The Milwaukee Brewers optioned Freddy Peralta and Taylor Williams to Colorado Springs, and called up Jacob Barnes and Aaron Brooks. Could Barnes provide the Brewers bullpen with the relief they’ve been looking for?
Jacob Barnes has been capable for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018. He still has the same big fastball and cutter combo that helped him strikeout 80 batters in 72 innings last year. Can he turn around his 2018 season and provide the Brewers with the depth their bullpen has lacked in the second half?
How has Barnes pitched for the Brewers?
Not awful. He’s worked 42 1/3 innings and owns a 3.61 ERA in 2018. His current ERA is actually lower than where he ended 2017, but he managed to stay on the Major League roster for all of last year. Barnes also has 42 strikeouts and 18 walks this year.
How did he pitch for Colorado Springs?
Fine? He’s a Major League caliber reliever throwing to Triple-A competition. It would be cause for concern if he didn’t post a sub-2.00 ERA.
Barnes made 11 relief appearances and posted a 1.54. He struck out 10, but walked eight(?). Are we sure they called up the right guy?
What’s gone wrong for Barnes?
Barnes has lost a few ticks on the radar gun, but he’s still averaging over 95 MPH on his fastball. His cutter also hasn’t seen the same movement and effectiveness that it had in 2017.
He was also the victim of ‘roster roulette’. The Milwaukee Brewers have been forced to shuttle fresh arms from Colorado Springs to Milwaukee and back for most of the year. Barnes still had an option, and the Brewers needed a fresh arm. He had to go, but it was obvious he wouldn’t stay gone for long.
Barnes has enjoyed stretches of fantastic baseball during his career with the Milwaukee Brewers. He’s going to get another chance to work as the bridge to Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress, and Joakim Soria. If he find success in the sixth or seventh inning, the Brewers will have a much better shot at earning a playoff spot.