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GERY WOELFEL: Big bad Wolf a scary rotation option

GERY WOELFEL: Big bad Wolf a scary rotation option


Let’s face it, not a lot is expected from the No. 4 starter on a Major League Baseball team’s pitching staff.

But there has to be better options for the Milwaukee Brewers than their fourth starter Randy Wolf.

Wolf is 35 and he’s looking every bit his age on the mound. He has a 2-5 record with a miserable 6.05 earned run average.

In his last four starts, the not-so-lethal lefty surrendered 17 earned runs in 22 innings. In that same stretch, he struck out 11 and walked 10.

One of Ron Roenicke’s strength as Brewers manager has been his loyalty to his players.

Yet, if the Brewers are to make another run at the playoffs, Roenicke needs to seriously consider removing Wolf from the rotation and replacing him with someone who’ll at least give them a legitimate shot of winning.

Silver lining

The Brewers will get a golden opportunity to replenish their minor league system today with picks Nos. 27, 28 and 38 in the First-Year Player Draft.

The Brewers picked up two additional high picks — Nos. 27 and 38 — as compensation for Prince Fielder signing with the Detroit Tigers.

Fielder, if you haven’t been keeping track, is enjoying another quality season with nine homers, 35 RBIs and a .319 batting average. He’s also walked 21 times and has a slugging average above .500.

Big bucks for Ilyasova

It’s hard to imagine things getting worse for the Milwaukee Bucks, but there are concrete signs it will.

The Bucks, coming off another forgettable season in which they missed the Eastern Conference playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons, appear on the brink of losing power forward Ersan Ilyasova.

The 25-year-old Ilyasova, who averaged nearly a double-double with 13 points and 8.8 rebounds last season — will become an unrestricted free agent next month.

The scuttlebutt is Ilyasova will command at least $8 million a season. That’s a nice little increase over his salary of $2.5 million this season.

While the Bucks want to retain Ilyasova, it’s unclear whether the feeling is mutual. That’s why some NBA officials believe the New Jersey Nets — who scouted Ilyasova rather extensively late in the season — are the front-runners for his services.

Oliver finds new home

The old saying “Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina” certainly applies to Antwon Oliver.

Oliver, who helped Horlick High School advance to the WIAA Division 1 state championship game in 2009, has signed a national letter of intent with Campbell (N.C.) University, an NCAA Division I school that plays in the Big South Conference.

The 6-foot-7 Oliver spent the last two seasons at Southwest Tennessee Community College. He averaged 16 points and eight rebounds last season.

Oliver opted for Campbell over Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne and Eastern Kentucky.

“I decided on Campbell University because they’ve been recruiting me for a long time and they said I could play right away,” Oliver said.

Taylor tours the country

Jordan Taylor has had a hectic schedule.

The former University of Wisconsin standout point guard has been traveling the country in recent weeks, working out for NBA teams in advance of the June 28 draft.

Taylor told me he’s already worked out for Golden State, Sacramento, Chicago and Milwaukee and has upcoming workouts with Toronto, New York, Phoenix and San Antonio. There is a chance he’ll showcase his talents for Detroit and Cleveland officials as well.

Hometown home run leaders

Vinny Rottino, now with the New York Mets, recently hit his second major league homer. That ranks him fourth on the all-time home run list for Racine-born players. As column conspirator Jerry Tapp recently pointed out to me in an email, Dick Phillips is first with 12 homers, followed by Jimmy Grant with five and Jason Jaramillo with four. Duane Kuiper had one homer.

Gery Woelfel is a sports reporter for The Journal Times. Gery can be reached by calling (262) 631-1713 or by email at


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