and Braun were selected as the Brewers? 2006 Minor League Pitcher- and Player-of-the-Year, respectively, and both players participated in last season?s All-Star Futures Game in Pittsburgh.


Gallardo, 21, split the 2006 season between Class A Brevard County and Double-A Huntsville, going a combined 11-5 with a 1.86 ERA in 26 starts. He held opponents to a .192 batting average while striking out a Minor League-leading 188 batters in just 155.0 innings. Gallardo was recently ranked by Baseball America as the 16th-best minor-league prospect entering the 2007 season.


Braun, 23, also split his 2006 campaign between Brevard County and Huntsville and batted a combined .289 with 22 home runs, 77 RBIs, and 26 stolen bases in 118 games. He was recently ranked by Baseball America as the 26th-best minor-league prospect and was selected by the Brewers in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.


The Sounds? Opening Day roster will also feature five members of Milwaukee?s 40-man roster: pitchers Jose Capellan, Zach Jackson, and Dennis Sarfate, utilityman Vinny Rottino, and outfielder Drew Anderson, all of whom have previously played for Nashville.


In addition to top prospects Braun and Gallardo, other notable newcomers to the Sounds include starting pitcher Tim Dillard, the Brewers? 2005 Minor League Pitcher-of-the-Year, and a pair of players with ties to Music City: veteran right-hander R.A. Dickey, a Nashville native and 1993 graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy, and outfielder Tydus Meadows, who played collegiate ball at Vanderbilt University from 1996-98.


Twelve players return to Music City from the 2006 division-winning Sounds squad, including Jackson; relievers Steve Bray, Luther Hackman, Sarfate, Mitch Stetter, and Alec Zumwalt; All-Star catcher Mike Rivera; infielders Chris Barnwell, Ozzie Chavez, Brad Nelson, and Rottino; and Anderson.


Four players will make their first stop at the Class AAA level with the Sounds in 2007: Braun, Dillard, Gallardo, and second baseman Callix Crabbe, who advances to Nashville after two consecutive full seasons with the Double-A Huntsville Stars.


Left-handed pitcher Lindsay Gulin will open the season on Nashville?s disabled list. The Sounds will make one additional roster move before Thursday to lower the team?s active roster to the 24-man maximum allotted by the Pacific Coast League.


Returning to guide the club will be third-year manager Frank Kremblas, who has led Nashville to division championships in each of his two seasons at the helm and piloted the Sounds to the Pacific Coast League title in 2005.


Kremblas will be rejoined by pitching coach Stan Kyles and trainer Jeff Paxson for the third consecutive year on the Sounds? bench. Two new additions to the Nashville coaching staff are hitting coach Harry Spilman and strength and conditioning coach Nigel Price.


The Sounds open their 30th season on Thursday, April 5 at Greer Stadium with a 7:00 p.m. matchup against the New Orleans Zephyrs, the new Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets.


Media day at Greer Stadium will occur at 3 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, prior to the Sounds? annual 6 p.m. exhibition against Belmont University. The game includes free admission for all fans.


Note: RHP Chris Oxspring, catcher J.D. Closser, 1B Andy Abad, INF Jose Macias, and utilityman Joe Dillon are the players not mentioned in the Sounds' press release, but now on the roster. As noted, the Sounds will have to make a move prior to Thursday's opener.


Support and visit the Sounds site for the complete roster, including bio information when you click on a name:




We'll tidy up our Brewerfan Player Index in the meantime.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link while active, text follows:




Jack-of-all-trades Rottino closes in on dream

By Nate Rau, Nashville City Paper Sports Correspondent


When the Nashville Sounds open their season tonight at Greer Stadium against New Orleans, Vinny Rottino will be in the lineup somewhere. Maybe he?ll be behind the plate catching starter Zach Jackson. Maybe he?ll be at third base, where he played most of last season, or maybe he?ll be somewhere in the outfield. Who knows where manager Frank Kremblas will have the jack-of-all-trades Rottino.


What is known is that Rottino came within a hair of making the Milwaukee Brewers? opening day roster and, instead, the consummate underdog will begin his season in the minors in Music City.


This was supposed to be the year Rottino made good on the rags to riches story he?s been writing for himself the last five years.


After a sterling career at Division III Wisconsin-La Crosse where he was an All-American and an honor student, Rottino was passed over in the 2002 Amateur Draft. He signed as an undrafted free agent with his homestate Milwaukee Brewers and began working his way up the minor league ranks.


?Being an undrafted guy, I didn?t really have a position. They told me they were going to play me everywhere. So in order to get in the lineup, I had to be ready to play just about every position,? Rottino said.


And so began his career as an old school utility man. Rottino learned to play the outfield, mastered the infield and even started logging time behind the plate three years ago.


While learning to play every position, Rottino never let his offense suffer. He has hit at least .296 every season in the minors and in 2004 he was named the Brewers? minor league player of the year.


Last year while leading the Sounds with a .314 average, Rottino earned a late season call-up with Milwaukee. Five years worth of mounting momentum pointed Rottino to this year?s spring training, where he was in contention for the Brewers? final bench spot until the last cut-down day.


It seemed like Rottino?s underdog odyssey from undrafted free agent to the opening day roster of a major league team was finally going to have a happy ending. But somebody didn?t hand the script to Milwaukee?s front office. The Brewers gave the final roster spot to Tony Gwynn ? citing his ability to pinch run and be a defensive outfield replacement late in games.


Rottino was sent down to Triple A Nashville. But instead of sulking at the turn of events, Rottino used the opportunity to count his blessings and get back to the task of making his big league dream come true.


?I thought I had a pretty good shot at staying with the team for opening day in the big leagues, you know that?s pretty special to think about,? Rottino said. ?When they told me [i didn?t make the roster], initially I was a bit shocked, disappointed.


?But the next morning, I just woke up and had a realization, ?I get to play baseball and get paid to do it.? It was a thing to realize.?


Kremblas, for his part, is happy to have a player of Rottino?s versatility. He can pinch run, sub for almost any position including catcher, and play just about anywhere in the lineup.


?He?s a guy that makes a manager?s job easier because you can use him in so many different ways,? Kremblas said. ?A guy like Vinny has a ton of value to a team.?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those are quite the splits for Stetter. Looks like he could be useful if used strictly as a LOOGY.


As the Sounds' left-handed specialist, "The Godfather" held lefty hitters to a .230 batting average (right-handers, .318 ) .
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link while active, text follows:




Stetter returns to Nashville

DAVE JOHNSON, Evansville (IN) Courier & Press Executive Sports Editor


Mitch Stetter pitched in 59 games in 2005 and 51 last year.


If he has his way, he'll pitch even more often this season.


"We play 140 games, and I'd like to get into at least half of them," said Stetter, the Nashville Sounds reliever from Huntingburg.


So far, so good. Stetter appeared in four of the Sounds' first eight games.


"I'll pitch as often as they give me the ball. I want to be in there, especially in close games," said the 26-year-old left-hander.


Stetter is the lefty-lefty specialist for the Sounds, the Milwaukee Brewers' affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He's the guy they usually summon from the bullpen in the late innings to face one or two lefthanded batters.


Stetter faced one batter in each of his four appearances this year. He retired all four, two with strikeouts. He had a similar role with Nashville last year, when he was 2-5 with a 4.46 earned run average and struck out 36 in 38 innings.


Stetter said he had to "sweat it out" this spring because the Brewers didn't invite him to their big-league camp.


"Most of the guys who make up the triple-A pitching staff are the ones who got sent down from the big-league camp," said Stetter, who was Milwaukee's 16th-round draft pick in 2003, out of Indiana State. "The Brewers had a lot of good pitchers in camp, and they released some who had pretty good years last year. Only two or three of us made it (to Nashville) from the minor-league camp, so I'm happy to be back here. Hopefully, I'll put together a great year and we'll see what happens."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link while active, text follows:




Music City not sweet to Sounds reliever

By Nate Rau, Nashville City Paper Sports Correspondent


Jose Capellan wants nothing to do with the Nashville Sounds. If he had his wish, Capellan would put Music City and the Milwaukee Brewers organization behind him without so much as a glance into his rearview mirror.


Capellan is a relative baseball rarity ? a minor league relief pitcher demanding a trade. Traditionally minor leaguers with one year of experience don?t have the leverage to demand much of anything.


The Sounds reliever began his behind-the-scenes tirade after he didn?t make Milwaukee?s opening day roster in spring training. Through his agent, Bill Rego, Capellan asked to be traded prior to the season.


There was even doubt Capellan would report to Nashville for the Sounds? opener on April 5. Capellan did report, but he has not relented from his demand since then.


Capellan wouldn?t talk to the City Paper about his unhappiness with the Brewers, but Rego reiterated his client?s stance last week.


?There are a lot of organizations that don?t have the pitching depth the Brewers have,? Rego said to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. ?I think his services could be better used elsewhere.?


The job of handling the disgruntled 26-year old pitcher fell to Sounds manager Frank Kremblas. Asked to speak to Capellan?s character, Kremblas said, ?he?s a quiet guy who doesn?t talk very much. I?ve never heard any of the guys in the clubhouse have any problems with him.?


Hardly a ringing endorsement.


Prior to the final game of Nashville?s first homestand last week, Capellan stood in the outfield mingling with Oklahoma players while the RedHawks took batting practice. In the meantime, Capellan?s Sounds teammates were in the clubhouse playing cards and hanging out with each other while waiting for the game to begin.


However poor his attitude may be towards the organization which traded for him two years ago, Capellan has pitched well in the early going this season. Through Sunday, he hadn?t allowed an earned run in four appearances for the Sounds.


As a Triple A manager, Kremblas regularly deals with players who have to cope with the disappointment of being sent down. In the past, Kremblas said he likes it when players are upset because it shows their competitive drive.


Capellan spent all of last season in the big leagues with the Brewers. He was a workhorse, appearing 61 times and notching 16 holds. But his ERA was less than stellar at 4.60. In spring, Capellan?s ERA was over 5.00 and opponents hit .391 against him, leading to the demotion.


?There?s a fine line in how you relay that you?re upset,? Kremblas said. ?You have to be mature in the way that you handle it. I don?t think he did a very good job in that area.?


Capellan?s Sounds teammate Vinny Rottino was in the same situation this spring. Rottino just barely missed out on making the Brewers? opening roster. Rottino?s reaction to the surprise demotion contrasts Capellan?s as starkly as possible.


?I thought I had a pretty good shot at staying with the team for opening day in the big leagues, you know that?s pretty special to think about,? Rottino said. ?When they told me [i didn?t make the roster], initially I was a bit shocked, disappointed.


?But the next morning, I just woke up and had a realization, ?I get to play baseball and get paid to do it.? It was a good thing to realize.?


Capellan, who has received attention from San Francisco among other teams, couldn?t muster such a cheery outlook. The Journal Sentinel reported Capellan was so distraught he contemplated retirement before settling on his trade demand.


?I just think he overreacted,? Kremblas said. ?He?s going to have to make up his own mind how he?ll change if the same situation happens again.?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

?There are a lot of organizations that don?t have the pitching depth the Brewers have,? Rego said to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. ?I think his services could be better used elsewhere.?


I'll take that as a compliment, Mr. Rego.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link while active, text follows:





Chuck Valenches Sounds Play-By-Play Announcer


Tennessean Staff Writer


Chuck Valenches is a study in determination. The Sounds' radio play-by-play man didn't attend college. He worked in the bar scene for years, then decided he wanted a career in baseball. He lied to get his first job with the Single-A King County Cougars in his home state of Illinois, and eventually worked his way along to become one of minor league baseball's most colorful and informative broadcasters. The 40-year-old is now in his 10th season with the Sounds after stints in Adelanto, Calif., and Jacksonville, Fla. He recently spoke with The Tennessean's Bryan Mullen about the best minor league player he's seen, Jane's Addiction, Field of Dreams and buffalo grouper fingers.


On the best minor league player he's seen: "David Ortiz. He was originally a Twins farmhand and was playing here with Salt Lake. He hit a home run that not only cleared the wall, but it cleared Chestnut Street and hit the building on the other side of the road. You were like, 'OK, this guy knows what he's doing.' "


On the best Sounds player he's seen: "It's probably a tie between Prince Fielder and Bronson Arroyo. Prince, you could just tell he had the pedigree to be a big-league ballplayer. When he went up there, you could tell he would be able to handle big-league pitching."


On where he's bartended in the offseason: "I bartended at The Stage, bartended at Bar Nashville, helped open Red Door East, then I also worked at The Yellow Porch. I always went back to The Acorn because the owners were always great. Every time a season would start, they would say, 'Let us know when the season is over, and we'll have a spot for you.' "


On his baseball playing days: "I played through high school and was a fairly good player. I was a left-handed hitter and played first base and the outfield. I wasn't good enough to get scouted or even think about turning pro. I had a lot of holes in my game. I couldn't hit a breaking ball."


On his musical interests: "I like to go see bands play live in Nashville. My three favorite are probably november, Walls of White, and Magnolia. They're all friends of mine, and they're great live. Mainstream-wise, I'm a huge Ben Folds fan and a gigantic Jane's Addiction fan."


On his favorite places to eat in town: "I'm probably being biased, but I have to say The Acorn. I like the salmon there, and the risotto that comes with it is awesome. For cheap eats, I'm a big fan of Batter'd & Fried (on Woodland Street). They have Buffalo grouper tenders. It's one of my favorite things to eat. They're incredible."


On a good book he recently read: "I just finished reading After Jackie, the Cal Fussman book. It's a collection of stories about the experience of black ballplayers and what they had to go through even after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. It was amazing some of the stuff they had to go through."


On his favorite sports movie: "I have to say Field of Dreams. If I'm doing stuff and that movie pops on, I usually stop and watch it. The Natural is also a big one for me. Both of them represent the best parts of baseball."


On the best ballpark in the PCL: "Memphis is great. It's so close to being a big-league ballpark, and it's better than some big-league ballparks. But my favorite is probably PGE Park in Portland, Ore. It fits into the downtown there so well. The place has a great vibe."


On his favorite teams: "I kind of grew up more or less a Cubs fan. Those are a lot of my earliest memories. I got the love of the game from my dad. On weekends when we would work in the yard, I would have my old AM radio in my bedroom window so I could hear the Cubs game."


On current events he follows: "I'm kind of an information junkie. I usually read The Tennessean and USA Today from cover to cover every day. I follow politics pretty closely, and I follow the war in Iraq."



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link while active, text follows:




Sounds? Braun embraces being role model

By Nate Rau, Nashville City Paper Sports Correspondent


Ryan Braun carries himself with a swagger that falls on the right side of the line separating confidence and cockiness.

During a torrid hitting streak to open the season when Braun launched five home runs, including two that smacked off the Greer Stadium guitar scoreboard, he never was completely satisfied with himself at the plate.


?I?ll never be completely satisfied,? Braun said. ?That?s just the way I am.?


The 23-year-old Sounds third baseman came to Music City with the same publicity and soaring expectations as previous Milwaukee Brewers hot prospects like Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks. Just like that duo, Braun has lived up to the hype.


He leads the Sounds in batting average (.304), home runs (seven), RBIs (15) and runs (17).


What?s more, Braun has played well in the field at third. The Brewers told Braun it was his defense he primarily needed to improve before he makes the leap to the big leagues. So far, his own assessment of his glove-work has been better than his view of his offensive production. Braun has just one error this season.


?I do feel like I?ve played great defense,? Braun said. ?That?s pretty much been my only focus.?


Besides top prospect, there?s another title Braun has embraced throughout his young professional career. Even more than the typical ballplayer, Braun has gladly accepted his position as a role model. It?s not just the fact that he?s on the fast track to the big leagues that has brought attention to Braun. Wherever he?s played, Braun has faced questions about his Jewish faith.


?It's something that?s garnered a lot of attention and it?s something I take pride in,? Braun said. ?There aren?t that many Jewish ballplayers so if I have kids that look up to me as a role model, then I?m going to take on that responsibility.?


Braun, whose father is Jewish and mother is Christian, said he looked up to Jewish ballplayers when he was a kid, perhaps because there were very few in the big leagues in the last few decades.


?There haven?t been that many Jewish professional athletes who have been successful at the highest levels,? Braun said.


Eron Zehavi is a marketing and promotions assistant with the Sounds who is working with the Nashville Jewish community to draw attention to Braun?s pride in his faith.


?The truth is there are only a handful of Jewish players in baseball,? Zehavi said. ?If Ryan Braun can step up and be that guy, then maybe there?s a kid in Nashville who will look up to him and say, ?Hey he?s like me, I can be a ballplayer too.??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

You know the Nashville folks figured they better get these two profiles on their site while they still can


Nashville Site:


Getting To Know ... P Yovani Gallardo


Getting To Know ... 3B Ryan Braun


If you have a question you'd like your favorite Sounds player to answer, click here to submit it. The answer might be in a future Getting To Know ... update.


The Sounds will be updating the site with two new Q&A's each week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nashville Site:


Getting To Know ... INF Chris Barnwell


Getting To Know ... OF Charles Thomas


If you have a question you'd like your favorite Sounds player to answer, click here to submit it. The answer might be in a future Getting To Know ... update.


The Sounds will be updating the site with two new Q&A's each week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link for Yovani Gallardo photo, text follows:




Sounds star considered best in minors

Gallardo rated top pitcher


Tennessean Staff Writer


Anyone else would have bragged about this.


Yovani Gallardo? You had to drag it out of him.


The Nashville Sounds pitcher was having a casual conversation last week and was asked if he faced any superstars during spring training.


"Yes," the quiet and unassuming Gallardo said. "Barry Bonds."


There's a pause.


"Struck him out," he said, softly and shyly.


Gallardo is unpretentious, a tad timid, and often appears uncomfortable talking about his talent and the attention he's been receiving. That's what happens when you are a 21-year-old husband and father who would rather spend time with his family than hit the clubs. That's what happens when Baseball America ranks you as the Milwaukee Brewers' top prospect and, according to many experts, the best pitcher in minor league baseball.


But he's getting used to it.


"It is fun," said Gallardo, whose next start is scheduled for Friday night against Las Vegas at Greer Stadium. "It's exciting for me. You have people out there who get to know you a little better, obviously because of Baseball America and things like that. But I still have to go out there and do my job. That's the most important thing. Everything else is kind of a bonus."


His bonus was $750,000. The Milwaukee Brewers drafted Gallardo in the second round in 2004, and the signing bonus they gave him seems like a bargain now. Gallardo (pronounced Guy-are-doe) currently leads the Pacific Coast League in strikeouts (84), wins (7) and earned run average (2.39).


Sounds Manager Frank Kremblas is most impressed with Gallardo's composure, but he admits Gallardo's four pitches, including a knee-buckling curveball, aren't too shabby, either.


It all points to a big-league promotion. But the call might come later than sooner.


"He probably would pitch in the big leagues right now with a lot of clubs," said Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin, who was in town last week watching the Sounds.


"We just don't have a need right now. That's the tough part. Some teams are taking a lot of young guys and putting them in the bullpen. That's crossed our mind a little bit. But for now, we're just probably going to stay with that we have."


No rush


That's fine with Gallardo (6-1, 209 pounds). He knows the drill. No matter how well be excels in Nashville, he's aware he won't get the call until there is a need in Milwaukee.


"I try not to think about things like that," Gallardo said. "I'll leave that to whatever that time may be. But it is a goal for everybody playing this game."


When he does reach the big leagues ? and it's a matter of when, not if ? Gallardo will take with him a special memory from spring training against the San Francisco Giants ...


Fastball away, curveball, fastball away for a ball, then fastball up.


"I was pretty excited about that," Gallardo finally said of pitch sequence he used to strike out Bonds. "Just to get the chance to face him, it was a pretty good experience."


For one of them, at least.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link while active, text follows:




Dillard hopes to follow father?s footsteps to big league career

By Nate Rau, Nashville City Paper Sports Correspondent


More than anything else, Tim Dillard?s parents were relieved when it turned out their youngest son loved baseball.


Dillard says he could have chosen any sport or any extra-curricular activity he wanted growing up. But when your dad is a former big league infielder, when both of your brothers go on to become star prep baseball players and when there?s a neatly manicured Little League field in your backyard, odds are pretty good you?re going to fall in line.


Dillard?s dad Steve Dillard had a seven-year big league career with four different franchises. Steve then went on to become a minor league coach ? he?s the hitting instructor for Class A Palm Beach in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.


?We had three boys, and when they were younger, they were around the clubhouses when I was coaching in the minor leagues,? Steve Dillard said. ?They grew up around it. They saw the excitement, and they wanted to play.?


Tim is the youngest of three boys, so he always had to work harder to keep up. His oldest brother Jeff went on to play college baseball at Mississippi State and middle brother Andy is currently playing in an independent league in New Hampshire.


In order to relieve the strain on his mom, Tim was put in the same league as his older brother, meaning he was always the youngest on the team growing up.


?When he was real little, I?d put Jeff at short and Andy at third and hit ground balls at them,? Steve Dillard said. ?I had Tim over at first, and he sure did catch everything they fired over at him.?


Tim initially thought catching was his calling. Twice the Milwaukee Brewers drafted him as a catcher, thinking that was his best position. But an injury to his left shoulder, coupled with a switch to the pitcher?s mound changed everything.


During his junior season of high school, Tim was catching for the other kids trying out to fill the team?s pitching rotation. After a day of tryouts, Tim went to his coach with another option.


?I was catching them all day and I said to coach, ?I think we?re in trouble,?? Tim said. ?I thought I could do a better job.?


Turns out, he was right. Dillard found his calling on the mound. Even though he says he?s still learning the position, Dillard has progressed steadily through the Brewers farm system. He?s spent one year at each stop along the way ? rookie ball, low Class A, high Class A, Double-A and then this year with Triple-A Nashville.


There are still some kinks to be worked out. Sounds manager Stan Kyles points out Dillard uses too many pitches while not striking out enough batters.


But for a 23-year-old still learning the position, Dillard is doing pretty well. He?s 3-3 with a 3.51 ERA.


?I think I?ve done all right. I do feel like I?m still learning, like figuring out how to pitch to the number-eight guy in the batting order because the pitcher?s on deck,? Dillard said. ?Little things like that. You?re always your own worst critic.?


Now Dillard is on the doorstep of following in his father?s footsteps of a big league career.


?That?s the goal, that?s my dream,? Dillard said. ?I?d love to have a 10-year career and be an all-star. That should be every guy?s goal.?


And the process of waiting for that dream to come true keeps the entire family, especially the proud father Steve, in constant suspense.


?My hope for him is that he that he gets up and stays up,? Steve Dillard said. ?I hope he doesn?t go up and then get sent back down. It is thrilling for me and the whole family. We see he?s doing what he?s supposed to do and we?re proud of him.?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

The Twins Daily Caretaker Fund
The Brewer Fanatic Caretaker Fund

You all care about this site. The next step is caring for it. We’re asking you to caretake this site so it can remain the premier Brewers community on the internet. Included with caretaking is ad-free browsing of Brewer Fanatic.

  • Create New...