Marco Estrada was lights out for the Brewers from August until the end of the season. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Despite what we saw out of the Milwaukee Brewers’ rotation this season, 2014 bodes for a comeback and maybe a couple predictions. The Brewers’ starters had faced a lot of rough outings and battled some injuries, but when Spring Training rolls around, I’d expect they’d be ready to go for the new season.
Prediction number three is: the Brewers will have one pitcher in the mix for the Cy Young Award.
When I say in the mix for the award, I don’t mean necessarily in the top three. The pitcher would be in maybe the top ten, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be deadlocked for the award come next November. That would be nice however, but I do believe one pitcher in this rotation is going to have a great season next year.
Who that pitcher is, I honestly could not tell you now, but I have a feeling it may happen. If there is one pitcher I have somewhat of a gut feeling about, it would be Marco Estrada. Sure, we can look at his abysmal first half of 2013 where he stunk up the joint with a 5.32 ERA, or we can glance at his second half (after being on the disabled list) where he posted a 2.15 ERA.
Clearly, Estrada has the stuff to be a top notch starter, but the issue he runs into is consistency. He’s a dark-horse candidate to become the so-called “ace” of the rotation, but unless he can iron out those inconsistencies like he was able to from August on, who knows where he’ll land.
Estrada stands the best shot at being a potential Cy Young candidate. I would want to say Kyle Lohse could be on this list, but something tells me we’re not going to be seeing the same pitcher from 2012 again. He’s a great pitcher don’t get me wrong, but Lohse is definitelysomeone whose better years are behind him.
I don’t know that Yovani Gallardo will still be in this rotation come late July as he is a prime trade candidate along with Lohse. Wily Peralta needs another full year of the majors to really make that transition after his rookie season this year. Perhaps Peralta in the coming years could be the face of the Brewers’ rotation, but for now he’s still adapting to major league baseball.
Beyond those four, I’m not sure the Brewers really have anyone that could potentially make it into a Cy Young discussion. Tyler Thornburg, Johnny Hellweg and Will Smith have only had a handful of starts while Jimmy Nelson has only made one so far in his career. These guys in due time will hopefully be able to keep a place in the rotation before thinking about awards and the like.
If the Brewers had a candidate, I would expect it to be Estrada. He did a lot of right things after he came back from the DL and completely revamped himself from the horrid start to the 2013 season. Maybe next season we’ll see full shades of Estrada’s 2013 second half for the entire year in 2014.