Dead. There’s really no better word to describe the Milwaukee Brewers (44-54) anymore. Losing games we should have won, giving up 6-1 leads and just not clicking as an overall team has been the epitome of July. The Brewers now sit at 14 games back of first in the NL Central and 10 games out of the NL Wild Card. Zack Greinke is expected to be traded within the next four days, the bullpen is still awful and the offense is doing all it can, but its efforts are over shadowed by the bullpen’s implosions. Is this a point, heading into August next week, where the Brewers just sit down, play out the rest of the season while looking at next year? I say yes. Personally, I think going forward, Greinke MUST be a part of this team to help concentrate around a core group of guys, but GM Doug Melvin thinks otherwise. The Brewers dropped their 7th game in a row last night as the Washington Nationals (59-39), who now are tied with the New York Yankees for the MLB’s best record, just flat out annihilated the Brew Crew. When will the bleeding stop for the Brewers?
After losing six in a row, Melvin confirmed that the Brewers are now in seller mode, specifically with Greinke and George Kottaras on the block. I’ve also heard Francisco Rodriguez‘s name thrown around in the mix along with Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart. Now will the Brewers get rid of everyone? Highly doubtful, but this message definitely says something about how this team is going to be run within the next few years. Offering up A-Ram who you just got and Hart who has to be your first baseman going forward, that’s insane.
So, what are the plans for next year?
There aren’t many. Keeping Shaun Marcum may be the Brewers’ next big task. At that point, we know our starting pitching is solid, at least in three guys: Marcum, Yovani Gallardo and Michael Fiers. Randy Wolf may or may not be gone after this year, but in all honesty, he doesn’t have a vital role in the rotation. Chris Narveson will be back and if he is, then in my mind, he has to be the fourth man. The fifth guy is such a toss-up. There’s Marco Estrada, Tyler Thornburg or there’s even the possibility of signing a less expensive free agent such as Rich Harden.
Bullpen wise, it just needs gutted. Everything about it is wrong. John Axford’s year has been so up and down, but I think he might be a guy to keep, along with Kameron Loe. Everyone else though, I think we can say sayonara to. Restructuring a broken bullpen may be one of the hardest jobs Ron Roenicke will have, but it’s something that needs done. Nobody has done well in there and it’s been pretty obvious, especially as of late. So yes, going into next year, the only people from the bullpen we need are Axford and Loe. Thornburg or Estrada will also be included, but their roles depend on the starting pitching dilemma.
There’s a point where you just sit down and look at next year. It’s a point where you realize what exactly went wrong this season and how you can avoid those mistakes. Yes, injuries took Narveson, Mat Gamel and Alex Gonzalez from us this season, but it’s not as if that broke the team per say. I do question some things Roenicke does, such as certain batter-pitcher match-ups and sometimes taking pitchers out too early, but other than that he’s doing fine. Roenicke gets a lot more criticism than he should, because really, he has to keep going back to those same guys (bullpen wise), because it’s all he has to work with.
So, if you want, declare the 2012 Brewers’ season officially dead. I hate to say there’s no hope of a comeback, but looking at some of Milwaukee’s competition in the NL Wild Card, it’s just unrealistic. The way the Brewers have been playing as compared to other teams is just mind boggling. What happened to us? This isn’t a much different team from last year, yet the mistakes that are made seem as if these guys have never played baseball before this year.
Well, until next time, go Brew Crew.