Results tagged ‘ Johnny Hellweg ’
A bet is a bet. And Brandon Kintzler lost one to Kyle Lohse. That’s why he’s the batboy for tonight’s Exhibition Game at Miller Park vs the Kansas City Royals.
“I’m not nervous at all,” Brandon said. “Whatever entertains the guys to kick off the year. And I can’t wear big-league stuff. I have to wear my own jersey so everyone knows it’s me. In Rookie Ball, you have to batboy, so I have experience. I know to watch the umpire, watch what he needs. I’m probably going to get really tired; it will be my conditioning for the day.”
So what are the events that lead up to this? I sat down with both Brandon and Kyle individually to get both sides of the story, and, okay, I’ll admit it–stir the pot a little. Read on.
You see, it all started in Spring Training at Bob Uecker’s Front Row Classic, when Brandon was in the winning group:
“After that… He popped off that he was just as good as me,” said Kyle, who is basically a scratch golfer and well-known for his golfing prowess in the clubhouse. “He didn’t back down from a one-on-one challenge. Leading up to it, he was even talking smack about how he out-drives me and maybe I might need strokes. I was like ‘Alright. Whatever. Pick a course, we’ll go play it.’ I wanted to be fair, so we picked a course that I hadn’t played, didn’t know anything about,” he said.
“We wanted a course that we hadn’t played,” Brandon confirmed. And that’s how they landed at Moon Valley Country Club. “I had heard it’s a long, tough course, a lot of target golf.”
Of course, after all of the buildup to the match, they had to put some stakes on it.
“I wouldn’t agree to a bunch of bets, so at the end he said–and I think he was joking–‘loser batboys Exhibition Game‘ and I said, ‘Okay, I’ll do that,” Brandon said. “Last time I played with him at his course, he beat me by one hole, and by like two strokes, so it wasn’t like it was going to be an unfair match.”
But this time, their match was not as close. Kyle ended up winning by 11 strokes, shooting a 74 to Brandon’s 85.
“It was definitely my chipping. And sand. I probably gave 8 strokes away from chipping and sand alone,” Brandon lamented. He also chalked it up to a lot of “bad luck.”
“There was one drive where we both hit in the fairway, but mine bounced left into the sand trap. It was literally two feet from his ball. I had a lot of bad luck,” Brandon, who played competitive Junior Golf a little as a teen, explained.
“You know old guys gotta get luck,” he continued, taking a not-so-subtle dig at Kyle, who is 35-years old and six years older than him.
“I outdrive him so, he’s gotta get luck. He needed all the luck he could get….Make sure you put that in there,” he added.
“And Kyle was really nice during the round,” he continued. ” He knows I had a lot of bad luck and he had some good luck, but then he shows up to the field and makes it sound like I was terrible. He even brought in a Championship belt. He said he crushed me, but they don’t know about the round before. He’s just mad because I have the Bob Uecker title. He’s a totally different person on the course and off the course.”
Kyle refutes this. “I show up, I don’t know anything about the course, just like he doesn’t… and I beat him by 11 strokes. There’s not a lot of bad luck that happens when you’re on the fairways or greens, right? So when you’re constantly off the fairways and off the greens, I don’t know if you call that bad luck, or not being able to keep the ball in play. There are two ways you can look at it.”
“I got a couple grays in my beard,” he continued, “But you know, it is what it is. Older, wiser, better? I don’t know. My 74 could have been like a 68 if I had made some other putts. I didn’t miss too many greens. I went into it with prior experience, beating another guy on the team, another ‘young fella’–[Johnny] Hellweg. He popped off about my golf game… I gave him 20 strokes and I beat him by 41 so I went into it knowing…. With Brandon, the third hole was when I knew it was over because it was a driving hole, a par-4, even for me, a ‘short hitter,’ so I hit 3-iron. Just wanted to keep it in play. He hits driver, got lucky that it was in play, then had to play a shot under and through a tree, ended up in a bunker, went from that bunker to 60-yds past the green into a fairway bunker and from that bunker back into the same bunker he was just in, you know, so I knew then that experience was going to carry me through the match.”
As for the belt? Kyle tells me it serves a dual purpose. “I went to the store and picked up a little belt so I could make sure he knew I was the champ, but we have card games in the clubhouse and we have a champion of the day. From now on, that person will get the belt.”
“I think of it like back in the day when Tiger dominated,” Kyle told me. “You know, whenever he was in that final group, everyone kind of wilted around him? It was kind of the same thing. That’s what happened to Hellweg and I knew that if I just kept the ball in play–I don’t care if I get outdriven–I’m gonna keep it in play and put it on the green. Not too many bad things can happen when you do that.”
And, long story short, that is how Brandon Kintzler ended up as a batboy for tonight’s game.
But still, Brandon wants a chance at redemption: “I will get a rematch at some point,” he said.
Kyle is not so sure.
“What happens in boxing when the champ defends his title? Do they automatically give a rematch to the other guy, or does he have to fight a few more battles and work his way back up? The way I look at it, he got knocked out in the first round, he’s been knocked way down in status. I’m not even sure he’s third or fourth best golfer on the team right now with the play he put out. After he works his way up, he can challenge me again, but it’s going to be awhile.”
Speaking of challenges… in his interview tonight, Kyle failed to mention another golf match that took place earlier in Spring Training down in Arizona. We’ll have more on that to come here on the blog.
The Milwaukee Brewers have announced the recipients of the 2013 Robin Yount Performance Awards, which recognizes the Brewers Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year. Right-handed pitcher Johnny Hellweg was named Minor League Pitcher of the Year and first baseman Jason Rogers was named Minor League Player of the Year.
“We congratulate Johnny and Jason on their great seasons and well-deserved recognition,” said Brewers President of Baseball Operations – General Manager Doug Melvin. “In his first season at the Triple-A level, Johnny showed why he was chosen as the top pitcher in the Pacific Coast League and we’re excited to see him contribute at the Major League level. Jason had a great finish to the season in the Southern League as the league’s top run producer while playing nearly every game this season. This is also a reflection of our player development and scouting staffs as they work hard to provide young players the opportunity to play in Milwaukee.”
Hellweg, 24, spent the majority of the season at Triple-A Nashville and was named the 2013 Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year, going 12-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 23 starts (125.2ip, 44er). He led the PCL in winning percentage (.706) and opponent batting average (.228) and was among the leaders in ERA (2nd) and wins (T2nd, 12). The 6’9” right-hander won 11 of his last 12 decisions with Nashville and was named to the 2013 All-PCL team.
Hellweg made his Major League debut with the Brewers on June 28 at Pittsburgh. He has made four appearances (three starts) with Milwaukee and is currently in his second stint with the Brewers. Additionally, he made one start at Class-A Wisconsin on July 15 and picked up the win in a 6-2 Timber Rattlers victory vs. Lake County. Hellweg was selected as the Brewers Pitcher of the Month for July (4gs, 4-0, 0.75era, 24ip, 2er). The Missouri resident is in his second season as a member of the Brewers organization after being acquired from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last July in the Zack Greinke trade.
Rogers, 25, played the entire season at Double-A Huntsville, where he batted .270 with 22 HR and 87 RBI in 133 games. He led the Southern League in RBI and ranked among the leaders in HR (T2nd), total bases (3rd, 225) and extra-base hits (T4th, 49). Rogers was selected as an All-Star for the second straight season (Midwest League All-Star in 2012).
Rogers earned Brewers Player of the Month honors in July (.338, 24-71, 7hr, 20rbi) and August (.333, 34-102, 5hr, 15rbi). He was drafted by the Brewers in the 32nd round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Columbus State University. This marks the second straight season that a Huntsville first baseman has been named Brewers Player of the Year (Hunter Morris, 2012).
Former winners of the award who are currently on the Brewers include Logan Schafer (2009) and Yovani Gallardo (2006). Other Brewers who have one the award but are not currently on the active roster include Taylor Green (2011), Mat Gamel (2008) and Ryan Braun (2006). Hiram Burgos (2012) and Mike Fiers (2011), who have both spent time on the Brewers roster this season, also each have won the award.
Hellweg and Rogers will be honored prior to the Brewers game on Saturday, September 21 when the Brewers take on St. Louis at Miller Park. In addition to Hellweg and Rogers, Helena Brewers OF Michael Ratterree will also be recognized that night for his 2013 Pioneer League Most Valuable Player Award he recently received.
The Brewers are off today, so with no action on the field at the Major League level, we look to the Brewers minor leagues for some good news. Nashville Sounds RHP Johnny Hellweg was today named to the 2013 All-Pacific Coast League Team. The team consists of three pitchers–a right-handed starter, a left-handed starter and a reliever.
The 24-year-old is 11-5 with a 3.16 ERA (42er/119.2ip) in 22 starts for the Sounds this season. He ranks 2nd in the PCL in ERA and is tied for 2nd in wins, while leading the circuit in winning percentage (.688) and opponents average (.226).
Hellweg has gone 10-1 in his last 15 starts for the Sounds after opening the campaign by recording only one victory in his first seven outings.
The fireballer also struck out 84 batters on the year while leading the league with 79 walks issued and 13 hit batters. The Missouri native — who was acquired by the Brewers along with Brewers All-Star shortstop Jean Segura in last season’s Zack Greinke trade with the Los Angeles Angels — has posted a team-best 11 quality starts, including eight victories in a row from May 31 through July 30, and worked 24.0 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run during a four-start stretch in June and July.
Hellweg made his Major League debut for Milwaukee during a four-game stint in late June and early July (0-3, 10.97) and was named the Brewers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Month in July. The All-PCL squad is selected annually through voting by the league’s managers and media representatives.
Hellweg is the first Sound to be recognized on the All-PCL team since 2011, when third baseman Taylor Green was elected, and the first Nashville hurler chosen since R.A. Dickey and Adam Pettyjohn were both honored in 2007.
Post updated with photos.
In what was one of the biggest trades in Major League Baseball during the 2012 regular season, the Brewers acquired RHP Johnny Hellweg from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The 6 foot, 9 inch pitcher is known for his fastball, but one can’t ignore his height. It is hard to believe that Hellweg was only 6-5 when drafted by the Angels in 2008.
“I had a growth spurt after being drafted and that kind of disrupted my delivery for a bit,” Hellweg said. “There would be mornings I would get up and the ground would seem farther away, there were a lot of weird things like that. But I have grown into my body now and I’m used to it. I have a consistent release point, I’m starting to get there and I’m able to repeat my delivery better now that I have stopped growing.”
Hellweg started the season as a starter for Double-A Arkansas of the Texas League. There, he went 5-10 with a 3.38 ERA in 21 starts. After the July 27 trade that sent him to the Brewers organization, Hellweg joined the Huntsville Stars. The Brewers showed concern about his innings and shut him down after two starts and five relief appearances. Over seven appearances with the Stars, Hellweg was 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA.
“Hellweg has been lighting up the gun pretty good (in Arizona),” Brewers President – Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin said. “He has a good head on his shoulders. It took him some time to get used to his height, but now he knows where he is at and he has been throwing very well.”
Melvin also added that it has been good to see Hellweg pitch out of the bullpen while at the Fall League, a role he is adjusting to, but enjoys since his fastball is one of his best pitches. During the Rising Stars Game on Saturday, Hellweg hit 99 miles per hour on a few of his pitches and says he can turn it up to triple digits if needed.
“I throw a lot of fastballs and have a good breaking ball and have been working on my changeup too,” Hellweg said. “I like to challenge with my fastball. I know I have a pretty good fastball, which is what I have to keep telling myself. Sometimes a lot of pitchers give hitters a lot of credit, but hitting is hard and it is a lot harder to hit when pitches are coming in really fast. I have to remember that and keep firing them in there.”
Hellweg is 0-0 with a 2.00 ERA (9ip/2er) in six appearances out of the bullpen. He has held batters to a .233 average (7-for-30).
“I’m really down here just trying to work on maintaining a consistent delivery,” Hellweg said. “I feel really good with it right now. I’ve been taking notes, jotting a few things down and keep it fresh for spring. Just throwing strikes and knowing what I need to do to continue to throw strikes and place the ball.”
No matter where Hellweg ends up the 2013 season—Double-A, Triple-A, bullpen or starting role—he is excited to have an opportunity here at the Fall League and excited about the Brewers organization.
“Doug and Gord Ash have been great, I’m excited to be a Brewer, it is a great organization,” Hellweg said. “I look forward to getting to Milwaukee and I am going to continue to work hard to get there. I’m a Midwest boy so I’m happy to be a part of the organization.”