Milwaukee Brewers: How did the team do in April?
The Milwaukee Brewers remain in first place after April baseball in 2018, but how did they really do in the first month of the season?
Talking heads in Milwaukee picked on Milwaukee Brewers General Manager David Stearns after the 2017-2018 off-season. Many wanted him to acquire a prestigious pitcher or second baseman. However, their voices have since softened.
Reviewing the Brew’s John Schnabi wrote that Jake Arietta is one of the only pitchers recently linked to the Milwaukee club who is having a good start to his 2018 year.
Furthermore, all these pitchers and second basemen rumored to become Brewers have a 0.0 or worse WAR after April 2018:
- Cubs RHP Yu Darvish
- Rays RHP Chris Archer
- Royals LHP Danny Duffy and 2B Whit Merrifield
- Twins RHP Lance Lynn
- Orioles RHP Alex Cobb
- Yankees 2B Neil Walker
- Mets RHP Anthony Swarzak
Milwaukee Brewers News: Pitching Update
The Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff that so many thought needed reinforcement is thriving. The team’s collective ERA is 0.90 better than MLB average. That makes them the third best in all of baseball.
Milwaukee mostly rode starters Chase Anderson, Zach Davies, Jhoulys Chacin, and Junior Guerra to success during the first month of 2018. The team has used Brent Suter, Brandon Woodruff, Wade Miley as spot-starters. Miley looks like the man who will take the fifth starter role until Jimmy Nelson returns.
Nelson has worked hard and is ahead of schedule in his rehab from a shoulder injury.
Furthermore, Freddy Peralta and Corbin Burnes could earn call-ups from Triple-A Colorado Springs soon, and fellow Triple-A starter Bubba Derby has an ERA even lower than they do.
The Brewers bullpen looks even better than the starting staff. Milwaukee lost Boone Logan before the season started and closer Corey Knebel not long after. But Milwaukee’s bullpen has shined.
Jacob Barnes, Matt Albers, Jeremy Jeffress, and Stearns mid-season pickup Dan Jennings have contributed to the dominant Brewers bullpen.
But Josh Hader turned himself into a bullpen ace. He even won Brewers Pitcher of the Month (April) for it.
Milwaukee Brewers News: Hitters Update
Stearns decided to stick with a surplus of major league-ready outfielders for 2018 without trading it for pitching help.
USA Today baseball insider Bob Nightengale had negative things to say about this strategy back in March.
"“The Brewers still have too many outfielders, too many first basemen and not enough starting pitching” Nightengale wrote."
But Stearns looks like a genius after the first month of the season. The Milwaukee Brewers used their depth to keep themselves competitive and hovering around first place in the NL Central despite injuries.
Christian Yelich, Ryan Braun and Eric Thames have all missed time, but that did not hurt the team too badly because of its depth. Strong pitching and a great start to the year by Lorenzo Cain and Jesus Aguilar have helped the Brewers beat the teams they need to beat.
Next: How bad is relying on the long ball?
As the season continues and the team gets healthy, they will need to play better against good teams. But things look positive after April 2018.