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  1. Box Score SP: Corbin Burnes: 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 8 K (102 pitches, 61 strikes (59.8%) Home Runs: Hunter Renfroe 2 (27), Rowdy Tellez (33) Top 3 WPA: Hunter Renfroe (0.328), Corbin Burnes (0.147), Omar Narvaez (0.141) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Hunter Renfroe Provides the Power Things were pretty quiet in the first three innings. The Reds scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the 1st inning on an Alejo Lopez single. In the bottom of the 4th inning, Hunter Renfroe came to bat with Rowdy Tellez on base. He launched his 26th home run of the season to give the Brewers the 2-1 lead. The Crew kept adding on that inning. Omar Narvaez later singled to score Andrew McCutchen, and then Luis Urias scored on a Tyrone Taylor single to make it 4-1. One is terrific but twice is really nice. In the fifth frame, with Rowdy Tellez again on base, Renfroe came to the plate again and hit a second, two-run homer to give the Brewers a 6-1 lead. It was the 27th home run of the year for Renfroe. Both teams went scoreless in the 6th inning. The Reds didn’t score in the top of the 7th and then the Brewers added on. Christian Yelich scored on a Willy Adames double. Soon after, Renfroe drove in his fifth run of the game to score Adames on a single. Renfroe later scored on a single by Urias. Through seven innings, the Brewers held a 9-1 lead. The Reds scored a run in the bottom of the 7th inning. The 8th inning was scoreless for both teams. Rowdy Tellez led off the top of the 9th inning with a solo home run off of position player Alejo Lopez. That brought Renfroe to the plate again. He was 4-for-4 to that point, and of course, the one “pitcher” to get him out was Lopez who started the game at second base. Burnes Comes Through With the Brewers needing to win at least eight of their final 11 games, they really need to be able to rely on Corbin Burnes. It’s fair to say that Burnes wasn’t at his absolute best on Saturday in Cincinnati, but he was certainly good enough on this night. Good enough to earn his 11th win of the year. He struggled with his control a little more than he usually does. His strike percentage was just under 60% He gave up just the four hits, but he also uncharacteristically walked three batters too. However, he worked into the 7th inning and kept the Crew in control. He had eight strikeouts in the game. Bullpen Provides Zero(es) Burnes gave up the first-inning run and then didn’t give up a run until the 7th inning. He left the game with one run in and a runner in scoring position. He was relieved by Trevor Gott who got the next two batters out. Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless 8th inning before Brent Suter struck out two batters in a perfect 9th inning. That’s got to hurt! Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless, hitless eighth inning despite a lack of control. Just six of his 16 pitches were strikes. He walked the leadoff batter of the inning on four pitches, but he also hit Reds’ rookie infielder Spencer Steer. It is interesting because the two were teammates and went to spring training together in 2021 and 2022 with the Minnesota Twins. Rogers was traded to the Padres on Opening Day, and of course, the Brewers acquired him from San Diego in the Josh Hader deal. Rogers got the opportunity in a low-leverage situation. In his previous outing, he gave up four runs on one hit and three walks in just 2/3 of an inning. And before that, he gave up a run on two hits in one inning against the Yankees. However, in his previous four appearances, he worked four scoreless, hitless, walkless innings that included eight strikeouts. It has certainly been a roller coaster season for Rogers. What’s Next? The Brewers will play their final road game of the season on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Reds one more time. Freddy Peralta will come off of the Injured List to try to keep the team’s hopes alive for a playoff berth. He is 4-3 with a 3.45 ERA. The Reds will counter with former first-round pick Nick Lodolo who is 4-7 with a 3.90 ERA. Game time is 12:40 central time. Wild Card Update The Brewers won. The Padres beat the Rockies 9-3. The Phillies lost to Kyle Wright and the Braves 6-3. The Brewers made up one game on the Phillies. Postgame Interviews
  2. Needing to win as many games as possible over their final 11 games, the Brewers got a 9-2 win in Cincinnati on Saturday. Image courtesy of David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports Box Score SP: Corbin Burnes: 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 8 K (102 pitches, 61 strikes (59.8%) Home Runs: Hunter Renfroe 2 (27), Rowdy Tellez (33) Top 3 WPA: Hunter Renfroe (0.328), Corbin Burnes (0.147), Omar Narvaez (0.141) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Hunter Renfroe Provides the Power Things were pretty quiet in the first three innings. The Reds scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the 1st inning on an Alejo Lopez single. In the bottom of the 4th inning, Hunter Renfroe came to bat with Rowdy Tellez on base. He launched his 26th home run of the season to give the Brewers the 2-1 lead. The Crew kept adding on that inning. Omar Narvaez later singled to score Andrew McCutchen, and then Luis Urias scored on a Tyrone Taylor single to make it 4-1. One is terrific but twice is really nice. In the fifth frame, with Rowdy Tellez again on base, Renfroe came to the plate again and hit a second, two-run homer to give the Brewers a 6-1 lead. It was the 27th home run of the year for Renfroe. Both teams went scoreless in the 6th inning. The Reds didn’t score in the top of the 7th and then the Brewers added on. Christian Yelich scored on a Willy Adames double. Soon after, Renfroe drove in his fifth run of the game to score Adames on a single. Renfroe later scored on a single by Urias. Through seven innings, the Brewers held a 9-1 lead. The Reds scored a run in the bottom of the 7th inning. The 8th inning was scoreless for both teams. Rowdy Tellez led off the top of the 9th inning with a solo home run off of position player Alejo Lopez. That brought Renfroe to the plate again. He was 4-for-4 to that point, and of course, the one “pitcher” to get him out was Lopez who started the game at second base. Burnes Comes Through With the Brewers needing to win at least eight of their final 11 games, they really need to be able to rely on Corbin Burnes. It’s fair to say that Burnes wasn’t at his absolute best on Saturday in Cincinnati, but he was certainly good enough on this night. Good enough to earn his 11th win of the year. He struggled with his control a little more than he usually does. His strike percentage was just under 60% He gave up just the four hits, but he also uncharacteristically walked three batters too. However, he worked into the 7th inning and kept the Crew in control. He had eight strikeouts in the game. Bullpen Provides Zero(es) Burnes gave up the first-inning run and then didn’t give up a run until the 7th inning. He left the game with one run in and a runner in scoring position. He was relieved by Trevor Gott who got the next two batters out. Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless 8th inning before Brent Suter struck out two batters in a perfect 9th inning. That’s got to hurt! Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless, hitless eighth inning despite a lack of control. Just six of his 16 pitches were strikes. He walked the leadoff batter of the inning on four pitches, but he also hit Reds’ rookie infielder Spencer Steer. It is interesting because the two were teammates and went to spring training together in 2021 and 2022 with the Minnesota Twins. Rogers was traded to the Padres on Opening Day, and of course, the Brewers acquired him from San Diego in the Josh Hader deal. Rogers got the opportunity in a low-leverage situation. In his previous outing, he gave up four runs on one hit and three walks in just 2/3 of an inning. And before that, he gave up a run on two hits in one inning against the Yankees. However, in his previous four appearances, he worked four scoreless, hitless, walkless innings that included eight strikeouts. It has certainly been a roller coaster season for Rogers. What’s Next? The Brewers will play their final road game of the season on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Reds one more time. Freddy Peralta will come off of the Injured List to try to keep the team’s hopes alive for a playoff berth. He is 4-3 with a 3.45 ERA. The Reds will counter with former first-round pick Nick Lodolo who is 4-7 with a 3.90 ERA. Game time is 12:40 central time. Wild Card Update The Brewers won. The Padres beat the Rockies 9-3. The Phillies lost to Kyle Wright and the Braves 6-3. The Brewers made up one game on the Phillies. Postgame Interviews View full article
  3. Even if the Milwaukee Brewers slipped into the playoffs, most would see 2022 as a disappointment unless they made a miraculous run to the NLCS (at least). Either way, there are a handful of free agent decisions the front office needs to make for next season. Image courtesy of © Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports A vast majority of Brewers are under team control in 2023. Eighteen players are in their arbitration years, with a number in pre-arbitration. David Stearns, President of Baseball Operations, could decide to cut ties with any of those guys, but most are staying put. Stearns and GM Matt Arnold have tremendous flexibility with the roster, though, as only three players have guaranteed contracts in 2023: Christian Yelich, Freddy Peralta, and Aaron Ashby. So some critical decisions will need to be made when dealing with the Brewers' potential free agents. Four players, in particular, provide some choice from the club to determine if they offer more value to Milwaukee versus what is available on the market. With all due respect to Andrew McCutchen, his performance this season doesn't warrant a discussion about his return. It hasn't worked out. With Cutch off the list, here are four potential free agents who may or may not return to Milwaukee. 4 - Jace Peterson The 32-year-old utility man has been the third-most valuable position player for the Brewers with a 2.2 fWAR. Part of that stems from Milwaukee's lack of star power in the lineup. However, despite sporadic playing time, his value also comes in quality defense in multiple spots and an ability to get on base at a solid clip. Peterson is the type of veteran player you find on winning teams. These types might not jump out at you statistically, but their importance is seen throughout the season. There will be multiple factors in choosing to bring Peterson back or not. What do the Brewers plan to do at second and third base? Will prospect Brice Turang have a major role in the big leagues in 2023? The third factor is cost. Peterson made $1.825 million on a one-year deal this season. He will undoubtedly get a bump up, but how much? Fangraphs' defensive metric ranks Peterson fourth on the club in that area, and its BsR stat for overall base running has him at the top in Milwaukee. Odds of a return: 65% 3 - Brad Boxberger Based on ERA (2.95) and ERA+ (135), Brad Boxberger is having a better overall season than he did in 2021. It might not feel that way as he has more blown saves this year, and many of his other numbers are worse. While he's giving up fewer home runs per nine innings, his WHIP is 1.309 (1.067 in 2022), with more walks, more hits, and fewer strikeouts this season. One major concern should be Boxberger's Whiff% where he went from the 85th percentile of MLB last season to the 33rd percentile in 2022. At 34 years old, you start to wonder what he has left in the tank. In each of the past two seasons, Boxberger has stretches when he looks cooked. Manager Craig Counsell relies on him as a stopper of sorts and utilizes him in a variety of innings - more so than any other reliever on the club. Boxberger is making $2.5 million this season, with a team option for a $3 million contract in 2023. The buyout for the option is just $750,000, so Milwaukee loses little to cut bait. Considering the sizable free agent reliever market each season, a $3 million tag for a potentially declining bullpen arm makes Boxberger less appealing than a year ago. But they could see the cost certainty of the club option as worthwhile gamble for one more season. Odds of a return: 48% (Chances increase if the Brewers buy him out and he is willing to re-sign for less) 2 - Omar Narvaez After an All-Star selection in 2021, Narvaez's 2022 offensive performance has dipped significantly. He is 22% below average in OPS+ (78) while hitting just .214 with a .324 slugging percentage. He clearly peaked in his age-27 season in Seattle when he slugged .460 with a 119 OPS+. Narvaez turns 31 before Opening Day 2023 and has appeared worn down in the second half of the last two years. Narvaez came over as an "offense-first" backstop with defensive concerns, but that has flipped in Milwaukee (or has it?). He ranks seventh in MLB in Baseball Savant's strike rate stat at 49.7%, which shows the percentage of non-swinging strikes called on the outside edges of the strike zone. However, Narvaez is 47th in "blocking runs," according to Baseball Prospectus. If you've watched enough games, you have witnessed Narvaez's struggle to block balls consistently. He is also 35th in caught stealing percentage (24%) among catchers with 300+ frames behind the plate. Those last two statistics argue against his supposed defensive prowess. Narvaez is making $5 million this season. Considering the constant need for catching, some team is likely willing to pay more on the free agent market. Milwaukee has 29-year-old catchers Victor Caratini and Pedro Severino under team control for next year at a lower cost. They also have prospect Mario Feliciano ready for MLB opportunities. The price per production for Narvaez looks undesirable. Odds of a return: 15% 1 - Taylor Rogers The left-handed reliever acquired in the Josh Hader trade has had a down year. After never posting an ERA+ below 128 from 2017-2021 (not counting 2020), Rogers' 86 ERA+ could be a sign of declining skill. He has also dealt with some minor injury concerns, so perhaps it's a one-off dip this season. Many of his numbers improved during his short time in Milwaukee, upping his strikeout-per-nine-inning (K/9) rate to 14.5 versus 10.5 with the San Diego Padres. His WHIP has also dropped from 1.113 to 1.091. The soon-to-be 32-year-old southpaw reliever is earning $7.3 million this season and will likely get a fair amount of interest in free agency. Though he got off to a rough start with the Brewers, Rogers owns a 3.07 ERA and has held opponents to a .180 average over his last 14.2 innings pitched. For a bullpen that needs help heading into 2023, Rogers should be in play to stay, but the length and size of the contract demands could be prohibitive. I'd like to see them make something work and have him spend time in their pitch lab, although it feels like a less than a 50/50 chance the Brewers pony up enough. Odds of a return: 40% Some may ask, "Why isn't Kolten Wong on this list?" Well, his situation requires further examination, so look for a more in-depth analysis soon. As for the rest of the Brew Crew, many expect plenty of roster turnover heading into 2023. Brewers fans should expect to learn new names and faces with a combination of trades and letting players go. If Milwaukee plans to ascend to the top of the NL Central again to fight it out with the St. Louis Cardinals, the front office needs to rediscover the right mix of who stays and who goes. View full article
  4. A vast majority of Brewers are under team control in 2023. Eighteen players are in their arbitration years, with a number in pre-arbitration. David Stearns, President of Baseball Operations, could decide to cut ties with any of those guys, but most are staying put. Stearns and GM Matt Arnold have tremendous flexibility with the roster, though, as only three players have guaranteed contracts in 2023: Christian Yelich, Freddy Peralta, and Aaron Ashby. So some critical decisions will need to be made when dealing with the Brewers' potential free agents. Four players, in particular, provide some choice from the club to determine if they offer more value to Milwaukee versus what is available on the market. With all due respect to Andrew McCutchen, his performance this season doesn't warrant a discussion about his return. It hasn't worked out. With Cutch off the list, here are four potential free agents who may or may not return to Milwaukee. 4 - Jace Peterson The 32-year-old utility man has been the third-most valuable position player for the Brewers with a 2.2 fWAR. Part of that stems from Milwaukee's lack of star power in the lineup. However, despite sporadic playing time, his value also comes in quality defense in multiple spots and an ability to get on base at a solid clip. Peterson is the type of veteran player you find on winning teams. These types might not jump out at you statistically, but their importance is seen throughout the season. There will be multiple factors in choosing to bring Peterson back or not. What do the Brewers plan to do at second and third base? Will prospect Brice Turang have a major role in the big leagues in 2023? The third factor is cost. Peterson made $1.825 million on a one-year deal this season. He will undoubtedly get a bump up, but how much? Fangraphs' defensive metric ranks Peterson fourth on the club in that area, and its BsR stat for overall base running has him at the top in Milwaukee. Odds of a return: 65% 3 - Brad Boxberger Based on ERA (2.95) and ERA+ (135), Brad Boxberger is having a better overall season than he did in 2021. It might not feel that way as he has more blown saves this year, and many of his other numbers are worse. While he's giving up fewer home runs per nine innings, his WHIP is 1.309 (1.067 in 2022), with more walks, more hits, and fewer strikeouts this season. One major concern should be Boxberger's Whiff% where he went from the 85th percentile of MLB last season to the 33rd percentile in 2022. At 34 years old, you start to wonder what he has left in the tank. In each of the past two seasons, Boxberger has stretches when he looks cooked. Manager Craig Counsell relies on him as a stopper of sorts and utilizes him in a variety of innings - more so than any other reliever on the club. Boxberger is making $2.5 million this season, with a team option for a $3 million contract in 2023. The buyout for the option is just $750,000, so Milwaukee loses little to cut bait. Considering the sizable free agent reliever market each season, a $3 million tag for a potentially declining bullpen arm makes Boxberger less appealing than a year ago. But they could see the cost certainty of the club option as worthwhile gamble for one more season. Odds of a return: 48% (Chances increase if the Brewers buy him out and he is willing to re-sign for less) 2 - Omar Narvaez After an All-Star selection in 2021, Narvaez's 2022 offensive performance has dipped significantly. He is 22% below average in OPS+ (78) while hitting just .214 with a .324 slugging percentage. He clearly peaked in his age-27 season in Seattle when he slugged .460 with a 119 OPS+. Narvaez turns 31 before Opening Day 2023 and has appeared worn down in the second half of the last two years. Narvaez came over as an "offense-first" backstop with defensive concerns, but that has flipped in Milwaukee (or has it?). He ranks seventh in MLB in Baseball Savant's strike rate stat at 49.7%, which shows the percentage of non-swinging strikes called on the outside edges of the strike zone. However, Narvaez is 47th in "blocking runs," according to Baseball Prospectus. If you've watched enough games, you have witnessed Narvaez's struggle to block balls consistently. He is also 35th in caught stealing percentage (24%) among catchers with 300+ frames behind the plate. Those last two statistics argue against his supposed defensive prowess. Narvaez is making $5 million this season. Considering the constant need for catching, some team is likely willing to pay more on the free agent market. Milwaukee has 29-year-old catchers Victor Caratini and Pedro Severino under team control for next year at a lower cost. They also have prospect Mario Feliciano ready for MLB opportunities. The price per production for Narvaez looks undesirable. Odds of a return: 15% 1 - Taylor Rogers The left-handed reliever acquired in the Josh Hader trade has had a down year. After never posting an ERA+ below 128 from 2017-2021 (not counting 2020), Rogers' 86 ERA+ could be a sign of declining skill. He has also dealt with some minor injury concerns, so perhaps it's a one-off dip this season. Many of his numbers improved during his short time in Milwaukee, upping his strikeout-per-nine-inning (K/9) rate to 14.5 versus 10.5 with the San Diego Padres. His WHIP has also dropped from 1.113 to 1.091. The soon-to-be 32-year-old southpaw reliever is earning $7.3 million this season and will likely get a fair amount of interest in free agency. Though he got off to a rough start with the Brewers, Rogers owns a 3.07 ERA and has held opponents to a .180 average over his last 14.2 innings pitched. For a bullpen that needs help heading into 2023, Rogers should be in play to stay, but the length and size of the contract demands could be prohibitive. I'd like to see them make something work and have him spend time in their pitch lab, although it feels like a less than a 50/50 chance the Brewers pony up enough. Odds of a return: 40% Some may ask, "Why isn't Kolten Wong on this list?" Well, his situation requires further examination, so look for a more in-depth analysis soon. As for the rest of the Brew Crew, many expect plenty of roster turnover heading into 2023. Brewers fans should expect to learn new names and faces with a combination of trades and letting players go. If Milwaukee plans to ascend to the top of the NL Central again to fight it out with the St. Louis Cardinals, the front office needs to rediscover the right mix of who stays and who goes.
  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. 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?
  8. 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
  9. A few short hours after the trade deadline expires, an inter-division series against the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates is set to begin. With the Brewers competing for a playoff berth and the Pirates building for the future, both teams are likely going to have different makeup from when they wake up to when the first pitch is thrown. Will the Brew Crew and its potential new assets have what it takes to assuage the efforts of a promising young Pirates team? Let’s look at the match-ups. Tuesday 8/2/22 Corbin Burnes (8-4 2.31 ERA) Bryse Wilson (1-6 6.31 ERA) Corbin Burnes lacked his typical dominance in his last start, surrendering 3 runs over 6 IP to the Twins in what would ultimately be a W for the Brewers, but mediocre by Corbin Burnes is serviceable by most any other pitcher’s standards. Pitching against a non-competitive Pirates team should help him regain standard ferocity on the bump. Bryse Wilson is nearing veteran status in terms of how long he’s stuck in the bigs, but if you’ve never heard of him it’s because he’s produced very little to remark on. His FIP suggests the ERA is a little on the inflated side, but batters have hit the big righty hard all season, making him little more of service than to eat innings. Wednesday 8/3/22 Brandon Woodruff (9-3 3.55 ERA) Zach Thompson (3-8 5.09 ERA) Exploiting their tailspun and injury-addled lineup, Brandon Woodruff fanned nine Red Sox on his way to win in his last start. Woodruff has been exceptional since coming off of the IL and looks to add to his sparkling 2022 resume in this next start. Zach Thompson’s immediate numbers are a bit deceptive. That the ERA is in the low fives has everything to do with his last start, where he surrendered an uncharacteristic seven runs over 5.2 innings to Philadelphia, giving him a mark almost a half a point higher than when his day started. Was he elite before that start? No, but emblematic of his team, he has had flashes of talent. Thursday 8/4/22 Eric Lauer (7-3 3.75 ERA) TBD I already wrote an entire paragraph about why the original Pirates pitcher probably wouldn’t be on the mound for the Pirates to make the scheduled start, and lo and behold as I go to submit this article, Jose Quintana is traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. The good news for the Brewers is that this spares them from facing the most competent arm in the Pirates rotation. Eric Lauer on the other hand has steadied his hand and pitched quite competently as of late. After being plagued by a horrendous plague of long balls, he’s done much better at keeping the ball in the park since the calendar flipped to July. Considering hot weather generally suggests that pitching has to tangle with the wiles of a more vibrant offense, this bodes well for Lauer’s trajectory for the rest of the season. Players To Watch Christian Yelich: Perhaps the most exciting development to emerge in the brief window of time between the All-Star break and the trade deadline is a marked improvement in Christian Yelich’s offense. A toe-tap tweak in his mechanics is being credited for his relative return to form over the past couple of weeks. Freddy Peralta: Yes, yes I know he’s not officially penned into the rotation, but given his return from the 60-Day IL it wouldn’t be surprising to see him swapped out for one of the starters currently scheduled to pitch. My guess is that it would be Lauer, whose road struggles could be avoided if he pitched against the Reds in Milwaukee the following day. Taylor Rogers: Welcome to the Crew! Last year’s all-star closer for the Padres was recently removed as their closer and almost immediately traded to Milwaukee for the elite arm of Josh Hader . This move figures to sting a little for Brewers fans, but if Rogers can return to last year’s level of play he will endear himself to Milwaukee in short order. Oneil Cruz : The towering iconoclast of a shortstop has just been spectacular since being called up by the Bucs in the middle of June. With an imposing height and rocket of an arm, the dazzling defensive prowess of Cruz is simply something to behold. Predictions The Brewers are playing with gumption as of late. A sweep isn’t out of the question, but in the season series so far the record is 9-4 thanks to some hard fought losses to the Bucs. Prior to Quintana’s trade, I figured the Brewers might drop one, but considering the Brewers rotation compared to the unpolished product the Pirates put on the mound, it’s hard to imagine the Brewers not sweeping.
  10. Two NL Central teams at opposite ends of their division do battle. With both having undergone their own respective trade deadline-induced makeovers, how will each's novel chemistry fare against one another? A few short hours after the trade deadline expires, an inter-division series against the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates is set to begin. With the Brewers competing for a playoff berth and the Pirates building for the future, both teams are likely going to have different makeup from when they wake up to when the first pitch is thrown. Will the Brew Crew and its potential new assets have what it takes to assuage the efforts of a promising young Pirates team? Let’s look at the match-ups. Tuesday 8/2/22 Corbin Burnes (8-4 2.31 ERA) Bryse Wilson (1-6 6.31 ERA) Corbin Burnes lacked his typical dominance in his last start, surrendering 3 runs over 6 IP to the Twins in what would ultimately be a W for the Brewers, but mediocre by Corbin Burnes is serviceable by most any other pitcher’s standards. Pitching against a non-competitive Pirates team should help him regain standard ferocity on the bump. Bryse Wilson is nearing veteran status in terms of how long he’s stuck in the bigs, but if you’ve never heard of him it’s because he’s produced very little to remark on. His FIP suggests the ERA is a little on the inflated side, but batters have hit the big righty hard all season, making him little more of service than to eat innings. Wednesday 8/3/22 Brandon Woodruff (9-3 3.55 ERA) Zach Thompson (3-8 5.09 ERA) Exploiting their tailspun and injury-addled lineup, Brandon Woodruff fanned nine Red Sox on his way to win in his last start. Woodruff has been exceptional since coming off of the IL and looks to add to his sparkling 2022 resume in this next start. Zach Thompson’s immediate numbers are a bit deceptive. That the ERA is in the low fives has everything to do with his last start, where he surrendered an uncharacteristic seven runs over 5.2 innings to Philadelphia, giving him a mark almost a half a point higher than when his day started. Was he elite before that start? No, but emblematic of his team, he has had flashes of talent. Thursday 8/4/22 Eric Lauer (7-3 3.75 ERA) TBD I already wrote an entire paragraph about why the original Pirates pitcher probably wouldn’t be on the mound for the Pirates to make the scheduled start, and lo and behold as I go to submit this article, Jose Quintana is traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. The good news for the Brewers is that this spares them from facing the most competent arm in the Pirates rotation. Eric Lauer on the other hand has steadied his hand and pitched quite competently as of late. After being plagued by a horrendous plague of long balls, he’s done much better at keeping the ball in the park since the calendar flipped to July. Considering hot weather generally suggests that pitching has to tangle with the wiles of a more vibrant offense, this bodes well for Lauer’s trajectory for the rest of the season. Players To Watch Christian Yelich: Perhaps the most exciting development to emerge in the brief window of time between the All-Star break and the trade deadline is a marked improvement in Christian Yelich’s offense. A toe-tap tweak in his mechanics is being credited for his relative return to form over the past couple of weeks. Freddy Peralta: Yes, yes I know he’s not officially penned into the rotation, but given his return from the 60-Day IL it wouldn’t be surprising to see him swapped out for one of the starters currently scheduled to pitch. My guess is that it would be Lauer, whose road struggles could be avoided if he pitched against the Reds in Milwaukee the following day. Taylor Rogers: Welcome to the Crew! Last year’s all-star closer for the Padres was recently removed as their closer and almost immediately traded to Milwaukee for the elite arm of Josh Hader . This move figures to sting a little for Brewers fans, but if Rogers can return to last year’s level of play he will endear himself to Milwaukee in short order. Oneil Cruz : The towering iconoclast of a shortstop has just been spectacular since being called up by the Bucs in the middle of June. With an imposing height and rocket of an arm, the dazzling defensive prowess of Cruz is simply something to behold. Predictions The Brewers are playing with gumption as of late. A sweep isn’t out of the question, but in the season series so far the record is 9-4 thanks to some hard fought losses to the Bucs. Prior to Quintana’s trade, I figured the Brewers might drop one, but considering the Brewers rotation compared to the unpolished product the Pirates put on the mound, it’s hard to imagine the Brewers not sweeping. View full article
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