As 3:00 CST came and went yesterday, it ended up not being the day that most Brewers fans had anticipated. Many fans spent most of the day refreshing their Twitter feeds hoping to see the big name starting pitcher that the Milwaukee Brewers had acquired.
However, most fans were left scratching their heads as they did not acquired a starting pitcher, but rather infielder Jonathan Schoop from the Baltimore Orioles. Another infielder added to an already deep part of the team.
This was not what most fans were hoping for as starting pitching is seen as the weak part of our team. For me, I think today’s outcome will not be the season difference maker that most think it will be.
While the starting rotation may lack the “big name” that so many were hoping for, it has been a solid unit this year. The Crew’s starting pitching ranks 9th in the Majors with an ERA of 3.85. Wade Miley just recently returned, and he will add depth to the rotation and has thrown well in his last few starts. But he may regress soon.
Jhoulys Chacin has had a dominant season thus far, and we can also look forward to Zach Davies returning soon as well. His season prior to injury hasn’t gone nearly as well as 2017 did for him, but if he can bounce back and get close to form, it will be another strong option for the Brewers to go to down the stretch.
The Bullpen’s Impact
In the first half the Brewers had one of the most dominating bullpens in the league. In today’s game, the days of starting pitchers having to get to the 7th inning or beyond are long gone. Recent World Series Champions (Royals and Astros) have won by relying on their bullpen to get them to victory from the 5th or 6th inning and beyond.
This is a formula that could work well for the Brewers given the set up of this team. We know they have a strong bullpen to carry their part of the load and the starting pitching can do the same with their part.
Two of the big pitching names linked to the Brewers were Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays and Kevin Gausman of the Baltimore Orioles. Reports came out that, given the demand for pitchers at the trade deadline, both teams had a hefty asking price. Brewers GM David Stearns was looking to get a deal done but made it clear throughout the process that he was not willing to part ways with Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta, and Keston Hiura.
Stearns finds himself in a tricky situation when it comes to making trades. Of course, he wants to take advantage of the great season the Milwaukee Brewers are having and make a run to the World Series, but he has a greater goal in mind.
The Brewers, over this century have been a roller coaster ride. They have great prospects come up who lead us to the playoffs, but they eventually leave for elsewhere and the playoffs become a distant memory. Stearns is working his plan to make the Crew a perennial contender and giving away the whole farm system will not accomplish that.
Overall, yesterday was anti-climactic compared to what most people thought it would be. However, GM’s don’t make a trade just because you think you should make a trade. Stearns is very deliberate in his evaluation of these trade talks and the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze. Long term, trading away the top prospects isn’t going to lead the Crew to the promised land.
The Milwaukee Brewers have a good rotation and a great bullpen, and we’ve seen in the past that it can be a recipe for success. In Stearns We Trust!