Milwaukee Brewers: Why the Crew should stay the course
The Milwaukee Brewers are fading from the playoff picture fast.
After leading the central division for the majority of the season, the Milwaukee Brewers find themselves in fourth place and three games behind the Chicago Cubs.
The Brewers are 9-17 since the All-Star break. This stretch brings back bad memories of the August/September collapse from a few seasons ago. The difference this season being the Crew is building something special for the future.
Most Brewers fans want to see the team make a move to bolster the roster down the stretch. This is counterintuitive to what they’ve done to this point. The best case scenario for this team is a playoff berth. They are not making it to the World Series this season. Why trade valuable prospects just to make a playoff run?
GM David Stearns has made all the right moves to this point in his tenure. His keen eye for talent has helped rebuild the minor league system almost overnight, while also creating excitement for the future. The talent throughout the system is the reason Stearns and company should stand pat, and keep an eye toward next season.
Sure, Jonathan Villar has regressed mightily this season. That’s not a reason to call up the next hot-shot prospect. Take Mauricio Dubon for example, plenty of fans would like to see him take over at second base. What good would that do? He might be better defensively, but his bat is not ready.
Dubon is definitely the second baseman of the future. However, calling him up now has a greater chance to stunt his growth, rather than accelerate it. He has only 173 plate appearances above Double-A. He is not ready to have an impact at the Major League level, yet. While he develops, patience will be very important.
The problems plaguing the Milwaukee Brewers right now are more than the second base situation. After being overused early in the season, the bullpen is a mess. In addition, outside of Jimmy Nelson, the rotation has mostly been a mess without standout Chase Anderson. Stearns made minor moves to improve the pen in July. However, there isn’t much he can do about the rotation, without surrendering high quality prospects.
The Milwaukee Brewers weren’t expected to contend this season. The early success shouldn’t change the plan moving forward. The farm system is stockpiled with talent and the future is bright. Stearns did the right thing leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline in July. By choosing not to part with top prospects, it was a clear indication that the team isn’t rushing this rebuild. So success is coming at its own pace.
The Brewers should be able to push the Cubs for the division in future seasons. By not parting with the upper echelon of the team’s prospects, Stearns has shown faith in the development in the minors. Now, we just need to give those prospects time to reach their potential.
Players like Lewis Brinson and Luis Ortiz will be key contributors for Brewers playoff teams down the line. Letting them get more seasoning in the minors ensures they will develop the right way, therefore creating success for the future. Far too often a team will call up a top prospect too soon. As a result, their potential could be hindered. Have faith Milwaukee Brewers fans, the team will be a force to be reckoned with soon. However, it won’t be down the stretch this season.