The Milwaukee Brewers swept the Colorado Rockies to move on to the NLCS. They’re allowed to change their roster for the next series.
First off, what an amazing stretch of baseball over the last 11 games? This Milwaukee Brewers team is hot at the right time and they just dominated a Rockies team that was in a groove coming into October.
But now it’s on to the NLCS. The Brewers have home field advantage in this series, which means they’ll have Games 1-2 and Games 6-7 at Miller Park. It’s yet to be determined who the Brewers will face as the Braves and the Dodgers are still finishing their series. The Dodgers currently lead the series 2-1 after three games.
The Brewers can mix up their roster for the NLCS and set a completely new 25 man roster. What changes, if any, should be made?
This group was lights out during the Rockies series. But it was constructed specifically for a short best-of-five series against Colorado. The makeup of that bullpen will change for a best-of-seven series against the Dodgers or Braves.
The Brewers decided to go with most of their starting pitching depth in the bullpen for the Rockies series, leaving off several regular bullpen arms.
Who Should Be Added?
Lefties Xavier Cedeno and Dan Jennings figure to get serious consideration to make the NLCS roster. Craig Counsell said before the NLDS that it was extremely hard to leave Cedeno off that roster. Look for him at the very least to get in this next series. Jennings might still be up in the air about making the roster, but a second lefty specialist isn’t a bad idea.
Who Should Be Taken Off?
The Milwaukee Brewers kept several extra starting pitchers in the NLDS. Freddy Peralta and Junior Guerra made the roster but never got in the game. Brandon Woodruff started Game 1 and did a tremendous job. That may have helped his chances to make the NLCS roster should Counsell decide to go with another bullpen game.
There may be one or two bullpen games for Counsell in this next series. That might allow him to keep more of those starting pitchers. But Peralta is a strong candidate to get left off the roster because of his rookie status. He did have success against the Dodgers this season, going four innings allowing only one run on July 30 but gave up four walks that game.
It’s extremely unlikely that the Brewers go with a six man bench in a seven game series. That would limit them to 11 pitchers once again and I doubt they do that. At least one player is going to have to get removed from the roster.
Who Should Be Taken Off?
It won’t be Granderson. A player with as much experience and success as Granderson is invaluable in the postseason. They’ll need his ABs off the bench.
That leaves it once again between Broxton and Santana. As much as it may hurt to say, I think Santana gets left off this roster. Both have good arguments for making the roster but I think Broxton wins out.
Santana has been hot at the plate, but Broxton also hit a ninth inning home run in Game 3 which could be a sign that he’s getting into a hot stretch at the plate. He’s known for his streakiness and if this is a hot streak coming, it’s best to use him.
Also, Broxton has been used as a late inning defensive replacement and is a speedy baserunner that can pinch run when needed. A fast baserunner that brings great defense is what every playoff team needs on the bench. Santana is not fast and is not a great defender. That’s where Broxton gets the edge.
Those are the moves I think the Milwaukee Brewers should make prior to the NLCS. Remove Santana and some sort of combination of Peralta, Guerra, and Woodruff along with adding Cedeno and some combination of Jennings, Barnes, and Williams.
The Brewers have momentum on their side right now and home field advantage at their backs. This has the potential to be a truly magical month of October.