The Milwaukee Brewers have three rotation spots that aren’t going to change soon, but they also had a pair of pitchers make their first starts of the 2019 season in the past week. Who should stay in the rotation, and who needs to go?
Seeing Chase Anderson and Adrian Houser start within a few days of each other should make Milwaukee Brewers GM David Stearns want to meet Dallas Keuchel‘s asking price. But one ‘spot starter’ did enough to stay in the rotation for the immediate future, while the other is better served working out of the bullpen, or heading back to Triple-A.
How did Anderson do?
Anderson made his first start of the 2019 on Saturday, and did more than enough to keep the Milwaukee Brewers in the game.
He tossed five scoreless innings, and allowed only one hit and two walks. Anderson fanned five Dodgers, and picked up his second win of the year, as the offense scored five runs and the bullpen combined for four more scoreless innings.
Anderson threw 82 pitches with 51 going for strikeouts. He did a great job of keeping the ball inside the ballpark, and kept the Los Angeles offense off-balance by changing speeds and mixing his pitches well.
How about Houser?
Houser faced the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday, and didn’t get the results that he wanted. He needed 78 pitches to throw only four innings. Houser allowed five runs on nine hits and one walk with three strikeouts. He did rack up six ground balls that were converted into outs.
Seven of the nine hits allowed by Houser stayed in the park. The two homers he allowed both came with runners on, and accounted for most of the damage the Cardinals inflicted.
Who should stay in the rotation?
Each pitcher only had one start, so writing off one or going all-in on the other doesn’t make a ton of sense. But, the results do speak for themselves, and Anderson clearly had the better outing.
Anderson deserves to get another shot at keeping a starting role while Freddy Peralta, Corbin Burnes, and Jimmy Nelson work their way back from injuries and early struggles. If Anderson continues to gobble up innings, he could end up staying in the rotation for the long haul. It also helps that we’ve seen Anderson succeed in a starting role with the Milwaukee Brewers. It shouldn’t come as a shock to see him have a solid start or two.
However, he could also give up three homers in his next start, and have fans clamoring for Peralta to return.
Houser has the talent to succeed at baseball’s highest level, but he may not end up as a starter. He has two quality pitches with his big fastball and change up, but his breaking ball hasn’t quite advanced the way it’s been hoped. The bullpen looks like a better option unless he can find a serviceable third pitch. There’s also a non-zero chance that Houser has already been optioned back to Triple-A by the time you’re reading this.