The Milwaukee Brewers went to the Trade Deadline with some big needs in their pitching staff. They made some moves, but were they enough?
Well that certainly was a trade deadline, wasn’t it? This is the first year with just the one trade deadline, with MLB hoping it would spur more action. But instead, they turned the deadline into a dudline. That was one of the slowest moving trade deadlines up until the final 15 minutes in recent memory, and the Milwaukee Brewers waited to make moves as well.
The trades of Zack Greinke and Nicholas Castellanos saved the deadline some embarrassment by getting some action, but was there some embarrassment on the side of the Brewers for how they handled the deadline?
Who They Added
RHP Jake Faria, LHP Drew Pomeranz, RHP Ray Black, RHP Jordan Lyles
They added plenty of pitching depth at the deadline, with several pitchers out with injuries or down because of ineffectiveness, the Brewers needed bodies. So they got bodies.
Brewers GM David Stearns opted for quantity over quality. Look at those names they got. None of them have been huge, difference making pitchers since 2017. So it’s been a year and a half since either Faria or Pomeranz were effective, needle-moving pitchers that would make sense to add at the deadline.
Faria, Pomeranz, and Lyles can all pitch out of the starting rotation, but none of them have been good at it this year. Pomeranz was moved to the bullpen in San Francisco due to ineffectiveness as a starter and an ERA over 6.00. Faria has been in Triple-A and was moved to the bullpen there and pitched out of the bullpen last year, but has an ability to start. Faria is younger, and is more of a project they’re working on. Lyles struggled in the rotation in Pittsburgh and that’s why they traded him away.
Black, is a 29 year old fireballer that can’t command his fastball, and is a confusing project to take on.
Are any of them better options than an Aaron Wilkerson, Adrian Houser, or Trey Supak? Based on ERA, no they aren’t. So why bother getting more mediocre pitching? That won’t help make a postseason run.
To be fair, all the difference making starting pitchers had huge price tags that would’ve been tough to pay. To make things worse, the Mets and Reds destroyed the market by taking two top-flight starters off that market and putting them on non-contenders. That decreased the already short supply and didn’t do anything bring down demand. So prices soared.
But if you’re going to add a bunch of bullpen arms, why aren’t they all with Milwaukee? Black and Faria were sent to Triple-A. Lyles joins the rotation, which doesn’t make it any better, despite a solid first outing. Pomeranz joins the bullpen but he only had four outings from there in San Francisco before getting traded, which is a very small sample size.