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Milwaukee Brewers: Five Major Storylines for 2017

stevenjewell
Feb 22, 2017; Maryvale, AZ, USA; Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Keon Broxton (23) poses for a photo during spring training photo day at Maryvale Baseball Park. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 22, 2017; Maryvale, AZ, USA; Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Keon Broxton (23) poses for a photo during spring training photo day at Maryvale Baseball Park. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jul 16, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson releases a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds during the sixth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 16, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson releases a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds during the sixth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

3. How does the rotation shake out?

The Milwaukee Brewers have at least seven pitchers vying for their 2017 starting rotation. And while Tommy Milone could be an easy bump (swingman?), the remaining six all surpassed 100 innings pitched and 19 starts in 2016. The only sure things are Zach Davies and Junior Guerra, leaving Matt Garza, Wily Peralta, Jimmy Nelson, and Chase Anderson (and Milone) fighting for three positions.

Anderson (5.44 ERA), Garza (5.54 ERA), and Peralta (6.68 ERA) all had dismal first halves while showing promise after the All-Star Break (2.83, 4.16, 2.92 respectively).

The Brewers could go with a six-man rotation, but that is neither a probable option, nor a particularly attractive one.

Nelson got lucky in the first half (3.62 ERA, 4.78 FIP), and the wheels fell off in the second (6.10 ERA, 5.62 FIP).

Meanwhile, Milone started 12 games with the Twins, allowing a 5.46 ERA and a .308 opponent batting average in those starts.

So who gets cut, traded, or sent to the bullpen? Milone, for starters. But then the Brewers have three players who had good second halves in Anderson, Peralta, and Garza, with the latter in line to receive $12.5 million in 2017. And finally, they have Nelson, who has perhaps the most promise of the bunch but also had the worst season.

The Brewers could go with a six-man rotation, but that is neither a probable option nor a particularly attractive one. It requires flexibility from each of the involved starters and puts stress on a shorthanded bullpen (or shortened bench).

The popular theory has either Peralta or Nelson moving to the bullpen, where I believe either would excel.

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