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  1. After picking up Wong's 2023 option for $10m, the Brewers have now traded the second baseman to the Seattle Mariners for left fielder Jesse Winker and third baseman Abraham Toro. Image courtesy of © Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports Ken Rosenthal reports that the Brewers have traded one year of second baseman Kolten Wong to the Mariners for a pair of underperforming Mariners players, Jesse Winker and Abraham Toro. Wong had his $10m 2023 option picked up by the Brewers last month, which was, in essence, an $8m addition to the roster due to a $2m buyout cost. Jesse Winker, a former standout Reds player who joined Seattle before the 2022 season in a multi-prospect deal, comes back from Seattle, and Abraham Toros, an infielder who has struggled to hit at the Major League level but has several years of team control remaining. Jesse Winker, a 29-year-old left-handed left fielder, was a top 50 global prospect in the Reds system before breaking out in 2017 and 2018, posting a 128 OPS+ over 471 plate appearances. He continued to be a well-above-average bat for the Reds until he was traded to the Mariners last offseason. He regressed offensively last season in Seattle, losing nearly 100 points of batting average and 200 points of slugging percentage. While some of that regression is likely due to leaving the Great American Ballpark and playing instead in the more cavernous Seattle park, it's reasonable to expect some bounce back from a player with good career stats (123 OPS+ in 2070 career plate appearances). Given that Winker played much of his career in the National League Central division, he has played in American Family 32 times, posting an absurd 1.032 OPS. Winker, like Wong, will become a free agent following the 2023 season. Abraham Toro was more intriguing in this trade, drafted by the Houston Astros before being traded to the Mariners during the 2021 season. Toro, like Wong, is viewed as a flexibility infielder, having split his MLB time between second and third base. Toro had a breakout season as a prospect in 2019, posting a .938 OPS split between AA and AAA (note that some of that time was spent in the Pacific Coast League, a hitting haven) but has since faltered with the bat, posting just a 74 OPS+ over 913 career plate appearances. While only 25 years old without even 1,000 career major league plate appearances, there is still upside left in Toro's bat; now it's just a question of whether the Brewers can exploit the potential of the switch-hitting infielder. Which the Brewers will have the time to figure out, as Toro still has four years remaining of team control before becoming a free agent. View full article
  2. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Brewers have traded one year of second baseman Kolten Wong to the Mariners for a pair of underperforming Mariners players, Jesse Winker and Abraham Toro. Wong had his $10m 2023 option picked up by the Brewers last month, which was, in essence, an $8m addition to the roster due to a $2m buyout cost. Jesse Winker, a former standout Reds player who joined Seattle before the 2022 season in a multi-prospect deal, comes back from Seattle, and Abraham Toros, an infielder who has struggled to hit at the Major League level but has several years of team control remaining. Jesse Winker, a 29-year-old left-handed left fielder, was a top 50 global prospect in the Reds system before breaking out in 2017 and 2018, posting a 128 OPS+ over 471 plate appearances. He continued to be a well-above-average bat for the Reds until he was traded to the Mariners last offseason. He regressed offensively last season in Seattle, losing nearly 100 points of batting average and 200 points of slugging percentage. While some of that regression is likely due to leaving the Great American Ballpark and playing instead in the more cavernous Seattle park, it's reasonable to expect some bounce back from a player with good career stats (123 OPS+ in 2070 career plate appearances). Given that Winker played much of his career in the National League Central division, he has played in American Family 32 times, posting an absurd 1.032 OPS. Winker, like Wong, will become a free agent following the 2023 season. Abraham Toro was more intriguing in this trade, drafted by the Houston Astros before being traded to the Mariners during the 2021 season. Toro, like Wong, is viewed as a flexibility infielder, having split his MLB time between second and third base. Toro had a breakout season as a prospect in 2019, posting a .938 OPS split between AA and AAA (note that some of that time was spent in the Pacific Coast League, a hitting haven) but has since faltered with the bat, posting just a 74 OPS+ over 913 career plate appearances. While only 25 years old without even 1,000 career major league plate appearances, there is still upside left in Toro's bat; now it's just a question of whether the Brewers can exploit the potential of the switch-hitting infielder. Which the Brewers will have the time to figure out, as Toro still has four years remaining of team control before becoming a free agent.
  3. Jon Morosi has tweeted that the Mariners are inquiring on second baseman Kolten Wong. Even though Wong struggled on the defensive side of the ball last season, many expect some rebound in the area going into 2023. Coupled with his mini-breakout with the bat - posting a career high 118 OPS+ - he could be a very valuable player at $10m on a one-year deal. The Mariners took a big step forward in 2022, making the postseason for the first time in two decades, and they have the ability to easily absorb the contract (and a lot more). The Mariners' farm system has graduated a bunch of players but there are still some interesting names in their top prospect list. What do you think is a reasonable price for Kolten Wong on a one-year, $10m contract? View full rumor
  4. Jon Morosi has tweeted that the Mariners are inquiring on second baseman Kolten Wong. Even though Wong struggled on the defensive side of the ball last season, many expect some rebound in the area going into 2023. Coupled with his mini-breakout with the bat - posting a career high 118 OPS+ - he could be a very valuable player at $10m on a one-year deal. The Mariners took a big step forward in 2022, making the postseason for the first time in two decades, and they have the ability to easily absorb the contract (and a lot more). The Mariners' farm system has graduated a bunch of players but there are still some interesting names in their top prospect list. What do you think is a reasonable price for Kolten Wong on a one-year, $10m contract?
  5. After a 2021 season that saw Kolten Wong play as advertised (a .783 OPS combined with the rock-solid defense he'd come to be known for in his eight seasons as a Cardinal), Wong followed it up with a 2022 season that, while still solid on the surface, mirrored the team in perhaps failing to live up to expectations. Despite a still-solid .770 OPS and a career-high of 15 HRs, Wong took an unexplainable but obvious step back with his glove. His 17 errors tied a career-high, while advanced metrics weren’t kind, with Wong seeing a steep decline with -1 Defensive Runs Saved, -4.7 Ultimate Zone Rating, and -9 Outs Above Average – all far off career norms. Toward the end of the season, Wong acknowledged that his down year defensively, combined with his price tag and the fact that the Brewers had a near MLB-ready replacement in Brice Turang, may have meant he'd be moving on. “Defensively, it just wasn’t my year,” Wong told Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in October. “I’ve been a free agent one time already, and it’s not the most enjoyable thing. If I got to go through it again, it is what it is. It will be interesting to see where I’d end up landing. Milwaukee was a choice that I kind of had in mind going into free agency as a high pick for me. This next one, I just kind of want to keep an open mind and see how it goes.” Wong's bat has never been the issue. Since signing with the Brewers, he has a cumulative batting line of .262/.337/.439 for a wRC+ of 113. The extra power from the diminutive lefty swinger has been a welcome surprise, as Wong hit 14 homers in 2021 before his follow-up effort of 15 in 2022. He’s always been a solid, opportunistic baserunner, swiping 29 bases over the past two years, including 17 in 2022. Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel spoke to Wong, who said that he was “stoked” about the decision before detailing that his legs weren’t 100% healthy in 2022, contributing to his defensive shortcomings. Wong also pointed out that with defensive shifts no longer allowed; he had extra motivation to up his defensive game to its previously high levels. In a conference call with reporters Tuesday evening, Arnold indicated that the decision to pick up Wong's option was not as tricky as reporters and other insiders made it out to be. Of course, while Wong is officially Brewers' property, that doesn't necessarily mean he is 100% in the plans for 2023. There are several scenarios still in play: Option A: The status quo. This indicates that Wong is penciled in as the starter at 2B for the 2023 Brewers and is in the middle of the lineup. While Wong proved to be a competent lead-off hitter in 2021, that is seemingly Christian Yelich's spot moving forward unless Yelich suddenly unlocks his powerful 2018-19 MVP self. While this may be the "boring" option, Wong was far from the team's biggest issue offensively in 2022. His steady presence and bat would likely be appreciated, especially if the team attempted to break in several young, unproven bats. Option B: A 2023 mid-season or deadline trade. While picking up Wong's option would seemingly indicate that the Brewers intend to compete again in 2023, playoff contention is far from assured. Wong is the ideal type of steady, veteran bat with loads of postseason experience that multiple World Series hopefuls would likely be happy to pick up for the stretch run. While the return probably wouldn't be huge, the Brewers would likely be able to pick up a piece or two to strengthen the farm system. Option C: An 2022-23 off-season trade. Would the Brewers have picked up Wong's option with the intent to trade him? Well, if the value is there, maybe. The aforementioned Turang is probably ready for an MLB role, and while he's a SS by trade, he saw time at 2B, 3B, and even in CF this season in Nashville. This would indicate that he is at least being looked at as a potential replacement for valuable utility player Jace Peterson, a free agent. And while Luis Urias saw most of his time at 3B in 2022, many insiders have long seen him as a future 2B. If the Brewers make a splash in free agency or the trade market this offseason, 3B is an ideal target, which would kick Urias to a different spot. In his closing remarks this season, Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio indicated that the Brewers would be actively building and turning over the roster this offseason. So buckle up. But regardless of which option the Brewers take, we know that Kolten Wong's steady hand will remain Brewer property heading into the start of free agency this week.
  6. General Manager Matt Arnold made the first big solo team personnel decision of his Brewers career late Tuesday afternoon, as the Brewers announced that they would be picking up their club option on veteran second baseman Kolten Wong. The option year will pay him a $10 million salary in 2023 and had the Brewers declined the option, Wong would have been owed a $2 million buyout. Image courtesy of © Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports After a 2021 season that saw Kolten Wong play as advertised (a .783 OPS combined with the rock-solid defense he'd come to be known for in his eight seasons as a Cardinal), Wong followed it up with a 2022 season that, while still solid on the surface, mirrored the team in perhaps failing to live up to expectations. Despite a still-solid .770 OPS and a career-high of 15 HRs, Wong took an unexplainable but obvious step back with his glove. His 17 errors tied a career-high, while advanced metrics weren’t kind, with Wong seeing a steep decline with -1 Defensive Runs Saved, -4.7 Ultimate Zone Rating, and -9 Outs Above Average – all far off career norms. Toward the end of the season, Wong acknowledged that his down year defensively, combined with his price tag and the fact that the Brewers had a near MLB-ready replacement in Brice Turang, may have meant he'd be moving on. “Defensively, it just wasn’t my year,” Wong told Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in October. “I’ve been a free agent one time already, and it’s not the most enjoyable thing. If I got to go through it again, it is what it is. It will be interesting to see where I’d end up landing. Milwaukee was a choice that I kind of had in mind going into free agency as a high pick for me. This next one, I just kind of want to keep an open mind and see how it goes.” Wong's bat has never been the issue. Since signing with the Brewers, he has a cumulative batting line of .262/.337/.439 for a wRC+ of 113. The extra power from the diminutive lefty swinger has been a welcome surprise, as Wong hit 14 homers in 2021 before his follow-up effort of 15 in 2022. He’s always been a solid, opportunistic baserunner, swiping 29 bases over the past two years, including 17 in 2022. Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel spoke to Wong, who said that he was “stoked” about the decision before detailing that his legs weren’t 100% healthy in 2022, contributing to his defensive shortcomings. Wong also pointed out that with defensive shifts no longer allowed; he had extra motivation to up his defensive game to its previously high levels. In a conference call with reporters Tuesday evening, Arnold indicated that the decision to pick up Wong's option was not as tricky as reporters and other insiders made it out to be. Of course, while Wong is officially Brewers' property, that doesn't necessarily mean he is 100% in the plans for 2023. There are several scenarios still in play: Option A: The status quo. This indicates that Wong is penciled in as the starter at 2B for the 2023 Brewers and is in the middle of the lineup. While Wong proved to be a competent lead-off hitter in 2021, that is seemingly Christian Yelich's spot moving forward unless Yelich suddenly unlocks his powerful 2018-19 MVP self. While this may be the "boring" option, Wong was far from the team's biggest issue offensively in 2022. His steady presence and bat would likely be appreciated, especially if the team attempted to break in several young, unproven bats. Option B: A 2023 mid-season or deadline trade. While picking up Wong's option would seemingly indicate that the Brewers intend to compete again in 2023, playoff contention is far from assured. Wong is the ideal type of steady, veteran bat with loads of postseason experience that multiple World Series hopefuls would likely be happy to pick up for the stretch run. While the return probably wouldn't be huge, the Brewers would likely be able to pick up a piece or two to strengthen the farm system. Option C: An 2022-23 off-season trade. Would the Brewers have picked up Wong's option with the intent to trade him? Well, if the value is there, maybe. The aforementioned Turang is probably ready for an MLB role, and while he's a SS by trade, he saw time at 2B, 3B, and even in CF this season in Nashville. This would indicate that he is at least being looked at as a potential replacement for valuable utility player Jace Peterson, a free agent. And while Luis Urias saw most of his time at 3B in 2022, many insiders have long seen him as a future 2B. If the Brewers make a splash in free agency or the trade market this offseason, 3B is an ideal target, which would kick Urias to a different spot. In his closing remarks this season, Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio indicated that the Brewers would be actively building and turning over the roster this offseason. So buckle up. But regardless of which option the Brewers take, we know that Kolten Wong's steady hand will remain Brewer property heading into the start of free agency this week. View full article
  7. On Thursday, MLB announced the 2022 Silver Slugger Award finalists. Three Milwaukee Brewers find themselves as finalists. They are infielders Willy Adames and Kolten Wong as well as outfielder Hunter Renfroe. Image courtesy of Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports Willy Adames and Kolten Wong have provided solid defense up the middle for the Brewers, but on Thursday, both were recognized for their bats. The infielders, along with outfielder Hunter Renfroe, were names finalists for a National League Silver Slugger Award. The honor recognizes the top hitter in each league at each position, and the winners will be announced on Thursday, November 10th. MLB Managers and coaches select the finalists. Craig Counsell and three of his coaches were the Brewers voting members. The competition for the Brewers players will be quite strong. At shortstop, Adames is joined by fellow nominees Trea Turner (Dodgers), Francisco Lindor (Mets) and Dansby Swanson (Braves) as finalists. Wong's competition at second base includes Ketel Marte (Diamondbacks), Brendan Rodgers (Rockies), Jake Cronenworth (Padres) and batting champ Jeff McNeil (Mets). The outfield has nine finalists, and three Silver Sluggers will be handed out. Renfroe's competition includes Mookie Betts (Dodgers), Kyle Schwarber (Phillies), Juan Soto (Nationals/Padres), Starling Marte (Braves), Joc Pederson (Giants), Michael Harris (Braves), Bryan Reynolds (Pirates) and Brandon Nimmo (Mets). In other words, it seems unlikely that any of the three will actually be awarded a Silver Slugger, but it's nice to get the recognition and have people in the game recognize their success. If one does receive an award, it will be the Brewers first since 2019 when Christian Yelich won the award. Of the 2022 Brewers, the following players have won Silver Slugger Awards: Andrew McCutchen (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), Christian Yelich (2016, 2018, 2019). There have been 21 Silver Sluggers in Brewers history: Christian Yelich (2018, 2019) Ryan Braun (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) Prince Fielder (2007, 2011) Yovani Gallardo (2010) Carlos Lee (2005) Dave Parker (1990) Robin Yount (1980, 1982, 1989) Paul Molitor (1987, 1988) Cecil Cooper (1980, 1981, 1982) Ben Oglivie (1980) What are your thoughts on the Brewers who were named finalists? Was anyone snubbed? View full article
  8. Willy Adames and Kolten Wong have provided solid defense up the middle for the Brewers, but on Thursday, both were recognized for their bats. The infielders, along with outfielder Hunter Renfroe, were names finalists for a National League Silver Slugger Award. The honor recognizes the top hitter in each league at each position, and the winners will be announced on Thursday, November 10th. MLB Managers and coaches select the finalists. Craig Counsell and three of his coaches were the Brewers voting members. The competition for the Brewers players will be quite strong. At shortstop, Adames is joined by fellow nominees Trea Turner (Dodgers), Francisco Lindor (Mets) and Dansby Swanson (Braves) as finalists. Wong's competition at second base includes Ketel Marte (Diamondbacks), Brendan Rodgers (Rockies), Jake Cronenworth (Padres) and batting champ Jeff McNeil (Mets). The outfield has nine finalists, and three Silver Sluggers will be handed out. Renfroe's competition includes Mookie Betts (Dodgers), Kyle Schwarber (Phillies), Juan Soto (Nationals/Padres), Starling Marte (Braves), Joc Pederson (Giants), Michael Harris (Braves), Bryan Reynolds (Pirates) and Brandon Nimmo (Mets). In other words, it seems unlikely that any of the three will actually be awarded a Silver Slugger, but it's nice to get the recognition and have people in the game recognize their success. If one does receive an award, it will be the Brewers first since 2019 when Christian Yelich won the award. Of the 2022 Brewers, the following players have won Silver Slugger Awards: Andrew McCutchen (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), Christian Yelich (2016, 2018, 2019). There have been 21 Silver Sluggers in Brewers history: Christian Yelich (2018, 2019) Ryan Braun (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) Prince Fielder (2007, 2011) Yovani Gallardo (2010) Carlos Lee (2005) Dave Parker (1990) Robin Yount (1980, 1982, 1989) Paul Molitor (1987, 1988) Cecil Cooper (1980, 1981, 1982) Ben Oglivie (1980) What are your thoughts on the Brewers who were named finalists? Was anyone snubbed?
  9. In the previous four payroll stories, we found that the Brewers will go into the offseason with salaries somewhere between $110 and $125M. How much can we expect them to spend? Image courtesy of © Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports This is part 5 of a series of stories detailing the payroll situation for the Milwaukee Brewers at a back-of-the-napkin level. Previously, we looked at the total salaries of the infielders, outfielders, rotation, and bullpen, and came up with a $125M commitment for next year. Today we look at how much more than that they can expect to spend. To get a sense of where the Brewers might go with their payroll, it might help to look at where they've been. According to Cot's Baseball Contracts, here is what Milwaukee has spent on payroll over the last six years, along with where it ranked in MLB: 2022 - $131,930,160 (19) 2021 - $ 99,316,127 (19) 2020 - $105,842,057 (22) (prorated) 2019 - $122,530,400 (17) 2018 - $ 90,964,571 (26) 2017 - $ 63,061,300 (30) You'll notice that last year's $132M payroll was the high watermark for the franchise but ranked just 19th in Major League Baseball. Nineteenth is respectable, given that Milwaukee is the 40th largest metropolitan area in the USA. But that doesn't give much hope that the team will surpass that level. However, there is also no clear trend. We don't see a steady 5-10% increase in payroll. We see a franchise investing in payroll when it senses an opportunity to make some noise, such as coming off of an NLCS appearance in 2018. This year's team is not coming off an inspiring postseason run, but there are reasons to invest. Our analysis of the team's rotation payroll showed that the core of the team is on track to hit free agency after the 2024 season, so this generation of Brewers players has two years left in their competitive window. Or maybe just one year. At the trade deadline, we just saw that David Stearns isn't averse to trading away star players a year before they become free agents in the hopes of getting back assets that can extend that competitive window. If payroll stays steady, the Brewers will have limited room to maneuver to add free agents. Here is what our back-of-the-napkin payroll looked like: If they Brewers don't raise payroll, they have about $7M to add a big bat at the designated hitter spot or otherwise improve the team. They could decide not to pick up the option for Kolten Wong, but that would only free up $8M (because he has a $2M buyout) and also create another gap to fill. They could also make some other moves to add a few million dollars, such as non-tendering Adrian Houser or sacrificing a bullpen arm. A few million here, a few million there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money. But those also create some gaps that need to be filled. The bottom line: if ownership doesn't boost payroll, or Stearns doesn't move one of the team's more significant salaried players off the roster, their options are limited to improve. Or maybe you see some options that they should look at closer? You'll get to create your plan and share it with us tomorrow. Stay tuned…. View full article
  10. This is part 5 of a series of stories detailing the payroll situation for the Milwaukee Brewers at a back-of-the-napkin level. Previously, we looked at the total salaries of the infielders, outfielders, rotation, and bullpen, and came up with a $125M commitment for next year. Today we look at how much more than that they can expect to spend. To get a sense of where the Brewers might go with their payroll, it might help to look at where they've been. According to Cot's Baseball Contracts, here is what Milwaukee has spent on payroll over the last six years, along with where it ranked in MLB: 2022 - $131,930,160 (19) 2021 - $ 99,316,127 (19) 2020 - $105,842,057 (22) (prorated) 2019 - $122,530,400 (17) 2018 - $ 90,964,571 (26) 2017 - $ 63,061,300 (30) You'll notice that last year's $132M payroll was the high watermark for the franchise but ranked just 19th in Major League Baseball. Nineteenth is respectable, given that Milwaukee is the 40th largest metropolitan area in the USA. But that doesn't give much hope that the team will surpass that level. However, there is also no clear trend. We don't see a steady 5-10% increase in payroll. We see a franchise investing in payroll when it senses an opportunity to make some noise, such as coming off of an NLCS appearance in 2018. This year's team is not coming off an inspiring postseason run, but there are reasons to invest. Our analysis of the team's rotation payroll showed that the core of the team is on track to hit free agency after the 2024 season, so this generation of Brewers players has two years left in their competitive window. Or maybe just one year. At the trade deadline, we just saw that David Stearns isn't averse to trading away star players a year before they become free agents in the hopes of getting back assets that can extend that competitive window. If payroll stays steady, the Brewers will have limited room to maneuver to add free agents. Here is what our back-of-the-napkin payroll looked like: If they Brewers don't raise payroll, they have about $7M to add a big bat at the designated hitter spot or otherwise improve the team. They could decide not to pick up the option for Kolten Wong, but that would only free up $8M (because he has a $2M buyout) and also create another gap to fill. They could also make some other moves to add a few million dollars, such as non-tendering Adrian Houser or sacrificing a bullpen arm. A few million here, a few million there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money. But those also create some gaps that need to be filled. The bottom line: if ownership doesn't boost payroll, or Stearns doesn't move one of the team's more significant salaried players off the roster, their options are limited to improve. Or maybe you see some options that they should look at closer? You'll get to create your plan and share it with us tomorrow. Stay tuned….
  11. You probably don't need me to convince you that the Brewers' primary limitation is payroll. We, as fans, might sort of work by feel, eyeball the roster, and expect a mid-level free agent just based on the team's history, David Stearns is doing what every business manager does: trying to squeeze juice out of every last dollar. So let's see what moves the team's payroll might allow. Image courtesy of © Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports Step one is to determine where the team sits next year because every team has players that are no-brainers to return. We can't always precisely name their salaries, but we can get close enough at a "back-of-the-napkin" level to get an idea of where the team sits and the decisions they might need to make. The Infield Catcher - Victor Caratini is arbitration eligible for one more year. His offensive performance certainly was not outstanding, but he's also reasonably affordable, expecting an arbitration award in the area of $4-5M. We'll add him to the list, especially because Omar Narvaez is a free agent. The Brewers can compete for him, but they can compete for anyone, so he doesn't make the default list. Pedro Severino also doesn't make the list since he was released by the Brewers last week. First Base – The Brew Crew can offer Rowdy Tellez arbitration next year and in 2024. That will necessitate a raise from his ~$2M salary this year, so we'll also jot down $4-5M for his salary. Second Base – The Brewers have a big decision regarding Kolten Wong. "Big" as in "$8M big." They can bring him back for $10M, or they can not bring him back and still pay him $2M. We'll add him to the list for $10M until we see how things play out overall, but understand, he's going to be on our list one way or the other: either at the second base slot or $2M in the "dead money" slot. Third Base – Luis Urias fits into this slot. He was arbitration eligible last year, but he's one of the few players that will get four years of arbitration, so the Brewers can do the same in 2024 and 2025, too. He also fits into the nebulous likely-to-get $4-5M category. Of course, the player who played the most at third base this year was Jace Peterson, but he's a free agent. We need to leave him off the list. Shortstop – Like others in the infield, Willy Adames can be offered arbitration, but 2023 will be more expensive than several on this list because he's a more impactful player and made a lot more money ($4.6M) this year. To be safe, bump him up to $7-8M next year. So far, we have this: That's $31M for about ¼ of the team, but of course, we have the big one coming up when we get to the outfield. We'll cover that next time and maybe get to some of the pitching that is growing increasingly expensive. If you have any thoughts about the decision the Brewers face with Wong or take umbrage (or like) any o the assumptions above, we would love to hear about them in the comments. View full article
  12. Step one is to determine where the team sits next year because every team has players that are no-brainers to return. We can't always precisely name their salaries, but we can get close enough at a "back-of-the-napkin" level to get an idea of where the team sits and the decisions they might need to make. The Infield Catcher - Victor Caratini is arbitration eligible for one more year. His offensive performance certainly was not outstanding, but he's also reasonably affordable, expecting an arbitration award in the area of $4-5M. We'll add him to the list, especially because Omar Narvaez is a free agent. The Brewers can compete for him, but they can compete for anyone, so he doesn't make the default list. Pedro Severino also doesn't make the list since he was released by the Brewers last week. First Base – The Brew Crew can offer Rowdy Tellez arbitration next year and in 2024. That will necessitate a raise from his ~$2M salary this year, so we'll also jot down $4-5M for his salary. Second Base – The Brewers have a big decision regarding Kolten Wong. "Big" as in "$8M big." They can bring him back for $10M, or they can not bring him back and still pay him $2M. We'll add him to the list for $10M until we see how things play out overall, but understand, he's going to be on our list one way or the other: either at the second base slot or $2M in the "dead money" slot. Third Base – Luis Urias fits into this slot. He was arbitration eligible last year, but he's one of the few players that will get four years of arbitration, so the Brewers can do the same in 2024 and 2025, too. He also fits into the nebulous likely-to-get $4-5M category. Of course, the player who played the most at third base this year was Jace Peterson, but he's a free agent. We need to leave him off the list. Shortstop – Like others in the infield, Willy Adames can be offered arbitration, but 2023 will be more expensive than several on this list because he's a more impactful player and made a lot more money ($4.6M) this year. To be safe, bump him up to $7-8M next year. So far, we have this: That's $31M for about ¼ of the team, but of course, we have the big one coming up when we get to the outfield. We'll cover that next time and maybe get to some of the pitching that is growing increasingly expensive. If you have any thoughts about the decision the Brewers face with Wong or take umbrage (or like) any o the assumptions above, we would love to hear about them in the comments.
  13. Even with a disappointing end to the 2022 season, the Brewers still received a incredible effort from their everyday shortstop. Congrats to Willy Adames on being named our MVP for the 2022 season! With how the Brewers season concluded, even the most optimistic fans may have a hard time picking out bright spots from the 2022 season. Through the ups and downs of the season, one player performed admirably, doing so with a smile the entire time. That player is our choice for Brewer Fanatic 2022 MVP, Willy Adames. Adames’ 2022 season stats: .238 AVG / .298 OBP / .458 SLG / in 617 PA’s, 31 HR, 98 RBI, 4.7 fWAR In a season where the Brewers saw numerous injury stints from their position players, Adames played in 139 games, providing the Brewers with some much-needed consistency in the infield. Though Adames didn’t put up the exact offensive numbers many may have hoped, he still found ways to be productive, whether it was providing elite defense up the middle, or coming up with clutch home runs to keep the Brewers in the hunt. It might be hard to believe that Adames, who only hit .238, with a sub .300 on-base percentage was the Brewers most valuable player this year. While that may be a testament to the Brewers top-to-bottom offensive mediocrity, Adames certainly deserves some credit. His 31 home runs are the most by a Brewers shortstop in a single season, while his 98 RBI ranks second in the same category. That kind of power isn’t something Brewers fans should take for granted, especially from a shortstop. As mentioned earlier, a good chunk of Adames’ value came from his defense. His 10 Outs Above Average (OAA) ranked seventh among all MLB shortstops, and placed him in the top 20 of all qualified major leaguers. Not only was OAA a fan of Adames defensively, but other metrics such as UZR and Defensive WAR rated Adames highly as well, ranking in the top 20 in both. Depending on who you ask, MVP awards have certain other intangibles. If you were to argue for an intangible in Adames’ case, his clubhouse leadership is worth mentioning. It’s no question Adames has been the heart and soul in the Brewers clubhouse for the last year and a half. His commitment to both the team and fanbase has certainly benefited the Brewers in more than one way. Runner Up: Corbin Burnes, SP Burnes’ 2022 stats: 202 IP / 2.98 ERA / 0.965 WHIP, in 33 games, 12 wins, 243 S, 4.1 bWAR Corbin Burnes was brilliant once again in 2022. Though he likely won’t be taking home the NL Cy Young this year, Burnes solidified himself as one of the game's top pitchers in 2022. If you want to read more about Burnes masterful season, check out The Brewer Fanatic 2022 Awards: Pitcher of the Year Others Receiving votes: Hunter Renfroe, Rowdy Tellez, Jace Peterson, Kolten Wong, Christian Yelich While there were others receiving votes, none came close to the total Adames and Burnes amassed. Hitters like Hunter Renfroe and Kolten Wong both turned in above-average seasons at the plate, yet struggled defensively. Both Yelich and Tellez were plagued by inconsistency both offensively and defensively, while Jace Peterson received votes due to his excellent work as a utility man. What did you think of the contributions of the players mentioned above? Did the voters get it right? Your comments are always welcome! View full article
  14. With how the Brewers season concluded, even the most optimistic fans may have a hard time picking out bright spots from the 2022 season. Through the ups and downs of the season, one player performed admirably, doing so with a smile the entire time. That player is our choice for Brewer Fanatic 2022 MVP, Willy Adames. Adames’ 2022 season stats: .238 AVG / .298 OBP / .458 SLG / in 617 PA’s, 31 HR, 98 RBI, 4.7 fWAR In a season where the Brewers saw numerous injury stints from their position players, Adames played in 139 games, providing the Brewers with some much-needed consistency in the infield. Though Adames didn’t put up the exact offensive numbers many may have hoped, he still found ways to be productive, whether it was providing elite defense up the middle, or coming up with clutch home runs to keep the Brewers in the hunt. It might be hard to believe that Adames, who only hit .238, with a sub .300 on-base percentage was the Brewers most valuable player this year. While that may be a testament to the Brewers top-to-bottom offensive mediocrity, Adames certainly deserves some credit. His 31 home runs are the most by a Brewers shortstop in a single season, while his 98 RBI ranks second in the same category. That kind of power isn’t something Brewers fans should take for granted, especially from a shortstop. As mentioned earlier, a good chunk of Adames’ value came from his defense. His 10 Outs Above Average (OAA) ranked seventh among all MLB shortstops, and placed him in the top 20 of all qualified major leaguers. Not only was OAA a fan of Adames defensively, but other metrics such as UZR and Defensive WAR rated Adames highly as well, ranking in the top 20 in both. Depending on who you ask, MVP awards have certain other intangibles. If you were to argue for an intangible in Adames’ case, his clubhouse leadership is worth mentioning. It’s no question Adames has been the heart and soul in the Brewers clubhouse for the last year and a half. His commitment to both the team and fanbase has certainly benefited the Brewers in more than one way. Runner Up: Corbin Burnes, SP Burnes’ 2022 stats: 202 IP / 2.98 ERA / 0.965 WHIP, in 33 games, 12 wins, 243 S, 4.1 bWAR Corbin Burnes was brilliant once again in 2022. Though he likely won’t be taking home the NL Cy Young this year, Burnes solidified himself as one of the game's top pitchers in 2022. If you want to read more about Burnes masterful season, check out The Brewer Fanatic 2022 Awards: Pitcher of the Year Others Receiving votes: Hunter Renfroe, Rowdy Tellez, Jace Peterson, Kolten Wong, Christian Yelich While there were others receiving votes, none came close to the total Adames and Burnes amassed. Hitters like Hunter Renfroe and Kolten Wong both turned in above-average seasons at the plate, yet struggled defensively. Both Yelich and Tellez were plagued by inconsistency both offensively and defensively, while Jace Peterson received votes due to his excellent work as a utility man. What did you think of the contributions of the players mentioned above? Did the voters get it right? Your comments are always welcome!
  15. Box Score SP: Freddy Peralta: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (55 pitches, 35 strikes (63.6%) Home Runs: None Top 3 WPA: Kolten Wong (0.336), Brent Suter (0.250), Freddy Peralta (0.212) Bottom 3 WPA: Rowdy Tellez (-0.322), Luis Urias (-0.303 , Christian Yelich (-0.268) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Peralta’s Impressive Start When we learned after Saturday night’s loss that Freddy Peralta would be the Brewers starter on Sunday, it was sort of assumed that it might be just as an opener. And, technically, that is what he did. However, instead of opening with an inning or two, he gave the Brewers four scoreless innings. While not terribly efficient, he needed 55 pitches to get through four innings, but he gave up just two hits and didn’t walk a batter. His performance on Sunday was a good reminder of how good he can be, and how good he has been the past couple of seasons. It is also creates the question of what could have been. He missed about two months earlier in the season with some shoulder issues. Then in early September, he was placed back on the IL with ‘shoulder fatigue.’ He has returned but in a very limited capacity. If healthy - something that should never be fully counted on for any pitcher - he likely would have made 14-15 more starts this year, and how many more wins might that win for the Brewers? And what might the Brewers playoff situation be right now? Seventh Not Heaven After Peralta left the ballgame, he was replaced by Hoby Milner. The southpaw got four outs, three of them on strikeouts. He gave up just one hit. Justin Topa came on and recorded the final two outs of the sixth inning. Then came the seventh inning. Topa returned to the mound. Avisail Garcia doubled to left and Saturday’s Marlin hero Bryan De La Cruz had an infield single. Craig Counsell turned to lefty Taylor Rogers. Peyton Burdick (another Saturday star) singled to right field to score Garcia as the first run of the game. De La Cruz ran the bases well and advanced to third base. Jacob Stallings came to the plate and hit a fly ball to left field, easily deep enough to score De La Cruz and give the Marlins a 2-0 lead. Rogers gave up a single to Jordan Groshans to put runners on first and second. Rogers got Lewin Diaz to pop out for the second out but then walked lefty Joey Wendle to load the bases. At that point, Matt Bush was brought in and got a huge strikeout to end the inning and keep the deficit at just two runs. Lopez Locks Up Brewers Hitters Marlins starter Pablo Lopez made his 32nd start of the season, one more than the two previous two seasons. Coming into the game, he was 0-0 with a 3.90ERA. After shutting down the Brewer for seven innings, his day was done with 96 pitches. He gave up just two hits. He walked three batters but he struck out seven. But then… Missed Opportunity In the eighth inning, Lopez was taken out and lefty Richard Bleier was brought in. The inning started with a single by a pinch-hitting Luis Urias. That was followed by a pinch-hit double by Tyrone Taylor. It was a ground-rule double, so the Brewers were left with runners on second and third base and nobody out. Mike Brosseau then pinch hit for Garrett Mitchell and after a long battle, he struck out for the inning’s first out. A ground ball or fly ball would have scored one run. Christian Yelich came up and grounded out to second base for the second out, but it did drive in Urias with the Brewers’ first run. With Willy Adames coming to the plate, Don Mattingly turned to his closer, Dylan Floro, for the final out of the inning. He came through with a strikeout of Adames, and what started as a huge opportunity ended with the Brewers still down by a run in the ninth inning. The Ninth Inning Brad Boxberger came on for the ninth inning and had a very quick inning which brought the Brewers to bat needing a run to keep their playoff chances at least reasonable. Rowdy Tellez led off with a fly out to left field. On an 0-2 count, Hunter Renfroe took a fastball away and drove it down the right field line for a double. Game-tying runner at second base with one out. On the first pitch, Kolten Wong got jammed but flared a liner down the left field line. Renfroe rounded third and headed home with the game-tying run. On the throw, Wong advanced to second base. As was noted on the telecast, it marked the first Brewers hit with a runner in scoring position since Friday. Andrew McCutchen’s plate appearance started with a 3-0 count before he was intentionally walked. With runners on first and second, Luis Urias was jammed and hit into a double play. But, the game continued and went to extra innings. The Tenth Inning Brent Suter came in and got a little help from his defense. However, with one out (thanks to a great diving catch by Adames) Joey Wendle slapped a single to left that scored The Manfred Man from second base with the go-ahead run. Another lineout to shortstop and a Suter strikeout, and the Brewers came to bat in the bottom of the inning down by a run. The Marlins turned to Tommy Nance. Luis Urias started the inning on second base. Tyrone Taylor came to bat and worked a walk to fill first base. Victor Caratini, who came in behind the plate in the ninth inning, laid down a good sacrifice bunt to advance runners to second and third with one out. Christian Yelich came to the plate against his former team with the infield in. He hit a hard ground ball right at the second baseman who threw home. The ball was well ahead of Urias, but a creative slide made it closer than it maybe should have been. Wisely, Craig Counsell came out and challenged both the out call and blocking of the plate. The out call was confirmed and there was clearly no blocking of the plate. With two outs and runners on first and third, Willy Adames came to the plate, hoping to extend the game. Adames has been struggling, but on a 1-0 count, he hit a soft single to left field to drive in the Manfred Man and keep the game going. Rowdy Tellez popped out and the game moved on to the… 11th Inning Brent Suter returned to the mound to start the 11th inning with a runner on second base. He walked the leadoff man. However, Bryan De La Cruz grounded to short and Adames started a double play. With a runner still on third, left JJ Bleday popped out to end the inning. Will Rowdy Tellez be The Manfred Man? Ummm… No. Keston Hiura came in to pinch run. Huascar Brazoban came in to pitch for the Marlins. Hunter Renfroe surprised probably everyone by placing a terrific sacrifice bunt down the first base line to advance Hiura to third base. Kolten Wong was intentionally walked to set up an inning-ending double play. Andrew McCutchen worked the count full before walking to load the bases. Luis Urias came to the plate for the third time, and he only entered the game in the eighth inning as a pinch hitter. He had a seven-pitch at-bat, but it ended in a strikeout. With two outs and the bases loaded, Tyrone Taylor came to the plate trying to end the game. Instead, he grounded to third base to end the inning on a force out. I find myself asking if things might have been different if Hunter Renfroe would have just hit away, especially considering how well he has been hitting of late. It's a question that will never have a certain answer. 12th Inning Trevor Gott replaced Suter and got the first two batters out. However, veteran Miguel Rojas slapped a two-strike single to right to drive in the go-ahead run. Jordan Groshans followed with another single before striking out Jon Berti to end the inning. But the Brewers were again in a must-score situation in the bottom of the 12th. Tyrone Taylor was the Manfred Man for Milwaukee. Lefty Tanner Scott took over for the Marlins. Victor Caratini led off and struck out. Yelich came to the plate again and after falling behind 1-2, he worked a walk to put runners and second and third with one out. Willy Adames got the crowd excited with a fly ball to left field and ended in the left fielder's glove for the second out. Keston Hiura came to the plate for the first time in the game. He struck out to end the game. What’s Next? The final regular-season series of the season begins on Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Here are the pitching matchups: Monday at 6:10: Brandon Woodruff (13-4, 3.05 ERA) vs Tommy Henry (3-4, 5.98 ERA) Tuesday at 6:10: Eric Lauer (10-7, 3.83 ERA) vs Zac Gallen (12-3, 2.46 ERA) Wednesday at 3:10: Corbin Burnes (12-8, 2.98 ERA) vs Merrill Kelly (13-8, 3.43 ERA) Let’s throw the Phillies pitching matchups in Houston: Monday at 7:10: Aaron Nola (10-13, 3.36 ERA) vs Lance McCullers, Jr. (4-1, 2.38 ERA) Tuesday at 7:10: Ranger Suarez (10-6, 3.47 ERA) vs Justin Verlander (17-4, 1.80 ERA) Wednesday at 3:10: Bailey Falter (6-4, 3.90 ERA) vs Framber Valdez (16-6, 2.89 ERA) Wild Card Scenarios The Phillies were in Washington DC where Hurricane Ian’s remnants were passing through on Sunday. They led 8-1 after six innings, and after a long rain delay, it was called. Remaining Games Brewers: 3 at home vs Arizona Phillies: 3 at Houston So the Brewers are now one game out of a playoff spot. Because of the tiebreakers, the Phillies will have to finish a game ahead of the Phillies to take the final Wild Card spot. If the Brewers go 3-0, they need the Phillies to go 0-3. If the Brewers go 2-1, 1-2 or 0-3, the Phillies go to the playoffs. Postgame Interviews (coming soon) Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  16. In a Must Win game, the Brewers and Marlins fought hard. In fact, they needed a little overtime to determine the winner. From about the seventh inning forward, every inning was immensely intense. Image courtesy of Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports Box Score SP: Freddy Peralta: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (55 pitches, 35 strikes (63.6%) Home Runs: None Top 3 WPA: Kolten Wong (0.336), Brent Suter (0.250), Freddy Peralta (0.212) Bottom 3 WPA: Rowdy Tellez (-0.322), Luis Urias (-0.303 , Christian Yelich (-0.268) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Peralta’s Impressive Start When we learned after Saturday night’s loss that Freddy Peralta would be the Brewers starter on Sunday, it was sort of assumed that it might be just as an opener. And, technically, that is what he did. However, instead of opening with an inning or two, he gave the Brewers four scoreless innings. While not terribly efficient, he needed 55 pitches to get through four innings, but he gave up just two hits and didn’t walk a batter. His performance on Sunday was a good reminder of how good he can be, and how good he has been the past couple of seasons. It is also creates the question of what could have been. He missed about two months earlier in the season with some shoulder issues. Then in early September, he was placed back on the IL with ‘shoulder fatigue.’ He has returned but in a very limited capacity. If healthy - something that should never be fully counted on for any pitcher - he likely would have made 14-15 more starts this year, and how many more wins might that win for the Brewers? And what might the Brewers playoff situation be right now? Seventh Not Heaven After Peralta left the ballgame, he was replaced by Hoby Milner. The southpaw got four outs, three of them on strikeouts. He gave up just one hit. Justin Topa came on and recorded the final two outs of the sixth inning. Then came the seventh inning. Topa returned to the mound. Avisail Garcia doubled to left and Saturday’s Marlin hero Bryan De La Cruz had an infield single. Craig Counsell turned to lefty Taylor Rogers. Peyton Burdick (another Saturday star) singled to right field to score Garcia as the first run of the game. De La Cruz ran the bases well and advanced to third base. Jacob Stallings came to the plate and hit a fly ball to left field, easily deep enough to score De La Cruz and give the Marlins a 2-0 lead. Rogers gave up a single to Jordan Groshans to put runners on first and second. Rogers got Lewin Diaz to pop out for the second out but then walked lefty Joey Wendle to load the bases. At that point, Matt Bush was brought in and got a huge strikeout to end the inning and keep the deficit at just two runs. Lopez Locks Up Brewers Hitters Marlins starter Pablo Lopez made his 32nd start of the season, one more than the two previous two seasons. Coming into the game, he was 0-0 with a 3.90ERA. After shutting down the Brewer for seven innings, his day was done with 96 pitches. He gave up just two hits. He walked three batters but he struck out seven. But then… Missed Opportunity In the eighth inning, Lopez was taken out and lefty Richard Bleier was brought in. The inning started with a single by a pinch-hitting Luis Urias. That was followed by a pinch-hit double by Tyrone Taylor. It was a ground-rule double, so the Brewers were left with runners on second and third base and nobody out. Mike Brosseau then pinch hit for Garrett Mitchell and after a long battle, he struck out for the inning’s first out. A ground ball or fly ball would have scored one run. Christian Yelich came up and grounded out to second base for the second out, but it did drive in Urias with the Brewers’ first run. With Willy Adames coming to the plate, Don Mattingly turned to his closer, Dylan Floro, for the final out of the inning. He came through with a strikeout of Adames, and what started as a huge opportunity ended with the Brewers still down by a run in the ninth inning. The Ninth Inning Brad Boxberger came on for the ninth inning and had a very quick inning which brought the Brewers to bat needing a run to keep their playoff chances at least reasonable. Rowdy Tellez led off with a fly out to left field. On an 0-2 count, Hunter Renfroe took a fastball away and drove it down the right field line for a double. Game-tying runner at second base with one out. On the first pitch, Kolten Wong got jammed but flared a liner down the left field line. Renfroe rounded third and headed home with the game-tying run. On the throw, Wong advanced to second base. As was noted on the telecast, it marked the first Brewers hit with a runner in scoring position since Friday. Andrew McCutchen’s plate appearance started with a 3-0 count before he was intentionally walked. With runners on first and second, Luis Urias was jammed and hit into a double play. But, the game continued and went to extra innings. The Tenth Inning Brent Suter came in and got a little help from his defense. However, with one out (thanks to a great diving catch by Adames) Joey Wendle slapped a single to left that scored The Manfred Man from second base with the go-ahead run. Another lineout to shortstop and a Suter strikeout, and the Brewers came to bat in the bottom of the inning down by a run. The Marlins turned to Tommy Nance. Luis Urias started the inning on second base. Tyrone Taylor came to bat and worked a walk to fill first base. Victor Caratini, who came in behind the plate in the ninth inning, laid down a good sacrifice bunt to advance runners to second and third with one out. Christian Yelich came to the plate against his former team with the infield in. He hit a hard ground ball right at the second baseman who threw home. The ball was well ahead of Urias, but a creative slide made it closer than it maybe should have been. Wisely, Craig Counsell came out and challenged both the out call and blocking of the plate. The out call was confirmed and there was clearly no blocking of the plate. With two outs and runners on first and third, Willy Adames came to the plate, hoping to extend the game. Adames has been struggling, but on a 1-0 count, he hit a soft single to left field to drive in the Manfred Man and keep the game going. Rowdy Tellez popped out and the game moved on to the… 11th Inning Brent Suter returned to the mound to start the 11th inning with a runner on second base. He walked the leadoff man. However, Bryan De La Cruz grounded to short and Adames started a double play. With a runner still on third, left JJ Bleday popped out to end the inning. Will Rowdy Tellez be The Manfred Man? Ummm… No. Keston Hiura came in to pinch run. Huascar Brazoban came in to pitch for the Marlins. Hunter Renfroe surprised probably everyone by placing a terrific sacrifice bunt down the first base line to advance Hiura to third base. Kolten Wong was intentionally walked to set up an inning-ending double play. Andrew McCutchen worked the count full before walking to load the bases. Luis Urias came to the plate for the third time, and he only entered the game in the eighth inning as a pinch hitter. He had a seven-pitch at-bat, but it ended in a strikeout. With two outs and the bases loaded, Tyrone Taylor came to the plate trying to end the game. Instead, he grounded to third base to end the inning on a force out. I find myself asking if things might have been different if Hunter Renfroe would have just hit away, especially considering how well he has been hitting of late. It's a question that will never have a certain answer. 12th Inning Trevor Gott replaced Suter and got the first two batters out. However, veteran Miguel Rojas slapped a two-strike single to right to drive in the go-ahead run. Jordan Groshans followed with another single before striking out Jon Berti to end the inning. But the Brewers were again in a must-score situation in the bottom of the 12th. Tyrone Taylor was the Manfred Man for Milwaukee. Lefty Tanner Scott took over for the Marlins. Victor Caratini led off and struck out. Yelich came to the plate again and after falling behind 1-2, he worked a walk to put runners and second and third with one out. Willy Adames got the crowd excited with a fly ball to left field and ended in the left fielder's glove for the second out. Keston Hiura came to the plate for the first time in the game. He struck out to end the game. What’s Next? The final regular-season series of the season begins on Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Here are the pitching matchups: Monday at 6:10: Brandon Woodruff (13-4, 3.05 ERA) vs Tommy Henry (3-4, 5.98 ERA) Tuesday at 6:10: Eric Lauer (10-7, 3.83 ERA) vs Zac Gallen (12-3, 2.46 ERA) Wednesday at 3:10: Corbin Burnes (12-8, 2.98 ERA) vs Merrill Kelly (13-8, 3.43 ERA) Let’s throw the Phillies pitching matchups in Houston: Monday at 7:10: Aaron Nola (10-13, 3.36 ERA) vs Lance McCullers, Jr. (4-1, 2.38 ERA) Tuesday at 7:10: Ranger Suarez (10-6, 3.47 ERA) vs Justin Verlander (17-4, 1.80 ERA) Wednesday at 3:10: Bailey Falter (6-4, 3.90 ERA) vs Framber Valdez (16-6, 2.89 ERA) Wild Card Scenarios The Phillies were in Washington DC where Hurricane Ian’s remnants were passing through on Sunday. They led 8-1 after six innings, and after a long rain delay, it was called. Remaining Games Brewers: 3 at home vs Arizona Phillies: 3 at Houston So the Brewers are now one game out of a playoff spot. Because of the tiebreakers, the Phillies will have to finish a game ahead of the Phillies to take the final Wild Card spot. If the Brewers go 3-0, they need the Phillies to go 0-3. If the Brewers go 2-1, 1-2 or 0-3, the Phillies go to the playoffs. Postgame Interviews (coming soon) Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  17. At a glance, it appears the Brewers' offense isn't a concern at all. Milwaukee entered play Tuesday ranked 7th in MLB in scoring at 4.65 runs/game. They're 8th in OPS+ (106) and OBP (.320), which likely would surprise most fans. And yet, each night, it feels like a toss-up if the offense will actually show up. David Stearns, President of Baseball Operations, recently told reporters he was comfortable with their hitters. "And so if we are going to do something that impacts our position player group, it may require some level of creativity or some complementary piece. Or we may decide that ultimately what we have right now is better than what we can get elsewhere." Despite the surface-level stats favoring Stearns' comments, the lineup has holes, lacks depth, and always relies on hoping certain guys reach their supposed ceilings. A prime example of Milwaukee's issues showed up Tuesday night in a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Trailing by a pair in the 7th inning with the tying runs aboard, Craig Counsell pinch-hit for his number three and five hitters in Rowdy Tellez and Kolten Wong. Not exactly a sign of confidence when you remove two of your middle-of-the-order hitters. How often are teams taking out their three and five guys because of a platoon disadvantage? That inherently tells you the lineup has plenty of room for improvement. Compounding the issue, Wong was replaced by Pedro Severino, the third catcher on the club. If you're going to pinch-hit in the five-hole in a high leverage situation, your backup to your backup catcher shouldn't be part of the plan. If that is how they "drew it up," then the Brewers will need a lot of help from luck and randomness to make a postseason run. How can Milwaukee's front office believe this offense is set? There are clear areas where the Brewers could improve without selling the farm for top talent. There are several things to consider: Milwaukee currently has a four-man bench, with two of those position players being catchers. The Brewers have the 6th-worst OPS (.663) and 5th-lowest SLG (.357) versus left-handed pitchers. Wong has a terrible .127/.238/.127/.365 line against lefty pitching this season. Tellez owns a .324 SLG and .626 OPS versus southpaws in 2022. Until his recent hot streak, Luis Urias was an up-and-down hitter with a .379 SLG and .690 OPS. These issues show that Milwaukee easily has at least two spots they could fill with a relevant hitter. No one is talking about a top position player, but guys that fill a need. First of all, they could have benefitted greatly from a right-handed infielder who could compete for time with Urias at third base and get starts over Wong against lefties. A guy like Brandon Drury (1.016 OPS versus left-handers this season) would have been a perfect fit. He ended up in San Diego for an 18-year-old shortstop. Tellez could also use a right-handed complement. Josh Bell and Trey Mancini were dealt on Tuesday. While their asset cost may have been higher, they both would have been an upgrade as a 1B/DH and pinch-hitter against lefties like the Brewers needed Tuesday. Is keeping another mid-level prospect going to make or break the farm system? And how about a left-handed outfield stick to counter the three non-Christian Yelich outfielders? A couple of these guys were moved a few days earlier (David Peralta, Tyler Naquin), and a handful of other teams had available players. None of these players could have cost much. It wouldn't have been a center field solution by any means, but it would have created more options and matchups, which Counsell and Milwaukee love. Even looking at it from a practical standpoint should have screamed "must add bats" as the clock ticked down. Having only four bench players - with only two of them non-catchers - again fails to take advantage of platoon strategies that the Brewers are built around. Not only should Milwaukee have a fifth position player as a sub, but they should also have a legitimate option that isn't primarily a catcher. This deadline was the ideal opportunity to build up their bench and strategic choices, but instead, the Brewers did nothing. Especially since there are no longer waiver-wire trades after the deadline, Milwaukee has put itself in a precarious position with its depth. If they suffer an injury or two to the position player group, the Brewers would need to rely on rookies and inexperienced minor leaguers who are likely unprepared for prime-time games. For a team with postseason and World Series aspirations, it's incredibly frustrating that the Brewers did not improve one iota offensively at the trade deadline. Fans can hope that one or two current players take a step forward and lead the lineup to consistent success. However, all signs point to another season of needing a lot of luck to score enough runs against the best teams in the league.
  18. The MLB trade deadline is often exciting and chaotic, but it's entirely disappointing for some teams. With one of the top rotations in baseball and a deep bullpen, the Milwaukee Brewers approached the deadline needing offensive consistency. They failed the fans by adding zero bats to the roster, a ridiculous and almost unacceptable result. At a glance, it appears the Brewers' offense isn't a concern at all. Milwaukee entered play Tuesday ranked 7th in MLB in scoring at 4.65 runs/game. They're 8th in OPS+ (106) and OBP (.320), which likely would surprise most fans. And yet, each night, it feels like a toss-up if the offense will actually show up. David Stearns, President of Baseball Operations, recently told reporters he was comfortable with their hitters. "And so if we are going to do something that impacts our position player group, it may require some level of creativity or some complementary piece. Or we may decide that ultimately what we have right now is better than what we can get elsewhere." Despite the surface-level stats favoring Stearns' comments, the lineup has holes, lacks depth, and always relies on hoping certain guys reach their supposed ceilings. A prime example of Milwaukee's issues showed up Tuesday night in a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Trailing by a pair in the 7th inning with the tying runs aboard, Craig Counsell pinch-hit for his number three and five hitters in Rowdy Tellez and Kolten Wong. Not exactly a sign of confidence when you remove two of your middle-of-the-order hitters. How often are teams taking out their three and five guys because of a platoon disadvantage? That inherently tells you the lineup has plenty of room for improvement. Compounding the issue, Wong was replaced by Pedro Severino, the third catcher on the club. If you're going to pinch-hit in the five-hole in a high leverage situation, your backup to your backup catcher shouldn't be part of the plan. If that is how they "drew it up," then the Brewers will need a lot of help from luck and randomness to make a postseason run. How can Milwaukee's front office believe this offense is set? There are clear areas where the Brewers could improve without selling the farm for top talent. There are several things to consider: Milwaukee currently has a four-man bench, with two of those position players being catchers. The Brewers have the 6th-worst OPS (.663) and 5th-lowest SLG (.357) versus left-handed pitchers. Wong has a terrible .127/.238/.127/.365 line against lefty pitching this season. Tellez owns a .324 SLG and .626 OPS versus southpaws in 2022. Until his recent hot streak, Luis Urias was an up-and-down hitter with a .379 SLG and .690 OPS. These issues show that Milwaukee easily has at least two spots they could fill with a relevant hitter. No one is talking about a top position player, but guys that fill a need. First of all, they could have benefitted greatly from a right-handed infielder who could compete for time with Urias at third base and get starts over Wong against lefties. A guy like Brandon Drury (1.016 OPS versus left-handers this season) would have been a perfect fit. He ended up in San Diego for an 18-year-old shortstop. Tellez could also use a right-handed complement. Josh Bell and Trey Mancini were dealt on Tuesday. While their asset cost may have been higher, they both would have been an upgrade as a 1B/DH and pinch-hitter against lefties like the Brewers needed Tuesday. Is keeping another mid-level prospect going to make or break the farm system? And how about a left-handed outfield stick to counter the three non-Christian Yelich outfielders? A couple of these guys were moved a few days earlier (David Peralta, Tyler Naquin), and a handful of other teams had available players. None of these players could have cost much. It wouldn't have been a center field solution by any means, but it would have created more options and matchups, which Counsell and Milwaukee love. Even looking at it from a practical standpoint should have screamed "must add bats" as the clock ticked down. Having only four bench players - with only two of them non-catchers - again fails to take advantage of platoon strategies that the Brewers are built around. Not only should Milwaukee have a fifth position player as a sub, but they should also have a legitimate option that isn't primarily a catcher. This deadline was the ideal opportunity to build up their bench and strategic choices, but instead, the Brewers did nothing. Especially since there are no longer waiver-wire trades after the deadline, Milwaukee has put itself in a precarious position with its depth. If they suffer an injury or two to the position player group, the Brewers would need to rely on rookies and inexperienced minor leaguers who are likely unprepared for prime-time games. For a team with postseason and World Series aspirations, it's incredibly frustrating that the Brewers did not improve one iota offensively at the trade deadline. Fans can hope that one or two current players take a step forward and lead the lineup to consistent success. However, all signs point to another season of needing a lot of luck to score enough runs against the best teams in the league. View full article
  19. The MLB season has reached its halfway point. With the All-Star break and the festivities taking the full front of attention, it may be time to take a break from the fun and reflect on the first half of the season. Like a teacher handing out the dreaded report card, it's time to see how the Brewers fared in half number one. Before jumping into the grading breakdown, it's important to lay some guidelines. Grading is based on the players performance through the first 93 games of the 2022 season. Listed with the given grades is the players slash line (AVG/OBP/SLG) as of July 18, and either their OAA (Outs Above Average) or percentile grades in pitch framing. The grades are also based on both the offensive and defensive value the players should have been reasonably expected to provide, and is completely subjective. The purpose of the grades are simply to reflect, and not to promote any distaste towards any certain player. Rowdy Tellez * .227/.305/.458 * -3 OAA * First Base Grade: B+ Rowdy Tellez’s first season as the Brewers' full-time first basemen has been filled with plenty of excitement. Tellez’s calling card is his power, and with 18 big-flies on his ledger, it’s fair to say Rowdy’s performed up to expectations. Though both his average and on-base numbers have dipped over the past month, there is no sign of a permanent slow down for Tellez going forward. In fact, in the month of July, despite hitting a mere .148, Tellez’s K% remains under 20% and his .122 BABIP may help explain his recent offensive struggles. As a defender, it’s not surprising the advanced metrics aren’t a fan of Tellez, but his defense has been good enough not to generate any widespread complaints. It remains to be seen what kind of numbers Tellez will put up by year's end, or even if Tellez will continue to get the chance to continue to play every day. Should the Brewers stick with Tellez, and they should, fans shouldn’t be surprised if Tellez continues his hitting ways throughout the rest of the season. Kolten Wong *.227/.313/.382 * -9 OAA * Second Base Grade: D It’s quietly been a brutal season for Kolten Wong. Wong has seen a fairly sizable dip in his offensive production, and has fallen out of his usual leadoff spot in favor of Christian Yelich . Most notably though, Wong’s seen his defensive value plummet. Usually a gold glove contender, Wong is having his worst defensive season ever. His -9 outs above average ranks him at the 3rd worst defender in the league, a difference of 11 outs from his previous year. Given Wong has been below average in pretty much every asset of the game, it was hard to give him a respectable grade. He may have his nagging calf injury to blame, and with a track record of better performance, Wong will probably, and hopefully, be better in the second half. Willy Adames * .220/.294/.477 * 7 OAA * Shortstop Grade: B+ Although Adames may not be putting up the offensive numbers he did in his first season in Milwaukee, he’s still been one of the Brewers most valuable players. His 19 home runs not only leads the Brewers, but it leads all National League shortstops as well. Despite not getting many hits to fall, he still leads the team in slugging, tied with Hunter Renfroe. But even given his offensive production, the value most worth mentioning is his defense. Adames is currently tied for the team lead in OAA with Jace Peterson, and he’s done it playing a premium position. Looking forward towards the second half, fans shouldn’t be surprised if Adames goes on a tear. All advanced metrics point to an uptick in offensive production, and if Adames’ defense stays elite, Adames will once again end the season as one of the Brewers best position pieces. Luis Urias * .223/.314/.384 * -6 OAA * Third Base Grade: C Urias began the season on the IL with a quad injury before joining the Brewers as the regular third basemen. His bat has been streaky so far, but despite his unexciting slash line, Urias has still managed to pop 10 home runs. That being said, the Brewers expect more from Urias. Urias is expected to be the third baseman of the future, and he still hasn’t solidified that role over any other options on the team. As for his defense, his defense has been poor by OAA standards, but fans who watched Urias play last year will tell you his defense looks much improved. It is also worth mentioning he has spent time playing 2B, SS, and 3B this year, so some inconsistency is expected. Urias will need to boost his offensive production in the second half if the Brewers are aiming to improve their offense from within. His 97 WRC+ is just below average, and if the Brewers want to see more runs across the plate, Urias is one of the players that needs to, and can, be better. Now it's your turn. Are the grades fair? Would you give extra credit or demerits to some of the players? If so, let's hear it in the comments below.
  20. The Brewers Infield has had its ups and downs, but with some key contributors now healthy, we should see some of these grades go up over the second half of this year. But for now, let us know if they match yours. The MLB season has reached its halfway point. With the All-Star break and the festivities taking the full front of attention, it may be time to take a break from the fun and reflect on the first half of the season. Like a teacher handing out the dreaded report card, it's time to see how the Brewers fared in half number one. Before jumping into the grading breakdown, it's important to lay some guidelines. Grading is based on the players performance through the first 93 games of the 2022 season. Listed with the given grades is the players slash line (AVG/OBP/SLG) as of July 18, and either their OAA (Outs Above Average) or percentile grades in pitch framing. The grades are also based on both the offensive and defensive value the players should have been reasonably expected to provide, and is completely subjective. The purpose of the grades are simply to reflect, and not to promote any distaste towards any certain player. Rowdy Tellez * .227/.305/.458 * -3 OAA * First Base Grade: B+ Rowdy Tellez’s first season as the Brewers' full-time first basemen has been filled with plenty of excitement. Tellez’s calling card is his power, and with 18 big-flies on his ledger, it’s fair to say Rowdy’s performed up to expectations. Though both his average and on-base numbers have dipped over the past month, there is no sign of a permanent slow down for Tellez going forward. In fact, in the month of July, despite hitting a mere .148, Tellez’s K% remains under 20% and his .122 BABIP may help explain his recent offensive struggles. As a defender, it’s not surprising the advanced metrics aren’t a fan of Tellez, but his defense has been good enough not to generate any widespread complaints. It remains to be seen what kind of numbers Tellez will put up by year's end, or even if Tellez will continue to get the chance to continue to play every day. Should the Brewers stick with Tellez, and they should, fans shouldn’t be surprised if Tellez continues his hitting ways throughout the rest of the season. Kolten Wong *.227/.313/.382 * -9 OAA * Second Base Grade: D It’s quietly been a brutal season for Kolten Wong. Wong has seen a fairly sizable dip in his offensive production, and has fallen out of his usual leadoff spot in favor of Christian Yelich . Most notably though, Wong’s seen his defensive value plummet. Usually a gold glove contender, Wong is having his worst defensive season ever. His -9 outs above average ranks him at the 3rd worst defender in the league, a difference of 11 outs from his previous year. Given Wong has been below average in pretty much every asset of the game, it was hard to give him a respectable grade. He may have his nagging calf injury to blame, and with a track record of better performance, Wong will probably, and hopefully, be better in the second half. Willy Adames * .220/.294/.477 * 7 OAA * Shortstop Grade: B+ Although Adames may not be putting up the offensive numbers he did in his first season in Milwaukee, he’s still been one of the Brewers most valuable players. His 19 home runs not only leads the Brewers, but it leads all National League shortstops as well. Despite not getting many hits to fall, he still leads the team in slugging, tied with Hunter Renfroe. But even given his offensive production, the value most worth mentioning is his defense. Adames is currently tied for the team lead in OAA with Jace Peterson, and he’s done it playing a premium position. Looking forward towards the second half, fans shouldn’t be surprised if Adames goes on a tear. All advanced metrics point to an uptick in offensive production, and if Adames’ defense stays elite, Adames will once again end the season as one of the Brewers best position pieces. Luis Urias * .223/.314/.384 * -6 OAA * Third Base Grade: C Urias began the season on the IL with a quad injury before joining the Brewers as the regular third basemen. His bat has been streaky so far, but despite his unexciting slash line, Urias has still managed to pop 10 home runs. That being said, the Brewers expect more from Urias. Urias is expected to be the third baseman of the future, and he still hasn’t solidified that role over any other options on the team. As for his defense, his defense has been poor by OAA standards, but fans who watched Urias play last year will tell you his defense looks much improved. It is also worth mentioning he has spent time playing 2B, SS, and 3B this year, so some inconsistency is expected. Urias will need to boost his offensive production in the second half if the Brewers are aiming to improve their offense from within. His 97 WRC+ is just below average, and if the Brewers want to see more runs across the plate, Urias is one of the players that needs to, and can, be better. Now it's your turn. Are the grades fair? Would you give extra credit or demerits to some of the players? If so, let's hear it in the comments below. View full article
  21. Brandon Woodruff last pitched for Milwaukee on May 27 and hit the injured list with a right ankle sprain. His departure coupled with that of Freddy Peralta has put the starting staff in a bing. Woodruff returns to the big leagues sporting a 4.74 ERA through his first nine starts. Woodruff is dealing with Raynaud's Syndrome, a circulatory issue that causes numbness in extremities, particularly fingers. After successfully making two minor league rehab starts, he has been deemed ready to return to the Milwaukee rotation. Milwaukee will certainly be hoping to have their Cy Young candidate back when Woodruff settles in, and the 3.82 FIP suggests there’s better production to be had. Woodruff has been burned a bit by the longball this season, but has remained consistent with dominant strikeout numbers. Right-handed pitcher Trevor Kelley was optioned to Triple-A Nashville in a corresponding move. It appeared likely that Kolten Wong would return today after Milwaukee optioned third basemen Pablo Reyes to Triple-A yesterday. Wong was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain retroactive to June 8. He has a .709 OPS for The Crew across 52 games this season.
  22. The Milwaukee Brewers have been without a few key players for the past couple of weeks and today they get two back on the active roster. Both starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff and second basemen Kolten Wong have been returned from the injured list. Brandon Woodruff last pitched for Milwaukee on May 27 and hit the injured list with a right ankle sprain. His departure coupled with that of Freddy Peralta has put the starting staff in a bing. Woodruff returns to the big leagues sporting a 4.74 ERA through his first nine starts. Woodruff is dealing with Raynaud's Syndrome, a circulatory issue that causes numbness in extremities, particularly fingers. After successfully making two minor league rehab starts, he has been deemed ready to return to the Milwaukee rotation. Milwaukee will certainly be hoping to have their Cy Young candidate back when Woodruff settles in, and the 3.82 FIP suggests there’s better production to be had. Woodruff has been burned a bit by the longball this season, but has remained consistent with dominant strikeout numbers. Right-handed pitcher Trevor Kelley was optioned to Triple-A Nashville in a corresponding move. It appeared likely that Kolten Wong would return today after Milwaukee optioned third basemen Pablo Reyes to Triple-A yesterday. Wong was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain retroactive to June 8. He has a .709 OPS for The Crew across 52 games this season. View full article
  23. Milwaukee had been without Mike Brosseau since June 1. He has primarily played on the left side of the infield for the Brewers, and his absence was notable given the career year he’s currently experiencing. Through 32 games for The Crew, Brosseau’s 137 OPS+ is rivaled by only a 36-game stretch with Tampa Bay in 2020. Both Jandel Gustave and Trevor Gott returning to the bullpen give Milwaukee options where they’ve had to consistently shuffle arms. Gott owns a 3.68 ERA across 22 innings this season while Gustave has posted a 4.80 ERA in 15 innings. Infielder Mark Mathias was optioned to Triple-A Nashville making room for Brosseau, while pitcher Peter Strzelecki was also optioned, and pitcher Miguel Sanchez was placed on the injured list with right UCL discomfort. The Brewers did add third basemen Pablo Reyes from Triple-A Nashville, but they hope to have Kolten Wong back soon as he was sent on a rehab assignment to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
  24. The Milwaukee Brewers have dealt with a handful of injuries over the past few weeks that have left the active roster in flux. Over the weekend they got some good news as contributors returned after rehab stints. Mike Brosseau, Trevor Gott, and Jandel Gustave all returned in the past few days. Milwaukee had been without Mike Brosseau since June 1. He has primarily played on the left side of the infield for the Brewers, and his absence was notable given the career year he’s currently experiencing. Through 32 games for The Crew, Brosseau’s 137 OPS+ is rivaled by only a 36-game stretch with Tampa Bay in 2020. Both Jandel Gustave and Trevor Gott returning to the bullpen give Milwaukee options where they’ve had to consistently shuffle arms. Gott owns a 3.68 ERA across 22 innings this season while Gustave has posted a 4.80 ERA in 15 innings. Infielder Mark Mathias was optioned to Triple-A Nashville making room for Brosseau, while pitcher Peter Strzelecki was also optioned, and pitcher Miguel Sanchez was placed on the injured list with right UCL discomfort. The Brewers did add third basemen Pablo Reyes from Triple-A Nashville, but they hope to have Kolten Wong back soon as he was sent on a rehab assignment to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. View full article
  25. Prior to their game on Saturday the Milwaukee Brewers were dealt a blow to the middle of the infield. After experiencing a right calf strain, second basemen Kolten Wong was placed on the injured list. Kolten Wong has been a mainstay for Milwaukee this year playing in 52 games. His stint on the injured list was retroactive to June 8, and he’ll look to return for the Brewers as soon as possible. Posting a .700 OPS this season, he’s been exactly league average at the plate. Milwaukee replaced Wong on the active roster by recalling second basemen Mark Mathias from Triple-A Nashville. Mathias made his Major League Debut during 2022 and has now played in four games for the Brewers this season. He’s got two hits in 11 at bats, one of which was a home run. Alongside the middle infield moves, Milwaukee also swapped out a reliever. Right hander Luke Barker was sent back to Triple-A in favor of fellow right hander Peter Strzelecki. Strzelecki has seen action in two games for the Brewers this season, working three innings and allowing just a single run. View full article
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