The Milwaukee Brewers currently sit atop the National league Central at 24-18. This team has been a lot of things this season, but bad is not one of them. Everyone is contributing on both sides of the ball on a nightly basis. They just seem to click so much better than teams of the past. How cautious should Brewers fans be right now?
We have had some very good teams in Milwaukee. Take the 2011 team led by the likes of Jonathan Lucroy, Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, Prince Fielder, Corey Hart. True fans will never forget the greatest base hit in Brewers history delivered by Tony Plush A.K.A. Nyjer Morgan. The clutch single up the middle off of Diamondbacks closer JJ Putz at hat scored Gomez to advance Milwaukee Brewers to the NLCS is the highlight of young Brewer fans everywhere.
There is something eerily different about this team as opposed to the 2011 NLCS group. On May 18th, 2011, the Brewers were in third place at 21-22. In 2017, they are off to a very hot start, but starting fast is not always a good thing. If you remember 2014 the Brewers were in first place for 150 games and went on a 13 game losing streak in August and had a horrid 9-17 record in September. They would finish the year at 82-80.
What Happens If The Success Continues?
So if all goes as fans want and come July the team is in contention, should the Milwaukee Brewers become buyers?
If this team wants to flirt with a Wild Card or even win the division, that is fine. But if you want to start talking about a deep playoff run, there is no way that this team could be capable of such an accomplishment at its current state. There’s a glaring problem: Pitching.
The Brewers pitching staff is not on a competitive level. Not even close, to be honest. Bringing up Josh Hader and Brandon Woodruff will not make this team into an instant contender. They are prospects who will most likely have some bumps in the road as they adjust to Major League competition.
Can The Brewers Deal A Few Prospects At The Deadline?
Not if they want sustained success they shouldn’t.
For example, If a team was offering up a top tier pitcher that is clearly a rental, why waste the prospects? For one, if the Brewers are to do this and acquire, let’s say, Gerrit Cole, the Pirates will want a ridiculous haul due to the ‘in division tax’. Why would the Brewers want a rival to have our young talent?
We saw this with Zack Greinke in 2011, we gave up Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress. The Brewers did win a division and provide an exciting season. However, the following year the Brewers traded Greinke to the Angels for Ariel Pena, Jean Segura, and Johnny Hellweg. All of these players are no longer in the organization.
Another example of destroying the farm for a short-term accomplishment was when the Milwaukee Brewers acquired C.C Sabathia for Michael Brantley in 2008 along with Matt Laporta, Zach Jackson, and Rob Bryson.
The following season, Sabathia signed with the Yankees and became the highest paid pitcher in MLB history because the small market Brewers had no chance at retaining him.
But Why Can’t The Brewers Contend?
The big name teams like the Nationals, Dodgers, and Cubs will all most likely be in the playoffs and they have a far more elite staff than the Brewers do currently. Even if the Brewers were to sell the entire farm at the deadline it might not be enough to beat the playoff experienced and stacked teams in October.
So training young and controllable talent for players who will most likely leave for the big paycheck is definitely not worth it. It would destroy all of the hard work that has gone into this rebuild and make continued success even more difficult.
For now, Brewers fans need to just sit back and enjoy this run and not expect too much… this season anyway. This success could be a sign that we have a busy off-season to look forward to and playoff appearances to come.