Brewers News

Milwaukee Brewers: Curtis Granderson Showing His Value

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MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 03: Curtis Granderson #28 and Hernan Perez #14 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrate after Granderson scored a run in the eighth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park on September 3, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 03: Curtis Granderson #28 and Hernan Perez #14 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrate after Granderson scored a run in the eighth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park on September 3, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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As the Milwaukee Brewers approached the final hours of the August waiver trade deadline, a surprise move by GM David Stearns was trading for outfielder Curtis Grandson.

What did Milwaukee give up?

The 37-year-old Granderson was acquired via trade from the Toronto Blue Jays for outfield prospect Demi Orimoloye. The young outfielder was drafted by Milwaukee in the fourth round of the 2015 draft. But after flying through rookie ball in Helena and Single-A ball in Wisconsin, Orimoloye was struggling through the 2018 season with the Carolina Mudcats.

Granderson has about $5 million left on his contract for the remainder of the year. Another clause in the trade is that Toronto will pay for some of it, so Milwaukee didn’t have to take on the burden of the full remaining contract.

Where does Granderson fit in?

With an already deep outfield that consists of Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain as everyday starters, Ryan Braun as a consistent starter when healthy, and the depth options of Domingo Santana and Keon Broxton, many wondered where Granderson would fit into this team.

Although he may not be getting a ton of starts, he has spent most of his season in Toronto as a hitter specifically meant to face right-handed pitchers. And his role in Milwaukee will be much of the same moving forward.

On the year, he has 355 plate appearances against right-handers and has fared quite well. Granderson has a slash line of .253/.355/.451 when up against righties. However, in just 26 plate appearances against lefties, his slash line takes a dive to .143/.280./.238.

Having Granderson gives manager Craig Counsell another left-handed option off the bench, in addition to the struggling Eric Thames, to specialize in facing right-handed pitchers.

How has he done in Milwaukee?

Granderson has done most of his damage off of the bench but also has two starts already as a Brewer. He’s been able to score five times, while adding two RBIs and five walks. Granderson also hit a home run against the Cubs that helped the Milwaukee Brewers narrow the deficit in what eventually turned out to be a loss.

In his limited time in Milwaukee, Granderson has already been able to make an impact on the games he’s been in and it shows in his slash line. He has an average of .283, an OBP of .583, and a slugging percentage of .714.

Granderson’s veteran experience

With Granderson’s experience, one of his greatest attributes as a hitter for Milwaukee is his patience at the plate. When Jonathan Schoop arrived to Milwaukee, one of his biggest issues was that he was pressing at the plate, trying to show his value to his new team.

Granderson has been able to take the opposite approach by being patient when up to bat. This can be seen by the fact that he has five walks in just 12 at-bats and hasn’t swung at too many poor pitches. This has allowed him to get on base consistently and help the Brewers score runs.

Postseason experience

As the Milwaukee Brewers approach their final weeks of the season, every series, game, and pitch is meaningful when you’re fighting for a playoff spot. Granderson can bring postseason experience to this Milwaukee locker room, which at this time of the year can be invaluable.

Over his career, Granderson has played in 57 playoff games up to this point, with 237 plate appearances. In his playoff career, he has a batting average of .227, with an OBP of .322, a slugging percentage of .429. Granderson has been a solid contributor to many of his playoff teams throughout the years.

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In addition to Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun, Granderson can add some veteran leadership to this team. He’s already shown the value that he can provide and the acquisition of Granderson has definitely made this Brewers team better.

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