The Milwaukee Brewers have made a roster move ahead of Game 5 of the NLCS on Wednesday, choosing to put Zach Davies on the active roster.
When Gio Gonzalez rolled his ankle in the second inning on Tuesday night and was removed from the game, speculation was already turning that Gonzalez would be taken off the active roster and a fresh arm would be brought in. That is now officially happening.
Zach Davies will get the call to replace Gonzalez. Because Gonzalez had to be replaced mid-series with an injury, he is not eligible to pitch in the World Series should the Milwaukee Brewers advance.
Why Zach Davies?
Davies had a tough 2018 season. He missed most of the year with various shoulder and back injuries that had numerous setbacks on his minor league rehab assignments.
But Davies came back strong in September, starting five games and allowing three runs or less in all of them. The longest he went in any of those games was five innings, and that was in three of those games. In the other two starts, he pitched only four innings.
In his most recent start against the Tigers on September 28th, Davies had some struggles in the first inning but settled down to keep them scoreless over the next three frames.
What Other Options Were There?
Pedro Gomez of ESPN had the list of pitchers that were traveling with the club and could be called upon.
Since Gio was technically a starting pitcher, despite never going more than two innings in an outing, it makes sense to replace him with a starting pitcher. That knocks out Jordan Lyles. Having seen what Matt Albers did in the second half of the season also quickly eliminates him from being a good option.
That leaves Davies and Anderson. While Anderson was the staff “ace” coming into the season, he quickly lost that title in 2018 and surrendered 30 home runs during the regular season. With his big time regression, Davies was left as the best available option.
It’s disappointing that Gonzalez wasn’t able to pitch up to his potential this postseason and that it has to come to an early end. But even if Gonzalez would be able to go for the World Series, it makes sense to add a new arm in Davies, and give him a chance to perform.
The Milwaukee Brewers will bring this series back to Milwaukee for a Game 6 at the very least. Whether they have a lead coming into that game or a deficit will be determined tonight in Game 5.