09/22/06 9:36 PM ET
Notes: Hall honored by fans, writers
Shortstop receives the High Energy Player of the Year award
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
With less than two weeks remaining in a long season, the Brewers shortstop is doing his best to live up to that label.
"I'm probably more mentally tired than anything, but my body feels good," said Hall, the Brewers' home run (32), runs scored (89) and OPS (.870) leader entering play Friday. "You've got to fight through all the adversity when you're struggling a little bit, and that probably makes you feel more tired."
It's true that Hall has been struggling a bit, at least relative to his formerly hot pace. He entered the game batting .174 over his last 69 at-bats, and his .654 OPS in September is his lowest of any month.
But he has taken over at shortstop admirably from injured second-year player J.J. Hardy, performing so well there that the Brewers may face a tough decision before the start of next season. Hall has made 108 starts at shortstop since Hardy suffered a season-ending ankle injury, and his 24 home runs while playing that position lead the Majors. In franchise history, only Robin Yount hit more homers in a season as the shortstop (29 in 1982, when he won his first American League MVP Award).
The stability has been welcome for Hall, who last year bounced around and played second base, third base and shortstop.
"I think that's more difficult, more of a grind," Hall said of his former utility role. "It takes more mental thinking when you're moving around. Out there at shortstop, I still need to think, but I know where I need to be at all times."
Both Hall and Hardy have said they would like to play shortstop next season. The Brewers' decision may have something to do with the health of third baseman Corey Koskie, who suffered a season-ending concussion, and second baseman Rickie Weeks, who had season-ending wrist surgery.
"It's my favorite position because I played there most of my life and it's the first position I ever played," Hall said. "But I've also proven that I can move around and play anywhere. If they want me to play third base, shortstop, wherever, I just know that it's going to be one position every day. That's the main thing.
"We just have to wait and see how J.J.'s rehab comes along. Everything is going great right now. We'll just let them make the decisions."
Voters for the first-ever High Energy Player of the Year award, sponsored by We Energies, were asked to identify "the player that best personifies the characteristics of hard work and an aggressive approach to playing the game."
Fan a winner, too: Jim Snyder of West Allis, Wis., was chosen as the Grand Slam Winner in the contest. Snyder voted for the award online at MilwaukeeBrewers.com and had his name selected in a drawing.
Snyder had lunch with Hall earlier Friday and threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game against the Giants. He watched the game from the Diamond Box seats at Miller Park.
Fifty-four other fans who voted online also won four tickets for one of the team's remaining home games.
Scouting appointments: The Brewers have restructured their amateur scouting department, naming Bruce Seid as their West Coast scouting supervisor and Ray Montgomery as the central scouting supervisor. The announcement was made by scouting director Jack Zduriencik.
"These are well-qualified individuals who have worked hard over the past several years and both are ready for the new challenge," Zduriencik said. "We look forward to their continued contributions for years to come."
Seid has been with the Brewers for the past 11 years as an area scout based in Southern California. He signed outfielder Tony Gwynn, left-hander Steve Hammond and former first-round draft pick Dave Krynzel.
Montgomery has been with the Brewers for the past four years as an area scout based in Houston and is credited with the signings of Weeks, among others. Montgomery was an outfielder in the Major Leagues with the Astros from 1996-98.
Both men will assume some of the duties of former West Coast crosschecker Tom Allison, who was hired as the Arizona Diamondbacks' scouting director earlier this month. Seid and Montgomery will work with Bobby Heck, who will continue to oversee the Brewers' East Coast scouting.
Good cause: Brewers bullpen coach Marcus Hanel is hosting his annual "Koos for Kids" charity event, a spaghetti dinner and auction in Racine, Wis., on Sunday. The event will raise funds for Hanel's nonprofit organization, dedicated to helping terminally ill or disadvantaged kids in southeastern Wisconsin.
A number of Brewers players and coaches, including Tony Graffanino, Derrick Turnbow, Matt Wise and Bill Castro, are scheduled to sign autographs during the event. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for kids 10 and under, and are available at Porcaro Mitsubishi, 6107 Washington Ave., in Racine, or the Racine Harley Davidson at 1155 Oakes Road. More information is available at www.koosforkids.com.
On deck: Left-hander Chris Capuano (11-11, 3.67 ERA) has two more chances to pen a positive finish to a sour second half, beginning with his start Saturday night against the Giants at Miller Park. Capuano went 10-4 in the first half and made the National League All-Star team, but he's 1-7 since the break despite some quality outings.
He will face Giants left-hander Noah Lowry (7-10, 4.70), who has lost three straight decisions, including the shortest start of his career, a 1 1/3-inning, nine-run outing at Colorado on Monday. The Giants lost the game, 20-6.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.