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  1. After the big trade of Hunter Renfroe, where does the Brewers roster stand as major league baseball prepares for the upcoming Winter Meetings? Image courtesy of © Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Last week was a busy week across major league baseball as teams had a few deadlines to take action on. The Milwaukee Brewers were as busy as anyone as decisions on the 40-man roster had to be made as well as what arbitration-eligible players would be tendered contracts. Among the moves, fan-favorite Brent Suter was waived, claimed, and agreed to a contract with the Colorado Rockies. On top of that, Tuesday night, the Brewers also swung a trade with the Los Angeles Angels offloading Hunter Renfroe’s contract and acquiring three pitchers in return. After all that roster movement, major league baseball gets ready for the Winter Meetings, which begin on December 4th. Here are some of the remaining questions for the Brewers 2023 roster. Collecting catchers As of right now, the 40-man boasts four catchers. The Brewers did tender Victor Caratini a contract. He currently slots in as the starting catcher. The other three catchers include two prospects, Mario Feliciano and Alex Jackson, alongside recently acquired Payton Henry. The Brewers could go into the season with Caratini starting and one of the other three catchers on the 40-man as the backup and get some decent results. The question going into the Winter Meetings remains if the Brewers may look to upgrade at catcher, pushing Caratini to the bench and adding some needed offense simultaneously. Free agent names include Willson Contreras, Christian Vazquez, and reunion with Omar Narvaez. Matt Arnold could also have conversations with the Blue Jays, who are reportedly shopping their backstops in trade. Relief Help on the Way? Devin Williams will continue to provide a solid backend to the bullpen. Without Josh Hader, Taylor Rogers, and Trevor Rosenthal there is room to build around the complimentary pieces around Williams. Matt Bush and Adrian Houser (who right now is listed as a long reliever on Roster Resource) will return after agreeing to contracts and adding Javy Guerra through a trade. While there can be dreams of adding one of the big names on the free agent market like Kenley Jansen, even the mid-tier relievers would help this bullpen. That may be the idea behind two of the pitchers acquired in the Renfroe deal. While Janson Junk is slated to compete for the rotation, according to Arnold, Adam Seminaris, or Elvis Peguero could realistically figure into the bullpen at some point in 2023. Of course, there are always the off-the-radar moves that could happen and do happen every offseason. Bill Ripken has one in mind for the Brewers. Payroll Expectations The Brewers ended last season with a payroll of around $137 million. All signs pointed to the Crew needing to find ways to cut some of their payroll to fill gaps on the roster for next season or sign key players like Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Willy Adames to extensions. Before last night it was hard to see how the Brewers were going to move forward with $126 million on the payroll, according to Roster Resource. It always seemed like with the Brewers payroll limits that it would be challenging to fill out the active roster with both Kolten Wong’s $10 million option (with a $2 million buyout) and Renfroe’s estimated $11.2 million in arbitration money on the books. With Renfroe in LA, there is certainly more room for signings or extensions. Even though the chances have likely slimmed, with some teams still seeking out second base help (looking at you, Mariners), there is still the chance something could happen with Wong out there. The hard part with Renfore off the roster and potentially Wong is that there is no sure way to replace their offense from within the organization. Arnold seems confident in the young outfielders the Brewers have. Garrett Mitchell leads the way in that conversation, as he did his best to prove himself in 28 games this past season, hitting .311/.373/.459 for a 136 wRC+. It will remain to be seen if Arnold is as comfortable with Tyrone Taylor as an outfielder that will receive significant playing time. Speaking of Wong and infield bats... The Infield Even if Wong remains on the roster, how confident can the Brewers be in either Luis Urias or Mike Brosseau as the team's starting third baseman? With third base being a traditionally easy place to add offense, will Arnold consider poking around during the Winter Meetings to see if the team could upgrade? The free agent market isn't impressive this offseason, with Josh Turner leading the group. There is always the possibility for another trade, or how confident the Brewers are in the recent 40-man add and prospect Brice Turang? On the other side of the diamond, there is shaping up to be a potentially strange platoon between the likes of Rowdy Tellez, Jon Singleton, and Keston Hiura. Heading into the Winter Meetings the first base/designated hitter role looks like an area where some movement could also happen. The offense was already a question mark before trading away Renfroe’s bat. Eyes will undoubtedly be on Arnold during the Winter Meetings and beyond to see if he attempts to add offense in some fashion before Spring Training. What questions remain for you when it comes to the Brewers roster? View full article
  2. The Brewers made a pre-Thanksgiving trade with the Los Angeles Angels. Outfielder Hunter Renfroe was traded to the Angels in exchange for three minor-league pitchers. Find out more. Image courtesy of Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports There always seems to be that one team early in the offseason that appears to be working a little harder than everyone else. This offseason, that team is the LA Angels. After making it known that they will not be trading SP/DH/MVP Candidate Shohei Ohtani, they are making an attempt to contend to try to keep Ohtani around beyond his current contract, which expires at the end of next season. First, they signed lefty Tyler Anderson. Late last week, they acquired infielder Gio Urshela. And on Tuesday night, they added outfielder Hunter Renfroe to their outfield. The 30-year-old Renfroe came to the Brewers from the Red Sox last offseason in exchange for Jackie Bradley, Jr. He had a really solid year in Milwaukee hitting .255/.315/.492 (.807) with 23 doubles, 29 homers, and 72 RBI. He hit particularly well late in the season. Solid numbers indeed, but MLB Trade Rumors projected him to make about $11.2 million in his final year of arbitration, there may be better ways to spend the money. The Brewers tendered him a 2023 contract last week, but they were set on trading him. They just didn't want to rush and give him away. So what did they get in return? Looking at the numbers of the three pitchers they received for Renfroe, it's easy to initially be somewhat disappointed. However, teams knew the Brewers wanted to deal Renfroe, and his 2023 contract won't be exactly team-friendly. In that scenario, the quantity of the return becomes important. They received two pitchers who have already reached the big leagues, in limited action and success, but nevertheless, they could contribute. Two of the three are potential starters while the third is a hard-throwing reliever. The third player pitched at three levels in 2022 including Triple-A and has some potential too. RHP Janson Junk will be 27 years old in 2023. He debuted with the Angels in 2021 and made four starts. In 2022, he made two starts and one relief appearance in the big leagues. At Triple-A Salt Lake in 2022, he went 1-7 with a 4.64 ERA in 16 games (15 starts). In 73 2/3 innings, he walked just 18 and struck out 69 batters. He was the 22nd-round pick of the Yankees in 2017 out of Seattle University. He was traded at the 2021 deadline in the deal that sent Andrew Heaney to the Yankees. Junk has a fastball that sits 92-94 mph and can work well up in the zone. He also has a slider that can be devastating at times. He hasn't been able to maintain consistency in his limited big-league time. In their midseason rankings, MLB Pipeline ranked Junk as the Angels' 16th-best prospect while Baseball America ranked him at #14. The second minor-league pitcher in that Angels-Yankees trade was Elvis Peguero. The 25-year-old debuted with the Angels in 2021 and gave up seven runs over three outings (and 2 1/3 innings). In 2022, he pitched 17 1/3 innings over 13 appearances for the Angels. He posted a 6.75 ERA with a 1.62 WHIP. He gave up 23 hits (4 homers), walked five and struck out 12. Peguero is a big, strong right-hander. He has a sinking fastball that sits 94-97 and touches 98. He's got a slider that can be very good at times and sits around 90. He's also got a cutter. Again, consistency is why he hasn't been able to stick, but his stuff is certainly intriguing. The third piece of the trade puzzle coming to the Brewers is 24-year-old left-hander Adam Seminaris. He was the Angels fifth-round pick in 2020 from Long Beach State. He pitched at three levels in 2022. He went 2-2 with a 0.98 ERA in seven games at High-A Tri-City. He moved up to Double-A Rocket City (the Trash Pandas!) and went 3-4 with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP over eight games (and 30 2/3 innings). He ended the season by going 2-5 with a 5.24 ERA over nine Triple-A starts in Salt Lake. Combined, he threw 101 2/3 innings and struck out 97 batters while walking 38 batters. Seminaris doesn't throw real hard. He sits right around or just over 90 mph with his fastball. He's got a really good slow curveball that can be tough on lefties. He has been known to throw a lot of strikes. The Brewers have a lot of very interesting decisions to make this offseason. Some of them, such as potentially extending Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, maybe Willy Adames, could get quite spendy. So moves like this aren't fun, but are probably necessary. So, no, the return isn't terribly exciting, but after looking up the return, I think there is something to work with. Hopefully, the Brewers player development staff and big league pitching coaches can develop them a bit and if one of them becomes a successful contributor, that's a good deal. But all three at least have the potential to help the Brewers, maybe even in 2023. What are your thoughts? View full article
  3. Last week was a busy week across major league baseball as teams had a few deadlines to take action on. The Milwaukee Brewers were as busy as anyone as decisions on the 40-man roster had to be made as well as what arbitration-eligible players would be tendered contracts. Among the moves, fan-favorite Brent Suter was waived, claimed, and agreed to a contract with the Colorado Rockies. On top of that, Tuesday night, the Brewers also swung a trade with the Los Angeles Angels offloading Hunter Renfroe’s contract and acquiring three pitchers in return. After all that roster movement, major league baseball gets ready for the Winter Meetings, which begin on December 4th. Here are some of the remaining questions for the Brewers 2023 roster. Collecting catchers As of right now, the 40-man boasts four catchers. The Brewers did tender Victor Caratini a contract. He currently slots in as the starting catcher. The other three catchers include two prospects, Mario Feliciano and Alex Jackson, alongside recently acquired Payton Henry. The Brewers could go into the season with Caratini starting and one of the other three catchers on the 40-man as the backup and get some decent results. The question going into the Winter Meetings remains if the Brewers may look to upgrade at catcher, pushing Caratini to the bench and adding some needed offense simultaneously. Free agent names include Willson Contreras, Christian Vazquez, and reunion with Omar Narvaez. Matt Arnold could also have conversations with the Blue Jays, who are reportedly shopping their backstops in trade. Relief Help on the Way? Devin Williams will continue to provide a solid backend to the bullpen. Without Josh Hader, Taylor Rogers, and Trevor Rosenthal there is room to build around the complimentary pieces around Williams. Matt Bush and Adrian Houser (who right now is listed as a long reliever on Roster Resource) will return after agreeing to contracts and adding Javy Guerra through a trade. While there can be dreams of adding one of the big names on the free agent market like Kenley Jansen, even the mid-tier relievers would help this bullpen. That may be the idea behind two of the pitchers acquired in the Renfroe deal. While Janson Junk is slated to compete for the rotation, according to Arnold, Adam Seminaris, or Elvis Peguero could realistically figure into the bullpen at some point in 2023. Of course, there are always the off-the-radar moves that could happen and do happen every offseason. Bill Ripken has one in mind for the Brewers. Payroll Expectations The Brewers ended last season with a payroll of around $137 million. All signs pointed to the Crew needing to find ways to cut some of their payroll to fill gaps on the roster for next season or sign key players like Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Willy Adames to extensions. Before last night it was hard to see how the Brewers were going to move forward with $126 million on the payroll, according to Roster Resource. It always seemed like with the Brewers payroll limits that it would be challenging to fill out the active roster with both Kolten Wong’s $10 million option (with a $2 million buyout) and Renfroe’s estimated $11.2 million in arbitration money on the books. With Renfroe in LA, there is certainly more room for signings or extensions. Even though the chances have likely slimmed, with some teams still seeking out second base help (looking at you, Mariners), there is still the chance something could happen with Wong out there. The hard part with Renfore off the roster and potentially Wong is that there is no sure way to replace their offense from within the organization. Arnold seems confident in the young outfielders the Brewers have. Garrett Mitchell leads the way in that conversation, as he did his best to prove himself in 28 games this past season, hitting .311/.373/.459 for a 136 wRC+. It will remain to be seen if Arnold is as comfortable with Tyrone Taylor as an outfielder that will receive significant playing time. Speaking of Wong and infield bats... The Infield Even if Wong remains on the roster, how confident can the Brewers be in either Luis Urias or Mike Brosseau as the team's starting third baseman? With third base being a traditionally easy place to add offense, will Arnold consider poking around during the Winter Meetings to see if the team could upgrade? The free agent market isn't impressive this offseason, with Josh Turner leading the group. There is always the possibility for another trade, or how confident the Brewers are in the recent 40-man add and prospect Brice Turang? On the other side of the diamond, there is shaping up to be a potentially strange platoon between the likes of Rowdy Tellez, Jon Singleton, and Keston Hiura. Heading into the Winter Meetings the first base/designated hitter role looks like an area where some movement could also happen. The offense was already a question mark before trading away Renfroe’s bat. Eyes will undoubtedly be on Arnold during the Winter Meetings and beyond to see if he attempts to add offense in some fashion before Spring Training. What questions remain for you when it comes to the Brewers roster?
  4. There always seems to be that one team early in the offseason that appears to be working a little harder than everyone else. This offseason, that team is the LA Angels. After making it known that they will not be trading SP/DH/MVP Candidate Shohei Ohtani, they are making an attempt to contend to try to keep Ohtani around beyond his current contract, which expires at the end of next season. First, they signed lefty Tyler Anderson. Late last week, they acquired infielder Gio Urshela. And on Tuesday night, they added outfielder Hunter Renfroe to their outfield. The 30-year-old Renfroe came to the Brewers from the Red Sox last offseason in exchange for Jackie Bradley, Jr. He had a really solid year in Milwaukee hitting .255/.315/.492 (.807) with 23 doubles, 29 homers, and 72 RBI. He hit particularly well late in the season. Solid numbers indeed, but MLB Trade Rumors projected him to make about $11.2 million in his final year of arbitration, there may be better ways to spend the money. The Brewers tendered him a 2023 contract last week, but they were set on trading him. They just didn't want to rush and give him away. So what did they get in return? Looking at the numbers of the three pitchers they received for Renfroe, it's easy to initially be somewhat disappointed. However, teams knew the Brewers wanted to deal Renfroe, and his 2023 contract won't be exactly team-friendly. In that scenario, the quantity of the return becomes important. They received two pitchers who have already reached the big leagues, in limited action and success, but nevertheless, they could contribute. Two of the three are potential starters while the third is a hard-throwing reliever. The third player pitched at three levels in 2022 including Triple-A and has some potential too. RHP Janson Junk will be 27 years old in 2023. He debuted with the Angels in 2021 and made four starts. In 2022, he made two starts and one relief appearance in the big leagues. At Triple-A Salt Lake in 2022, he went 1-7 with a 4.64 ERA in 16 games (15 starts). In 73 2/3 innings, he walked just 18 and struck out 69 batters. He was the 22nd-round pick of the Yankees in 2017 out of Seattle University. He was traded at the 2021 deadline in the deal that sent Andrew Heaney to the Yankees. Junk has a fastball that sits 92-94 mph and can work well up in the zone. He also has a slider that can be devastating at times. He hasn't been able to maintain consistency in his limited big-league time. In their midseason rankings, MLB Pipeline ranked Junk as the Angels' 16th-best prospect while Baseball America ranked him at #14. The second minor-league pitcher in that Angels-Yankees trade was Elvis Peguero. The 25-year-old debuted with the Angels in 2021 and gave up seven runs over three outings (and 2 1/3 innings). In 2022, he pitched 17 1/3 innings over 13 appearances for the Angels. He posted a 6.75 ERA with a 1.62 WHIP. He gave up 23 hits (4 homers), walked five and struck out 12. Peguero is a big, strong right-hander. He has a sinking fastball that sits 94-97 and touches 98. He's got a slider that can be very good at times and sits around 90. He's also got a cutter. Again, consistency is why he hasn't been able to stick, but his stuff is certainly intriguing. The third piece of the trade puzzle coming to the Brewers is 24-year-old left-hander Adam Seminaris. He was the Angels fifth-round pick in 2020 from Long Beach State. He pitched at three levels in 2022. He went 2-2 with a 0.98 ERA in seven games at High-A Tri-City. He moved up to Double-A Rocket City (the Trash Pandas!) and went 3-4 with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP over eight games (and 30 2/3 innings). He ended the season by going 2-5 with a 5.24 ERA over nine Triple-A starts in Salt Lake. Combined, he threw 101 2/3 innings and struck out 97 batters while walking 38 batters. Seminaris doesn't throw real hard. He sits right around or just over 90 mph with his fastball. He's got a really good slow curveball that can be tough on lefties. He has been known to throw a lot of strikes. The Brewers have a lot of very interesting decisions to make this offseason. Some of them, such as potentially extending Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, maybe Willy Adames, could get quite spendy. So moves like this aren't fun, but are probably necessary. So, no, the return isn't terribly exciting, but after looking up the return, I think there is something to work with. Hopefully, the Brewers player development staff and big league pitching coaches can develop them a bit and if one of them becomes a successful contributor, that's a good deal. But all three at least have the potential to help the Brewers, maybe even in 2023. What are your thoughts?
  5. The Milwaukee Brewers front office will be bustling this offseason. I'm not talking about significant free agent moves or mass trades, but dealing with the almost ridiculous number of players in their arbitration years. Image courtesy of © Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK Milwaukee has 18 players in various stages of the arbitration process. The positive is that the club can keep each guy for 2023 if they choose. The negative side comes from the team having to pay increases to each - some sizable raises - even if they disagree with the player's value. The MLB Trade Rumors site breaks down the projected arbitration numbers for each player, usually with considerable accuracy. If each arbitration figure for the Brewers came to fruition by MLB Trade Rumors' projections, it would add $33-$34 million to Milwaukee's payroll in 2023. Let's quickly go through each player and their projected salary, grouping them by the years they have left in arbitration. For each player, we'll try to determine if they will 1) Settle on a one-year contract, 2) Sign a multi-year contract, 3) Be traded before accepting a deal, or 4) Be non-tendered, meaning they become a free agent. *NOTE: The Brewers rarely ever go to an arbitration hearing (Adrian Houser was an exception last year), so we will leave that off the table.* LAST YEAR OF ARBITRATION Victor Caratini (projection = $2.8 million): Sign one-year contract around $2.6 million This would be a $650,000 raise for an average catcher who hit .199 last season. With Omar Narvaez a free agent, it makes sense to keep Caratini for one year and keep options open for a young guy in 2024. Luis Perdomo (projection = $1 million): Sign one-year contract around $750,000 He was under a two-year contract, mostly rehabbing in 2021. He pitched well in many outings, and the Brewers need bullpen arms at lower, set costs. Hunter Renfroe (projection = $11.2 million): Sign one-year contract around $11 million Highest OPS+ (126) on the team, but with multiple top outfield prospects ready, no need for multiple years. A $3.4 million raise might be on the low end, and the Brewers could be willing to make an even $4 million increase to $11.6 million (though you can't rule out a trade at that cost). Brent Suter (projection = $3.1 million): Non-tender The Brewers won't value him at $3 million with worse numbers in 2022, so they should move on. At 33 years old, Suter could try to get a cheaper two-year contract. TWO YEARS OF ARBITRATION REMAINING Willy Adames (projection = $9.2 million): Sign four-year contract around $52 million Locking up a 27-year-old shortstop with a big offensive ceiling and high defensive ratings is extremely valuable. Adames' decision would come down to gambling on himself, but he would still be a free agent by his age-31 season. Corbin Burnes (projection = $11.4 million): Sign one-year contract around $12.5 million It's not exciting, but this is the most likely result for this season, as short of a mega-deal, Burnes has little incentive to do anything more than one year. The Brewers keep their options open and know they control Burnes' future - either in Milwaukee or in trade elsewhere. Matt Bush (projection = $1.2 million): Sign one-year contract around $900,000 His struggles at the end of the season should sink his cost some. Bush has shown great stuff, so Milwaukee would probably be happy paying a bit more to avoid a hearing. Trevor Gott (projection = $1.4 million): Non-tender Gott has an intriguing arm, but not reliable enough to pay almost $1.5 million. They could easily reach a cheap agreement after the non-tender if Gott likes his chances in Milwaukee. Jandel Gustave (projection = $900,000): Non-tender A below-average, 30-year-old reliever isn't getting nearly $1 million from the Brewers. Milwaukee will find two younger arms with the same cost and more upside. Adrian Houser (projection = $3.6 million): Trade before agreeing to a contract The relationship may have been fractured after his arbitration hearing last season. Teams are always looking for relatively cheap starters, and the Brewers could fill a need (or net a prospect) for a guy not in the long-term plans. Eric Lauer (projection = $5.2 million): Sign two-year contract around $12 million A talented but up-and-down hurler, Milwaukee can play the middle for the next two years. Guaranteeing himself $10 million, Lauer can worry about setting himself up for a big contract after 2024. Rowdy Tellez (projection = $5.3 million): Sign one-year contract around $4.5 million The projection seems to overvalue Tellez's 35 HR while ignoring his deficiencies. Milwaukee will give him a shot to break out with the "shift ban" coming while also being trade bait later in the offseason. Brandon Woodruff (projection = $11 million): Sign three-year contract around $45 million Entering his age-30 season, Woodruff should be open to a multi-year deal. Perhaps he would want more per season, but it buys out just one year of free agency. THREE YEARS OF ARBITRATION REMAINING Mike Brosseau (projection = $1.2 million): Sign one-year contract around $1.2 million The Brewers still need quality bats against left-handed pitchers, and Brosseau provides one. Brosseau posted a 0.6 fWAR in 160 plate appearances, which is good value for a part-time guy. Keston Hiura (projection = $2 million): Trade before agreeing to a contract It's difficult to see the Brewers giving Hiura a shot at full-time work, so a trade makes the most sense. Is there a team who values Hiura enough to inspire Milwaukee? Maybe he's a piece of a more significant deal. Hoby Milner (projection = $1.1 million): Sign one-year contract around $1 million Milner had a breakout season, gave manager Craig Counsell a weapon vs. lefties, and allowed just five of 37 inherited runners to score. Going year to year limits risk for the Brewers, though Milner could take a two-year deal at $1 million per season. Luis Urias (projection = $4.3 million): Sign one-year contract around $4.1 million Despite a perceived down year, Urias had the fourth-best fWAR on the club (2.3). The Brewers believe in Urias' talent and expect big things in the next couple of seasons. Devin Williams (projection = $3.2 million): Sign one-year contract around $3.5 million As they did with Josh Hader, the Brewers likely go year-to-year with Williams as the "closer." Reliever performance can fluctuate annually, so the safe play is to pay per season. These "predictions" lead to about the same payroll as if each arbitration projection turns out to be accurate and accepted. But by non-tendering a few players and offering more significant deals through contract extensions, Milwaukee can prioritize its best talent. However, President of Baseball Operations David Stearns will have many options to manipulate the Brewers 2023 roster into a World Series contender. Will there be more trades? Will the Brewers shy away from multi-year deals? Let us know what you think will happen - or what you hope will happen with these 18 players in arbitration. View full article
  6. On Thursday, MLB announced the 2022 Silver Slugger Award finalists. Three Milwaukee Brewers find themselves as finalists. They are infielders Willy Adames and Kolten Wong as well as outfielder Hunter Renfroe. Image courtesy of Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports Willy Adames and Kolten Wong have provided solid defense up the middle for the Brewers, but on Thursday, both were recognized for their bats. The infielders, along with outfielder Hunter Renfroe, were names finalists for a National League Silver Slugger Award. The honor recognizes the top hitter in each league at each position, and the winners will be announced on Thursday, November 10th. MLB Managers and coaches select the finalists. Craig Counsell and three of his coaches were the Brewers voting members. The competition for the Brewers players will be quite strong. At shortstop, Adames is joined by fellow nominees Trea Turner (Dodgers), Francisco Lindor (Mets) and Dansby Swanson (Braves) as finalists. Wong's competition at second base includes Ketel Marte (Diamondbacks), Brendan Rodgers (Rockies), Jake Cronenworth (Padres) and batting champ Jeff McNeil (Mets). The outfield has nine finalists, and three Silver Sluggers will be handed out. Renfroe's competition includes Mookie Betts (Dodgers), Kyle Schwarber (Phillies), Juan Soto (Nationals/Padres), Starling Marte (Braves), Joc Pederson (Giants), Michael Harris (Braves), Bryan Reynolds (Pirates) and Brandon Nimmo (Mets). In other words, it seems unlikely that any of the three will actually be awarded a Silver Slugger, but it's nice to get the recognition and have people in the game recognize their success. If one does receive an award, it will be the Brewers first since 2019 when Christian Yelich won the award. Of the 2022 Brewers, the following players have won Silver Slugger Awards: Andrew McCutchen (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), Christian Yelich (2016, 2018, 2019). There have been 21 Silver Sluggers in Brewers history: Christian Yelich (2018, 2019) Ryan Braun (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) Prince Fielder (2007, 2011) Yovani Gallardo (2010) Carlos Lee (2005) Dave Parker (1990) Robin Yount (1980, 1982, 1989) Paul Molitor (1987, 1988) Cecil Cooper (1980, 1981, 1982) Ben Oglivie (1980) What are your thoughts on the Brewers who were named finalists? Was anyone snubbed? View full article
  7. Willy Adames and Kolten Wong have provided solid defense up the middle for the Brewers, but on Thursday, both were recognized for their bats. The infielders, along with outfielder Hunter Renfroe, were names finalists for a National League Silver Slugger Award. The honor recognizes the top hitter in each league at each position, and the winners will be announced on Thursday, November 10th. MLB Managers and coaches select the finalists. Craig Counsell and three of his coaches were the Brewers voting members. The competition for the Brewers players will be quite strong. At shortstop, Adames is joined by fellow nominees Trea Turner (Dodgers), Francisco Lindor (Mets) and Dansby Swanson (Braves) as finalists. Wong's competition at second base includes Ketel Marte (Diamondbacks), Brendan Rodgers (Rockies), Jake Cronenworth (Padres) and batting champ Jeff McNeil (Mets). The outfield has nine finalists, and three Silver Sluggers will be handed out. Renfroe's competition includes Mookie Betts (Dodgers), Kyle Schwarber (Phillies), Juan Soto (Nationals/Padres), Starling Marte (Braves), Joc Pederson (Giants), Michael Harris (Braves), Bryan Reynolds (Pirates) and Brandon Nimmo (Mets). In other words, it seems unlikely that any of the three will actually be awarded a Silver Slugger, but it's nice to get the recognition and have people in the game recognize their success. If one does receive an award, it will be the Brewers first since 2019 when Christian Yelich won the award. Of the 2022 Brewers, the following players have won Silver Slugger Awards: Andrew McCutchen (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), Christian Yelich (2016, 2018, 2019). There have been 21 Silver Sluggers in Brewers history: Christian Yelich (2018, 2019) Ryan Braun (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) Prince Fielder (2007, 2011) Yovani Gallardo (2010) Carlos Lee (2005) Dave Parker (1990) Robin Yount (1980, 1982, 1989) Paul Molitor (1987, 1988) Cecil Cooper (1980, 1981, 1982) Ben Oglivie (1980) What are your thoughts on the Brewers who were named finalists? Was anyone snubbed?
  8. Milwaukee has 18 players in various stages of the arbitration process. The positive is that the club can keep each guy for 2023 if they choose. The negative side comes from the team having to pay increases to each - some sizable raises - even if they disagree with the player's value. The MLB Trade Rumors site breaks down the projected arbitration numbers for each player, usually with considerable accuracy. If each arbitration figure for the Brewers came to fruition by MLB Trade Rumors' projections, it would add $33-$34 million to Milwaukee's payroll in 2023. Let's quickly go through each player and their projected salary, grouping them by the years they have left in arbitration. For each player, we'll try to determine if they will 1) Settle on a one-year contract, 2) Sign a multi-year contract, 3) Be traded before accepting a deal, or 4) Be non-tendered, meaning they become a free agent. *NOTE: The Brewers rarely ever go to an arbitration hearing (Adrian Houser was an exception last year), so we will leave that off the table.* LAST YEAR OF ARBITRATION Victor Caratini (projection = $2.8 million): Sign one-year contract around $2.6 million This would be a $650,000 raise for an average catcher who hit .199 last season. With Omar Narvaez a free agent, it makes sense to keep Caratini for one year and keep options open for a young guy in 2024. Luis Perdomo (projection = $1 million): Sign one-year contract around $750,000 He was under a two-year contract, mostly rehabbing in 2021. He pitched well in many outings, and the Brewers need bullpen arms at lower, set costs. Hunter Renfroe (projection = $11.2 million): Sign one-year contract around $11 million Highest OPS+ (126) on the team, but with multiple top outfield prospects ready, no need for multiple years. A $3.4 million raise might be on the low end, and the Brewers could be willing to make an even $4 million increase to $11.6 million (though you can't rule out a trade at that cost). Brent Suter (projection = $3.1 million): Non-tender The Brewers won't value him at $3 million with worse numbers in 2022, so they should move on. At 33 years old, Suter could try to get a cheaper two-year contract. TWO YEARS OF ARBITRATION REMAINING Willy Adames (projection = $9.2 million): Sign four-year contract around $52 million Locking up a 27-year-old shortstop with a big offensive ceiling and high defensive ratings is extremely valuable. Adames' decision would come down to gambling on himself, but he would still be a free agent by his age-31 season. Corbin Burnes (projection = $11.4 million): Sign one-year contract around $12.5 million It's not exciting, but this is the most likely result for this season, as short of a mega-deal, Burnes has little incentive to do anything more than one year. The Brewers keep their options open and know they control Burnes' future - either in Milwaukee or in trade elsewhere. Matt Bush (projection = $1.2 million): Sign one-year contract around $900,000 His struggles at the end of the season should sink his cost some. Bush has shown great stuff, so Milwaukee would probably be happy paying a bit more to avoid a hearing. Trevor Gott (projection = $1.4 million): Non-tender Gott has an intriguing arm, but not reliable enough to pay almost $1.5 million. They could easily reach a cheap agreement after the non-tender if Gott likes his chances in Milwaukee. Jandel Gustave (projection = $900,000): Non-tender A below-average, 30-year-old reliever isn't getting nearly $1 million from the Brewers. Milwaukee will find two younger arms with the same cost and more upside. Adrian Houser (projection = $3.6 million): Trade before agreeing to a contract The relationship may have been fractured after his arbitration hearing last season. Teams are always looking for relatively cheap starters, and the Brewers could fill a need (or net a prospect) for a guy not in the long-term plans. Eric Lauer (projection = $5.2 million): Sign two-year contract around $12 million A talented but up-and-down hurler, Milwaukee can play the middle for the next two years. Guaranteeing himself $10 million, Lauer can worry about setting himself up for a big contract after 2024. Rowdy Tellez (projection = $5.3 million): Sign one-year contract around $4.5 million The projection seems to overvalue Tellez's 35 HR while ignoring his deficiencies. Milwaukee will give him a shot to break out with the "shift ban" coming while also being trade bait later in the offseason. Brandon Woodruff (projection = $11 million): Sign three-year contract around $45 million Entering his age-30 season, Woodruff should be open to a multi-year deal. Perhaps he would want more per season, but it buys out just one year of free agency. THREE YEARS OF ARBITRATION REMAINING Mike Brosseau (projection = $1.2 million): Sign one-year contract around $1.2 million The Brewers still need quality bats against left-handed pitchers, and Brosseau provides one. Brosseau posted a 0.6 fWAR in 160 plate appearances, which is good value for a part-time guy. Keston Hiura (projection = $2 million): Trade before agreeing to a contract It's difficult to see the Brewers giving Hiura a shot at full-time work, so a trade makes the most sense. Is there a team who values Hiura enough to inspire Milwaukee? Maybe he's a piece of a more significant deal. Hoby Milner (projection = $1.1 million): Sign one-year contract around $1 million Milner had a breakout season, gave manager Craig Counsell a weapon vs. lefties, and allowed just five of 37 inherited runners to score. Going year to year limits risk for the Brewers, though Milner could take a two-year deal at $1 million per season. Luis Urias (projection = $4.3 million): Sign one-year contract around $4.1 million Despite a perceived down year, Urias had the fourth-best fWAR on the club (2.3). The Brewers believe in Urias' talent and expect big things in the next couple of seasons. Devin Williams (projection = $3.2 million): Sign one-year contract around $3.5 million As they did with Josh Hader, the Brewers likely go year-to-year with Williams as the "closer." Reliever performance can fluctuate annually, so the safe play is to pay per season. These "predictions" lead to about the same payroll as if each arbitration projection turns out to be accurate and accepted. But by non-tendering a few players and offering more significant deals through contract extensions, Milwaukee can prioritize its best talent. However, President of Baseball Operations David Stearns will have many options to manipulate the Brewers 2023 roster into a World Series contender. Will there be more trades? Will the Brewers shy away from multi-year deals? Let us know what you think will happen - or what you hope will happen with these 18 players in arbitration.
  9. The Brewers' outfield, designated hitter, and bench have lots of question marks that will require placeholders. The outfield also has the single most significant financial commitment ever on the Brew Crew's books. This is Part 2 of a series of stories detailing the payroll situation for the Milwaukee Brewers at a back-of-the-napkin level. Previously, we looked at the total salaries of the infielders, and came up with a $31M commitment for next year. Today we look at the rest of the offense. Left Field – Much has been made of the nine-year $215 million extension that Christian Yelich signed in spring training of 2020, but fortunately, we don't need to unpack all that here. For our purposes, we need to know it includes a guaranteed $26M salary next year with a full no-trade clause. Write it in ink. Center Field – Lorenzo Cain's contract comes off the books this year, and the Brewers just released Jonathan Davis. Tyrone Taylor started the most games last year and is not arbitration eligible yet, so he'll make close to the MLB minimum of $700K. If you have a favorite prospect to play here, they make the same amount, so Taylor will be our default choice and number. Right Field – The Brewers can offer arbitration to Hunter Renfroe for one last year, which, unfortunately (unless you're Renfroe), means a significant raise. We'll estimate he increases last year's $7.65M salary to around $10M for our napkin. With 29 home runs, that might even be low. Designated Hitter – Andrew McCutcheon is a free agent, and this looks like an excellent opportunity to add a bat. But we also haven't mentioned Keston Hiura yet. It's his first year of arbitration, which should net him about $2.5M, so we'll pencil him in here for now Bench – If the season started today, those four bench spots on our list would probably need to be filled by minor leaguers making the minimum salary. We'll put those numbers in for now, assuming that eventually they'll increase slightly with some veterans, or by bumping players like Taylor or Hiura with free agent signings. Here's where we're at: We total $73M for the team's offensive half, and that's the side we'll likely see even more money spent. Plus, we haven't got to the team's supposed strength, including a couple of ace-level pitchers that should get significant raises. We'll tackle that next time.
  10. The offseason begins five days after the last game of the World Series, and the Brewers will be open for business. But what can we reasonably expect them to spend? To find out, we looked at the team's payroll situation at a back-of-the-napkin level. The infield was pretty straightforward. The outfield is a different story. Image courtesy of © Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports The Brewers' outfield, designated hitter, and bench have lots of question marks that will require placeholders. The outfield also has the single most significant financial commitment ever on the Brew Crew's books. This is Part 2 of a series of stories detailing the payroll situation for the Milwaukee Brewers at a back-of-the-napkin level. Previously, we looked at the total salaries of the infielders, and came up with a $31M commitment for next year. Today we look at the rest of the offense. Left Field – Much has been made of the nine-year $215 million extension that Christian Yelich signed in spring training of 2020, but fortunately, we don't need to unpack all that here. For our purposes, we need to know it includes a guaranteed $26M salary next year with a full no-trade clause. Write it in ink. Center Field – Lorenzo Cain's contract comes off the books this year, and the Brewers just released Jonathan Davis. Tyrone Taylor started the most games last year and is not arbitration eligible yet, so he'll make close to the MLB minimum of $700K. If you have a favorite prospect to play here, they make the same amount, so Taylor will be our default choice and number. Right Field – The Brewers can offer arbitration to Hunter Renfroe for one last year, which, unfortunately (unless you're Renfroe), means a significant raise. We'll estimate he increases last year's $7.65M salary to around $10M for our napkin. With 29 home runs, that might even be low. Designated Hitter – Andrew McCutcheon is a free agent, and this looks like an excellent opportunity to add a bat. But we also haven't mentioned Keston Hiura yet. It's his first year of arbitration, which should net him about $2.5M, so we'll pencil him in here for now Bench – If the season started today, those four bench spots on our list would probably need to be filled by minor leaguers making the minimum salary. We'll put those numbers in for now, assuming that eventually they'll increase slightly with some veterans, or by bumping players like Taylor or Hiura with free agent signings. Here's where we're at: We total $73M for the team's offensive half, and that's the side we'll likely see even more money spent. Plus, we haven't got to the team's supposed strength, including a couple of ace-level pitchers that should get significant raises. We'll tackle that next time. View full article
  11. Even with a disappointing end to the 2022 season, the Brewers still received a incredible effort from their everyday shortstop. Congrats to Willy Adames on being named our MVP for the 2022 season! With how the Brewers season concluded, even the most optimistic fans may have a hard time picking out bright spots from the 2022 season. Through the ups and downs of the season, one player performed admirably, doing so with a smile the entire time. That player is our choice for Brewer Fanatic 2022 MVP, Willy Adames. Adames’ 2022 season stats: .238 AVG / .298 OBP / .458 SLG / in 617 PA’s, 31 HR, 98 RBI, 4.7 fWAR In a season where the Brewers saw numerous injury stints from their position players, Adames played in 139 games, providing the Brewers with some much-needed consistency in the infield. Though Adames didn’t put up the exact offensive numbers many may have hoped, he still found ways to be productive, whether it was providing elite defense up the middle, or coming up with clutch home runs to keep the Brewers in the hunt. It might be hard to believe that Adames, who only hit .238, with a sub .300 on-base percentage was the Brewers most valuable player this year. While that may be a testament to the Brewers top-to-bottom offensive mediocrity, Adames certainly deserves some credit. His 31 home runs are the most by a Brewers shortstop in a single season, while his 98 RBI ranks second in the same category. That kind of power isn’t something Brewers fans should take for granted, especially from a shortstop. As mentioned earlier, a good chunk of Adames’ value came from his defense. His 10 Outs Above Average (OAA) ranked seventh among all MLB shortstops, and placed him in the top 20 of all qualified major leaguers. Not only was OAA a fan of Adames defensively, but other metrics such as UZR and Defensive WAR rated Adames highly as well, ranking in the top 20 in both. Depending on who you ask, MVP awards have certain other intangibles. If you were to argue for an intangible in Adames’ case, his clubhouse leadership is worth mentioning. It’s no question Adames has been the heart and soul in the Brewers clubhouse for the last year and a half. His commitment to both the team and fanbase has certainly benefited the Brewers in more than one way. Runner Up: Corbin Burnes, SP Burnes’ 2022 stats: 202 IP / 2.98 ERA / 0.965 WHIP, in 33 games, 12 wins, 243 S, 4.1 bWAR Corbin Burnes was brilliant once again in 2022. Though he likely won’t be taking home the NL Cy Young this year, Burnes solidified himself as one of the game's top pitchers in 2022. If you want to read more about Burnes masterful season, check out The Brewer Fanatic 2022 Awards: Pitcher of the Year Others Receiving votes: Hunter Renfroe, Rowdy Tellez, Jace Peterson, Kolten Wong, Christian Yelich While there were others receiving votes, none came close to the total Adames and Burnes amassed. Hitters like Hunter Renfroe and Kolten Wong both turned in above-average seasons at the plate, yet struggled defensively. Both Yelich and Tellez were plagued by inconsistency both offensively and defensively, while Jace Peterson received votes due to his excellent work as a utility man. What did you think of the contributions of the players mentioned above? Did the voters get it right? Your comments are always welcome! View full article
  12. With how the Brewers season concluded, even the most optimistic fans may have a hard time picking out bright spots from the 2022 season. Through the ups and downs of the season, one player performed admirably, doing so with a smile the entire time. That player is our choice for Brewer Fanatic 2022 MVP, Willy Adames. Adames’ 2022 season stats: .238 AVG / .298 OBP / .458 SLG / in 617 PA’s, 31 HR, 98 RBI, 4.7 fWAR In a season where the Brewers saw numerous injury stints from their position players, Adames played in 139 games, providing the Brewers with some much-needed consistency in the infield. Though Adames didn’t put up the exact offensive numbers many may have hoped, he still found ways to be productive, whether it was providing elite defense up the middle, or coming up with clutch home runs to keep the Brewers in the hunt. It might be hard to believe that Adames, who only hit .238, with a sub .300 on-base percentage was the Brewers most valuable player this year. While that may be a testament to the Brewers top-to-bottom offensive mediocrity, Adames certainly deserves some credit. His 31 home runs are the most by a Brewers shortstop in a single season, while his 98 RBI ranks second in the same category. That kind of power isn’t something Brewers fans should take for granted, especially from a shortstop. As mentioned earlier, a good chunk of Adames’ value came from his defense. His 10 Outs Above Average (OAA) ranked seventh among all MLB shortstops, and placed him in the top 20 of all qualified major leaguers. Not only was OAA a fan of Adames defensively, but other metrics such as UZR and Defensive WAR rated Adames highly as well, ranking in the top 20 in both. Depending on who you ask, MVP awards have certain other intangibles. If you were to argue for an intangible in Adames’ case, his clubhouse leadership is worth mentioning. It’s no question Adames has been the heart and soul in the Brewers clubhouse for the last year and a half. His commitment to both the team and fanbase has certainly benefited the Brewers in more than one way. Runner Up: Corbin Burnes, SP Burnes’ 2022 stats: 202 IP / 2.98 ERA / 0.965 WHIP, in 33 games, 12 wins, 243 S, 4.1 bWAR Corbin Burnes was brilliant once again in 2022. Though he likely won’t be taking home the NL Cy Young this year, Burnes solidified himself as one of the game's top pitchers in 2022. If you want to read more about Burnes masterful season, check out The Brewer Fanatic 2022 Awards: Pitcher of the Year Others Receiving votes: Hunter Renfroe, Rowdy Tellez, Jace Peterson, Kolten Wong, Christian Yelich While there were others receiving votes, none came close to the total Adames and Burnes amassed. Hitters like Hunter Renfroe and Kolten Wong both turned in above-average seasons at the plate, yet struggled defensively. Both Yelich and Tellez were plagued by inconsistency both offensively and defensively, while Jace Peterson received votes due to his excellent work as a utility man. What did you think of the contributions of the players mentioned above? Did the voters get it right? Your comments are always welcome!
  13. Box Score SP: Brandon Woodruff: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (100 pitches, 64 strikes (64.0%) Home Runs: Christian Yelich (14), Hunter Renfroe (29) Top 3 WPA: Victor Caratini (0.334), Willy Adames (0.307), Christian Yelich (0.171) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Another Close-And-Late Game For the second straight game, the Brewers needed extra innings. After using most of their bullpen in Sunday's 12-inning loss to the Marlins, they needed a 10th inning to decide this one. Fortunately, Brandon Woodruff was able to get through six innings on 100 pitches. In the third frame, he gave up a solo homer to Cooper Hummel. In the fifth inning, a Sergio Alcantara sacrifice fly scored Corbin Carroll. Sure, it would have been great to see Woodruff get through another inning or two, but overall, he had a nice start. Unfortunately, when he left, Hoby Milner, who has been a fantastic story in 2022, came on and gave up a two-run homer to Alcantara to give Arizona a 4-1 lead. Christian Yelich came through in the second inning with a leadoff homer. However, fast-forward to the bottom of the ninth inning, and the Brewers haven't scored any more runs. A glance at the scoreboard showed that they were losing and the Phillies were winning and giving up certainly could have been an option. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Renfroe is Clutch Again Hunter Renfroe led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a mammoth home run to center off of All Star Joe Mantiply. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Christian Yelich reached on an infield single. One batter later, Kolten Wong walked. Rowdy Tellez grounded out to first base to push Yelich and Wong to second and third, respectively. Victor Caratini came up and hit a line drive right at first baseman Christian Walker. The ball somehow went right through him, and the ball trickled far enough to allow both runners scored to tie the game and send it to extra innings. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Daulton Varsho Comes Home Cooper Hummel was the Manfred Man, starting the top of the 10th inning at second base. After a sacrifice bunt advanced Hummel to third, Daulton Varsho singled to right-center to push in the go-ahead run for the Diamondbacks. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Varsho is the son of former big leaguer Gary Varsho who was named after former Phillie Darren Daulton. He was born in Marshfield, Wisconsin, as you may have heard a time or 23 during the broadcast. He attended the University of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee, and became the 2nd round pick of the Diamondbacks in 2017. In his third MLB season, Varsho has had a terrific season. On this night, however, that he gave Arizona the lead may have only brought joy to a small section of Marshfield. The Brewers now needed to score on in the bottom of the 10th inning to tie it. Adames, Renfroe Play Hero Jace Peterson was placed on second base to start the inning. Omar Narvaez then walked. With runners on first and second, Willy Adames singled to right to drive in Peterson and tie the game. Almost as important, with nobody out, Narvaez was able to advance to third base. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Hunter Renfroe came up and again came through. He dropped a single into left field, Narvaez scored, and the Brewers kept their playoff hopes alive. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== For about Five Minutes... Down in Houston, the Phillies finished a 3-0 shutout of the Astros to officially clinch a Wild Card spot and eliminate the Brewers. What’s Next? With the final two games now having no playoff implications, it will be interesting to see how the Brewers and the Diamondbacks adjust their lineups and pitching decisions. For instance, does it make sense to have Corbin Burnes make one more start, or just ensure he goes into the offseason healthy? The same can be said about Arizona's Zac Gallen. Do you think the Brewers might announce some roster moves, maybe calling up someone like Brewer Fanatic Minor League Hitter of the Year Sal Frelick, or adding a couple of pitchers from Nashville so as not to burn out a bullpen that has been used a lot in recent games. Here are the remaining pitching matchups: Tuesday at 6:10: Eric Lauer (10-7, 3.83 ERA) vs Zac Gallen (12-3, 2.46 ERA) Wednesday at 3:10: Corbin Burnes (12-8, 2.98 ERA) vs Merrill Kelly (13-8, 3.43 ERA) data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Postgame Interviews data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  14. The Brewers kept fighting, clinging on to the smallest glimmer of hope heading into the final series of the season. They mounted a big, ninth-inning comeback. They fell behind in the tenth, but came back and got a big win, keeping their playoff chances alive. Minutes later, they were eliminated from playoff contention. Image courtesy of Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports Box Score SP: Brandon Woodruff: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (100 pitches, 64 strikes (64.0%) Home Runs: Christian Yelich (14), Hunter Renfroe (29) Top 3 WPA: Victor Caratini (0.334), Willy Adames (0.307), Christian Yelich (0.171) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Another Close-And-Late Game For the second straight game, the Brewers needed extra innings. After using most of their bullpen in Sunday's 12-inning loss to the Marlins, they needed a 10th inning to decide this one. Fortunately, Brandon Woodruff was able to get through six innings on 100 pitches. In the third frame, he gave up a solo homer to Cooper Hummel. In the fifth inning, a Sergio Alcantara sacrifice fly scored Corbin Carroll. Sure, it would have been great to see Woodruff get through another inning or two, but overall, he had a nice start. Unfortunately, when he left, Hoby Milner, who has been a fantastic story in 2022, came on and gave up a two-run homer to Alcantara to give Arizona a 4-1 lead. Christian Yelich came through in the second inning with a leadoff homer. However, fast-forward to the bottom of the ninth inning, and the Brewers haven't scored any more runs. A glance at the scoreboard showed that they were losing and the Phillies were winning and giving up certainly could have been an option. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Renfroe is Clutch Again Hunter Renfroe led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a mammoth home run to center off of All Star Joe Mantiply. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Christian Yelich reached on an infield single. One batter later, Kolten Wong walked. Rowdy Tellez grounded out to first base to push Yelich and Wong to second and third, respectively. Victor Caratini came up and hit a line drive right at first baseman Christian Walker. The ball somehow went right through him, and the ball trickled far enough to allow both runners scored to tie the game and send it to extra innings. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Daulton Varsho Comes Home Cooper Hummel was the Manfred Man, starting the top of the 10th inning at second base. After a sacrifice bunt advanced Hummel to third, Daulton Varsho singled to right-center to push in the go-ahead run for the Diamondbacks. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Varsho is the son of former big leaguer Gary Varsho who was named after former Phillie Darren Daulton. He was born in Marshfield, Wisconsin, as you may have heard a time or 23 during the broadcast. He attended the University of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee, and became the 2nd round pick of the Diamondbacks in 2017. In his third MLB season, Varsho has had a terrific season. On this night, however, that he gave Arizona the lead may have only brought joy to a small section of Marshfield. The Brewers now needed to score on in the bottom of the 10th inning to tie it. Adames, Renfroe Play Hero Jace Peterson was placed on second base to start the inning. Omar Narvaez then walked. With runners on first and second, Willy Adames singled to right to drive in Peterson and tie the game. Almost as important, with nobody out, Narvaez was able to advance to third base. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Hunter Renfroe came up and again came through. He dropped a single into left field, Narvaez scored, and the Brewers kept their playoff hopes alive. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== For about Five Minutes... Down in Houston, the Phillies finished a 3-0 shutout of the Astros to officially clinch a Wild Card spot and eliminate the Brewers. What’s Next? With the final two games now having no playoff implications, it will be interesting to see how the Brewers and the Diamondbacks adjust their lineups and pitching decisions. For instance, does it make sense to have Corbin Burnes make one more start, or just ensure he goes into the offseason healthy? The same can be said about Arizona's Zac Gallen. Do you think the Brewers might announce some roster moves, maybe calling up someone like Brewer Fanatic Minor League Hitter of the Year Sal Frelick, or adding a couple of pitchers from Nashville so as not to burn out a bullpen that has been used a lot in recent games. Here are the remaining pitching matchups: Tuesday at 6:10: Eric Lauer (10-7, 3.83 ERA) vs Zac Gallen (12-3, 2.46 ERA) Wednesday at 3:10: Corbin Burnes (12-8, 2.98 ERA) vs Merrill Kelly (13-8, 3.43 ERA) data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Postgame Interviews data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. Box Score SP: Corbin Burnes: 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 8 K (102 pitches, 61 strikes (59.8%) Home Runs: Hunter Renfroe 2 (27), Rowdy Tellez (33) Top 3 WPA: Hunter Renfroe (0.328), Corbin Burnes (0.147), Omar Narvaez (0.141) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Hunter Renfroe Provides the Power Things were pretty quiet in the first three innings. The Reds scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the 1st inning on an Alejo Lopez single. In the bottom of the 4th inning, Hunter Renfroe came to bat with Rowdy Tellez on base. He launched his 26th home run of the season to give the Brewers the 2-1 lead. The Crew kept adding on that inning. Omar Narvaez later singled to score Andrew McCutchen, and then Luis Urias scored on a Tyrone Taylor single to make it 4-1. One is terrific but twice is really nice. In the fifth frame, with Rowdy Tellez again on base, Renfroe came to the plate again and hit a second, two-run homer to give the Brewers a 6-1 lead. It was the 27th home run of the year for Renfroe. Both teams went scoreless in the 6th inning. The Reds didn’t score in the top of the 7th and then the Brewers added on. Christian Yelich scored on a Willy Adames double. Soon after, Renfroe drove in his fifth run of the game to score Adames on a single. Renfroe later scored on a single by Urias. Through seven innings, the Brewers held a 9-1 lead. The Reds scored a run in the bottom of the 7th inning. The 8th inning was scoreless for both teams. Rowdy Tellez led off the top of the 9th inning with a solo home run off of position player Alejo Lopez. That brought Renfroe to the plate again. He was 4-for-4 to that point, and of course, the one “pitcher” to get him out was Lopez who started the game at second base. Burnes Comes Through With the Brewers needing to win at least eight of their final 11 games, they really need to be able to rely on Corbin Burnes. It’s fair to say that Burnes wasn’t at his absolute best on Saturday in Cincinnati, but he was certainly good enough on this night. Good enough to earn his 11th win of the year. He struggled with his control a little more than he usually does. His strike percentage was just under 60% He gave up just the four hits, but he also uncharacteristically walked three batters too. However, he worked into the 7th inning and kept the Crew in control. He had eight strikeouts in the game. Bullpen Provides Zero(es) Burnes gave up the first-inning run and then didn’t give up a run until the 7th inning. He left the game with one run in and a runner in scoring position. He was relieved by Trevor Gott who got the next two batters out. Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless 8th inning before Brent Suter struck out two batters in a perfect 9th inning. That’s got to hurt! Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless, hitless eighth inning despite a lack of control. Just six of his 16 pitches were strikes. He walked the leadoff batter of the inning on four pitches, but he also hit Reds’ rookie infielder Spencer Steer. It is interesting because the two were teammates and went to spring training together in 2021 and 2022 with the Minnesota Twins. Rogers was traded to the Padres on Opening Day, and of course, the Brewers acquired him from San Diego in the Josh Hader deal. Rogers got the opportunity in a low-leverage situation. In his previous outing, he gave up four runs on one hit and three walks in just 2/3 of an inning. And before that, he gave up a run on two hits in one inning against the Yankees. However, in his previous four appearances, he worked four scoreless, hitless, walkless innings that included eight strikeouts. It has certainly been a roller coaster season for Rogers. What’s Next? The Brewers will play their final road game of the season on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Reds one more time. Freddy Peralta will come off of the Injured List to try to keep the team’s hopes alive for a playoff berth. He is 4-3 with a 3.45 ERA. The Reds will counter with former first-round pick Nick Lodolo who is 4-7 with a 3.90 ERA. Game time is 12:40 central time. Wild Card Update The Brewers won. The Padres beat the Rockies 9-3. The Phillies lost to Kyle Wright and the Braves 6-3. The Brewers made up one game on the Phillies. Postgame Interviews
  20. Needing to win as many games as possible over their final 11 games, the Brewers got a 9-2 win in Cincinnati on Saturday. Image courtesy of David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports Box Score SP: Corbin Burnes: 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 8 K (102 pitches, 61 strikes (59.8%) Home Runs: Hunter Renfroe 2 (27), Rowdy Tellez (33) Top 3 WPA: Hunter Renfroe (0.328), Corbin Burnes (0.147), Omar Narvaez (0.141) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Hunter Renfroe Provides the Power Things were pretty quiet in the first three innings. The Reds scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the 1st inning on an Alejo Lopez single. In the bottom of the 4th inning, Hunter Renfroe came to bat with Rowdy Tellez on base. He launched his 26th home run of the season to give the Brewers the 2-1 lead. The Crew kept adding on that inning. Omar Narvaez later singled to score Andrew McCutchen, and then Luis Urias scored on a Tyrone Taylor single to make it 4-1. One is terrific but twice is really nice. In the fifth frame, with Rowdy Tellez again on base, Renfroe came to the plate again and hit a second, two-run homer to give the Brewers a 6-1 lead. It was the 27th home run of the year for Renfroe. Both teams went scoreless in the 6th inning. The Reds didn’t score in the top of the 7th and then the Brewers added on. Christian Yelich scored on a Willy Adames double. Soon after, Renfroe drove in his fifth run of the game to score Adames on a single. Renfroe later scored on a single by Urias. Through seven innings, the Brewers held a 9-1 lead. The Reds scored a run in the bottom of the 7th inning. The 8th inning was scoreless for both teams. Rowdy Tellez led off the top of the 9th inning with a solo home run off of position player Alejo Lopez. That brought Renfroe to the plate again. He was 4-for-4 to that point, and of course, the one “pitcher” to get him out was Lopez who started the game at second base. Burnes Comes Through With the Brewers needing to win at least eight of their final 11 games, they really need to be able to rely on Corbin Burnes. It’s fair to say that Burnes wasn’t at his absolute best on Saturday in Cincinnati, but he was certainly good enough on this night. Good enough to earn his 11th win of the year. He struggled with his control a little more than he usually does. His strike percentage was just under 60% He gave up just the four hits, but he also uncharacteristically walked three batters too. However, he worked into the 7th inning and kept the Crew in control. He had eight strikeouts in the game. Bullpen Provides Zero(es) Burnes gave up the first-inning run and then didn’t give up a run until the 7th inning. He left the game with one run in and a runner in scoring position. He was relieved by Trevor Gott who got the next two batters out. Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless 8th inning before Brent Suter struck out two batters in a perfect 9th inning. That’s got to hurt! Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless, hitless eighth inning despite a lack of control. Just six of his 16 pitches were strikes. He walked the leadoff batter of the inning on four pitches, but he also hit Reds’ rookie infielder Spencer Steer. It is interesting because the two were teammates and went to spring training together in 2021 and 2022 with the Minnesota Twins. Rogers was traded to the Padres on Opening Day, and of course, the Brewers acquired him from San Diego in the Josh Hader deal. Rogers got the opportunity in a low-leverage situation. In his previous outing, he gave up four runs on one hit and three walks in just 2/3 of an inning. And before that, he gave up a run on two hits in one inning against the Yankees. However, in his previous four appearances, he worked four scoreless, hitless, walkless innings that included eight strikeouts. It has certainly been a roller coaster season for Rogers. What’s Next? The Brewers will play their final road game of the season on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Reds one more time. Freddy Peralta will come off of the Injured List to try to keep the team’s hopes alive for a playoff berth. He is 4-3 with a 3.45 ERA. The Reds will counter with former first-round pick Nick Lodolo who is 4-7 with a 3.90 ERA. Game time is 12:40 central time. Wild Card Update The Brewers won. The Padres beat the Rockies 9-3. The Phillies lost to Kyle Wright and the Braves 6-3. The Brewers made up one game on the Phillies. Postgame Interviews View full article
  21. The outfield, laden with veteran bats, was supposed to be the engine that drives the Brewers offense. But one of the pistons stopped firing, and the Brew Crew is searching for solutions. See if you agree with our grades. The MLB season has reached its halfway point. With the All-Star break and the festivities taking the full front of attention, it may be time to take a break from the fun and reflect on the first half of the season. Like a teacher handing out the dreaded report card, it's time to see how the Brewers fared in half number one. If you would like to see the infielders grades, check out yesterday’s story. Before jumping into the grading breakdown, it's important to lay some guidelines. Grading is based on the players performance through the first 93 games of the 2022 season. Listed with the given grades is the players slash line (AVG/OBP/SLG) as of July 18, and either their OAA (Outs Above Average) or percentile grades in pitch framing. The grades are also based on both the offensive and defensive value the players should have been reasonably expected to provide, and is completely subjective. The purpose of the grades are simply to reflect, and not to promote any distaste towards any certain player. Christian Yelich * .251/.347/.379 * -3 OAA * Left Field Grade: B- It’s been an uphill climb ever since Chirstain Yelich ended his 2019 season with a knee injury. His MVP-Caliber production has faded, but the new Yelich hasn’t been nearly as bad as some fans would want you to believe. After a slow start, the Brewers moved Yelich to the leadoff spot, where he thrived. His slash line batting first sits at .288/.390/.400. The only thing Yelich is truly missing from years past is his power. Looking forward, fans can see Yelich is closer to regaining his former self than has been since the injury. Advanced metrics have always loved Yelich as a hitter, with this year being no exception. It remains to be seen what numbers he actually posts in the second half. Tyrone Taylor * .228/.277/.423 * 2 OAA * Center Field(?) Grade: C+ Expectations for Taylor coming into the season looked to be him filling the role as the 5th outfielder on the roster. But Lorenzo Cain’s disastrous start led to him being designated for assignment, and when injuries began to pile up, Taylor was thrown into a bigger role, with varying success. He has struggled to get on-base, posting the lowest OBP of anyone still with the team. However, he’s shown flashes of power and clutch hitting, with 9 HR, and a .375 AVG with RISP. His defense has been good too, but the Brewers would like the bat to be a bit better. Taylor is an easy player to root for, and he’ll probably see a return to the lineup after the All-Star Break, assuming there are not setbacks in his recovery from a concussion. It remains to be seen whether or not the Brewers will add another center fielder at the deadline, so it’s hard to predict what kind of second half Taylor is capable of having. Andrew McCutchen * .255/.317/.386 * -1 OAA * Designated Hitter Grade: B- A former MVP in Pittsburgh, Andrew McCutchen was a late addition in the offseason. The 35-year-old struggled early in the season after a brief hot start, but has picked it up as of late. Serving as the Brewers primary DH, Cutch doesn’t see much time in the field, but has been solid when asked to play the corner outfield spots. McCutchen's slash line since June 1st sits at .296/.368/.461. This could be omen for good things to come, as he is too good of a player to be posting league average numbers over a full season. Hunter Renfroe * .243/.294/.477 * 1 OAA * Right Field Grade: B Hunter Renfroe was acquired in a last second deal before the lockout in a trade that sent Jackie Bradley Jr. back to Boston. If fans remember the season JBJ had last year, it’s easy to conclude Renfroe has been much, much better. After a slow start he began to hit better, but numerous injuries have sidelined him for a large chunk of games. His defense, especially his arm, has been as advertised in RF, which is a huge plus too. If Renfroe can stay healthy the rest of the way through the season, the consistent playing time will allow him to be a key contributor to the Brewers both offensively and defensively. That remains to be seen though. Now it's your turn. Are the grades fair? Would you give extra credit or demerits to some of the players? If so, let's hear it in the comments below. View full article
  22. The MLB season has reached its halfway point. With the All-Star break and the festivities taking the full front of attention, it may be time to take a break from the fun and reflect on the first half of the season. Like a teacher handing out the dreaded report card, it's time to see how the Brewers fared in half number one. If you would like to see the infielders grades, check out yesterday’s story. Before jumping into the grading breakdown, it's important to lay some guidelines. Grading is based on the players performance through the first 93 games of the 2022 season. Listed with the given grades is the players slash line (AVG/OBP/SLG) as of July 18, and either their OAA (Outs Above Average) or percentile grades in pitch framing. The grades are also based on both the offensive and defensive value the players should have been reasonably expected to provide, and is completely subjective. The purpose of the grades are simply to reflect, and not to promote any distaste towards any certain player. Christian Yelich * .251/.347/.379 * -3 OAA * Left Field Grade: B- It’s been an uphill climb ever since Chirstain Yelich ended his 2019 season with a knee injury. His MVP-Caliber production has faded, but the new Yelich hasn’t been nearly as bad as some fans would want you to believe. After a slow start, the Brewers moved Yelich to the leadoff spot, where he thrived. His slash line batting first sits at .288/.390/.400. The only thing Yelich is truly missing from years past is his power. Looking forward, fans can see Yelich is closer to regaining his former self than has been since the injury. Advanced metrics have always loved Yelich as a hitter, with this year being no exception. It remains to be seen what numbers he actually posts in the second half. Tyrone Taylor * .228/.277/.423 * 2 OAA * Center Field(?) Grade: C+ Expectations for Taylor coming into the season looked to be him filling the role as the 5th outfielder on the roster. But Lorenzo Cain’s disastrous start led to him being designated for assignment, and when injuries began to pile up, Taylor was thrown into a bigger role, with varying success. He has struggled to get on-base, posting the lowest OBP of anyone still with the team. However, he’s shown flashes of power and clutch hitting, with 9 HR, and a .375 AVG with RISP. His defense has been good too, but the Brewers would like the bat to be a bit better. Taylor is an easy player to root for, and he’ll probably see a return to the lineup after the All-Star Break, assuming there are not setbacks in his recovery from a concussion. It remains to be seen whether or not the Brewers will add another center fielder at the deadline, so it’s hard to predict what kind of second half Taylor is capable of having. Andrew McCutchen * .255/.317/.386 * -1 OAA * Designated Hitter Grade: B- A former MVP in Pittsburgh, Andrew McCutchen was a late addition in the offseason. The 35-year-old struggled early in the season after a brief hot start, but has picked it up as of late. Serving as the Brewers primary DH, Cutch doesn’t see much time in the field, but has been solid when asked to play the corner outfield spots. McCutchen's slash line since June 1st sits at .296/.368/.461. This could be omen for good things to come, as he is too good of a player to be posting league average numbers over a full season. Hunter Renfroe * .243/.294/.477 * 1 OAA * Right Field Grade: B Hunter Renfroe was acquired in a last second deal before the lockout in a trade that sent Jackie Bradley Jr. back to Boston. If fans remember the season JBJ had last year, it’s easy to conclude Renfroe has been much, much better. After a slow start he began to hit better, but numerous injuries have sidelined him for a large chunk of games. His defense, especially his arm, has been as advertised in RF, which is a huge plus too. If Renfroe can stay healthy the rest of the way through the season, the consistent playing time will allow him to be a key contributor to the Brewers both offensively and defensively. That remains to be seen though. Now it's your turn. Are the grades fair? Would you give extra credit or demerits to some of the players? If so, let's hear it in the comments below.
  23. Hunter Renfroe last played for the Milwaukee Brewers on June 22nd. He was placed on the injured list with a calf strain. Renfroe is in his first year with the Brewers after spending last season with the Boston Red Sox. Renfroe's .789 OPS is down a bit from where he was last season, but the 119 OPS+ is just one point shy of the career high he put up with the San Diego Padres in 2018. Chi Chi Gonzalez was claimed off of waivers from the Minnesota Twins. He pitched just seven innings for Minnesota across two separate starts. With Milwaukee, Gonzalez made four appearances, including two starts, in which he pitched a total of 11 innings. Gonzalez owns a 6.87 ERA on the year and hasn't found the stuff to stick at the Major League level. Although Milwaukee needs pitching help with so much of the starting rotation unavailable, getting a bat back in the form of Renfroe is a nice boost to the lineup. Renfroe is batting 8th and playing centerfield tonight for the Brewers.
  24. The Milwaukee Brewers activated Hunter Renfroe from the injured list prior to Tuesday's tilt against the Minnesota Twins. In order to make room for him on the 26-man roster Milwaukee designated starting pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez for assignment. Hunter Renfroe last played for the Milwaukee Brewers on June 22nd. He was placed on the injured list with a calf strain. Renfroe is in his first year with the Brewers after spending last season with the Boston Red Sox. Renfroe's .789 OPS is down a bit from where he was last season, but the 119 OPS+ is just one point shy of the career high he put up with the San Diego Padres in 2018. Chi Chi Gonzalez was claimed off of waivers from the Minnesota Twins. He pitched just seven innings for Minnesota across two separate starts. With Milwaukee, Gonzalez made four appearances, including two starts, in which he pitched a total of 11 innings. Gonzalez owns a 6.87 ERA on the year and hasn't found the stuff to stick at the Major League level. Although Milwaukee needs pitching help with so much of the starting rotation unavailable, getting a bat back in the form of Renfroe is a nice boost to the lineup. Renfroe is batting 8th and playing centerfield tonight for the Brewers. View full article
  25. Hunter Renfroe has not torn the world apart since coming back from the injured list on June 7th against the Phillies, only batting 0.200 in this time. But he made a splash in the three-game weekend set in Cincinnati with three bombs off three different types of pitches. The Brewers took all three games, and took back a share of first in the N.L. Central as the Cardinals dropped two of three in Boston against the Red Sox.. Now, onto the home runs. Hunter Renfroe: June 17th The first home run Renfroe hit in this series came on Friday against Hunter Green when he sent a 98.3 MPH 4-seam fastball an expected 400 ft. to left field. This made it a 3 to 0 ballgame in the top of the 4th, scoring Rowdy Tellez and Andrew McCutchen. It came off the bat at 110.1 MPH with a launch angle of 19°. Hunter Renfroe: June 18th The second home run coming on Saturday against Luis Cessa in the 7th added the final run of the game, making it 7 to 3. The 82.7 MPH slider left the ballpark at 105.0 MPH with a launch angle of 23° for an expected distance of 409 feet out to left field once again. Hunter Renfroe: June 19th The final bomb happened on Sunday. This came off of a 90.4 MPH Joel Kuhnel changeup and soared to left field. This added a couple insurance runs in the 7th by scoring Andrew McCutchen once again, making the game 6 to 3. This ball left the bat at a whopping 108.3 MPH with a launch angle of 28°, landing an expected 444 feet from home plate.
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