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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Brewers: Not enough pitching, too many outfielders creates conflict

With 12-13 pitchers on rosters extra single position outfielders and first baseman aren’t easy to fit on a roster.

The Brewers aren’t counting on Ryan Braun to be an everyday outfielder, with plans to start him at first base in Thursday’s season-opener against the San Diego Padres. First baseman Eric Thames will be platooned at first base, playing primarily against right-handed starters. Domingo Santana, who hit 30 homers and drove in 85 runs last year, could be sitting when Braun is standing.

First baseman Jesus Aguilar, who hit 16 homers and had 52 RBI last year, may not even have a role. First baseman Ji-Man Choi may have been the biggest surprise of the spring, but isn’t even guaranteed a job.

And prized young outfielders Keon Broxton and Brett Phillips will be stashed away at Class AAA Colorado Springs.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2018 at 08:27 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brewers

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   1. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: March 27, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5643636)
A trade with Atlanta would seem obvious.
   2. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: March 27, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5643648)
Yet another way that Moneyball and rationality makes things worse. Every year spring training starts with such hope that we will have that speedy no-hit centerfielder on the roster, or the jack-of-all-trades guy, or the lovable lug pinch-hitter, and gradually they're all pared away in favor of interchangeable relievers whose names you would be dumb to learn because they will be shuttled between AAA for other relievers.
   3. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: March 27, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5643669)
Go jump in the lake, Bob Nightengale. I just love how these national clowns state as fact that a team is short on starting pitching.
If you want to say it's your opinion, fine. Will we hear from you later in the season if you were wrong? I don't think we will.
The Brewers finished fifth in the NL last season with a 4.00 ERA, which would have been 3.84 without Wily Peralta's brutal 7.85 effort.
They had a team ERA+ of 110 in 2017, which is the fourth best in team history.
I know Jimmy Nelson will miss the first two months, and might not be that great when he comes back, but we'll see, OK?
What were they supposed to do, sign Alex Cobb for 4 years / $60 million or trade Domingo Santana and many others for Chris Archer?
Both of these pitchers benefited greatly from their pitching-friendly home palace, Tropicana Field.
Brandon Woodruff is going to get a shot this year and Corbin Burnes is next in line. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies are locked up
through 2021 and Jimmy Nelson through 2020. They have Jhoulys Chacin through next year. And nobody likes Brent Suter because he
doesn't throw hard, but he has an ERA+ of 129 in 103 career innings. Plenty of starting pitching, move on to your next story.
   4. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: March 27, 2018 at 11:17 AM (#5643673)
I really don't understand why the Brewers didn't land either Arrieta or Cobb at those prices. As a division foe, I'm glad they did not - but it's still puzzling...

I think their problem swinging a trade is that Santana is likely the only one who lands a decent SP - but everybody knows they've got an OF/1B and they're getting squeezed into a corner on offers.
   5. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: March 27, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5643677)
Ultimately, I guess it's just puzzling that the Brewers big offseason moves - signing Cain and trading for Yelich - both didn't really fill needs, but actually created surpluses. I just think that they'd have been better off using those resources (dollars and the prospects) to get pitching...
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 27, 2018 at 11:33 AM (#5643682)
I really don't understand why the Brewers didn't land either Arrieta or Cobb at those prices. As a division foe, I'm glad they did not - but it's still puzzling...

Very puzzling.

Brandon Woodruff is going to get a shot this year and Corbin Burnes is next in line. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies are locked up
through 2021 and Jimmy Nelson through 2020. They have Jhoulys Chacin through next year. And nobody likes Brent Suter because he
doesn't throw hard, but he has an ERA+ of 129 in 103 career innings. Plenty of starting pitching, move on to your next story.


That collection of guys projects to be the 19th best rotation in baseball (per Fnagraphs). For a playoff contender, that is not good.

They need another SP. Santana plus prospects for Archer would make a ton of sense. Signing Cobb or Arrieta for 10% more than they got would have made sense too.
   7. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: March 27, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5643760)
I think Davies is a fine young workhorse - the K rate needs a bump for him to take a step forward, but as he is - he's a nice anchor in the middle-front of a rotation. I'm just not a believer in Chase Anderson - at 29, he suddenly lops his HRs in half, his K rate gets a healthy bump and his FIP drops by two full runs? I'm just not buying it... and that's without getting into the fact he's only been good for 150 IP a year, tops.... as a longtime Kyle Hendricks believer, I certainly wouldn't fault anyone for being a believer in Suter.

Chacin has recovered from being a reclamation project, but I still think his reclamation was a Petco illusion... IDK - Woodruff and Burnes are both nice rotation prospects, but I think the Brewers would really need at least one - probably both - to break in in a big way (I see they're going to start Woodruff in the pen).

Divisional rivalries aside - I'm just saying that the Brewers clearly had some money to spend (5/80 on Cain) and they also had a decent enough haul of prospects to trade (always beware prospects going to their 3rd organization before mastering A ball, but Diaz/Brinsom/Harrison is a nice enough gaggle) without decimating the ranks. I don't understand spending EITHER of those bundles on an OF - but I especially don't understand using BOTH of them on an OF.

I like the collection of arms in the bullpen well enough and however it's configured, I expect the lineup scores enough runs to keep them in the race... I just think they're living awfully dangerous - needing too many things to go right in the rotation, when things tend to wrong more often than not when it comes to pitching.

What do I know, though... I never expected the Brewers to hang so tough in the NLC last year and kept right on expecting them to fold at some point when they never actually did.

If nothing else, I do think the NLC will end up being the NL's most interesting division - though (fanboy alert to be sure), I think it will take some injuries and/or other problems for either the Brewers or Cardinals to catch the Cubs. I think one of them gets a WC, though - and it wouldn't at all surprise me if both do.

   8. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: March 27, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5643821)
Cain and Yelich aren't merely additional outfielders, however. They are now the two best players in the lineup.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 27, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5643827)
Cain and Yelich aren't merely additional outfielders, however. They are now the two best players in the lineup.


Sure, but knocking a 2 WAR player like Thames or Braun out of the lineup to start a 3-4 WAR player isn't nearly the upgrade of slotting a 3 WAR SP in place of the replacement level dreck that will almost certainly get 30 GS for them.
   10. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: March 27, 2018 at 04:06 PM (#5643905)
I"m glad they didn't sign Cobb (if that (4/60) was the price tag). That said, they need (better) SP, I don't care if Jimmy returns and is fantastic, it's not enough.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: March 27, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5643910)
I'm not putting forth a defense of their moves, but it's worth remembering that the Brewers' window for adding a SP hasn't closed. FWIW, Verlander, Darvish, and Quintana were traded to contenders during the middle of last season.
   12. Master of the Horse Posted: March 27, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5643912)
prized young outfielders Keon Broxton

Broxton turns 28 in early May and he struck out 175 times in 414 at bats last season. Is that young or prized by any team's standard? I know the Brewers are not genius level operators but they found someone to replace Keon. If he was prized I don't think that happens.
   13. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 27, 2018 at 04:56 PM (#5643914)
Is that young or prized by any team's standard?
The 1983 Phillies?
   14. Stevey Posted: March 28, 2018 at 12:52 AM (#5644065)
Will we hear from you later in the season if you were wrong?


Will we hear from you if the Fangraphs projection of 19th best rotation WAR ends up pretty accurate?
   15. stevegamer Posted: March 28, 2018 at 06:51 AM (#5644076)
Is that young or prized by any team's standard?

The 1983 Phillies?


You made me spit out some tea, well done. Amazingly, the rotation was somewhat young, I think. Of course, they had more guys over 30 than pretty much anybody, and like 3-4 guys 40 or older.
   16. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: March 28, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5644142)
I definitely spit up some coffee from #13.

After Carlton, it was a pretty young rotation, with Denny's Cy season leading the way (although just looked it up, even he was 30!). I also remember Carlton as the washed up White Sock, but damn if that wasn't a pretty good age 38 season.

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