Jhoulys Chacin is still Jhoulys Chacin. The young starters have produced mix results. But one name has clearly stood out in the Milwaukee Brewers rotation. Is Zach Davies their best starting pitcher?
Injuries limited Zach Davies to only 13 starts and 66 innings during the 2018 regular season. Davies had the off season to get his body right, and the early returns have been very promising. However, when it comes to the playoffs, should the Milwaukee Brewers trust Davies to take the ball in Game One of a short series?
What happened in 2018 again?
Injuries. A series of injuries kept Davies on the shelf for the majority of the 2018 season. He ended the season with a 2-7 record and a 4.77 ERA in 13 starts.
And how about his Spring numbers?
Davies started Spring Training in a similar situation to Chase Anderson. The Milwaukee Brewers knew that someone was going to have to start the year in the bullpen, but they weren’t sure who.
Looking at the raw numbers, Davies was actually worse than Anderson in the Spring. Davies posted a 7.17 ERA in 21 1/3 Spring innings. He struck out 12, walked eight, and was tagged for three homers.
Anderson managed a 6.19 ERA, struck out 13, walked four, and was tagged for four homers. However, Davies looked solid early on, and a pair of blowups skewed his numbers. Anderson was mediocre for the majority of the Spring season.
What about the regular season?
Davies has clearly flipped the switch from Spring-mode to regular season-mode.
In his first three starts for the Milwaukee Brewers, Davies owns a 2-0 record with a 1.53 ERA. He’s tossed 17 2/3 innings, struck out 13, walked six, and has allowed two homers. He’s getting ground balls at a 49.1% clip, and his hard hit ball rate is only at 28.3%. Davies is dealing right now.
He’s not exactly an ‘ace’, but he is the Milwaukee Brewers best starting pitcher at the moment.
How about the playoffs?
Davies would clearly have a spot in the playoff rotation, but it’s unclear how the Milwaukee Brewers will deploy their pitchers in October this time around. They don’t have the same bullpen depth that they had last year, but they do have a lot of starters they could turn to for multi-inning appearances.
Unless the Milwaukee Brewers are able to land a true ace, they’ll likely have to go with Jhoulys Chacin and Davies in the first two games, and then hope that they can piece together Game Three before trying Chacin and Davies again in Games Four and Five.
Davies might be their best pitcher, but the Milwaukee Brewers lack a true ace. Expect to hear them linked to more than a few names in June and July in an attempt to find a name for the top of their rotation. Going with an ace in Game One, followed by Davis and Chacin sounds a lot more like a playoff rotation than the way the team is currently constructed.