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  1. I start this week’s column with a clear proposition: the Milwaukee Brewers have a talented pitching staff. I do not want this to be in any way misunderstood. The rotation still has long-term upside: Corbin Burnes is not yet a finished product (imagine that!), while Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta are still working to sort out how to best navigate lineups deep into contests. Adrian Houser has a ceiling as a decent #2, solid #3, advantageous #4 pitcher in a rotation, but hasn’t been able to put all the pieces together yet. The Weekly Dispatch is a column on the Brewers. 'On' may do heavier lifting on some weeks than others. The key players out of the bullpen are also solid to exceptional. Newly-extended Aaron Ashby remains a work in progress, but the Brewers’ faith in his ability to become a consistent force and enter the rotation in the future is not unjustified. Brad Boxberger, while obscenely overused in 2022, remains reliable out of the bullpen. Devin Williams has been given center stage after Josh Hader was inexplicably traded to the Padres for damaged goods and prospects. If it wasn’t obvious before that the Brewers’ front office assumed 2022 would be a facsimile of an all-time franchise best 2021, it is now. Assuming a lack of injury, that the league wouldn’t in some ways catch up to their formidable starters and bullpen, that run prevention would be as effective as it has been, that the stuff would be as crisp as ever, was folly. Not bolstering the offense beyond adding Hunter Renfroe in the offseason, or getting an impact bat or two at any time before the trade deadline only added pressure to a staff that had more than contributed their share to the club’s unprecedented fourth-consecutive postseason appearance. David Stearns and Matt Arnold tried to get blood from turnips, and their patience ran out as evidenced by the Hader trade. And, in some ways, they may have signaled a fatalist approach to a meat grinder 31 games in 31 days. The Brewers’ pitching staff entering play Saturday is second in the National League in hits allowed (864) and third in strikeouts (1043), but tenth in walks and 11th in home runs (365, 126). This talented, vaunted corps musters only a 106 adjusted ERA, falling well short of the 120 achievement from last year’s franchise-best staff. Yes, part of that is missing Peralta and Houser for stretches, Ethan Small’s struggles and needing to rely on Chi Chi Gonzalez to provide meaningful, productive innings, but injuries and regression are both parts of baseball life and it’s exceptionally difficult to meet historic bests in consecutive years. I projected out how this pitching staff may finish the season based on numbers through Friday night: 1456 strikeouts, 1422 hits, 530 walks, 186 home runs and a consistent 106 ERA+. No team in the expansion era has met or exceeded those counting numbers except the 2019 Boston Red Sox. They finished 84-78, third in the American League Central and had the luxury of an offensive core featuring Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. Their adjusted ERA? 104. It should come as no surprise that all the talk from the team about a World Series before and after the All-Star break has abruptly stopped. Further, while the eye test indicates defensive regression, ERA to FIP is relatively flat (3.84, 3.90), while it should also be noted that the SIERA-to-ERA contrast suggests defensive lapses have been a little more impactful (3.65) while being somewhat counterbalanced and perhaps disguised by the gaudy strikeout totals. It’s also possible that the Brewers’ philosophy with their starting pitchers is to actually emphasize pitch to contact, leaning too much on run prevention and the strikeouts are more a reflection of the era, or more bug than feature. The problem is that the Brewers’ three major starters and Ashby are strikeout guys, and asking them to nibble around the edges to induce contact is not the best way to utilize their respective repertoires. This could potentially explain the two-strike struggles Ashby has, as diagnosed excellently earlier this weekend here by Tim Muma, while also generally providing insight as to why impact strikeout guys aren’t getting efficient Ks, triggering shorter starts and overextending the Brewers’ beleaguered, triaged middle relief. Whatever happened to the wipeout pitch? Between an offense that generally struggles with run support and opponents’ seeming knack for driving balls in 2022 they weren’t in ‘21, while also outlasting Brewer pitchers with walks and base knocks, the pitching has no margin for error. Asking for excellence and effort is one thing, asking for perfection – while apparently being content with a deficient, bordering on broken offense – is another. Like getting blood from a turnip. Stathead and Fangraphs were used in informing this article.
  2. It’s been argued in this space before that the Milwaukee Brewers were asking too much of their pitching staff to repeat its high water mark 2021 season, which yielded Corbin Burnes a Cy Young Award and Josh Hader (another) Trevor Hoffman Award. A look at the numbers shows that to not only be the case, but that, save for a sudden change in performance, the Brewers’ vaunted pitching staff will be one of the reasons why they may well be on the outside looking in on October baseball. I start this week’s column with a clear proposition: the Milwaukee Brewers have a talented pitching staff. I do not want this to be in any way misunderstood. The rotation still has long-term upside: Corbin Burnes is not yet a finished product (imagine that!), while Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta are still working to sort out how to best navigate lineups deep into contests. Adrian Houser has a ceiling as a decent #2, solid #3, advantageous #4 pitcher in a rotation, but hasn’t been able to put all the pieces together yet. The Weekly Dispatch is a column on the Brewers. 'On' may do heavier lifting on some weeks than others. The key players out of the bullpen are also solid to exceptional. Newly-extended Aaron Ashby remains a work in progress, but the Brewers’ faith in his ability to become a consistent force and enter the rotation in the future is not unjustified. Brad Boxberger, while obscenely overused in 2022, remains reliable out of the bullpen. Devin Williams has been given center stage after Josh Hader was inexplicably traded to the Padres for damaged goods and prospects. If it wasn’t obvious before that the Brewers’ front office assumed 2022 would be a facsimile of an all-time franchise best 2021, it is now. Assuming a lack of injury, that the league wouldn’t in some ways catch up to their formidable starters and bullpen, that run prevention would be as effective as it has been, that the stuff would be as crisp as ever, was folly. Not bolstering the offense beyond adding Hunter Renfroe in the offseason, or getting an impact bat or two at any time before the trade deadline only added pressure to a staff that had more than contributed their share to the club’s unprecedented fourth-consecutive postseason appearance. David Stearns and Matt Arnold tried to get blood from turnips, and their patience ran out as evidenced by the Hader trade. And, in some ways, they may have signaled a fatalist approach to a meat grinder 31 games in 31 days. The Brewers’ pitching staff entering play Saturday is second in the National League in hits allowed (864) and third in strikeouts (1043), but tenth in walks and 11th in home runs (365, 126). This talented, vaunted corps musters only a 106 adjusted ERA, falling well short of the 120 achievement from last year’s franchise-best staff. Yes, part of that is missing Peralta and Houser for stretches, Ethan Small’s struggles and needing to rely on Chi Chi Gonzalez to provide meaningful, productive innings, but injuries and regression are both parts of baseball life and it’s exceptionally difficult to meet historic bests in consecutive years. I projected out how this pitching staff may finish the season based on numbers through Friday night: 1456 strikeouts, 1422 hits, 530 walks, 186 home runs and a consistent 106 ERA+. No team in the expansion era has met or exceeded those counting numbers except the 2019 Boston Red Sox. They finished 84-78, third in the American League Central and had the luxury of an offensive core featuring Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. Their adjusted ERA? 104. It should come as no surprise that all the talk from the team about a World Series before and after the All-Star break has abruptly stopped. Further, while the eye test indicates defensive regression, ERA to FIP is relatively flat (3.84, 3.90), while it should also be noted that the SIERA-to-ERA contrast suggests defensive lapses have been a little more impactful (3.65) while being somewhat counterbalanced and perhaps disguised by the gaudy strikeout totals. It’s also possible that the Brewers’ philosophy with their starting pitchers is to actually emphasize pitch to contact, leaning too much on run prevention and the strikeouts are more a reflection of the era, or more bug than feature. The problem is that the Brewers’ three major starters and Ashby are strikeout guys, and asking them to nibble around the edges to induce contact is not the best way to utilize their respective repertoires. This could potentially explain the two-strike struggles Ashby has, as diagnosed excellently earlier this weekend here by Tim Muma, while also generally providing insight as to why impact strikeout guys aren’t getting efficient Ks, triggering shorter starts and overextending the Brewers’ beleaguered, triaged middle relief. Whatever happened to the wipeout pitch? Between an offense that generally struggles with run support and opponents’ seeming knack for driving balls in 2022 they weren’t in ‘21, while also outlasting Brewer pitchers with walks and base knocks, the pitching has no margin for error. Asking for excellence and effort is one thing, asking for perfection – while apparently being content with a deficient, bordering on broken offense – is another. Like getting blood from a turnip. Stathead and Fangraphs were used in informing this article. View full article
  3. Coming out of the 2022 Trade Deadline, the Milwaukee Brewers were part of one of the big blockbuster trades for the year. In the trade, the sent LHP Josh Hader, their 3x Reliever of the Year and 4x All-Star closer, to the San Diego Padres for LHP reliever Taylor Rogers, LHP prospect Robert Gasser, RHP Dinelson Lamet, and OF Esteury Ruiz. Following the big August 1st trade, the Brewers then proceeded to acquire some more arms to add to their bullpen including RHP Dave Bush and a head-scratching trade for RHP Trevor Rosenthal. Like the additions or not, the largest question revolves around... where's the bat? What message does this send to the team and to their fans? What kind of impact can a trade like this have on the mentality of the team? Where do they go from here and what can we be optimistic about? Come join our Quick Pitch segment as we discuss the trade and these questions.
  4. Coming out of the 2022 Trade Deadline, the Milwaukee Brewers were part of one of the big blockbuster trades for the year. In the trade, the sent LHP Josh Hader, their 3x Reliever of the Year and 4x All-Star closer, to the San Diego Padres for LHP reliever Taylor Rogers, LHP prospect Robert Gasser, RHP Dinelson Lamet, and OF Esteury Ruiz. Following the big August 1st trade, the Brewers then proceeded to acquire some more arms to add to their bullpen including RHP Dave Bush and a head-scratching trade for RHP Trevor Rosenthal. Like the additions or not, the largest question revolves around... where's the bat? What message does this send to the team and to their fans? What kind of impact can a trade like this have on the mentality of the team? Where do they go from here and what can we be optimistic about? Come join our Quick Pitch segment as we discuss the trade and these questions. View full video
  5. Tommy Ciacciio "It finally happened" is a weird way to start a conversation about something that feels counterintuitive and inorganic. I understand that the identity of the closer is outsized relative to their actual value. That said, since the moment Josh Hader was acquired for Carlos Gomez all those years ago, he's been inextricably attached to the identity of the Brewers as fearless small market titans who are perpetually competitive. It's rational to react negatively when the author of so many emotional moments is abruptly and permanently absent from the role you've associated them with for years. It's important to take a birds-eye view of the situation and assess whether or not those emotions have purchase when considering the trade's effect on the team. And my (unsolicited) objective, sterile and emotionless opinion? They do not. Sports are about the moment. As much as the spindly flamethrowing Josh Hader may have appeared nearly superhuman in his dominance, the metrics don't suggest irreplaceability. The most immediately useful piece is Taylor Rogers. An All-Star last year, Rogers doesn't have what it takes to replace Hader directly, but he does have what it takes to set up for Devin Williams, who hasn't allowed a run since May 10th. Dinelson Lamet is the player with the second most major league experience. While less effective due to a series of injuries, he is only two years separated from a fourth place Cy Young finish. And then there is Robert Gasser and Esteury Ruiz to complete the trade. A pitching and outfield prospect respectively, each comes with an exciting high ceiling. Gasser is a crafty control pitcher who, despite not having dominating velocity, has managed a 30.5% strikeout rate. The speedy Ruiz maintained a gaudy .450 OBP in double and triple-A over 374 plate appearances. There are worse problems than being loaded with a bastion of young, elite talent, but with elite talent comes commensurate paydays. The Brewers will soon be forced to navigate paydays for Woodruff and Burnes, Adames and Urias. Investing heavily in a one-inning asset, even one of historical domination, just wasn't tenable. Fortunately, the savvy Stearns regime has found a way to trade him for a hefty bounty and remain at least as close to competitive as they were Monday morning. Kyle Ginsbach I'll admit I was initially shocked when the trade was first broken. After the initial shock died down, I was on board. I think what many fans are missing with this deal is the real value of the return. Though Rogers isn't the same caliber as Hader, he's a proven major league reliever, and the Brewers might not even ask him to close. Neither Ruiz nor Lament are proven big leaguers, but both ooze with potential. Ruiz boasted an OPS over 1.000 and stole over 60 bags in AAA this year. Lament arguably boasts Cy-Young caliber stuff when he's healthy and has command. Though Gasser's numbers don't jump off the page, any pitcher the Brewers front office is high on is worth noting. Most Brewer fans are aware of what they're losing, and as hard as it may be to see Hader go, now was probably the right time. More than ever, the Brewers can replace a closer, and there's never a bad time to add young talent. Obviously, the Brewers are betting they can replace Hader's production and add for the future. If that's the case, I'm sold. Caswell Dommisse Do I think the Crew could have gotten more? Probably. But the reliever market has changed so much since that huge Aroldis Chapman trade that brought him to Chicago back in 2016. This trade seems pretty fair overall. Rogers and Lamet are both exciting pitchers. Rogers has 28 saves on the year, second to Hader's 29 across the entire MLB, and offers an intriguing approach. His numbers are drastically elevated from one appearance back on June 2nd in Milwaukee, where he took the loss with four earned runs. Rogers is a free agent at year's end, but Lamet will be arbitration-eligible for one more season. He has struggled with injuries but has elite stretches. Looking at both of these guys makes it seem like the Padres limit their pitchers quite a bit, as each has decreased their pitch repertoire this season, so both could be a little different than what we've seen thus far. I am wondering what the plan will be with Lamet, who is a better starter than a reliever (3.78 ERA versus 6.90). Gasser looks to be quite good, and with the way the Crew has been developing pitchers, I'd be very excited if I were him to work in the pitching lab. I expect him to make a jump shortly and for fans to hear from him soon. He will need to limit the extra-base hits against right-handed batters, who have slugged .457 despite an average of .262. Lefties need to be concerned, though, with only 1(!) extra-base hit, a double, against him and an average of just .216. I am underwhelmed about Ruiz, but he has had some really good numbers in the minors this year, so maybe David Stearns sees him filling in that center field gap I talked about in my article a couple of days ago. Overall, I am very happy with this deal; it gives quite a bit of insight into the general direction the Brewers have as an organization. Rather than draining the farm for one huge run, a sustained attack with many runs where the team hopes to get lucky is critical for a small market team who won't pay those big free agents.
  6. We asked a few or our writers for their initial reactions and to breakdown the trade that send Josh Hader away from the Brewers during a NL Central division race. Here were their reactions. Tommy Ciacciio "It finally happened" is a weird way to start a conversation about something that feels counterintuitive and inorganic. I understand that the identity of the closer is outsized relative to their actual value. That said, since the moment Josh Hader was acquired for Carlos Gomez all those years ago, he's been inextricably attached to the identity of the Brewers as fearless small market titans who are perpetually competitive. It's rational to react negatively when the author of so many emotional moments is abruptly and permanently absent from the role you've associated them with for years. It's important to take a birds-eye view of the situation and assess whether or not those emotions have purchase when considering the trade's effect on the team. And my (unsolicited) objective, sterile and emotionless opinion? They do not. Sports are about the moment. As much as the spindly flamethrowing Josh Hader may have appeared nearly superhuman in his dominance, the metrics don't suggest irreplaceability. The most immediately useful piece is Taylor Rogers. An All-Star last year, Rogers doesn't have what it takes to replace Hader directly, but he does have what it takes to set up for Devin Williams, who hasn't allowed a run since May 10th. Dinelson Lamet is the player with the second most major league experience. While less effective due to a series of injuries, he is only two years separated from a fourth place Cy Young finish. And then there is Robert Gasser and Esteury Ruiz to complete the trade. A pitching and outfield prospect respectively, each comes with an exciting high ceiling. Gasser is a crafty control pitcher who, despite not having dominating velocity, has managed a 30.5% strikeout rate. The speedy Ruiz maintained a gaudy .450 OBP in double and triple-A over 374 plate appearances. There are worse problems than being loaded with a bastion of young, elite talent, but with elite talent comes commensurate paydays. The Brewers will soon be forced to navigate paydays for Woodruff and Burnes, Adames and Urias. Investing heavily in a one-inning asset, even one of historical domination, just wasn't tenable. Fortunately, the savvy Stearns regime has found a way to trade him for a hefty bounty and remain at least as close to competitive as they were Monday morning. Kyle Ginsbach I'll admit I was initially shocked when the trade was first broken. After the initial shock died down, I was on board. I think what many fans are missing with this deal is the real value of the return. Though Rogers isn't the same caliber as Hader, he's a proven major league reliever, and the Brewers might not even ask him to close. Neither Ruiz nor Lament are proven big leaguers, but both ooze with potential. Ruiz boasted an OPS over 1.000 and stole over 60 bags in AAA this year. Lament arguably boasts Cy-Young caliber stuff when he's healthy and has command. Though Gasser's numbers don't jump off the page, any pitcher the Brewers front office is high on is worth noting. Most Brewer fans are aware of what they're losing, and as hard as it may be to see Hader go, now was probably the right time. More than ever, the Brewers can replace a closer, and there's never a bad time to add young talent. Obviously, the Brewers are betting they can replace Hader's production and add for the future. If that's the case, I'm sold. Caswell Dommisse Do I think the Crew could have gotten more? Probably. But the reliever market has changed so much since that huge Aroldis Chapman trade that brought him to Chicago back in 2016. This trade seems pretty fair overall. Rogers and Lamet are both exciting pitchers. Rogers has 28 saves on the year, second to Hader's 29 across the entire MLB, and offers an intriguing approach. His numbers are drastically elevated from one appearance back on June 2nd in Milwaukee, where he took the loss with four earned runs. Rogers is a free agent at year's end, but Lamet will be arbitration-eligible for one more season. He has struggled with injuries but has elite stretches. Looking at both of these guys makes it seem like the Padres limit their pitchers quite a bit, as each has decreased their pitch repertoire this season, so both could be a little different than what we've seen thus far. I am wondering what the plan will be with Lamet, who is a better starter than a reliever (3.78 ERA versus 6.90). Gasser looks to be quite good, and with the way the Crew has been developing pitchers, I'd be very excited if I were him to work in the pitching lab. I expect him to make a jump shortly and for fans to hear from him soon. He will need to limit the extra-base hits against right-handed batters, who have slugged .457 despite an average of .262. Lefties need to be concerned, though, with only 1(!) extra-base hit, a double, against him and an average of just .216. I am underwhelmed about Ruiz, but he has had some really good numbers in the minors this year, so maybe David Stearns sees him filling in that center field gap I talked about in my article a couple of days ago. Overall, I am very happy with this deal; it gives quite a bit of insight into the general direction the Brewers have as an organization. Rather than draining the farm for one huge run, a sustained attack with many runs where the team hopes to get lucky is critical for a small market team who won't pay those big free agents. View full article
  7. Firstly, I think it's fair to say: this isn't how any of us imagined the Brewers trade deadline kicking off. Like many Brewers fans, I was quite shocked when I saw the news alerts begin rapid firing in succession on my iPhone screen. Josh Hader has become synonymous with pretty much all facets of Milwaukee Brewers success. And, poof, just like that, our stud closer was gone. If there's anything we've come to learn since David Stearns took the helm atop the Brewers decision-making ladder it most certainly is: expect the unexpected. Just when you think they're targeting a Josh Bell or a Ramon Laureano, they go right ahead and send out their HOF closer in the midst of a division lead and a mad dash for the playoffs. And, so here we are. If we step back and consider what Stearns shared publicly post-trade this all starts to make a bit more sense. Take a look here: A significant piece of the Hader trade haul puzzle is the difficult decision of letting a HOF closer go for a very good MLB replacement - i.e. staying relevant now - while also keeping a keen eye toward future competitiveness - i.e. having multiple more chances to be relevant in the future. This is an extremely difficult thing to do. I'm unqualified to make salary prognostications but suffice to say: the Brewers saved salary NOW and have more flexibility during the next 24 hours. I commend the personnel department for their willingness to see the forest for the trees - even if it means sending out an all-time great. They've also added a tantalizing outfield talent to an already robust outfield pool and they've acquired a very toolsy lefty to add to a pitching pool that, frankly, needs depth. I will simply say: from my vantage point, today the Milwaukee Brewers Minor League system improved considerably. The Brewers acquired two very interesting and exciting players. And, in Gasser, they may have simply acquired the best pitcher in their entire system. OF Esteury Ruiz You'll be hard-pressed to find a more dominant and improved season at any level in Minor League baseball than the 2021 to 2022 quantitative and qualitative output of OF Esteury Ruiz . It's quite obvious, the Brewers see staying power with Ruiz's improved plate output and they already love his speed. And, frankly, they aren't the only ones. Consider these examples: Dive into that 'Prospect Larceny' list and you'll see two things: the Brewers have seven top-100 prospects offensively (list on the left) and, in this particular metric, Esteury Ruiz is the Brewers highest rated offensive player. Yes, ahead of super-phenom OF Jackson Chourio. You can pick and choose amongst stat metrics, obviously, and I'm not going to do that here (even if I did!), but the main point is: in 2022, at least, Esteury Ruiz is really really good. Top 10 talent good. However, to simply claim he just suddenly broke out also isn't true. This is a player who has taken a gradual path of meaningful Minor League improvement. As noted by Prospects 1500's Alex Sanchez in early June: Some have pointed to his 60 stolen bases in MILB this season and offered sentiments like: "Well, he just knows how to steal bases." Ummmm, yes. And, to be frank: he's just extremely fast. See the following: You've seen the above run-down diving catch in center field. Well, how about a chase-down extremely difficult catch in right field? How about a running and diving catch in right field at the Major League level? A successful steal off an obvious fastball? It would appear he's safe by a couple seconds: Hey, guess what? Esteury Ruiz is extremely fast on a baseball field. Ruiz batted primarily lead-off and in the two-hole for San Diego. Obviously, they wanted to get that speed on the base paths. Have I mentioned he's fast? Ok, good. Phew. So, what it would appear it comes down to with Perez is quite simple: can he maintain the batting improvements we see in his 2022 Minor League season and maintain some semblance of this at the Major League level? It's much too early to tell but, but it's easy to see why the Brewers wanted him in this deal. As for the 2022 Double and Triple-A numbers: I'm excited to see how he fares in Nashville! This is a player David Stearns believes might appear with the Brewers this season. And, certainly, this is another player in the outfield mix for the seasons ahead. Does this mean other moves are on the trade deadline horizon? Possibly. It might also simply mean a bigger apple. LHP Robert Gasser I definitely am intrigued and love what I see from Esteury Ruiz - I feel he offers an extremely enticing toolkit to an MLB club. However, if I'm being honest, I'm more excited about what Robert Gasser brings to the Brewers' organizational pitching depth. Gasser seems like a young pitcher tailor-made for the Brewers esteemed 'pitching lab'. Just look at this interview from the beloved Fangraphs website. Notable quotes of intrigue: This is a young hurler that embodies what every modern pitching program is striving to achieve: a player invested in analytic-driven tweaks, implementation, and evolution-driven results. And, there are distinct reasons Gasser won the Midwest League's pitcher of the week in late June: he's gotten better this season and he's seeing the fruits of his labor. Honestly, it's a shame the Brewers couldn't have placed him in High-A Wisconsin to kick off his Brewers career; the Timber Rattlers would have briefly had the 1,2,3 spots in the Midwest League strikeout leader board with Jarvis, Gasser, and Kelly. Keep in mind, Gasser has more K's than coveted LHP Antoine Kelly (now with the Rangers, it would appear), but, half the walks. Gasser will join Brandon Knarr and T.JShook in Biloxi and help stabilize an improving starting rotation down south. And, who knows, maybe Jarvis heads south as well. I first became aware of this 2022 improved version of Gasser when I watched him absolutely dominate the Timber Rattlers bats on May 8th (6 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 6 K). I continued to watch him peripherally as I monitored the Midwest pitching leader board - and, yes, he had some hiccups as High-A pitchers do. But, he had absolutely found aspects of his stuff in the past two months that would leave any organization wanting more: Here's Fort Wayne's Journal Gazette writer, Dylan Sinn, sharing locally. As noted in this article, and discussed in the trade aftermath: there is more significant speed discrepancies available between his fastball repertoire and his off-speed stuff. When that speed gap widens, we'll most likely see even more swings and misses. Given his commitment to horizontal and vertical movement, I firmly believe this is in the cards. And, make no mistake, Gasser had clearly become the Tin Caps' ace: A Double-A promotion is the obvious next step. Let's see what he can accomplish in Biloxi! So where will Gasser and Ruiz land in our 'Top Prospects' lists? It's very easy to see, in my humble opinion, both prospects will immediately fall in the Brewer Fanatic Top 10 (Brewer Fanatic Prospect Tracker Here). I advise: don't get caught up in early-season rankings placing Ruiz #28 on the MLB Pipeline Padres list - this is an ascending player who's already made it to the Major Leagues this year which is something we can't say for Chourio, Frelick, Wiemer, or Mitchell. This being said, both players are changing organizations and with that comes an unknown period of adjustment(s). So, without further ado, I will offer you my Brewers post-trade Top 10 as I see it: (1) Jackson Chourio (2) Sal Frelick (3) Brice Turang (4) Robert Gasser (5) Esteury Ruiz (6) Garrett Mitchell (7) Eric Brown Jr. (8) Joey Wiemer (9) Tyler Black (10) Hendry Mendez Apologies to my 'Spirit Animal', but, Joey Wiemer's offensive slump is real - I'm simply waiting for an exodus into expected XBH pastures. No apologies for the talent I am sharing here. Absolutely none at all.
  8. An important part of the Josh Hader trade - and long may Josh Hader live joyously in the hearts of Brewers fans - were two highly-touted but possibly (probably likely) off-your-radar Padres prospects in OF Esteury Ruiz and LHP Robert Gasser. Ruiz will begin his Brewers career in Nashville (AAA) while Gasser will take the mound for Biloxi (AA). So, who are these prospects anyhow and what might we expect? And do you have any cool clips of them playing? Yes. Yes, I do. I am here to give you a brief overview and some general thoughts. So, let's get to it! Firstly, I think it's fair to say: this isn't how any of us imagined the Brewers trade deadline kicking off. Like many Brewers fans, I was quite shocked when I saw the news alerts begin rapid firing in succession on my iPhone screen. Josh Hader has become synonymous with pretty much all facets of Milwaukee Brewers success. And, poof, just like that, our stud closer was gone. If there's anything we've come to learn since David Stearns took the helm atop the Brewers decision-making ladder it most certainly is: expect the unexpected. Just when you think they're targeting a Josh Bell or a Ramon Laureano, they go right ahead and send out their HOF closer in the midst of a division lead and a mad dash for the playoffs. And, so here we are. If we step back and consider what Stearns shared publicly post-trade this all starts to make a bit more sense. Take a look here: A significant piece of the Hader trade haul puzzle is the difficult decision of letting a HOF closer go for a very good MLB replacement - i.e. staying relevant now - while also keeping a keen eye toward future competitiveness - i.e. having multiple more chances to be relevant in the future. This is an extremely difficult thing to do. I'm unqualified to make salary prognostications but suffice to say: the Brewers saved salary NOW and have more flexibility during the next 24 hours. I commend the personnel department for their willingness to see the forest for the trees - even if it means sending out an all-time great. They've also added a tantalizing outfield talent to an already robust outfield pool and they've acquired a very toolsy lefty to add to a pitching pool that, frankly, needs depth. I will simply say: from my vantage point, today the Milwaukee Brewers Minor League system improved considerably. The Brewers acquired two very interesting and exciting players. And, in Gasser, they may have simply acquired the best pitcher in their entire system. OF Esteury Ruiz You'll be hard-pressed to find a more dominant and improved season at any level in Minor League baseball than the 2021 to 2022 quantitative and qualitative output of OF Esteury Ruiz . It's quite obvious, the Brewers see staying power with Ruiz's improved plate output and they already love his speed. And, frankly, they aren't the only ones. Consider these examples: Dive into that 'Prospect Larceny' list and you'll see two things: the Brewers have seven top-100 prospects offensively (list on the left) and, in this particular metric, Esteury Ruiz is the Brewers highest rated offensive player. Yes, ahead of super-phenom OF Jackson Chourio. You can pick and choose amongst stat metrics, obviously, and I'm not going to do that here (even if I did!), but the main point is: in 2022, at least, Esteury Ruiz is really really good. Top 10 talent good. However, to simply claim he just suddenly broke out also isn't true. This is a player who has taken a gradual path of meaningful Minor League improvement. As noted by Prospects 1500's Alex Sanchez in early June: Some have pointed to his 60 stolen bases in MILB this season and offered sentiments like: "Well, he just knows how to steal bases." Ummmm, yes. And, to be frank: he's just extremely fast. See the following: You've seen the above run-down diving catch in center field. Well, how about a chase-down extremely difficult catch in right field? How about a running and diving catch in right field at the Major League level? A successful steal off an obvious fastball? It would appear he's safe by a couple seconds: Hey, guess what? Esteury Ruiz is extremely fast on a baseball field. Ruiz batted primarily lead-off and in the two-hole for San Diego. Obviously, they wanted to get that speed on the base paths. Have I mentioned he's fast? Ok, good. Phew. So, what it would appear it comes down to with Perez is quite simple: can he maintain the batting improvements we see in his 2022 Minor League season and maintain some semblance of this at the Major League level? It's much too early to tell but, but it's easy to see why the Brewers wanted him in this deal. As for the 2022 Double and Triple-A numbers: I'm excited to see how he fares in Nashville! This is a player David Stearns believes might appear with the Brewers this season. And, certainly, this is another player in the outfield mix for the seasons ahead. Does this mean other moves are on the trade deadline horizon? Possibly. It might also simply mean a bigger apple. LHP Robert Gasser I definitely am intrigued and love what I see from Esteury Ruiz - I feel he offers an extremely enticing toolkit to an MLB club. However, if I'm being honest, I'm more excited about what Robert Gasser brings to the Brewers' organizational pitching depth. Gasser seems like a young pitcher tailor-made for the Brewers esteemed 'pitching lab'. Just look at this interview from the beloved Fangraphs website. Notable quotes of intrigue: This is a young hurler that embodies what every modern pitching program is striving to achieve: a player invested in analytic-driven tweaks, implementation, and evolution-driven results. And, there are distinct reasons Gasser won the Midwest League's pitcher of the week in late June: he's gotten better this season and he's seeing the fruits of his labor. Honestly, it's a shame the Brewers couldn't have placed him in High-A Wisconsin to kick off his Brewers career; the Timber Rattlers would have briefly had the 1,2,3 spots in the Midwest League strikeout leader board with Jarvis, Gasser, and Kelly. Keep in mind, Gasser has more K's than coveted LHP Antoine Kelly (now with the Rangers, it would appear), but, half the walks. Gasser will join Brandon Knarr and T.JShook in Biloxi and help stabilize an improving starting rotation down south. And, who knows, maybe Jarvis heads south as well. I first became aware of this 2022 improved version of Gasser when I watched him absolutely dominate the Timber Rattlers bats on May 8th (6 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 6 K). I continued to watch him peripherally as I monitored the Midwest pitching leader board - and, yes, he had some hiccups as High-A pitchers do. But, he had absolutely found aspects of his stuff in the past two months that would leave any organization wanting more: Here's Fort Wayne's Journal Gazette writer, Dylan Sinn, sharing locally. As noted in this article, and discussed in the trade aftermath: there is more significant speed discrepancies available between his fastball repertoire and his off-speed stuff. When that speed gap widens, we'll most likely see even more swings and misses. Given his commitment to horizontal and vertical movement, I firmly believe this is in the cards. And, make no mistake, Gasser had clearly become the Tin Caps' ace: A Double-A promotion is the obvious next step. Let's see what he can accomplish in Biloxi! So where will Gasser and Ruiz land in our 'Top Prospects' lists? It's very easy to see, in my humble opinion, both prospects will immediately fall in the Brewer Fanatic Top 10 (Brewer Fanatic Prospect Tracker Here). I advise: don't get caught up in early-season rankings placing Ruiz #28 on the MLB Pipeline Padres list - this is an ascending player who's already made it to the Major Leagues this year which is something we can't say for Chourio, Frelick, Wiemer, or Mitchell. This being said, both players are changing organizations and with that comes an unknown period of adjustment(s). So, without further ado, I will offer you my Brewers post-trade Top 10 as I see it: (1) Jackson Chourio (2) Sal Frelick (3) Brice Turang (4) Robert Gasser (5) Esteury Ruiz (6) Garrett Mitchell (7) Eric Brown Jr. (8) Joey Wiemer (9) Tyler Black (10) Hendry Mendez Apologies to my 'Spirit Animal', but, Joey Wiemer's offensive slump is real - I'm simply waiting for an exodus into expected XBH pastures. No apologies for the talent I am sharing here. Absolutely none at all. View full article
  9. Per a report from Jeff Passan, Brewers left-handed reliever Josh Hader has been traded to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Taylor Rogers and prospects. More information to come as details unfold. Taylor Rogers, who is a free agent at the end of the season, is also left-handed and after several successful seasons with the Minnesota Twins, was traded to San Diego just before Opening Day. Rogers has struggled in the closer role for the Padres, blowing seven saves and posting a WPA of -0.5. Josh Hader leads MLB with 29 saves. Rogers is second with 28 saves. This marks the third time that Hader has been traded at the July deadline in his career. A 19th-round pick in 2012 by the Orioles, he was traded to the Astros in a deal that sent Bud Norris to Baltimore. Then at the July deadline in 2016, he and three others were traded to the Brewers for right-hander Mike Fiers and Carlos Gomez. Hader made his debut in 2017 and has been named to each All Star team since 2018. In his six seasons with The Crew, he pitched in 269 games, all out of the bullpen. He is 17-17 but has 125 career saves. In 316 1/3 innings, he struck out an incredible 541 batters (15.4 K/9). Robert Gasser is a 23-year-old left-handed pitcher in A-Ball. He is the Padres #7 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Esteury Ruiz is a 23-year-old outfielder. ranked #28 on the Padres MLB Pipeline rankings. He has spent time with the Padres. Dinelson Lamet, 29, has recently been brought back to the Padres after fighting injuries the last couple of years. He has shown flashes of brilliance recently out of the bullpen, though the sample size is very small and the ERA isn't pretty (9.49 in 12 1/3 innings). If he can harness some control, he could provide depth to the Brewers bullpen. Heading into play on Monday, the Brewers are 57-45, three games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals atop the NL Central division. The Padres are 57-46 which puts them 12 games behind the NL West-leading Dodgers (68-33). There it is. How do you feel about the Brewers trading Hader, and specifically, how do you feel about the reported return?
  10. Rumors have circulated that Hader could be dealt but most expected it to occur in the offseason, not during a division race. Per a report from Jeff Passan, Brewers left-handed reliever Josh Hader has been traded to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Taylor Rogers and prospects. More information to come as details unfold. Taylor Rogers, who is a free agent at the end of the season, is also left-handed and after several successful seasons with the Minnesota Twins, was traded to San Diego just before Opening Day. Rogers has struggled in the closer role for the Padres, blowing seven saves and posting a WPA of -0.5. Josh Hader leads MLB with 29 saves. Rogers is second with 28 saves. This marks the third time that Hader has been traded at the July deadline in his career. A 19th-round pick in 2012 by the Orioles, he was traded to the Astros in a deal that sent Bud Norris to Baltimore. Then at the July deadline in 2016, he and three others were traded to the Brewers for right-hander Mike Fiers and Carlos Gomez. Hader made his debut in 2017 and has been named to each All Star team since 2018. In his six seasons with The Crew, he pitched in 269 games, all out of the bullpen. He is 17-17 but has 125 career saves. In 316 1/3 innings, he struck out an incredible 541 batters (15.4 K/9). Robert Gasser is a 23-year-old left-handed pitcher in A-Ball. He is the Padres #7 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Esteury Ruiz is a 23-year-old outfielder. ranked #28 on the Padres MLB Pipeline rankings. He has spent time with the Padres. Dinelson Lamet, 29, has recently been brought back to the Padres after fighting injuries the last couple of years. He has shown flashes of brilliance recently out of the bullpen, though the sample size is very small and the ERA isn't pretty (9.49 in 12 1/3 innings). If he can harness some control, he could provide depth to the Brewers bullpen. Heading into play on Monday, the Brewers are 57-45, three games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals atop the NL Central division. The Padres are 57-46 which puts them 12 games behind the NL West-leading Dodgers (68-33). There it is. How do you feel about the Brewers trading Hader, and specifically, how do you feel about the reported return? View full article
  11. Game 1 -- Brewers 6, Twins 3 Box Score Game one of the series was only occasionally stalled by rain, thunder, and lightning, as the Brewers and Twins waited at times for the ground crew to pull the tarp out only to immediately take it back off the field. Three separate weather delays held the game up, but ultimately the game was able to be completed in its entirety. The Brewers jumped out to a quick lead on a two-run, opposite-field poke from Andrew McCutchen. With his early season struggles well behind him, McCutchen has put up a .941 OPS with five home runs over the last 28 days. With so many injuries to the outfield, McCutchen has been forced into action in the field more than the Brewers had likely planned, and his -.4 dWAR undoes some of his offensive value, but he's been one of the offensive anchors for the past six to eight weeks. Brewers starter Jason Alexander gave up single tallies in the second and fourth innings, while the Brewers offense was held in check by Twins starter Josh Winder through the fourth after the McCutchen home run. In the fifth inning, light-hitting Jonathan Davis slapped a single to center to score Hunter Renfroe and restore the Brewers lead at 3-2. With two outs and Davis on base, Willy Adames hit a towering home run to left that either the cameraman lost, or hasn't come down yet. Given the rain delay between his last inning, and possibly other factors, manager Craig Counsell pulled Alexander in favor of reliever Jandel Gustave who pitched a scoreless fifth inning. The Brewers stretched the lead to 6-2 on a Jace Peterson RBI single in the sixth inning. The Twins struck back for one off of recently-struggling reliever Brad Boxberger. The Brewers will have to have Boxberger get things figured out quickly with Josh Hader also running into some trouble closing games out as of late as well. With no further drama (or rain delays) on the night, the Brewers brought Hader in, and he emphatically slammed the door, striking out the side in the ninth. Gustave gets the win to bump his record to 2-0 on the season and Hader records save number 27. Game 2 -- Twins 4, Brewers 1 Box Score The Brewers offense went dormant again, providing just one run on a solo home run by Peterson. Starter Aaron Ashby went just 4 1/3 innings, with his pitch count ballooning over 100. He allowed six hits and three walks but allowed just one run in his short stint. Despite Ashby's short start and the Brewers lack of offense, the bullpen locked things down for the bulk of the afternoon, as Trevor Gott, Boxberger, and Devin Williams held the Twins in check until the ninth inning. The Brewers offense was held punchless as well, offering up just the noted solo homerun by Peterson against Twins starter Joe Ryan in the third inning. The Crew managed just four hits on the day, went 0-6 with men in scoring position, and left six men on base all told. Going into the bottom of the ninth, each of the first two Twins reached base against Brewers all-star closer Hader, and the third batter of the inning, Jose Miranda, ended it all with a monstrous three-run second deck shot. The loss drops Hader to 0-3 on the season as the Brewers left Minnesota with a split in the short two-game set.
  12. The Brewers are clinging to a slim division lead and the Giants are trying to keep from becoming sellers as July turns to August. This four-game series has the ingredients for some potentially pivotal mid-season theatrics. It was around this time last year when cognitive dissonance began to leave baseball consciousness and people became willing to accept that, yes, the San Francisco Giants were legitimately good. It wasn’t until the last game of the season was finished that anyone could have predicted that they were 107-wins good, better-than-the-Dodgers good. The magic they captured last season hasn’t exactly replicated itself in 2022, and at present, being only two games over .500 has them hovering in the uncomfortable chasm between being buyers or sellers. What will the upcoming four-game series against the unpredictable Brewers do to put them more solidly in one of those categories? Let’s check out the match-ups. Thursday July 14th Corbin Burnes (7-4 2.20 ERA) Carlos Rodon (8-5 2.70 ERA) If there is one game to watch in this series, it’s this one. Two bonafide aces locking horns. At this point associating Corbin Burnes with excellence is needlessly redundant. A sub-three FIP is good enough to keep any team in any game, even one where the Brewers have to contend with the likes of Carlos Rodon. Speaking of Rodon, his path to San Francisco was forged when was non-tendered and re-signed by the White Sox last year and levied coming in fifth place in Cy Young voting into a two year $44M contract with the Giants. So far Rodon is doing everything in his power to make that contract look like a steal, and on the back of 2.70 ERA over exactly 100 IP it’s easy to make the case that he has. Friday July 15th Brandon Woodruff (7-3 4.01 ERA) Alex Wood (6-7 4.43 ERA) While the Giants sport the AL’s fifth place Cy Young pitcher in their rotation, the Brewers have the same for the NL in theirs. While you meditate on what type of payday Brandon Woodruff may be headed for, it’s worth looking at what he’s done with this season, particularly since returning from the IL. In his last start he gave up six hits in as many innings but no runs, and impressively 8 K’s. Alex Wood has been serviceable enough in his second year in a Giants uniform, with an ERA pretty much exactly at league average. With FIP at 3.26 it’s evident that Wood isn’t doing as good of a job of fooling pitchers as his history would suggest. Control has been a strong point for Wood, giving up a solid 2.2 bb/9, but his diminished velocity is allowing for a lot of pop off his bat. If the Brewers can exhibit patience, they can probably work Wood for a short outing and let Woodruff and the pen take care of the rest. Saturday July 16th Eric Lauer (6-3 3.83 ERA) Alex Cobb (3-4 4.57 ERA) If you squint hard enough you can make the case Eric Lauer is showing hints of his early season form. Despite having difficulty keeping runners off base, Lauer staved off the longball that’s been haunting him this season and struck out seven in a no-decision. Additionally, In the start prior, he struck out nine Cubs. The Giants are a better hitting team and will give better insight into where Lauer is truly at. Alex Cobb’s season started optimistically but has withered as the season has stretched on, despite occasional flashes of brilliance. Similar to his rotation-mate Wood, Cobb’s FIP is nearly a full point below the ERA, signifying that he’s simply just giving up a lot of hits. Cobb can’t be blamed for pitching for a team that is 26th in the rankings for errors committed, but the formula doesn’t portend particularly good things for Cobb’s pitching style. Sunday July 17th Jason Alexander (2-1 4.73 ERA) Logan Webb (8-3 2.82 ERA) The mystique of Jason Alexander has dissipated after a decent start. In his last start, Alexander worked for four innings, gave up two runs on three hits and a walk. This slog of a start actually belie his peripherals optimistically, which would suggest far worse numbers if extrapolated out to a standard start. This isn’t the type of thing anyone wishes on a player who has worked hard enough to get to the majors, but the numbers simply aren’t sustainable; particularly for a team that is in a tight playoff race. Joining Rodon in the egregious All-Star snub department is young righty Logan Webb. Snubs seem to be an ongoing part of Webb’s story. He netted zero Cy Young votes last year, despite the fact that his breakout was a major reason for the Giants success. Where Webb finds his success is in his craftiness. Without the kind of velocity he can just blow by hitters, he expertly moves the ball around the strike zone keeping batters guessing. The FIP on Webb is 3.01, corroborating how genuinely excellent he is. Players To Watch Webb - For all the reasons I mentioned above, but more specifically because (hot take alert) I think watching Webb is watching a multiple Cy Young award winner in his nascent stage. He’s already excellent, and he’s young enough that he has the chance to get significantly better. He presently leads the team in WAR with Rodon a tick behind. After that it’s a steep drop. Brandon Crawford - Not for his game play, which is a world away from what it was just last season. Watch Crawford because you have the chance to take in the slick fielding skills of the last vestiges of one of the most fun dynasties in sports in my entire lifetime. Posey, Lincecum, Cain and Pence are all enjoying retirement, but Crawford is still worth a sentimental watch. Josh Hader - It’s hard to imagine the surgical Hader in another uniform, but it’s almost harder to imagine a smaller market team investing a huge amount of money in a closer when they are already anchored by a brutal Christian Yelich contract and more expense forthcoming with Woody and Burnes going deeper into arbitration. Is it possible that Hader’s time in Cream City is coming to an end? It’s actually a possibility. Predictions This is a difficult series to predict in a way, namely because despite the disparate records, these two teams feel fairly evenly matched. The Brewers enjoy the luxury of one of the weakest divisions in baseball, and sometimes feel outmatched even against objectively mediocre teams. As unsatisfying as it is I suppose the safest bet is a split. View full article
  13. It was around this time last year when cognitive dissonance began to leave baseball consciousness and people became willing to accept that, yes, the San Francisco Giants were legitimately good. It wasn’t until the last game of the season was finished that anyone could have predicted that they were 107-wins good, better-than-the-Dodgers good. The magic they captured last season hasn’t exactly replicated itself in 2022, and at present, being only two games over .500 has them hovering in the uncomfortable chasm between being buyers or sellers. What will the upcoming four-game series against the unpredictable Brewers do to put them more solidly in one of those categories? Let’s check out the match-ups. Thursday July 14th Corbin Burnes (7-4 2.20 ERA) Carlos Rodon (8-5 2.70 ERA) If there is one game to watch in this series, it’s this one. Two bonafide aces locking horns. At this point associating Corbin Burnes with excellence is needlessly redundant. A sub-three FIP is good enough to keep any team in any game, even one where the Brewers have to contend with the likes of Carlos Rodon. Speaking of Rodon, his path to San Francisco was forged when was non-tendered and re-signed by the White Sox last year and levied coming in fifth place in Cy Young voting into a two year $44M contract with the Giants. So far Rodon is doing everything in his power to make that contract look like a steal, and on the back of 2.70 ERA over exactly 100 IP it’s easy to make the case that he has. Friday July 15th Brandon Woodruff (7-3 4.01 ERA) Alex Wood (6-7 4.43 ERA) While the Giants sport the AL’s fifth place Cy Young pitcher in their rotation, the Brewers have the same for the NL in theirs. While you meditate on what type of payday Brandon Woodruff may be headed for, it’s worth looking at what he’s done with this season, particularly since returning from the IL. In his last start he gave up six hits in as many innings but no runs, and impressively 8 K’s. Alex Wood has been serviceable enough in his second year in a Giants uniform, with an ERA pretty much exactly at league average. With FIP at 3.26 it’s evident that Wood isn’t doing as good of a job of fooling pitchers as his history would suggest. Control has been a strong point for Wood, giving up a solid 2.2 bb/9, but his diminished velocity is allowing for a lot of pop off his bat. If the Brewers can exhibit patience, they can probably work Wood for a short outing and let Woodruff and the pen take care of the rest. Saturday July 16th Eric Lauer (6-3 3.83 ERA) Alex Cobb (3-4 4.57 ERA) If you squint hard enough you can make the case Eric Lauer is showing hints of his early season form. Despite having difficulty keeping runners off base, Lauer staved off the longball that’s been haunting him this season and struck out seven in a no-decision. Additionally, In the start prior, he struck out nine Cubs. The Giants are a better hitting team and will give better insight into where Lauer is truly at. Alex Cobb’s season started optimistically but has withered as the season has stretched on, despite occasional flashes of brilliance. Similar to his rotation-mate Wood, Cobb’s FIP is nearly a full point below the ERA, signifying that he’s simply just giving up a lot of hits. Cobb can’t be blamed for pitching for a team that is 26th in the rankings for errors committed, but the formula doesn’t portend particularly good things for Cobb’s pitching style. Sunday July 17th Jason Alexander (2-1 4.73 ERA) Logan Webb (8-3 2.82 ERA) The mystique of Jason Alexander has dissipated after a decent start. In his last start, Alexander worked for four innings, gave up two runs on three hits and a walk. This slog of a start actually belie his peripherals optimistically, which would suggest far worse numbers if extrapolated out to a standard start. This isn’t the type of thing anyone wishes on a player who has worked hard enough to get to the majors, but the numbers simply aren’t sustainable; particularly for a team that is in a tight playoff race. Joining Rodon in the egregious All-Star snub department is young righty Logan Webb. Snubs seem to be an ongoing part of Webb’s story. He netted zero Cy Young votes last year, despite the fact that his breakout was a major reason for the Giants success. Where Webb finds his success is in his craftiness. Without the kind of velocity he can just blow by hitters, he expertly moves the ball around the strike zone keeping batters guessing. The FIP on Webb is 3.01, corroborating how genuinely excellent he is. Players To Watch Webb - For all the reasons I mentioned above, but more specifically because (hot take alert) I think watching Webb is watching a multiple Cy Young award winner in his nascent stage. He’s already excellent, and he’s young enough that he has the chance to get significantly better. He presently leads the team in WAR with Rodon a tick behind. After that it’s a steep drop. Brandon Crawford - Not for his game play, which is a world away from what it was just last season. Watch Crawford because you have the chance to take in the slick fielding skills of the last vestiges of one of the most fun dynasties in sports in my entire lifetime. Posey, Lincecum, Cain and Pence are all enjoying retirement, but Crawford is still worth a sentimental watch. Josh Hader - It’s hard to imagine the surgical Hader in another uniform, but it’s almost harder to imagine a smaller market team investing a huge amount of money in a closer when they are already anchored by a brutal Christian Yelich contract and more expense forthcoming with Woody and Burnes going deeper into arbitration. Is it possible that Hader’s time in Cream City is coming to an end? It’s actually a possibility. Predictions This is a difficult series to predict in a way, namely because despite the disparate records, these two teams feel fairly evenly matched. The Brewers enjoy the luxury of one of the weakest divisions in baseball, and sometimes feel outmatched even against objectively mediocre teams. As unsatisfying as it is I suppose the safest bet is a split.
  14. With the Crew coming off a lackluster home stand, they looked to rebound against their cross border American League rival Minnesota Twins. The lineup was bolstered with the return of Hunter Renfroe from the IL after a second extended stay for hamstring issues. Game 1 -- Brewers 6, Twins 3 Box Score Game one of the series was only occasionally stalled by rain, thunder, and lightning, as the Brewers and Twins waited at times for the ground crew to pull the tarp out only to immediately take it back off the field. Three separate weather delays held the game up, but ultimately the game was able to be completed in its entirety. The Brewers jumped out to a quick lead on a two-run, opposite-field poke from Andrew McCutchen. With his early season struggles well behind him, McCutchen has put up a .941 OPS with five home runs over the last 28 days. With so many injuries to the outfield, McCutchen has been forced into action in the field more than the Brewers had likely planned, and his -.4 dWAR undoes some of his offensive value, but he's been one of the offensive anchors for the past six to eight weeks. Brewers starter Jason Alexander gave up single tallies in the second and fourth innings, while the Brewers offense was held in check by Twins starter Josh Winder through the fourth after the McCutchen home run. In the fifth inning, light-hitting Jonathan Davis slapped a single to center to score Hunter Renfroe and restore the Brewers lead at 3-2. With two outs and Davis on base, Willy Adames hit a towering home run to left that either the cameraman lost, or hasn't come down yet. Given the rain delay between his last inning, and possibly other factors, manager Craig Counsell pulled Alexander in favor of reliever Jandel Gustave who pitched a scoreless fifth inning. The Brewers stretched the lead to 6-2 on a Jace Peterson RBI single in the sixth inning. The Twins struck back for one off of recently-struggling reliever Brad Boxberger. The Brewers will have to have Boxberger get things figured out quickly with Josh Hader also running into some trouble closing games out as of late as well. With no further drama (or rain delays) on the night, the Brewers brought Hader in, and he emphatically slammed the door, striking out the side in the ninth. Gustave gets the win to bump his record to 2-0 on the season and Hader records save number 27. Game 2 -- Twins 4, Brewers 1 Box Score The Brewers offense went dormant again, providing just one run on a solo home run by Peterson. Starter Aaron Ashby went just 4 1/3 innings, with his pitch count ballooning over 100. He allowed six hits and three walks but allowed just one run in his short stint. Despite Ashby's short start and the Brewers lack of offense, the bullpen locked things down for the bulk of the afternoon, as Trevor Gott, Boxberger, and Devin Williams held the Twins in check until the ninth inning. The Brewers offense was held punchless as well, offering up just the noted solo homerun by Peterson against Twins starter Joe Ryan in the third inning. The Crew managed just four hits on the day, went 0-6 with men in scoring position, and left six men on base all told. Going into the bottom of the ninth, each of the first two Twins reached base against Brewers all-star closer Hader, and the third batter of the inning, Jose Miranda, ended it all with a monstrous three-run second deck shot. The loss drops Hader to 0-3 on the season as the Brewers left Minnesota with a split in the short two-game set. View full article
  15. Josh Hader last pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers on July 8. He has been among the best relievers in baseball this season and sports a ridiculous 1.88 ERA across 30 appearances. His 26 saves lead the league and if there's a deserving closer for an All-Star game it's Hader. Unfortunately for the Brewers star, Hader has dealt with multiple family issues and complications relating to the pregnancy of his first child. Complications with the pregnancy have impacted his wife, and their child, who was just born. Hader previously took a leave from the team at the end of May. MLB's original statement apparently had an error as it relates to Hader. He will not miss the series against the Minnesota Twins or any other games before the All-Star break. Instead, he will simply miss the All-Star Game due to family responsibilities. Hader addressed the media and skipping the All-Star Game on Tuesday.
  16. Today Major League Baseball announced that San Francisco Giants starter Carlos Rodon would replaced Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader on the National League All-Star team. The reason given is that Hader will spend the time with family instead. Josh Hader last pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers on July 8. He has been among the best relievers in baseball this season and sports a ridiculous 1.88 ERA across 30 appearances. His 26 saves lead the league and if there's a deserving closer for an All-Star game it's Hader. Unfortunately for the Brewers star, Hader has dealt with multiple family issues and complications relating to the pregnancy of his first child. Complications with the pregnancy have impacted his wife, and their child, who was just born. Hader previously took a leave from the team at the end of May. MLB's original statement apparently had an error as it relates to Hader. He will not miss the series against the Minnesota Twins or any other games before the All-Star break. Instead, he will simply miss the All-Star Game due to family responsibilities. Hader addressed the media and skipping the All-Star Game on Tuesday. View full article
  17. With the MLB Draft starting on July 17th, we're looking back at the best players the Brewers have drafted, and the best that they failed to sign. Today we will take a look at players the Brewers drafted between rounds 21 and 30. Before you start, take a look at Wednesday’s article, where I check out players drafted by the Brewers in Round 31 or later. The rounds covered here, 21st to 30th will not be included in this year's edition of the MLB Amateur Draft, but there have been some great players selected by the Crew in the past. Most of these players have not signed, just like we’ve seen in the past. There are more players to choose from here, especially in players who have signed, but it is a little lighter than what we will see later on. Let’s check it out. Best Player Who Signed Just like last time, there is one true option for the best player who actually signed. This time it is Mike Fiers. There is Craig Breslow, who was also considered, and Chris Sáenz, who will be getting another article in the future from me due to his incredibly interesting career, but Fiers surpasses both easily. Fiers was drafted by the Brewers with pick 676 in the 22nd round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft out of Nova Southeastern University based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He could be considered the best draft pick by the Brewers simply due to being the whistleblower for the Houston Astros’ cheating during their World Series winning 2017, along with 2018, along with some other unconfirmed years, when they stole signs using a camera located in centerfield before relaying pitch type to the batter in some way. Despite this, Fiers would still be the best player who signed with the Brewers between rounds 21 and 30. Not only was he a great pitcher in his time with the Crew, his trade away brought fantastic players and he continued to perform. The major league debut of Smoky, a nickname he goes by, was a game-ending inning where he allowed no runs on two hits and a walk, striking out two batters in Milwaukee against the Rockies in 2011. He continued to pitch 11 total seasons, to an ERA of 4.07 across 1151.0 innings in 218 games, 199 of those started. He played his first five years in Milwaukee, to an ERA of 3.66 there in 71 games, starting 56. He later spent time with the Houston Astros, where he won the 2017 World Series, as well as with the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics. During this time, he pitched two no-hitters, one in 2015 with the Astros, and the other in 2019 with the Athletics. Fiers has earned 12.4 WAR thus far. His last major league appearance came in 2021, but he pitched in the Mexican League for the Leones de Yucatán in 2022 until June 29th when his contract was purchased by the Uni-President Lions who play in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. Regardless of his impressive resumé, he helped set up the Brewers for their future in a transaction which sent him away from Milwaukee. On the 30th of July, 2015, Fiers, along with Carlos Gómez were sent in a package which yielded a return of Adrian Houser, Brett Phillips, Domingo Santana and Josh Hader . These players have combined 20.1 WAR in their time with Milwaukee (3.2 Adrian Houser, 1.3 Brett Phillips, 3.7 Domingo Santana, 12.1 Josh Hader). Fiers continues to add value to the Brewer Organization due to Houser and Hader remaining with the team. Best Unsigned Player There are two players who were not signed by the Brewers, after being initially drafted who have the most accolades in their careers. Despite this, neither of them are the best unsigned players in my opinion. Rather, a guy drafted with the 781st pick in the 26th Round during the 2015 draft out of American Heritage High School in Delray Beach, Florida by the name of Jonathan India earns the mark as best unsigned Brewer draft pick in this round range. He doesn’t have the career history of the other players who will be considered honorable mentions, but India is, in my opinion, the superior player, and will only get better. After not signing with the Brewers, he spent three years playing for the University of Florida Gators before being selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2018 draft with the 5th pick in the 1st round. The 25-year-old second baseman made his MLB debut on April 1st, 2021 against the Cardinals, going 2-4 at the plate. In 2021, he batted .260 while blasting 21 home runs en route to winning N.L. Rookie of the Year Honors. This year he has been struggling with injuries, playing in only 28 games, batting .211 with a WAR of -1.1. Even with his struggles this year, I fully expect him to be a fantastic player, and one that the Brewers will regret not signing. This is especially the case since they will see him often since he plays for a divisional opponent. Honorable Mentions If it were not for Jonathan India, I would say that Jake Arrieta is the best unsigned Brewer draft pick in rounds 21-30. Arrieta was drafted in the 26th round with pick number 775 in the 2005 draft. Previously, he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 31st round in 2004, but finally was signed by the Baltimore Orioles, when they drafted him with the 159th pick in round 5 of the 2007 MLB Draft. Arrieta made his MLB debut with the Orioles on June 10th, 2010 against the Yankees, earning the win after allowing three earned runs on four hits and four walks while striking out six in his quality start. The right-handed pitcher played for 12 seasons, last appearing in a game in 2021, for a career ERA of 3.98 across 285 games, 279 of which were starts. He has played for the Phillies and the Padres in addition to the Orioles, but most (especially most Brewer fans) will remember him for his time with the Cubs, where he spent parts of six seasons, accumulating 19.2 of his 22.8 career WAR. In this time, he not only was part of the team which won the 2016 World Series, but he also was the 2015 N.L. CY Young Award winner, along with pitching a no-hitter in 2015 and then again in 2016, getting one All-Star Game nod in 2016. Another divisional foe lands in the honorable mentions, with right-handed pitcher Matt Morris not signing with the Brewers after getting picked 724th in the 26th round of the 1992 MLB Draft. Instead, he went to Seton Hall before getting drafted 12th overall in the first round of the 1995 MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. He debuted shortly thereafter, in 1997 against the Astros, getting a no decision in the five innings he pitched, allowing an earned run on seven hits, with a walk and a strikeout. Morris pitched 11 years, not playing in 1999 due to Tommy John surgery, mostly with the Cardinals, though did spend parts of two years with the San Francisco Giants and the Pittsburgh Pirates, retiring on April 30th of 2008. Over his career, he started 276 of the 307 games played to an ERA of 3.98 across 1806 innings. As part of the Cardinals, he led all N.L. pitchers in wins in 2001 en route to an All-Star appearance, which he followed up with another in 2002. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to check out the previous edition, where I go through rounds 31 and later! Be sure to let me know if you agree, especially with my choice of India!
  18. The Brewers found a gem in the 22nd round that helped the team when he was on it, and also helped the team when he was traded. But they also were unable to sign some players who ended up on rival teams. With the MLB Draft starting on July 17th, we're looking back at the best players the Brewers have drafted, and the best that they failed to sign. Today we will take a look at players the Brewers drafted between rounds 21 and 30. Before you start, take a look at Wednesday’s article, where I check out players drafted by the Brewers in Round 31 or later. The rounds covered here, 21st to 30th will not be included in this year's edition of the MLB Amateur Draft, but there have been some great players selected by the Crew in the past. Most of these players have not signed, just like we’ve seen in the past. There are more players to choose from here, especially in players who have signed, but it is a little lighter than what we will see later on. Let’s check it out. Best Player Who Signed Just like last time, there is one true option for the best player who actually signed. This time it is Mike Fiers. There is Craig Breslow, who was also considered, and Chris Sáenz, who will be getting another article in the future from me due to his incredibly interesting career, but Fiers surpasses both easily. Fiers was drafted by the Brewers with pick 676 in the 22nd round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft out of Nova Southeastern University based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He could be considered the best draft pick by the Brewers simply due to being the whistleblower for the Houston Astros’ cheating during their World Series winning 2017, along with 2018, along with some other unconfirmed years, when they stole signs using a camera located in centerfield before relaying pitch type to the batter in some way. Despite this, Fiers would still be the best player who signed with the Brewers between rounds 21 and 30. Not only was he a great pitcher in his time with the Crew, his trade away brought fantastic players and he continued to perform. The major league debut of Smoky, a nickname he goes by, was a game-ending inning where he allowed no runs on two hits and a walk, striking out two batters in Milwaukee against the Rockies in 2011. He continued to pitch 11 total seasons, to an ERA of 4.07 across 1151.0 innings in 218 games, 199 of those started. He played his first five years in Milwaukee, to an ERA of 3.66 there in 71 games, starting 56. He later spent time with the Houston Astros, where he won the 2017 World Series, as well as with the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics. During this time, he pitched two no-hitters, one in 2015 with the Astros, and the other in 2019 with the Athletics. Fiers has earned 12.4 WAR thus far. His last major league appearance came in 2021, but he pitched in the Mexican League for the Leones de Yucatán in 2022 until June 29th when his contract was purchased by the Uni-President Lions who play in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. Regardless of his impressive resumé, he helped set up the Brewers for their future in a transaction which sent him away from Milwaukee. On the 30th of July, 2015, Fiers, along with Carlos Gómez were sent in a package which yielded a return of Adrian Houser, Brett Phillips, Domingo Santana and Josh Hader . These players have combined 20.1 WAR in their time with Milwaukee (3.2 Adrian Houser, 1.3 Brett Phillips, 3.7 Domingo Santana, 12.1 Josh Hader). Fiers continues to add value to the Brewer Organization due to Houser and Hader remaining with the team. Best Unsigned Player There are two players who were not signed by the Brewers, after being initially drafted who have the most accolades in their careers. Despite this, neither of them are the best unsigned players in my opinion. Rather, a guy drafted with the 781st pick in the 26th Round during the 2015 draft out of American Heritage High School in Delray Beach, Florida by the name of Jonathan India earns the mark as best unsigned Brewer draft pick in this round range. He doesn’t have the career history of the other players who will be considered honorable mentions, but India is, in my opinion, the superior player, and will only get better. After not signing with the Brewers, he spent three years playing for the University of Florida Gators before being selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2018 draft with the 5th pick in the 1st round. The 25-year-old second baseman made his MLB debut on April 1st, 2021 against the Cardinals, going 2-4 at the plate. In 2021, he batted .260 while blasting 21 home runs en route to winning N.L. Rookie of the Year Honors. This year he has been struggling with injuries, playing in only 28 games, batting .211 with a WAR of -1.1. Even with his struggles this year, I fully expect him to be a fantastic player, and one that the Brewers will regret not signing. This is especially the case since they will see him often since he plays for a divisional opponent. Honorable Mentions If it were not for Jonathan India, I would say that Jake Arrieta is the best unsigned Brewer draft pick in rounds 21-30. Arrieta was drafted in the 26th round with pick number 775 in the 2005 draft. Previously, he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 31st round in 2004, but finally was signed by the Baltimore Orioles, when they drafted him with the 159th pick in round 5 of the 2007 MLB Draft. Arrieta made his MLB debut with the Orioles on June 10th, 2010 against the Yankees, earning the win after allowing three earned runs on four hits and four walks while striking out six in his quality start. The right-handed pitcher played for 12 seasons, last appearing in a game in 2021, for a career ERA of 3.98 across 285 games, 279 of which were starts. He has played for the Phillies and the Padres in addition to the Orioles, but most (especially most Brewer fans) will remember him for his time with the Cubs, where he spent parts of six seasons, accumulating 19.2 of his 22.8 career WAR. In this time, he not only was part of the team which won the 2016 World Series, but he also was the 2015 N.L. CY Young Award winner, along with pitching a no-hitter in 2015 and then again in 2016, getting one All-Star Game nod in 2016. Another divisional foe lands in the honorable mentions, with right-handed pitcher Matt Morris not signing with the Brewers after getting picked 724th in the 26th round of the 1992 MLB Draft. Instead, he went to Seton Hall before getting drafted 12th overall in the first round of the 1995 MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. He debuted shortly thereafter, in 1997 against the Astros, getting a no decision in the five innings he pitched, allowing an earned run on seven hits, with a walk and a strikeout. Morris pitched 11 years, not playing in 1999 due to Tommy John surgery, mostly with the Cardinals, though did spend parts of two years with the San Francisco Giants and the Pittsburgh Pirates, retiring on April 30th of 2008. Over his career, he started 276 of the 307 games played to an ERA of 3.98 across 1806 innings. As part of the Cardinals, he led all N.L. pitchers in wins in 2001 en route to an All-Star appearance, which he followed up with another in 2002. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to check out the previous edition, where I go through rounds 31 and later! Be sure to let me know if you agree, especially with my choice of India! View full article
  19. The Brewers headed to Florida for a short two-game series against the tough Tampa Bay Rays. Brandon Woodruff returned to boost the Brewers rotation, and Kolten Wong also returned from the IL after a three week stint to help the Crew take on the Rays. Game 1 -- Brewers 5, Rays 3 https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TBA/TBA202206280.shtml Brandon Woodruff returned from the IL and the Brewers threw him into action against the Rays, with manager Craig Counsell telling reporters pre-game that Woodruff would be on a 75-80 pitch limit. Woodruff was brilliant in his return from the one month layoff, striking out ten, allowing just one run on two hits. Woodruff hit 99 on the radar a handful of times, and looked sharp right from the get-go, striking out seven of the first nine batters he faced, going through the first three innings in order. In the fourth inning, Woodruff gave up a double and an RBI single, but didn't allow another runner through the remainder of his start. The 99-mph cheddar he threw past Brett Phillips to strike out the side had to be the highlight of his night. A healthy, dealing Woodruff is a huge boost to the Brewers rotation, obviously. While Woodruff's early season numbers look fairly pedestrian, most of his peripheral numbers are right in line with last years near-Cy Young numbers. If last night's stellar outing is any indication, maybe now the Brewers will get the results to go along with the performance the rest of the way. Only time will tell, but the Brewers are a better team with Woodruff than without. All that aside, the Brewers entered the sixth inning down 1-0, and looked to make Woody's fantastic return all for naught. With two down and a man on second base, Andrew McCutchen continued his hot hitting. The Brewers tacked on two more in the inning with an no doubt shot from Luis Urias . In the eighth inning, Urias added an RBI double to make it 5-1 Brewers. Things got a little bit interesting in the bottom of the frame when Counsell brought in starter Jason Alexander to get some work, and he walked the first two batters, gave up a sacrifice fly and an RBI single to allow the Rays to pull within two. Devin Williams came in to finish out the inning, but using a starter, and a rookie at that to work the eighth inning is an interesting strategy, and one that almost backfired on Counsell. To be sure, he doesn't want to overuse Williams, but in the end, he ended up using him anyways. Josh Hader struck out the side in the ninth to notch his 23rd save. Woodruff secured the win thanks to the Brewers big rally in the sixth, and bumps his record on the season to 6-3. The Brewers roll into Wednesday looking for the sweep in the two game set. Game 2 -- Brewers 5, Rays 3 https://www.espn.com/mlb/boxscore/_/gameId/401355365 Brewers starter Eric Lauer struggled once again, lasting just 4 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and two walks, while throwing 92 pitches over his start today. While he did allow just three runs, Lauer worked in and out of trouble the entire time, and struggled to find the zone, while his E.R.A bumped up over 4.00 for the season now. Lauer's day might have been worse if not for this catch by Jonathan Davis. Rowdy Tellez homered in the second, a solo home run to put the Brewers up 1-0. Down 2-1 in the fifth inning, Urias hit his second homerun in as many days. The Rays tied it back up in the fifth, but solo home runs by Tellez in the eighth and super utility man Jace Peterson in the ninth inning put the Crew back up 5-3. Tellez's second two-homer game in a week has him now at fifteen on the season and brought his OPS up to a solid .818 nearing the halfway point. The catwalk home runs make the Trop interesting, if not aesthetically pleasing. Hader allowed a few baserunners in the ninth, but ultimately locked down save number 24, and the Brewers get the short series sweep in Tampa. Brad Boxberger picked up the win with an inning of scoreless relief, moving his record to 2-1. The bullpen did a nice job overall today, with Jandel Gustave, Hoby Milner , Boxberger, Williams, and Hader combining for 4 2/3 scoreless innings of one hit ball in relief of Lauer. Next up, The Brewers, Tellez, and his home run road show travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates in a 4-game set at PNC Park. Hopefully we'll get to see a few river shots, but barring that, a few Brew Crew wins. View full article
  20. Game 1 -- Brewers 5, Rays 3 https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TBA/TBA202206280.shtml Brandon Woodruff returned from the IL and the Brewers threw him into action against the Rays, with manager Craig Counsell telling reporters pre-game that Woodruff would be on a 75-80 pitch limit. Woodruff was brilliant in his return from the one month layoff, striking out ten, allowing just one run on two hits. Woodruff hit 99 on the radar a handful of times, and looked sharp right from the get-go, striking out seven of the first nine batters he faced, going through the first three innings in order. In the fourth inning, Woodruff gave up a double and an RBI single, but didn't allow another runner through the remainder of his start. The 99-mph cheddar he threw past Brett Phillips to strike out the side had to be the highlight of his night. A healthy, dealing Woodruff is a huge boost to the Brewers rotation, obviously. While Woodruff's early season numbers look fairly pedestrian, most of his peripheral numbers are right in line with last years near-Cy Young numbers. If last night's stellar outing is any indication, maybe now the Brewers will get the results to go along with the performance the rest of the way. Only time will tell, but the Brewers are a better team with Woodruff than without. All that aside, the Brewers entered the sixth inning down 1-0, and looked to make Woody's fantastic return all for naught. With two down and a man on second base, Andrew McCutchen continued his hot hitting. The Brewers tacked on two more in the inning with an no doubt shot from Luis Urias . In the eighth inning, Urias added an RBI double to make it 5-1 Brewers. Things got a little bit interesting in the bottom of the frame when Counsell brought in starter Jason Alexander to get some work, and he walked the first two batters, gave up a sacrifice fly and an RBI single to allow the Rays to pull within two. Devin Williams came in to finish out the inning, but using a starter, and a rookie at that to work the eighth inning is an interesting strategy, and one that almost backfired on Counsell. To be sure, he doesn't want to overuse Williams, but in the end, he ended up using him anyways. Josh Hader struck out the side in the ninth to notch his 23rd save. Woodruff secured the win thanks to the Brewers big rally in the sixth, and bumps his record on the season to 6-3. The Brewers roll into Wednesday looking for the sweep in the two game set. Game 2 -- Brewers 5, Rays 3 https://www.espn.com/mlb/boxscore/_/gameId/401355365 Brewers starter Eric Lauer struggled once again, lasting just 4 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and two walks, while throwing 92 pitches over his start today. While he did allow just three runs, Lauer worked in and out of trouble the entire time, and struggled to find the zone, while his E.R.A bumped up over 4.00 for the season now. Lauer's day might have been worse if not for this catch by Jonathan Davis. Rowdy Tellez homered in the second, a solo home run to put the Brewers up 1-0. Down 2-1 in the fifth inning, Urias hit his second homerun in as many days. The Rays tied it back up in the fifth, but solo home runs by Tellez in the eighth and super utility man Jace Peterson in the ninth inning put the Crew back up 5-3. Tellez's second two-homer game in a week has him now at fifteen on the season and brought his OPS up to a solid .818 nearing the halfway point. The catwalk home runs make the Trop interesting, if not aesthetically pleasing. Hader allowed a few baserunners in the ninth, but ultimately locked down save number 24, and the Brewers get the short series sweep in Tampa. Brad Boxberger picked up the win with an inning of scoreless relief, moving his record to 2-1. The bullpen did a nice job overall today, with Jandel Gustave, Hoby Milner , Boxberger, Williams, and Hader combining for 4 2/3 scoreless innings of one hit ball in relief of Lauer. Next up, The Brewers, Tellez, and his home run road show travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates in a 4-game set at PNC Park. Hopefully we'll get to see a few river shots, but barring that, a few Brew Crew wins.
  21. Josh Hader had been on the paternity since Wednesday but was transitioned to the restricted list over the weekend and is back after spending a few extra days with his family. He has been absolutely lights out having held opponents scoreless in 20 of his 21 appearances this season. Milwaukee swept the Reds in his absence, but did drop Thursday’s tilt against the Mets in which New York scored the winning run in the bottom of the 8th inning. Milwaukee placed Aaron Ashby on the injured list retroactive to June 17. He winds up there with left elbow inflammation, which is never a positive development. Ashby left his most recent outing with the trainer, and his absence is another blow to the already depleted pitching staff. Ashby owns a 4.25 ERA in 55 innings this season. Hopefully Ashby can return to the roster sooner rather than later, but that’s up in the air with Milwaukee feeling the next to make this move. Teams had to get down to 13 pitchers on their active roster as of Monday.
  22. Prior to today’s action the Milwaukee Brewers announced Josh Hader has been reinstated from the restricted list while pitcher Aaron Ashby has been placed on the injured list. The great reliever returns, but Milwaukee loses another good rotation arm. Josh Hader had been on the paternity since Wednesday but was transitioned to the restricted list over the weekend and is back after spending a few extra days with his family. He has been absolutely lights out having held opponents scoreless in 20 of his 21 appearances this season. Milwaukee swept the Reds in his absence, but did drop Thursday’s tilt against the Mets in which New York scored the winning run in the bottom of the 8th inning. Milwaukee placed Aaron Ashby on the injured list retroactive to June 17. He winds up there with left elbow inflammation, which is never a positive development. Ashby left his most recent outing with the trainer, and his absence is another blow to the already depleted pitching staff. Ashby owns a 4.25 ERA in 55 innings this season. Hopefully Ashby can return to the roster sooner rather than later, but that’s up in the air with Milwaukee feeling the next to make this move. Teams had to get down to 13 pitchers on their active roster as of Monday. View full article
  23. Josh Hader has again been one of baseball’s best relievers. His 0.92 ERA is a career low and his 19 saves lead the league. Going on the Paternity List, he is expected to miss three days for Milwaukee. Whether Chi Chi Gonzalez can carve out a spot in Milwaukee’s rotation remains to be seen. With both Freddy Peralta and Brandon Woodruff currently out, the Brewers could use someone stepping up. Gonzalez will need a much better showing than he put up with the Colorado Rockies last season, or the Minnesota Twins in 2022.
  24. Just a day after being claimed on waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers, Chi Chi Gonzalez has been added to the active roster. All-Star closer Josh Hader has been placed on the Paternity List to make room. Josh Hader has again been one of baseball’s best relievers. His 0.92 ERA is a career low and his 19 saves lead the league. Going on the Paternity List, he is expected to miss three days for Milwaukee. Whether Chi Chi Gonzalez can carve out a spot in Milwaukee’s rotation remains to be seen. With both Freddy Peralta and Brandon Woodruff currently out, the Brewers could use someone stepping up. Gonzalez will need a much better showing than he put up with the Colorado Rockies last season, or the Minnesota Twins in 2022. View full article
  25. For the last half decade fans and analysts alike have listed the Brewers bullpen as an area of strength, and potential catalyst of their success. Without much of a second thought, this expectation carried into the current season. The results have been mixed. But fans shouldn't worry. Prior to Wednesday's game against the Phillies, the Brewers pen was at 10th overall in both ERA and WHIP, and in that same area for home runs and walks surrendered. Statistically speaking, this may sound like business as usual for the Brewers. But if you had to pick two adjectives to describe the relief performances this year, both “strong” and “inconsistent” may come to mind. In terms of volume, manager Craig Counsell’s usage of the bullpen has been lower than most might expect, even with all the injuries to starters. In fact, they’ve only logged 200.2 innings as of June 8th, which places the Brewers bullpen usage in the bottom third of the league. Early in the season, the Crew took a big blow to the middle relief core when Jake Cousins went down with an elbow injury, where he currently sits on the 60-Day IL. Players like Jandel Gustave and J.C. Mejía (see below) failed to provide the value the Brewers hoped for one way or another, and neither currently find themselves on the big league roster. When more innings were demanded from the bullpen, Trevor Kelly and Peter Strzelecki earned unexpected call-ups, and produced undesirable results. Even Brewers veteran Brent Suter, who the Brewers have relied on in the past to eat innings, has been shaky, posting an earned run average north of 5. Unsurprisingly though, the backend of the bullpen has remained as strong as ever. Josh Hader has continued his historical dominance, converting 18/19 save chances, all while only surrendering runs in one of those appearances. And even though his outings have been stressful, Devin Williams and the aptly named “airbender” have continued to lock up the 8th inning. Even Brad Boxberger, the Brewers leader in innings the past season, has pitched well in his 7th inning role. Newcomer Trevor Gott has also turned in solid work at points. Is there any reason for worry here? Probably not. There truly hasn't been any real cause for concern. Injuries and bad relief appearances happen. And although the bullpen is still a strength, it isn’t in the same way it was 4 years ago. You aren’t going to see 5+ innings of scoreless relief anywhere near the commonality that there was 2018. The 2022 Brewers team can rely on their starters to go into the 6th and 7th inning, and shouldn’t have to rely on overwhelming depth. The strength isn't in quantity, it's in the quality. In case you need more proof, take a look at Josh Hader’s statcast statistics compared to his previous seasons. If you ever needed any proof of his dominance, these could easily serve as evidence for his best season ever. Statistics via Baseball Savant, accessed 6/08/2022 So, you can scratch the 9th inning off your worries. Heck, you can probably safely scratch off the 7th and 8th inning while you're at it, as both Devin Williams and Brad Boxberger's work over the past year and a half should speak for itself. If you do this, the big picture becomes clear. Whether it's Burnes, Woodruff, Peralta, Lauer, Ashby, or Houser starting on any given night, if they can turn in 5-6 innings of quality work, the team is left with a maximum of 3 outs to worry about from the other 4 relievers in the pen. So you wanted to know what to make of the Brewers pen? I wouldn't worry, It's fitting right where it needs to. View full article
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