The Milwaukee Brewers have just added a starting pitcher through a trade, and activated Zach Davies. What is their ideal starting rotation for the rest of the season?
After having too few starting pitchers for part of the summer, the Milwaukee Brewers now have too many? Adding Gio Gonzalez and Zach Davies to starting group that already have five starters has left their rotation up in the air. Who should they roll with for the rest of September?
A four-man or five-man?
Five-man, for sure. The Milwaukee Brewers don’t have a starting staff capable of maintaining a four-man rotation for a full month. They will likely shorten their pitching staff if they make the playoffs, but for now, they’re sticking with a five-man from here on out.
Who are the locks?
Jhoulys Chacin and Chase Anderson won’t move out of the rotation this year or next. They’re the only two obvious locks for spots in the starting five right now. Chacin has been solid for the last few months, and Anderson isn’t skipping a start unless he’s hurt.
What about Freddy Peralta?
It makes sense for Freddy Peralta to move out of the rotation and into the bullpen to keep his innings limited from here on out. Peralta has already worked over 130 innings this year after working 120 last year. The team hasn’t announced a plan for him, but he’s unlikely to work more than 150 innings. A move to the bullpen could allow the Milwaukee Brewers to pick and choose when he uses them.
Should Davies & Gonzalez move into the rotation?
Davies is already in the starting rotation, and will remain there unless he has another shoulder or back issue.
Gonzalez is the odd case. He’s not slated to start a game, and it sounds like there isn’t a plan for him. He was acquired as a starting pitcher, and should get a chance to work in the rotation.
He does own a 6.55 ERA in the second half after posting a 3.72 ERA in the first half. He also posted a 7.47 ERA in August. His walks are up, and his strikeouts are down. Gonzalez looks like a guy who needs a reboot. Perhaps moving to a new city, and working with a new coaching staff will help? Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell could be right to hold Gonzalez out of the rotation until he knows there’s progress.
What about the final two spots?
Do you know who also has a 6.55 ERA in the second half? Junior Guerra! If Gonzalez isn’t included in the rotation, Guerra needs to find a new role, too.
Wade Miley has a sub-3.00 in both the first and second half. In 46 1/3 innings of work since the All-Star break, Miley has a 2.14 ERA. He also owns a 4.22 xFIP that indicates his actual ERA is more of a statistical variance than Miley actually being this awesome. However, Miley deserves to stay in the rotation as long as he’s gobbling up innings and putting up zeroes.
Guerra or Gonzalez?
Based on the numbers, neither is an ideal option, but Gonzalez was acquired for a reason – to provide a boost to the Milwaukee Brewers starting rotation. Guerra has received several chances to stick in the rotation, and it’s just not working out. If the team decides to move Peralta out of the rotation to limit his innings, Gonzalez gets the nod for the final rotation spot…for now.
The Milwaukee Brewers have options for their rotation. Ideally, Peralta would stay in the rotation and lead the team into the post season, but it’s hard to see that happening. The Brewers rarely make decisions for short-term satisfaction. Every move they’ve made has been with an eye towards the future, and they need to take Peralta’s long-term health into consideration.