Milwaukee Brewers: Have roster depth, but lack starting pitching

HOUSTON - APRIL 18: A general view of a Offical baseball taken during the game betwee the Houston Astros and the Milwaukee Brewers on April 18, 2006 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
HOUSTON - APRIL 18: A general view of a Offical baseball taken during the game betwee the Houston Astros and the Milwaukee Brewers on April 18, 2006 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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The Milwaukee Brewers have depth at several positions. They paid a lot of money to get that depth, but they still lack enough starting pitching.

The Depth

The Milwaukee Brewers currently have a surplus at first base. One of those first baseman is Eric Thames, who the Brewers are paying $15 million over three years. Thames will most likely have a platoon role this year, facing primarily right-handed pitchers.

In addition to depth at first base the team has four really good starting outfielders. The team invested over $120 million on Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain this off-season. Ryan Braun will make about $20 million this year.

These quality outfielders are collectively making a lot of money on a small market team. This doesn’t include younger talent like Brett Phillips and Keon Broxton.  The team has very little to no depth at the most important position on the team, starting pitching.

The Off-Season Plan

The team’s current situation in the rotation wasn’t part of the master plan when the team brought in Cain and Yelich.  At the time they made the additions, owner Mark Attanasio indicated they had enough money to acquire a front-line starter. Now the team is indicating that they’re saving their money for a possible acquisition at the trade deadline. In other words, the plan has changed.

What went wrong between the deals for Cain and Yelich and now? The trade value of some of their players may have been overestimated and the costs ended up to be too high for guys like Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, and Alex Cobb.

If the Milwaukee Brewers were able to sign or trade for a quality starting pitcher during the off-season then the signing of Cain to a large contract was worth the cost. The signing isn’t worth it if the Brewers didn’t acquire a starter. They allocated too many financial resources on his contract.

Next: Which starters could be available at the trade deadline?

Regardless, manager Craig Counsell is now going to have to try to find playing time for everyone. He’ll also have to manage a bullpen that is going to see a lot of action to make up for the lack of a solid rotation.  Having positional depth is good, but good starting pitching is better.

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