Milwaukee Brewers starter Corbin Burnes has struggled early on in the 2019 season. With a lack of success so far, what possibility is there of Burnes moving back into the bullpen.
To say this is not the ideal start to the season for Corbin Burnes would be a massive understatement. He’s allowed three home runs in each of his first three starts, with nine total dingers allowed in just 14.1 innings. His ERA sits at an unsightly 10.21. The Milwaukee Brewers have actually only lost one of those three games however.
While there have been some high points, such as striking out 12 against St. Louis, there have been many more low points. Fans are frustrated, and so is Burnes.
What’s Wrong With Corbin Burnes?
He’s suffering from a terrible case of “fastball-down-the-middle” disease. He’s leaving too many pitches down the heart of the plate where anyone in the league would be able to tee off on him.
Burnes isn’t commanding his fastball well enough and isn’t able to hit the corners like he needs to. He also isn’t utilizing his offspeed enough and hitters are just sitting on his fastball, that he currently has a tendency to leave down the middle, which is a problem.
What To Do With Burnes?
Corbin Burnes is not going to move to the bullpen. Let’s get that out of the way. The 24 year old hurler has too good of stuff and is going through growing pains in his first season in a big league rotation. The ability and upside is there, and the only way to get it out of him is to let him pitch and find it on his own.
The calls to move Burnes to the bullpen are shortsighted and wrong. Just because he succeeded in that role last year does not mean it’s the best fit for him moving forward. Switching him from a starter’s mentality to a bullpen mentality and back and forth again and again is only going to make things worse for him. He won’t be more effective that way and it’ll only mess with his head.
The only course of action for the Milwaukee Brewers to take is to ride it out with Burnes in the rotation. Work with him in between starts and let him work things out every fifth day. That’s the only way he can learn and grow as a pitcher. He has too much promise and too much ability to do anything else with him.
And if you think that just because the Brewers are contenders and they can’t afford to ride things out with a rookie and let him figure it out when every game counts, just remember that this championship window does not end after this season, and that Burnes, while struggling, is still the best option they’ve got every five days.
He’s going to be a big part of the starting rotation for the next several years. By yo-yoing him back and forth between starting and relieving, all the Brewers would do is make things worse on his psyche and his arm.
The Milwaukee Brewers are riding it out with three rookie starting pitchers, and they all have a ton of promise. There have been some struggles early, but they’re three starts in. It’s way too early to make any judgments about their viability in the rotation.