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  1. Box Score SP: Aaron Ashby: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K (65 pitches, 37 strikes (56.9%) Home Runs: None Top 3 WPA: Luis Urias (0.247), Matt Bush (0.120), Trevor Gott (0.109) Bottom 3 WPA: Devin Williams (-0.694), Willy Adames (-0.234), Tyrone Taylor (-0.147) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) 9th Inning Blown Save We have to start here. It was obviously the key inning of this game, and potentially for the Brewers season. With a 3-2 lead, Craig Counsell turned again to Devin Williams, hoping for another Save. A night earlier, he finished out a save despite struggling with his control. On this night, it just didn’t happen for him. After walking three in Friday night, he allowed a leadoff walk to Jon Berti. It’s never a good thing, but Berti is leading MLB in stolen bases this season. Joey Wendle pinch hit, and he struck out. But then Berti stole second, his 39th steal of the year. Williams followed it by walking Brian Anderson and then yanking a fastball straight to the backstop to put runners on second and third with one out. Bryan De La Cruz came through with a solid single to left field. Both runs would have scored anyway, but when Christian Yelich bobbled the ball, the Marlins DH on this night took second. Peter Strzelecki came in and got the next two batters out. That sent the game to the bottom of the ninth. The Brewers had the top of their lineup coming to bat, but Don Mattingly turned to lefty Richard Bleier who got Yelich, Willy Adames, and Rowdy Tellez out on three quick ground out. Ashby OK in Short Start While Aaron Ashby is just 2-10 on the season, he has had some solid starts, and that was the hope in this game. In actuality, he pitched fairly well in this game. That said, in the third inning, with Jordan Groshans on base, Peyton Burdick hit his third career home run to give the Marlins a 2-0 lead. A huge point of emphasis for Ashby has to be eliminating or at least minimizing his walk totals. While he only threw strikes on 57% of his pitches, he did not walk anyone. Ashby was solid, but he also got some help from his defense. And 4 1/3 innings may not be exciting, but he did keep the team in the game and Counsell turned to a bullpen he has relied upon a lot this season including lately. And that bullpen did the job (until the 9th, as you already read). Trevor Gott got out all five batters he faced. Brad Boxberger and Matt Bush each tossed a three-batter inning. Offense Struggles In the first three innings, the Brewers lineup went one-two-three each inning. Of the nine batters, five of them struck out. Edward Cabrera, however, left the game with some arm discomfort at that point. Andrew Nardi came on and Christian Yelich led off the fourth inning with a home run to the opposite field. The team struck out three more times that inning. The Brewers had a big opportunity in the fifth inning. Andrew McCutchen and Luis Urias started the inning with walks. Mattingly turned to Jeff Brigham who struck out a pinch-hitting Victor Caratini and got a fly out by Tyrone Taylor. With two outs, Yelich walked to load the bases. Unfortunately, Willy Adames was unable to provide a two-out hit and the team went scoreless again. In the sixth inning, the Brewers broke through and probably could have scored more. Jake Fishman came on to pitch and Rowdy Tellez and Hunter Renfroe started the inning with back-to-back singles. Mike Brosseau came on to pinch hit and struck out. Huascar Brazoban came in and threw a wild pitch. With runners on second and third bases, McCutchen walked. Luis Urias got a pain RBI by letting a pitch hit him (We’ve got ice!). Caratini then grounded out to second base for the inning’s second out, but Renfroe came in to score and give The Crew the lead at 3-2. There were still runners on second and third, but again, they could not get some insurance with a big, two-out hit. In the seventh inning, they had two more singles, but Tanner Scott recorded three more strikeouts. In the eighth inning, Milwaukee got one single, and Tommy Nance got three more strikeouts. In the ninth inning, there were no strikeouts, but three routine groundouts. On the night, the Brewers struck out 16 times! What Do You Do? If you look at the WPA, it shows that Devin Williams didn't get the job done on this night. But what would you do? Williams is the closer and one of the best relief pitchers in baseball. But if you look at the Bullpen Usage chart below, he has thrown a lot of pitches this week. Matt Bush didn't throw a lot of pitches in the eighth. Would you have let him pitch the ninth inning? Brad Boxberger only threw 12 pitches in the seventh inning. Maybe he could have pitched the eighth too? But then the question remains, would you pitch Bush in the ninth? Would you have considered using Taylor Rogers in the ninth? The answer to all those questions is... Maybe. And maybe they would have worked on this particular night because that's how baseball works. But if any of those scenarios would have been used, and that situation would have ended in a Brewers loss, the one question that would have been asked is... Why did they not go to Devin Williams in the ninth? What’s Next? The Brewers will finish out this series with the Marlins before welcoming Arizona for the final three games. The Brewers will send Freddy Peralta to the mound at the start of Sunday afternoon’s game, in an “Opener” role. Pablo Lopez will start for the Marlins. Wild Card Scenarios The Phillies played two games against the Nationals on Saturday. They lost the afternoon game but responded with a win in the nightcap. However, the loss meant that a Brewers win would have had the two teams tied heading into the final four games. NOTE: The Padres currently lead the Chicago White Sox 5-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning. Three more outs and their record will improve to 87-71. That is the record in the scenarios below. This chart will be updated when the game in San Diego goes final. Remaining Games Brewers: 1 at home vs Marlins, 3 at home vs Arizona Phillies: 1 at home vs Nationals, 3 at Houston Padres: 1 at home vs White Sox, 3 at home vs Giants So the Brewers are now one game out of a playoff spot. Because of the tiebreakers, the Brewers will have to finish a game ahead of the Phillies or Padres to take a Wild Card spot. Philadelphia Phillies If the Brewers go 4-0, they need the Phillies to go 2-2 (or 1-3, or 0-4). If the Brewers go 3-1, they need the Phillies to go 1-3 (or 0-4). If the Brewers go 2-2, they need the Phillies to go 0-4. If the Brewers go 1-3 or 0-4, the Phillies go to the playoffs. San Diego Padres If the Brewers go 4-0, they need the Padres to go 0-4. If the Brewers go 3-1, 2-2, 1-3, or 0-4, the Padres clinch a playoff spot. While the Padres are all but assured of a playoff spot, there still is hope in surpassing the Phillies. Why? They have three games in Houston. Normally, one might assume that the Astros would be resting its key players, but because the top two seeds in each league get a first-round bye, they will want to set up their pitching rotation and try to give those key players reps knowing that they will be getting at least five days off before Round 2 of the playoffs would begin. The Brewers would be greatly helped by the Astros dominating the Phillies. Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  2. Over the past seven to ten games, every Brewers win has been big. Every Brewers loss has been excruciating. Saturday night's 4-3 loss to the Marlins was especially rough. Image courtesy of Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports Box Score SP: Aaron Ashby: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K (65 pitches, 37 strikes (56.9%) Home Runs: None Top 3 WPA: Luis Urias (0.247), Matt Bush (0.120), Trevor Gott (0.109) Bottom 3 WPA: Devin Williams (-0.694), Willy Adames (-0.234), Tyrone Taylor (-0.147) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) 9th Inning Blown Save We have to start here. It was obviously the key inning of this game, and potentially for the Brewers season. With a 3-2 lead, Craig Counsell turned again to Devin Williams, hoping for another Save. A night earlier, he finished out a save despite struggling with his control. On this night, it just didn’t happen for him. After walking three in Friday night, he allowed a leadoff walk to Jon Berti. It’s never a good thing, but Berti is leading MLB in stolen bases this season. Joey Wendle pinch hit, and he struck out. But then Berti stole second, his 39th steal of the year. Williams followed it by walking Brian Anderson and then yanking a fastball straight to the backstop to put runners on second and third with one out. Bryan De La Cruz came through with a solid single to left field. Both runs would have scored anyway, but when Christian Yelich bobbled the ball, the Marlins DH on this night took second. Peter Strzelecki came in and got the next two batters out. That sent the game to the bottom of the ninth. The Brewers had the top of their lineup coming to bat, but Don Mattingly turned to lefty Richard Bleier who got Yelich, Willy Adames, and Rowdy Tellez out on three quick ground out. Ashby OK in Short Start While Aaron Ashby is just 2-10 on the season, he has had some solid starts, and that was the hope in this game. In actuality, he pitched fairly well in this game. That said, in the third inning, with Jordan Groshans on base, Peyton Burdick hit his third career home run to give the Marlins a 2-0 lead. A huge point of emphasis for Ashby has to be eliminating or at least minimizing his walk totals. While he only threw strikes on 57% of his pitches, he did not walk anyone. Ashby was solid, but he also got some help from his defense. And 4 1/3 innings may not be exciting, but he did keep the team in the game and Counsell turned to a bullpen he has relied upon a lot this season including lately. And that bullpen did the job (until the 9th, as you already read). Trevor Gott got out all five batters he faced. Brad Boxberger and Matt Bush each tossed a three-batter inning. Offense Struggles In the first three innings, the Brewers lineup went one-two-three each inning. Of the nine batters, five of them struck out. Edward Cabrera, however, left the game with some arm discomfort at that point. Andrew Nardi came on and Christian Yelich led off the fourth inning with a home run to the opposite field. The team struck out three more times that inning. The Brewers had a big opportunity in the fifth inning. Andrew McCutchen and Luis Urias started the inning with walks. Mattingly turned to Jeff Brigham who struck out a pinch-hitting Victor Caratini and got a fly out by Tyrone Taylor. With two outs, Yelich walked to load the bases. Unfortunately, Willy Adames was unable to provide a two-out hit and the team went scoreless again. In the sixth inning, the Brewers broke through and probably could have scored more. Jake Fishman came on to pitch and Rowdy Tellez and Hunter Renfroe started the inning with back-to-back singles. Mike Brosseau came on to pinch hit and struck out. Huascar Brazoban came in and threw a wild pitch. With runners on second and third bases, McCutchen walked. Luis Urias got a pain RBI by letting a pitch hit him (We’ve got ice!). Caratini then grounded out to second base for the inning’s second out, but Renfroe came in to score and give The Crew the lead at 3-2. There were still runners on second and third, but again, they could not get some insurance with a big, two-out hit. In the seventh inning, they had two more singles, but Tanner Scott recorded three more strikeouts. In the eighth inning, Milwaukee got one single, and Tommy Nance got three more strikeouts. In the ninth inning, there were no strikeouts, but three routine groundouts. On the night, the Brewers struck out 16 times! What Do You Do? If you look at the WPA, it shows that Devin Williams didn't get the job done on this night. But what would you do? Williams is the closer and one of the best relief pitchers in baseball. But if you look at the Bullpen Usage chart below, he has thrown a lot of pitches this week. Matt Bush didn't throw a lot of pitches in the eighth. Would you have let him pitch the ninth inning? Brad Boxberger only threw 12 pitches in the seventh inning. Maybe he could have pitched the eighth too? But then the question remains, would you pitch Bush in the ninth? Would you have considered using Taylor Rogers in the ninth? The answer to all those questions is... Maybe. And maybe they would have worked on this particular night because that's how baseball works. But if any of those scenarios would have been used, and that situation would have ended in a Brewers loss, the one question that would have been asked is... Why did they not go to Devin Williams in the ninth? What’s Next? The Brewers will finish out this series with the Marlins before welcoming Arizona for the final three games. The Brewers will send Freddy Peralta to the mound at the start of Sunday afternoon’s game, in an “Opener” role. Pablo Lopez will start for the Marlins. Wild Card Scenarios The Phillies played two games against the Nationals on Saturday. They lost the afternoon game but responded with a win in the nightcap. However, the loss meant that a Brewers win would have had the two teams tied heading into the final four games. NOTE: The Padres currently lead the Chicago White Sox 5-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning. Three more outs and their record will improve to 87-71. That is the record in the scenarios below. This chart will be updated when the game in San Diego goes final. Remaining Games Brewers: 1 at home vs Marlins, 3 at home vs Arizona Phillies: 1 at home vs Nationals, 3 at Houston Padres: 1 at home vs White Sox, 3 at home vs Giants So the Brewers are now one game out of a playoff spot. Because of the tiebreakers, the Brewers will have to finish a game ahead of the Phillies or Padres to take a Wild Card spot. Philadelphia Phillies If the Brewers go 4-0, they need the Phillies to go 2-2 (or 1-3, or 0-4). If the Brewers go 3-1, they need the Phillies to go 1-3 (or 0-4). If the Brewers go 2-2, they need the Phillies to go 0-4. If the Brewers go 1-3 or 0-4, the Phillies go to the playoffs. San Diego Padres If the Brewers go 4-0, they need the Padres to go 0-4. If the Brewers go 3-1, 2-2, 1-3, or 0-4, the Padres clinch a playoff spot. While the Padres are all but assured of a playoff spot, there still is hope in surpassing the Phillies. Why? They have three games in Houston. Normally, one might assume that the Astros would be resting its key players, but because the top two seeds in each league get a first-round bye, they will want to set up their pitching rotation and try to give those key players reps knowing that they will be getting at least five days off before Round 2 of the playoffs would begin. The Brewers would be greatly helped by the Astros dominating the Phillies. Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  3. Box Score SP: Freddy Peralta: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (44 pitches, 28 strikes (63.6%) Home Runs: Hunter Renfroe (28) Top 3 WPA: Peter Strzelecki (0.156), Keston Hiura (0.122), Freddy Peralta (0.107) Bottom 3 WPA: Matt Bush (-0.211), Willy Adames (-0.146), Victor Caratini (-0.143) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Peralta Returns as “Opener” It was quite the query heading into the game. Freddy Peralta was activated from the Injured List before the game. He has been out with shoulder inflammation. How long would he go? How long could he go? How would he look? Let’s start with the last question. Peralta looked really good. But how long did he go? The Brewers chose to use Peralta as an opener in this game. He worked just two innings, though he needed 44 pitches to get through it. He wasn’t perfect, but he got through his innings healthy and without allowing a run. He showed good stuff, with the three strikeouts, but he wasn’t completely sharp. How did you feel about the performance of Peralta? Renfroe Provides More Power After going 4-for-5 with two homers on Saturday night, Hunter Renfroe led off the second inning with his 28th home run of the season to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== The Brewers were unable to do much against Reds rookie starter and former first-round pick Nick Lodolo. The southpaw gave up only that one run on just four hits. He walked one and struck out six batters. Overall, he has a 3.75 ERA on the season and certainly has a bright future. Journeymen Derek Law and Buck Farmer worked a scoreless inning each. Then Alexis Diaz came on and struck out Willy Adames, Christian Yelich and Hunter Renfroe in the ninth inning to slam the door. Key Play of the Game You never know when the most important, most impactful play of any game will happen. Turns out, in this game, that play may have happened in the second inning. Following the Renfroe leadoff home run, Mike Brosseau singled to left field. Luis Urias flew out, and then Keston Hiura doubled Brosseau to third base. Victor Caratini struck out for the inning's second out. However, Tyrone Taylor hit what should have been a two-run single. Unfortunately, and maybe even inexplicably (though Craig Counsell tried to stand up for Hiura in his postgame interview below), the ball hit Hiura and ended the inning. There is no way of knowing what would happen over the rest of the game had the Brewers scored three that inning instead of just one, but in a 2-1 loss, when fighting for a playoff spot, that's a pretty huge play. Ashby Struggles but Bullpen Provides a Mixed Bag Lefty Aaron Ashby came on to replace Peralta. It makes sense. Have the left-hander come in after the right-handed opener. But it didn’t go as I’m sure Craig Counsell had hoped. The rookie gave up one run on two hits, two walks and two hit batters, and maybe more important, he was only able to provide 1 2/3 innings. Fortunately, Peter Strzelecki came on and got the next four outs, two of them on strikeouts. Trevor Gott worked a perfect inning. Brad Boxberger gave up a single, but struck out two batters in a scoreless seventh inning. Unfortunately, in the bottom of the eighth inning, Matt Bush gave up a leadoff home run to Reds rookie Spencer Steer to give Cincinnati a 2-1 lead. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== What’s Next? The Brewers will hopefully enjoy their final scheduled off day on Monday before playing their final nine games at home starting on Tuesday. Postgame Interviews data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Bush 0 14 12 0 19 45 Boxberger 15 0 13 0 14 42 Gott 17 0 0 10 14 41 Ashby 0 0 0 0 40 40 Suter 18 0 0 17 0 35 Strzelecki 0 16 0 0 16 32 Perdomo 0 0 27 0 IL 27 Williams 0 0 18 0 0 18 Rogers 0 0 0 16 0 16 Milner 6 0 0 0 0 6
  4. The Brewers need to find ways to win as many games as they can over the final ten games. Unfortunately on Sunday afternoon, a late home run (and a lack of offense coupled with a little bad luck) cost the Brewers in a close loss to the Reds. Image courtesy of David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports Box Score SP: Freddy Peralta: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (44 pitches, 28 strikes (63.6%) Home Runs: Hunter Renfroe (28) Top 3 WPA: Peter Strzelecki (0.156), Keston Hiura (0.122), Freddy Peralta (0.107) Bottom 3 WPA: Matt Bush (-0.211), Willy Adames (-0.146), Victor Caratini (-0.143) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Peralta Returns as “Opener” It was quite the query heading into the game. Freddy Peralta was activated from the Injured List before the game. He has been out with shoulder inflammation. How long would he go? How long could he go? How would he look? Let’s start with the last question. Peralta looked really good. But how long did he go? The Brewers chose to use Peralta as an opener in this game. He worked just two innings, though he needed 44 pitches to get through it. He wasn’t perfect, but he got through his innings healthy and without allowing a run. He showed good stuff, with the three strikeouts, but he wasn’t completely sharp. How did you feel about the performance of Peralta? Renfroe Provides More Power After going 4-for-5 with two homers on Saturday night, Hunter Renfroe led off the second inning with his 28th home run of the season to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== The Brewers were unable to do much against Reds rookie starter and former first-round pick Nick Lodolo. The southpaw gave up only that one run on just four hits. He walked one and struck out six batters. Overall, he has a 3.75 ERA on the season and certainly has a bright future. Journeymen Derek Law and Buck Farmer worked a scoreless inning each. Then Alexis Diaz came on and struck out Willy Adames, Christian Yelich and Hunter Renfroe in the ninth inning to slam the door. Key Play of the Game You never know when the most important, most impactful play of any game will happen. Turns out, in this game, that play may have happened in the second inning. Following the Renfroe leadoff home run, Mike Brosseau singled to left field. Luis Urias flew out, and then Keston Hiura doubled Brosseau to third base. Victor Caratini struck out for the inning's second out. However, Tyrone Taylor hit what should have been a two-run single. Unfortunately, and maybe even inexplicably (though Craig Counsell tried to stand up for Hiura in his postgame interview below), the ball hit Hiura and ended the inning. There is no way of knowing what would happen over the rest of the game had the Brewers scored three that inning instead of just one, but in a 2-1 loss, when fighting for a playoff spot, that's a pretty huge play. Ashby Struggles but Bullpen Provides a Mixed Bag Lefty Aaron Ashby came on to replace Peralta. It makes sense. Have the left-hander come in after the right-handed opener. But it didn’t go as I’m sure Craig Counsell had hoped. The rookie gave up one run on two hits, two walks and two hit batters, and maybe more important, he was only able to provide 1 2/3 innings. Fortunately, Peter Strzelecki came on and got the next four outs, two of them on strikeouts. Trevor Gott worked a perfect inning. Brad Boxberger gave up a single, but struck out two batters in a scoreless seventh inning. Unfortunately, in the bottom of the eighth inning, Matt Bush gave up a leadoff home run to Reds rookie Spencer Steer to give Cincinnati a 2-1 lead. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== What’s Next? The Brewers will hopefully enjoy their final scheduled off day on Monday before playing their final nine games at home starting on Tuesday. Postgame Interviews data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Bush 0 14 12 0 19 45 Boxberger 15 0 13 0 14 42 Gott 17 0 0 10 14 41 Ashby 0 0 0 0 40 40 Suter 18 0 0 17 0 35 Strzelecki 0 16 0 0 16 32 Perdomo 0 0 27 0 IL 27 Williams 0 0 18 0 0 18 Rogers 0 0 0 16 0 16 Milner 6 0 0 0 0 6 View full article
  5. The Milwaukee Brewers got some reinforcements over the past two days in the form of returning pitchers. Aaron Ashby was activated off the injured list on Tuesday with Trevor Gott being activated prior to Wednesday’s game. Image courtesy of © Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports Making room for Aaron Ashby and Trevor Gott, Milwaukee sent both Jason Alexander and Justin Topa to Triple-A Nashville. Ashby spent exactly one month on the injured list after experiencing inflammation in his shoulder. He returned Tuesday and made the start, going two innings. Ashby allowed just one hit while walking and striking out two apiece. The Brewers have been without Gott since August 10. His forearm was the reason he landed on the injured list, and the hope would be that the injury is behind him. Gott returns to a 4.03 ERA across 38 innings this season for Milwaukee. View full article
  6. Making room for Aaron Ashby and Trevor Gott, Milwaukee sent both Jason Alexander and Justin Topa to Triple-A Nashville. Ashby spent exactly one month on the injured list after experiencing inflammation in his shoulder. He returned Tuesday and made the start, going two innings. Ashby allowed just one hit while walking and striking out two apiece. The Brewers have been without Gott since August 10. His forearm was the reason he landed on the injured list, and the hope would be that the injury is behind him. Gott returns to a 4.03 ERA across 38 innings this season for Milwaukee.
  7. Earlier this year the Milwaukee Brewers inked Aaron Ashby to a five-year contract extension worth $20.5 million. It can effectively stretch to a seven-year deal worth $46 million. Unfortunately, for now he won’t be able to help the team on the field. After making a start on August 19, allowing six runs on eight hits across five innings, Ashby was reported to have an arm issue. Today it was announced he was being placed on the 15-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation. The move was retroactive to August 20. The hope would be that Ashby will just miss the minimum for Milwaukee, but they trail in the National League Central division and can’t afford to be without one of their key starters for any amount of time. He owns a 4.58 ERA across 96.1 innings this season. Recalled to take his roster spot, Jason Alexander returns to the Major League roster again this season. He’s made seven spot starts and appeared in 12 games totaling 48 2/3 innings. Alexander owns a 5.18 ERA and will look to give the Brewers better work than he has thus far.
  8. If there’s been something that’s a constant for Milwaukee this year it’s been injuries to their starting pitching staff. The latest casualty was Aaron Ashby. Earlier this year the Milwaukee Brewers inked Aaron Ashby to a five-year contract extension worth $20.5 million. It can effectively stretch to a seven-year deal worth $46 million. Unfortunately, for now he won’t be able to help the team on the field. After making a start on August 19, allowing six runs on eight hits across five innings, Ashby was reported to have an arm issue. Today it was announced he was being placed on the 15-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation. The move was retroactive to August 20. The hope would be that Ashby will just miss the minimum for Milwaukee, but they trail in the National League Central division and can’t afford to be without one of their key starters for any amount of time. He owns a 4.58 ERA across 96.1 innings this season. Recalled to take his roster spot, Jason Alexander returns to the Major League roster again this season. He’s made seven spot starts and appeared in 12 games totaling 48 2/3 innings. Alexander owns a 5.18 ERA and will look to give the Brewers better work than he has thus far. View full article
  9. After a split against the Dodgers, the Brewers emerge in roughly the same place in the standings, but now with less time to make up ground. Can they make up ground in enemy territory when they take on the Cubs in Wrigley for a three-game weekend series? The All-Star break is artificially respected as the halfway point of the season. In truth, all of the fanfare and revelry of those mid-July festivities occur just slightly after the actual halfway point. Nevertheless, two truths exist at the same time: the All-Star break just ended, and the season’s wind down period is in full promenade. In baseball parlance, “wind down” is misleading. The races heat up, and every game, inning and pitch has a condensed sense of importance. The Cubs won’t be playing meaningful baseball in October, and even after a spunky split-series performance against the Dodgers, the Brewers' playoff status is precarious. Can the fierce rivalry manifest some luck for the Crew, or send their tailspin in a terminal trajectory? Friday August 19th Aaron Ashby (2-10 4.24 ERA) Keegan Thompson (9-5 3.67 ERA) Aaron Ashby’s definitive trajectory won’t be determined by two games, but there were whispers of hopeful things to come in his most recent high-pressure start against the St. Louis Cardinals. Throwing with enhanced control, Ashby managed a quality start; on the back of three hits and two runs, it was ultimately a no-decision. Squaring off against Ashby is middling righty Keegan Thompson. Along with a 1.4 WAR and 8.4 H/9, Thompson brings with him a bit of notoriety for throwing at Andrew McCutchen very early in the season. Of his 100.2 IP this season, 1.2 were collected in his most recent start, where he labored for over 70 pitches to retire only five hitters. Saturday August 20th Freddy Peralta (4-3 4.21 ERA) Marcus Stroman (3-5 3.96 ERA) It was a game of “onlys” for Freddiy Peralta in his most recent start. Against the Dodgers he only lasted four innings, surrendering only one run on a Freddy Freeman solo shot. He gave up only one more hit after that. The only non-only for Peralta was, concerningly, in the walks department. Four walks in as many innings, because of his 92 pitches, only 51 were strikes. The first year of Marcus Stroman’s contract as a Chicago Cub has been as unremarkable as the North Sider’s season itself. His ERA was recently pushed just south of four; the FIP at 3.87 is just the tiniest bit lower. In Stroman’s most recent start, four runs were surrendered, but none were earned. This feels like a microcosm of the Cubs season generally. Sunday August 21st Brandon Woodruff (9-3 3.53 ERA) Justin Steele (4-7 3.43 ERA) It wasn’t categorically dominant, but Brandon Woodruff managed to stave off domination at the hands of the monstrous Dodgers. He managed to keep Los Angeles shut out until the fifth inning, where he’d eventually surrender dingers to a resurgent Joey Gallo and an always otherworldly Mookie Betts. Suffice to say, the Cubs should post a less pressing challenge. Justin Steele’s last two starts have been against a very bad Nationals team and he was appropriately effective in each start. All-in-all, the young Steele is enjoying a very capable sophomore campaign and, while there might not be a lot of flash to enjoy in the immediate, it’s worth keeping an eye on a player who looks poised to perform well for a division foe for years to come. Players To Watch Nico Hoerner: Watching All-Star snub Nico Hoerner is an inspiring exercise. Despite the fact that the Cubs are functionally moot in terms of competition, Hoerner takes the field with something to prove. Now that Javier Baez has taken his talents to the Detroit Tigers, Hoerner is the mainstay at shortstop. He’s batting .380 in the month of August, and has accumulated more WAR than any position player the Brewers have on the field. Willson Contreras: As one fraternal catching dynasty in the Molina clan winds down, a new one in the Contreras’ clan is just getting started. Atlanta Braves backstop William Contreras quietly started the All-Star game this year, while his big brother Willson (also an All-Star this year) was the subject of raised eyebrows after being mysteriously untraded at the deadline despite impending free agency. If it is indeed in the plans, keeping an asset like Contreras for the long-term makes perfect sense for the Cubs, as his passionate gameplay has helped substantiate himself as a thorn in the side for anyone who opposes him. Matt Bush: The acquisition of this storied righty largely flew under the radar, but there is something worth paying attention to in Matt Bush. He owns a solid 51:12 k/bb ratio, and a WHIP just above one. These aren’t particularly sexy stats, but with savvy bullpen management, Bush’s true asset, versatility, comes to life. Josh Hader was at his strongest when he could come in mid-game, snag a high leverage out or two, or close out the game. Bush won’t ever be as flashy as peak Hader, but where Hader eventually evolved exclusively into a closer, Bush can still pitch whenever he’s needed. Christian Yelich: There’s no equivalent around a .042 batting average in a 10-game stretch. That the hit was a well-demolished home run is exemplary of the kind of frustration Yelich has produced over the last couple of seasons. Still, there are reasons to be skeptical of how actually “bad” he is. It’s worth mentioning that Yelich leads the team in stolen bases (16) and runs created (61.56). It still feels like there is something Yelich can return to to perform at an upper-tier. Predictions Predicting anything in baseball is obviously folly. No one would have predicted at the beginning of the season, or even three weeks ago that the Cleveland Guardians would be leading the AL Central on August 18th. No one would have predicted that Corbin Burnes would switch candidacies from DFA to Cy Young in a season and a half's time. Logic and statistics would dictate that the Brewers are substantially better than the Cubs and should sweep them, but these Brewers just can’t dominate these mediocre to bad teams. I’ll say the Brewer take two of three. In Summary It’s mid-August, just through the dog days of summer, and the 2022 Milwaukee Brewers are the sad puppy in the rain looking from the outside in on an expanded playoff field. The trade deadline was itself a whimper and the deflated play since then reflected its neutered tone. Enough dog metaphors. Simply stated: the Brewers need to win, and win confidently. The Brewers need to step into Wrigley Field and own it like it was their home turf. The Cubs are a cobbling together of competent, but not elite, talents. Justin Steele and Patrick Wisdom are not Devin Williams and Willy Adames. The Brewers need to wrangle their potential and play like the better team that they are, or the season is already over. View full article
  10. The All-Star break is artificially respected as the halfway point of the season. In truth, all of the fanfare and revelry of those mid-July festivities occur just slightly after the actual halfway point. Nevertheless, two truths exist at the same time: the All-Star break just ended, and the season’s wind down period is in full promenade. In baseball parlance, “wind down” is misleading. The races heat up, and every game, inning and pitch has a condensed sense of importance. The Cubs won’t be playing meaningful baseball in October, and even after a spunky split-series performance against the Dodgers, the Brewers' playoff status is precarious. Can the fierce rivalry manifest some luck for the Crew, or send their tailspin in a terminal trajectory? Friday August 19th Aaron Ashby (2-10 4.24 ERA) Keegan Thompson (9-5 3.67 ERA) Aaron Ashby’s definitive trajectory won’t be determined by two games, but there were whispers of hopeful things to come in his most recent high-pressure start against the St. Louis Cardinals. Throwing with enhanced control, Ashby managed a quality start; on the back of three hits and two runs, it was ultimately a no-decision. Squaring off against Ashby is middling righty Keegan Thompson. Along with a 1.4 WAR and 8.4 H/9, Thompson brings with him a bit of notoriety for throwing at Andrew McCutchen very early in the season. Of his 100.2 IP this season, 1.2 were collected in his most recent start, where he labored for over 70 pitches to retire only five hitters. Saturday August 20th Freddy Peralta (4-3 4.21 ERA) Marcus Stroman (3-5 3.96 ERA) It was a game of “onlys” for Freddiy Peralta in his most recent start. Against the Dodgers he only lasted four innings, surrendering only one run on a Freddy Freeman solo shot. He gave up only one more hit after that. The only non-only for Peralta was, concerningly, in the walks department. Four walks in as many innings, because of his 92 pitches, only 51 were strikes. The first year of Marcus Stroman’s contract as a Chicago Cub has been as unremarkable as the North Sider’s season itself. His ERA was recently pushed just south of four; the FIP at 3.87 is just the tiniest bit lower. In Stroman’s most recent start, four runs were surrendered, but none were earned. This feels like a microcosm of the Cubs season generally. Sunday August 21st Brandon Woodruff (9-3 3.53 ERA) Justin Steele (4-7 3.43 ERA) It wasn’t categorically dominant, but Brandon Woodruff managed to stave off domination at the hands of the monstrous Dodgers. He managed to keep Los Angeles shut out until the fifth inning, where he’d eventually surrender dingers to a resurgent Joey Gallo and an always otherworldly Mookie Betts. Suffice to say, the Cubs should post a less pressing challenge. Justin Steele’s last two starts have been against a very bad Nationals team and he was appropriately effective in each start. All-in-all, the young Steele is enjoying a very capable sophomore campaign and, while there might not be a lot of flash to enjoy in the immediate, it’s worth keeping an eye on a player who looks poised to perform well for a division foe for years to come. Players To Watch Nico Hoerner: Watching All-Star snub Nico Hoerner is an inspiring exercise. Despite the fact that the Cubs are functionally moot in terms of competition, Hoerner takes the field with something to prove. Now that Javier Baez has taken his talents to the Detroit Tigers, Hoerner is the mainstay at shortstop. He’s batting .380 in the month of August, and has accumulated more WAR than any position player the Brewers have on the field. Willson Contreras: As one fraternal catching dynasty in the Molina clan winds down, a new one in the Contreras’ clan is just getting started. Atlanta Braves backstop William Contreras quietly started the All-Star game this year, while his big brother Willson (also an All-Star this year) was the subject of raised eyebrows after being mysteriously untraded at the deadline despite impending free agency. If it is indeed in the plans, keeping an asset like Contreras for the long-term makes perfect sense for the Cubs, as his passionate gameplay has helped substantiate himself as a thorn in the side for anyone who opposes him. Matt Bush: The acquisition of this storied righty largely flew under the radar, but there is something worth paying attention to in Matt Bush. He owns a solid 51:12 k/bb ratio, and a WHIP just above one. These aren’t particularly sexy stats, but with savvy bullpen management, Bush’s true asset, versatility, comes to life. Josh Hader was at his strongest when he could come in mid-game, snag a high leverage out or two, or close out the game. Bush won’t ever be as flashy as peak Hader, but where Hader eventually evolved exclusively into a closer, Bush can still pitch whenever he’s needed. Christian Yelich: There’s no equivalent around a .042 batting average in a 10-game stretch. That the hit was a well-demolished home run is exemplary of the kind of frustration Yelich has produced over the last couple of seasons. Still, there are reasons to be skeptical of how actually “bad” he is. It’s worth mentioning that Yelich leads the team in stolen bases (16) and runs created (61.56). It still feels like there is something Yelich can return to to perform at an upper-tier. Predictions Predicting anything in baseball is obviously folly. No one would have predicted at the beginning of the season, or even three weeks ago that the Cleveland Guardians would be leading the AL Central on August 18th. No one would have predicted that Corbin Burnes would switch candidacies from DFA to Cy Young in a season and a half's time. Logic and statistics would dictate that the Brewers are substantially better than the Cubs and should sweep them, but these Brewers just can’t dominate these mediocre to bad teams. I’ll say the Brewer take two of three. In Summary It’s mid-August, just through the dog days of summer, and the 2022 Milwaukee Brewers are the sad puppy in the rain looking from the outside in on an expanded playoff field. The trade deadline was itself a whimper and the deflated play since then reflected its neutered tone. Enough dog metaphors. Simply stated: the Brewers need to win, and win confidently. The Brewers need to step into Wrigley Field and own it like it was their home turf. The Cubs are a cobbling together of competent, but not elite, talents. Justin Steele and Patrick Wisdom are not Devin Williams and Willy Adames. The Brewers need to wrangle their potential and play like the better team that they are, or the season is already over.
  11. Every pitcher goes through growing pains in MLB. Left-handers especially seem to take a bit longer to put everything together. Aaron Ashby is no different, displaying flashes of dominance with stretches of frustration. His struggles often stem from the fantastic movement he gets on his pitches. It's a blessing and a curse when you're learning to command a high-quality repertoire. Among pitchers with at least 50 innings, Ashby has the 15th-highest BB% at 10.7%; however, he also ranks 25th in MLB with a 26.9 K%. As noted, a significant factor in his strikeouts and walks is how much Ashby's pitches move, particularly his slider and changeup: Ashby's slider gets the fifth-greatest amount of vertical movement in MLB (minimum 400 pitches) His horizontal movement on the slider also ranks 14th in distance Ashby's changeup rates as the 16th-best in the amount of horizontal movement (minimum 300 pitches) With such great movement on those two offerings, and a sinker that sits 96-98 MPH, it's difficult to understand how Ashby owns a 4.32 ERA. There are two specific areas where he could make changes that would keep hitters off-balance and ideally get better, more consistent results. Ashby needs to mix up his pitch selection on 0-2 counts when hitters have a stunning .323/.333/.387/.720 line. He has been the worst in that count all season. For comparison, the average MLB slash line on an 0-2 count is .154/.164/.223/.387. Quite remarkable. From what I can see, part of the issue is that Ashby throws his slider too often in that count. As you can see, he is using the slider more than 55% of the time when he is ahead 0-2, the largest percentage of any pitch in any count. While pitchers will have their "put away" pitch, that usually means it is highly effective. For hitters facing Ashby, odds are you're getting a slider on 0-2. So they might look for it in most cases and believe they will either fight off a different offering or take it, thinking there's a good chance it's out of the strike zone. And if they get a slider that isn't a strike, they would be better prepared to take it. Using any other pitch more frequently would start to catch opponents off-guard and give them different 0-2 pitches to think about each at-bat. Especially if Ashby utilized the curve and four-seam fastball, which he rarely throws on 0-2, it immediately alters their perception. Speaking of changing things up, the second adjustment Ashby needs to make is gunning for the high-and-inside region of the strike zone on right-handers (high and away versus lefties). Baseball Savant's graphic below shows how little Ashby hits that spot - by choice or lack of execution. Targeting that location works against hitters on both sides of the plate. Again, Ashby has the velocity to succeed up there with his sinker and four-seam heater in the mid-to-upper 90s. When facing righties, the up-and-in spot location keeps batters from leaning over the plate, anticipating something softer and outside. It also helps to change the eye level as they are likely looking for a changeup or breaking ball in the bottom third of the zone. If Ashby can be close to that region, it's a challenging ball to hit well, if at all, for a right-hander. It might be slightly less effective against lefties but still has value. Typically a left-hander anticipates a slider or curveball on the outer half from southpaws, breaking to the edge or outside the zone. Of course, those also have a vertical drop, so their swing would be middle-to-low in height. Mixing in the sinker or fastball into that spot gives lefties less time to react and doubt in their minds when it comes to offspeed. While it can be easier to reach than up-and-in, it would be a worthwhile risk for Ashby to increase his overall effectiveness. Again, Ashby is still learning to command all of his pitches, use an impactful variation, and find the best balance. There are also team decisions on how to attack certain hitters in specific situations, which could mean Ashby has less control over what and where he tries to throw. But if he is going to take a quick step forward the rest of this season, Ashby and the Brewers should be willing to try some new things and see what level he can reach in 2022.
  12. Aaron Ashby's skill set and "stuff" show clear signs of big-time potential. The Milwaukee Brewers agree, signing him to a five-year contract worth a guaranteed $20.5 million. Two adjustments in his mound strategy could impact how quickly Ashby begins to reach greater heights and help the 2022 club make a deep postseason run. Every pitcher goes through growing pains in MLB. Left-handers especially seem to take a bit longer to put everything together. Aaron Ashby is no different, displaying flashes of dominance with stretches of frustration. His struggles often stem from the fantastic movement he gets on his pitches. It's a blessing and a curse when you're learning to command a high-quality repertoire. Among pitchers with at least 50 innings, Ashby has the 15th-highest BB% at 10.7%; however, he also ranks 25th in MLB with a 26.9 K%. As noted, a significant factor in his strikeouts and walks is how much Ashby's pitches move, particularly his slider and changeup: Ashby's slider gets the fifth-greatest amount of vertical movement in MLB (minimum 400 pitches) His horizontal movement on the slider also ranks 14th in distance Ashby's changeup rates as the 16th-best in the amount of horizontal movement (minimum 300 pitches) With such great movement on those two offerings, and a sinker that sits 96-98 MPH, it's difficult to understand how Ashby owns a 4.32 ERA. There are two specific areas where he could make changes that would keep hitters off-balance and ideally get better, more consistent results. Ashby needs to mix up his pitch selection on 0-2 counts when hitters have a stunning .323/.333/.387/.720 line. He has been the worst in that count all season. For comparison, the average MLB slash line on an 0-2 count is .154/.164/.223/.387. Quite remarkable. From what I can see, part of the issue is that Ashby throws his slider too often in that count. As you can see, he is using the slider more than 55% of the time when he is ahead 0-2, the largest percentage of any pitch in any count. While pitchers will have their "put away" pitch, that usually means it is highly effective. For hitters facing Ashby, odds are you're getting a slider on 0-2. So they might look for it in most cases and believe they will either fight off a different offering or take it, thinking there's a good chance it's out of the strike zone. And if they get a slider that isn't a strike, they would be better prepared to take it. Using any other pitch more frequently would start to catch opponents off-guard and give them different 0-2 pitches to think about each at-bat. Especially if Ashby utilized the curve and four-seam fastball, which he rarely throws on 0-2, it immediately alters their perception. Speaking of changing things up, the second adjustment Ashby needs to make is gunning for the high-and-inside region of the strike zone on right-handers (high and away versus lefties). Baseball Savant's graphic below shows how little Ashby hits that spot - by choice or lack of execution. Targeting that location works against hitters on both sides of the plate. Again, Ashby has the velocity to succeed up there with his sinker and four-seam heater in the mid-to-upper 90s. When facing righties, the up-and-in spot location keeps batters from leaning over the plate, anticipating something softer and outside. It also helps to change the eye level as they are likely looking for a changeup or breaking ball in the bottom third of the zone. If Ashby can be close to that region, it's a challenging ball to hit well, if at all, for a right-hander. It might be slightly less effective against lefties but still has value. Typically a left-hander anticipates a slider or curveball on the outer half from southpaws, breaking to the edge or outside the zone. Of course, those also have a vertical drop, so their swing would be middle-to-low in height. Mixing in the sinker or fastball into that spot gives lefties less time to react and doubt in their minds when it comes to offspeed. While it can be easier to reach than up-and-in, it would be a worthwhile risk for Ashby to increase his overall effectiveness. Again, Ashby is still learning to command all of his pitches, use an impactful variation, and find the best balance. There are also team decisions on how to attack certain hitters in specific situations, which could mean Ashby has less control over what and where he tries to throw. But if he is going to take a quick step forward the rest of this season, Ashby and the Brewers should be willing to try some new things and see what level he can reach in 2022. View full article
  13. The trade of Josh Hader felt abrupt despite him being dangled for the last couple of seasons. After that exchange with the Padres, the now second place Brewers largely stood pat with the team they have, spare the acquisition of a few bullpen arms. The lack of a meaningful offensive acquisition left some scratching their heads, and the team’s perceived deficiencies probably felt exaggerated after a rare Corbin Burnes loss at the hands of a bad Pirates team. Worse still by a blown save and walk-off loss in the second game and, as if scripted, a wild pitch walk off to give the Bucs a sweep over Milwaukee. Losses sting, but the amalgam of bad that immediately followed an inert trade deadline makes the front office’s silence deafening. How can they rebound against the Reds? Let’s check out the match-ups. Friday August 5th Eric Lauer (7-3 3.75) Robert Dugger (0-0 4.50 ERA) Originally scheduled to pitch the day before against the Pirates, the Brewers opted to strategize the return of Freddy Peralta to help nudge the homer-prone Eric Lauer to a home start. A savvy move as Lauer’s splits have shown him to be significantly stronger at home. Robert Dugger is being called up for his first start of the season, having spent most of the time in AAA spare a few long relief appearances. That Dugger is starting at all is merely a product of necessity. A career ERA of 6.97 and the strikeout rate of 18.3% substantiate the negative career WAR of the utilitarian Texas Tech product. Saturday August 6th Aaron Ashby (2-9 4.13 ERA) Nick Lodolo (3-3 4.23 ERA) Aaron Ashby's last two starts have shown an improvement from the slippery slope he’d been on. That they resulted in losses is hardly his fault, particularly the penultimate appearance where two earned runs and nine strikeouts over seven innings were met with no run support. The lanky Nick Lodolo comes to AmFam Field on the heels of back-to-back quality starts, most recently putting up a strong effort against a better-than-expected Orioles lineup. Sunday August 7th Corbin Burnes (8-5 2.49 ERA) Hunter Greene (4-12 5.26 ERA) An established ace squares off against a nascent one. What should be the takeaway from Burnes struggling in his most recent start against the Pirates? I should hope that, aside from the fact that Burnes is a human, that the answer is “absolutely nothing”. Burnes has lost some of the polish on the control front this season, already hitting 9 batters to last years six and with a SO/W of 4.61 to last years astounding 6.88, but he’s earned a long enough leash to be occasionally imperfect without too many corked eyebrows. Hunter Greene ’s season is detailed more specifically below in the “Players too Watch” section, but Greene has been anything from work-in-progress to superhuman. The sky is the limit for the high ceiling 22-year-old, and if he’s on point he’s capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone, including Burnes. Players To Watch Our late inning relief: Matt Bush’s dominating power pitching and Devin Williams mastery weren’t particularly dialed in Pittsburgh and both earned a loss as a result. If there is one team that can serve to re-inspire one’s confidence, it should be Cincinnati. Christian Yelich : Yeli has always been a punishing presence against Cincinnati. Let’s see how his new mechanics fare against the grist to his mill. Joey Votto : I normally wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to watch anyone languishing in a .732 OPS, even an aging legend with a Hall Of Fame pedigree, but there are few players more likable or charismatic than TikTok legend Joey Votto. Even if he isn’t flashing at the plate, there is a good chance that he’ll give you something to watch. Hunter Greene: At the other end of their career we have flamethrowing prodigy Greene. At 22, the Reds righty has given their front office enough confidence to develop him in the bigs, even if there have been struggles with control and home runs in the past. In his most recent start, Greene gave up one hit and no walks on the way to striking out eight Marlins over the course of seven innings. Outings like that are the reason for high hopes surrounding Greene, and while he’ll likely be a torment to the Brewers for seasons to come. Predictions Only so much can be taken from an objectively good team being swept by the likes of the Pirates, but far less predictable things take place in baseball every week. The Brewers are the better team, and the already bad Reds got far worse when they stripped out their few useful parts in the trade deadline. My guess is that the Crew snags two of the three.
  14. A sweep at the hands of the Pirates and another sweep by the Cardinals over the Cubs find the Brewers suddenly in second in their division. Can the Brewers breeze through the Reds to regain their spot at the top, or does the last series portend grim things to come in Milwaukee? The trade of Josh Hader felt abrupt despite him being dangled for the last couple of seasons. After that exchange with the Padres, the now second place Brewers largely stood pat with the team they have, spare the acquisition of a few bullpen arms. The lack of a meaningful offensive acquisition left some scratching their heads, and the team’s perceived deficiencies probably felt exaggerated after a rare Corbin Burnes loss at the hands of a bad Pirates team. Worse still by a blown save and walk-off loss in the second game and, as if scripted, a wild pitch walk off to give the Bucs a sweep over Milwaukee. Losses sting, but the amalgam of bad that immediately followed an inert trade deadline makes the front office’s silence deafening. How can they rebound against the Reds? Let’s check out the match-ups. Friday August 5th Eric Lauer (7-3 3.75) Robert Dugger (0-0 4.50 ERA) Originally scheduled to pitch the day before against the Pirates, the Brewers opted to strategize the return of Freddy Peralta to help nudge the homer-prone Eric Lauer to a home start. A savvy move as Lauer’s splits have shown him to be significantly stronger at home. Robert Dugger is being called up for his first start of the season, having spent most of the time in AAA spare a few long relief appearances. That Dugger is starting at all is merely a product of necessity. A career ERA of 6.97 and the strikeout rate of 18.3% substantiate the negative career WAR of the utilitarian Texas Tech product. Saturday August 6th Aaron Ashby (2-9 4.13 ERA) Nick Lodolo (3-3 4.23 ERA) Aaron Ashby's last two starts have shown an improvement from the slippery slope he’d been on. That they resulted in losses is hardly his fault, particularly the penultimate appearance where two earned runs and nine strikeouts over seven innings were met with no run support. The lanky Nick Lodolo comes to AmFam Field on the heels of back-to-back quality starts, most recently putting up a strong effort against a better-than-expected Orioles lineup. Sunday August 7th Corbin Burnes (8-5 2.49 ERA) Hunter Greene (4-12 5.26 ERA) An established ace squares off against a nascent one. What should be the takeaway from Burnes struggling in his most recent start against the Pirates? I should hope that, aside from the fact that Burnes is a human, that the answer is “absolutely nothing”. Burnes has lost some of the polish on the control front this season, already hitting 9 batters to last years six and with a SO/W of 4.61 to last years astounding 6.88, but he’s earned a long enough leash to be occasionally imperfect without too many corked eyebrows. Hunter Greene ’s season is detailed more specifically below in the “Players too Watch” section, but Greene has been anything from work-in-progress to superhuman. The sky is the limit for the high ceiling 22-year-old, and if he’s on point he’s capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone, including Burnes. Players To Watch Our late inning relief: Matt Bush’s dominating power pitching and Devin Williams mastery weren’t particularly dialed in Pittsburgh and both earned a loss as a result. If there is one team that can serve to re-inspire one’s confidence, it should be Cincinnati. Christian Yelich : Yeli has always been a punishing presence against Cincinnati. Let’s see how his new mechanics fare against the grist to his mill. Joey Votto : I normally wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to watch anyone languishing in a .732 OPS, even an aging legend with a Hall Of Fame pedigree, but there are few players more likable or charismatic than TikTok legend Joey Votto. Even if he isn’t flashing at the plate, there is a good chance that he’ll give you something to watch. Hunter Greene: At the other end of their career we have flamethrowing prodigy Greene. At 22, the Reds righty has given their front office enough confidence to develop him in the bigs, even if there have been struggles with control and home runs in the past. In his most recent start, Greene gave up one hit and no walks on the way to striking out eight Marlins over the course of seven innings. Outings like that are the reason for high hopes surrounding Greene, and while he’ll likely be a torment to the Brewers for seasons to come. Predictions Only so much can be taken from an objectively good team being swept by the likes of the Pirates, but far less predictable things take place in baseball every week. The Brewers are the better team, and the already bad Reds got far worse when they stripped out their few useful parts in the trade deadline. My guess is that the Crew snags two of the three. View full article
  15. As the MLB trade deadline looms, rumors of Brewer acquisitions have been few and far between but on Saturday they surprised with the announcement of a contract extension for Aaron Ashby with only $20.5m in guaranteed money. The guaranteed portion of the contract locks up Ashby through his final team-controlled season in 2027: a $1m signing bonus and then a gradually-rising salary that ultimately peaks at $7.5m guaranteed in 2027 for a total of $19.5m through five seasons. Should Milwaukee decline Ashby’s 2028 $9m team option, they will owe him an additional $1m buyout but if they retain his services, they have another team option available in 2029 for $13m. On top of the option years, a significant portion of the contract is in performance-based escalators: up to $1.5m could be added to the 2028 option if Ashby averages 150 or more innings from 2025-2027 and up to another $1.5m if he finishes in the top ten for the National League Cy Young Award in those years. There are similar escalators built into the 2029 option as well. It’s hard to imagine these terms being more team-friendly for the Brewers. The innings pitched escalators don’t begin to kick in until Ashby averages 150 innings pitched over three seasons. To show how significant this number is in modern baseball, only 55 pitchers pitched 150 innings in the 2021 season. In a game where starters are routinely pulled after two turns through the order, even reaching 150 innings in a season is a significant feat that occurs fewer than two times per MLB team. The escalators top out when Ashby averages 180 innings over three seasons. Only 20 pitchers threw 180 innings in the 2021 season. Unfortunately, the Covid-shortened 2020 season makes it hard to count the number of pitchers who could have averaged 180 innings over the past three seasons, but the number can probably be counted on one hand. The escalators become moot if Ashby is converted into a late-inning relief option, which may be his most likely outcome. Moving to a relief role takes $6m of escalators out of the contract entirely, bringing the uppermost limit to $40m through seven seasons. Ashby’s surface numbers aren’t that appealing, as he has only a 4.43 ERA through his first 107 innings, good for a 93 ERA+ (100 is average so slightly below average once adjusted for league and park). If you dig into his underlying numbers, you see why the Brewers were eager to lock him up into his early 30s: Ashby has a much better-looking 3.76 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) and a 27.9% strikeout rate. While neither of those numbers are elite, they’re both above league average for a starter and show the potential still untapped in that 24-year-old arm. Should Ashby falter as a starter, Milwaukee can easily convert his 96mph fastball to the bullpen, where it could go from mid-90s to high-90s overnight. Coupled with a slider and change, his fallback plan still profiles as a good late-inning reliever. The obvious comparison to this contract extension is Freddy Peralta, whom the Brewers signed to a five-year extension in the weeks preceding the Covid shutdown in Spring Training of 2020. Entering that season, Peralta was in a similar position to Ashby today: roughly 150 innings pitched over two split seasons with an ungainly 4.79 ERA, but a well above average 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings and a sub-4.00 FIP. Since signing that contract, Peralta has been dynamite in the Milwaukee rotation, pitching 212 innings with a 3.26 ERA and 12.4 strikeouts per nine innings. According to FanGraphs, Peralta has been worth 5.3 Wins Above Replacement which in itself is worth far more than the $15.5m Peralta was guaranteed through the end of the 2024 season. The Peralta contract is something approaching a best-case outcome for Ashby but it illustrates how a contract of this size can pay for itself in one or two seasons. According to SportTrac, the 2022 Milwaukee Brewers will pay roughly $133m in player contracts. Should that payroll number remain static - and generally speaking, payroll only rises over time - the most the team will commit to Aaron Ashby in a guaranteed contract year is roughly 5.5% of payroll in the 2027 season. Given the upside found in the left arm of Aaron Ashby, every team in MLB should be willing to take that risk without a moment’s hesitation. Short of a career-ending injury, this contract is going look very good for the Brewers in years to come, just as the Peralta contract has over the past three seasons.
  16. By locking up the promising young lefty for five years with two additional option years, the Milwaukee Brewers control Ashby through his age 31 season. There’s no downside to the contract from the club’s perspective. As the MLB trade deadline looms, rumors of Brewer acquisitions have been few and far between but on Saturday they surprised with the announcement of a contract extension for Aaron Ashby with only $20.5m in guaranteed money. The guaranteed portion of the contract locks up Ashby through his final team-controlled season in 2027: a $1m signing bonus and then a gradually-rising salary that ultimately peaks at $7.5m guaranteed in 2027 for a total of $19.5m through five seasons. Should Milwaukee decline Ashby’s 2028 $9m team option, they will owe him an additional $1m buyout but if they retain his services, they have another team option available in 2029 for $13m. On top of the option years, a significant portion of the contract is in performance-based escalators: up to $1.5m could be added to the 2028 option if Ashby averages 150 or more innings from 2025-2027 and up to another $1.5m if he finishes in the top ten for the National League Cy Young Award in those years. There are similar escalators built into the 2029 option as well. It’s hard to imagine these terms being more team-friendly for the Brewers. The innings pitched escalators don’t begin to kick in until Ashby averages 150 innings pitched over three seasons. To show how significant this number is in modern baseball, only 55 pitchers pitched 150 innings in the 2021 season. In a game where starters are routinely pulled after two turns through the order, even reaching 150 innings in a season is a significant feat that occurs fewer than two times per MLB team. The escalators top out when Ashby averages 180 innings over three seasons. Only 20 pitchers threw 180 innings in the 2021 season. Unfortunately, the Covid-shortened 2020 season makes it hard to count the number of pitchers who could have averaged 180 innings over the past three seasons, but the number can probably be counted on one hand. The escalators become moot if Ashby is converted into a late-inning relief option, which may be his most likely outcome. Moving to a relief role takes $6m of escalators out of the contract entirely, bringing the uppermost limit to $40m through seven seasons. Ashby’s surface numbers aren’t that appealing, as he has only a 4.43 ERA through his first 107 innings, good for a 93 ERA+ (100 is average so slightly below average once adjusted for league and park). If you dig into his underlying numbers, you see why the Brewers were eager to lock him up into his early 30s: Ashby has a much better-looking 3.76 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) and a 27.9% strikeout rate. While neither of those numbers are elite, they’re both above league average for a starter and show the potential still untapped in that 24-year-old arm. Should Ashby falter as a starter, Milwaukee can easily convert his 96mph fastball to the bullpen, where it could go from mid-90s to high-90s overnight. Coupled with a slider and change, his fallback plan still profiles as a good late-inning reliever. The obvious comparison to this contract extension is Freddy Peralta, whom the Brewers signed to a five-year extension in the weeks preceding the Covid shutdown in Spring Training of 2020. Entering that season, Peralta was in a similar position to Ashby today: roughly 150 innings pitched over two split seasons with an ungainly 4.79 ERA, but a well above average 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings and a sub-4.00 FIP. Since signing that contract, Peralta has been dynamite in the Milwaukee rotation, pitching 212 innings with a 3.26 ERA and 12.4 strikeouts per nine innings. According to FanGraphs, Peralta has been worth 5.3 Wins Above Replacement which in itself is worth far more than the $15.5m Peralta was guaranteed through the end of the 2024 season. The Peralta contract is something approaching a best-case outcome for Ashby but it illustrates how a contract of this size can pay for itself in one or two seasons. According to SportTrac, the 2022 Milwaukee Brewers will pay roughly $133m in player contracts. Should that payroll number remain static - and generally speaking, payroll only rises over time - the most the team will commit to Aaron Ashby in a guaranteed contract year is roughly 5.5% of payroll in the 2027 season. Given the upside found in the left arm of Aaron Ashby, every team in MLB should be willing to take that risk without a moment’s hesitation. Short of a career-ending injury, this contract is going look very good for the Brewers in years to come, just as the Peralta contract has over the past three seasons. View full article
  17. The Brewers announced today they have agreed to terms to LHP Aaron Ashby, extending him through the 2027 season with team options for 2028 and 2029. Reports are coming in that only $20,500,000 is guaranteed through his free agency years with escalators and options bringing the potential amount to $46,000,000. For a pitcher with the upside of Ashby, it’s hard to view this as anything but a great deal for the Brewers with very little assumed risk by the club. Ashby has spent the 2022 season in a flex role for the Brewers, making 12 starts and 18 total appearances. While the 24-year-old's 4.57 ERA looks unimpressive, he has swing-and-miss stuff but has been held back by control issues early in his MLB career. Never considered an elite prospect, Ashby moved through the organization in a very Brewers-esque way, displaying flashes of potential before breaking out post-Covid in AAA Nashville, posting an elite 14.2 K/9 rate in the 2021 season and later earning himself a promotion to Milwaukee. In 100.2 career MLB innings pitched, Ashby has a pedestrian 4.56 ERA - which translates to a 91 ERA+ - but has a much better-looking 3.83 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching), which bodes well for his future. There is obviously talent in that left arm for the Brewers to develop at the major league level, now Ashby just needs to take the next step and solidify himself in the Milwaukee rotation, which will need to make some difficult decisions this offseason with Corbin Burnes and his pending free agency after the 2024 season. Peterson to the 10-Day Injured List In less-good news, the Brewers announced that Jace Peterson has been placed on the 10-Day Injured List with a left elbow strain, retroactive to July 20th. Peterson has been instrumental to the Brewers first-place status this season, playing all over the field competently while posting his best offensive season with a 115 OPS+ and and 112 wRC+. Hopefully, this is a minor setback and due to the All-Star break, Peterson may only lose a week of play before being eligible to return to the Milwaukee lineup.
  18. The Brewers locked up the young left-hander through his arbitration seasons with team options in 2028 and 2029 while utility IF Jace Peterson has been retroactively sent to the 10-Day Injured List. The Brewers announced today they have agreed to terms to LHP Aaron Ashby, extending him through the 2027 season with team options for 2028 and 2029. Reports are coming in that only $20,500,000 is guaranteed through his free agency years with escalators and options bringing the potential amount to $46,000,000. For a pitcher with the upside of Ashby, it’s hard to view this as anything but a great deal for the Brewers with very little assumed risk by the club. Ashby has spent the 2022 season in a flex role for the Brewers, making 12 starts and 18 total appearances. While the 24-year-old's 4.57 ERA looks unimpressive, he has swing-and-miss stuff but has been held back by control issues early in his MLB career. Never considered an elite prospect, Ashby moved through the organization in a very Brewers-esque way, displaying flashes of potential before breaking out post-Covid in AAA Nashville, posting an elite 14.2 K/9 rate in the 2021 season and later earning himself a promotion to Milwaukee. In 100.2 career MLB innings pitched, Ashby has a pedestrian 4.56 ERA - which translates to a 91 ERA+ - but has a much better-looking 3.83 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching), which bodes well for his future. There is obviously talent in that left arm for the Brewers to develop at the major league level, now Ashby just needs to take the next step and solidify himself in the Milwaukee rotation, which will need to make some difficult decisions this offseason with Corbin Burnes and his pending free agency after the 2024 season. Peterson to the 10-Day Injured List In less-good news, the Brewers announced that Jace Peterson has been placed on the 10-Day Injured List with a left elbow strain, retroactive to July 20th. Peterson has been instrumental to the Brewers first-place status this season, playing all over the field competently while posting his best offensive season with a 115 OPS+ and and 112 wRC+. Hopefully, this is a minor setback and due to the All-Star break, Peterson may only lose a week of play before being eligible to return to the Milwaukee lineup. View full article
  19. Game 1 -- Brewers 6, Twins 3 Box Score Game one of the series was only occasionally stalled by rain, thunder, and lightning, as the Brewers and Twins waited at times for the ground crew to pull the tarp out only to immediately take it back off the field. Three separate weather delays held the game up, but ultimately the game was able to be completed in its entirety. The Brewers jumped out to a quick lead on a two-run, opposite-field poke from Andrew McCutchen. With his early season struggles well behind him, McCutchen has put up a .941 OPS with five home runs over the last 28 days. With so many injuries to the outfield, McCutchen has been forced into action in the field more than the Brewers had likely planned, and his -.4 dWAR undoes some of his offensive value, but he's been one of the offensive anchors for the past six to eight weeks. Brewers starter Jason Alexander gave up single tallies in the second and fourth innings, while the Brewers offense was held in check by Twins starter Josh Winder through the fourth after the McCutchen home run. In the fifth inning, light-hitting Jonathan Davis slapped a single to center to score Hunter Renfroe and restore the Brewers lead at 3-2. With two outs and Davis on base, Willy Adames hit a towering home run to left that either the cameraman lost, or hasn't come down yet. Given the rain delay between his last inning, and possibly other factors, manager Craig Counsell pulled Alexander in favor of reliever Jandel Gustave who pitched a scoreless fifth inning. The Brewers stretched the lead to 6-2 on a Jace Peterson RBI single in the sixth inning. The Twins struck back for one off of recently-struggling reliever Brad Boxberger. The Brewers will have to have Boxberger get things figured out quickly with Josh Hader also running into some trouble closing games out as of late as well. With no further drama (or rain delays) on the night, the Brewers brought Hader in, and he emphatically slammed the door, striking out the side in the ninth. Gustave gets the win to bump his record to 2-0 on the season and Hader records save number 27. Game 2 -- Twins 4, Brewers 1 Box Score The Brewers offense went dormant again, providing just one run on a solo home run by Peterson. Starter Aaron Ashby went just 4 1/3 innings, with his pitch count ballooning over 100. He allowed six hits and three walks but allowed just one run in his short stint. Despite Ashby's short start and the Brewers lack of offense, the bullpen locked things down for the bulk of the afternoon, as Trevor Gott, Boxberger, and Devin Williams held the Twins in check until the ninth inning. The Brewers offense was held punchless as well, offering up just the noted solo homerun by Peterson against Twins starter Joe Ryan in the third inning. The Crew managed just four hits on the day, went 0-6 with men in scoring position, and left six men on base all told. Going into the bottom of the ninth, each of the first two Twins reached base against Brewers all-star closer Hader, and the third batter of the inning, Jose Miranda, ended it all with a monstrous three-run second deck shot. The loss drops Hader to 0-3 on the season as the Brewers left Minnesota with a split in the short two-game set.
  20. With the Crew coming off a lackluster home stand, they looked to rebound against their cross border American League rival Minnesota Twins. The lineup was bolstered with the return of Hunter Renfroe from the IL after a second extended stay for hamstring issues. Game 1 -- Brewers 6, Twins 3 Box Score Game one of the series was only occasionally stalled by rain, thunder, and lightning, as the Brewers and Twins waited at times for the ground crew to pull the tarp out only to immediately take it back off the field. Three separate weather delays held the game up, but ultimately the game was able to be completed in its entirety. The Brewers jumped out to a quick lead on a two-run, opposite-field poke from Andrew McCutchen. With his early season struggles well behind him, McCutchen has put up a .941 OPS with five home runs over the last 28 days. With so many injuries to the outfield, McCutchen has been forced into action in the field more than the Brewers had likely planned, and his -.4 dWAR undoes some of his offensive value, but he's been one of the offensive anchors for the past six to eight weeks. Brewers starter Jason Alexander gave up single tallies in the second and fourth innings, while the Brewers offense was held in check by Twins starter Josh Winder through the fourth after the McCutchen home run. In the fifth inning, light-hitting Jonathan Davis slapped a single to center to score Hunter Renfroe and restore the Brewers lead at 3-2. With two outs and Davis on base, Willy Adames hit a towering home run to left that either the cameraman lost, or hasn't come down yet. Given the rain delay between his last inning, and possibly other factors, manager Craig Counsell pulled Alexander in favor of reliever Jandel Gustave who pitched a scoreless fifth inning. The Brewers stretched the lead to 6-2 on a Jace Peterson RBI single in the sixth inning. The Twins struck back for one off of recently-struggling reliever Brad Boxberger. The Brewers will have to have Boxberger get things figured out quickly with Josh Hader also running into some trouble closing games out as of late as well. With no further drama (or rain delays) on the night, the Brewers brought Hader in, and he emphatically slammed the door, striking out the side in the ninth. Gustave gets the win to bump his record to 2-0 on the season and Hader records save number 27. Game 2 -- Twins 4, Brewers 1 Box Score The Brewers offense went dormant again, providing just one run on a solo home run by Peterson. Starter Aaron Ashby went just 4 1/3 innings, with his pitch count ballooning over 100. He allowed six hits and three walks but allowed just one run in his short stint. Despite Ashby's short start and the Brewers lack of offense, the bullpen locked things down for the bulk of the afternoon, as Trevor Gott, Boxberger, and Devin Williams held the Twins in check until the ninth inning. The Brewers offense was held punchless as well, offering up just the noted solo homerun by Peterson against Twins starter Joe Ryan in the third inning. The Crew managed just four hits on the day, went 0-6 with men in scoring position, and left six men on base all told. Going into the bottom of the ninth, each of the first two Twins reached base against Brewers all-star closer Hader, and the third batter of the inning, Jose Miranda, ended it all with a monstrous three-run second deck shot. The loss drops Hader to 0-3 on the season as the Brewers left Minnesota with a split in the short two-game set. View full article
  21. The rollercoaster continues for Milwaukee who seem to consistently develop momentum going into series with mediocre or bad teams only to see them as lost or split campaigns. That frustrating reality has been the case for the previous two series: they split against the Pirates and the Cubs managed to win two of three. Leapfrogging the Cubs series, Milwaukee once more faces the all-too-familiar Bucs in a three game home series that is sandwiched by days off. Can the Crew seize on the opportunity to feast on a statistically lesser team, or is their time atop the NL Central in peril? Let’s check out the match-ups. Friday July 8th JT Brubaker (2-7 4.28 ERA) Aaron Ashby (1-6 4.60 ERA) Brubaker was the victor over the Brewers in his last start, but it was more of a product of Brewers mediocrity than Pirates excellence. Giving up four runs in six innings should ostensibly be something the run-preventing Brewers can turn into a win, but alas the plucky Pirates got to Brent Suter and snagged the W. Ashby has been a frustrating watch as of late. As if it were written, his hype picked up just in time for the implosion to begin. His ability to pitch late into a game has diminished, collecting 12.2 innings while surrendering 14 runs over that time. The still promising young pitcher is clearly not a DFA candidate, but it’s inarguable that those numbers are not sustainable for a rotation in pursuit of the postseason. Saturday July 9th Zach Thompson (3-6 4.42 ERA) Brandon Woodruff (7-3 3.95 ERA) Zach Thompson is merely a service arm for the Pirates. At 29 years old it seems unlikely that there is some measure of transcendence he is likely to achieve other than being a middling starter in the majors, which is still a freakish measure of talent by general human standards. Still, Thompson has been sharp enough as of late, not going deep into games but not surrendering a ton of runs either. There have been few things more relieving for fans of Brewers baseball than to see Brandon Woodruff returning from the IL and pitching like the ace he’d established himself to be. It’s a small but dominant window, and the Pirates are as good a team as any to see it continue. Sunday July 10th Jose Quintana (2-4 3.33 ERA) Eric Lauer (3.84 ERA) On a one-year $2M contract, the 33-year-old Quintana was quite possibly the best value signing of the offseason. In his most recent start the veteran lefty pitched five solid innings against the behemoth Yankees. What was already a strong trade stock became all the richer, and it feels quite possible that he may not even be in a Pirates uniform come Sunday. Lauer returned to form in his last start against the Cubs, fanning nine and giving up only one run. That run was, fittingly, a home run for the 1.8/9 HR having Lauer, who enjoyed a tempering of some alarming trends in his performance as of late. Players To Watch Jack Suwinski : The numbers aren’t eye-popping but considering that the production we’re talking about is coming from a 23-year-old rookie, it’s worth keeping an eye on a promising bat from an upstart division rival. The highlight of his young career is capping a three-home-run game with a walk off in a very Pirates-y 4-3 victory over the Giants back in June. Bryan Reynolds : One of the better players in Pittsburgh. With the Pirates creeping up on a decade without postseason relevance it will be interesting to see if their controllable but increasingly expensive players get traded at their peak value, or extended in hopes of future glory. Aaron Ashby: The decline in Ashby’s ability to stay in games has been steep enough that I feel like each of his next few starts are make-or-break for how long he stays in the rotation. If he can’t handle the likes of the Pittsburgh Pirates, it may be very difficult to justify his position as a starter for the remainder of the season. Predictions I haven’t exactly been Nostradamus with my predictions so far because the Brewers haven’t exactly been predictable. Operating on logic and the Brewers rotation, I’ll say the series goes 2-1 in favor of Milwaukee.
  22. The last time the Pirates and Brewers squared off they split a four game series. With the two teams at opposite ends of the division, the Crew will look to put on a stronger show of force this time around. The rollercoaster continues for Milwaukee who seem to consistently develop momentum going into series with mediocre or bad teams only to see them as lost or split campaigns. That frustrating reality has been the case for the previous two series: they split against the Pirates and the Cubs managed to win two of three. Leapfrogging the Cubs series, Milwaukee once more faces the all-too-familiar Bucs in a three game home series that is sandwiched by days off. Can the Crew seize on the opportunity to feast on a statistically lesser team, or is their time atop the NL Central in peril? Let’s check out the match-ups. Friday July 8th JT Brubaker (2-7 4.28 ERA) Aaron Ashby (1-6 4.60 ERA) Brubaker was the victor over the Brewers in his last start, but it was more of a product of Brewers mediocrity than Pirates excellence. Giving up four runs in six innings should ostensibly be something the run-preventing Brewers can turn into a win, but alas the plucky Pirates got to Brent Suter and snagged the W. Ashby has been a frustrating watch as of late. As if it were written, his hype picked up just in time for the implosion to begin. His ability to pitch late into a game has diminished, collecting 12.2 innings while surrendering 14 runs over that time. The still promising young pitcher is clearly not a DFA candidate, but it’s inarguable that those numbers are not sustainable for a rotation in pursuit of the postseason. Saturday July 9th Zach Thompson (3-6 4.42 ERA) Brandon Woodruff (7-3 3.95 ERA) Zach Thompson is merely a service arm for the Pirates. At 29 years old it seems unlikely that there is some measure of transcendence he is likely to achieve other than being a middling starter in the majors, which is still a freakish measure of talent by general human standards. Still, Thompson has been sharp enough as of late, not going deep into games but not surrendering a ton of runs either. There have been few things more relieving for fans of Brewers baseball than to see Brandon Woodruff returning from the IL and pitching like the ace he’d established himself to be. It’s a small but dominant window, and the Pirates are as good a team as any to see it continue. Sunday July 10th Jose Quintana (2-4 3.33 ERA) Eric Lauer (3.84 ERA) On a one-year $2M contract, the 33-year-old Quintana was quite possibly the best value signing of the offseason. In his most recent start the veteran lefty pitched five solid innings against the behemoth Yankees. What was already a strong trade stock became all the richer, and it feels quite possible that he may not even be in a Pirates uniform come Sunday. Lauer returned to form in his last start against the Cubs, fanning nine and giving up only one run. That run was, fittingly, a home run for the 1.8/9 HR having Lauer, who enjoyed a tempering of some alarming trends in his performance as of late. Players To Watch Jack Suwinski : The numbers aren’t eye-popping but considering that the production we’re talking about is coming from a 23-year-old rookie, it’s worth keeping an eye on a promising bat from an upstart division rival. The highlight of his young career is capping a three-home-run game with a walk off in a very Pirates-y 4-3 victory over the Giants back in June. Bryan Reynolds : One of the better players in Pittsburgh. With the Pirates creeping up on a decade without postseason relevance it will be interesting to see if their controllable but increasingly expensive players get traded at their peak value, or extended in hopes of future glory. Aaron Ashby: The decline in Ashby’s ability to stay in games has been steep enough that I feel like each of his next few starts are make-or-break for how long he stays in the rotation. If he can’t handle the likes of the Pittsburgh Pirates, it may be very difficult to justify his position as a starter for the remainder of the season. Predictions I haven’t exactly been Nostradamus with my predictions so far because the Brewers haven’t exactly been predictable. Operating on logic and the Brewers rotation, I’ll say the series goes 2-1 in favor of Milwaukee. View full article
  23. Although most fans were reveling in the long weekend and taking part in Fourth of July activities, the Milwaukee Brewers kicked off a busy few days of transactions starting on Friday. Six total moves impacted the mound and lineup, moving plenty of players around. On Friday the first move came when right-handed pitcher Adrian Houser was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right flexor strain. Houser has made 15 starts this season for Milwaukee and has followed up a 2021 in which he established himself as a consistent part of the starting rotation. Replacing Houser on the active roster was right-handed pitcher Trevor Kelley. Kelley’s activation from Triple-A Nashville didn’t last long however, as left-handed pitcher Aaron Ashby was reinstated from the injured list on Saturday. Ashby last pitched on June 16 and has logged nearly 60 innings while pitching in both a starting and relief role. He made the start on Saturday going 3 2/3 innings allowing four runs on five hits while striking out six. Sunday saw The Crew sending outfielder Tyrone Taylor to the seven-day injured list with a concussion, retroactive to Saturday. Taylor has posted a .700 OPS across more than 200 at-bats this season. Catcher Pedro Severino was activated following a suspension for PEDs that he was handed prior to Opening Day of the 2022 season. This is Severino’s first season in Milwaukee, and he’s coming off a .690 OPS with the Baltimore Orioles last season. His 11 home runs were the second most in a single-season of his career, trailing only the 13 he hit with Baltimore in 2019. View full article
  24. On Friday the first move came when right-handed pitcher Adrian Houser was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right flexor strain. Houser has made 15 starts this season for Milwaukee and has followed up a 2021 in which he established himself as a consistent part of the starting rotation. Replacing Houser on the active roster was right-handed pitcher Trevor Kelley. Kelley’s activation from Triple-A Nashville didn’t last long however, as left-handed pitcher Aaron Ashby was reinstated from the injured list on Saturday. Ashby last pitched on June 16 and has logged nearly 60 innings while pitching in both a starting and relief role. He made the start on Saturday going 3 2/3 innings allowing four runs on five hits while striking out six. Sunday saw The Crew sending outfielder Tyrone Taylor to the seven-day injured list with a concussion, retroactive to Saturday. Taylor has posted a .700 OPS across more than 200 at-bats this season. Catcher Pedro Severino was activated following a suspension for PEDs that he was handed prior to Opening Day of the 2022 season. This is Severino’s first season in Milwaukee, and he’s coming off a .690 OPS with the Baltimore Orioles last season. His 11 home runs were the second most in a single-season of his career, trailing only the 13 he hit with Baltimore in 2019.
  25. Josh Hader had been on the paternity since Wednesday but was transitioned to the restricted list over the weekend and is back after spending a few extra days with his family. He has been absolutely lights out having held opponents scoreless in 20 of his 21 appearances this season. Milwaukee swept the Reds in his absence, but did drop Thursday’s tilt against the Mets in which New York scored the winning run in the bottom of the 8th inning. Milwaukee placed Aaron Ashby on the injured list retroactive to June 17. He winds up there with left elbow inflammation, which is never a positive development. Ashby left his most recent outing with the trainer, and his absence is another blow to the already depleted pitching staff. Ashby owns a 4.25 ERA in 55 innings this season. Hopefully Ashby can return to the roster sooner rather than later, but that’s up in the air with Milwaukee feeling the next to make this move. Teams had to get down to 13 pitchers on their active roster as of Monday.
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