The Milwaukee Brewers traded away Lefty Will Smith to the Giants, stealing away the top prospect in return, but leaving the Milwaukee Brewers without a lefty in the bullpen.
Milwaukee Brewers Left Handed Pitcher Will Smith was traded to the San Francisco Giants on 8-1-16. What is unique about this trade is that the absence of Will Smith left the Milwaukee Brewers without a Left Handed Pitcher on their active roster. Yes, I got it right (Do you understand what I am saying? I got it…. right!!) After Smith was traded it LEFT the Crew without a lefty in the rotation OR the pen. This has to be one of the most unique occurrences in the Milwaukee Brewers History.
In today’s internet age, a person can go to Brewers.com to read detailed transactions that the team has made all the way back to April of 2009. Any transactions made before that might still be available on the site, but the listings are limited and sporadic before April of 2009. I wish I could give fans the time frame of the last time that the Major League Milwaukee Brewers had ZERO Left Handed Pitchers on their staff, but I would literally have to analyze every transaction since 1970 to see at what time each person was on the roster at the same time as someone else due to injuries, trades and demotions to the minors. The main point is, even if the Milwaukee Brewers had two lefties on their staff sometime in their long history for a total period of TWO DAYS before they made a roster move, they just might be in better shape than they are now.
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I do not anticipate this current Brewer roster situation to last. For instance, Andy Wilkins could be sent down to the Minor Leagues to make room for a reliever. Andy has still not even started one game, and he has been on the Big League roster since July 6th. For most of the season, the Brewers have had 8 relievers and they have been carrying a smaller bench. Currently the Brewers have 7 relievers and 5 bench players. Given the fact that Wilkins has not made much of an impact, he could be returned to the minors as a possible roster move.
must read: Brewers Were Graded As MLB Trade Deadline Winners
Oddly enough, there are NO Left Handed relief pitchers in either AAA or AA who are currently on the 40 Man Roster. I am not always a huge fan of splits or trends or lefty vs. righty stats, but wouldn’t it be cool to have a left handed pitcher on your staff or even “available to your staff” just so you THINK you have an advantage? Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to pick up the phone that goes to the bullpen and throw a lefty in game when you think it is a good idea? The Brewers do not have that luxury anywhere on their Major League Roster. Aside from that, they would have to do some maneuvering to even GET a lefty on the Big League Roster since ZERO lefties are available on the 40 Man Roster from either AA or AAA.
Brent Suter, Josh Hader, Michael Kirkman, and Sam Freeman are currently pitching for AAA. At AA, Mitch Lambson, Stephen Peterson and Wei-Chung Wang are Left Handed Pitchers. While each one of these guys would have to be placed on the 40 Man Roster to be called up, I think ANY left handed pitcher in the Major Leagues would be better than none at all! In the event that Andy Wilkins stays and the Brewers do not alter their bench, my guess is David Goforth would be the first pitcher to go down to the minors. He has not had a good showing in the bigs this year. Of his 9 appearances for the Crew in the majors this year, he has only had a scoreless appearance four times. If a “pitcher for pitcher” move was made, it would likely be Goforth for a lefty.
For what it’s worth, the Brewers have used 4 Left Handed Pitchers in the majors this year so far. Last year, they only EVER used three throughout the whole season. I am not saying that using a lefty is the absolute solution to everything, I am just saying it MIGHT be a good idea to have ONE handy in case the team cares about matchups and splits!
Only time will tell how the rest of the 2016 season will play out, but I do know that the Brewers, even in a “rebuilding stage” should at least have ONE lefty pitcher, and soon!