The Internal Options rotation
Now the most likely and maybe best long-term option the Milwaukee Brewers have, the one that they had for most of 2018. After using a number of starting pitchers, the Brewers could pick and choose the best five or six starters for their 2019 rotation. Here is a look at who is there and how they could be slotted:
Jhoulys Chacin, RHP, 30
2018 – 15-8, 3.50 ERA, 1.16 WHIP
Current contract – 1-year / $6 million
The “ace” of the 2018 staff, Jhoulys Chacin is the only starter from 2018 that went from start to finish with the Brewers rotation. Probably the easiest person to slot into the 2019 starting rotation, Chacin started 35 games, pitching 192 2/3 innings and striking out 156 batters.
Jimmy Nelson, RHP, 29
2017 – 12-6, 3.49, 1.25
Current contract – Arb 2 for $3.7 million, team control through 2020 season
After surgery and rehabbing in 2018, Jimmy Nelson sounds like he’s ready to bounce back to show that 2017 wasn’t a fluke. He is ready to report to Maryvale, and has said he plans to be back in the rotation in 2019. Motivation is a powerful tool for a player who was out for a season while his team made a playoff run.
Corbin Burnes, RHP, 24
2018 – 7-0, 2.61, 1.00
Current contract – Team control through 2024 season
Corbin Burnes was exciting in the 2018 regular season and he was exciting in the playoffs. Management has been adamant that he’s a future starter. With a high ceiling, Burnes could be more than a mid-range starter in 2019 and might potentially be the best starter on the team in the future. He has ace potential and there’s a lot to be excited about for his future.
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Brandon Woodruff, RHP, 25
2018 – 3-0, 3.61, 1.18
Current contract – Team control through 2023 season
Another exciting internal option, Brandon Woodruff is also a guy the team should want to see pick right up where he left off the 2018 postseason. He has the potential to be a solid mid-rotation option for his career.
Zach Davies, RHP, 25
2017 – 17-9, 3.90, 1.35
Current contract – Arb 1, team control through 2021 season
It’s tough to look at Zach Davies and not think about his 2018 struggles. From the disabled list to majors, then to disabled list to up and down the minor leagues to the major leagues and eventually the postseason roster.
Here is the bad – In 2018 he went 2-7 with a 4.77 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. He struggled in just 13 games with the Brewers.
Now the good – At just 25 years old, Davies is young and pitched well prior to the 2018 season. Prior to last season he owned a 31-18 record, with a 3.91 ERA, 1.297 WHIP and 283 strikeouts in 67 games.
The case for Davies over Chase Anderson, Freddy Peralta, Junior Guerra or anyone in the system that could potentially move up is a tough one. He is still younger than both Anderson and Guerra, and had a better ERA than Peralta and Guerra, while allowing fewer home runs in two seasons than Anderson. During the postseason, Anderson was passed over for the bullpen, and both Peralta and Guerra excelled in roles coming out of the pen in long relief.
Brewers fans should be rooting for the 25-year old to bounce back to form in 2019 and cement his place in the rotation.
The Milwaukee Brewers will have fun putting together a rotation this off season.