3. How Will The Rotation Shake Out?
The Milwaukee Brewers currently have seven viable, quality options for their starting rotation. Those pitchers; Jhoulys Chacin, Jimmy Nelson, Chase Anderson, Zach Davies, Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta, and Brandon Woodruff, are all competing for five spots in the starting rotation.
It’s fair to assume that Jhoulys Chacin is guaranteed a spot after his performance last season. Jimmy Nelson, coming back after shoulder surgery, also figures to get a spot should he get through spring training healthy and ready to go. The Brewers have also stated that Corbin Burnes will go into the starting rotation in 2019, so he should get a spot.
That leaves Davies, Anderson, Peralta, and Woodruff fighting for two spots. Given Anderson’s contract, he probably should get a rotation spot, but his performance last season was concerning. He lost that velocity he gained in 2017 and his effectiveness went way down and his home run totals went way up.
If Anderson continues to struggle in spring training, what will the Brewers do with him?
It’ll come down to which players pitch the best in spring training. Whoever pitches the best will likely get the spots. It’s important to keep in mind that all of these pitchers still have minor league options, including Davies and Anderson. Although it is unlikely that Anderson would get optioned to the minors.
Anderson and Davies are also trade candidates, but with spring training now beginning, the chances of them getting traded prior to the season starting are pretty small.
It’ll be a true competition for these guys. Unless the Brewers go with an extremely unconventional approach that includes all seven of these guys in the rotation, someone is going to get left out, stuck with a job they don’t want. It’ll bring the best out of them, which is good for the team. But at this point, it’s anyone’s guess as to how the starting five will look on Opening Day.