The Milwaukee Brewers have a very strong bullpen this season. But the clear weak link in that group has been lefty Boone Logan.
When the Milwaukee Brewers signed the veteran Logan, it was hailed as a brilliant move by GM David Stearns. Logan was an experienced LOOGY with a lot of success in his career. He was coming off an injury shortened 2017 with Cleveland but was primed to be a buy-low free agent sign with high reward potential.
But so far in 2018, things have not gone as planned for the 33 year old southpaw. Towards the end of spring training, Logan injured his triceps and began the season on the DL. He was out for about six weeks and made his Milwaukee debut on May 10th.
Since then, it’s been a struggle for Logan to get into a groove. He has a 5.23 ERA with a 2.03 WHIP in 15 games covering 10.1 innings. His WHIP is over 2.00! This is egregiously bad.
The big reason for Logan’s success in his career and the reason the Milwaukee Brewers signed him, was his ability to shut down left handed hitters. He has shown a complete inability to do that this year.
Lefties are hitting .368/.500/.632 against Logan in 2018. But right handed hitters are hitting only .211/.318/.421 against him.
For his career, lefties have hit only .237 against Logan while righties hit .290 against him. This season is backwards.
Logan has faced 19 hitters from each side of the plate, so the chances are equal on all sides, but Logan has just shown an inability to get left handed hitters out. Against the Phillies on Friday night, he allowed a home run to lefty Odubel Herrera in his first at-bat. Something is wrong.
What is the cause of this?
There is a surprisingly easy explanation to why Boone Logan hasn’t been able to succeed this year. It’s such an easy explanation that you might not even believe it, but it makes a lot of sense.
Logan has faced 19 right handed hitters and 19 left handed hitters. Righties have a .231 BAbip against Logan. Lefties have a .462 BAbip. Lefties literally have double the BAbip of righties against the struggling southpaw.
BAbip is widely considered an indicator of how lucky or unlucky a player is, and that .462 BAbip against lefties is ungodly high. Practically half of the time lefties make contact against Logan the ball lands for a base hit. This is unheard of.
How can the Brewers fix this?
The explanation for why he’s been terrible this year was easy. The solution to the problem is not. One way is to just let him pitch through it and hope his luck turns and the ground balls that sneak through the hole finds an infielder. Hope the fly balls that find the gap are hit right to his defenders, and that things will get better.
Logan can pray to the baseball gods if he wants to, but his luck needs to turn soon.
Another option is to put Logan on the disabled list with a “hangnail” or “arm soreness” as a way to get him to take a step back, take a breath, and maybe put him on a rehab assignment and see his luck turn that way, similar to what they did with Matt Albers.
Should they DFA Logan?
No, I don’t think they should and I don’t think they will. The Milwaukee Brewers signed Logan to a $1.875 million contract with $3.2 million possible in incentives this year. He also has a team option for $4.125 million next year. I don’t think they want to move on from him only 10 innings into his Brewers career.
They’ll continue to run him out there in low pressure situations as a way to get him going and get his confidence up, or they’ll place him on the DL with a non-major injury and give him a chance to work his confidence back in the minors.
The Milwaukee Brewers are in first place and have a tremendous bullpen. Boone Logan doesn’t play a major role in that group yet, but he still has the potential to be a contributing member of this bullpen.