Zach Davies has struggled mightily for the Milwaukee Brewers this season. Entering the season there were high hopes for Davies who tallied 17 wins last season and was a nice surprise for this Brewers team. But for how well 2017 went, 2018 has gone just as bad for Davies.
In limited action this year due to injuries, Zach Davies has a record of 2-5, with an ERA of 5.23 in eight starts. Batters were easily getting on-base easily before he hit the DL. Many were left wondering if Davies was regressing back to his norm, or if his poor performances were injury related.
How did Davies do in the Minors?
Davies most recent starts in the Minors began on July 27th and he has been down there since. Bouncing between the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Biloxi Shuckers, and Wisconsin Timber-Rattlers, the Milwaukee Brewers were hoping that Davies would find his groove.
His last two starts in Biloxi and Wisconsin have easily been his best during this stint in the Minors. Over 15 innings, which includes a complete game in Wisconsin on just 85 pitches, Davies has given up just one earned run, one walk and nine hits. Although against lesser competition, it appears that Davies is regaining some of his control.
However, before those two successful starts, Davies struggled through the previous four starts, making many wonder how valuable he could be when brought back up to Milwaukee. Through 15.1 innings over those four starts, Davies gave up 17 hits, 12 walks and 14 earned runs.
What were the challenges that Davies overcame?
The issue for Davies on the mound has been his command. He has a curve ball and slider in his arsenal of pitches, but relies on his fastball and change-up a lot. When Davies is at his best he will throw a low 90s fastball, and work low in the zone. However, when he’s unable to hit his spots it’s going to result in a lot of base hits or walks.
A strength of Davies is that he doesn’t give up many home runs. During his most recent stretch in Colorado Springs, a very hitter friendly ball park, Davies didn’t give up any home runs. Having this ability will hopefully help limit any big innings for the opposing team.
What to expect in his first start?
In Davies first start back, he isn’t going to have the pressure of carrying the Milwaukee Brewers deep into the game. If he can give the team four or five innings in his first start, that would be ideal.
What Davies needs to avoid is giving up the big inning, limiting walks, and hitting his spots in or around the strike zone. It will be obvious early whether or not he has his command and what kind of day lies ahead for Davies.
Most likely Davies will make his first start back this Sunday against the Nationals. It will allow Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell to replace a struggling Junior Guerra and let Davies to come back against the Nationals, rather than the Cubs in the following series.
Having Davies back as an option will help Counsell and the Milwaukee Brewers. It will give the starting rotation an extra arm down the stretch and give Counsell some flexibility with the rotation. If Davies can build on his most recent starts, he will be a factor in the Brewers final playoff push.