Brewers News

Milwaukee Brewers: Should Jhoulys Chacin go back to the rotation?

Matthew Dewoskin
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 08: Jhoulys Chacin #45 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park on June 8, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 08: Jhoulys Chacin #45 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park on June 8, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /
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Jhoulys Chacin is expected to return to the Milwaukee Brewers from the Injured List in the next week. Should he get his rotation spot when he comes back?

The Milwaukee Brewers have a ton of options for their starting staff, and Jhoulys Chacin was struggling before he hit the Injured List with a lower back strain on June 1st. He has only thrown six innings or more in two of his 12 starts this year. He has exactly one quality start in the last month.

As the Milwaukee Brewers learned last year, every game counts, and the team can’t afford to have an unreliable starter in the rotation. The team also has several options competing for spots in the starting five. Is it time to make a change?

How rough has Chacin been?

Rough. Chacin owns a 6.74 ERA in May. He logged 23.2 innings in five starts, and was battered for 18 runs, 17 earned. He managed 18 strikeouts, walked 11, and was tagged for four homers.

Chacin also owns a 24.9% line drive rate. If the season ended today, that would be the highest in any single season at the Major League level for Chacin.

Will Chacin require a rehab stint?

It doesn’t sound like he will. He’s expected to return to the Major League roster during the upcoming road trip. That doesn’t indicate a rehab stint in the Minors, even if it would help him get straightened out.

Are there other options available?

For the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019? Absolutely.

Freddy Peralta posted a 4.43 ERA in May, but he also showed improved control. In 20 1/3 innings of work, Peralta managed 21 strikeouts and six walks. He’s technically in the rotation for now, and deserves to get an extended look.

Jimmy Nelson had his next start pushed to June 15th, and is still technically a starter, too. He probably shouldn’t be. While his velocity wasn’t an issue, Nelson didn’t look like a Major League caliber starter in his return to the Milwaukee Brewers active roster. He only lasted three innings, was tagged for five runs, walked three, and gave up a homer. Nelson would be better served fixing his issues in the bullpen than the starting staff.

Adrian Houser and Aaron Wilkerson have been solid in Triple-A, but we’ve seen that movie before. Houser is doing well in the Major League bullpen right now, and should stay there for now.

Corbin Burnes will likely get another shot at a starting role, but that might not come until 2020.

Next. Is Travis Shaw back?. dark

For now, the Milwaukee Brewers are stuck with Chacin in the rotation, but he only has until Gio Gonzalez works through his ‘dead arm’ period to get back on track. The Brewers will stick with Chacin in the starting rotation when he’s ready to come back, but he needs to show results. If Chacin can’t get back on track by the time Gonzalez is ready to return to the Majors, he could end up in mop up duty.

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